Friday, November 30, 2007

The Five Stages of (Causing) Grief

cectic.com

Overkill

This is the latest meme that seem to be spreading regarding the police strategy that made Sen. Trillanes and Gen. Lim surrender and weep without bloodshed.

Can the police have used lesser force? Probably, but why should they? You have Sen. Trillanes and his lawyers saying on television that they are prepared to die for their cause, you prepare for the worst. You try to overpower them, anything less and you endanger the civilians and the policemen trying to suppress the coup plotters.

But those criticizing the strategy seem to criticize the strategy of storming the plotters themselves, they seem to prefer the Oakwood strategy of wooing the plotters out of the building with another agreement between them.

That is bullshit, Sen. Trillanes does not deserve to be treated in a special way, this is the second time he tried this, why should he be treated with kid gloves again. Wooing them out of the building is giving them another forum to air their demands and inflates their egos. They should be treated like the coup plotters they are.

Common Criminal

Just heard Atty. Bautista in ANC complaining that the police treated Sen. Trillanes and Gen. Lim as common criminals. It seems that he wants the two coup plotters given special treatment. I thought that they were doing what they did for the common tao, but they do not want to be treated like the common tao.

Hypocrisy anyone?

Manuel Roxas, coup apologist

In the most stupid statement I have heard Sen Roxas yet utter, he said
“This incident almost led to bloodshed, had it not been for the decision of Senator Trillanes and company to stand down."
Did he forget that this incident happened because Sen. Trillanes decided to walk out of his hearing, call for a People power revolution and replace the existing government structure with a caretaker government, barricade himself and his supporters inside the Manila Peninsula.

How can Sen. Roxas then say that the peaceful resolution of the incident should be credited to the actions of Sen. Trillanes? He doesn't want to anger the supporters of Sen. Trillanes who will be voting in the next election. Well he just angered at least one voter who was favorably inclined to consider voting for him.

PAHIMAKAS (Mi Ultimo Adios)

Pinipintuho kong Bayan ay paalam,
Lupang iniirog ng sikat ng araw,
mutyang mahalaga sa dagat Silangan,
kaluwalhatiang sa ami'y pumanaw.

Masayang sa iyo'y aking idudulot
ang lanta kong buhay na lubhang malungkot;
maging maringal man at labis alindog
sa kagalingan mo ay aking ding handog.

Sa pakikidigma at pamimiyapis
ang alay ng iba'y ang buhay na kipkip,
walang agam-agam, maluag sa dibdib,
matamis sa puso at di ikahapis.

Saan man mautas ay dikailangan,
cipres o laurel, lirio ma'y patungan
pakikipaghamok, at ang bibitayan,
yaon ay gayon din kung hiling ng Bayan.

Ako'y mamamatay, ngayong namamalas
na sa silinganan ay namamanaag
yaong maligayang araw na sisikat
sa likod ng luksang nagtabing na ulap.

Ang kulay na pula kung kinakailangan
na maitina sa iyong liwayway,
dugo ko'y isabong at siyang ikinang
ng kislap ng iyong maningning na ilaw

Ang aking adhika sapul magkaisip
ng kasalukuyang bata pang maliit,
ay ang tanghaling ka at minsan masilip
sa dagat Silangan hiyas na marikit.

Natuyo ang luhang sa mata'y nunukal,
taas na ang noo't walang kapootan,
walang bakas kunot ng kapighatian
gabahid man dungis niyong kahihiyan.

Sa kabuhayang ko ang laging gunita
maningas na aking ninanasa-nasa
ay guminhawa ka ang hiyas ng diwa
pag hingang papanaw ngayong biglang-bigla.

Ikaw'y guminhawa laking kagandahang
akoy malugmok, at ikaw ay matanghal,
hiniga'y malagot, mabuhay ka lamang
bangkay ko'y masilong sa iyong Kalangitan.

Kung sa libingan ko'y tumubong mamalas
sa malagong damo mahinhing bulaklak,
sa mga labi mo'y mangyayaring itapat,
sa kaluluwa ko hatik ay igawad.

At sa aking noo nawa'y iparamdam,
sa lamig ng lupa ng aking libingan,
ang init ng iyong paghingang dalisay
at simoy ng iyong paggiliw na tunay.

Bayaang ang buwan sa aki'y ititig
ang iwanag niyang lamlam at tahimik,
liwayway bayaang sa aki'y ihatid
magalaw na sinag at hanging hagibis.

Kung sakasakaling bumabang humantong
sa krus ko'y dumapo kahit isang ibon
doon ay bayaan humuning hinahon
at dalitin niya payapang panahon.

Bayaan ang ningas ng sikat ng araw
ula'y pasingawin noong kainitan,
magbalik sa langit ng boong dalisay
kalakip ng aking pagdaing na hiyaw.

Bayaang sino man sa katotang giliw
tangisang maagang sa buhay pagkitil;
kung tungkol sa akin ay may manalangin
idalangin, Bayan, yaring pagka himbing.

Idalanging lahat yaong nangamatay,
mangagatiis hirap na walang kapantay;
mga ina naming walang kapalaran
na inihihibik ay kapighatian.

Ang mga bao't pinapangulila,
ang mga bilanggong nagsisipagdusa;
dalanginin namang kanilang makita
ang kalayaan mong, ikagiginhawa.

At kung an madilim na gabing mapanglaw
ay lumaganap na doon sa libinga't
tanging mga patay ang nangaglalamay,
huwag bagabagin ang katahimikan.

Ang kanyang hiwagay huwag gambalain;
kaipala'y maringig doon ang taginting,
tunog ng gitara't salterio'y mag saliw,
ako, Bayan yao't kita'y aawitin.

