January 2010

Balitang Kutsero
By Perry Diaz

Illustration by Dave San Pedro

Recently, Sen. Joker Arroyo compared the situation faced by his friend Sen. Manuel “Titanic Manny” Villar to what the martyred Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. faced during the martial law era. No kidding! Let’s see. Ninoy said, “The Filipino is worth dying for,” and he did. Titanic Manny can say, “The Filipino is worth getting rich for.” He is now filthy rich… and getting richer every minute of the day. Indeed, there is a comparison.

I don’t blame Ninoy’s son, presidential wannabe Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, for telling Joker, “Don’t compare Senator Manuel ‘Manny’ Villar’s situation to what my father faced under the martial law government of the late President Ferdinand Marcos.” Well, what do you expect to hear from a joker? Word of wisdom? Nah!

Noynoy’s spokesperson piggybacked, “There is simply no comparison; Ninoy is a hero. Villar is nothing but a coward.” Touché.

This reminds me when presidential wannabe Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro was compared to the late President Manuel L. Quezon by his handlers. Let’s see how they compare. The fiery Quezon once said, “My loyalty to my party ends where my loyalty to my country begins.” Well, Gibo left his Uncle Danding’s party, the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), to join President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s party. Gibo should use this line as his battle cry: “My loyalty to NPC ends where my loyalty to Gloria begins.” That should rally all of Gloria’s boys behind him.

But Gloria has a new man now — Titanic Manny Villar. Columnist Lito Banayo said that Villar is Gloria’s “secret candidate.” Another columnist suggested that if Titanic Manny is elected president, he should change his last name to “Villarroyo.” He’d be the first “Arroyo tuta” (Arroyo lapdog) to become president of the Philippines. Woof woof.

With Gloria becoming the next Speaker of the House of Representatives and Justice Renato Corona appointed by Gloria as the next Chief Justice, the three branches of government could be under the “House of Arroyo” — President Manny Villarroyo, Senate President Joker Arroyo, Speaker Gloria Arroyo, and Chief Justice Renato Coronarroyo. Yup, 2010 is going to be the “Year of the Tuta.”

Meanwhile, a moro-moro war has been going in the Senate between Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Titanic Manny over the Senate investigation on the “double insertion” corruption scandal implicating Titanic Manny. But Titanic Manny is waging the war by remote control using his four lapdogs… err, allies. He refused to face his accusers. This led Enrile and Sen. Jamby Madrigal to call him, “Coward!” Ugh! That hurts.

Jamby also called Titanic Manny’s allies (Senators Nene Pimentel, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Alan Cayetano, and Joker Arroyo), “Villar’s Express Choo-choo train.” Sounds like the popular 50’s song, “Choo choo train, chugging down the track, Gotta travel on, never coming back. Ooh! Got a one way ticket to the blues…” Yup, the “double insertion” corruption scandal could be Titanic Manny’s “one way ticket to the blues.”

And to the blues Titanic Manny will go if what Enrile has reportedly said would happen, “If his (Villar’s) case is brought to a court of law, he will be jailed. We have evidence and based on the evidence, it says (Villar is) guilty.” Now, that’s what I call, “hardball politics,” and Enrile is very good at it.

The moro-moro got so hot that Enrile’s majority bloc declared a ceasefire. The minority bloc wasn’t too happy. Joker Arroyo told the media, “We are ready for interpellation, we are ready for debate, we are ready for the vote since yesterday.” Now, who’s coward? I guess, this will end just like past Senate investigations — in limbo. The senators should start a new line dancing called — Limbo-limbo. It’s a cross between Macarena and Ocho-ocho.

I think it’s about time for the abolition of the Senate. They should just let the rowdy kids in the House of Representatives do all the infighting. At least nobody would call for a ceasefire… until Gloria tells them to stop! Yup, what Lola wants, Lola gets.

It’s funny, but 12 years ago then Rep. Joker Arroyo delivered a privilege speech attacking then Speaker Manny Villar for the same reason that Villar is now being attacked by Enrile, corruption. It’s amazing how Joker forgot what he told the whole world 12 years ago. Or should I say, “why” he forgot? Maybe he had a bout of “selective amnesia.”? Didn’t someone once say, “There are no permanent friends, no permanent enemies, only permanent self-interest.” Makes one wonder what “interest” Titanic Manny and Da Joker have in common? Hmmm…

The other day, Enrile dropped a bombshell when he claimed that Titanic Manny tried to bribe him in exchange for a “favorable decision on the chamber’s investigation of the controversy surrounding the C-5 road extension project.” What? Another bribery case? The last time the Senate investigated a bribery case involving prez Gloria and hubby Mike Arroyo, the senators were taken for a dizzying merry-go-round ride for several weeks. Nothing happened. Yup, what Lola wants, Lola gets.

