Monday, November 28, 2005

WANTED: Magiting at Marangal na Pilipino

Below is an invitation from the Black & White Movement to all those interested in recovering our honor as Filipinos and getting to the truth:

Sa lahat ng mamamayan na gustong iwasto ang panloloko sa bayan, magsama-sama tayo sa November 30, Gabi ng KaBAYANIhan, 7:00 P.M. sa La Salle Greenhills Gym, Mandaluyong.

Sino pa ang aasahan nating magligtas sa bayang naliligaw dahil walang tunay na namumuno?

Hindi ba dapat manindigan na si Vice President Noli de Castro, ang itinakda ng Konstitusyon bilang taga-halili sa Presidenteng hindi na makapaglingkod?

Hindi ba dapat magpaliwanag na si Commissioner Garcillano sa naging papel niya sa diumanong pandaraya noong eleksiyon? Dito lamang niya malilinis ang kanyang pangalan at baka sakaling maisalba ang kanyang karangalan.

Di ba dapat sa ating sarili na lamang tayo umasa? Ipamukha natin na hindi natin tatanggapin at tatangkilikin ang isang huwad na Pangulo.

Sigaw ng Pilipinas: Lahat tayo may dugong Bayani!
0917.88GARCI (Hello Garci? Magpaka-bayani ka!)

Expected to speak at this event are former Secretary of Education Butch Abad, Rep. Gilbert Remulla, Bro. Eddie Villanueva, among others. There will be a prayer concert as well as performances from Noel Cabangon, Cynthia Alexander, Cookie Chua, and Silent Sanctuary.

Please wear black and white.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


We apologize for the inactivity for the last few days, but we are deep in preparation for our November 30th rally. But since one of our "favorite" GMA henchmen has decided to worm his way out of the woodwork, we are posting our latest press statement regarding Virgilio "Garci" Garcillano. As usual, comments are welcome:

The Black & White Movement views with concern media reports that Virgilio Garcillano has returned.We welcome this development because we have been quite vocal about wanting to see “Garci” return home. However, we are also concerned that he might be part of the continuing grand cover-up that Mrs. Arroyo has been undertaking.After all, after months of being untraceable and unreachable, his sudden reappearance seems curiously timed for the administration’s convenience. Aside from Garcillano’s wife, only Rep. Prospero Pichay, Mrs. Arroyo’s anointed candidate for Speaker of the House, has come forward to claim direct communication with him. This can only mean Garcillano remains firmly in Mrs. Arroyo’s pocket.

Instead of a holiday season filled with optimism and good cheer, and goodwill toward all, we are poised to witness a cunningly crafted performance. Mr. Garcillano will step forward and recount a version of events divorced from reality. As it is, we hear many administration allies suggesting Mr. Garcillano never even left the country, which boggles the mind and insinuates that the Singapore Foreign Ministry lied when it said Garci passed through Singapore on July 14. However, there is nothing the administration won’t do in order to promote its alternative reality. It will take a superhuman effort from citizens both outside government, and within the bureaucracy, to reveal the truth so firmly guarded by the government’s lies. As it is, allies of the search for the truth are being sidelined by the Palace. Rep. Gilbert Remulla, who was hot on Garci's trail in the House inquiry, has been replaced as Chair of the lead investigating committee. The timing of this move is very suspicious. And convenient.

It does not have to be that way. Mr. Garcillano still has a chance to finally do his country a service, and tell the truth. Unvarnished, unpolished, unprepared, but honest, forthright, and thorough. As Mrs. Arroyo herself once challenged the country, “let the chips fall where they may”. The Black & White Movement’s challenge isn’t hollow, like Mrs. Arroyo’s. Let the truth be told, though the heavens – or the administration’s power built on lies - fall. Mr. Garcillano can implicate all the people he wants – and should implicate all those who availed of his services - but he shouldn’t have selective amnesia when it comes to his clients and what they had him do in the last elections.

He should be forthright about where he has been, and with whom he has been with, ever since he disappeared precisely because he is accused of being a party to two crimes. The first was the cheating for May, 2004. The second was the cover-up to save the President in the wake of the “Hello, Garci” tapes’ appearance.

