Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Murder of the 2008 Impeachment - List of Justice Committee Members & How They Voted

We have acquired the Justice Committee Official List of those who voted for and against dismissing the impeachment complaint lodged against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for insufficiency in substance.

We laud the courageous defense by House Minority members led by Rep. Ronaldo Zamora. They were impassioned, committed to truth, could not be bought, bowed or cowed. Rep. Jose de Venecia Jr. was a revelation in his spirited recital and appeal to his colleagues. We thank all of them for living up to their designation, for not being blind, deaf or silent to the truth.

Against Dismissing the Complaint
1. Minority Leader and San Juan Ronaldo Zamora
2. Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo
3. Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza
4. Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casino
5. Bukidnon Rep. Teofisto Guingona
6. Makati Rep. Mar-Len Binay
7. Paranaque Rep. Rufus Rodriguez
8. South Cotabato Rep. Darlene Antonino-Custodio

As for the members of the Majority, they certainly played to character. This segment of the list was at first unavailable because the Committee Secretariat was instructed to omit listing the names of those who voted against the complaint, further proof that these GMA sycophants knew their actions were despicable, their behavior indefensible. Remember their names. If we can inform and educate our electorate (and we will do our best to achieve this) to make better choices of their leaders, these guys will be yesterday's garbage.

For the Dismissal of the Complaint
1. Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro
2. Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman
3. Baguio City Rep. Mauricio Domogan
4. Negros Oriental Rep. George Arnaiz
5. Iloilo Rep. Raul Gonzalez
6. Cebu Rep. Pablo John Garcia
7. Cebu Rep. Antonio Cuenco
8. Antique Rep. Exequiel Javier
9. Apec Rep. Edgar Valdez
10. Bohol Rep. Edgardo Chatto
11. Lanao del Sur Rep. Faysah Dumarpa
12. Leyte Rep. Eufrocino Codilla
13. Zamboanga Sibugay Rep. Belma Cabilao
14. Ifugao Rep. Solomon Chungalao
15. Zamboanga del Sur Rep. Antonio Cerilles
16. Masbate Rep. Rizalina Seachon Lanete
17. Sulu Rep. Munir Arbison
18. Bohol Rep. Roberto Cajes
19. Tawi Tawi Rep. Nur Jaafar
20. La Union Rep. Victor Ortega
21. Lanao del Sur Rep. Pangalian Balindong
22. Romblon Rep. Eleandro Madrona
23. Isabela Rep. Giorgido Aggabao
24. Cebu Rep. Eduardo Gullas
25. Quirino Rep. Junie Cua
26. Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga
27. Surigao del Norte Rep. Francisco Matugas
28. Sultan Kudarat Rep. Arnulfo Go
29. Manila Rep. Theresa Bonoan-David
30. Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas
31. Paranque Rep. Eduardo Zialcita
32. Cebu Rep. Raul del Mar
33. Maguindanao Rep. Simeon Datumanong
34. Cebu Rep. Pablo Garca
35. Iloilo Rep. Arthur Defensor
36. Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin
37. Quezon City Rep. Bingbong Crisologo
38. Misamis Occidental Rep. Herminia Ramiro
39. Bukidnon Rep. Candido Pancrudo
40. Manila Rep. Zenaida Angping
41. Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo Maranon (for Occidental Mindoro Rep. Amelita Villarosa)
42. Agusan Del Norte Rep. Jose Aquino

Lastly, we thank Jose de Venecia III for the invitation and the opportunity to affix our names to this latest Impeachment Complaint that was so skillfully written and airtight.

We may have been beaten this second time, but as Rep. Zamora vowed, our day will come.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it” - Adolf Hitler

There is a confluence of events that belies the latest claims of disinterest on the part of the GMA administration concerning Charter Change and its evil twin, Term Extension. Her allies in the House of Representatives (HOR) have made short shrift of junking the Motion of Intervention filed by BnW co-convener Manuel L. Quezon III and fellow bloggers. The HOR is now poised to kill the latest impeachment filed by lead complainant Jose de Venecia III. The ill-timed election of administration collaborator, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, as Senate President hobbled Senate opposition ranks. Finally, that terribly unfunny prayer by Press Secretary Dureza beseeching God to allow GMA to rule beyond 2010 was a trial balloon raised to gauge the people’s response.

