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’Tis the season of the folly TABLETS OF STONE Larry Faraon, OP 09/20/2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


’Tis the season of the folly


TABLETS OF STONE

Larry Faraon, OP
09/20/2009

Welcome to the season of "politicking" — (poli- many + ticks- bloodsucking insects). But surprise of all surprises is why would Sen. Panfilo Lacson degrade himself into the level of crass politics by demonizing his former boss with issues of some 10 years ago rendering his invectives an "abuse of privilege" rather than a senatorial privilege speech.


Making it appear as a patriotic move to prevent an Erap comeback which of course hounds each and every detractor of the former President, Lacson’s effort was most unbecoming of a gentleman from Cavite. Even until now, Lacson’s self preservation instinct loops around his rear view that he is a crusader of righteousness in the Senate.

It is an abuse of privilege .... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune






99.9 % common sense TABLETS OF STONE Larry Faraon, OP 08/30/2009


99.9 % common sense



TABLETS OF
STONE

Larry Faraon, OP
08/30/2009

Some people cannot simply get over the "luck" former President Joseph Estrada is getting these past few days. With a massive turnout of Erap’s Lakbay Pasasalamat and his ratings posted at second in all reputable surveys as presidential choice for 2010, despite his being convicted or the alleged constitutional restrictions on his possible seeking a fresh term, some people gnash their teeth in disgust to the point of failing to understand the logic of his recent statements and actions, in particular his intentions of running. Precisely, the Erap phenomenon may not necessarily enter into the formalities of philosophic logic or the esoteric knowledge limited to some elite intellectuals or armchair social scientists and editorial writers because all of this is about "common sense." 


Common sense, in many instances, escapes the ambit of the logical .... MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune





The only alternative: Estrada DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 05/22/2009


