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Archive for November, 2005

Abu Garci

November 27th, 2005 8 comments

No, he’s not Abu Sayyaf’s Khadaffy Janjalani in disguise, he’s Garci!

After a long period of hiding Garci is now back with a load of stories to tell and a new image to match.

Garci allowed himself to be interviewed by ABS-CBN Reporter Henry Omaga Diaz somewhere in Mindanao. The mode of the interview was quite similar to interviews conducted to underground personalities: the interviewer being fetched, blindfolded, vehicle switching, made to negotiate difficult terrains and cross rivers until reaching a hut in the middle of nowhere where the interview is conducted.

Garci’s handlers, whoever they are, really made sure they mounted a good set-up that stirs one’s cinematic imagination. Even Garci’s get up fits the plot. That is of course to put flavor on Garci’s present status – a good man hiding from the bad contrabidas just like in the movies.

Few days ago Mrs. Garcillano denied that she and her husband left the country. She added that her husband has been hiding in Mindanao to prevent authorities from capturing him. “I have to make myself rare for a while for fear of my life and that of my wife,” Garci said during his interview. He added that he is willing to face any inquiry to clear his name provided that his warrant of arrest and the bounty on his head be called off.

In the meantime, Garci, now assuming a new image and perhaps a new name like Abu Garci continues to enjoy his adventure as a quasi-underground figure. Garci should just pray that he wouldn’t end up mistaken as somebody posted in the PNP’s most wanted terrorists like what happened to that poor one armed guy.

Garci’s surfacing now brings more questions than answers. And quite like a movie thriller, we wait in anticipation for what will happen next.

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Photo taken from ABS-CBN Interactive

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Nom de dieu de putain de bordel de merde de saloperie de connard d’enculé de ta mère. – Merovingian

November 27th, 2005 1 comment

Took this “What Matrix Persona Are You?” quiz and this is what I got:

You are The Merovingian-
You are The Merovingian, from “The
Matrix.” Wit and danger, with a French
twist. You are adamant about the slightly
materialistic things- power, wealth, posession.
Dominating, aren’t we?

What Matrix Persona Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

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Gloria Macapagal-Arrovo

November 24th, 2005 10 comments

It’s a SNAFU all over again!

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) had misspelled the name of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the one hundred peso bill. Instead of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the bills have Gloria Macapagal-“Arrovo” printed on it. The BSP had admitted to the mistake and apologizes to Mrs. Arroyo.

These bills are already in circulation and the BSP has assured everyone that these bills are still Legal Tender. If you happen to have one, don’t panic, instead feel lucky. The BSP said that this is the very first time that such a mistake happened, hence what you got is a collector’s item.

However, “The very first time” may not exactly be true, if one remembers the misspelling on the 1983 50 centavo coin that featured the Philippine Eagle on the reverse, where its scientific name was misspelled as Pithecobhaga jefferyi, instead of Pithecophaga jefferyi.

The misspelt one hundred peso bill is indeed a collector’s item not only because of its typographical error but for the political parody the mistake brings. Citing the misspelt Arrovo, robo or robar in Spanish means steal or to steal. Arroyo is still haunted by allegations that she won the Presidency by stealing votes. This one-of-a-kind one hundred peso bill is a collector’s item if only to show the government’s perennial “honest” mistakes.

I’ve got to find one and start a collection.

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Photo taken from Agence France Press (AFP)

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Some secrets we keep. Some are kept from us.

November 14th, 2005 6 comments

I’m no big fan of sci-fi movies but there’s this sci-fi TV series by Steven Spielberg entitled TAKEN which I followed with much interest. Unlike big and complicated sci-fi movies, TAKEN is able to present in a simple plot the phenomenon about alien abductions.

Since June this year, former COMELEC Commissioner Virgilio “Garci” Garcillano disappeared from the face of the earth. Nobody knows where he went or where he is right now. The DFA and Malacanang are silent about his disappearance. Perhaps they’re contemplating about the feasibility of taking as an alibi, the possibility of Garci as being TAKEN, abducted by aliens.

For Garci and Malacanang, as Allie Keys (played by Dakota Fanning) in TAKEN succinctly puts it, “…Your choice is not about going back to the way things were. Your choice is about hiding, or about going right to the heart of the thing that scares you.”

But wherever Garci is right now, Allie Keys, has another point for us: “Even when we know we’ll never find the answers, we have to keep on asking questions.”

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We used to build civilizations. Now we build shopping malls.