Should Mr. Garcillano choose, instead, to stick to a Palace-prepared script, he will accomplish only the perpetuation of the twisted view that a president’s pleasure, whether electoral or criminal, is the only law in town. He will therefore leave himself wide open to every means the citizenry can find to compel him to produce what he doesn’t want to reveal –the truth. Mr. Garcillano must tell all –or lose all. He must come clean as to why in the tapes, his conversations with Mrs. Arroyo match the results in the places they discussed (places where Mrs. Arroyo “won”). He must open up his bank accounts to expose the paper and money trail. He must decide to risk all by throwing himself at the mercy of his countrymen, rather than lose all –reputation, peace of mind, even his life- by continuing to serve or be held hostage by Mrs. Arroyo. For once in his life, he must do what is right.

The truth, and only the truth, Garci, can set you free. The Black & White Movement will work with zeal and determination with other citizen’s groups in determining what criminal cases can be filed against Mr. Garcillano now that he has resurfaced. Since the Palace has closed the avenue available to put legal closure to this case, we will challenge Mr. Garcillano's pronouncements before the courts, where he could suffer legal penalties if he fails to come forward with the truth. To lie is to invite consequences: prosecution for contempt of Congress; betrayal of the public trust; violations of the anti-graft and corrupt practices act; acts of direct bribery under the Penal Code and violations of the Omnibus Election Code. After all, as Mrs. Arroyo’s allies so love to say, “The law is harsh, but it is the law.”

Friday, November 11, 2005

It’s Black and White

To answer queries posted on this blog regarding who we are and what we stand for, we are posting the ad we printed in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on 9 November 2005. Please read on.

Fight for what’s Right!

Is it right for GMA to cling to power up to 2010 and maybe beyond?

More than 80% of Filipinos believe that she cheated. 79% believe she should have been impeached, and 51% believed she should be removed through people power if impeachment fails.*

Whether she cheated or not is no longer the only issue. The question is whether she should remain in Malacañang without the support of the people.

Is it right for GMA to use any means to remain in power?

So far, she has trashed the impeachment, declared CPR, enforced EO 464, threatened emergency power or martial law, initiated hearings versus Gudani & Balutan, accused Cory and Drilon of a coup plot and continues to harass Bro. Eddie.

Is it right for her to use government positions and favors as rewards for unconditional loyalty to her?

A long-standing moratorium on logging in protected areas of Samar was recently lifted in favor of a company closely associated with a politician. Post-dated checks have been issued to politicians for “scholarships”. Military promotions, ambassadorships and other appointments, plum contracts, pork barrel have been awarded to supporters and sycophants. On the other hand, civil servants with sterling performance records were summarily relieved of their posts for not blindly doing her bidding.

If you answered NO to any of these questions, join the Black & White Movement. No one can afford to sit this one out. The alternative may be more violent upheaval.

Is the Black and White Movement right for you?

We’ve been called ‘non-entities’. We are the non-celebrity middle forces who simply love our country. We are not extremists. We are not ”trapos”. We are not for Erap and we are not Marcos supporters.

We pay our taxes. We have neither vested interests nor political ambitions. We only want to put the country on the right track - as soon as possible.

Is Our Objective the right one?

To give the middle forces a venue and a voice to vent their outrage at the disgraceful conduct of the highest official of the land.

What is the right action to take?

The Black and White Movement is committed to legal, constitutional, and non-violent solutions. These will be implemented peaceably, democratically with the least disruption to our fragile economy.

Our prescription: 1) A massive, nationwide signature campaign for the non-violent removal of GMA from office.

2) Ask the VP to take over as the Turnaround President who will call for a special election in 2007 after revamping the Comelec.

3) If the VP is unwilling, he must resign as well. It then becomes necessary for the Senate President to call for Special Elections according to the Constitution.

If you answered yes to any of these questions, welcome to the Black and White Movement.

Text your name, address, email address, affiliation, to 0917-88GARCI. We will provide you membership/signature campaign details.

*SWS Survey

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Search for Ombudsman

In as much as the Black & White Movement is about good governance, we are publishing a letter sent by Vincent Lazatin, Chairman of the Transparency and Accountability Network regarding the current search for a new Ombudsman. As you know, Atty. Simeon Marcelo has resigned his post, and will ultimately leave the Office of the Ombudsman on 30 November. Please take the time to read the following and get involved.

Select Your Ombudsman

The Ombudsman selection process is happening at an alarmingly fast pace. Ostensibly, the selection process attempts to involve the public by accepting nominations to the position from the public and accepting comments on the nominees. However, unless the public has time to respond to these calls for nominations and comments, public participation is very limited and non-inclusive.

The Transparency and Accountability Network has written the Judicial and Bar Council to take its time in going through the process since nothing will be gained by having a speedy one. On the other hand, there is much to gain by having a more inclusive process.