Self-proclaimed international lawyer and perennial candidate Ely “Spike Boy” Pamatong is back at what he does best — making trouble. This time he was jailed for direct contempt for calling Comelec commissioners, “thieves”! He accused the commissioners of accepting P5 million each from Vetellano Acosta who is running for president under the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, Marcos’ old party. Comelec reconsidered Acosta’s candidacy and allowed him to run while they disallowed Pamatong. Pamatong should know by now that BS walks and money talks. Yup, no money, no honey.

Two years ago, Pamatong sued Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales for “human rights violations,” for forcing him to believe in Catholic doctrines, for swindling (tithes or offerings), and for noise disturbance (loud speakers mounted in churches). I won’t be surprised if Pamatong’s name is already on St. Peter’s shit list.

Reminds me of a story which goes: When Gloria Arroyo passed away, she thought that she’ll never be allowed to enter Heaven so she went directly to Hell. “I’m sorry, Gloria,” Satan said, “but you’re not on my list. You should go to Heaven. You might be on Peter’s list.” Gloria got excited and she ran like hell to Heaven. “St. Peter! St. Peter! Satan said I might be on your list.” St. Peter looked up his list several times and said, “Nope. You’re not on my list.” “But I’m not on Satan’s list either,” Gloria insisted. “Well, let me see my other list,” St. Peter said. “Aha! You’re on this list! Actually, you‘re the only one on this list. It’s the shit list, Gloria. You’re assigned to clean up the toilets 24/7 for the rest of your stay here.”

(PerryDiaz@gmail.com)

Balitang Kutsero
By Perry Diaz

Illustration by Dave San Pedro

Recently, Sen. Joker Arroyo compared the situation faced by his friend Sen. Manuel “Titanic Manny” Villar to what the martyred Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. faced during the martial law era. No kidding! Let’s see. Ninoy said, “The Filipino is worth dying for,” and he did. Titanic Manny can say, “The Filipino is worth getting rich for.” He is now filthy rich… and getting richer every minute of the day. Indeed, there is a comparison.

I don’t blame Ninoy’s son, presidential wannabe Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, for telling Joker, “Don’t compare Senator Manuel ‘Manny’ Villar’s situation to what my father faced under the martial law government of the late President Ferdinand Marcos.” Well, what do you expect to hear from a joker? Word of wisdom? Nah!

Noynoy’s spokesperson piggybacked, “There is simply no comparison; Ninoy is a hero. Villar is nothing but a coward.” Touché.

This reminds me when presidential wannabe Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro was compared to the late President Manuel L. Quezon by his handlers. Let’s see how they compare. The fiery Quezon once said, “My loyalty to my party ends where my loyalty to my country begins.” Well, Gibo left his Uncle Danding’s party, the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), to join President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s party. Gibo should use this line as his battle cry: “My loyalty to NPC ends where my loyalty to Gloria begins.” That should rally all of Gloria’s boys behind him.

But Gloria has a new man now — Titanic Manny Villar. Columnist Lito Banayo said that Villar is Gloria’s “secret candidate.” Another columnist suggested that if Titanic Manny is elected president, he should change his last name to “Villarroyo.” He’d be the first “Arroyo tuta” (Arroyo lapdog) to become president of the Philippines. Woof woof.

With Gloria becoming the next Speaker of the House of Representatives and Justice Renato Corona appointed by Gloria as the next Chief Justice, the three branches of government could be under the “House of Arroyo” — President Manny Villarroyo, Senate President Joker Arroyo, Speaker Gloria Arroyo, and Chief Justice Renato Coronarroyo. Yup, 2010 is going to be the “Year of the Tuta.”

Meanwhile, a moro-moro war has been going in the Senate between Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Titanic Manny over the Senate investigation on the “double insertion” corruption scandal implicating Titanic Manny. But Titanic Manny is waging the war by remote control using his four lapdogs… err, allies. He refused to face his accusers. This led Enrile and Sen. Jamby Madrigal to call him, “Coward!” Ugh! That hurts.

Jamby also called Titanic Manny’s allies (Senators Nene Pimentel, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Alan Cayetano, and Joker Arroyo), “Villar’s Express Choo-choo train.” Sounds like the popular 50’s song, “Choo choo train, chugging down the track, Gotta travel on, never coming back. Ooh! Got a one way ticket to the blues…” Yup, the “double insertion” corruption scandal could be Titanic Manny’s “one way ticket to the blues.”

And to the blues Titanic Manny will go if what Enrile has reportedly said would happen, “If his (Villar’s) case is brought to a court of law, he will be jailed. We have evidence and based on the evidence, it says (Villar is) guilty.” Now, that’s what I call, “hardball politics,” and Enrile is very good at it.

