Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Black Friday Protest Bulletin #5 - ChiCha Kontra ChaCha

Designated time and place of flash protest for March 31:
Selected Jollibee Restaurants - 7:00 to 7:30 AM

Plan of action:
1) Wear BLACK, preferably the "Patalsikin Na! NOW NA!" T-shirts. (Visit to see where you can order them)

2) Assemble at any of the following Jollibee restaurants 7:00 to 7:30 AM
2.1) Makati - along Makati Avenue near Jupiter
2.2) Ortigas - St. Francis Square along Julio Vargas
2.3) Quezon City - along Katipunan Road

3) Order breakfast. Try to occupy tables near the window.

4) At 7:30 AM, when the cue is given, everyone in black should rise and step out of the restaurant single file doing the "Patalsikin" sign.

5) When outside the restaurant, everybody should pose beside the Jollibee mascot doing the "Patalsikin" sign. If possible, someone should take a picture.

6) On cue, disperse quietly.

Suggested preparations:
1) Invite as many friends, or officemates, as you can.
2) Agree on which Jollibee branch and exact time to meet
3) If you're outside of Metro Manila, and there are enough of you to organize a protest action, just select a Jollibee restaurant where you can meet and have breakfast. Advise your local media to cover your action. Email your pictures to

Important reminders:
1) This is a SILENT PROTEST, not a rally. Please do not shout, sing, pass leaflets, or do anything to disturb the regular customers of Jollibee.
2) Bring your cameras. The highlight of the protest action is the picture-taking with the Jollibee mascot while doing the "patalsikin" pose

Forward this message to as many friends, relatives, colleagues, and egroups. I've also included below a brief description of the Black Friday Protest Movement, so those receiving your forwarded mail and hearing this for the first time will understand what we're trying to accomplish.

Let's paint Jollibee Park BLACK on Friday.

God bless,


The Black Friday Protest Movement was launched by eLagda on March 1 to give professionals, students, businessmen, and other sectors a venue to express their protest against the continuing and escalating acts of repression of the GMA administration as manifested in its series of proclamations – CPR, EO 464, and PP 1017 – all designed to curtail basic rights and oppress the people. Even after PP1017 has been lifted, the repressive measures continue.

Patterned after the flash mob concept, the Black Friday Protest calls on people to gather at a designated time and place every Friday wearing a black attire as a symbol of protest. There will be no programs or speeches. Instead, people will be given specific instructions on what to do, and the whole exercise should last about 30 minutes at most. It’s safe, non-confrontational, and within the bounds of the law, even under a repressive one like PP 1017. The mere “flash” gathering of the people is the expression of protest.

Where will people get instructions?

Details of the Black Friday Protest action for the week will be published at its blogsite – every Wednesday evening. Those who would like to receive instructions directly can also subscribe to the movement’s bulletin service by sending a blank email to

What More Will It Take?

Did any of you catch "Strictly Politics" on ANC last night? The episode was on what we, the proudly anti-Gloria, call the bogus people's initiative. The guests were Atty. Raul Lambino, champion of the initiative, Rep. Roilo Golez, Atty. Howard Calleja, and two barangay captains, one from Cebu, the other from Iloilo (my apologies to them, their names escape me).

Never mind that I'd heard so much, almost too much, about how the DILG, other government officials, were involved in this exercise, it was still shocking. It was clear that the guests, apart from Atty. Lambino, were up in arms over the use of government agencies - the barangay captain from Iloilo called the inclusion of the petition in the barangay agenda as a "smuggled" initiative, the officials were told to "sneak" the petition into the agenda. The Cebuano barangay captain told of a meeting last week, called by the mayor and local government, that discussed "full support" if the signature gathering without having to explain anything to the people. They also spoke of signature gatherers and signatures being bought.

Golez couldn't get a straight answer from Lambino about how much it cost to print the over 400,000 signature sheets needed to be distributed among 42,000 barangays. Lambino kept saying it was all the work of groups like Sigaw ng Bayan and ULAP (Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines), which begged the question - how and from whom did they get the money? It costs at least Php200M to mount a nationwide campaign like this. Atty. Calleja said it was a "smuggled", illegal, initiative, citing the law and the Supreme Court. I had to laugh when Lambino claimed they had gathered over 1.5 million signatures as of last night - my, my, these guys should be drafted into the COMELEC, they count so fast!

As I watched, this question came to mind - how much more can the middle class Filipino take before he or she is enraged enough at Gloria Arroyo's blatant misuse of power? There's the Fertilizer Scam the Austeros of this world continue to gloss over, the alleged cheating that Gloria doesn't want discussed in the Congress or any court, the coddling of Garci et al, the use of executive power to suppress our basic freedoms (CPR, PP1017) and muzzle her lackeys (EO464), the imprudent excesses of her husband, the politization of the military, and the list goes on and on.

It didn't take long for the answer to come to me - sadly, it seems many people are willing to take very, very much more of this abuse. I mourn for the loss of national dignity, the ease with which we dismiss all this as par for the course, the loss of idealism and continued inaction. So many claim that cheating is "normal", and stop right there, not bothering to offer suggestions on how to erase it. So many say they don't like Gloria, didn't even vote for her, but are only too willing to let her stay on so as not to discombobulate their lives. They raise their eyebrows at the abuse, but are content to "discuss" from the comfort of their arm chairs and that's about it. Sorry, this "I do my part by earning a living for my family", etc., is great, but it's also very selfish. So much for "loving our country". That line from their mouths is beginning to sound pretty bogus to me.

Friday, March 24, 2006

What a Difference A Friday Makes!

Our plans were set. Five different convergence sites, no walking as a group, we were to arrive in staggered numbers, everyone wearing their "Patalsikin Na! Now Na!" tee shirts, of course. Our lawyers advised that we should start early. Night court wasn't much fun last time. When Mrs. Aquino was informed that we were once again visiting Manila, she is said to have exclaimed, "Again!?", and laughed. Our final destination - Km. 0, the Rizal Monument.

And when we finally began strolling over from five different places, not really knowing how many we were all going to be, we were pleasantly surprised. There were many more of us this time. My sense is that our friends and families didn't want to be too far away should "anything" happen. There were new faces, too, folks from the egroups and the blogosphere, and everyone was welcome.

