Friday, October 28, 2005
25 October 2005
Hon. Noli de Castro
Vice-President of the Philippines
Dear Vice-President de Castro:
We, the Black and White Movement, firmly believe, based on the revelations from the Garci tapes and the political developments that followed, that GMA cheated. It’s as clear as black and white to us, and to 80% of the Filipino people, according to recent surveys.
We also believe that in spite of the overwhelming consensus among our people that she cheated, many are reluctant to participate because of some key questions left unanswered. What is the alternative? Who will replace GMA? What post-GMA program do we offer?
We decided it was time to answer these hard questions.
Last Saturday, October 22, 2005, leaders of organized groups from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao gathered to build a consensus on our desired post-GMA leadership, immediate reform agenda, and action plans and programs to pursue our agenda.
After a full day of intense deliberations, we agreed on an 8-point reform agenda and the actionable points with this reform framework within the first 100 days. We also reached a consensus that you, as Vice-President, are the most viable and certainly capable successor to GMA. Like you, we are committed to adhere to the succession mode provided for in the Constitution.
It is in this spirit that we implore you to lead us in implementing our reform agenda. May we request a dialogue with you at your earliest convenience?
Vicente Romano III
On behalf of the Convenors of Black and White Movement
Monday, October 24, 2005
THE members of Black & White Movement, together with the Hyatt 10 and other concerned citizens, today exercised their freedom of conscience and their right to peaceably assemble, and pray for the good of our country.
We gathered together to demonstrate that Malacanang is not the enclave of a particular administration, but instead, belongs to the people. We gathered together because any and all like-minded groups have a Constitutionally-protected right to express themselves, and invoke the Almighty for His divine protection of their cause.
Without a rally permit, the Black & White Movement challenged and overcame the CPR policy of GMA by crossing Mendiola, stopping at the Chino Roces monument for a flower-laying ceremony before proceeding to the San Beda chapel to seek divine intervention from our current political crisis.
It was clearly a moral victory for a precedent-setting active, non-violent form of protest. Henceforth, all other groups planning to organize peaceful assemblies or passage through Mendiola can claim the rule of precedence to challenge the phalanx of anti-riot forces preventing them from exercising their freedom of expression and assembly.
We continue to pray, as the entire country prays, for a peaceful resolution of the crisis of legitimacy afflicting our country. We continue to hope that the President will find enlightenment and make the supreme sacrifice for the nation. But even as we hope and pray, we shall continue to mobilize to demonstrate that concrete action is called for, so long as the will of the people is ignored, and their attempts to manifest their collective voices are thwarted.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
The Black & White Movement considers former Vice-President Teofisto Guingona, Jr., former governor Oscar Orbos, Senator Jamby Madrigal, Fr. Robert Reyes, and Rep. Satur Ocampo, and all those who bore the brunt of the apparent lack of command and control on the part of the police. Atty. Orbos put it best, when he told media the gathering was not about supporting a partisan political agenda: it was about undertaking a test, to see if the Philippines remains a country that guarantees its citizens their rights.
The country, the President, and the confused, water cannon-happy troops at her command, failed the test. The test was failed, because the President, from the time the “Hello Garci” scandal broke out, has continuously, consistently, and unashamedly, failed every moral test of her integrity, and every political test of the sincerity of her leadership, and the authenticity of her mandate. Every second of every day she remains in possession of Malacanang is a continuing failure: for just as she has failed to produce Virgilio Garcillano, and indeed, has turned a blind eye to efforts to bring him to justice, so has she failed every opportunity to be answerable to her country and people.
The Black & White Movement believes that time has only served to emphasize the fact, that the country is headed for more repression, more oppression, and inevitable tyrrany, so long as Mrs. Arroyo refuses to listen to the clamor of her people for change. As a nation said to her father in 1965, so must we say again in 2005: “Alis Diyan!”
Friday, October 14, 2005
By Antonio C. Abaya
Written Oct. 11, 2005
For the Standard Today,
October 13 issue
The espionage scandal involving two Filipinos (Leandro Aragoncillo and Michael Ray Aquino) in the US and three so far unnamed Filipino politicians here (most likely Joseph Estrada and Panfilo Lacson, and a third still indeterminate one) may be the cause celebre that will compel the Arroyo Government to declare emergency rule, short of martial law.
Let me explain.
ABC News called it the first case of spying in the White House. Which has led to back-slapping and self-congratulations from the usual parochial types about ang galing talaga ng Pinoy!