The moro-moro got so hot that Enrile’s majority bloc declared a ceasefire. The minority bloc wasn’t too happy. Joker Arroyo told the media, “We are ready for interpellation, we are ready for debate, we are ready for the vote since yesterday.” Now, who’s coward? I guess, this will end just like past Senate investigations — in limbo. The senators should start a new line dancing called — Limbo-limbo. It’s a cross between Macarena and Ocho-ocho.

I think it’s about time for the abolition of the Senate. They should just let the rowdy kids in the House of Representatives do all the infighting. At least nobody would call for a ceasefire… until Gloria tells them to stop! Yup, what Lola wants, Lola gets.

It’s funny, but 12 years ago then Rep. Joker Arroyo delivered a privilege speech attacking then Speaker Manny Villar for the same reason that Villar is now being attacked by Enrile, corruption. It’s amazing how Joker forgot what he told the whole world 12 years ago. Or should I say, “why” he forgot? Maybe he had a bout of “selective amnesia.”? Didn’t someone once say, “There are no permanent friends, no permanent enemies, only permanent self-interest.” Makes one wonder what “interest” Titanic Manny and Da Joker have in common? Hmmm…

The other day, Enrile dropped a bombshell when he claimed that Titanic Manny tried to bribe him in exchange for a “favorable decision on the chamber’s investigation of the controversy surrounding the C-5 road extension project.” What? Another bribery case? The last time the Senate investigated a bribery case involving prez Gloria and hubby Mike Arroyo, the senators were taken for a dizzying merry-go-round ride for several weeks. Nothing happened. Yup, what Lola wants, Lola gets.

Self-proclaimed international lawyer and perennial candidate Ely “Spike Boy” Pamatong is back at what he does best — making trouble. This time he was jailed for direct contempt for calling Comelec commissioners, “thieves”! He accused the commissioners of accepting P5 million each from Vetellano Acosta who is running for president under the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, Marcos’ old party. Comelec reconsidered Acosta’s candidacy and allowed him to run while they disallowed Pamatong. Pamatong should know by now that BS walks and money talks. Yup, no money, no honey.

Two years ago, Pamatong sued Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales for “human rights violations,” for forcing him to believe in Catholic doctrines, for swindling (tithes or offerings), and for noise disturbance (loud speakers mounted in churches). I won’t be surprised if Pamatong’s name is already on St. Peter’s shit list.

Reminds me of a story which goes: When Gloria Arroyo passed away, she thought that she’ll never be allowed to enter Heaven so she went directly to Hell. “I’m sorry, Gloria,” Satan said, “but you’re not on my list. You should go to Heaven. You might be on Peter’s list.” Gloria got excited and she ran like hell to Heaven. “St. Peter! St. Peter! Satan said I might be on your list.” St. Peter looked up his list several times and said, “Nope. You’re not on my list.” “But I’m not on Satan’s list either,” Gloria insisted. “Well, let me see my other list,” St. Peter said. “Aha! You’re on this list! Actually, you‘re the only one on this list. It’s the shit list, Gloria. You’re assigned to clean up the toilets 24/7 for the rest of your stay here.”

(PerryDiaz@gmail.com)

PerryScope
by Perry Diaz

As we get closer to May 10, 2010, the people’s fear is increasing dramatically. What they fear is that — which was unthinkable six months — the country would experience a tumultuous event that could bring the country back to an era that they had believed would not happen again.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has been trying very hard to allay fears that there will be no failure of elections. Actually, Comelec officials are so confident that they’re saying they will complete the final canvassing in six days! They’re saying that by May 15, the newly elected president, vice president, and 12 senators will be proclaimed.

Comelec Chairman Jose Melo said, “The scenario of no proclamation, the nationwide failure of elections—these are just apocalyptic predictions. These apprehensions are not helping. We should all calm down and soon, we will see that our objectives will be attained.”

Melo has to be commended for his optimism; however, there are experts in the automation industry who don’t share his optimism. One of them is Manuel “Mano” Alcuaz Jr., the President of Systems Sciences Consult Inc. He said in his recent article — “Can we trust Comelec?” — “I wish the answer were yes but Comelec’s behavior in 2004, 2007, and in preparation for the coming elections give me cause to worry about what will happen in May 2010. I hope and pray that I am wrong.”

Automated cheating

Alcuaz said that the Smartmatic Automated Election System (AES) has no transparency. “It is very secure against hacking by outsiders, but has no safeguards against an inside job!”