November 13th, 2005 6 comments

Hindi ako mahilig mamasyal sa mga Mall. Napapagawi lang ako dito kung mamimili o manunuod kami ng sine ng Mrs ko, o minsa’y may ka-meeting sa mga coffee shops o restaurants sa loob nito. Naging isang makabagong paraan na nang pagliliwaliw ng pamilyang Pilipino ang pagpunta sa mall.

Kasabay sa paglaganap ng mga mall ay unti-unti ring nabubuo ang sariling life patterns nito. Halos iisa ang porma, hitsura at environment ng mga mall at sabay nito nagkakaroon din ng halos iisang porma’t hitsura ang mga masugid nitong mga parokyano.

Heto ang ilan sa aking mga naging obserbasyon sa buhay mall. Karamihan dito karanasan ko lang sa mga mall ng SM, kung saan nagpapanagpo ang masang mamimili ng sambayanan.

1) Sa sampung pumapasok sa mall, apat lang dito ang sadyang may bibilhin. Ang natira ay may kameeting, ka-eyeball, nagpapalamig, binibreak-in ang bagong biling damit o sapatos, nakikiusyoso kung anong in sa moda, nagpapacute, nangangarap na makakita ng artista, nagpapalipas ng oras, tataya ng lotto, manunuod ng sine, nang-iispot ng madudukutan, etc.

2) Halos hindi mahulugan ng karayom ang mall kapag may Sale sa kapal ng tao. Asahan mong dagsa ang tao kahit walang bibilhin. Pupunta lang para tingnan kung anong mga naka-sale at sabay magsisisi bakit bumili siya ng ganitong bagay nung wala pang sale.

3) Sa mga booth na nagtitinda ng mga gitara, ewan ko kung bakit, pero makikita mong puro lalaking naka-long hair ang mga nagtitinda.

4) Iisipin mong parang may bagong bukas na daycare center, kindergarten school at pediatric ward sa loob ng mall sa dami ng mga batang naglipana. Meron ka pang makikitang mga sanggol na tila kahapon pa lang ipinanganak at ngayoy kasama na ni daddy at mommy na namamasyal sa mall. Tiyak ko nagmumura na si baby dahil si Mommy at Daddy lang naman ang nag-eenjoy at habang si baby ay ginawang parang bagong cellphone na pinang didisplay lang.

5) Akala mo may eleksyon dahil bigla ka na lang sasalubungin ng mga ahente ng real estate, credit cards at iba pang raket upang magpamudmod ng mga polyeto at mangungumbinsi. At hindi ka tatantanan ng mga ito hanggat hindi mo sila sisimangutan o di kaya’y nag-ala autistic kang bigla.

6) May mga product promoters (i.e., plantsa, kutsilyo, atbp) na kahit wala nang nanunuod sa kanilang mga demo ay parang tape na naka-play, tuloy-tuloy pa rin sa pagsasalita.

7) May mga salespersons, crew at sekyu na parang mga robot na naka-program ang sasabihin kahit hindi nakatingin sa’yo ay biglang magsasabi nang “Good Morning Ma’am (kahit lalaki ka), thank you for coming Sir (kahit babae ka). Minsan kahit gabi na, Good Morning pa rin.

8) Pagpasok mo sa CR (ng mga lalaki), may maaabutan kang nag-tototbrush, nag-bibihis, naghihilamos at kahit bakante na ang ibang urinals, nakapila pa rin ang iba sa toilet booth – kahit didyingel lang. Nahihiya sigurong may katabi sa pagdyingel o di kaya talagang napapa-ebs na.

9) Kadalasan mong maririnig ang announcement: “Calling the attention of the Companions of a lost girl/boy wearing so and so, please come to the information center immediately.” Misteryo para sa akin ang pangyayaring ganito. Hindi ko lubos maisip kung paano nakakawala sa kanilang tabi ang mga bata nang di nila napapansin. Bigla na lang ba silang nagka-amnesia kaya nila nakalimutang may dala pala silang bata? Sadyang iniwan na lang ba nila ang bata para maging si Moses? O kaya’y naglalaro sila nang taguampung sa loob ng mall?

10) Ang mga presyo nang bilihin madalas kesa hindi ay bitin, halmibawa 299.95, imbes na 300. At aasahan mong tatanungin ka nang Cashier kung meron kang singkwenta o biyentesingko sentimos.