Kung ang libingan ko'y limot na ng lahat
at wala ng kurus at batang mabakas,
bayaang linangin ng taong masipag,
lupa'y asarolin at kauyang ikalat.

At mga buto ko ay bago matunaw
mauwi sa wala at kusang maparam,
alabok ng iyong latag ay bayaang
siya ang babalang doo'y makipisan.

Kung magka gayon na'y aalintanahin
na ako sa limot iyong ihabilin
pagka't himpapawid at ang panganorin
mga lansangan mo'y aking lilibutins.

Matining na tunog ako sa dingig mo,
ilaw, mga kulay, masamyong pabango,
ang ugong at awit, pag hibik sa iyo,
pag asang dalisay ng pananalig ko.

Bayang iniirog, sakit niyaring hirap,
Katagalugang ko pinakaliliyag,
dinggin mo ang aking pagpapahimakas;
diya'y iiwan ko sa iyo ang lahat.

Ako'y patutungo sa walang busabos,
walang umiinis at berdugong hayop;
pananalig doo'y di nakasasalot,
si Bathala lamang dooy haring lubos.

Paalam, magulang at mga kapatid
kapilas ng aking kaluluwa't dibdib
mga kaibigan bata pang maliit
sa aking tahanan di na masisilip.

Pag pasasalamat at napahinga rin,
paalam estranherang kasuyo ko't aliw,
paalam sa inyo, mga ginigiliw;
mamatay ay siyang pagkakagupiling!

translated by: Gat Andres Bonifacio
from Wikipedia

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Special Thank You to the Police

The Trillanes fiasco, ended with no one injured. It could easily have been a tragedy, but the police and military succeeded in flushing out Sen. Trillanes and his supporters with teargas. The story however was not on how great the police were in defusing the situation but on how totalitarian they are for arresting whiny reporters who if the police and military did their job less professionally could have been dead or injured.

So I am thanking the policy and military for the very professional and competent way they handled the situation.

Special Privilege

The Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility issued a statement on the detention of the media people who covered Trillanes' fiasco.
"Never in the turbulent recent history of the Philippines has any government, including that of Ferdinand Marcos, ever taken into custody members of the media who were on the scene to do their jobs.

But the arrest of the media people who were covering the take-over of the Peninsula Hotel by Senator Antonio Trillanes’ Magdalo group is not only unprecedented. It is also an outrage, and a telling indication of the authoritarian depths into which the Arroyo regime has fallen in its obsession with political dominance. The Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility condemns this latest attack on the Philippine press as an assault not only on its Constitutionally-protected freedom, but also on democracy itself.

The arrests took place when the crisis was over, and Trillanes and company were already in police custody. The arrests can only be interpreted as one more attempt, together with libel suits and other harassments, to intimidate the Philippine press into either minimal or less aggressive reporting of political events. Media practitioners will remember this incident well, and some are likely to be affected enough to soften future coverage.

The Defense Secretary’s excuse that the police had to verify the identities of the media people covering the Peninsula Hotel crisis because there could be Magdalo members and sympathizers among them is totally unacceptable. Their identities were verifiable on-site, with some them being TV anchors well-known to millions of television viewers.

That members of the media, among them technical personnel and camerapersons as well as radio broadcasters and TV anchors, were being arrested at the very moment that Mrs. Arroyo was on the air describing her commitment to democracy was especially ironic. But it was also typical of the Arroyo regime’s rhetorical and contrived adherence to democracy and the rule of law.

The regime’s continuing assault on press freedom, free expression and freedom of assembly, of which this incident is only the latest, deserves condemnation. CMFR calls on all media, free expression and journalists’ groups in this country as well as abroad to denounce this atrocity as a willful act to inflict collateral damage on the Philippine press for doing its mandated responsibility of providing the sovereign public the information it needs."
The first paragraph is the "it was not done before so it must be wrong defense". Much like Sen. Saguisag's defense of President Estrada, no Philippine President was charged with corruption before so charging President Estrada must be wrong. Just because it was not done before does not mean it is not a good idea, and if you think about it for a minute, it is a good idea to get the statements of all people involved in a crime scene whether they are guilty or not. In fact, this should be the standard operating procedure of the police.

Then they go to the "it is an attack on media freedom" argument. How can getting statements from reporters who witnessed a crime be an attack on media freedom? And even as the reporters were being herded into the buses, ABS-CBN and GMA 7 were televising the whole event. All of their guests were unanimous in saying that they will only be detained until their identity is established. Where is the attack in that? Are reporters so privileged that they cannot now be questioned by the police regarding a crime they witnessed?

In fact this is argument the CMFR makes when it argues that the reporters should not have been brought to Camp Crame Bagong Diwa because "Their identities were verifiable on-site, with some them being TV anchors well-known to millions of television viewers." So because they are reporters and they are known by millions of people, they should be exempted? Will they argue the same for rich famous guys found in other crime scenes?

The life of a journalist in the Philippines is hard and dangerous enough, and they will encounter a lot of problems. But this is not one of them.

It was not done before...

so it must be wrong defense. I heard several ABS-CBN reporters using this defense to criticize the PNP in bringing their reporters to Camp Crame Bagong Diwa to establish their identity and maybe question them on the details of the Trillanes fiasco.

But the fact that it was not done before does not necessarily mean that it is wrong to do so. Is it wrong to try and identify who the real reporters are? Is it wrong to ask the reporters what they saw to establish evidence against the coup plotters?

Curfew

A curfew was imposed in Metro Manila, Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog from 12 midnight to 5 AM. I just heard Korina Sanchez opining that this has not happened since Martial Law, as if nothing out of the ordinary has happened.

Conspiracy Theory: Maybe Sen. Trillanes is actually in cahoots with the President so they can impose their creeping Martial Law.