According to Alcuaz, the first risk is related to the Optical Mark Reading (OMR) ballot.
Since the candidates’ names were pre-printed on the ballot, all the voter has to do is to mark an oval in front of the candidates he or she is voting for. “This seems convenient for the voter,” Alcuaz said. He said, however, that “it is also convenient for the vote buyers. They can quickly mark the ballots of someone who has sold his vote. Near the end of the day, in a precinct controlled by a warlord, all unused ballots can be quickly marked and fed into the PCOS (Precinct Count Optical Scan) machine. How does someone file a protest? Difficult. With handwritten ballots one can identify common handwriting of names. How do you identify common shading?”

“The real danger in the PCOS machine,” Alcuaz said, “is in the formula that is used to add up the votes read when the ballots are scanned. The various parties could demand to see the formulas of the 1,600 + municipalities or congressional districts. But how can you be sure that the proper formulas will be loaded in all 82,000 PCOS machines?” Comelec has refused to disclose the formulas that are programmed into the PCOS machines. Why the secrecy?

“We are faced with the danger that by May 15, 2010 a new president, vice president, and 12 senators may be proclaimed,” Alcuaz warned. “But they may not be the ones the people voted for. They could be the ones that Comelec and or Smartmatic insiders cheated for!”

Alcuaz’s assessment of AES raises a lot of red flags that the 2010 elections could be a repeat of the massive cheatings in 2004 and 2007. But assuming that AES is going to perform without being tampered, there is another danger that could lead to a total breakdown of the elections.

What if the elections failed?

It was reported last January 26, 2010 that Comelec “is not closing its door to manual elections should the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines fail.” Melo said that they “have all the things they need to carry out backup plans for conducting manual elections in areas where the PCOS might fail.” For the first time, the specter of failure of elections was voiced out by the Comelec chairman himself. Within a few days, Melo’s unqualified optimism was transformed to guarded pessimism. Finally, he has come to terms with reality.

Should Comelec have to go to manual elections in the event the automated elections fail, to accomplish this, Comelec has to print two sets of ballots (50 million for each set), one for automated elections and the other for manual elections. However, this could be a recipe for confusion and could open a wide window of opportunity to some candidates to commit fraud.

In the high-tech industry, Murphy’s Law is the most feared. Murphy’s Law says that “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” And it could go wrong when it’s least expected and more often when implementing a brand new automated system such as the AES. And if the implementors don’t have a contingency plan — or backup system — that will work, the outcome is chaos and breakdown. What then?

State of emergency or martial law

The failure of elections could only lead to one thing: state of emergency or martial law. Recent actions by the Comelec — (1) deputizing the military as Comelec personnel, and (2) not disarming the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Units (CAFGUs) — have put in place all the key elements of implementing state of emergency or martial law, ready to go into action at a moment’s notice.

It is interesting to note that CAFGU units that were farmed out to the Ampatuan clan were involved in the Maguindanao massacre. It is also common knowledge that CAFGU units were being used by political warlords in the pretext of enforcing peace and order in their turfs. But what would prevent them from being used to make sure that their warlords win in the elections? Isn’t that what happened in Maguindanao in 2004 and 2007?

A few days ago, it was reported that former Cabinet members warned of an “orchestrated attempt to make the coming elections fail to pave the way for an extended term of President Arroyo.” With all the strange things that have been happening lately, their apprehension is not without basis.

People power?

In a survey conducted by SWS on October 24-27, 2009, about half (49%) of adults sense that “people power” will happen if the 2010 elections failed. The survey also found that 47% fear the PCOS machines are vulnerable to sabotage.

The survey should serve as a warning to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her appointees in the Comelec that the people aren’t going to allow another dictatorship to emerge. For the sake of the country, Arroyo should — nay, must! — step down at the end of her term and ensure a peaceful and fraud-free elections.

(PerryDiaz@gmail.com)

Balitang Kutsero
by Perry Diaz

Illustration by Dave San Pedro

In a recent interview with the media, presidential wannabe Manny Villar said that “it’s about time the Philippines has its first business-titan president.” And then he went on to portray frontrunner Noynoy Aquino as “a ‘babe in the woods’ who knew nothing about running a company or a bureaucracy, or even a family.” Whoa! That’s below the belt, Manny! It looks like this is going to be like the biblical battle between David and Goliath. Yup, it is going to be “Babe in the Woods” vs. “Titanic Manny.”

During a presidential debate, Titanic Manny questioned Noynoy’s ability to implement real reforms. Noynoy came swinging out saying that Titanic Manny didn’t take the lead in questioning the scandals in Gloria’s administration. “When push came to shove, where were you? What have you done?” Noynoy said. Actually, Titanic Manny did a lot of things… that is, making lots of money for himself.