The Black & White Movement strongly condemns this latest naked attempt of GMA and her congressional lackeys to perpetuate their administration in power through Cha Cha via a Constituent Assembly. Dureza’s prayer was no slip of the tongue, and the imagined lukewarm response was enough to propel the HOR into Cha Cha motion. Never mind that GMA’s trust ratings continue to flounder below sea level, that the HOR does not mirror the true feeling of its constituents, and that the people’s eyes are trained on seeing elections in 2010. GMA’s contempt and disdain for the Filipino people allows her to focus on clinging on to power as a defense against accountability, and so the Cha Cha Train will reach the station, by any means.

All afternoon, as of this writing, various GMA cohorts in the HOR have disavowed being responsible for gathering at least 163 signatures to a resolution calling for a Constituent Assembly, as if it was a leprous animal, consigning blame to one or another House leader. These disingenuous declarations can only mean that they are embarrassed at being found out, but more than willing to be accomplices to a self-serving end.

Our warnings are justified by these latest actions on the part of this bogus administration; we thank GMA, her family, and her arrogant coterie of sycophants for their lack of ‘delicadeza’ for giving credence to our fears.

We beseech our religious leaders to speak out against this latest betrayal, to reiterate their call for radical reform and God-fearing liberators. We plead with the Supreme Court to continue to be a defender of the people’s trust.

We continue to warn our people – if we do not show our indignation, if we continue to ignore these moves, if we do not make our loathing known, we could wake up one day finding our freedoms forfeited and our democracy trampled.

Our collective heart believes that GMA betrayed the public trust and should not stay a day longer in office.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bloggers File Motion of Intervention to Include MOA-AD in 2008 Impeachment vs. GMA

12 November 2008

Hon. Ronaldo Zamora
Representative, Lone District, San Juan
Minority Leader, The House of Representatives
Batasan Hills, Quezon City

Dear Rep. Zamora:

Today, together with fellow interveners, I have filed an intervention to add the Memorandum of Agreement concerning the proposed Bangsamoro Juridical Entity to the impeachment charges being considered by the House.

We base our intervention on the following premises:

1. That the House of Representatives, in deliberating upon the charges against the President of the Philippines, should strive to put together as strong and comprehensive a case as possible, in order to properly and thoroughly address all the issues that demand accountability from the chief

2. That the citizenry is obligated to do its part to help fortify the case against the President of the Philippines.

We are of the opinion, and submit for your consideration and endorsement, that:

1. The President of the Philippines must be held accountable for violating her oath of office in authorizing and supporting an agreement that has been proven to be contrary to the Constitution. Any President is duty-bound to operate within the parameters established by the Constitution, and when a President deliberately disregards our Constitution's provisions, there must be an accounting made to the citizenry.

2. The President, therefore, must be held accountable for what the Supreme Court has ruled to be an agreement that violated our Constitution.

3. That furthermore, the President must be held accountable for setting back the peace process; and for placing ordinary citizens, Muslim and Christian alike, in Mindanao, in peril because of the recklessness and faithlessness, with which she conducted the negotiations for the agreement. She has done grievous harm to the prosperity and tranquility of Mindanao and the entire country and her doing so is a violation of public trust and her Constitutional responsibilities. She betrayed the public, and all the parties that participated in the peace process in good faith and with a historic resolution of ancient grievances in mind.

We believe that we have made a strong case for including the BJE-MOA among the charges against the President. We believe that this is a matter of such seriousness as to require the House of Representatives providing the President with an opportunity to explain herself to you, our representatives, and through you, to an alarmed and outraged public. We further believe that the President will find it impossible to satisfactorily explain herself and that, as a consequence, the House will find it necessary to include our intervention among the impeachment charges.

May I respectfully invite you, then, to endorse our intervention, so that ample opportunity may be provided for the President of the Philippines to air her side, and for the public to be informed, through you, once and for all, about the circumstances surrounding the agreement.

I am confident that you will respond to the overwhelming clamor of the citizenry, throughout the country but particularly in Mindanao, for public policy to be conducted in good faith, without recklessness and imprudence, and with the true interests of the nation at heart and not just partisan political convenience for the administration.

May I also invite you, on behalf of myself and my colleagues, Jarius Bondoc and William Esposo of the Philippine Star, Ellen Tordesillas of Malaya, and Manuel Buencamino of The Business Mirror, to state, for the record, your response to these two questions:

1. How do you intend to vote on the impeachment complaint already filed before the House? Will you be present at the committee level and plenary voting on these charges?

2. Are you in favor of including the BJE-MOA among the impeachment charges, and why or why not.

We trust you will give your answer to us by Wednesday so we can publish them. And, we further trust that you will find our intervention meritorious and worthy of your endorsement.

