In Maguindanao massacre, the warlords are still alive!

Maguindanao warlords are drinking, feasting, and merrymaking because they have killed and immediately buried more than fifty people in just one morning. As of today, according to Inquirer report, the death toll reach to 57. This worst election-related killing saddened President Gloria Arroyo that she declared November 25 as the national day of mourning. “This is a supreme act of inhumanity that is a blight on our nation.” President Arroyo said in a statement quoted by the same Inquirer report.

Maguindanao massacre shocked the Filipino nation. The whole world is equally shocked because aside from women, 12 journalists were also killed.  “Never in the history of journalism have the news media suffered such a heavy loss of life in one day”, Reporters Without Borders noted.

I wish to add my voice to loud voice condemning the Maguindanao massacre and calling for swift justice.

But three days after the killings, no one was questioned. No one was arrested. Who wants to arrest the untouchables anyway. There are no untouchables, Malacanang told reporters. It seems physical and circumstantial evidences are not yet enough.

The President herself vowed to give justice to the victims. I hope she will.

I won’t label Maguindanao as killing field. Not yet this time. But sooner or later, that part in Mindanao becomes the killing field of warlords in the new century! Unless the President Arroyo mobilizes all her power to destroy the armed groups controlled by few families.

We lost 57 lives (and still counting) in Maguindanao massacre and we meet the warlords who still wield power.

By the way, who are the warlords? I think Commission on Human Rights chairwoman, Leila De Lima, can point them. I feel President Gloria Arroyo knows them.

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Deja Vu: Erap for President, Gloria for Vice President

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo might run as Vice President in 2010! Ten years ago, in 1998, Arroyo ran as vice president and got  a landslide victory!

Earlier, former President Joseph Ejercito “Erap” Estrada declared that he will run as president in 2010. Ten years ago, in 1998, Erap ran as vice president and got a landslide victory!

It was the third election where both president and vice president came from different parties. Erap was running under Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) and Gloria’s party was Lakas-NUCD-UMDP and Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi).

Shall we have the fourth election where both president and vice president came from different parties? Shall we have Erap again in Malacanang? Shall we have both Erap and Gloria again?

Hold on, there is no serious talk about it yet in Lakas-Kampi-CMD, Representative Danilo Suarez, a senior deputy general of the party admitted as reported by Sun Star. But why he is talking about it to media. Is he trying to test the water?

Never again! This was the cry right after martial law. I don’t know if we say this after Erap and Gloria.

President Arroyo is rumored to run in congress. Many of her critics are believing that she will really run.

Yesterday, as the president once again visited her hometown in Pampanga, a breaking news that the President might run as Vice President circulated and got mixed reactions.

Let Erap run. Let Gloria run. If both of them got elected again, that’s another story.

Who is not afraid of President Gloria Arroyo?

President Gloria Arroyo’s continued silence on her plans in 2010 annoys the opposition. The president’s silence has become a threat. Her detractors and the opposition keep on guessing. Will she step down when her term ends? Will she extend her term? Will she run for congress?

All these remain as unanswered questions unless GMA herself reveal her plans in 2010. Although when she tell us her plans, most will still doubt it. After all, do we still believe her? Then, telling us or not telling us doesn’t make sense at all.

No less than former President Fidel Ramos asked President Arroyo to reveal her plans in 2010. (See Philippine Star report.)

It is amazing how political leaders (many of them) are dying to know the plans of the President. In normal conditions we don’t need to beg the President to reveal her plans because no matter what, the Constitution provides that her term ends in 2010. But why do we speculate?

Obviously, most opposition leaders are afraid of Arroyo’s silence. Most of them are afraid of Arroyo. For many times, the President has proven her strength, her effective political and leadership strategies.These are among the reasons many want her out from her office. We don’t like a very smart and tricky president. The political trauma we have endured led us to hate the presidents. Whoever the president is, we always want him out. After 2010, expect the clamor to oust the president.