Update:

Sabi ni Gen. Razon, exempted yung public transport sa curfew, exempted din yung mga magta-trabaho sa call center, pati yung mga mag-biyahe galing sa probinsiya, at yung kailangang humabol sa eroplano. Pero sarado yung mga bars sa Malate. :)

Update 2:

Here is the official guidelines for the curfew. I was also watching Atty. Lambino being interviewed in ANC and it is her opinion that the announced curfew is void because there is no applicable law allowing it. Here is the PCIJ story on the curfew

Alternative?

The Trillanes show called on President Arroyo to resign and the formation of a caretaker government headed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme court.

I would have been more sympathetic to their cause if I can get myself to trust Sen. Trillanes. But I can't, he has tried to overthrow a government that he does not approve off twice, how can we be sure that he will not do so again, even if it was a government that he helped form?

Another thing, they say that the Chief Justice will lead the caretaker government, but we don't know who will rule. Who will govern, how can we be sure that an un-elected government that has just demonstrated that they are willing to circumvent the democratic process to get what they want will actually follow the democratic process.

Dictatorship is not an alternative to democracy.

Tapos na

Nagbibgay na ng statement si dating Bise Presidente Guingona. Lalalabas na daw sila sa Manila Peninsula. May video na ulit ang ABS-CBN na nakatutok sa labas ng Manila Peninsula kung saan mukhang nag hihintay na lang yung mga pulis.

Pinaparatangan nila ngayon ang gobyerno na may sala dahil ni-teargas nila ang mga tao na nasa loob ng Manila Peninsula. Sabi niTrillanes napaka ruthless daw ng gobyerno na ni-teargas sila para matapos na ang kanilang coup o baka mas hysterics ang tamang kataga.

Kaya daw sila lalabas ay dahil sa mga sibilyan para hindi sila masaktan. Hindi nila naisip na kung hindi sila nag walk out sa kanilang hearing at ni-occupy ang Manila Peninsula hindi malalagay sa panganib ang mga sinasabi nilang sibilyan.

Obligatory Marx quote again
“Hegel remarks somewhere that all great, world-historical facts and personages occur, as it were, twice. He has forgotten to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.”
Actually tragi-comic na nga yung Oakwood, ngayon nakakatawa na lang sila.

Hihintayin daw nila na mag disperse ang teargas bago sila lumabas.

Nagsasalita na lang si Trillanes at mga kasama niya ng propaganda. Nasa diyaryo na naman si Trillanes bukas.

Disagreeing with AKBAYAN

I've always voted AKBAYAN and will continue to do so. I believe that the party genuinely represents the interests of Filipinos. I agree with the AKBAYAN statement that a peaceful resolution is the best solution. On the other hand...

Yes, the incident in Makati should not be surprising, but not because of the "abuses committed by the GMA administration", but because coup plotters in the Philippines have always got away with it. From former Senator Tolentino, to Sen. Honasan to Sen. Trillanes, Filipino's have awarded them with high public office.

The fact that Sen. Trillanes was not allowed to serve as a Senator is a should not be an issue. He was charged with a crime and it was ruled that he cannot be allowed to leave his confinement. And apparently, if we go be todays events, the court was correct to rule that way. Not being allowed to serve was always a possibility since Sen. Trillanes already had charges against him while he ran for office, 11 million Filipinos rolled the dice and still voted for him. They lost the bet.

This is a patent grab for political power, they called for the President and Vice-President to resign and called for people to go to Makati and support them. This should be treated a a coup plot and should be resolved as a coup plot. With Sen. Trillanes again thrown in jail and additional cases brought against him.

The Manila Peninsula should also give Sen. Trillanes the bill for his occupation of the hotel and the lost revenues from the departure of the hotel guests.

AKBAYAN Execom Statement

A crisis of institutions

The incident unfolding in Makati City today is not surprising. It is a logical conclusion to the abuses committed by the GMA administration, from the dismissal of the impeachment complaint to the clamp down of democratic and constitutional processes.

The situation is a result of the refusal of the government to address allegations of fraud and corruption squarely. The administration has evaded and manipulated constitutional processes to hold GMA accountable for allegations of monumental fraud. It compromised attempts to investigate with impartiality allegations of corruption involving the NBN deal; what we have witnessed instead is the brazen giving of pay-offs to legislators and local government officials. It manipulated the military and used coercion to persecute the opposition, as evidenced by the spate of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances..

Sen. Trillanes is an elected public official, and his mandate to serve is clear and not clouded by cheating and electoral fraud. He was elected with 11 million votes, and even the Senate, through a resolution, affirmed his right to represent his constituency and voted in favor of his serving as Senator. His election reflected the predominantly anti-administration sentiment of the people, and yet the GMA government continued persecuting him and the Magdalo soldiers, with their politically-motivated trial dragging for four years and Sen. Trillanes himself blocked from serving in the Senate.

The nation must root out the problems that have led to this incident. The ‘Hello Garci’ controversy, the onerous NBN deal, the alleged bribery of legislators and governors, the sham impeachment complaint filed against GMA, and the politically-motivated trial of soldiers involved in the Oakwood mutiny fueled this confrontation, and the crisis would continue to fester as long as the corruption charges and legitimacy questions leveled against the GMA administration are not resolved with credibility.

AKBAYAN urges all forces to seek a peaceful and civilian solution to this incident. We must avoid bloodshed at all cost, and democratic solutions to this problem are only possible through non-violent means. No deadline should be imposed on the Magdalo soldiers since it would only create a climate conducive to a bloody confrontation between the soldiers. A deadline should be imposed for the realization of democratic, peaceful, and credible resolutions to political crisis, and not on a crisis situation that could potentially be violent.