The only reason why Leandro Aragoncillo was able to do his snooping, undetected, even in the White House, is because he is a native of a pre-industrial country that is, additionally, not belligerent – on the contrary, habitually obsequious - towards the US, and was therefore not the least bit suspected of harboring any motivation to snoop around in its most secret chambers.
The Americans would never have placed a Japanese-born American citizen in the White House in 1941 even as US cryptographers were breaking the Japanese naval and diplomatic codes. Nor would they place a Japanese-born American in the White House even now, 64 years after Pearl Harbor, because Japan remains an economic and technological rival even though it is a geopolitical ally.
Would the British have placed a German-born British subject in the inner sanctum of the Admiralty while their cryptographers were unraveling the secrets of the German Enigma encoding/decoding machine? Of course not. Perhaps a Gurkha or a Fijian, to empty the ash trays or sweep the floor, but not a German, even for that. You get my drift.
According to the Oct. 7 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Aragoncillo worked in the White House from 1999 to 2001 and was assigned to the Vice-President’s Office. That means he worked under, first, Al Gore, then (from January 2001) under Dick Cheney.
There is no information (so far) on where Aragoncillo was assigned between leaving the White House in 2001 (month unstated) and joining the FBI in July 2004. But in March 2005, when Michael Ray Aquino – former lieutenant of Panfilo Lacson in the PNP – was arrested for a visa violation, it was Aragoncillo, already with the FBI, who interceded for him. This suggests a connection between the two (and three, if you count Lacson) long before March 2005.
Erap has also admitted that Aquino was his godson, most likely in Aquino’s marriage, when Lacson, Aquino’s boss, was a major player in the Erap government and was being groomed by the power brokers (Mark Jimenez, Jinggoy Estrada and the Chinese Mafia) to be Erap’s successor in 2004.
The four major dramatis personae in this drama were/are clearly linked to each other: Aragoncillo, Aquino, Erap, Lacson.
Erap first met Aragoncillo in 1999 when he made a state visit to Washington DC and Aragoncillo was a staff member of the Clinton White House. Since then, Aragoncillo made 15 trips to the Philippines from 2000 to June 2005.
It is my belief, though I have no proof, that it was Lacson, not Erap, whom Aragoncillo met with mostly, during his 15 visits to Manila. For one thing, Erap had been deposed in January 2001 and was no longer a significant player.
For another, Erap has a superficial personality. With Erap, what you see is what you get, which is not much. It is Lacson who has a complex personality: wily, manipulative, secretive, inscrutably poker-faced, basically amoral, able to operate simultaneously at several levels, comfortable working in the darkest shadows. All the ideal personality traits of a master spy. And terribly ambitious.
It is my belief, though again I have no proof, that when Lacson went to Washington DC in December 2000, he established contact with Erap’s friend Aragoncillo, at that time ensconced in the Vice-President’s Office in the White House, in transit between Al Gore and Dick Cheney. This initial contact would explain why Aragoncillo subsequently made so many trips (14) to the Philippines, even after Erap had been removed from power.
When questioned by media on the purpose of his December 2000 trip to Washington, Lacson gave different reasons: to visit his family, to receive an award from an industrial security organization, to ask the US Congress for a $26 million grant for his recently established PNP Foundation. (See my article “PNP: Ping Next President,” Dec. 12, 2000, and subsequent articles, all archived in www.tapatt.org).
Each of these three reasons may have been valid, but the real reason, it turned out, was his apparent attempt to sell himself to the Americans as a fast-track (meaning, by coup d’etat) alternative to both the sinking Erap and the rising Gloria Arroyo. His proposal was supposedly turned down.
What has all this got to do with all the current speculation about an impending declaration of emergency rule short of martial law, supposedly contained in Executive Order No. 467? Plenty.
The revelation in American media (CNN, ABC News, the New York Times, and the Washington Post) that Aragoncillo stole secret documents not only from the FBI but also from Dick Cheney’s office in the White House ratchets up the fall-out from this scandal.
Dick Cheney is the leading figure in the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), the neo-conservative grouping founded in 1997 that has hijacked US foreign, defense and domestic security policies ever since George W. Bush (and Cheney) moved to the White House in January 2001. (See my article “Uncle Dick and the PNAC,” Sept. 07, 2004.)
Among the priorities of the PNAC, as stated in its policy recommendations of September 2000, one year before 9/11, are: establish full military control of the Middle East, encourage regime change in Beijing, increase US forces in Southeast Asia.