The only alternative: Estrada


DIE HARD III

Herman Tiu Laurel
05/22/2009

Our alert Christian communities in Mindanao based in Cotabato City , that were at the forefront of the successful exposés of the MoA-AD (Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain) between the GRP and the MILF last year that caused it to be aborted, are now alerting us to new and alarming developments. The MILF is getting new, sophisticated arms from American sources. A number of concerned retired AFP generals have also confirmed these reasons for concern, and one we know personally has traveled to Mindanao to assess the conditions for himself. Looking at this alarming situation in light of the ongoing early presidential hustings, we should ask: Who among the self-proclaimed candidates can really stop Mindanao from being balkanized in the next round of US-MILF attack?
Is there anyone among the lead pack of candidates capable of standing up to the pressure that is expected to be exerted on the next president of the country on this issue, assuming we do have elections and change in 2010. Villar has never stood for anything or any principle other than his vested interest as a real estate tycoon and now accused of using state resources to further his financial empire, as the case is now under the current Senate investigation into his “C-5” case. Noli de Castro can’t even stand up to his old bosses from the TV network that catapulted him to fame and political position even when that conglomerate has continued to raise prices which his constituencies — the masses of electricity consumers could hardly afford. What about Chiz? Will he bite the hand that invited him to the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington prior to Obama’s inauguration?
Mindanao is doomed to be lost by the Filipino nation unless we have a leader that is tried and tested in the struggle for the assertion of national sovereignty and integrity. Only one presidential timber today has the tried and tested political will to guarantee that firmness of purpose to defeat the machinations of a global superpower and its Trojan Horses in Mindanao: President Joseph Estrada who had once before defied the US and crushed its proxy army, the MILF. He raised the Philippine flag on the MILF headquarters after driving its leader, the late Hashim Salamat, off to Malaysia. The price the US exacted for that is the ouster of Estrada with the aid of its local oligarchic surrogates after instigating former Gen. Angelo Reyes to defect from the Republic and betray the duly constituted authority of the land.
While President Estrada has not proclaimed his final intention to run in the 2010 elections, the nation is debating his eligibility. The debate has centered on constitutional and legal gibberish led by Jesuit Bernas who has been conjuring up impediments with sophistry and deception. Also, the rest of the Edsa II parties which were part of the conspiracy to defraud the people of their duly elected leadership such as the Inquirer which had a recent editorial claiming Estrada is fooling the people again by a new run for the presidency. Bernas, Inquirer and their ilk think they can fool the people again, but proof of the erosion of their credibility is Estrada’s growing ability to win against all odds — and this strikes terror in their hearts.
President Estrada is eligible to run again if the people so wish and vote for him. There is no higher power in a democracy than the sovereign will of the people, and what the legal and constitutional gibberish simply shows is that they, the few, want to usurp the will and the power of the people. Bernas had been doing this even at the 1987 Constitutional Commission (Con-com) which, it must be noted, was an appointed body and not an elected and representative forum. It was elite controlled, and even if there were principled individuals trying to ensure the democratic character of the document being produced by the commission, the black ops were always at work to safeguard the interest of the elite which established body.
Bernas and his ilk repeatedly refer to that phrase “The President shall not be eligible for any reelection,” stressing the word “any” to imply all and every election. Constitutional experts and researches have pointed out to me that term “any” was not discussed at all in the committee that drafted the provision. We challenge Bernas to show any document proving that the term “any” was considered at all in all the deliberations. The term “any” was inserted shall only in the style committee, a sleight-of-hand by the black ops in the committee that changed the entire meaning of the intended provision that should have read: “The President shall not be eligible for reelection” where “reelection” means “to run and succeed oneself in a position” as I have gathered from various Internet sources, including Black’s Law Dictionary on the Internet.
I am continuing my own layman’s research into the terms involved in this debate which I will complete in a Part II to this column. I believe that we cannot leave the matters of our democracy and the survival of the Republic to the arbitrary, sophistic legal interpretations of so-called experts like Bernas, or by a handful of Con-com delegates and to unseen hands in the “style committee.” Dean Pacifico Agabin was correct in his view expressed at last Wednesday Ciudad Fernandina Forum that even the delegates to the 1987 Con-com cannot supersede the intention of the people who voted in the constitutional plebiscite of 1987 which was to prevent an abuse of power by a sitting President in aid of reelection and not to disqualify a non-incumbent former President.
President Joseph Estrada must run again to lead this nation as President, for only he has the will and now, the experience to oppose and overcome the daunting forces threatening to dismember the nation, the profit-predators exploiting and sucking the economic life out of our people, and forces seeking to lay to waste this Republic that our 1896 revolutionaries fought and died to establish for all time.
(Tune to 1098AM, 6 to 7 p.m. Monday, with lawyer Alan Paguia; Wednesday, former Mayor Jun Simon; Friday, Ver Eustaquio; Saturday 10 to 11 p.m., May Pagasa group; Tuesday 8:15 to 9 p.m., Destiny Cable TV, Global News Network Talk News TV with Herman Tiu Laurel; blog: www.hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)


SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/commentary/20090522com6.html)
(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)

ALTERNATE URL: http://www.classicposters.com/commentary/20090522com6.html


‘People power’ fairy tale DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 02/27/2009


‘People power’ fairy tale


DIE HARD III

Herman Tiu Laurel
02/27/2009

“A dragon lives forever but not so little boys. Painted wings and giant’s rings make way for other toys. One gray night it happened, Jackie Piper came no more. And Puff the mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.” (Puff the Magic Dragon — Gregory Isaacs)

