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Lapse in Judgment

June 30th, 2005 3 comments

After deciding to abstain from blogging for a while because of my work uberload, I just couldn’t resist writing something about the latest political brouhaha. While in Mindanao for a work mission, my colleagues and I watched in our field office the live telecast of GMA’s speech last monday. After her speech, a babel of indignation and curses flew from all corners of our cramped office in Lanao. In the morning after that sorry speech, the airwaves of Lanao was flooded with commentaries calling for GMA’s resignation.

What’s new about GMA’s admission? It took no less than GMA’s Press Secretary Bunye to admit first that it was GMA. Soon, every Filipino who heard the tape knew that it was GMA. Now after a long silence, perhaps hoping that the controversy will die down if ignored, GMA has finally admited that it was indeed her. After a long period of stonewalling, and after only being prodded by some of her cabinet members GMA finally gave in. Her speaking out was not an act driven by conscience, it was a matter of political expediency. According to the PCIJ’s blog entry, “hawks and doves”, the members of her cabinet who urged her to speak out hinted quitting their posts if the President wouldn’t do so.

In the side, the speech was supposed to be live but according to jove, it took PGMA 30+ takes to perfect the SORRY SPEECH. Ah but then, even it takes her 100+ takes it wouldn’t get the effect for an argumentum ad misericordiam that it hoped to achieved. Only the rabid apologists of the status quo and those who have interests to protect praised GMA for what she did. GMA’s mea culpa according to her lapdogs was a mark of true leader, a gesture of bravery. Bravery my foot! She didn’t even have the guts to tell who was the COMELEC official she talked to. To borrow Conrad de Quiros’ words, “If she had resigned after admitting being the voice on the tape, that would have been an act of courage. But she did not. These are not acts of bravery, these are acts of knavery

GMA and her apologists would like us to believe that there’s nothing wrong with the President calling a COMELEC official. After all she did it just to protect her votes. In her speech GMA said she wanted to protect her votes while at the same time proclaiming that she’s already sure of her victory thanks to NAMFREL and company. What was she protecting when she’s already sure of winning? Why would she be calling Garcillano asking about votes in Mindanao when Garcillano’s post during the election was Region IV and not Mindanao? GMA and her cohorts simply doesn’t run out of stupid things to say. They all share a common line of thought, they always have “lapse in judgment”. But for the likes of Secretary Gonzales it’s a case of “laughs in judgment”.

GMA thinks she can fool us and get away easily with this mess by playing a Clintonesque charade. She’s wrong. She should have followed Nixon instead.

To err is human, to quit, resign.

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JUST READING MINDS . . .

June 15th, 2005 15 comments


If you could read my mind love, What a tale my thoughts could tell Just like an old time movie ’bout a ghost from a wishin’ well In a castle dark or a fortress strong With chains upon my feet You know that ghost is me And I will never be set free
– Gordon Lightfoot

GMA: “I expect our citizens to maintain their cool heads to keep the democracy that they have fought hard to protect….(the people) not to allow themselves to be used by those who want to return to power after they have been ousted, or who want to seize power and run the government through undemocratic means.”
(read: Punyemas, nagkaka-eyebag na ako sa crisis na’to… pati mga alyado ko nababantutan na sa akin…delikado na to, pano pa kaya ako lulusot nito? tanong ko kaya kay Lord kung ano magandang gawin…)

COMMISSIONER GARCILLIANO: “Hindi ako yan” (read: Sinabi ko na nga ba eh, sana text na lang ginamit namin)

VP KABAYAN: “As leaders of our nation, all of us, whether in the administration or the opposition, have a sworn duty to uphold the Constitution and the law,”
(read: thrilling naman masyado to, hehehehe…puwede na kayang pang inaugural speech yan?….)

GONZALEZ (DoJ): “There should be equal protection of the law,” (read: We will arrest all whistleblowers)

MIRRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO: “Let us not be too precipitate because we might create an opportunity for the enemies of democracy to seize power contrary to our Constitution and the rule of law.” (read: I lied, bwehehehehe!!!!)

ATTY. SAMUEL ONG: “This is the mother of all tapes” (read: Magiging Governor din kaya ako parang si Chavit pagkatapos nito?)

OPPOSITION: “GMA resign” (read: yehey, kami na naman. Sige EDSA ulit para kami na naman ang bida)

THE BUSINESS CIRCLE: “Lets put this things in proper perspective. People are already tired of changing governments thru another EDSA. It’s bad for our economy.” (read: Wala kaming paki-alam kung ano mang kinahihinatnan nito. Ang Importante hindi malulugi negosyo namin kahit sino pa ang pumalit.)

GEN. ABAT: “I will replace GMA” (read: Ayan nabubulabog na ang opposition, nauunahan ko na sila sa pagpupusisyon.)

AFP: “The chain of command is intact. We will remain loyal to our Commander-in-chief.” (read: Saka na kami lalantad kung medyo malinaw na kung sinong mananalo. In the meantime tapusin na muna namin yung resort sa Boracay.)