I have mentioned this several times in this space, but let me repeat it here: By withdrawing the tiny Philippine contingent from Iraq, by signing an oil exploration joint agreement with Beijing, and by failing to move decisively against the Jamaah Islamiyah in Mindanao, President Arroyo has unwittingly undermined, however tangentially, those three PNAC priorities, and they want her out.
ABC News has been quoted by the Inquirer that “officials say the classified material, which Aragoncillo stole from the Vice-President’s office, included damaging dossiers on the President of the Philippines. He then passed those on to opposition politicians planning a coup in the Pacific nation….”
How damaging? Probably more damaging than those he stole from the FBI database. After all, the FBI snoops are only bureaucrats performing their bureaucratic functions. Cheney and the PNAC that he heads dictate policy and would have more detailed information on anyone whom they want to see removed from office.
How damaging? Possibly details about the dollar deposits, real estate holdings and other assets of husband and wife in the US, and possibly details about his and her (separate) sexual peccadilloes. I cannot imagine anything more damaging than this. All of which may tumble out into the open when the indictments against Aquino are made public soon.
In anticipation of the public uproar that will greet these revelations, the Arroyo government is deliberately sending signals that suggest an impending declaration of emergency rule, short of martial law, to stifle dissent, discourage demos, etc.
The proffered justification is the high price of oil and the need to protect the public from its consequences by government take-over of strategic industries, including oil, power, communications and transportation companies.
But this is a non-sequitur. The price of oil in the world market has been dropping from $69 to $62 per barrel in the past three weeks. Even finance secretary Gary Teves has registered his dissenting opinion that “it is difficult to imagine how a government suffering from fiscal problems would be able to run those (power) firms without aggravating its (own) budget difficulties.” (Inquirer, Oct. 12.) I would not be surprised if the credible and straight-talking Gary Teves is fired or is forced to resign soon.
It is also possible that Lacson already has those damaging dossiers stolen by Aragoncillo from Dick Cheney’s office, but was/is biding his time to make them public until he is ready with his own grab for power, which would be distinct and separate from Binay’s and Morales’ silly Solidarity “caretaker (revolutionary) council” that seeks to restore Erap to the presidency. The Americans may have unwittingly upset Lacson’s plans, but it does not necessarily mean that they are solicitous about GMA’s future either. *****
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Saturday, October 08, 2005
By Gerry Baldo
Friday, 10 07, 2005
He couldn't take much more of the pressure from Malacañang amid increasing corruption charges and the unconstitutional methods being utilized by President Arroyo that he saw was destroying the democratic institutions.
This was the reason given by sources close to Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo for his sudden resignation, which, however, takes effect at the end of November.
Marcelo himself claimed that his resignation stemmed from health
problems, but the same sources said the Ombudsman resigned because he had reached the point where he had to draw the line between his legitimate function as an Ombudsman tasked to investigate and elevate corruption cases to the Sandiganbayan, as well as adhere to the letter of the law and continue to remain loyal to President Arroyo by ignoring what he had been taught in law school.
The last straw reportedly came about after a shouting match ensued between his former law partner and now Defense Chief Avelino "Nonong" Cruz and himself, over Executive Order 464 and alleged orders from President Arroyo for the Ombudsman to quash the cases filed against former Justice Secretary Hernando Perez on the $2 million dollar bribe from then Manila Rep. Mark Jimenez, a.k.a. Mario Crespo, among other cases Marcelo was working on, such as the military officials who have been charged or are about to be charged with plunder.
Insiders in the Ombudsman's office told the Tribune yesterday that Marcelo was also under pressure from the HongKong anti-corruption consultant, Tony Kwok and the international community, such as European Union officials who have plunked in funds for his anti-corruption drive, to start filing cases against Perez as well as other administration personalities for the country's anti-corruption drive to have a greater impact.
Palace sources, however also told the Tribune that the President didn't want Perez, who is also the subject of the Swiss authorities for alleged money laundering activities, touched, fearing that her former justice secretary may just get back at her if he is charged by the Ombudsman, even on graft and corruption. The Palace insiders added that "other deals" would surface which would link former President Fidel Ramos, whom Mrs. Arroyo appears to be protecting, in exchange for his political support.