Well folks, name-calling in the presidential campaign has started. Everybody is fair game and anything goes — below or above the belt. Sen. Dick “Flashy Dick” Gordon, another presidential wannabe, asked Titanic Manny if he was just running for President to protect his businesses. Titanic Manny complained on radio, “They’re ganging up on me.” No, sir! They just want to know the truth about the C-5 “double insertion” scandal. Right on, Dick!

Dick also asked President Macapagal Arroyo, who is running for Congress, if she was running to conceal her sins? What sins? Does Dick know something we don’t know about? It’s getting hotter over there. Whew!

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile was targeted by supporters of Titanic Manny in the Senate for authoring the committee report that found him guilty of ethics violations in regard to the “double insertion” scandal. A coup against Enrile was reportedly being hatched by Sen. Edgardo Angara. Enrile retaliated by threatening to reorganize the Senate committees. Nobody wanted to lose their committee chairs, and the coup fizzled out. Yep, what can a bunch of amateurs do to the old fox? Enrile may be an octogenarian but they got to be careful because he was one of the “Rolex 12” who planned and executed martial law in 1972. You can’t beat the old fox at his own game.

The Catholic bishops weren’t too happy with Noynoy’s stance on the controversial Reproductive Health bill which is now pending in Congress. They posted on their website a warning that “the candidacies of pro-RH bill politicians – especially survey leader Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III (Liberal Party) – would suffer if Catholics would seriously take the call from church leaders not to vote for those favoring RH bill.” Wow! That’s a stinger! Maybe the bishops wanted Noynoy — who is a bachelor — to get married and start making a lot of “babes in the woods.”

Titanic Manny said that “becoming president of the country is his last dream.” Didn’t Gloria say the same thing before? Look what happened. After the presidency she wants to be a congresswoman, and then Speaker of the House, and then Prime Minister for life. That was one hell of a long dream she had.

Titanic Manny boasted that he’s been married for 40 years to the same woman. Bah! No big deal! Erap and Loi Estrada celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last December. The difference is that Erap had six mistresses and Titanic Manny wouldn’t admit to having one. It’s either he didn’t have any or he’s just too scared to tell his wife.

A news report says: “Presidential candidate Gilbert (Gibo) Teodoro, a former secretary of national defense, is proposing a national development plan that includes interconnecting the country’s main islands through a modern network of bridges or tunnels.” Fantastic! It would really be ideal for Gibo to run as Titanic Manny’s vice presidential running mate. If both of them win, Titanic Manny can build all the roads on all the islands and Gibo can build all the bridges to connect the islands.

Lito Banayo, a columnist and political consultant, wrote an article — “Her” man — saying that Gloria’s “secret candidate” is Manny Villar. This is going to be a battle royale — Noynoy, the “babe in the woods,” versus Titanic Manny and Gloriath. And what would happen to Gloria’s anointed candidate, Gibo Teodoro? The Japanese would say, “Sayonara, oka san.” The Italian would say, “Arrivederci, paisan.” The French would say, “Adieu, mon amie.” The Hawaiian would say, “Aloha, bro.” And the Pinoy would say, “Ha ha ha…”

For the fourth time, government agents searched Gov. Ampatuan’s mansion for firearms and found nothing again. However, the first time they found P400 million  in cash. Then the last time they found another P120 million. However, nobody knows where the money went. And nobody was complaining about it either. Hmmm….

News Item: “Pacquiao could be beaten — by two men.” “There’s one way to beat Manny Pacquiao, and it would need the clone of two great warriors the Filipino boxer had previously beaten” — Erik Morales and Miguel Cotto. Well, cloning takes time. Why don’t they just put Pacquiao in the same ring with Morales and Cotto. And to make it more interesting, include Floyd Mayweather too. Like they say, “Matira ang matibay” (Last man standing wins).

I ran into an article posted on www.themetrolife.blogspot.com. It says:

Inkris Your Bocabulary by Manny Pacquiao

1. TACTICS – tunog ng orasan (sound of the time (tic tac))

2. NO PEER – nike commercial (no fear)

3. MOTOR KID – paglibot nya sa Manila (going around in Manila)

4. CHECK IN – manok sa McDo (chicken from Mcdo)

5. CORRUPT – pagsara ng mata (closing your eyes) (I don’t really get this one)

6. WIT – timbang (weight)

7. DUET – gawin mo (do it)

8. NOODLE – sagot kay Kris sa Deal or No Deal (no deal)

9. QUOTES – tawag nya kay Freddie Roach (coach)

10. CAKE – sipa (kick)

11. PANTS – suntok (punch)

12. LEAP – kaliwa (left)

(PerryDiaz@gmail)

PerryScope
by Perry Diaz

A political earthquake is about to occur in the judicial system of the Philippines. The core of the problem is the interpretation of Section 15 Article VII of the Philippine constitution. At issue is President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s plan to appoint the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court during the period when “midnight appointments” are banned by the constitution. The presidential elections will be held on May 10, 2010 and Chief Justice Reynato Puno will be retiring on May 17, 2010.