Again, I appeal to the media, and Filipinos in general, to help us shine light on this process by writing about it, talking about it, and making it an issue of public concern. If we don't get involved, we will wake up one morning and find out a new Ombudsman has been named. By then it will be too late and we have no one to blame but ourselves.

If you need more information, you can contact me directly (, or you can log onto the TAN website (
Thank you in advance for all your help.

Vincent Lazatin
Transparency and Accountability Network, Chairman


As of Oct 17, the following comprised the list of applicants for the Ombudsman post:

  • Gualberto dela Llana
  • Victor Fernandez
  • Remedios Fernando
  • Nicodemus Ferrer
  • Margarito Gervacio Jr.
  • Merceditas Gutierrez
  • Christopher Lock
  • Diosdado Peralta
  • Dennis Villa-Ignacio
  • Florencio Villarin
  • Douglas Cagas

Today, the JBC Secretariat announced new applicants:

  • Crispin B. Bravo
  • Orlando C. Casimiro
  • Arturo M. de Castro
  • Arno V. Sanidad

The JBC Secretariat likewise announced a deadline for submission of any sworn complaint, written report, or opposition against the candidates no later than 5pm, November 14, 2005. Note that this deadline is only applicable for reports submitted on the newly-announced applicants.

TAN would appreciate any information you may have on any of these candidates. Please submit to us reports or comments on the applicants anytime this week [November 8-12], and we will gladly facilitate routing of such reports to the JBC.

Public interviews are scheduled as follows: [venue is at the Justice’s Lounge, 7/F New Supreme Court Building, Padre Faura St., Manila]

November 16, 9:00am

  • Crispin Bravo
  • Douglas Cagas
  • Orlando Casimiro

November 16, 2:00pm

  • Arturo de Castro
  • Gualberto dela Llana

November 17, 9:00am

  • Victor Fernandez
  • Remedios Fernandez
  • Nicodemus Ferrer

November 17, 2:00pm

  • Margarito Gervacio Jr.
  • Merceditas Gutierrez

November 18, 9:00am

  • Christopher Lock
  • Diosdado Peralta
  • Arno Sanidad

November 18, 2:00pm

  • Dennis Villa-Ignacio
  • Florencio Villarin

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


The Black & White Movement reiterates our support for the Citizen’s Congress for Truth and Accountability, which had its opening session yesterday. By now, it should be evident to all that the Palace’s stubborn refusal to participate in the Congress’s sessions cannot thwart efforts to seek the truth. Despite efforts to disrupt the proceedings on the part of entities supportive of the administration, the Congress and its organizers reacted with greater tolerance, humility, and swift accountability than the Palace has thus far accorded the public.

We laud, in particular, the efforts of the Congress to hold accountable those who, in the tension-filled moments when pro-Arroyo protesters tried to disrupt the proceedings, reacted harshly. These are times that call for all of us to practice tolerance and civility, in contrast to the intolerant and uncivil treatment the administration has inflicted on a citizenry seeking accountability from its officials.

The following days will be an unprecedented exercise in citizenship. It can only succeed in further demonstrating just how far the administration has strayed from what is expected of a democratic government. Different organizations with different views and opinions have come together, and have set aside their differences in pursuit of a laudable endeavor. We congratulate the organizers and participants in the Citizen’s Congress. And we urge our fellow citizens to follow, to the best of their ability, the proceedings of that Congress.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Our Ideas for the First 100 Days After Gloria

A First 100 Days Agenda


• New government must survive and reform: neutralize forces against change, enable reformers to seize initiative, and hold opportunistic politicians and rent-seeking economic interests at bay.
• Need to generate a cadre of competent, trustworthy, and reform-oriented leaders to take charge during the critical period.
• Middle forces must know how to engage new government and, at the same time, initiate/support self-development programs for and with the marginalized.
• We cannot afford to repeat mistakes and shortcomings of past or miss opportunities for real change.


• Not only a change of leadership and administration but substantial institutional, political, economic, and social reforms.
• Prospects for far-reaching reforms depend on:
• Circumstances (e.g., simple succession vs. people power) under which new government comes to power, and
• Latitude (e.g., time, power) given new government to govern and introduce reforms.
• Need to revisit this exercise once consensus is reached on how new government is to be installed.
• We must not leave government to the bureaucrats and politics to the politicians.