The sources also pointed out that Marcelo quit because he could no longer swallow what the Arroyo administration wants him to do which is for him to forget about his office's investigation on the alleged pay off in the Impsa (Industrias Metalurgicas Pescarmona Sociedad Anomina), the Argentine firm that rehabilitated the Caliraya-Botocan-Kalayaan (CBK) power plant complex in Laguna.
The source from the Ombudsman's office maintained that the Office of the Ombudsman had found prima facie evidence to merit the filing of formal charges against people involved in the scam including Perez and other prominent political figures.
Marcelo, other sources said, was being pestered by calls from the Defense Secretary to pressure the Ombudsman to quash the case as well as prevent his officers from appearing before any Senate hearing in the event they are to be called to testify.
It was claimed that Marcelo refused to do as ordered by Mrs. Arroyo until a shouting match between him and Cruz ensued inside the Ombudsman's office.
"The Ombudsman refused to budge on the moves of Cruz until a shouting match ensued in his office," the source said.
Marcelo, two years ago, said his office would investigate the case "motu propio" even without a complaint filed by Jimenez.
The results of the investigation by the Office of the Ombudsman reportedly showed that money changed hands between Impsa and Philippine government officials in connection with the approval of the contract to rehabilitate the CBK power plant complex in Laguna.
Jimenez in a privilege speech in December 2002 accused Perez of having extorted $2 million from him to exclude him as a co-accused in the plunder case against detained President Joseph Estrada.
The $2 million was later found to have been part of an alleged $14 million bribe for high ranking officials who had grabbed power from Estrada, in exchange for a sovereign guarantee. That guarantee was given on the second day of office of President Arroyo, or four days after the Edsa II coup d'etat.
The Impsa contract was turned down by then President Estrada on the ground of its being disadvantageous to the government.
Sources from the Napocor said Impsa's proposal to rehabilitate the CBK power plant complex in Laguna was uncalled for, as the plant did not need rehabilitation.
Napocor was also reported to have paid Impsa more than $50 million for the first 18 months of its operation, even if the Argentine firm had so far invested only $9 million to rehabilitate the plant.
Documents showed that Coutts Bank Hongkong transactions had deposited $2 million in the account of private banker and the President's fund raiser, Ernest Escaler, and withdrawn a few days later. The funds were later traced to a Swiss bank account, along with a power of attorney assigned by Perez to his wife.
Perez also admitted he was indeed in Hong Kong on Feb. 23, 2001 when the alleged "extortion money" was remitted to the Coutts Bank in Hong Kong.
Perez, however, said he was there to sign the Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement with the Hong Kong government.
To this day however, that agreement remains unsigned.
The source said Marcelo refused to stop the filing of formal charges against Perez despite frequent calls from Cruz that he drop the case. That along with the President's call for Marcelo to heed the EO, a separate source said, was the last straw.
According to the source, Mrs. Arroyo, it seems was wrong in appointing Marcelo who had inhibited himself from investigations and resolutions that involved Mrs. Arroyo's allies.
Marcelo was also about to approve the filing of formal charges against Perez after an investigation found prima facie evidence against the former justice secretary that he had benefited from a power plant deal entered into by the government.
The source said Malacañang was bent on sweeping the case under the rug because the First Gentleman would be implicated in the criminal case.
(From the Tribune, Manila, Philippines, Oct 7, 2005)
Friday, October 07, 2005
By Antonio C. Abaya
Written Oct. 04, 2005
For the Standard Today,
October 06 issue
The most prominent military dissenters since the Marcos era were, of course, the members of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement, or RAM, under high-profile leaders like then Col. Gringo Honasan, Red Kapunan, Tito Legaspi and Rex Robles.
Though there was no doubt that that they were motivated by idealism and the desire to reform, not just the armed forces, but Philippine society as a whole, their nobility of purpose was somewhat compromised by their logistical and financial needs which were met by well-heeled non-military personages whose personal political ambitions injected a mercenary element into their enterprises.
In the August 1987 attempted coup by the RAM against President Aquino, it was then defense secretary Juan Ponce Enrile who was meant to be the main beneficiary and was most likely also the financier. If the coup had succeeded, Enrile would have been installed as head of a military civilian junta, according to plan, and, later, as duly elected president of the republic.
In the December 1989 attempted coup, again against President Aquino and also led by RAM, the principal backers were suspected to be business tycoon Danding Cojuangco and a gaggle of Makati businessmen and opposition politicians. Cojuangco, who was in exile abroad with the Marcoses, sneaked back into the country through the backdoor, from Sabah to his farm in Davao in a light plane, without going through immigration formalities…..just two or three weeks before the putsch. The Aquino Government, so terrified of the president’s cousin, could not even gather enough nerve to book him for illegal entry, which he clearly was guilty of. Onli in da Pilipins.