Section 15 Article VII says: “Two months immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of his term, a President or Acting President shall not make appointments, except temporary appointments to executive positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service or endanger public safety.”

My interpretation of Section 15 is: A President or Acting President shall not make appointments two months immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of his term with the exception of “temporary appointments to executive positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service or endanger public safety.” In essence, President Arroyo is only allowed to make “temporary appointments to executive positions” under certain conditions but cannot appoint the Chief Justice during the period when the ban on “midnight appointments” which will start on March 10, 2010 until the end of her term on June 30, 2010.

It is interesting to note that several legal luminaries and experts were of the opinion that Section 15 in Article VII of the Constitution does not apply to the appointment of the Chief Justice. They would be right if a comma — punctuation mark ( , ) — was inserted after “except temporary appointments” which would then read as follows: “Two months immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of his term, a President or Acting President shall not make appointments, except temporary appointments, to executive positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service or endanger public safety.” If Section 15 was written in this manner, then there would be no question that the ban does not apply to the appointment of the Chief Justice.  However, the whole sentence wouldn’t make sense either.

A few weeks ago, Congressman Matias Defensor Jr., member of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) and an ally of Gloria, opened a Pandora’s box when he asked the JBC to “hasten the nomination process for Chief Justice and allow Arroyo to appoint Puno’s successor before his retirement.” He argued that the “Chief Justice post should not be left vacant ‘even for a day’ especially in a crucial period such as presidential elections.”

If Mr. Defensor’s main worry was the “Chief Justice post should not be left vacant ‘even for a day’,” I have good news for him: Section 12 of the Judiciary Act of 1948 states that in case when the office of the Chief Justice is vacated, the most senior Associate Justice would take over until the next Chief Justice is appointed. That means that the Chief Justice post will not be left vacant ‘even for a second,’ and whoever takes over in acting capacity will remain in that post until a permanent Chief Justice is appointed by the next President.

As a matter of record, Section 12 of the Judiciary Act of 1948 has been invoked at least once before. In 1991, Chief Justice Marcelo Fernan resigned to run for a political office the following year. Associate Justice Andres Narvasa, the most senior member in the High Court, became acting Chief Justice until President Cory Aquino appointed the Chief Justice who happened to be Narvasa himself.

Since “vacancy” shouldn’t be an issue at all, why is it then that Gloria is bent on appointing the next Chief Justice during the ban on “midnight appointments”? And this is where the debate has gone from legal to political, from logical to comical, from sanity to absurdity. It’s going to be a circus.

Forget about what Section 15 Article VII of the constitution says. Forget about what Section 12 of the Judiciary Act of 1948 says. Forget about what civil society and the media say. Nothing stops Gloria from doing what she wants to do regardless of whether it’s constitutional or unconstitutional. What Gloria wants, Gloria gets… by hook or by crook. She has done it before, and most of the time she had it her way. So, why can’t she do it again? After all, what has she got to lose? Impeach her? Forget it.

Last January 18, 2010, the eight-member JBC decided to proceed with the process of putting together a “short list” of at least three nominees for Chief Justice. The top contenders are the five most senior associate justices: Antonio Carpio, Renato Corona, Conchita Carpio-Carpio Morales, Presbitero Velasco and Antonio Eduardo Nachura. However, the JBC did not yet decide on when to submit the “short list” to President Arroyo. But many legal experts are of the opinion that the JBC can only submit the “short list” when the post is vacated with the retirement of Chief Justice Puno.

What’s going to happen next would test the independence and integrity of the Supreme Court. The question is: Would the Supreme Court validate Gloria’s “midnight appointment” of the Chief Justice when it is crystal clear that Section 15 Article VI would only allow “temporary appointments to executive positions”? If the High Court validated Gloria’s “midnight appointment,” it would then establish a dangerous precedent.

At the end of the day, the interpretation of Section 15 Article VII could hinge on the absence of a punctuation mark, a missing comma.

(PerryDiaz@gmail.com)

Balitang Kutsero
by Perry Diaz

Illustration by Dave San Pedro

With 10 candidates running for President of the Philippines, God decided to interview all of them to decide whom to anoint. God asked each of the presidential wannabes the same question: “What would be your first act on Day One of your presidency?”

God: “Who wants to volunteer first?”

Noynoy Aquino: “Me! Me!”

God: “Since you’re the frontrunner, go ahead, Noynoy. Your mom talks highly of you. So, let’s hear what you have in mind.”