Respectfully yours,

Manuel L. Quezon III, “The Daily Dose,”
Marck Ronald Rimorin, “The Marocharim Experiment,”
Arbet W. Bernardo, “,”
Richard M. Rivera, “New Philippine Revolution,”
Edwin Lacierda, “San Juan Gossip Mills Outlet”
Jeremy Gatdula, “Blurry Brain,”
Maria A. Jose (in Davao City), “Alleba Politics,”

Monday, November 03, 2008

It's Not Funny, Joc Joc!

BnW PR, 3 November 2008

Another suspected government con man tries to escape accountability. The Black & White Movement is appalled at the latest ploy to keep Joc-Joc from the Senate by means of another petition, this time to the Court of Appeals, for habeas corpus. Was Joc Joc Bolante joking about his intention to answer questions about the Fertilizer Fund Scam that robbed the Filipino farmer of PhP728M? If his petition's granted, will he suddenly regain robust health and take the first plane out of Manila to more favorable climes?

This latest petition claims that the Fertilizer Scam investigation is over, the Senate's Committee on Agriculture and Food has submitted its report and Joc Joc should be a free man. We dispute that claim as the report itself states that the issue remains unresolved without Bolante's testimony. The ninth recommendation in the report asserts, "Although this is the Final Committee Report, the fertilizer fund scam will never be closed without the testimony of its brains and implementor - Jocelyn Bolante. Thus, the order of contempt against Jocelyn Bolante must be enforced" (Committee on Agriculture and Food and the Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations Report No. 54). We couldn't agree more.

Bolante's lawyer, Antonio Zulueta, close associate of Mike Arroyo, says the proper forum for Bolante’s testimony is at the Ombudsman's office. How convenient. That agency has been sitting on the Fertilizer Fund Scam for the last two and a half years, ignored by the Ombudsman herself, close Mike Arroyo associate Merceditas Gutierrez. The outright disinterest of Sen. Angara to reopen his committee's hearings and his opinion that the issue is best left to the Ombudsman smells more like a conspiracy among three GMA allies than coincidence.

We are of the opinion that if the Court of Appeals decides in Bolante's favor, and we certainly pray that it does not, this sordid tale of flimflamming our farmers will be swept under the Ombudsman's proverbial rug, to be unresolved, festering in the dark, like all the other high profile corruption cases that this administration has been accused of perpetrating.

We remind our people what is at stake here ­ the accountability of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The senate committee report also avers that GMA had to be aware of the suspicious fertilizer fund disbursements during harvest time and must be made to account. This is probably why Bolante is so afraid of testifying. It is believed that he can tie GMA, perhaps even her husband, to the fraudulent scheme.

We support the decision of Blue Ribbon Committee Chairman Alan Peter Cayetano to reopen the Fertilizer Fund Scam hearings, but we plead that he act with dispatch lest the terrible pressures put upon certain institutions yield success. We insist that the Senate Sergeant at Arms be allowed to perform his duty and haul the purportedly malingering Joc Joc Bolante to his Senate cell lest St. Luke's Hospital be accused of being a party to this conspiracy to keep the truth from the Filipino people.- - END

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Is There a Storm on the Horizon?

By Joel Rocamora

The bishops did it. Their call for a “new government”, then building hope around “liberators” who are “just around the corner” got everyone worked up. A “new government” in advance of the 2010 elections, of course, means the extra constitutional removal of the Arroyo administration. Everyone assumes the bishops are not talking of the Second Coming. Maybe those knights in shining armor who are a long time coming.

Conspiracy theorists are having a field day. The impeachment initiative, chacha, and the arrival of Jocjoc Bolante primed the public for the bishops’ statement. Are these moves linked? Is there a master conspiracy behind these linked moves? Did the bishops light the fuse for a coming explosion? Is it a short or a long fuse? The nice thing about conspiracy theories is that we can enjoy dramatic tension even if we cannot find out if there’s anything to the theory.

Whether or not the bishops are, consciously or unconsciously, part of a conspiracy, what they’ve done is important because it reminds us that moral outrage does not recognize the political calendar. Practical politicians on both sides of the pro-anti-Gloria divide say talk of liberation have to make way for preparations for the 2010 election, only a year and a half away. The moral sensibility asks why we have to wait. If we can, let’s get rid of her now.