In the July 2003 Oakwood mutiny, apparently inspired by the mutineers’ Kuya, Gringo, after the RAM had splintered into quarreling factions, the tactical goal was to install the deposed president Joseph Estrada to the presidency for at least three days. Enough time for Erap to unilaterally clear himself of the plunder charges pending against him, after which a military civilian junta would take over, presumably with Kuya as head of state.
It does not take much brains to conclude that Erap was paying for his deliverance, especially after one of his mistresses and one of his cronies were found to have been involved in the logistics. His organizers, Ronald Lumbao and Boy Morales, were also ready with a rent-a-mob equipped with ready-made posters and streamers announcing a People Power happening but were dispersed by police before they could yell “Ibagsak!”
In the present political crisis, there are speculations about how the military will position itself. But like Philippine society at large, the Philippine military are also disunited. It can be assumed that the top brass, all appointees of President Arroyo, will remain loyal to her under almost any circumstances..
It can also be assumed that there are mercenary elements who are for sale to the highest bidders. I understand the bidding starts at P100 million for a strike force of 15,000 officers and men. As far as I can tell, no deal has been struck. Perhaps the trapos are still trying to bring the price down.
In this piece, however, I am more concerned with the idealistic elements of the armed forces who are genuinely alarmed about the future of this country. For the past three months or so, I understand from a retired captain, my articles have been circulated among the officer corps, especially among graduates of the Philippine Military Academy and/or West Point. As a consequence, I have received statements and comments from several majors, lieutenant colonels and full colonels, mostly in active service.
I can personally confirm that there is demoralization among the idealistic elements of the military. But I do not know how they compare in numbers and troop strength with the mercenaries being courted by the trapos or with the top brass co-opted by President Arroyo. I asked one of my correspondents how many other officers thought like him. His reply floored me: 50% of the officer corps, he said. But that could be an exaggeration.
It was the late Capt. (Ret.) Rene Jarque who was one of the most articulate ex-military persons to voice his discontent. Before his untimely death at age 40 from cardiac arrest in Jakarta, where he was working in the corporate world, Rene had sent me copies of his speeches and articles.
In my article “Military Dilemma” (July 19, 2005), I quoted excerpts from his speech before, of all organizations, the Philippine Constitution Association, in which he advocated that the military play a “constructive role” in a situation where the government is unstable and democratic institutions exist but are not strong. In such a theoretical situation, which looks more and more like the present, he sees the military intervening as a deterrent to bad government, but not taking over the state apparatus.
If I read Jarque’s mind correctly, he wanted the idealistic elements in the military to intervene if and when the civilian government is unable to provide good governance, but not to take over the state completely. Presumably Jarque wanted a civilian revolutionary or transition government to take over, but supported by the idealistic elements of the military. Which is also my view and that of many other concerned Filipinos.
In the Reaction portion of the above article, I included Jarque’s call to the Corps of Cadets of the PMA, from where he had graduated in 1986, to “help awaken the generals who have been oblivious to the calls for honor and honest conduct,” reminding his audience of the Academy’s Honor Code, and the Academy’s motto of “Courage, Integrity, Loyalty.”
But Capt. Jarque was not alone. I have the permission of Army Col. Ricardo C. Morales to mention his name and to quote excerpts from his paper “Transforming the AFP,” parts of which had been published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer more than six months ago.
Col. Morales commands a brigade of Marines in Davao made up of five battalions or 3,000 men. He is a PMA graduate, class of 1977, and holds a master’s degree in national security from an Australian institution.. He is on leave right now preparatory to leaving the military permanently.
While his “Transformation” paper, 12 pages long and drafted in September 2003, deals mainly with internal military matters, his comments about what ails the Philippine military bear repeating:
“Even the most optimistic apologists will have to concede after the July 27 (2003) Oakwood mutiny that the AFP is suffering from a deep-seated and long term affliction. In the previous mutinies (in 1987 and 1989), the leaders of this incident were still schoolboys. Nothing substantial has been done during the interval about reforms despite public pronouncements by the AFP leadership and the government….
… Only the blind and the prejudiced will deny the dismal situation in the defense
establishment. The Oakwood incident is only one outward sign of a fundamental and long running flaw within the AFP. These flaws have been gnawing away at the foundations of the AFP and, if left uncorrected, will certainly result in a sudden and catastrophic collapse.