We warn the administration against the use of force to end the situation. The withdrawal of support has so far been peaceful, and the AFP and PNP must not initiate a violent response to the crisis. We warn the government against using the situation to enforce authoritarian measures against the opposition and the public in general.

We support efforts for negotiation to avoid bloodshed. However, negotiations must be founded on a more lasting resolution to the conflict: a credible closure to the allegations of fraud and corruption against the GMA administration, an end to extrajudicial killings, and the strengthening of our democracy.

Akbayan Execom

People Power ni Trillanes

Mas marami pa yung reporters kaysa sa mga People Power supporters ni Trillanes. Sana naman matuto na siya na mas gusto ng mga Pilipino na binoboto ang mga namumuno sa kanila.

Trillanes tries another coup

"A group of soldiers led by Senator Antonio Trillanes and Brigadier General Danilo Lim has called on the security forces to withdraw support from the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo."
After this, the senate should just expel the bum. Anybody who would try to subvert the will of the people after being elected by the same people should be thrown out of his elected position.

Sources:

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view_article.php?article_id=103777

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/metro/view_article.php?article_id=103779
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view_article.php?article_id=103784
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/metro/view_article.php?article_id=103788
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/regions/view_article.php?article_id=103794
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/topstories/topstories/view_article.php?article_id=103771
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view_article.php?article_id=103805
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/infotech/view_article.php?article_id=103810
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view_article.php?article_id=103812

Have you heard...

about the Saudi woman who will be jailed and lashed for being gang raped? The authorities who ordered her punishment also suspended the license of her lawyer for defending her.

Dispatches from the Culture Wars have the story with this comment from kesham.
"Between this guy and the lawyers demonstrating in Pakistan, they're going to ruin the image of the profession. Who is he billing for all this activism?"

Friday, November 23, 2007

Hostage

The Mayors of Pampanga are holding the welfare of their constituents of hostage in their continuing political feud with the elected governor.
"All 21 members of the Pampanga Mayors League did not attend the meeting of the Provincial Development Council that Gov. Eddie Panlilio convened here on Friday to discuss the investment plan for 2008."

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Another Lacson Claim

The Philippine Daily Inquirer has another story where Sen. Lacson makes an unsubstantiated claim. This time, he advances the theory, from "unnamed DBM informants" that the cash hand-outs distributed to Philippine politicians "could have been part of the P500 million disbursed through the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB)."

This after he previously claimed that the cash hand-out came from "the P1-billion intelligence funds of the Police Security Protection Office (PSPO) and the Police Anti-Crime and Emergency Response (PACER) ."

This time, the PDI sort of called him on it by remarking that Sen. Lacson "offered no documents to back up his claim." and reminded it's readers that "Lacson previously claimed that the cash gifts were sourced from the Philippine National Police’s counterinsurgency funds."

Of course, the only thing that matters to Sen. Lacson is that he is again in the news, and people perceive him as being a fiscalizer to the government.

Update:

The DBM refutes Sen. Lacson's latest claim.
"Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya said on radio that the department did not have the capacity to directly disburse such amount to the account of a private person."

It's Official

Gas explosion not bomb caused Makati mall blast--PNP: INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos
"Chief Superintendent Luizo Ticman , who heads the multi-agency task force that investigated the explosion at Glorietta 2, said there was no evidence which indicated that an improvised explosive device had been used."
I can't wait to see what the Glorietta truthers response will be. I predict it will be more of the same conspiracy theory with no evidence but with more conspiracy.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

109,263 Errors found in Texas math textbooks

"One second-grade math book, for example, has 4 plus 7 equaling 10, the San Antonio Express-News reported Friday. SMRT."
HIndi lang pala tayo may ganitong problema pero
"The math books are expected to be error-free by the time classes begin. For every error that is not caught, the State Board of Education fines publishers $5,000, the newspaper said."
read more | digg story

Friday, November 16, 2007

Witness 2

We already know that Mr. Hermann Tiu Laurel believes that the US and Philippine governments are bloodthirsty enough to kill their own citizens.

Adding to Mr. Laurel's paranoia is Sen. Trillanes' witness Abdul Rahman aka Ronald Ramos who we last heard claiming that he "cased" Glorietta for a special operations group of National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales. Which convinced him that "the surveillance job is linked to the Glorietta blast". No matter that no bomb materials were found in the scene.

Now, Mr. Abdul Rahman has expanded on his story. He now claims that along with 7 other people
"He ... had specific orders to case certain places for possible bombing targets even as he said he had reported to his bosses that the House of Representatives has a lax security and that the best place to lodge a bomb in Congress was at the parking lot and at the Speaker’s podium at the plenary hall."
He further claims that they had
"instruction from their superiors was to “case” certain buildings for possible bombing targets to create a scene of unrest and to blame the incident on the RSM."
and that Secretary Gonzales himself told him to “Do your job properly.”

So let me get this straight. Secretary Gonzales, is ruthless enough to kill his own countrymen, including members of Congress. Intelligent and wily enough to blame the Ayala group for the explosion in Glorietta and cover-up the presence of the bomb conspiring with or befuddling the PNP, the Australian Forensic Police and the FBI. Possibly blame political enemies of the Akbars for the Congressional bombing and cover up the truth again with the PNP and possibly other foreign investigators but he will be dumb enough to tell 8 people that he wants them to "case" several buildings so that he may bomb them.