Which bishops set the impact. Bishop Oscar Cruz, the constant warrior, tilting endlessly against jueteng. Bishop Angel Lagdameo, president of the CBCP, perennially frustrated by the CBCP’s conservative majority. Bishop Socrates Villegas is bishop of Balanga-Bataan, but he is well known to Manila reform circles from serving as the late Cardinal Sin’s able assistant. Two others signed the statement, Masbate Bishop Joel Baylon, and Legazpi Bishop Emeritus Jose Sorra.

Who was not with them might also be revealing. The bishops of KME who were not there have in the past been accused of supporting coup attempts. If the KME bishops have been the more public of the Catholic church’s progressive section, the AMRSP has more resources. AMRSP sisters have been Jun Lozada’s bodyguards for most of the last eight months. The bishops’ initiative was apparently at the behest of the AMRSP.

Whether intentional or not, the bishops also weighed in on the 2010 elections. Two presidential contenders, Vice President De Castro and Senate President Villar, are clearly not in the bishops’ support list. The two leaders they prefer, Chief Justice Puno and AFP Chief-of-staff Yano, are not running for elective office, but could come in as leaders of an extra-constitutional post-GMA leadership.

On its own, the bishops’ initiative is not likely to result in the kind of change they hope for. But it does raise the incendiary potential of other ongoing developments. Bolante’s return has been avidly anticipated. His attempt to avoid having to talk, resulting in two years of imprisonment in the US, indicates the explosive potential of his telling the truth. But early indications are that he’s not going to talk.

There’s an apparently coordinated effort to prevent his testimony in the Senate. Even before he returned, his lawyer petitioned the Supreme Court to prevent the Senate from reopening hearings on the fertilizer scam, arguing that the investigation is finished. This argument is backed up by administration allies in the Senate led by Sen. Angara who says that the Senate long ago submitted its recommendation to the Ombudsman for Jocjoc’s prosecution. For two years, the Ombudsman did nothing, acting only on the day after Jocjoc returned.

The positioning of administration lackeys in the Senate is understandable. What needs explaining is the hesitation of Senate President Villar who only moved to have Jocjoc arrested by the Senate the moment he arrived after LP senators threatened to attack him. Villar is also problematizing what committee would investigate. Since the Committee on Agriculture is headed by Sen.Angara, the only logical committee is the Blue Ribbon Committee headed by Villar party mate Senator Alan Peter Cayetano. Senator Mar Roxas has proposed that the Senate convene as a committee of the whole.

Maybe this is where the explanation for Villar’s hesitation lies. He does not want to give Mar Roxas a platform. Villar supporters might also be worried that a Bolante expose would put some life into the impeachment complaint. In the unlikely possibility that GMA does get impeached, it would greatly strengthen the position of another Villar competitor, Vice President De Castro, who would become president. A combination of administration senators and Villar allies, together with the more than one week lapse before the Senate reconvenes could defuse the Bolante issue, even if the Supreme Court refuses to act on Bolante’s petition.

The competing political calculations of 2010 election coalitions is also likely to determine the fate of the impeachment complaint. The minority in the House has not, so far, endorsed the complaint. While there is no such thing as impossible in the shifting coalitions of Philippine politics, the complaint is not likely to get the one third of House members needed to move the complaint to the Senate. If its proponents succeed in at least debating the substance of the complaint, that will, under current circumstances, already be a victory.

The administration’s move to advance its chacha agenda is potentially more explosive. The attempt, whether it succeeds or not, is proof of opposition suspicions that GMA intends to stay in power beyond the end of her term in 2010. Led by House Speaker Nograles, the administration is mobilizing to secure charter change without involving the Senate. Quite openly, administration stalwarts are saying that if they can get three fourths of the members of both the House and the Senate, they can pass constitutional amendments.

For now, the amendment would only remove the prohibition on foreign ownership of land. If Nograles succeeds in getting the 196 votes of House members he needs, the issue will then be raised to the Supreme Court. If GMA allies in the SC affirm the constitutionality of this mode of amending the constitution, there will then be no legal obstacle for GMA and her allies to make the kinds of changes that would keep GMA in power past 2010. The conditions for maximum polarization will then have been set.

These kinds of conditions should facilitate the revival of the mass movement. Whether they like it or not, the anti-GMA opposition will be forced to reunite as the likelihood of 2010 elections recedes. It will also force leaders of key political institutions, in particular the SC and more importantly, the AFP, to decide whether their allegiance to the constitution extends past its being mangled. If the Chief-of-staff decides he has no obligation to obey a mangled constitution, the door will be opened for “liberators”. It could then be “a walk in the park”. #