1st – Stabilize the Political Situation

• Neutralize forces against change.
• Secure/sustain support of military and police:
• Restore promotions and reward systems in the AFP and PNP.
• Declare commitment to improve welfare of the rank and file.
• Consolidate broad anti-GMA forces behind new leadership and First 100 Days Agenda.
• Reconstitute peace panels and jumpstart peace negotiations with CPP-NPA-NDF, MILF, RPMP-PRA, and RPMM-RPA.
• Push reform elements to seize initiative in new government and hold opportunistic politicians and rent-seeking economic interests at bay.

2nd - Institute Zero Tolerance for Graft and Corruption and Restore Good and Effective Governance

• Replace GMA subalterns in key revenue, security, and service agencies immediately.
• Constitute a credible search committee and appoint and/or promote competent, honest, and committed individuals in these offices.
• Uphold transparency, accountability, efficiency, responsiveness, citizen participation, and predictability as standards for good governance.
• Institute system of performance contracts in the Cabinet.
• Fast track prosecution of celebrated graft cases (e.g., Gen. Garcia’s case, US$2M Perez bribery case, P723M fertilizer scam).
• Suspend and review questionable contracts (e.g. North Rail Project).
• Ensure delivery of priority services for the poor in health, education, housing, livelihood, social welfare, employment generation, and asset reform.

3rd-Demonstrate Pro-Poor Commitment and Address Needs of the Middle Class

• Implement focused subsidies (e.g., food, medicines and energy) for urban and rural poor to mitigate effects of E-VAT.
• Exempt minimum wage earners from income tax.
• Lower withholding taxes for fixed income earners.
• Implement development programs for marginal farmers, municipal fishers, indigenous people, urban poor, and labor.

4th - Restore Fiscal Health and Keep Economic House in Order

• Appoint an experienced, competent, and credible economic management team.
• Lead by example: Implement genuine austerity measures starting with the OP and Executive Branch.
• Renew tax administration and collection improvement campaign.
• Pursue computerization.
• Implement lateral attrition law.
• Plug leakages in tax collection.
• Prosecute high-profile tax-evaders and smugglers through “Run After Tax Evaders” (RATE) campaign relentlessly.
• Subject all government officials to lifestyle checks.
• Formulate a new debt management policy emphasizing write-off of odious debts through creative negotiations/debt swaps.

5th - Lay the Basis for Sustained Reform

• Appoint competent, trustworthy and reform-oriented personalities and sectoral leaders to key government posts.
• Establish institutional mechanisms (e.g., expanded LEDAC and DBCC) to allow sectoral, business and civil society leaders and groups to participate meaningfully in government decision-making.
• Prepare for orderly, peaceful, and meaningful elections.
• Prosecute Kilosbayan case vs. COMELEC commissioners filed with the Ombudsman immediately.
• Revamp COMELEC and appoint competent, honest, and non-partisan commissioners.
• Clean up voters’ lists.
• Begin automation/modernization of electoral process.
• Investigate wiretapping and 2004 presidential election cheating, including involvement of military.
• Declare commitment to charter change through a Constitutional Convention.

The Black & White Movement's 8 Point Reform Agenda

A Post-GMA Government with Meaningful Reforms - The Basics

•Transitional leadership for service and unity.

•Eight urgent tasks for meaningful change.

•Citizen involvement in good governance.

Transitional Leadership for Service & Unity

•Constitutional successor with a deadline
• Presidential & Vice Presidential Elections in 2007
• Reform Agenda
• Council of Advisers

Eight Urgent Tasks for Meaningful Reform

1st - Electoral Reforms

•No credible elections without electoral reforms.
•Needed: New COMELEC commissioners who are competent and fair like former Chairs Monsod, Yorac, and Demetriou.
•Needed: Modern and transparent systems with meaningful citizen participation in voter registration, vote casting, counting, and canvassing.
•Needed: Truth Commission on electoral fraud.

2nd - Reforms in the Justice System

•Move judicial processes faster, with greater transparency and accessibility to all citizens.
•Enhance alternative dispute settlement and develop paralegal systems.
•Strengthen Court of Tax Appeals and the Office of the Ombudsman.
•Set up special courts for settling business disputes.
•Ensure adequate independent budget.

3rd - Financial & Economic Reforms

•Restore government revenues to 1990s level in proportion to national income.
• Run after tax cheats (esp. the one who owes P25 Billion).
• Collect proper income taxes from businesses, doctors, lawyers, entertainers, and others.
• Legislate and collect higher sin taxes.
•Exercise fiscal restraint.
•Reduce debt by creative non-arbitrary means.
•Ensure a level playing field and curb rent-seeking.