Somehow that doesn't seem realistic to me. And anybody who believes such a story is a moron.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

5 Upcoming Comic Book Movies That Must Be Stopped

For every Batman Returns that graces the theaters, there are 10 useless men in spandex lined up for the next few years. Here are five of the next big-budget superhero films currently in production that simply should not be.

read more | digg story

Trillanes wants to hold hearings

According to a PDI story
"More than 84 bills, including one that will raise the salaries of the more than one million government employees, are dead in the water as detained Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is not allowed to conduct public hearings in his detention cell at the Marine brig in Fort Bonifacio, his chief of staff said."
which is why
"Trillanes... has submitted a formal complaint before the Senate after the Armed Forces of the Philippines stopped him from holding a hearing at the Marine brig headquarters on September 27 (as a) way of seeking help in his situation."
If Sen. Trillanes is really concerned about the bills, he would let the Vice-chairman of his committee to conduct the hearings on his behalf since he is indisposed.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Congress Bombed

Story here from the PDI

At least we can rule out the left from the suspects.

The Mind of Sen. Lacson

According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer
"Reacting to dares for him to present proof of his claims that police intelligence funds were given out to lawmakers and governors in MalacaƱang last month, Senator Panfilo Lacson said it is the Philippine National Police (PNP) that should prove all its funds are accounted for."
This remark gives us some insight on the record of the Philippine Anti-Crime Commission (PACC). This is probably the same mindset that he employed as head of the PACC, if the suspected criminals were not able to prove their innocence, they are automatically branded as guilty.

U.S. Intelligence: Iran Possesses Trillions Of Potentially Dangerous Atoms

U.S. Intelligence: Iran Possesses Trillions Of Potentially Dangerous Atoms

The Onion

U.S. Intelligence: Iran Possesses Trillions Of Potentially Dangerous Atoms

WASHINGTON—"Iran maintains the atoms will only be used to form the building blocks of all existence, but we cannot afford to take that risk," said Secretary Chertoff.

Rise of the Glorietta Truthers

A couple of weeks ago, I surmised that the supporters of Senator Trillanes will be loathe to believe the lack of evidence of a bomb causing the explosion in Glorietta. Yesterday, the Magdalo blog reproduced the column of Mr. Hermann Tiu Laurel doing just that.

Mr. Laurel started by reminding his readers of Mariannet Amper, the child who committed suicide because of her family's poverty juxtaposed with the amount of debt service our country pays out. And the surge in profit of one of the Lopez' companies. I would have sympathized more if he had other arguments aside from an appeal to emotion.

But then again, when he writes sentences like
"...in my own discussions with President Estrada, the still and only legitimate president of this country, who commits to the institution of debt moratorium as soon as the opportunity arises."
or
"While ambitious leaders with Gloria clash and claw at each other to get the lion’s share of the plunder and power. Only President Estrada is going to the people, other opposition “leaders” only brush elbows with the elite’s Black and White."
you lose credibility as someone who thinks of the poor children when you acknowledge a convicted plunderer as your legitimate President. And is the camp of Sen. Trillanes so starved of followers that they need Mr. Laurel in their camp?

But to the denialism. Mr Laurel decries the obeisance of a radio program to the "FBI’s cover up in Glo II bombing." So rather than arguing the evidence which at least the Ayala's do. Mr. Laurel lists a number inept FBI investigations like the Anthrax letters, the Richard Jewell case, and the
"self-inflicted 9/11 WTC “terror attacks” which was really controlled demolition."
The first two are real cases, the first one is still unsolved, the second one got out of hand due to media coverage not to FBI ineptness. But the third one is a big one, the controlled demolition theory is one of many theories on the 9/11 attacks that has been debunked.

If you believe that a convicted plunderer is still the legitimate President of the Philippines, and that the US government will deliberately kill thousands of their own citizens, then it is not a stretch for you to believe that the Philippine government engineered the explosion in Glorietta even against all the evidence against it.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Wind Talker

When last we saw Senator Lacson in the fron pages, he was making tsismis with his friends regarding the possible relationship between Judge Macarambon, the newly appointed Comelec Commissioner and former Comelec Commissioner Garcillano.

At least at that time, he talked with unnamed "reliable sources", in his latest front page adventure, he just talks about "information he gathered" that told him the cash gifts from the administration came from the "P1-billion intelligence funds of the Police Security Protection Office (PSPO) and the Police Anti-Crime and Emergency Response (PACER)." Presumably, he gathered the information from people and not the wind, though since he doesn't say, he may have been talking to the wind.

He does not offer any shred of evidence that the money actually comes from the PNP. No disbursement ledger, no receipts, no witnesses, nothing. He does not even try to give any hint where evidence may be gathered. Rather, he wants the Senate to investigate his allegations, to get more his mug on the front page.

Update: 11-13-2007

The Inquirer has an update on this story where they reference a source who does not want to be identified.
"One of the biggest sources of the money distributed in MalacaƱang was the Bureau of Customs, according to a source, whose rank is equivalent to a general in the military. The source did not want to be named owing to the sensitivity of the issue.

According to the police official, the money was entered as a “special fund” in the PNP budget, purported as an item for the PNP’s counterinsurgency program in support of the military’s own campaign.

The checks for the fund were cleared in the name of the PNP in July, the source said. The money was later transferred to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the source added."
If the Inquirer's story is true, that the money was coursed through the counterinsurgency program of the PNP. Senator Lacson's allegatio that it was through the intelligence fund cannot be true. It may be argued we shouldn't quibble over details, the PNP is still involved. But God and the Devil is in the details. You should not accuse an office, of criminal activity if it was not involved in the activity, even if the true culprit is an office within the same agency. Which is why he needs to get more evidence before spouting off. It can only make him look trigger happy.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Militant group warns senators against voting for JPEPA

Militant group warns senators against voting for JPEPA

I'm sure the senators are now quaking in their boots with this warning because of the left had been successful in campaigning against Senators Enrile and Lacson.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Pakistan's Politics Made Simple

Vlogger John Green discusses the political situation in Pakistan while eating 24 pumpkin Peeps. Money quote: "Hank, how screwed up is the world when lawyers hold the moral high ground!?"