It was an exhilarating sight - everyone high five-ing friends, weaving their way through the ever present media, hugging and greeting. Then Enteng called for pictures, and we all obliged. We out-photoed the tour groups that jostled among us. Even park security offered to take pictures, everyone had brought cameras.

Speaking of security - there wasn't a blue-shirted cop around! Not at the Rizal Monument (the only guys in uniform were the color guard and park security), not at any of the meeting points. Nada. Guess they already knew we meant no harm.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Yo! Hey, Garci?

Well, well, well. It seems that the walls around Garci are beginning to crack. The Central Bank announced yesterday that Garci's passport, at least the one submitted for examination, is a fake. A forgery! No less than six imperfections, tsk tsk.

ABS CBN Interactive reports it this way:

"The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), however, said one of the passports submitted by Garcillano was fake. A report by the BSP Banknotes and Securities Printing Department said Garcillano's passport with number code JJ243816 "does not conform to standard", noting discrepancies in the size of the booklet, the paper used, the stitching and print quality.

It said the size of the booklet (123mm x 85 mm) was smaller than the standard: the inside front cover (data page) and inside back cover, paper and print, stitching and additional stitch along the seam do not conform to standard and pages 1 to 32 had cuts and joints along the seam that should not have been there."

It gets even better - later today, Senator Serge Osmena revealed that a passenger bearing the name "Virgilio Garcillano" was on a flight from Johannesburg, South Africa, to Singapore last year. If it is proven that Gloria's Garci was THE Garci on that plane, Garci's got a lot of explaining to do.

For as long as one stays the course, one will eventually find the truth. Keep digging, guys, keep digging.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Cha Cha Juggernaut Rolls Into Town

The streamer pictured says nothing about why the meeting is being called. There is no proposed agenda. Streamers like these are sprouting everywhere. Wake up, people! You are about to be run over!

For shame! Actually, the lack of it. No sooner has Ronnie Puno warmed his butt on his new seat as DILG Head Honcho, he gets the LGUs in motion to stuff Cha Cha down our throats. Beware of the Barangay Meeting being called near you in the coming weekends. Your tax money will be used by the Usurper in the Palace to get widespread approval of Charter Change.

If you are part of the 65% that want her out, this is your chance to take charge of the situation. Ask your barangay captain why you should sign a petition without reading or understanding what they want you to approve. Ask them to explain the rush. Ask them why they're spending your tax money this way. Ask them to explain everything to you. This is your right.

This was just posted on our egroup by Ciel Habito -

"After our regular Bible sharing session the other night, one of our groupmates who is a barangay justice in our Bgy. Batong Malaki in Los Baños innocently passed around some signature sheets in support of a unicameral parliamentary form of government, asking us to sign. She told us that it was explained to them in a recent barangay council meeting that this change was going to be a good thing, that it would put an end to all our political problems, etc. etc. -- which she apparently accepted unquestioningly and has led her to obediently go around gathering signatures for her signature sheets.

When I explained to her that this was DILG Sec. Puno's way of helping get GMA and De Venecia what they want thru a cha-cha, she recoiled and took back the signature sheets. It seems that it was never explained to them that this was going to lead to a charter change. She thought it was a plain "petition" for a change that was "good for the country." She's not exactly a GMA supporter -- in fact agrees with me in my sharings where I talk about my own political advocacies vs GMA and cha-cha -- and yet she didn't seem to connect this signature drive with GMA and her designs.

I could imagine tens of thousands of similar barangay officers all over the country now seeking such signatures (even without a barangay assembly being held) not realizing what they are doing, but just obediently following their barangay chair's instructions.

I think the best way then to thwart this effort is to have media prominently expose this signature campaign asap for what it is -- ideally before Saturday if indeed there are barangay assemblies to be held then -- maybe by having credible public figures speak out against it and warn barangay workers not to allow themselves to be used."

If you allow this blatant use of power, you will have given your freedoms away. You will allow this despicable excuse for a woman become fake president for life. You will be erasing the future of your children. Stand up and speak up!

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BLACK FRIDAY PROTEST BULLETIN #4: Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) Sa Luneta

Designated Time and Place of Flash Protest on March 24:
Luneta Park - 4:00 to 4:30 PM

Plan of action:

1) Wear BLACK

2) Assemble at any of the following locations between 3:30-4:00pm
a) Bayview Starbucks
b) Chow King Restaurant along Roxas Blvd. corner T. M. Kalaw
c) Manila Hotel
d) Parking Area of Harbor View
e) Entrance of Chinese Garden

3) Wait awhile for other people dressed in black. Take a snack, if you wish, while waiting for others.

4) At 4 PM, walk towards the designated location. Important: walk per family, or 2 at a time, so that this is not construed as a march by a group. Give sufficient spacing between families and pairs.

5) When you get to the designated place, mingle with the other people, without any unnecessary commotion.

6) When the signal is given, everyone in black must come together to pose for pictures.

7) Do the "patalsikin" sign during the picture taking.

8) On cue, disperse quietly.

Suggested preparations:

1) Bring your family. This is a non-violent action, after all.
2) Invite as many friends, or officemates to this peaceful event.
3) If you're an employer or a manager, invite all your subordinates to join you.
4) If you're from the same office, arrange for carpooling to your selected assembly point.
5) If you're located outside Metro Manila, and wish to organize a protest action, select an area where you and your friends can assemble peacefully. Advise your local media to cover your action. Document your silent protest by taking pictures and email them to

Important reminders:

1) This is a SILENT PROTEST, not a rally. Please DO NOT shout, sing, pass leaflets, bring banners or placards or do anything to disturb the peace.
2) Bring your cameras. The highlight of the protest action is the picture-taking with the "patalsikin" pose.
3) In the unlikely event that there is one in our ranks who may attempt to disturb the peace by shouting or any other unruly behavior, take pictures of that person while trying to peacefully talk him down. We could use those pictures to prove that the rabble rouser is not one of us.
4) If the police block you on your way to the designated area, assert your rights without being confrontational. Get the name of the policeman in charge and ask someone to take pictures of him blocking you. Email to us so we can file the appropriate charges against them.