4th - Pro-Poor Reform Programs

•Marginal farmers: agrarian reform and sustainable agriculture.
•Municipal fishers: marine sanctuaries and coastal delineation.
•Indigenous peoples: ancestral domain.
•Urban poor: socialized housing.
•Labor: job generation and fair wages.

5th - Peace Efforts

•Stop discredited purely military tactics that have not worked and will not work; they just create new enemies for our system.
•Step up negotiations with MILF, NDF-CPP-NPA, RPMP-PRA, and RPMM-RPA.
•Respect peace agreements.

6th - Environmental Concerns

•Clean air.
•Coastal, riverine, and lagoonal resource management.
•Forest protection and reforestation.
•Soil fertility.
•Solid waste management.

7th - Bureaucratic & Military Reforms

•Uphold transparency, accountability, citizen participation, responsiveness, efficiency, and predictability as key elements of good governance.
•Use competence, integrity, and commitment to good governance as basic values in setting criteria for recruitment and promotion.
•Restore promotions and rewards systems in AFP and PNP.
•Develop effective strategies for defeating state enemies, preventing the rise of international terrorism in the country, and winning the peace.

8th - Constitutional Reforms

•“Cha cha pag wala na si Gloria.”
•“Con Con dapat, huwag con ass.”

•More acceptable, more participatory.
•Con Con delegates to represent districts and interests (party list groups).
•Opportunity to reunite the country if every citizen and idea has an equal chance through open campaigns, fair elections, transparent convention discussions, active media coverage, and an honest plebiscite.

Citizens’ Involvement in Good Governance

•Good governance requires not only responsive officials but also active citizens.
•Governance is too important to be left to the bureaucrats; politics is too vital to be left to the politicians.
•We get the government we deserve.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Citizens’ Congress for Truth and Accountability Concept Paper


The brazen killing of the impeachment proceedings in Congress has denied the public the chance to know the truth and demand accountability of the President for the various crimes and misdemeanors for which she is being accused. Instead of resolving the political crisis, the dismissal of the complaint on technical grounds has only aggravated the situation.

This failure of the Constitutional process has reinforced the need for an alternative venue to present, examine and perpetuate the body of evidence against the President and determine her accountability as well as that of other public officials.

It is for this reason that the Bukluran Para sa Katotohanan has initiated the creation of a Citizens’ Congress for Truth and Accountability (Citizens’ Congress or CCTA for brevity). The amended impeachment complaint was turned over by the House Impeachment Team on September 6 after the administration-dominated Congress voted down the impeachment of Mrs. Arroyo. Bukluran has created a Steering Committee which came up with the proposal and laid the ground for the convening of a Citizens’ Congress.

General Concept

The Citizens’ Congress aims to be a venue for the presentation and examination of the cases and pieces of evidence against the President on charges that she violated the Constitution, betrayed the public trust, and engaged in bribery, graft and corruption. Aside from hearing the said cases and evidences, the Citizens’ Congress will come up with findings and conclusions.

The Citizens’ Congress derives its legal basis from Art. XIII Sec. 15 of the Constitution, which provides:

“The State shall respect the role of independent people’s organizations to
enable the people to pursue and protect, within the democratic framework their legitimate and collective interests and aspirations through peaceful and lawful means.”

The amended impeachment complaint will serve as the foundation for the
Citizens’ Congress’ work. This involves specific acts of electoral fraud including the controversial ‘Hello Garci tape’ and the use of government funds for election, cases of bribery, graft and corruption and mounting political repression and massive human rights violations. Other issues may be added as deemed necessary.

The Citizens' Congress will be composed of about 400 delegates coming from various sectors of society. The convenors of the Congress shall be composed of individuals known for their integrity and credibility. The set of presiding officers or presidium shall be composed of personalities known for their competence, probity and fairness. A team of lawyer-delegates shall serve as the presentor and will help the delegates and the presidium examine the cases and evidences. A Congress secretariat will be formed to provide administrative and technical assistance.

The Citizens’ Congress will adopt its own set of Rules of procedure guiding its sessions and public hearings.

The Citizens’ Congress will hold its sessions 3-4 hours a day, the first set of hearings will be held on November 8, 9, 15 and 16 from 9:00 am to 1:00 p.m.

The Citizens’ Congress will gather, sift through and weigh the evidences with the help of select members of the House impeachment team and private lawyers who will serve as lawyer-delegates. It shall invite witnesses to give their testimonies under oath.

The Congress’ findings and recommendations will be presented to the public and in particular to religious institutions like the CBCP, AMRSP. NCCP, PCEC, the media, schools, public institutions like Congress and the Office of the Ombudsman as well as appropriate international bodies.