U.S.: “We give our support to the present administration.” (read: We can just simply change position when the time comes. Everybody wants our support anyway)

CHURCH: “The Church must not be disunited by the ongoing events. Let us just pray” (read: Pray lang muna ha…mahirap pang tumaya, masyado pang maaga.Amen)

PNP: “We have reports that there is an ongoing recruitment for destabilization within our ranks.” (read: o ayan, pansinin naman sana promotion namin)

TV Networks: “Exclusive!” (read: hala sige mag-rambolan kayo…scoop ito, kami naunang nag-cover…kami number 1)

YUPPIES: “yeah right! ok lets debate but lets stop going to EDSA, duh, it’s so tiring na and chaotic and all that. (read:Lets have coffee na lang at Starbucks)

ORDINARYONG MAMAMAYAN: “!!##$%^**:!#@@???” (read: malapit nang mapuno ang salop…amin din ang huling halakhak…magsapin-sapin na kayong lahat!!!)

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Ang Independence Day para sa akin . . .

June 12th, 2005 2 comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Balik-tanaw

June 10th, 2005 3 comments

Noong nagtatrabaho pa ako sa isang Human Rights NGO sa Quezon City may isang meeting akong nasalihan na hindi ko makakalimutan. Bumalik sa alala ko ito ngayon dahil tumitingkad na naman ang pusisyunan hinggil sa kasalukuyang kaganapan sa pulitika ng ating bansa.

Ang agenda sa pulong na yun ay kung paano pumusisyon sa naganap na paglusob ng mga pwersa ng “EDSA 3” sa Malakanyang kung saan marami ang mga naaresto, nasugatan at namatay. Kasama sa pulong ang iba’t ibang NGOs at mga lider ng Peoples Organizations o POs. At siyempre pa sa mga pulong na ganito nauunang magsalita ang mga maalam – ang mga professor, lawyer, doktor, manunulat at iba pa. Naglipana ang mga salitang ingles at kung anupamang mga scientific analisis habang tahimik lang na nakikinig ang mga lider masa ng mga PO’s.

Sa bunganga ng mga professionals bumuga ang mga statements na: “We should condemn it because it is just a plot of the puppets of ERAP to reclaim power”. “We should defend Democracy and protect the gains of EDSA 2”, “We must support the call of the church in declaring that the EDSA shrine is a Church’s property and should not be desecrated by an unruly mob na mga walang pinag-aralan kaya madaling utuin”.

Hindi nakapagpigil si Mang Estong. Si Mang Estong, mahigit 60 ang edad at lider ng isang Urban Poor PO sa Manila.

Gumagaralgal ang boses pero mahinahon na nagsalitang: “ipagpa-umanhin nyo na lang sana po ang aking kapangahasan” dagdag nya “Nais ko lang po sanang maglahad ng aking nararamdaman sa inyong mga sinasabi”.

“Bagama’t hindi ho ako marunong magsalita ng ingles pero naiintindihan ko po ang inyong mga sinasabi” bungad ni Mang Estong, “labis po akong nasaktan sa inyong mga binanggit”, natahimik ang lahat.

“Mula pa ho nung EDSA 1 andun na ako. Malamang karamihan sa inyo na narito ngayon ay mga paslit pa lang nung panahong yun.” aniya, “Nang magka-EDSA 2 sumama ulit ako sampu ng aking mga kasamahan”.

“Gusto ko pong malaman nyo na tatlo po sa mga anak ko ang sumama at nasaktan sa EDSA 3”. nanginginig na sinabi nya habang isang patak ng luha ang gumuhit sa gilid ng kanyang pisngi.

“Nagpa-alam sila sa akin bago sila tumungo dahil alam nilang kasama ako sa EDSA 2 na nagpatalsik kay Erap at nagluklok kay Gloria”. Impit na dagdag nya pa, “hindi ko sila pinigilan dahil alam ko pupunta sila sa Mendiola hindi dahil gusto nilang ilukluk muli si Erap kundi sumama sa isang pag-aalsang kapiling nila ang kapwa naming mahihirap, kung sa termino nyo pa, kapwa naming mga mababaho at walang pinag-aralan”. Napalunok ang mga naunang nagsalita.

Patuloy na nagsalaysay si Mang Estong, “Matanda na po ako, sa mahigit tatlong dekada nang aking pagiging lider ng Urban Poor wala po akong nakikitang Pag-asa o kabutihan na idinulot sa amin ang mga nakaraang EDSA 1 maging ng EDSA 2. Dahil kahit sa aming kamangmangan alam ho naming ang mga dumaang EDSA ay simpleng pagpapalit lang mga personalidad at hindi ng sistemang patuloy na naglulugmok sa amin sa kahirapan”.

“Sa aming kalagayan hindi na ho mahalaga kung sino ang may pasimuno sa mga pag-aalsa bastat ito’y tumungo sa tunay na pagbabago ng lipunan. Kahit ilang beses pa hong magpalit ng pamunuan ang ating bansa hanggat hindi magbabago ang sistema ng lipunan patuloy hong may mag-aalsa at patuloy kaming sasama rito”.