Noynoy: “Lord, my first act would be to confiscate all of Marcos’ ill-gotten wealth and use them to build millions of ‘Gawad Kalinga’ homes for the poor, provide jobs for the jobless, and feed the hungry. I’ll build a Bagong Pilipinas (new Philippines) in memory of my parents, Ninoy and Cory. Mabuhay ang Bagong Pilipinas!”

God: “Very good! I like your vision of a Bagong Pilipinas. I’m sure your mom and dad will not be disappointed with you. Who’s next?”

Manny Villar: “Bah! ‘Gawad Kalinga’ homes are cheap. There’s no profit in building those little homes. I’ve been building homes for more than 30 years, Lord. My first act will be to build roads — like the C-5 Road — all over the Philippines to link all the subdivisions that I’m going build and sell to the people. And then I’ll donate 10% of my profit to Gawad Kalinga so they can build those little homes for the poor.”

God: “That sounds like an excellent business plan. I’m sure that it would make you 100 times richer than you are today. Maybe you should donate 10% of your profits to the Church too. How about you, Gibo?”

Gibo Teodoro: “Lord, with all due respect to Manny, but his roads aren’t going to connect all the 7,000 islands in the country. So I’m going to build bridges and tunnels to connect all the islands.”

God: “Wow wow wee! That’s fantastic! And do you think that you’ll accomplish all that in six years? You may have to stay in power for at least another 30 years just to finish a fraction of your plan. It might be worth keeping you in power as long as you continue building bridges. Let me think about it.”

Gibo: “Actually, that’s my personal agenda, Lord. I have to stay in power until all the bridges and tunnels are completed. I’ll transform our beloved Pilipinas into an ‘Enchanted Kingdom’ in 20 years.”

God: “Enchanted kingdom? Twenty years? Hmmm… I heard that line before. Well… How about you, Dick?”

Dick Gordon: “Lord, that Global Balita editor didn’t call me ‘Flashy Dick’ for nothing! My plan is to fire all government employees and replace them with thousands of Red Cross volunteers. You see, I used volunteers to convert Subic Naval Base into an international free port. Look what it is today.”

God: “You’re indeed flashy, Dick. I like your idea of using volunteers. You’re pretty good at that. Keep up the good work. How about you, Bro. Eddie?”

Bro. Eddie Villanueva: “Lord, I believe that prayers can perform miracles. I’ll make it mandatory for all Filipinos to pray 10 times a day. Look at the Arabs! They only pray five times a day and they’re very wealthy. The Filipinos will become the wealthiest people on Earth!”

God: “Sounds like a great idea. Rest assured that I’ll hear their prayers, my loyal follower. I just want to make sure that the people will pray to me and not to Allah, okay? Let’s move on. How about you, Nick?”

Nick Perlas: “Lord, since I’m an environmentalist, I’ll save all the forests. To achieve that would require that we stop using paper products. The Philippines will be the first ‘paperless society’ on Earth. No more paper money. No more newspapers. No more toilet paper. The country is having water shortage too, so we need to conserve water as well. To achieve that, I’ll invent a waterless bidet that would only use air to do its work. I’ll also make it mandatory for every citizen over 18 years of age to have a computer at home so they can check my Facebook every day.”

God: “Excellent! You are going to save the Earth from destruction. More power to you, Nick. I’m glad the Comelec accepted your Certificate of Candidacy. Nick, we need people like you. I salute you. Who’s next? John Carlos?”

John Carlos de los Reyes: “I don’t really know what to do if I get elected, Lord. I’m new in the political game and the youngest of the candidates. However, if I win, I will stop corruption and send all the corrupt officials to jail and.…”

God: “Enough! I’ve heard that line since Quezon’s time and that’s not going to happen in your lifetime, kiddo. Good try, though. You’re next, Jamby.”

Jamby Madrigal: “Thank you, Lord! I just want you to know that I’m the only woman running for president. If elected, I will fight for women’s rights! I will also…”

God: “I agree with you Jamby. But we’re running out of time. Next!”

Vetellano Acosta: “I’m the standard bearer of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, the late president Ferdinand Marcos’ political party. If elected, I’ll build a monument to Apo Ferdinand that would be higher than the Quezon Memorial. I will also…”

God: “Stop it! That’s not going to happen, pal. Not in my lifetime. Okay? Let’s see who’s the best…”

Erap Estrada: “Hold it! Hold it, Lord! How about me?”

God: “Oh, I’m sorry, Erap. I didn’t know you’re still in the race. Okay, Let’s hear what’s in your mind.”

Erap: “Don’t underestimate my ability, Lord. I’m the oldest in this group but I’m wiser than a turkey.”