Tee Shirt Link

We have received many inquiries as to where the "Patalsikin na. Now Na!" tee shirts can be bought. We have re-ordered and expect delivery to our office by this Friday. They are available at P150/shirt.

The address is: The Black & White Movement, 2/F Hoffner Bldg., Social Development Complex, Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, QC.

Please call 4266064 for inquiries and orders.

You may also download the logo design from and produce your own tee shirts or other collaterals.

Soon, we will come out with black pins with the same slogan inscribed.

Let's create our own collaterals and wear them at every opportunity to express our convictions.


Blog Problems

To all our visitors, pro and con - this blog has been having some problems of late. This is the longest period since Friday that we've been unable to open this page. Can't believe Blogger hasn't rectified this.

If there's a way to move all our posts to a new blog, will do this and put up a new one. Meanwhile, please keep trying to access this one. We will be posting a link to allow free downloads of our "Patalsikin na! Now na!" collaterals and specs.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Sunday Reading Can Give You Gas

Reading the Sunday papers can either be a relaxing pastime, or give you a bad tummy.

Reading through the Inquirer gave my stomach a whirl. Rina David is quick to point out that what you wear may be considered seditious, so could leisurely walking through a park. My, my, are we really under de facto Martial Law? That’s what Justice Isagani Cruz thinks.

Meanwhile, still in the Inquirer, Raul Gonzalez says Dinky (obviously the Palace’s Enemy No. 1) could get up to 12 years for attempting to stroll along the Roxas Boulevard Baywalk wearing a black tee with “Patalsikin Na! Now Na!” This is a great quote from him, but can’t understand why he said it:

You have a right to disrobe in your bathroom or your house, but not in a town plaza or a church,'' he said”. That’s how he explained the limitations on freedoms. Duh. Everyone in our group had clothes on.

Now on to the Star – their take on the arrests is similar to that of the Inquirer story in that they quote several lawmakers for and against the police action, but their slip shows when the remarks by Domogan are given center play:

"It’s clear they were attracting public attention and sympathy. The police should have just disregarded them because the public would also have done the same. She’s not worth our attention despite her worst efforts to remain in the public eye," he said.

Domogan said Soliman should be remembered "for her disloyalty to the President whom she stabbed in the back.

Speaking of loyalty, it is clear to us that Dinky’s loyalty is not to Gloria, but to the country. Loyalty can easily be bought when your pockets are full and you are willing to make promises to keep your lackeys loyal. And notice how they target Dinky, not Enteng. Another thing, for clarification – Dinky did not form BnW, Enteng did. The Hyatt 10 as a whole and BnW have a friendship and tactical alliance. There. Ooh, I need Tums!

Let’s move on to Max Soliven, the ever faithful Palace sycophant. Okay, we really never read him, but we had to take a peek nonetheless. He scolds the cops for falling into Dinky’s “trap”. He then goes on to say that our tee shirts clearly meant “oust GMA now”. Please, where are her initials on the tee shirt? At least he got this right – he says we were a small pack of protesters. It also shows that even as Max tried to make what happened Friday night outside Aristocrat look insignificant, our Black Friday Protest certainly put the repressive regime on the defensive. Great, let’s break out the Maalox. Max can really give you gas.

Finally, a quote just received by text that lifted my spirits:

Si Dinky Soliman hinuli kahapon,
Atienza’t Defensor sinibak ni Drilon.
Si Gringo Honasan milyones ang patong,
Dahil si GMA nandaya’t napikon!

- Vim Nadera, makata

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Capital of Repression

The Statement -

"The Black & White Movement denounces the paranoid and heavy-handed treatment of citizens in the City of Manila, including the arrest of Enteng Romano and Dinky Soliman for daring to cross Roxas Boulevard at a Ped Xing. Apparently, Baywalk is only for the privileged few. Manila is the capital of repression".

That text, sent out to media within minutes of the arrest of Enteng and Dinky perfectly described the scene as it was. Last night's experience brought a whole new meaning to the lyric "namamasyal sa Luneta". So much for the hospitality of the City of Manila.

The Story -

We got to the front of Aristocrat at about 5:45pm. Some of us went into the restaurant for something to eat. Eventually, people began to arrive. We were joined by folks we'd never met before, too, and that boosted our spirits. By the time the sun began to set, there were about 22 of us. Everyone was in black, but some wanted to wear the "Patalsikin Na! Now Na!" tees, so we gave them out. Some even had the "Makapili" disguise, a cap, dark glasses and makeshift hood to parody Jimmy Fuentes, the Palace's "surprise witness". Our youngest participant, a beautiful 3 year old (sorry, I just met them last night and the ensuing chaos caused me to forget his name, but will always remember him as our angel) wore his tee shirt without much complaint. Due to the benign attention given to us at the last two Black Friday events, we thought having a child in our group was not going to be a problem.

We hadn't even left the restaurant sidewalk when we were accosted by Col. Marcelino Pedrozo of the WPD and 50 cops. We were truly surprised at the attention. Enteng and Dinky tried to negotiate. The Colonel kept saying that they had intel that we were going to "do something" but never said what "it" was (It's obvious their intel guys don't surf the blogs). He pointed out our tee shirts. I asked what law prohibited us from wearing tee shirts like ours. Since when was this illegal? He had no answer except, "Basta, alam namin na may gagawin kayo". Dinky countered that we were well within our rights to stroll along the Baywalk, wasn't it open to the public? Since when was this illegal? The Colonel was on the phone a lot, obviously being given orders to take a hard stand. Enteng kept saying that we were not going to do a rally, merely walk on the Baywalk. We had no placards, banners, not even a megaphone. No one was chanting or yelling, merely pleading our case. Was this illegal? The colonel also made the media a part of the issue, saying that if there was press, we were probably "up to something". Since when was it illegal to have news media around?