President Arroyo’s way is threatening. Her enemies keep on guessing. In war, that make one victorious because enemies don’t know what to do. Because no one can read Gloria Arroyo’s mind, she pose as a big threat – something that should be afraid of.

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The politics of walkout and boycott

It is not surprising to hear reports that some senators and party-list representatives will boycott the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Arroyo on 27th. Boycott as well as walkout have spiced-up Philippine politics for generations. Walkout even triggered mass uprising.

Isn’t it common to hear senators and congressmen who walkout at a middle of hearing or investigation because they are not given what they wanted? In 13th and 14th congress of Philippine Senate, walkout is very common. One senator even cried because of her conflict with a senior senator. Now I can safely conclude that some senators are immature.

Reports said, Senators Panfilo Lacson, Francis Pangilinan, Aquilino Pimentel Jr., Benigno Aquino III, and Manuel Roxas will avoid the SONA.

Walkout and boycott are signs of protest. These senators who announced that they will not be attending the Senate’s opening session and the SONA are protesting against the present administration. I respect them if that is their political stand.
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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?

SWS: De Castro, Villar, Legarda lead Presidential Aspirants

Noli de Castro

Vice President Noli De Castro is still Filipino’s (according to surveys) favorite to succeed President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2010.

According to the result of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey for the 3rd quarter of 2008, De Castro, Senate President Manuel Villar, and Sen. Loren Legarda are among the top favorites for 2010 presidential elections.

SWS asked this question to 1,500 adult Filipino respondents:

Under the present Constitution, the term of Pres. Arroyo is up to 2010 only, and there will be an election for a new President in May 2010. Who do you think are good leaders who should succeed Pres. Arroyo as President? You may give up to three names.

Of the 1,500 respondents, 29% mention Vice-President De Castro, 28% mention Senate President Villar, and 26% mention Sen. Legarda. Respondents of the SWS survey were randomly picked in Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Panfilo Lacson  follows Legarda with 17%, then Francis Escudero 16%, and 13% mention both Joseph Estrada and Mar Roxas. See the complete list below:

Noli de Castro 29%
Manny Villar 28%
Loren Legarda 26%
Panfilo Lacson 17%
Francis Escudero 16%
Joseph Estrada 13%
Mar Roxas 13%
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo 1%
Bayani Fernando 1%
Antonio Trillanes III 1%
Juan Ponce Enrile 1%
Francis Pangilinan 1%

(Source: Social Weather Stations)

Will this survey already define what the 2010 presidential elections be? Will this can be translated to votes? It is too early to tell.

Presidential aspirants are now beginnign to lubricate their political machineries to surely win in 2010. That is the only thing I am sure of.

What is interesting is respondents’ mention of Estrada and Arroyo which supposed not on the list of 2010 presidential aspirants in 2010. But people still love to recall their names. But recalling them while voting? I doubt.

Gallup International: Filipinos are 5th hungriest worldwide

Gallup International ranked the Philippines fifth out of 55 countries in the recent global hunger survey called “Voice of the People”.

The Gallup survey noted that 40% of the Filipino respondents were found to have experienced an empty stomach in late 2007 to the present. This means that four out of 10 poor Filipinos experienced empty stomach in the last 12 months.

This may not be very surprising. But for President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her administration, may find this as little insult to the “food for every Filipino” line that GMA keeps on bragging in her speeches. In fairness to President Arroyo, she is doing her part well as chief executive to fight hunger. The problem is just too big to handle on.

A related survey conducted from September 24 to 27, 2008 by Social Weather Station (SWS) found that 3.3 million Filipino families were suffering from hunger in the last three quarters.

The Philippine government aims to reduce poverty incidence to between 17 percent and 20 percent by 2010, thus lessen the the number of hungry Filipinos.

According to National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB), there are 27.6 million Filipinos in 2006 or 32.9 percent of the population.

Too many, indeed!

But hunger is not specific to the Philippines. Many countries in the world have the same fate – with many of its poor citizens have nothing to eat.

Source: The Manila Times