Thursday, October 04, 2007


Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning how to dance in the rain. -- Author Unknown

In the midst of heightened public anticipation of more revelations about the ZTE scandal, and rising satisfaction in a Senate that is exercising its duty to provide us check and balance, there is news that there will no longer be any Senate hearings on this disgraceful issue until further notice. What’s up with that? The momentum is just maxing out. Who wants to pull the plug?

The onus falls squarely on the shoulders of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano. As chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, he calendars the hearings and schedules the witnesses. His recent statements in the news have been perceived by many as rather disturbing. Sen. Cayetano indicated that witnesses may be unavailable to warrant the holding of a session, there are no new witnesses to call, that nothing new may be revealed by witnesses like Joey de Venecia. Moreover, he would like to give himself and a number of his colleagues the opportunity to attend the IPU.

With respect, we find these reasons to be rather flimsy. After all, Jarius Bondoc broke journalistic protocol and has published all the privileged communications he had with Romulo Neri to point the Senate in new directions. Regarding Romulo Neri - whatever happened to the Senate’s plan to challenge his invocation of executive privilege? What about Joey de Venecia’s recent claims against a prominent businessman?

In addition, we have yet to hear from First Gentleman Mike Arroyo. His alleged involvement in this scandal should have peaked Sen. Cayetano’s interest.

The final reason of Sen. Cayetano seems to reflect a distorted sense of priority. Is the planned attendance of a few legislators to an international forum so important as to justify the postponement of the ZTE Contract hearings?

These lame excuses are uncharacteristic of the feisty oppositionist. Perception is everything. These excuses seem to lend credence to the flurry of text messages alleging that Sen. Cayetano has discontinued the hearings at the behest of a more senior Senator who is supposedly being pressured by the influential businessman implicated in this scandal.

The announcement by GMA from China saying that the ZTE Deal is finally cancelled should not be viewed as a successful cap on a contentious issue.

The Black & White Movement wants to be proven wrong. We hope to hear that the hearings will be continued as soon as possible. There are many questions left unanswered and the public deserves to know now. Is the First Gentleman really involved and to what extent? How much does the President know? Is she culpable? What actions did she take after Neri reported the attempted bribery? How was the NBN project transformed from a BOT to a bilateral loan agreement? Are there other personalities involved? These questions cannot be left hanging.

When Sen. Cayetano broke ranks with the opposition to support the bid of perceived pro-administration Manny Villar for the Senate Presidency, he argued that he did so because of party affiliation. We understood. But this time, the stakes are higher and people may not be as understanding. The Black and White Movement humbly suggests that Sen. Cayetano heed the example of President Manuel L. Quezon, “my loyalty to my party ends where my loyalty to my country begins.”


mschumey07 said...

I believe he had come to his senses and has announced that there will be a hearing on Oct. 25. I hope it pushes through as he has invited Mike Arroyo.

Helga said...

Schu, it took statements in the press and political needling to get him to set a date. By the time the 25th rolls around the corner, the momentum gained would have been lost or some witnesses may not be available. Whatever, the Palace got what it wanted - to throw water on the burning house. For me it was so out of character for Alan Peter to suddenly lose steam.

Tongue's Wrath said...

The optimist in me says, APC needs all the prep-ing he can get for that fateful day when he meets again with his nemesis, the huge mammal with vulcanized heartpipes. I'll render judgement when that day comes. I've given up though on his party president.

Hoping though he doesn't fall for it if somebody tells him before that day, "Sen, may 200 ka dito".

Haven't heard him summon the powerful businessman yet, have you? Meron kayang Razon, er, rason para ma-influence din siya?

I miss Sen. Magsaysay already, he's the kind of Senator we need now. Alan may still be groping but he will learn it in due time (I hope).

I'm eager to see how he cooks "Pork": Rare, Medium, or Well-Done?

Helga said...

Am thinking that summoning Razon may not be in the cards even if he was mentioned by Neri at the hearing, and by Joey in the papers. Razon is a big fish in the biz ocean, and he made sure to have his photo op with GMA to underscore just how close he is to the powers that be.

This is only part of my beef against APC. His only new witness may be FG, but "old" witnesses may have answers to new questions by the senators. I don't buy the lack of "new" evidence excuse.

manuelbuencamino said...

And how come Leandro Mendoza has been getting a free ride so far? Is he not a key player here? He's been getting away because the questions asked are technical and best answered by his technical people, but is he clean? That's what I want to know.

Helga said...

MB, that's one of the witnesses who Sen. Cayetano thinks may not have anything "new" to say. Am certain some senators may have new questions to ask based on events succeeding the last hearing. And Larry Mendoza still has a lot of 'splainin to do.

But some folks beleive we're wrong and Alan's right. Here's one view, from Billy Esposo -

The Black and White Movement became the pathetic partner who bit into this rumor. I talked to Alan Peter Cayetano when I was told about this rumor of a payoff by Ricky Razon. I believed Alan's explanation. There was no point inviting the same persons who have already been grilled for 11 hours. To CLOSE WITH A BORING HEARING BEFORE THE RECESS WOULD PRECISELY MAKE THE ZTE HEARINGS A DEAD ISSUE. I never gave much credence to Jamby Madrigal who is still to impress me that she has even half a brain. - Chair Wrecker

DJB Rizalist said...

The Senate has come a long way from when the Supreme Court usurped its SOLE power to remove Constitutional Officers and a longer way back from the EO 464 gag order.

Let's not have anymore of that Edsa DOS micromanaging of political prejudice.

Maybe sources within a certain newspaper are right that APC was one of their sources.

That was serious, serious breach if true. I think PDI made it all up, but who's to know eh?

And if true, the leakers should be expelled from the Senate.

Eulogos said...

To djb rizalist: I can't believe you still cling to the notion that the court infringed on congressional duties during EDSA 2. Were you asleep then? The government was in shambles because its two other branches were in mortal combat (it's not the video game you're probably so familiar with). The court HAD to step in decisively! You say it was an exercise in the micromanagement of political prejudice? Wow, revisionism this early.

Eulogos said...

What's the difference between the rich and poor? The rich can afford apathy.

After everything that happened I, like a lot of you maybe, am surprised that this state of corruption has lasted this far. I went to my very first rally not so long ago when the Hyatt 10 made their splash. I was eager to see the downfall of another corrupt government. If it takes ten or a hundred EDSAs to cleanse our politics then so be it, I thought. The goal of a morally just society outweighed any EDSA fallout.

But what a bummer that was. Came dinner time and everyone went their ways. It was no Salt March and there was no Gandhi.

The next time you stand for your principles make sure you are willing to stand till dawn.