When Dinky realized that negotiations were going nowhere, she announced that she would walk Baywalk alone and began walking, Enteng followed close behind, the rest of us kept pace. The cops surrounded the two when they reached the crosswalk. We made sure to keep right by them, and waited for the light to change. Just as it did, Enteng heard Col. Pedrozo get an order from whomever it was on his cellphone, and that's when he called out , "ok, i-aresto na ninyo ito" gesturing toward Enteng. Two cops got hold of his arms, and Enteng reached out for Dinky as she was also grabbed. Several bystanders were overheard saying, "wala na talagang demokrasya sa Pilipinas", shaking their heads. Many of us heard that as we followed our friends to the glass enclosed Precinct No.9. Although we were enraged at the arrests, none of us blew our cool. Some of us did the thumbs down sign as cars along the side street passed, but we did not block traffic.

Once we found out that they were going to be brought to WPD, we piled into cars and cabs to follow. It wasn't long before our lawyer friends arrived - Edwin Lacierda, Hec Soliman (Dinky's husband), ex Sec. Butch Abad, Marvic Leonen, Marlon Manuel. What an impressive team! Meanwhile, our phones kept ringing with calls of support from family and friends.

The police planned on charging Enteng and Dinky with something, but they seemed to take their time in making a decision. Supt. Paglinawan didn't appear to be too keen about having to charge them with "something" at the time. And so, we waited.

Our biggest surprise was the arrival of former Pres. Cory Aquino. She was accompanied by her son, Cong. Noynoy Aquino. Cory refused to be dissuaded from coming over. She brought comfort, confidence, and chocolate. Her arrival also changed the atmosphere in the station, as if the police were dumbstruck, only then realizing that they may have made a boo boo. They had turned a molehill into a mountain.

Cory's presence also sped up the pace at which the cops were going. They finally came up with a charge, violation of BP880, illegal assembly. From there, we all trooped to City Hall to face night court. Many of us waited outside the door of Fiscal Ramos as she discussed the case with the police and the lawyers. We got to read the affidavit submitted by Col. Pedrozo - it said Dinky and Enteng were accused of leading a "lighting (sic) rally". When asked by the fiscal what the cops meant by that, they had trouble explaining it. They were admonished to look up the meaning of the phrase. Dinky and Enteng were told to apply for a permit "next time". They were released upon their own recognizance pending further investigation. Please refer to Edwin Lacierda for his report on what transpired inside the fiscal's office.

As we left the building, we were greeted by around 30 of our friends that were holding a candlelight vigil. They applauded both Dinky and Enteng and we all broke into singing "Bayan Ko". Oh dear! A rally right outside Manila City Hall! I wondered if Mayor Atienza was having a nightmare. Maybe we'd be arrested right there! But no such bad luck - the police were hightailing out of City Hall!

Barred From Baywalk

Am too exhausted from tonight's "revelry" on Roxas, so I will just post a couple of pictures and make a full report on our experience tomorrow. To our friends, old and new, who sent texts, who joined us tonight to offer support, strength, and solace - thank you, thank you, thank you!

Thursday, March 16, 2006


We are happy to relate the good news - Newsbreak has a new site, it's up and running! Congratulations to Marites Vitug, Glenda Gloria, Gigi Go, Lala Rimando, Maan Hontiveros, and the whole Newsbreak Team.

Your magazine's courageous, insightful, factual reporting has served to fuel our fervor, keep our eyes and ears open to the truth. Long may you prosper!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Black Friday Protest Bulletin #3 - Baywalk Makapili Protest

Designated time and place of flash protest for March 17:
BAYWALK, Roxas Blvd - 6:30 to 7:15 PM

Plan of action:

1) Wear BLACK. BRING A HAT, SHADES, AND IMPROVISED HOOD similar to the hooded witness of DOJ (see attached photo).
2) Assemble in front of the Aristocrat Restaurant, Roxas Blvd. between 6:15 to 6:30pm
3) Wait awhile for other groups in black. Take a snack, if you wish, while waiting for others to arrive
4) At 6:30pm, cross Roxas Boulevard in single file towards Baywalk.
5) Put on your "Makapili" hooded outfit and mingle with the regular Friday strollers on Baywalk.
6) When the signal is given, line up single file along the road and face the street.
7) Do the "thumbs down" sign to passing vehicles.
8) On cue, disperse quietly.

Suggested preparations:

9) Invite as many friends or officemates as possible
10) If you're an employer or a manager, invite all your subordinates to join you. Offer to "treat" them after the flash protest, if you can afford it. Hey, it's Friday after pay day. So you can have your regular "gimmick" after this.
11) If you're from the same office, arrange for carpooling going to the Aristocrat restaurant.
12) If you're outside of Metro Manila, and there are enough of you to organize a protest action, just select your own area of protest, but follow the "MAKAPILI" theme.

For feedback on last week's MRT flash protest, please visit our blog:

We're finalizing details of the International Black Friday Protest that should happen sometime in April. Abangan...

Forward this message to as many friends, relatives, colleagues, and e-groups. I've also included a brief description of the Black Friday Protest Movement below, so those receiving your forwarded mail and reading this for the first time will understand what we're trying to accomplish.

Let's paint BAYWALK BLACK on Friday.

God bless,



The Black Friday Protest Movement was launched by eLagda on March 1 to give professionals, students, businessmen, and other sectors a venue to express their protest against the continuing and escalating acts of repression of the GMA administration as manifested in its series of proclamations – CPR, EO 464, and PP 1017 – all designed to curtail basic rights and oppress the people. Even after PP1017 has been lifted, the repressive measures continue.

Patterned after the flash mob concept, the Black Friday Protest calls on people to gather at a designated time and place every Friday while wearing black as a symbol of protest. There will be no programs or speeches. Instead, people will be given specific instructions on what to do, and the whole exercise should last about 30 minutes at most. It’s safe, non-confrontational, and within the bounds of the law, even under a repressive one like PP 1017. The mere “flash” gathering of people is an expression of protest.

Where will people get instructions?

Details of the Black Friday Protest action for the week will be published at its blogsite – every Wednesday evening. Those who would like to receive instructions directly can also subscribe to the movement’s bulletin service by sending a blank email to

Protest Greetings from Abroad

Several protest actions against GMA, PP1017, the suppression of media, and warrantless arrests were held over the last weekend. Here are a few pictures from Hognkong and Geneva. Mabuhay kayo!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

We Meet Who The Speaker Meets

The Black & White Movement believes in political pluralism, and denounces all attempts to persecute Filipinos on the basis of their political affiliations, or membership in organizations and parties permitted by law.