Mahinahong sinabi ni Mang Estong and kanyang panghuling salita, “Pasensya na ho kayo sa mga sinasabi ko pero sadyang meron lang talagang bakod na namamagitan sa ating mga mundo. Naiintindihan ko ang mga sinasabi ninyo. Pero para sa akin hindi magbabago ang kaayusan ng lipunan sa pamamagitan lamang ng mga matatayog na salita’t matatalas na analisis na halaw mula sa mga libro.

“Kahit hindi nyo maintindihan ang mga sinasabi ko ngayon, naway maintindihan nyo man lang ang kalagayan naming mahihirap.”

Buhay na buhay sa alalaala ko ang mga salitang ito ni Mang Estong.

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The Trouble with Hello is Goodbye

June 9th, 2005 3 comments

Taking cue from Jove’s post When does “Hello” mean Goodbye?, here’s my take about the recent GMA’s tapped phone conversation controversy.

Spliced or not, doctored or original, legal or illegal, it came from the opposition or hell is no longer the issue. These are only peripherals surrounding the core issue. The government wanted us to circle around these peripheries so as to confuse the real issue behind a scandal they themselves had brought forth. DOJ Sec. Gonzalez in his usual bizarre sense of justice now wants to hit the messenger not the message. Gonzales has just issued a warning to arrest even without warrant anyone distributing or airing continously the taped conversation. On the other hand, NBI Chief Wycoco is in charge of entertaining the public about the wonders of modern technology. While the National Security Council has raised the issue of the tape as a threat to national security. And of course, there is always that run-of-the-mill destabilization fairytale to cap it all and put the public to sleep.

But no amount of argumentation along these lines can alter the facts. Beyond the legalese, beyond the techno-babble, beyond the wild goose chase, the phone conversation speaks for itself. This phone conversation has placed in the forefront the question of GMA’s moral ascendancy as President of the Republic. Here you have a President vested with the powers and the advantage of incumbency directly micro-managing an electoral exercise of which she was running for re-election. What more can this explicitly depict if not a disgraceful act equally scandalous as the implication of other members of the first family receiving jueteng payolas.

In Japan, a scandal of this proportion will lead disgraced Public Officials to resign or opt for a bloodier exit into the bottomless pit.

But this is the Philippines. Public officials here no longer need the company of the devil because they’re already running the country like hell. But then again, it is also in the Philippines where two People Power ended the rule of a dictator and a corrupt actor President.

Hearing GMA’s Helloes in that phone conversation and thinking about where this event is leading to brings to mind Sergio Mendez’s song, The Trouble With Hello is Goodbye.

We have already heard the Hello; the Goodbye might just happen soon.

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Family Business

June 7th, 2005 2 comments

An old saying goes: You can choose your friends but not your family. There are upstanding families as there are criminal families. Either way one cannot belong to any by choice. One can find pride in being part of a morally upright family or one cannot escape the dregs of belonging to a family of criminals.

I feel bad that our names are being dragged without any reason, just because our surname is Arroyo. Maybe if I’m not Arroyo, I would have not been dragged into this controversy,” lamented Iggy Arroyo after he and his nephew Mikey Arroyo were tagged anew by two more jueteng operators as being bagman and protector respectively of the illegal numbers game.

Perhaps Iggy is thinking that by assuming another name will save his and his kin’s hide from being exposed of their alleged illegal activities. He should think again. Iggy should remember that he was dragged into a more damning controversy about money laundering because his big brother asked him to assume another name by claiming that he is “Jose Pidal”!

Being an Arroyo is one thing. Being an Arroyo that holds power and never runs out of supply of controversies is another. The former simply gets a brand name by accident of birth. The latter gets exposed to controversies by their own wrongdoing by virtue of power and greed. The family name is not the issue here but a transgression committed by the family itself. If it’s an issue of family names, then Joker, the other Arroyo, must be already contemplating changing his.

Indeed, one cannot choose a family. But one can always stand to correct or condemn the wrongdoings of one’s family. To commit a sin of omission is to be guilty as hell. My family right or wrong is a cry only for those who don’t want to right a wrong.

The series of scandals involving members of the First Family can no longer be believed as a mere destabilization plot. It is already fast becoming a Family Business.

Somehow Iggy is correct in saying that “maybe if I’m not Arroyo, I would have not been dragged into this controversy”. He is correct if posited in the context that among his kin, malevolence is a familial trait.

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Libre!

June 7th, 2005 4 comments

Last week I had a very hectic schedule at the office. We had to finish loads of reports to beat deadlines spending even the weekends. But what can best remedy a drained body after a taxing work than to spend one whole free day with the family. And thats what I did. I took a holiday on Monday and spent the whole day just larking about with my baby Maia.

Clowning around with Ama

..ahh! walang katumbas ang kasiyahang dulot ng lambing at pagmamahal ng iyong bunso…tangal lahat ng pagod at sakit ng katawan. :)

Other EndingsI spent the day with Maia while her Ina was finishing her first electronic book, Other Endings, a collection of short fiction and poems she wrote. After a long wait, Bambit has finally decided to compile and publish some of her works. You can download Other Endings at Balay ni Bambit.

Categories: Family and Me Tags: