Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Tonight's Caravan for Truth and Justice stop has been moved from West Rembo, Makati, to Guadalupe Nuevo, still in Makati. The program begins at 7:30 p.m. We will have a no-frills version of Tito Pepe Pimentel's Kwarta o Kahon game.

Last night's Caravan stop in Bgy. Carmona was a succesful event. There were about 500 people in attendance. Before the main program, the audience watched several videos on the Impeachment charges. Last night's speakers included Cong. Alan Peter Cayetano, Cong. Chiz Escudero, Cong. Risa Baraquel and Mayor Jojo Binay. Apart from the Impeachment issue, Mayor Binay conducted a powerpoint presentation on Singaw ng Bayad's fraudulent gathering of signatures for PIG (People's Initiative of Gloria).

The Caravan moves to Plaza Miranda on Wednesday, Bayan takes over with a pregram at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, the boxes of evidence will be brought to the Ateneo.


Lito Banayo has a simple proposal amidst all the calls for civil disobedience. Let's keep it simple first. Read about it here.

JB Baylon tests our willingness to be good examples to our leaders by asking if we would sign waivers and allow a look-see into our bank accounts. Interesting. Will sign up!

This just in - MTRCB decides with finality to ban the showing of the Erap documentary on TV. Voting 4-1, the most glaring reason for ban is that they're afraid that video may further incense the people! Hmmm... wonder who voted against the ban. Any guesses? Anyway, this has just made the video even more controversial and a must-see!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Murder in the House - Part 2

Finally, backed by ad hominem arguments and non sequiturs from its sponsors, the Majority Report of the House Committee on Justice won approval, and so this year's Impeacment Complaint against Gloria Arroyo was trashed.

Sure, we lost. Again. But that really doesn't matter, losing didn't come as a surprise to us. None of the Complainants, Endorsers or Representatives were under any illusion of winning because we knew we were going against a woman backed by power, money and paranoia. We didn't have the money to stuff into brown envelopes that were distributed out of sight in the lounge behind the Speaker's rostrum. We were in no position to promise these men and women of the Majority an appointment to the Court of Appeals, the write off of huge gambling debts, cushy positions in government, or massive support of their wives or husbands in the 2007 elections.

We respect and admire the men and women of the Lower House that decided to choose selflessness over selfishness, the hard right over the easy wrong. They did this for us, we believe that. Here they are:

1. Rep. Henedina Abad
2. Rep. Nereus Acosta
3. Rep. Benjamin Agarao
4. Rep. Mario Aguja
5. Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara
6. Rep. Darlene Antonino-Custodio
7. Rep. Agapito Aquino
8. Rep. Benigno Aquino III
9. Rep. Teddy Casiño
10. Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano
11. Rep. Justin Marc Chipeco
12. Rep. Francis Escudero
13. Rep. Roilo Golez
14. Rep. Teofisto Guingona III
15. Rep. Mujiv Hataman
16. Rep. Ana Theresia Hontiveros-Baraquel
17. Rep. Ruy Elias Lopez
18. Rep. Renato Magtubo
19. Rep. Manuel Mamba
20. Rep. Imee Marcos
21. Rep. Rafael Mariano
22. Rep. Liza Maza
23. Rep. Florencio Noel
24. Rep. Saturnino Ocampo
25. Rep. Rodolfo Plaza
26. Rep. Gilbert Remulla
27. Rep. Etta Rosales
28. Rep. Rolex Suplico
29. Rep. Lorenzo Tañada III
30. Rep. Joel Villanueva
31. Rep. Joel Virador
32. Rep. Ronaldo Zamora

The much maligned Impeachment Legal Team must also be thanked. They did their best, and continue to work, gathering even more evidence against Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

As for the Majority, there is no need to list them. They are best forgotten. Remember those who supported us instead.

But I will at least say something about the Reps that didn't show up. They should remain absent, there should be no room in the House for cowards. Forgive me, I truly have no more patience for reasons like "kawawa naman ang constituents ko", or "am being pressured by my family", etcetera etcetera etcetera. We gave 13 of them caps that had "bayani" printed on them after last year's impeachment loss. I hope they have the "delicadeza" not to wear them.

Here are some of the sidelights to last night's nominal vote:
  • Nini Quezon Avancena held all of us up by refusing to leave and staying till the last vote was counted. She is all of 85 years young, and despite the uncomfortable seats and the 16 hour wait, she showed no signs of weakness or exhaustion. When she first arrived, I had been seething about the Majority's not keeping to their promise of assuring us seats in the Plenary Hall. Tita Nini said, never mind, let's just go up there and find room. She was not about to be intimidated into waiting around the Minority Office. Tita Nini provided us all the strength we needed.
  • The galleries were overflowing with people that had been bussed in by Majority Congs, mainly by Marcoleta. They arrived at 9am to make sure we'd have no space. Speaking to RG Cruz, I surmised that none of them knew what they were doing there in the first place. So he went around to get their comments. He returned to report that my suspicions were right - they had no idea about why they were being made to attend.
  • Some of you may have heard about Mikey Arroyo's attempt at reconciliation last night by apporoaching us in the gallery. I was the only one that didn't turn away when he came over, Dinky was napping beside me (it was 4am) and Ging Deles was busy with her phone. He said something like, "Tita, come on naman, let's forget this" (I would like to point out that I am not his aunt, and have never had occasion to even be introduced to this boy). Having been raised to give due respect, I politely declined and said, "Kid, I can't do this, sorry. You should have inhibited yourself. Why can't you let this go through so we can be out of your hair? Sorry, I can't shake your hand." And so he walked away to play up the media. For me, there can never be reconciliation without justice.
  • Rolex Suplico mentioned brown envelopes that were being distributed to Majority Reps throughout the night. He said they contained the CDF all Reps are entitled to. But none of the pro-Impeach Reps have gotten their allotments. We all saw the Congs saunter into the lounge behind the Speaker's rostrum throughout the night, ostensibly to receive their "pay off". One of them even waved his envelope in Neric Acosta's face. For shame!
  • We saw Gabby Claudio lurking around the rostrum, probably sent by Gloria to make sure every Majority Rep remembered on which side their bread was buttered. Guess that was also why Andaya was hanging around.
  • We spotted Raul Gonzales on the plenary floor. EEK!
  • Cong. Roman tried the dramatic approach by asking to explain his vote early due to a bad heart. We sympathize with his medical condition but are not moved by his plea to be understood for changing his vote. His wife needs his CDF to run for Congress in his place.
  • Cong. Susano seemed to be wracked by guilt. She actually greeted those of us who were left in the gallery during her explanation, after which she came over and actually apologized! She even brought over chocolates as a peace offering, which we gave to the media instead. I'm sorry, three chocolate bars and an apology don't erase the fact that she voted to supress the truth.
  • While explaining his vote, Nograles said there would be no more chance of another Impeachment against GMA because the Congress would be defunct by 30 June 2007. Watch out, boys and girls - the bogus People's Initiative and Cha Cha are looming. Do you really want Charter Change under GMA and suffer this very group of people in government forever? You just witnessed what a parliamentary government composed of these bozos would be like. Shudder.
Tomorrow, the Complainants, Endorsers and Representatives will be holding a motorcade of sorts. The seven boxes of evidence will be trucked from the Batasan to UP Diliman where a short program will be held. To those wishing to join us, please meet us at the Batasan at 9:30am. Other activities are planned, we will post bulletins on this blog.

And so, the Impeachment was murdered in the House. More importantly, this killing only proves that justice does not reign in the House of Representatives and all constitutional means to redress of our grievances against this administration have been blocked. We remain ready to file another Complaint. But for as long as the terrible apathy that has diseased our nation continues to fester, we are in for an even harder fight.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Murder in the House - Part 1

Like a masochist just dying for another jab to the jaw, I made my way to the Session Hall of the House of Representatives today for probably the second to the last time in regard to the present Impeachment Complaint.

Some of us felt it was important to listen to Alan Peter Cayetano's privilege speech on the graft and corruption charges in the Impeachment, give him a little moral support. It was also a good day to make last minute preparations for tomorrow's plenary vote as far as the Complainants were concerned.

Walking into the Minority Leader's office is a bit like entering a holding pen before being herded into the lion's den, but more appropriately, in this case, the hyena's lair. The office is in the North Wing, and if there isn't a floor below it, it's in the basement. Perfect.

But, hey, it has it's pluses - the staff is friendly, hard working and courteous, the food's simple but nourishing (we always get our veggies), the coffee's good, and thankfully, in here the company's great.

In the beginning, although enthusiastic about becoming a Citizen Complainant, I was less excited about working with the Minority Congressmen. We all had different ideologies, working styles, and personalities - would we gel? We brought baggage with us, mainly our personal doubts about each other. But it was clear that we had to push our fears about each other aside, give everyone a chance, if we wanted to get justice done. Trust is indispensable in an endeavor like this. So is the need for confidence. And we all knew that if we didn't trust each other, all this would be for naught. And so we just did.

The Citizen Complainants are a motley lot. There are almost 3000 of us, and we haven't met everyone. There just isn't enough room in Chiz's office.

Allow me to tell you about a few of them. I particularly enjoy observing Nini Quezon Avancena. Her elegance, dignity, and commitment strengthen all of us. Tita Nini is certainly not a Complainant for show. She is right there with all of us, attends all the major meetings (they're all major meetings), and she weighs in on the points she finds important. Then there is the irrepressible Josie Lichauco. No one is allowed to call her "Tita", and no one does. Josie has more energy than all of us combined. Except maybe for Dinky, who makes every meeting flow easily because of her sharp facilitation skills. Not everyone is familiar with Beth Yang, our BnW co-convenor who provides us with good humor and wry commentary on the Majority.

Among the gents, Paco Alcuaz is helpful with insight, and the Nats (Nato Reyes and Nat Santiago) always have something constructive to say. Ronald Llamas provides us with things to laugh about, he has great one-liners. Professor Randy's so into his teaching, he can give only a little of his presence, but it is felt in every word he writes. Bien Lumbera strikes you as a mild mannered old gent at first, but when he speaks there is strong conviction.

But the most important Complainants are the mothers, fathers, siblings and spouses of the murdered, as well as the marginalized. They may be overshadowed by the personalities I've mentioned, but they have the most invested in this Complaint.

I have written about Chiz and Alan Peter in an earlier post. They are the captains, so to speak, but their favorite word is consultation. They consult with all of us, and with their fellows most importantly. Our Reps are a feisty crew. And now that I've had the opportunity to work with them, I am thankful that these lawmakers are on our side. None of us doubt their commitment, made at great personal and political cost.

This afternoon, I had another good look at their Majority counterparts. They don't make a pretty sight. There is a patina of sliminess about them, they of the furtive look and leery smile. None of "our guys" wear the heavy jewelry and badly cut suits that make many of the Majority look like bad copies of Leisure Suit Larry. And they certainly aren't very eloquent or erudite speakers. Many of them strut around the Plenary floor, but they never meet your gaze. Well, I can't expect them to be nice, we did wave white envelopes in their faces.

Earlier today, the Majority did their best to show the Minority who was "boss" by railroading the House Committee on Justice's report on the Impeachment Complaint. No ifs and buts, clarifications or amendments, they approved the report, never mind that the pro-Impeachment Reps registered their disgust by not voting. No wonder the adminstration's Reps wanted a closed door meeting. They couldn't stand being watched, knowing that what they were doing wouldn't stand up to the light of accountability.

But Alan's privilege speech on the alleged illegally amassed wealth of the Arroyo's (houses, buildings, land, and more land), in full view on the Plenary floor, managed to once again embarrass the Majority. Interpellated by Teddy Boy Locsin, Alan defended the pro-Impeachment stand admirably. Meanwhile, the Majority slunk in, and it took a while for them to realize what was going on. Finally, Douglas Cagas loudly interrupted the proceedings, citing some infraction or other. Tempers exploded, but everyone was reduced to laughter not long after by Cong. Espinosa, who was acting as Speaker.

Espinosa is known as a likable fellow, even by the Minority, but he is also rumored to be a bit of a tippler. Have no idea about the veracity of the claim, but he was pretty funny while having a difficult time trying to control the proceedings, not quite taking the verbal cues from the Reps on the floor. He kept confusing the words "aye" (Boying Remulla pronounced it with a long "a" sound at first) and "nay", and wondered why they had to call the roll before taking a vote. Hmmm... no wonder we're in such big trouble.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Our 1st Anniversay - Dedicated to Ninoy

Today, on his 23rd death anniversary, we honor the memory of Senator Ninoy Aquino - son, husband, father, uncle, friend, and Filipino hero. Among many other values he strove to live up to, Ninoy embodied the value the great majority of us seem to have lost - unselfish devotion to his country coupled with bravery against all odds. Till the end, his unflinching belief in his people gave him the strength to say that we were worth dying for. We cannot let that challenge go unanswered.

Although we cannot compare ourselves to Ninoy, the convenors of the Black & White Movement, on this our first anniversary, continue to try to embody and keep alive the values Ninoy stood for. For as long as we must.

To our friends and supporters, including readers and commenters on this blog, who have stood by us throughout this struggle, you have our deep gratitude and respect. May you continue to walk this difficult road with us.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Jim Paredes Decries Inquirer Article

Jim Paredes has been a great personal friend and mentor for over thirty years. With his permission, I am posting his letter to us regarding the front page story on him in today's Inquirer. As of this writing, Isagani Yambot, publisher of the Inquirer, has promised to consult with Mr. Lirio as well as the editor that read the copy and will act on the matter. Have also received similar notes from JV Rufino, Erwin Oliva and Sylvia Mayuga, all of Inq7.net. It is heartening to know that the folks at the Inquirer care a great deal about the content of their paper.

Dear friends,

Was awakened this morning with a text from my brother informing me that I am on the front page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The bottom banner read, 'Finally, APO's Jim Paredes gives up on RP.' It was datelined Melbourne.

While APO was doing our shows in Melbourne and Sydney, Gerry Lirio from the Inquirer was interviewing me about my new life in Aus. I talked to him how we were adjusting to everything, the joys and tears experienced by all immigrants, etc. I also talked about my reasons for leaving (personal growth mostly) and my frustrations with the political situation. I said that I was tired. But not once did I ever say that I had given up on the Philippines. More correctly, I have always said I would fight another day. Everyday in Sydney, I wake up to discover the things that work well and wonder how we can do it back home.

I am not one to trash the Philippines just to feel good about migrating. In a country already reeling from so much self-inflicted wounds and pessimism, I don't know how editors and writers can continue twisting things around. I am, to say the least very disappointed with the Inquirer. I just don't know how they can come to such a conclusion based on the interview with me. Sure, I expressed disappointment with the politics of the country just like everyone else but to say I have given up on the Philippines is to put it mildly, a naked lie. It seems that the one who thought of this headline feels the best thing this country needs is a daily fix of despair and gloom.

I believe the truth will set us free, but sadly, there is also power in falsehood. Apparently it sells more than good news.

I remember reading an analogy about spreading falsehood and it compares it to going on top of a windy hill with a feather pillow and a knife. While there, slash the pillow and let all the feathers fly out to where the wind takes it. If a newspaper wishes to make amends about a false report later on, it becomes as futile as picking up all the feathers again to restore the reputation of anyone.

Alas, I've just been had. If I had a newspaper right now, I would be tempted to run a the banner which reads, "Should we all give up on the Inquirer?'

Other strange facts on the article;

-I was never a member of the MTRCB
-APO did not sing Handog Ng Pilipino sa Mundo in the concerts.

Sorry Gerry. I think you already had a headline in mind even before the interview. You 'cherry picked' to fit words and impressions to the headline and so missed the true story. OK Inquirer, you can headline that Jim Paredes has given up on the Philippines. Just as Bush claimed there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq!

Jim Paredes

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Lutong Macao

Most of you have already heard about our day in the House from various media reports. By all accounts, it ended pretty much the way we, the Citizen Complainants, our pro-Impeachment Congresspersons, and probably the whole country, expected the hearing of the House Committee on Justice to end.

We have to hand it to the pro-Impeachment Reps. It is hard to mount a fight like this without sincerity and commitment. Many detractors have said that the likes of Chiz and Alan Peter are doing this to further their political careers. Who cares? There are easier ways to doing that, just ask the anti-Impeach group. We care more about the passion and dedication they and the rest of the pro-Impeach Team have poured into this fight. Their careful planning, employing, pretty much, a no-frills strategy, paralleled our aims. These men and women gladly joined us in this undertaking, choosing, as Neric Acosta said, "the hard right over the easy wrong" at great cost to themselves, their families and constituencies. And we still have a ways to go.

We cannot thank them enough, our champions, our voices in the House. We salute their resolute resolve. Through them, we got to prove that justice does not reside in the House of Representatives. It is true that our institutions have been eroded and made ineffective. It is true that in this country, lying, cheating, stealing and killing are not impeachable offenses.

After the ruckus, as we hugged and shook hands with our Reps, I spotted Chiz, alone in a corner. Amidst all the hullaballoo, there he was, smoking a cigarette, quietly thinking ahead.


But you didn't expect the white envelopes, did you?

One of the most rigid rules a citizen must endure while in the House gallery is the imposition of silence. That restriction's harder to take than not being able to bring in water (imposed during the last SONA) or food. The audience is muzzled, unable to comment on the proceedings, at most able only to whisper comments among themselves. A Congressman was heard to have said that people in the gallery are "guests". In one sense that may be true, but who really "owns" the House of Representatives? But that's another idea to be fleshed out another time. The point is this - no matter how much you want to join the "discussion", you can't or you'll be thrown out.

So how do you show your support or disgust? How best to make your feelings known and not get booted out? The CEGP unfurled poster sized slogans which were torn from their hands. If it wasn't for the intervention of some Reps, they'd have been made to leave. Applause is a no no, tsk tsk. Even the taciturn duo of Randy David and Bien Lumbera, irrepressible Josie Lichauco, and the elegant Nini Quezon Avancena need to express their indignation.

And so, in tribute to "the second envelope", we brought out our white enve... este... fans! Although broken later, we agreed not to write anything on them. They were just your run of the mill postal envelopes. When asked to explain, we complained that the airconditioners weren't doing their job, the "hot air" was stifling, so we needed to fan ourselves. Imagine our surprise when the anti-impeachment Reps took offense! At what? Empty white envelopes? They were so insulted, they actually walked out! But not before Luis Villafuerte did a "Tessie Oreta" and waved his handkerchief around to taunt us.

Another much aggrieved Rep was Rudy Antonino. Standing a good fifteen feet away from us, he bellowed, "I dare you to accuse me on camera!" to no one in particular. No one in particular bothered. The media ignored him because Sandra Cam was much better copy at the time. Super K, aka Mikey Arroyo, fled to the other end of the hall, standing around, looking unsure of where to run. Uncle Iggy was nowhere to be found! Seemingly too overwhelmed by being confronted with some uncomfortable truth, the Gloria Mob fled!

So how do you empty the Plenary Hall of pro-Glo Representatives? You wave white envelopes.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Evidence, Anyone?

In any difficult journey, staying on course is paramount. We are on a journey to the Truth and a return to normalcy via the Impeachment Complaint against Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Today, Complainants, Endorsers and pro-Impeachment Congressmen presented seven boxes that are chock-full of evidence to drive home the point that it is time to remove our blinders so that everyone, most especially the anti-Impeachment majority, can "move on" without bumping into barriers that hinder our progress.

Tomorrow, the House Committee on Justice will tackle the "substance" question. Well, how can the Justice Committee judge the Impeachment Complaint as either sufficient or insufficient in substance without studying each of the charges contained in the Complaint as well as the accompanying evidence? Aren't they even a tad curious about the evidence we may have? Aren't you?

What's in the boxes? Tons of good stuff! There are records of, and a paper trail leading to, multi-billion peso bank accounts, and eyewitness testimony in audio tape and video form. Regarding electoral fraud, there is visual evidence like election paraphernalia, photographs, videos, sworn statements by individuals directly involved in cheating. There is documentary and testimonial evidence on politial repression, extrajudicial killings, and enforced disappearances. There is much more.

Nogie Boy can only say this a "cheap gimmick". He says the move has no probative value. How can he say that without even taking a peek? Is he as paranoid and afraid as his political mistress, Gloria?

We say open these boxes, compare the evidence against the charges. We say transmit the Impeachment Complaint to the Senate so that the evidence may be proven or refuted under oath, not in other environments like forums, TV shows or the street.

Gloria said she was game for a fight. She said she could defend herself. Yet Gloria hides behind these men and women in the House, allegedly buying their protection through bribery. Nini Quezon Avancena is right. Gloria and her lackeys must be very afraid indeed.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Small Victory

As Citizen Complainants to the 8th Impeachment against Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the Black & White Movement is committed to stand by the charges contained therein. The Complaint was filed and verified by B&W members from our provincial and urban sector chapters on 27 July 2006. It was endorsed by Liberal Party Representatives Dina Abad, Neric Acosta, Noynoy Aquino, and Manny Mamba.

“We enjoin all other Citizen Complainants to work with us toward the successful transmission of this Impeachment Complaint to the Senate”, said lead convenor Enteng Romano. He also said that all Filipinos should consider it their duty to monitor the proceedings of the House Committee on Justice to safeguard our right to hold our leaders accountable.

As to possible conflict of interest regarding the Fertilizer Scam, a charge contained in this present Impeachment, co-convenor Leah Navarro appeals to the Representatives’ sense of decency and fair play. “It is only right and just that a Congressman or Congresswoman, whether part of the majority or minority, not vote in the Justice Committee if it is found that they may have accepted Fertilizer Funds. This will remove any suspicions about their bias regarding the Impeachment. We would also like to know that upon receiving these funds, if any of them went on to campaign for Mrs. Arroyo in the last election.”

They also pointed out that Congressman Mikey Arroyo, son of the President, should have recused himself from the proceedings for obvious reasons.

Today’s theatrics notwithstanding, the Black & White Movement commends the members of the House Minority for reinforcing our belief in the rule of law and for their staunch support of our search for the Truth.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Ms. Emy Boncodin's Answer to Star Article

We are re-printing, with permission, Emy Boncodin's letter to Isaac Belmonte in regard to the Philippine Star article entitled "Hyatt 10 Member Gets Petron Seat". The Black & White Movement fully supports and respects Emy's decision on the said matter.

August 7, 2006

Mr. Isaac G. Belmonte
The Philippine Star

Dear Mr. Belmonte:

The article "Hyatt 10 Member Gets Petron Seat" in Philippine Star August 7 issue, elicited quite a number of questions from several quarters, my friends included. While I have retired from public life since I resigned from the Dept. of Budget and Management more than a year ago, the article compelled me to respond in the interest of clarity and fairness.

With your indulgence, may I therefore state the following:

1. I have accepted the membership in the Board of Directors of Petron
Corporation upon the invitation of the Chairman to serve as independent
Filipino Director and Chairperson of the Board Audit Committee.

2. The opportunity to serve in one of the leading corporations in the country is one that I welcome. I spent all my professional career in the government since graduation and I believe that joining a private corporation which has been named one of the "Best Governed Corporation" in the Philippines is a distinct honor and an exciting professional opportunity. As most of you know, however, I am presently a Professor of Public Administration of the University of the Philippines, a post that I resumed since my resignation from DBM.

3. Petron Corporation is a private corporation listed in the stock exchange. It is 40% owned by the Philippine National Oil Company, 40% by Aramco Oil Company of Saudi Arabia and 20% by the general public. I am one of about 200,000 small stockholders of Petron with 3,000 shares (including stock dividends) to my name currently valued at approximately PhP12,000.00. I bought the shares sometime in the 1990's after Petron was privatized.

4. As Independent Director and Chairperson of the Audit Committee, my duty is to serve in my professional capacity and not as a representative of any interested party, certainly not the National Government. I have understood this to be so and that is how I intend to perform my responsibility to the company.