However, for the sake of clarity and in order to dispel misleading and fraudulent information being peddled to the public, we wish to make the following clear.

The Black & White Movement, whether as a group or individually, on the part of its members and convenors, has never undertaken exclusive meetings with the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People's Army, or any of its affiliated organizations.

Like all legitimate, above-ground organizations, we in Black & White Movement have met with legitimate, legally recognized groups, of varied political and ideological persuasions, wherever they are active, in meetings and activities that are perfectly lawful, and protected by our Constitution's guarantees of free speech, and to peaceably assemble to address our grievances with the government.

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Monday, March 13, 2006

Under Threat

This'll be short, have had too long a day, but had to post before turning in. Am sure MLQ3 will post details of what was discussed at this evening's forum, "Are We Afraid of Press Freedom?", hosted by the La Salle, Ateneo at Lahat Na. Lots of top notch news media entities were on the panel, very interesting insights.

Don't forget to check out Ellen Tordesillas' blog for more on the alleged cheating during the last elections. Intriguing, to say the least. I wonder what Mike Defensor will have to say about the pictures as well as the upcoming issue of Newbreak.

Speaking of the news media being under threat - there is a threat on our friends at PCIJ. Read all about it here. There was a momentary fear about Newsbreak getting harrassed as well, that even the PCIJ bloggers were about to be arrested, but it seems that these were just ugly rumors. For now.

Last but not least, it seems that our little group is more interesting to the Palace than even to our middle class detractors. This afternoon, at a preliminary hearing regarding rebellion charges to be filed against Crispin Beltran and the "House 5", a disguised man (found out his name is Jaime Fuentes), as a member of Bayan Muna, claimed to have met with Dinky Soliman and members of our group last December. The subject matter? The overthrow of GMA. Wow.

Now, will someone tell me who this man is? Is he for real? It is clear they are grasping at straws here. We have done nothing outside the bounds of the law. Bayan Muna, Bayan, the Black & White Movement are not undergound groups, they operate above the radar, in plain sight for all to see. Our Black & White Movement manifesto is displayed on our website, and in this blog. Our BnW protest actions, forums and assemblies have been covered by the press. We have done nothing illegal except exercise our freedoms of speech and peaceful assembly. By trying to quiet us, the Palace hopes to quell any fervor the middle forces may have.

What I've stated above isn't a defense, it's a statement of fact. It has been clear from Day One that we believe Madame Arroyo is a cheating, lying, stealing, usurper of power. And we will go to the ends of the earth to search for the truth about her involvement with Garci, Bolante et al. She will try to stop us, but no one has ever been able to suppress the truth.

And so - who will they come for next?

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Friday, March 10, 2006

Female Pride

We were on Ayala in the thousands, women from everywhere, from every economic background, political leaning, and religious belief. We marched, prayed, sang and danced as one in celebration of International Women's Day. As one, we called on Gloria Arroyo to stop imagining conversations with God, and to stop leading us on the path to hell.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Black Friday Bulletin #2 - Details of Flash Protest for March 10

Designated time and place of flash protest for March 10:
MRT Station Ortigas, 6:30-7:15pm

Plan of action:
1) Wear BLACK
1) Assemble at the nearest MRT station near you.
2) Buy a ticket going to Ortigas
3) Wait awhile for other groups in black. Agree to board the MRT at the same time.
4) While on board MRT, do the "thumbs down" sign before disembarking at Ortigas station
5) When you get to Ortigas, buy a ticket back to your origin (or to your final destination)
6) Join the other groups in the boarding area, but don't board yet.
7) Wait for 5 to 7 trains to pass by, each time flashing the "thumbs down" sign when a train arrives.
8) When the cue is given, everybody should board the train and disperse quietly.

Suggested preparations:
1) Invite as many friends, or officemates, as you can
2) If you're an employer or a manager, invite all your subordinates to join you. Offer to "treat" them after the flash protest, if you can afford it.
3) If you're from the same office, arrange for carpooling going to the MRT station or meet in a place near the station.
4) From the meeting place, proceed to MRT station as a group. This will have more impact than just agreeing to meet at the station individually
5) If see other groups in black at the station, link up and agree to go to Ortigas at the same time.

My apologies for those outside Metro Manila, for excluding you from this flash protest. We will try to organize one that will involve you. Even now, we're already planning for an International Black Friday Protest. Abangan...

Let's paint MRT Ortigas BLACK on Friday.

God bless,


P.S. - Please email me at to advise us how many in your group are going and at what station you will be assembling. This will help us in tuning our plans.

It's God's Plan

The Philippine Daily Inquirer headline screams this quote from Madame Arroyo - "It's God's plan I'm here". There she goes again, claiming direct communication with God. But she seems to mistrust God's judgment, because:
  • she won't hesitate to use "emergency powers if needed",
  • she hasn't lifted her illegal ban on peaceful assembly,
  • she continues to court pity by bemoaning an unfriendly media,
  • she continues to evade the "Hello, Garci?" search for the truth,
  • she continues to cling desperately to power via strong arm rule.
Well. Here's some food for thought:

"Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad."
- Euripedes

A Moral Fight

While participating in MLQ3’s blog yesterday, I received a note from Karl (thank you!) saying that someone on Ricky Carandang’s blog (I really believe bloggers leave multiple tabs open to keep themselves current on their favorite pages) needed information on today’s International Women’s Day March on Ayala. Happy to oblige, I supplied Norie with the necessary information. This is part of that thread under Ricky’s post entitled “We the People”, on the surfacing of those email testimonials on behalf of Gloria Arroyo. This comment is so eloquently written, had to ask for permission to reprint it. Once again, thank you, Norie:

Norie (comment #97)

March 7th, 2006 19:42

Helga: This is a letter I wrote to myself. This reminds me, when others ask who should succeed GMA and what we should do after, and why bother to fight when it is so obviously a losing battle, of why I fight. Since I don’t know how else to get in touch with you, I share it with you here. See you in Makati.

