Gloria Macapagal Arroyo: A Survivor

On November 26, 2008, Philippine mass media reported: The President Survives 4th Impeachment! And foreign press reported it, too! And why not? Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is one of the most powerful women in the world.

GMA: Survivor

For the record, President Arroyo survives four impeachment complaint. Former President Joseph Estrada who was convicted to plunder did not sustain one impeachment complaint.

The first of attempt to impeach GMA was in 2005 for the alleged vote-tampering and betrayal of public trust. The Congress being dominated by her political party rejected the charges. The opposition tried to impeach Arroyo again in 2006 and 2007 but like the previous complaints, those were rejected by the Congress.

The fourth impeachment complaint was filed by Joey de Venecia and supported by his father, ousted speaker of the House, Jose de Venecia. GMA survived it easily. And why not? The 4th impeachment case was nothing than just a resurrected charges, it dit not carry convincing facts and evidence.

When the fourth impeachment was filed, I doubt it. I mean, I never believe it will gain strength.

I was right. The latest impeachment case for Arroyo was less talked about. Prominent political, civil, business, and religious figures seem silent about it.

Filipinos are indeed experiencing impeachment fatigue. We are so accustomed to it that we don’t even talk much about it.

Gloria survives!Gloria is indeed a survivor. She survived military adventurism.

Why does Arroyo always survives

  • GMA is an engineer. Yes, she is an economist but she is an engineer, too. No, she doesn’t have Engineering degree. But she expertly engineer and re-engineer her political quest. The ouster of Estrada was her perfect launchpad. While she lost strength in Manila, she make herself stronger in provinces. GMA knows well how to lubricate her machinery.
  • GMA is symphatizer. Yes, she emphatized to congressmen and other elected officials who are just recieving mininal renumeration for their services to this nation. To make them live decently, thousands of pesos is wrapped as advance christmas gift.
  • GMA is fair. Her men learn that trait from her. So why should you wonder if you hear reports that tulay ng pangulo are built to where there is no river; and fertilizers are applied to buildings?
  • GMA is human. Yes, she too have feelings and she knows when to say sorry.
  • GMA is workaholic. That’s what I admire her most. She work too much for this nation – for me, for you – for all. Ever wonder why she still works even in golf course?
  • GMA is simply wonderful president!

What else should I say? What should they pray?

National Voters’ Registration for 2010 elections: Count me in!

Count me in! This is the line I love to say and to hear because it paints ideals and principles of democracy.

On 2010 national elections, count me in!

Because I have faith that my one vote matters; that my one vote makes a difference; and that my one vote will help transform our society; I’ll mark COMELEC’s schedule for the continuing registration of voters in all areas nationwide except ARMM.

No, I’m not a first-time voter. I am a registered voter in my hometown in Zamboanga del Sur. Now, that I’m living in Cebu,it just right for me to transfer my records here. I just don’t to miss the 2010 elections. And much more, I don’t want to waste my chance to get counted.

The Comelec Education and Information Department (EID) blog bagongbotante, posted that the Commission on Elections will be using biometrics technology in the registration process.

In Resolution No. 8514 promulgated November 12, 2008, the COMELEC en banc ruled to adopt the use of biometrics technology for the purpose of establishing a clean, complete, permanent and updated list of voters.

COMELEC Resolution No. 8514 stated:

Applications for registration, transfer of registration records, reactivation and changes/corrections of entries in the registration records/inclusion of registration records/reinstatement of name in the list of voters, shall be personally filed beginning December 2, 2008 to December 15, 2009 at the Office of the Election Officer (OEO) of the district/city/municipality where the applicant resides from Monday to Friday, during regular office hours at 8:00 o’clock AM to 5:00 o’clock PM.

For new voter’s I encourage you to register and be counted.The EID blog bagongbotante provides information for the registration process.

I also encourage all bloggers to help spread this information.

Count me in in 2010!

Bagong Botante Project:

See related post:

Registration for National Election 2010 will Commence!

SWS: Most Pinoys against Cha-Cha

In a recent SWS survey, most Filipinos are not in favor of changing the constitution to extend terms  of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Who wants to see Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in Malacanang premises beyond 2010?

In a recent SWS survey, most Filipinos are not in favor of changing the constitution to extend term of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Obviously, the president’s men. No wonder, Press Secretary Jesus Dureza, prayed for it.

Obviously, the president’s son. No wonder, Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo personally initiated signature drive to amend the Constitution through a constituent assembly (Con-Ass).