5. On allegations that I am returning to the government fold and have abandoned my former colleagues in the cabinet who resigned last July, 2005, I say firmly that I have no intention of returning to any post in the bureaucracy, other that my present academic post in U.P. I am convinced that sharing my experience in public life to young minds and drawing some lessons from that experience is the best that I can do to serve my country.

6. As to my "Hyatt 10" colleagues, I take off my hat to them for their commitment, courage and patriotism. The desire to institute reforms in the bureaucracy will continue to burn in the hearts of all who have faithfully served the government. I wish that the voice of reform will be heard in its proper context and not be drowned in malice.

Finally, I would like to say that I still and will always consider my government
service a great honor.

Thank you for granting the space to clarify the issue.

Very truly yours,


"A nomad I will remain for life, in love with distant and uncharted places."
Isabelle Eberhardt (1877 - 1904) Russian-born traveler
The Passionate Nomad, 1988.

An Appeal to the Justice Committee

Today is the eve of the House Committee on Justice's first hearing on this year's Impeachment. A few of the lead Complainants held a press conference today to accomplish two things. The first was to ask for a fair and impartial hearing on the form and substance of this year's Complaint.

The second was to ask members of the Justice Committee that received millions from the Fertilizer Scam Fund, one of the major charges included in the Complaint, to inhibit themselves from the hearings. This is only right and just, as these Representatives have a clear conflict of interest. Would it not be in their best interest to junk the Complaint instead of giving a chance? Here are those Representatives as listed in the COA Report:
  1. House Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr.
  2. Emilio Espinosa Jr.
  3. Gerry Salapudin
  4. Eric Singson
  5. Artur Defensor
  6. Fred Castro
  7. Oscar Gozos
  8. Abraham Kahlil Mitra
  9. Hussin Amin
  10. Salacnib Baterina
  11. Marcelino Libanan
  12. Isidro Real Jr.
  13. Roque Ablan Jr.
  14. Abdullah Dimaporo
  15. Aurelio Umali
  16. Constantino Jaraula
  17. Benasing Macarambon Jr.
  18. Edgar Chatto
  19. Augusto Baculio
  20. Reynaldo Uy
  21. Eladio Jala
  22. Monico Puentebella
  23. Faysah Maniri Racman Dumarpa
  24. Eufrocino Codilla
  25. Laurence Wacnang
  26. Belma Cabilao
  27. Felix Alferor Jr.
  28. Luis Villafuerte

For more details on our press conference, please read here.

An interesting development after our press conference - the House Deputy Secretary General announced to media that coverage of the Justice Committee hearings would be restricted.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Alerts and the Need for a Favor

Sometimes it's just too damn hard to write. Too many things're going on at the same time, no matter how good a multi-tasker you are, it can be exhausting. Thank God for a cast iron stomach and the need to see this woman sit in front of a judge.

The situation being endured by our OFWs is heartbreaking. While politicians bicker about money, two women die, one surely because she needed to escape not only a dangerous country but despicable employers as well. And what does Gloria do? She makes plans to produce "supermaids" to send abroad. As Conrad de Quiros mentioned to Billy Esposo, the problem with Gloria isn't her liver, it's her gall.

Here's a heads up on Cha Cha - rumors are rife that next week, Singaw ng Bayad goes full throttle. We've heard that new ads are coming out, this time with celebs like Pacquiao endorsing Cha Cha. Not too surprising, since he already announced this morning that he's running for Vice Mayor of Manila. Great.

As for the Impeachment, the first meeting of the Justic Committee is on Tuesday, 8 August, in the Andaya Hall of the Batasan, 1pm. Several actions are planned for the day, please check this blog for a schedule. We hope to offer you several activities you may find worthwhile. Perfumed and botoxed Powder Blue Ladies need not apply.

Meanwhile, we ask anyone who would like to help us to please write their Congressman. Especially if that Congressman is anti-Impeachment. All it takes is love of country, follow through and around Php7 for a stamp Here's an example of a letter, feel free to cut and paste:

The Honorable __________________________
Representative, ____ District, _______________
The House of Representatives
Batasan Road, Quezon City

Your Honor,

Citizens of the Philippines have filed a new and official Impeachment Complaint against Pres. Gloria Macapagal - Arroyo. This Citizens’ Impeachment Complaint has been enthusiastically endorsed by various groups representing a broad spectrum of Filipino society.