“…The AFP is quickly making itself one of the most resented sectors of Filipino society today. Not only has it been ineffective against the local insurgencies, it is also becoming a burden and a threat to society…”
What ails the AFP? “The dismal state of the AFP is due to the debilitating culture within the organization that has emerged because of the absence of a defeat experience. Deprived of this stimulus, the AFP has developed what Festinger identified as ‘cognitive dissonance.’…a discrepancy between perception and reality…
“…Defeat in the hands of Napoleon compelled the Prussian reformers – Clausewitz, von Stettin, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau – to re-examine and discard Frederick the Great’s outmoded methods and establish the tradition of military excellence that Germany has since been known for ..Germany’s defeat during two world wars does not diminish the fact of its military excellence that remains to this day….”
“Incompetence and corruption are the by-products of the AFP’s culture of cognitive dissonance. If the AFP wants to totally eliminate internal restiveness, it must get rid of this flawed culture. Eliminating corruption and incompetence alone is insufficient…..”
In a letter to Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz, dated May 23, 2005, Col. Morales laments that “the men and women of the AFP have lived the nightmare of insurgency for all their active service. Still we see no end to this national agony and face the ironic but real prospect of paying ‘revolutionary tax’ after retirement….
“Everything being done in today’s counter-insurgency campaign has been done before – SOT, strike operations, all-out offensives, negotiations, political accommodation, economic assistance – still the insurgencies show no signs of abetting and are, in truth, quietly gathering strength.Under these conditions, foreign investors will continue to shun the Philippines. Our economic take-off will never materialize. Worsening poverty will unravel our society and cause its collapse. The long-suffering Filipino people do not deserve this future. We in the AFP do not deserve this future….”
In a letter to another official, dated September 08, 2005, Col. Morales gives his reasons for wanting to leave the AFP. “Like the society it is supposed to defend, the AFP is severely decayed; it has lost its ability for self-correction and rejuvenation. Matindi at malalim ang kabulokan ngAFP. I know this from direct experience in the (Gen. Carlos F.) Garcia case. Were it not for the Jarius Bondoc expose, the AFP would not have investigated Caloy Garcia. Ganyan din mangyyayari sa election fraud case.
“I am leaving the Service because there is nothing more that I can do about it. My children will take up nursing or health care giver something because this will provide the man exit from this cursed society.
“I am leaving because neither the NPA nor the Moro rebels are in danger of winning. These two groups are so stricken by internal rivalry and material weakness (mga Filipino din!) that victory for them is only a dim possibility. But they can keep our society poor and growing poorer.
“I am leaving because there is no use fighting a war government does not intend to win…This political system has lost the ability for self-preservation and self-correction. It will make itself extinct.
“The AFP leadership must present a simple proposal to its political masters: end the war or sue for peace, but don’t waste our soldiers’ lives any longer. Give the soldiers something worth dying for, not this miserable excuse for a nation….”
(To be continued)
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Subject: [c4t] Truth Bites No.5, October 5 2005
From: "Citizens for TRIO"
Date: Wed, October 5, 2005 5:51 pm
A bit of truth a day, moves us on our way...
Where is the Truth Commission?
"The truth that I discovered from my beginnings as a neophyte politician in 1992, rising to become a veteran politician through the years is this: over the years, our political system has degenerated to such an extent that it's very difficult to live within the system with hands totally untainted. That is the truth."
- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's radio message on the clamor for her resignation last 7 July 2005.
"On the matter of moral accountability and the need to restore trust, I have initiated the creation of a commission or similar body to look into the truth behind the issues recently raised against me."
- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, in her letter to CBCP President Arch. Fernando Capalla, 18 July 2005
"The Filipino people deserve to know the truth about all the allegations being hurled against the President, as well as the reported conspiracies to destabilize the Government."
"We assure the public that the commission will be composed of eminent persons of unquestionable probity and objectivity."
"The President would like to have this created, or at least some of the members made known, before the State of the Nation Address."
-Secretary Ignacio R. Bunye's statement last 20 July 2005 on the creation of a Truth Commission.
And by the way, where is Garci?
Truth Bites No.5
5 October 2005
*Truth Bites is an attempt to remind all of us about the truths that remain uncovered.
**By the Citizens for Truth and Resignation, Impeachment or Ouster (C4T) and the Black & White Movement (B&w)