The Edsa I “people power” fairy tale was once a mighty dragon that mesmerized the world, supposedly vanquishing a dictatorship. Its wake followed democracy and “empowerment,” as Ceres Doyo of the Inquirer describes its supposed boon to the Filipino people. The same newspaper had the young reporter Volt Contreras dramatize the fall of Marcos and hail the power of Cory Aquino, that in 15 hours the regime of 20 years fell. For about a decade this fairy tale held the Filipino people’s imagination captive, but then life continued to get harder and harder, impoverishment grew, and little Juan Pepito (the Filipino Jackie Piper) didn’t come to the Edsa I celebrations anymore.
Three creatures came to the Edsa I celebration this year. A tobacco chomping leprechaun, his trusted gargoyle, and a pot bellied troll. They jumped up and down to rejoice. No one else jumped in joy. Even the little Imp didn’t come to the party. The golden bacchanalian statue at the corner of Edsa and Ortigas stood forlorn, dourly looking down on the crossroads that saw better times of cheering throngs. Now only cursing motorists jammed Edsa which was closed off to make way for the celebration.
What is not fairy tale is that Pulse Asia will announce soon results of a “best president” survey, that on a scale of zero, the worse, to 10 the best President of the Philippines, Marcos got seven, President Estrada (victims of the Edsa I replay, Edsa II) rated six besting Cory and Ramos, and Gloria got the worst at 3.4. History has judged that Marcos and Erap were better for the nation than the Philippine mainstream media are willing to admit. I am not surprised by the Inquirer’s continued glorification of the two “people power” coups d’ etat despite this, its owners are among those who benefitted by the from the two fairy tales. Of course the mainstream TV is the same, breathtaking billions in the past 21 years. People who have no vested interest in keeping the fairy tale alive can see clearly those still dancing to the “Magkaisa” tune have no clothes.
I take issue with Ceres Doyos’ claim of “empowerment” of the people by Edsa I. Pray, show me where that empowerment can be seen? In the right of suffrage of the people? Historical and Comelec facts established by the extensive research of former UP professor and Comelec Commissioner Luzviminda Tancangco lay out all the statistics on how the Edsa I Comelec chairmen started the padding of the voter’s list which to this day has not been cleaned up. What about economic empowerment? Can that be found in the growing hunger ratings that afflict over 50 percent of the population now? As for Volt Contreras’ report, he should read more widely and dig into the real stories behind Edsa I, such as this quote from Foreign Policy magazine: “In his Heritage speech Wolfowitz (former US Secretary of State) also took credit for the downfall of Marcos. The ‘private and public pressure on Marcos to reform,’ he asserted, ‘contributed in no small measure to emboldening the Philippine people to take their fate in their own hands and to produce what eventually became the first great democratic transformation in Asia in the 1980s.’”
More historical truths now revealed how the now bankrupt AIG’s boss Maurice “Hank” Greenberg and Bechtel’s George Schultz, secretary of state at that time destabilized the Philippine Republic. I also have the confession from one ATOM member, Butz Aquino’s group, who attests that the Ayalas opened up Shell’s spigot for all their vehicles to do their nationwide motorcades and protests.
Marcos laid out a national economic development-industrialization program which Cory replaced with a trade liberalization and de-industrialization campaign. Estrada had the heart for the masses and reversed FVR’s liberal issuances of sovereign guarantees and big business bias. The foreign and Philippine oligarchy-controlled media with corrupt military and police generals by Gloria Arroyo deposed Estrada who was an obstacle to their plot to plunder through public utility privatization, price-gouging, outright looting of the National Treasury, and eventually the separation of the richest parts of Mindanao for US oil companies.
Residual Edsa fairy tales continue to obfuscate the Filipino nation’s view and delay their self-realization, emancipation and revolution. Some naive Filipinos still cling to those myths out of a sense of lack for something good to say about their beloved Philippines; but there has never been a dearth of Filipino assets: The first Asian anti-colonial revolution, the richest lands and seas in the region, a resourceful and creative people, and nation-buildings leaders such as Marcos, Estrada, Gen. Danilo Lim, Senator Trillanes and a host of other outstanding Filipino leaders.
Learning the hard lessons from their hard life, the hardy Filipino masa and middle class (also hardened after the pre-need corporate swindles and spectacles of Arroyo corruption) the Filipino is older and wiser. Although there is concern that the impressionable youth, targeted by “civil society’s” “I am Ninoy” ads, may still fall for the fairy tales. To ensure that they are not fooled like the generation before them, we must go to them in the schools and concerts, to speak and sing the historical truth. Fairy tales must be replaced with historical insight and empirical reflection with the question: “Is life better today after the Edsa I and II events? If worse (as it undoubtedly is): Why?”
(Tune in to 1098AM: Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. / Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. / Saturday, 10 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Destiny Cable, Channel 3, Tuesday, 8:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.: Bishop Antonio Tobias and Jimmie Regalario: “The Gen. Danny Lim Manifesto” http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)


SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/commentary/20090227com4.html)
(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)

ALTERNATE URL: http://www.classicposters.com/commentary/20091124hed2.html


The genuine opposition TABLETS OF STONE Larry Faraon, OP 10/25/2009


The genuine opposition


TABLETS OF STONE

Larry Faraon, OP
10/25/2009
President Joseph Ejercito Estrada has finally discovered that the real opposition he wants to unite is not the broad spectrum of politicians under the umbrella of the so-called “opposition” whose ambitions know no sacrifice, but the masses of the poor people who remained voiceless and powerless in opposing this present corrupt administration.

It was a realization on the part of Erap that after all, uniting the opposition and prompting its members into fielding a single presidential candidate in 2010 would be just a pragmatic political scheme rather than a moral strategy toward affording the marginalized masses a deeper and louder voice...MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune

ALTERNATE URL: http://www.classicposters.com/commentary/20091025com5.html

‘Sorry of the year’ TABLETS OF STONE Larry Faraon, OP 01/04/2009


‘Sorry of the year’


TABLETS OF STONE

Larry Faraon, OP
01/04/2009

Happy New Year!

As we usher in a new challenging year, we can’t help but bask in whatever good 2008 had for a tailender, one of which is the “sorry of the year.” It was, in fact, the best news for the year that was. It was former President Cory Aquino’s personal yet public regret over the violation of the rule of law in Edsa II (I am one of those who plead guilty…) and an admission of her mistake in being a part of it (Lahat naman tayo nagkakamali) and concluded with a very personal, sincere and magnanimous seeking of forgiveness from the ousted President Joseph Estrada (Patawarin mo na lang ako!).

A public apology such as the infamous “I am sorry” over the “Hello Garci” tapes scandal needs to be scripted, carefully crafted, short and sweet and well calculated in order to steer clear from possible spill over of whatever is unnecessary, politically harmful and .... MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune






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Solon boasts: Estrada ouster plotted by GMA camp from Day 1 Sunday, 07 10, 2005

Solon boasts: Estrada ouster plotted by GMA camp from Day 1
Sunday, 07 10, 2005
by Amita O. Legaspi
 
An ally of beleaguered President Arroyo yesterday admitted they had planned the ouster of now detained President Joseph Estrada from the moment the latter took office in 1998.

Administration Rep. Juan Miguel Zubiri of Bukidnon, during an interview over government-owned television station NBN 4, said it took them three years to drive Estrada out of Malacañang.

Zubiri did not say who specifically were into the conspiracy that booted out the first overwhelmingly elected President of the Philippines and passed off by its “civil society” masterminds as the so-called people power revolt Edsa II.

Mrs. Arroyo herself, after toppling Estrada in Jan. 2001 through Edsa II, actually a military coup, admitted to having been into hatching the putsch from the beginning.

Zubiri gave his unsolicited expert advice to the political opposition: Do not to resort to shortcuts if you really want to expel Mrs. Arroyo from the presidency.

The congressman told the President’s critics to heed staunch Malacañang ally Sen. Joker Arroyo, one of the impeachment prosecutors in the Estrada trial in early 2001, to investigate and dig deeper on the issues hounding Mrs. Arroyo.

He said floating issues to detabilize the Estrada administration was their job

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Pro-GMA or anti-GMA revolutionary gov’t? By Alejandro Lichauco ANALYSIS 06/22/2009


Pro-GMA or anti-GMA revolutionary gov’t?


By Alejandro Lichauco

ANALYSIS

06/22/2009

Either way, a revolutionary government seems increasingly to be a matter of time. The reason is that it is fast becoming obvious to all that under the political system, the twin problems of corruption and poverty can only mount rather than diminish, aggravate rather than be relieved.

The system has corrupted literally every institution of government and government itself under the system has become one perennial nightmare for literally every class in society except, of course, for those who are in a position to milk the system dry.