As part of your constituency, we wish to convey to you our strongest sentiments in favor of this action.

We believe that Impeachment is the only legal avenue left to allow Pres. Macapagal Arroyo to answer her detractors and clear her name. Most of all, it is the best way to get to the Truth so that we may all move on and return to normalcy.

We also believe that your vote in favor of Impeachment will help restore trust and belief in the House of Representatives as well as disavow us of the idea that our Congressmen have turned a deaf ear to us.

In closing, we respectfully expect you – in your capacity as our representative and voice in Congress – to please bear in mind and take into consideration our views in this regard.

Thank you very much.

In case your Congressman happens to have signed on to last year's Impeachment, here's a letter you can write to him or her:

Your Honor,

Warm greetings! I am _________________________________, a voting constituent in your district, with address at __________________________. ____________________________________________________________.

I would like to congratulate you on your courageous stand in last year's impeachment proceedings against Pres. Gloria Macapagal -Arroyo.

As one of your constituents, I take great pride in the fact that my very own representative was one of the 50 congressmen who stood up against the powers-that- be in the interest of truth, justice and honest governance.

Today, even as the House minority files a new impeachment complaint, I hope and pray that you will remain steadfast in our common resolve to oust a corrupt and illegitimate president.

Regardless of the outcome, we shall have achieved a historic moral victory in refusing to compromise our integrity and the well-being of the nation.

Thank you and more power to you!

One last thing - are you really going to sit idly by and allow Garci to run for Congress? How many liars, cheats, and thieves can you stomach?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hodge Podge

Here are some stories, scuttlebutt, to mull over:
  • Two Citizen Complainants to the Impeachment of Gloria Arroyo are being harassed: Gus Lagman, Black & White co-convenor and past president of Information Technology Foundation of the Philippines (ITFP), is being sued by Mega Pacific over those dastardly counting machines. Read here. Meanwhile, Josie Lichauco is being badgered by Philippine Agila Satellite Inc. over a complaint they lodged that was dismissed years ago. Ate Glue must be fuming over Josie's recent remarks about her. Que horror!
  • The state of Gloria's health - Chiz Escudero wants to know, so do all the rest of us. Is Ate Glue over dramatizing her state of health by running to St. Luke's every time her tummy rumbles or her nose runs? Or is there something more to these emergencies than meets the eye? When most of us get the runs, we take our Immodium, call it a day. When most of us get the 'flu, we take our paracetamol, sleep it off at home. There's a text making the rounds that says she's afflicted with something more serious. Hmmm... The Palace has a fully equipped clinic. PGH is closer to Malacanang, it's a government hospital. Why doesn't she go there? Is it because she knows that it's not as well-equipped as private hospitals? Tsk, tsk, tsk. She should pay more attention to improving PGH than to printing millions of Philhealth cards with hard-earned OFW contributions to OWWA to bribe our urban poor.
  • Check out Singaw's website (thanks, MLQ3), it's too funny! This page tells us all about who they are and what they're about. Take note, they scream "this nation will be great again"! Shudder. Shades of Marcosian wisdom. And they want to free us from "authocracy". What in heck's "authocracy"? Shudder again. Boyoboy, their copy writers must be working for our side. Come on, guys, 'fess up! First, they describe themselves as hordes of devils, now this.
  • Hold on, here's one more! Click on this, scroll down to the question, "And who are these people who have put up so much cash for One Voice’s cause?". Read the answer. They still don't get it.
  • Regarding Joc Joc Bolante - hearing ugly rumors that the rotund member (isn't he the Treasurer?) of Rotary Club International and erstwhile member of the present regime was detained due to a very large amount of money found on his person at LAX. Visitors to the US are not allowed to bring in more than US$10,000 in undeclared funds. That's either cash or any other financial instrument like bonds, treasury bills. Now, how much do you think he could've been caught with? If the rumor's true, that is.