But the Filipino nation has spoken in a recent SWS survey. According to the survey, 64% of the respondents are against GMA’s term extension while 15% are in favor and 21% are still undecided.

No to Cha-Cha

For Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile, the charter change this time is an “impossible dream”.

Although the palace denies reports on plans for extending terms, its allies are obviously working towards term extension.

There is a huge public distrust on the recent movement to change the constitution. This is an indication the people are just waiting for 2010 so that GMA will step down.

I agree with Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile. I am certain that the move for Constituent Assembly will not gain strenght nor prosper. Considering the JDV’s revealation, and the pending impeachment complaint, there is more likely a sudden dramatic political change.

Let’s stay awake and watch them play!

JDV reveals secret of Arroyo-ZTE meeting

When Jose de Venecia was ousted as House Speaker, I feel that soon I see dramatic revealation of dark secrets. After all, only the thieves themselves know the secrets of thieves.

Former Speaker Jose de Venecia and President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo: tell us what are your secrets!

Today’s headline of Philippine Daily Inquirer, JDV details secret Arroyo-ZTE meeting, obviously very dramatic. It’s the same old story but now sugar-coated and made colorful. JDV will reportedly reveal the secret meeting of no less than the President of the Philippine and ZTE officials on Nov. 2, 2006, at the headquarters of ZTE Corp. in Shenzhen, China.

Jose de Venecia knows it because  he was there! In fact, the old de Venecia can recall that they ate rice porridge and shrimp dumplings that time.

Reading the story is like listening to dramatic narrative. Or could it be a dramatic pursuits of a crook hero?

Listen to dull and ignorant, they too have their own stories to tell, Desiderata reminds me. But former Speaker Jose de Venecia, is not another whistle-blower. He was an insider; he took something; he get the share of whatever the administration “got”. No doubt on that. If the first family got millions, no doubts, de Venenia got his, too!

The ousted speaker will reportedly reveal “the secrets” on his biography, Global Filipino: The Authorized Biography of Jose de Venecia Jr., the Visionary Five-Time Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines. [link]

The book, according to reports, will be launced this week Washington, D.C. JDV’s biography, written by veteran American journalist Brett M. Decker, an editor of the Wall Street Journal in Hong Kong, accordingly, devotes several chapters on the scandals in the Arroyo administration.

Great! I look forward to read the book. (If I really can.)

Many are hoping that with the revelations of de Venecia will help the majority. But with circumstances, I think JDV is more interested on his political vendetta than that of sincere intention to help cleanse Philippine political stinks.

Goodluck Congressman Jose de Venecia

Moro-moro: The Battles between Mayor Tomas Osmeña and Gov. Gwen Garcia

There is a perfect combination of dramatic and comic elements in the conflict between Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña and Cebu governor Gwendolyn Garcia.  Their drama revolves on the plot of jealousy and honor.

I can’t help but get amused to Mayor Tomas and Governor Gwen who are both highly respected Cebu leaders. Both always give me a good laugh with their childish remarks. Much more on their respective graciosos (comical supporters) who do everything just to defend their galanes and damas.

We can look back to the very controversial and already shelved, land swap deal between the Cebu City government and the Cebu Provincial government. Since then, Cebuanos witnessed series of political vendetta and heard harsh exchanges of words.

No less than beloved Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal tried to mediate the two leader but none of them listened. instead they continue to exchange harsh remarks.

I should have ignored this. I should have laughed silently when I hear the very immature and childish talk of these leaders.

However, recently, I almost lost my respect to both of them as I laugh out loud. Look at the picture below. It shows Gov. Gwen Garcia wearing black outfit and showing image of a rooster.

Gov. Gwen Garcia: Did she made a point by wearing weird costumes?

No, Gov. Gwen was not in a costume party nor go to a stage play. She was wearing the weird costume to show off to Cebu media in a press conference. I don’t see a point why she needed to change costume.

Mayor Tomas Osmeña

Now the talk of the town was mayor Osmeña’s calling Gwen Garcia as “Tandang  Zorra”. I asked my friends but they too, don’t know what “Tandang  Zorra” means.

Does it refer to “Tandang Sora” or Melchora Aquino? Thus the name suggests that Gov. Gwen is old? Or does it refer to the female version of Zorro? Why not called Gov. Gwen as Tangdang Gwen instead?

Whatever “Tandang  Zorra” means, that’s none of my business. However, in a recent press conference in Cebu Provincial capitol, reporters  got amazed with what Gov. Gwen did. For humor sake, I suggest to continue reading.

Here’s one of reporter’s recount in Cebu Daily News.