The national situation before martial law was heaven compared to what it is today but martial law, a revolutionary government, was declared and was on the whole accepted.

And so, what to expect?

A revolutionary government — which will establish a dictatorship has become a matter of survival for the regime. ... MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune

ALTERNATE URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/commentary/20090622com5.html

Rhetoric vs reality She Says Dinah Ventura 06/22/2009


Rhetoric vs reality


SHE SAYS
Dinah S. Ventura
06/22/2009

This year’s upcoming State of the Nation Address (Sona) will be President Gloria Arroyo’s last, before she steps down in 2010.

The yearly Sona, since Arroyo assumed the presidency, has been called many things — “political theater,” “a farce,” “narrow,” “insubstantial,” among others — none, it seems, ever flattering.

Administration allies often dismiss these criticisms as either sour-graping or attempting to discredit the leadership. Even Arroyo’s ’08 speech, which on closer analysis was found to contain a profusion of discrepancies (fact vs figure = go figure!), led people to believe that her government has accomplished so much more than it actually has.

Faced with enough criticism to crumble a weaker man (or woman), one might conclude that it is her callousness that has made Arroyo survive all these years.
During her term critics have been harassed and reduced, and human rights violations have garnered the attention of international bodies.

This government does not take critics as lightly as Malacañang spokesmen would like the public to believe. Behind the scenes, deaths and threats of deaths have been recorded, and if not, your space and livelihood are invaded by the arms of the law.

Time and again, Arroyo has said she is more of a good manager than an inspiring leader. Her minions praise the way she buckles down to work regardless of the endless barrage of criticism directed her way. Anyone else would have crumbled at the pressure, but not she, the determined workhorse.

Through the last nine years, Arroyo has suffered from a consistent negative image as revealed in surveys conducted by different agencies.

The Pulse Asia October 2007 survey said 42 percent of Filipinos thought the President was the “most corrupt” President in the history of the Philippines since the Marcos administration.

The SWS July 2008 survey showed that Arroyo got a -38 net satisfaction rating on her performance, which was said to be “a new record low for Presidents since 1986.”

The Pulse Asia survey of July 2008 said that 40 percent of respondents thought Arroyo’s 2008 Sona would be “untruthful” while 46 percent believed past Sonas were untruthful.

Furthermore, the Pulse Asia survey May 2009 survey revealed that Arroyo is the most publicly distrusted official in the Philippines, with 46 percent of Filipinos critical of her performance. President Arroyo posted the highest disapproval ratings (43 to 60 percent) in all geographic areas and socio-economic classes, according to Pulse Asia. Even Speaker Prospero Nograles got very low approval ratings, and it is publicly acknowledged that he is a loyal ally of the President.

Through the last nine years, Arroyo has been besieged with challenges, from a fluctuating economy to violence in Mindanao to an attempted overthrow to election fraud allegations to numerous corruption controversies.
Since she stepped into power, the country has continued to suffer from rising unemployment, rising prices, hunger, poverty, injustice and poor quality of education.

When she gives her Sona this year, the country also faces problems with the uncontrolled spread of the swine flu, as well as fears of a forced constituent assembly (con-ass) on the day itself.

No other president has suffered such unpopularity as Gloria Arroyo. Records show she is “the only President since 1986 when the SWS surveys on Philippine Presidents began, to ever receive negative net performance ratings, and for persisting periods, at that. Even the predecessor she helped depose, President Joseph Estrada, never crossed the neutral or zero level satisfaction rating.

Well into the height of the “Erap Resign” demonstrations led by two former Presidents and herself, the business elite and the Roman Catholic Church, Estrada held on to a +9 net public satisfaction rating in the Dec. 8 to17 last quarter survey of 2000,” says political observer Jesusa Bernardo on newsvine.com, who further concludes: “Arroyo’s continued unsatisfactory performance betrays her callous regard of what the Filipinos think.”

Is it any wonder her Sonas are also regarded with such contempt?


SourceThe Daily Tribune

ALTERNATE URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/commentary/20090622com7.html

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