Why should we fight, when defeat is imminent? So that we can die dreaming that a better life may come.

Amidst all the negative emotions - the sense of betrayal, the questions over the kind of mistakes made - let us remember what this fight is supposed to be about.

It is a moral fight.

It is more than a fight against corruption, for we have had corrupt leaders before. It is more than a fight for the poor and the oppressed, for they have been with us ever since. It is, above all, a fight against evil.

What Arroyo has done, and continues to do, goes beyond corruption; beyond oppression. She is making us accept as standard the corruption in government, the shameless use of public funds to bribe people with to keep her in power; the bartering and horse-trading that other presidents have kept in secret, ashamed to be caught doing in public. Not to fight would be to accept these things. Not to fight would be to tell our children we accept these as their future. Not to fight would be to accept evil. And to live with evil.

I will not say that I am fighting because I am a good person. I fight because I refuse to accept evil. I fight because I believe that when I die I will meet my Maker, and He will ask me to account for the life He has given me and what I have done with it. I fight because I believe that evil must be fought.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Divide and Conquer

Last week, it began with the Liberal Party. Check out MLQ3's scathing yet wonderfully hilarious column for enlightenment.

Thank you, Ellen, for the quick text this morning about Mike Enriquez being praised by Gloria Arroyo on his DZBB radio program. Yes, it is the "kiss of death for a true journalist". I was at once filled with loathing at how baldly she uses this game plan of divide and conquer. Before this move on media, there was the co-opting of respected personalities like Justice Davide and the Con Com's Abueva. If you can't scare 'em into submission, take them under your slimy wing. Am glad Ting Paterno got out from under it.

It is becoming more and more apparent that this administration is busy at laying the groundwork for the smooth transition to martial rule. Win or intimidate people, institutions to your side, then slide the ol' proclamation of martial law right in. By then, their acquiesence will make it impossible to raise a voice in protest without being labelled as "tuta" or "balimbing". How else can Gloria Arroyo defend herself against the truth?

To quote a good friend, we are truly on the road to becoming "bayang walang glorya".

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Right to Remain Silent

I am glad that the military incident and the subsequent proclamation of PP 1017 two weeks ago emboldened those of you, who previously stayed on the sidelines, to share your convictions. There are 2 emails making the rounds – “Why we are not out in the streets” and “Galing sa isang Middle-Class Pinoy” that are quite interesting.

I appreciate why people can identify with these email messages. I felt the same way during the days prior to EDSA 1. I was a middle manager at that time, trying to build a career, and when I saw the likes of Cory side by side with the reds pushing the economy to the brink as they began calling for civil disobedience, I was indignant. I told everyone I knew who participated in such exercise that it was sheer foolishness... that it was bringing the economy down. And that if they would only stop, then we can all go about our business of building up our careers, our personal fortunes, and by extension, the economy. Hard work is the key. Politics was just a necessary evil.

I did not know and didn't mind the extent of pillage of our national treasury that Marcos and his cronies committed, nor the extent of human rights violations, including disappearances, happening around me. Really, it did not affect me directly, so I did not care.

And then EDSA 1 happened. People, led mostly by the middle class, came out. I was there, too, for 2 days, celebrating with the rest of the nation the end of a dictatorship, conveniently forgetting that only a few days before, I was all too willing to let Marcos rule forever, a bit embarrassed to be called a hero of EDSA, for simply being there.

EDSA 2 followed a similar path. While a committed few fanned the flames of discontent, the middle class waited on the sidelines until the opportune time to push the envelope proving once again that people power is a middle-class act. EDSA 3 only reinforced the idea. It failed because the middle class was conspicuously absent.

And now you tell us to stop the protests, because you have no intention of coming out to the streets and therefore people power will fail. You may be right – people power could fail. But that should not give you comfort, for it only opens up other forms of revolt – a peasant revolution, a military rebellion, or a communist takeover. When you have more than half of the people living in abject poverty, a restive military, and an oppressive regime – it’s a social volcano just waiting to erupt. And this time, it could be bloody.

You ask us why we can’t just redirect our energies towards building up the economy through productive work, like you do, instead of disruptive protest actions. You might be surprised to know that this is not a full-time job for us. Like you, we have a business to run or a job we try to keep. Beyond work, there are many in our ranks who are involved in civic projects through Rotary, Gawad Kalinga, and NGOs – trying to help in alleviating the conditions of our poor. So, please… you don’t have an exclusive claim to doing good for this nation, much less to patriotism.

You accuse us of being fools for allowing ourselves to be used by the leftists, Erap and Marcos forces, and other unscrupulous politicians to advance their agenda. We are not as naïve as you think. We recognize that it is Erap’s right to dream of one day regaining his lost glory just as it is the leftists’ right to push their ideology within the bounds of law. In the same manner, we recognize it is your right to express your willingness for your basic rights and freedom to be curtailed or to settle for a president who is a cheat, a thief, and an oppressor. We may not agree with any of you, but we do not get angry like you do, when people espouse views different from ours. Such is the way of democracy. It is the same democracy that gives us the right to think of you as the bigger fools, for allowing yourselves to be used by GMA to prop up her repressive regime.

And now that you have finally decided to speak up, you claim to represent the silent majority. Where did you get this idea? The majority could be silent, but they do not necessarily share your sentiments. At least when we claim that 80% of our people believe GMA cheated and 54% wants her out, we have the surveys to back our claims. Whether or not they will act on what they believe in is another story. Soon – when the flurry of mail forwards bottom out - you will discover as we have, that this nation is hopelessly divided. And that is how GMA intends to keep it in order to cling on to power.

How, then, do we move forward?

If you, the middle class, sincerely believe that the future of this nation is in your hands, then I urge you to arise now, be heard, and take the lead. If you believe GMA staying on is the best option for our country today, then I call for leaders to rise among you, and organize yourselves to act on your belief. Lobby your congressmen to ban protests. Tell your president of your unequivocal support, regardless of her alleged cheating and thievery. Go to the streets in thousands, if not millions. But do something. Put your money where your mouth is… because forwarding email messages around and wishing the protests away will not make it happen.