  • The governor showed off her small waste line, which she said is something that other politicians do not have.
  • She also referred to Osmeña as someone who was once a “spring chicken” who has already aged.
  • While she spoke, the governor suddenly walked into an adjoining room, which she uses as resting area. When she emerged two minutes later, she was now wearing a black cape and cowboy hat and was holding a figurine of a rooster.
  • Come on chicken, let’s play chicken… Come on chicken, are you chicken… taktaktaktak,” Garcia teasingly said referring to her observations that Mayor Osmeña and other city officials seemed to be in a panic because of the provincial government’s interest on SRP.
  • She again entered her adjoining room and had a white feather in hand when she emerged. She used the feather to rob chicken’s body as if teasing it and posing for the camera.
  • When Garcia entered her adjoining room for the third time, she took off her props before she returned to her office table to again address media queries.

What a dramatic action!

See? If Gov. Gwen Garcia is Tandang Zorra, then Mayor Tomas Osmeña as Spring Chicken.

I don’t have any idea what other ridiculous acts I can hear from both Osmena and Garcia in the future.

Just for today, I am grateful that both are not national leaders, otherwise, the nation will become a big carnival having already numerous clowns in Malacañang, Lower House, and Senate.

My apologies, honorable men!

Supreme Court: 16 Cities Unconstitutional

The 16 illegal cities are now known as municipalities.

Voting 7-5, Supreme Court en banc nullify 16 cityhood laws. The Supreme Court says, the laws converting  16 municipalities into cities are unconstitutional because Congress did not follow the criteria established in the Local Government Code.

The sixteen cities declared as illegal are:

  1. Baybay in Leyte;
  2. Bogo in Cebu;
  3. Catbalogan in Samar;
  4. Tandag in Surigao del Sur;
  5. Borongan in Eastern Samar;
  6. Tayabas in Quezon province;
  7. Lamitan in Basilan;
  8. Tabuk in Kalinga Apayao;
  9. Bayugan in Agusan del Sur;
  10. Batac in Ilocos Norte;
  11. Mati in Davao Oriental;
  12. Guihulngan in Negros Oriental;
  13. Cabadbaran in Agusan del Norte;
  14. Carcar in Cebu;
  15. El Salvador in Misamis Oriental; and
  16. Naga in Cebu.

Why did these municipalities were converted into cities when these did not follow the criteria established in the Local Government Code? Did our lawmakers unaware of the criteria for cityhood? It’s impossible but with what happened, I feel that the congressmen who conpired with the illegal conversion had some business on it. Vested interest? Or just a desire of making people feel the “city life”?

Before the conversion, these municipalities got a small slice of Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) but enjoyed fat IRA shares when converted into cities.

For example, Bogo town, got only about 60 million Internal Revenue Allotment but when converted into city, it ballooned onto 180 million. Naga (Cebu) as city got 186 million from 66 million IRA before conversion. Carcar’s 75 million, rose to over P200 million when it became a city.

A friend,  reacting to the news, emailed me, from rags to riches; from riches to rags. I beg to disagree because those towns that once became cities are financially well-off too.

There is politics in conversion of towns into cities, group of towns into province. That politics put the town folks not only to shame but more on the hassles of changes that are not for good.

What will happen to 16 city mayors? How do city councilors feel now when they don’t have right anymore to call themselves city council?

On the lighter side, anther friend who come from one the 16 listed rants about the calendars he will distribute as token of his business. It bears the XXXXXX City as address of his business. How would he explain that his city is now a history?

The 2010 Prayer

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

One of the President’s men prays:

Bless the President so we (she) will have forbearance, good health, the tolerance to lead this nation up to 2010 and perhaps who knows even beyond…

And the president whispers: Oh my God!

The prayer of Press Secretary Jesus Dureza may be a heartfelt invocation. Dureza may have his noble intention but for his God’s sake, all those words must be said in private, in the calmness of the night, when he is about to sleep in peace.

What a %^$#$!, I tell myself while trying to mask my big grin with peace and serenity.

Blame me, because like President Arroyo, I pretended to be surprised. Surprising eh?

Because prayers are heard best when done in private, President Arroyo requested that Dureza’s prayer will be “off the record”.

But God already heard it. And God might be granting it. Oh my God!

Press Secetary Jesus Dureza

God has a lot of sense of humor, Dureza insisted. God must have been laughing out loud (LOL).

Dureza added, it was a light prayer. If (the others) did not get it right, they have no sense of humor.

I get it Mr. Dureza. Look at me, I’m laughing out loud because I get what you mean. See? I have sense of humor!