11) Kahit puno na ang parking areas pinapapasok pa rin ang mga sasakyan. Mauubusan ka na lang ng gas sa kaiikot sa paghahanap ng bakante. At saka pa lang lalabas ang ibang nakaparking kapag lumampas ka na sa kanila. Hindi ka na makabalik para magparking sa nabakanteng puwesto dahil naunahan ka na nang kotseng nakasunod sa’yo.

12) Palaging mahaba ang pila sa mga ATM machines. Karamihan sa mga nakapila rito ay magbabalance inquiry lang.

13) Sa Grocery naman, may mga naka basket lang ang pinamili pero sumisiksik sa pila ng lane para sa mga naka-shopping carts, habang may mga naka-shopping carts naman na nangungulit pumila sa may basket-lane. Ewan ko ba?

Ganyan ang buhay sa mall, nagdadagdag kulay sa buhay Pinoy. At gaya ng kanta ng Yano, kahit mahirap ang buhay …”Patuloy ang laboy, walang iisipin, Kailangang magsaya, kailangang magpahangin…”

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In the absence of orders, go find something and kill it. – Field Marshal Erwin Rommel

November 12th, 2005 3 comments

No this is not a scene from an action movie. This is a shot taken from the UNTV video during a supposed “shootout” between the PNP-Traffic Management Group’s Task Force Limbas and an alleged carjacking-carnapping syndicate.

The video captured how the cops (all in civilian clothes with no distinguishing marks or badges) pumped more bullets into the seemingly already lifeless bodies slumped inside the car.

The PNP manual of operational procedures states what steps to take immediately after a shootout. The manual says the officer in charge of the operation shall:

• Secure the site of confrontation.
• Check whether the situation still poses imminent danger.
• Evacuate the wounded to the nearest hospital.
• Account for the killed, wounded, and arrested persons for proper disposition.

The video footage prompted an investigation by PNP for possible irregularities committed during the operation. But even before the investigation can come up with results, the cops involved are reinstated and were already commended by the DILG Secretary for a job well done.

“Buti na lang hindi kami pinabayaan nang aming mga nakakataas”, said a happy cop involved in the shootout interviewed after being reinstated. The video was gruesome but for some reason this statement is more scary.

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Gaffes, blunders and other lapses

November 7th, 2005 3 comments

Last Saturday, GMA gleefully announced in television the capture of one of Abu Sayyaf’s most notorious leader, Radilon Sahiron. Less than a day after her announcement, the PNP retracted by saying they got the wrong guy.

The Palace has once again made a slip.

One after another, a string of gaffes had plagued GMA’s government.As recorded by the PDI:

July 26, 2002: President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo announced in Sarangani province that suspected kidnap leader Faizal Marohombsar had been arrested. Minutes later, she withdrew her statement, saying she was fed wrong information.

A month later, Marohombsar was killed in a shootout with security forces.

July 28, 2002: Media men were called to a press conference where senior Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon was supposed to be presented. The press conference did not push through. It turned out that Hapilon had not been captured. He is still at large.

Aug. 2, 2002: Ms Arroyo visited the NBI offices and presented Acsa Ramirez, a cashier of the Land Bank of the Philippines-Binangonan branch, as a suspect in a P203-million tax diversion scam involving officials of the government bank.Ramirez, it turned out, was the one who exposed the scam. She got an apology from Ms Arroyo a year later.

Oct. 17, 2002: Police arrested 21-year-old Mark Bolkerin Gumbahale, an alleged leader of the Abu Sayyaf. “He’s one of the top eight Abu Sayyaf leaders with a P5 million price for his capture,” Ms Arroyo said at a press briefing.

Five days later, then national police Director General Ebdane apologized for the misidentification. Gumbalahe was not an ASG leader but simply a member.

Recently, GMA accused ABS-CBN broadcaster, Julius Babao as coddler of a suspected terrorist by allegedly bailing out Tyrone “Dawud” Santos. Later, after much prodding from media both ISAFP and Malacanang admitted that they don’t have any evidence to prove their accusations against Babao. GMA doesn’t want to make a public apology.

The Bunye caper on the Garci tapes. Secretary Bunye presented to media supposed doctored and real tapes where he said that the woman’s voice on tape was not GMA but sounded like her. Weeks after the Bunye’s blunder and a period of silence, GMA admitted it was she on the tape and according to her it was just a lapse in judgment. She apologizes by merely saying “I am sorry”.

The list continues, but over and above all these, perhaps the greatest of all gaffes, blunders and lapses is that of GMA claiming she is President of the Philippines.

When the time comes, the Filipino people will have to say, “Apologies not accepted”.

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