If, on the other hand, you share our convictions that GMA must go, then join us now and be counted. There’s an easy way to do this through our Black Friday Protest Movement. Just visit or send a blank email to to receive a regular bulletin from us. You may also forward this email to friends and colleagues and urge them to join us now.

Whichever side you are on, the important thing is to come out and be counted. The time to act is now. For if you continue exercising your right to remain silent – pretty soon, it will be the only right left for us as citizens.

God bless and God save this country.


"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for some good men to do nothing.”

- Edmund Burke

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Sunday Reading

Reading the morning paper over a cup of coffee (ooh! shades of Doroy Valencia! Was that him, MLQ3?) on a lazy Sunday morning has been a rarity of late. Due to the popularity of the internet, I can now sip my brew and browse many newspapers online. The only missing pleasure is tearing up a page when assaulted by a piece that irks.

I like to start with the Inquirer - retired Justice Isagani Cruz keeps the harangue against news censorship alive; Professor Randy David tackles the "pessimism of spectators". The Tribune's editorial remains scathing (people have been asking if their circulation's up since...), while Manila Standard's Rey Requejo reports that Ting Paterno has been criticised by the defensive folks that make up the Con Com and Fel Maragay tackles the Drilon factor. Pity that as of this writing, Malaya hasn't put up it's latest edition.

Carlos Celdran has just pointed us in the direction of Net News Asia, wherein we are panned for our choice of java. Well, we didn't go to Starbucks for the coffee per se, we were there to see the people that frequent the franchise. Anyway, we thank them for the links. Hurray for the freedoms of speech and the expression of opinion! May they continue to flourish without suppression.

Finally, we'd like to thank Jim Paredes for forwarding this post he just received in answer to that email from " a middle class guy who defends Gloria":

If you so-called middle-class arent heard its because you all do not, I repeat, do not have the balls to stand up to the tyrannical beast that is gloria macapalmukha-arrovo. You are all in denial of what is going on and as long as you receive your sweldo every half month, you couldn't care less of what is happening
to the rest of the country. You couldnt care less because you still have food on your table, a roof over your head, clothes on your back and are able to send your children to private schools. Well buster, i've got news for you. At the rate this government bleeds the people for more taxes to put in their already well line pockets your middle-class status wont last very long. So revel in it while you can.

If you think that you have exclusive rights to the taxes that make this country's wheels, that its your so-called class that gets the brunt of burden that the entire population has to carry then think again. How much do you pay for your water bill? You have piped in water which you do not have to carry in pails at 10 pesos per pail from a handpump which is at least a hundred meters from your home that you had to stand in line for. But hey, thats not your concern right?

I'll tell you what is. Soon you'll have to stand in line like the rest because at the rate illegal logging is being covered up by the administration, there wont be enough watersheds to replenish the aquifers which supply the rivers,lakes and dams with fresh water. You will have to drink water from the Laguna bay. Ain't
that just peachy?

And all those people displaced from the calamity stricken areas will most likely move to the city to seek jobs in order to survive. Then you get an
overcrowded metropolis teeming with unemployed "non-middle class" people who increase the risk of "disease outbreaks, crime, moral depravity and ignorance; though that's not to say that ignorance is a stranger to the "middle class". Now that's just for starters.

When this happens what will the "middle-class" do? Hide under the bed? Lock yourselves up in your ivory towers? Perhaps you should migrate. Your taxes are of no use to the people anyway since it only goes to the pockets of a handful in government anyway. And if your taxes are all you're good for as a citizen, then it appears that's of no use at all.

Oh by the way, I too am middle class but i have never and will never forgive the people responsible for the cheating that went on in the last elections.

Isa rin middle-class na nagbabayad ng buwis at nagbubuwis ng buhay para sa kapakanan nag karamihan hindi para sa ikararami ng aking kapakanan.

UPDATE: More Sunday reading on the subject of the Black Friday Protest actions - The Herald Tribune and PCIJ keep our cups running over and MLQ3 has a few great ideas on how to keep the protest a-froth.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Poor Little Rich President

We have admired Yoly Ong for a long time. As President of Campaigns and Grey, a multi-award winning communications firm born in 1986, she and Marilyn Villapando (another lady we admire) as well as their crack team have proven that you don't have to "sell out" to do excellent work. Their friendship empowers us.

Folks in the PR and advertising business normally keep themselves in the background, preferring their work to represent them. It was therefore a surprise to receive an email from Yoly last night, as well as her license to reprint it. To us, it is a beautiful letter, simply written but powerful and full of the pent-up emotion many of us in this protest movement feel. It contains all that we believe is true in black and white and so, we proudly share it


Like the rest of the ABC+ ECO classes, I figured we should just ignore GMA and go about our lives. After all, there's no acceptable alternative on the horizon. Better the devil we know than the one we don't, right?

I even said she was most likely the real winner in the 2004 elections. After all she had the incumbent’s advantage. She spent billions of pesos for her campaign. The P800M fertilizer fund and P500M health insurance budgets were diverted to buy votes. Then to ensure a convincing victory she topped it off with Garci. You see, the little woman vowed she would get a lead of at least 1M votes over FPJ. That way, even if the Opposition cheats, she would have a buffer. Her other ambition was to get more votes than Erap, partly to thumb her nose up at him and his loyalists. Mostly so she would feel the love of the people because in truth everything she did was really for love.

She wasn't always a cheat and a liar. In fact there was one moment of epiphany when she actually had the decency to say she wasn't going to run because she was such a polarizing and divisive personality. Alas the Holy Spirit left too soon. And her broken promise became yet another one of many more to come.

Since the Hyatt 10 resigned, the dark side has completely taken over. Like the votes she bought, she systematically bribed cronies and critics alike. When position and money didn't work, fear and intimidation was the alternative mode of persuasion. Instead of capable men and women, she filled up critical government positions with loyalists whose self-interest hinged on preserving her own.

And so she has slowly corrupted everyone and everything she has touched. The military. The judiciary. The businessmen. The church. The police. If the soldiers are restless--- give them a house and an increase. If media cannot be co-opted, threaten them with PP1017. It’s actually PP1081 all over again. Arrest all who speak out against her. Commies or Professors, it doesn't matter. You’re invited for questioning if you’re not for her.