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Thursday, November 08, 2007

got pride?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Pride is about dignity. Own it.
Flaunt your rights. Celebrate your freedom.

Join the 2007 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride March

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Get 1 million $ the easy way

The Bad Astronomer links to an article on Wired Magazine that gives 10 tips on how to get James Randi's million.

Tip No. 10. Do have paranormal powers.

:)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

OA

Naging OA na yata ang reaksiyon sa pag-retoke ng National Press Club (NPC) sa kanilang mural. Si Congresswoman Risa Hontiveros, gusto pang sayangin ang oras ng Kongreso para magkaroon ng imbestigasyon sa isyu na ito.
"That is akin to a violation of the freedom [of expression] of an individual which is guaranteed by the Constitution,''
Pero ano nga ba ang karapatang ginagarantiyahan ng ating Saligang Batas? Ayon sa Article 3, Section 2:
"No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances."
Alin sa taas ang nilabag ng NPC? Wala. Ang mural ay kinomisyon nila, sila na ang may ari nito. Karapatan nilang baguhin yung mural. Karapatan nilang itapon yung mural kung gusto nila.

Sa opinyon ko kaipokritohan iyon, lalo na para sa isang organisasyon na nagsusulong ng karapatan sa pamamahayag, pero opinyon ko lang iyon. Sa opinyon nila ok lang iyon. Walang karapatan ang Kongreso na sabihin sa kanila na huwag pakialaman yung sarili nilang pag-aari. Kaya huwag na nating aksayahin ang oras ng Kongreso para ungkatin pa kung ano ang nangyari.

Ang Piso

Ayon kay Secretary Andaya, dahil sa pagbaba ng halaga ng dolyar kumpara sa piso, makakatipid ang Gobyerno ng 4.1 bilyong piso ngayong taon dahil sa mababawasan ang binabayad natin sa ating utang. Ayon naman Bureau of Customs, dahil sa pagbaba ng halaga ng dolyar kumpara sa piso nabawasan ng 2.3 bilyong piso ang koleksiyon nila ngayong buwan ng Oktubre.

Mahirap talagang ispelengin ang economics.

Mag Isip naman kayo

Nadiyaryo na naman si Senator Lacson dahil sa pagbunyag niya ng katibayan na magkakilala nga si Judge Macarambon at si dating Comelec Commissioner Garcilliano. Ang kanyang katibayan? Magkasama sa isang Fraternity yung dalawa.

Ha? Sumakit tuloy ang ulo ko. Ibig bang sabihin ni Senador Lacson lahat ng kasapi at naging kasapi ng isang fraternity ay magkakakilala? Anong klaseng logic yan? Nag-iisip ba itong mga Senador natin? Simpleng logic naman, it does not follow, sa latin, non sequitur.

Kahapon lang sumakit din ang ulo ko kay Senador Trillanes, at sa kanyang witness, minanmanan niya ang Glorietta samakatwid ang Gobyerno ang nagpasabog dito. Diba, logical.

Diyos ko. At bakit pinapabayaan ng mga diyaryo na magbigay ng mga ganitong klaseng pahayag ang mga senador na ito. Dapat pinagtatawanan lang itong mga ganitong klaseng pahayag para matuto sila at sa susunod ay magdala ng mas matibay na katibayan.

Monday, November 05, 2007

For those who love books

Nighttime Stories from xkcd

Jinggoy to block judges who convicted Erap from SC

Senator Estrada showing the statesmanship that propelled Senator Maceda and others of the Genuine Opposition to nominate him for the Presidency.
"Senate President Pro Tempore Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada on Monday vowed to block the appointment to the Supreme Court of the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court justices who convicted his father, former president Joseph Estrada, of plunder."
If anybody is wondering, yes I am being sarcastic.

Witness

The witness of Senator Trillanes has come forward.
"The witness told ABS-CBN News correspondent Jay Ruiz that he surrendered to the government and worked for a special operations group of National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales along with members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines-National Capital Region Command (AFP-NCRCom) from 2004-2006.

He claimed that his job was to monitor a number of malls in Metro Manila, including the Glorietta shopping complex.

"Tinitignan ko ang security sa Glorietta, sabi ko sa report pinaka-mahina ang security sa Glorietta (I monitored the security of Glorietta and reported that it had the weakest)," Ramos said.

While admitting he has no solid-proof evidence, Ramos is convinced the surveillance job is linked to the Glorietta blast."
And Senator Trillanes believed this story? This guy, by his own admission only monitored the security of different Malls, and reported his findings to his superiors. And from there, he comes to the conclusion that his superiors ordered the bombing of the Mall with the least security. Yes, that would be my conclusion too, if I were a nut.

Maybe we should be more generous with Ronald Ramos alias Abdul Rackham, after all, he was a member of the Raja Solaiman Movement. The previous times he monitored buildings was probably with the intention of bombing them. He probably does not understand the concept of monitoring various buildings with the idea of protecting them.

But in his statement, Senator Trillanes says that he has
"information obtained from my own network of informants in the AFP and the intelligence community.”
Is this person his network? If not, is he the best proof his network of informants in the AFP intelligence community can produce? After weeks of posturing? This is his proof?

I will make a deal with Senator Trillanes however, I will believe him if he can produce the bomb materials that the PNP, the Australians et al. were unable to find. With his retinue of AFP informants, that should be easy.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Packrat

I passed by Booksale in SM North Edsa and saw this book



I've been a fan of Asimov for over a decade now and the book was priced at only 30 pesos so even though I know I already own a copy, I still bought it. I always reason out that I can always present duplicate books as presents to friends. Now when I got home I saw that not only did I one copy, I already have two, with different covers.

 

Now I don't know what version I will give out. In the end I will probably just keep them all.