Now she wants the charter changed in order to perpetuate herself. Using tried and tested methods she tried to use No-EL to suborn Congress.

Can you imagine the damage she can wreak till 2010 and beyond? All this while the First Gentleman amasses a fortune from all government deals and the son smuggles racehorses and God knows what else.

But who will replace her? Even Noli has been persuaded to remain loyally supportive. All trapos are the same. We replaced an incompetent plunderer with a diabolical one. What’s to assure us it won't be from “the pot to the fire” again?

And with this unanswered question we go about our own business. Irritated at the inconvenience caused by street protests. Disdainful of Cory, Hyatt 10, Civil Society and the whole sanctimonious lot for trying to get us back to the streets and pricking our conscience. We couldn’t possibly link arms with Ping Lacson and Jinggoy and God help us, the Reds! Why even Winnie Monsod said so! And she’s credible isn’t she? She even wonders what the fuss is about a state of emergency!

Hold on a second. We are now questioning even the basis of democracy. Has the little despot insidiously corrupted us without our knowing it? We are actually making excuses to help her stay in power, even if we don’t really like her and we all know she and her husband are corrupt beyond belief.

We close our eyes to the horde that surrounds her. One adviser operates big time illegal logging. Another “owns” the entire pier and the multi-million smuggling operations that go with it.

Now with PP1017, we have another reason to pay no heed to politics. After all we don’t want to be invited for questioning, do we? In fact, we don’t want to be questioned by anyone. We’ve put our conscience on sleep mode.

What is the life span of a tyrant? History will tell us that they will reign while good men do nothing. But one thing is sure: A leader who does not possess the “friendship” of the people CANNOT lead. Even Machiavelli knew that. Well Madam, you will go down in history as the most UNLOVED president this country ever had. Poor Little Rich President!

I am going back to the streets and anywhere else where I can shout my disgust in the most powerful way I know how. GMA has to know that there are some Filipinos who cannot be bought or frightened.

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Black Friday at Starbucks

Black is Black! I want my country back! The anti-Gloria virus has infected high society via the Black Friday Protest. Starbucks 6750 was the venue for elagda, Black & White and friends. Here is the story in pictures:

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Heard Without Attribution

Yesterday's Black & White Forum with the National Union of Journalists and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines was well attended and lively. We were pleased to hear from our guests, Caloy Conde (NUJP Pres.), Joel Cadiz (IBP Pres.), Flor Braid (Manila Bulletin), Edwin Lacierda (IBP member, BnW counsel), Oscar Lagman (BnW, Manindigan!), Mely Nicolas, and Liway Chato. There were quite a few attendees, considering that the forum had been put together only a day before.

All of them spoke of just how alarming our current situation is, how the suppression of our rights is illegal, presidential proclamation notwithstanding. According to them, the "chilling" effect was already being felt by the media. A sad revelation was that the first in line for intimidation would be the news media's corporate owners and publishers, network heads. Having biases of their own, whichever the slant would determine the vigor of the resistance. The lawyers on the panel stressed that the suppression of our civil liberties was illegal, but seemed to have little faith in the Supreme Court's ability to rule fairly on the matter. At some point, it was pointed out that finally, some unity was being achieved by normally divided entities, a gratifying turn of events.

A call was made to the public at large, especially to the silent, apathetic majority. No matter their stand, the guests repeatedly asked that the public make one, lest they lose the freedom to make any kind of choice. They reminded us of the oppression of martial rule and their sadness at how the youth seemed oblivious to its dangers.

One amusing observation - fora like these bring a lot of people together. Apart from the usual, it was interesting to listen in on a few of the conversations that were going on before and after the forum. Here are a few of the tidbits we picked up (aw, come on, admit it, we really are a nation of gossips!):
  • One lady mentioned that she was irate over Speaker Jose de Venecia's seeming docility over the imminent arrest of five solons on really old, unsubstantiated charges. She remembered that the House was up in arms when then Rep. Mark Jimenez was being extradicted to the US for illegal campaign contributions. (anyone remember Rep. Jalosjos' case?)
  • A little birdie twittered in another's ear that a major TV network had been intimidated into cancelling a public affairs program for fear of reprisals under PP1017.
  • Someone was fuming over how "unfriendly" the EDSA Shrine had become under the dispensation of its present shepherds, especially last 25 February. Apart from not allowing the singing of Jim Paredes' anthem to People Power, "Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo", during the mass, Mrs. Aquino was not allowed to speak at the end of the mass, breaking a tradition. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Black Friday Bulletin #1

Designated time and place of flash protest for March 3:

Any Starbucks Cafe, 6 to 7 PM

Plan of action:

1) Wear black
2) You and your friends proceed to a Starbucks Cafe near you anytime between 6 to 7 pm
3) Buy a drink. Each person should queue up at the counter, instead of just one ordering for the group.
4) After getting your drink, take a seat or just stand outside the cafe and hang out for about 30 mins.
5) When your group decides it's time to leave, someone should give the cue and everybody should stand up and do the "thumbs down" sign
6) Disperse as peacefully as you came in

Suggested preparations:

1) Invite as many friends, or officemates, as you can
2) If you're an employer or a manager, invite all your subordinates to join you. Offer to "treat" them, if you can afford it.
3) Agree to meet in a place (not Starbucks), or if you're from the same office, arrange carpooling
4) From the meeting place, proceed to Starbucks as a group. This will have more impact than just agreeing to meet at Starbucks individually
5) If you're staying in a city where there is no Starbucks, any other "cafe" or restaurant will do.
Forward this message to as many friends, relatives, colleagues, and egroups.

Lawyers & Journalists Unite Against EO1017

The Black & White Movement is hosting a forum on EO1017. Our special guests are the members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines:
  • Date: Thursday, 2 March 2006
  • Venue: Manila Room, Metro Club (Estrella St., Makati, across Rockwell)
  • Time: 10:00 am Registration, 10:17 am Start
We hope you take the time to attend. Snacks will be served along with insightful comment.