My Desktop


desktop110407
Originally uploaded by roychoco

After installing Kubuntu Gutsy Gibbon yesterday, I made a few tweaks to the system.

1. Installed Kubuntu Restricted extras to get MP3 playback and decoding, Java runtime environment, Flash plugin, DVD playback, and LAME (to create compressed audio files).

2. Installed Microsoft core fonts.

3. Installed rar and 7zip support

4. Installed showFoto, the best simple photo editing software I've used

5. Installed Comix viewer for reading Manga

6. Installed wine so I can run some windows applications

7. Installed 7zip, the only windows app I migrated to linux.

Reflecting on the upgrade, there were no radical increase in usability from Feisty to Gutsy. I was carried away with the launch of a new version and should have waited for the next version after Gutsy before upgrading.

Not that there are any problems with Gutsy, it installed easily and recognized all my hardware. But Feisty did that too, and I've already personalized Feisty's settings to my liking. Now I'm starting over with Gutsy, of course if the online upgrade worked, all my settings should have been imported.

Bottom line, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Previous posts here and here

Update: November 5, 2007, 12:19 am

When I did the next post, I used my camera phone to take a picture of the covers of the book and used Bluetooth to transfer the images to my PC. I must say that the Bluetooth application in Gutsy is way better and more user friendly than the one in Fiesty. And it was installed by default. I had to install Bluetooth support in Feisty before I could use it.

Hypocrisy

The National Press club edited a painting they commissioned to remove perceived leftist images. The funny thing is they commissioned the work to promote press freedom. The sad thing is they removed the alibata letter K tattooed to the left arm of Katipunan Supremo Andres Bonifacio.

K, the symbol of the Kataas-taasang, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan, the organization that initiated the struggle for Philippine independence from colonial rule is now considered by the National Press Club as a leftist symbol.

Maybe the NPC should commission MLQ3 to teach their members history.

Update 10-05-2007

ABS-CBN Interactive has a picture of the mural and the before and after pictures of the alterations.

I have to say, their Andres Bonifacio does not look like Ka Boni to me so it is understandable that the NPC mistake the alibata tattooed on him to be the symbol of Kabataang Makabayan, an underground organization allied with the National Democratic Front (NDF) and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Upgrading to Gutsy 2

7:15 pm: I finished backing up my files, and booted up the Kubuntu Gutsy DVD. I am now stuck in step 3 of 6, installing the keyboard layout. Canceled my first attempt after several minutes, will wait longer this time, if it doesn't work, will reboot and try again

10:16 pm: Finished installation about an hour after I started, I tried to update this post but Konqueror kept crashing when I go to blogger to update. So I installed Firefox through the add-remove utility. But my back-up of Firefox's configuration file was in my windows partition, and I did not want to start browsing without my bookmarks and add-ons. Tried to mount the windows hard drive but I forgot that you had to install the "NTFS configuration tool" to be able to mount NTFS partitions. So I installed it, but I also forgot that it's default configuration is for gnome, Seven Capital sins explains the problem and the solution
"The command used in the menu to launch ntfs-config was “gksu ntfs-config”. I replaced that with “kdesu ntfs-config”
After I replaced the command, I was able to mount the drive, copy the Firefox config and update this post.

While copying the Firefox config file, I found out that Dolphin, the new default file manager for does not allow you to show hidden files (update: found out that it actually does allow you to show hidden files), so I reverted to Konqueror as my default file manager Sathya Says explains how to make dolphin your default file manager, you just reverse the process to make Konqueror your default file manager.

I will probably be making other tweaks to Gutsy for the next several days .

First part is here continuation here

Randy David on the Estrada Pardon

http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/columns/view_article.php?article_id=98525

Long quotes
"What is important in the long term is the conscientiousness with which our society applies the distinction between law and politics. On it rests our ability to handle more complex and troublesome situations in the future. Parallel developments are taking place in other spheres of our national life. Our economy is demonstrating a remarkable autonomy that accounts for its steadiness in the face of political crises. Our justice system is trying painfully to become self-directing in its own sphere, despite the overt politicization of its prosecutorial agencies. It is our political system that has seemed unable to insulate itself from the effects of inherited inequalities, and to keep its operations from spilling into other institutions."

"Realizing its marginal role in Philippine elections, the middle class, the harbinger of modernity, has favored non-electoral modes for effecting transitions -- people power, impeachment, coups, calls for resignation, etc. It is this class that gave the country its two women presidents: Cory Aquino and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, both of them the beneficiaries of people power."

"But people power is caught in a paradox, which limits its potency. Its spontaneous and unorganized character, driven by a strong moralism, is the source of its vitality. It is also its fundamental weakness. Middle class activism seldom leads to anything sustainable, like the formation of mainstream political parties. Even when, to its own surprise, it scores electoral victories, as in the case of Fr. Ed Panlilio’s successful run for governor ofPampanga province, the engagement tends to stop at the polls. Without a party on which to anchor itself, the middle class espousal of modern governance is quickly drowned out by the pragmatics of political patronage. No wonder, in the end, “trapo” [traditional politicos] like Ms Arroyo and Estrada will always find it easier to deal with one another."

Tsismis (Gossip)

There are legitimate issues to the appointment of Judge Macarambon in the Commission on Elections (COMELEC). Why was he appointed when his name was not included in the short list of candidates? If your going to appoint somebody outside of your short list, then maybe you should not have submitted the short list of candidates in the first place and just appointed Judge Macarambon directly. The short list serves a purpose, it notifies people of the possible nominees so they can check their background and qualifications throughly, even before they appear before the Commission on Appointments.

Then there are the tsismis issues. Almost immediately after the appointment of Judge Macarambon, Senator Lacson issued a statement that he will block his appointment in the Commission on Appointments. His reason? Because he was informed by reliable sources that the Judge was the protege of former COMELEC Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano.

He may or may not have proof of their relationship, Judge Macarambon has denied the allegation, I just wished he would have gathered more evidence before mouthing off. Now he was forced to issue a statement that he will apologize if he is proven wrong. The problem of course is that he did not specify what evidence will convince him that he is wrong, so he can weasel out of apologizing just by saying he is not convinced by the evidence.

But this is not an isolated incidence in the Philippines. Senator Trillanes used the same tactics when he accused National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales and AFP Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon of bombing the Glorietta Mall. He has been proven wrong, but we see no move on his part to retract his accusations.

Senator Cayetano, when he was a Congressman famously accused First Gentleman Mike arroyo of having millions of dollars in deposit in secret bank accounts abroad. When challenged to prove his allegation, all he produced was his own fart.

But headlining (the act of trying to make the headline with unfounded accusations) will not go away, after all, it did land Cayetano a Senate seat, and Senator Lacson is aiming for the Presidency.

New Links

I finally got off my butt and added the sites/blogs I normally read everyday. I have been planning to add them for several months now, I was just lazy.

The Must Read posts are still on top, these are in my opinion the best posts I've read from my reading list, then I list some personal pages of mine followed by my friends blogs.

Pinoy blogs follow, these blogs usually discuss current issues in the Philippines. They are followed by the Science blogs which discuss science usually biology and evolution which is understandable since I stumbled into these blogs from reading "The Panda's Thumb" a site dedicated to fighting the misinformation propagated by the Intelligent Design movement.

Then there are the Skepticism blogs, which I merged with debunking sites like Quackwatch and the Urban Legends Reference Page. When you read them, theres a lot of overlap with the Science blogs and the Skeptic blogs because their both wedded to the idea that the scientific method is key in investigating any phenomena.

Then there's the Technology blogs which right now consists of two entries, and the comics which have three entries.

If you have time, please feel free to visit them. You will not be disappointed.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Holiday Econ Busted

I dislike holiday economics. I feel it disrespects the secular heroes of the country. But I couldn't argue with the economic effect of the policy.

It turns out however that there is no economic benefit from this policy. In fact
"HOLIDAY economics appears to have a “negative and insignificant” outcome on tourism activities and employment, according to a paper presented during the recent 10th National Convention on Statistics."
so let us end this nonsense and celebrate Bonifacio day when it's supposed to be celebrated.

Update:

Business Mirror has an Editorial on this.

Poison or Cure? Religious Belief in the Modern World

"The Ethics and Public Policy Center and the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University hosted a debate between writer Christopher Hitchens and Oxford University professor Alister McGrath on the role of religious belief in the modern world. The debate was held on October 11, 2007 in Gaston Hall, in Georgetown University's Healy Hall."



via Expletive Deleted. Medyo mahaba lang 1 hour and 40 minutes

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Trillanes, liar or just gulllible?

When the Glorietta blast happened, Senator elect Trillanes immediately put out a press release accusing National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales and AFP Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon as the people behind the act.

On another press release the next day he writes
“As a person, and now as an elected lawmaker, I do not just make statements out of pique, or without anything to stand on, or to grandstand. I have information obtained from my own network of informants in the AFP and the intelligence community.”
When the Philippine National Police (PNP) presented their findings that the blast was actually an accident and not deliberate he still insisted that his version of the story is the true one
"Insisting that he knows certain information that would point to National Security adviser Norberto Gonzales and AFP chief of staff Hermogenes Esperon as possible authors of the Glorietta 2 blast, and brushing aside criticisms of his accusation as being irresponsible and without basis, opposition senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV today said he will prove his accusations in a Senate investigation."
They even wrote to the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) protesting an editorial cartoon
"The Inquirer editorial cartoon showing Sen. Antonio F. Trillanes IV thinking aloud that he needs to “rework” his “strategy of speaking without thinking” (Inquirer, 10/24/07) may be an expression of opinion, but it is also a presumption of the senator’s frame of mind toward his work. It has completely no basis.

It is flatly false because Trillanes did not whip out of thin air his charge that Norberto Gonzales and Hermogenes Esperon have something to do with the Glorietta 2 explosion. He has received credible and reliable information about this and is prepared to tell all that he knows and is ready to present his witnesses in an investigation to be conducted by an independent, impartial and credible body. He has, in fact, made a step further. He will present his witnesses in a Senate probe and has filed a resolution to this effect."
To be fair, not a lot of Filipinos immediately believed the PNP report that the blast was an accident. Filipinos are a cynical bunch when it comes to their government. The PDI itself urged the PNP not to rush to any conclusion. A corroborating agency was required to support the PNP.

Today, the PDI itself obtained a copy of the report of the Australian Forensic Police (AFP), that concluded that
“there was no evidence to suggest that the explosion had been caused and/or initiated by an improvised explosive device.”
I think, that settles the question. The Australian Forensic Police has backed up the conclusion of the Philippine National Police.

Where then did Senator Trillanes find his witnesses against National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales and AFP Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon? Did he make them up to get himself in the front pages of the papers or were they real and he was just a dupe for people who wanted to destabilize the Philippine government and replace the sitting President? Are there other explanations that does not make him look crazy or stupid?

Whatever the truth is, this proves that he should not have been elected Senator of the Philippines. It proves that he's almost as out of control as Senator Santiago.

Update:

I just saw the poll that they are running on the blog asking their readers
"What do you think caused the Glorietta 4 explosion?"
88% believes that "A bomb planted by State Sponsored Operatives" was the cause of the explosion.

I am not sure if any corroborating evidence, even by the FBI will convince these people that the explosion was an accident. I may be witnessing my first ever Philippine conspiracy theory akin to the 9/11 truthers in the United States.

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