God: “You mean to say, ‘wiser than an owl,’ right?”

Erap: “Same thing. My first act as President would be to file plunder charges against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. She grabbed the presidency from me in 2001 and cheated my best friend Fernando Poe Jr. in 2004. It’s payback time, Lord. An eye for an eye! And I promise you that if she’s convicted, I will never pardon her! Lintik lang ang walang ganti!”

God: “Aha! You know, you’re the only one who thought of punishing Gloria for all her kalokohan (shenanigans).  Erap, you’re my man! I hereby anoint you as the country’s next President.”

(PerryDiaz@gmail.com)

PerryScope
by Perry Diaz
 
 
Finally, after so much speculation about President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s “secret candidate,” a face has emerged. In his recent article, “Her” man, respected columnist and political consultant Lito Banayo exposed Manny Villar as Gloria’s “secret candidate.” I totally agree with Mr. Banayo’s arguments that Villar is now Gloria’s man. 

In a recent survey, Villar is second to frontrunner Noynoy Aquino by 11% while Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro — Gloria’s “anointed” candidate — is languishing at the tail end of the survey in single digits. Unless there is a miracle or massive cheating in the May 10 elections, Gibo doesn’t stand a chance of winning. Simply put, Gloria wouldn’t bet her political future on Gibo.

Since it is not possible or probable that Gloria would support Noynoy, Villar is Gloria’s only viable pick. Even if Gloria tried to play ball with Noynoy, I doubt if Noynoy would be willing to play with Gloria. On the other hand, Villar had nothing to lose and everything to gain by secretly dealing with Gloria. Heck, the fact that Villar allied himself with the leftists just shows that he would deal with the Devil himself if that’s what it would take to win the presidency. As he recently said, “the presidency is my last dream.” Indeed, it’s the ultimate dream of a lifetime that he would relentlessly — and ruthlessly — pursue by any means his money could buy. And that’s what makes Villar as dangerous as — if not more dangerous than — Gloria.

The fact that Villar has reportedly planned to spend at least P7 billion of his own money in his presidential campaign manifests his steely determination to win the presidency. That kind of money would be enough to buy the election. And should Villar win the election, how would he recoup his “investment” in his campaign?

Rags to riches

Villar claimed that he came from a poor family from Tondo. His father was a government employee and his mother was selling fish at the public market in Divisoria. When he was a boy, Villar said that he helped his mother sell fish. However, there were reports that Villar was adopted by the wealthy Jalandoni family of Nueva Ecija. When he reached legal age, the Jalandoni patriarch deeded 400 hectares in Licab, Nueva Ecija under his name.

In 1975, Villar married the former Cynthia Aguilar, daughter of a politically powerful and wealthy family from Las Pinas City. With his wife’s wealth, Villar started building and selling homes. He became a millionaire and a leader in the housing industry.

Villar enters politics

Basking in his “rags to riches” accomplishment, Villar entered politics. In 1992, he ran for Congress and won. In 1998, he was chosen Speaker of the House of Representatives. In 2001, he ran for Senator and won. In 2007, after his reelection he was chosen Senate President.

During his presidency of the Senate, a scandal erupted that would haunt Villar for the rest of his political life. In October 2008, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, in a privileged speech alleged that Villar caused the “double insertion” of funds into the C-5 extension project linking Las Pinas to Paranaque in the 2008 national budget. Lacson said that Villar allocated another P200 million on top of the P200 million already allotted by Malacañang for the same purpose. Sen. Jamby Madrigal joined the fray when she alleged that Villar “wanted the C-5 extension to cut through his property so he could sell the property at a higher price.” A month later, Villar was ousted from his presidency of the Senate.

In 2009, Villar declared his presidential bid amidst the “double insertion” scandal of which he has yet to be cleared.

Conflict of interest

One of the hazards of running for president is that your life story becomes public and everything you’ve done in the past is unearthed and exposed for all to see. One of the issues that has been dogging Villar recently was the appearance of “conflict of interest” in regard to his real estate empire vis-à-vis his elected position as a legislative leader in both chambers of Congress.

On December 22, 2009, Ted Failon, host of the“Failon Ngayon” TV show, exposed Villar’s 23 subdivisions which were all connected by the C-5 Road extension — Daang Hari Road –linking Las Pinas and Cavite. Failon showed how Daang Hari Road — instead of a straight line — snaked around the 23 subdivisions from Las Pinas to Cavite by way of Muntinglupa, Alabang, and Laguna. Failon said that the C-5 Road extension — completed in 2004 –was funded by the national budget which was passed by Congress at the time Villar was Speaker of the House and then Senator who chaired the Finance Committee. Failon indicated that Villar voted for the national budget that appropriated funds for the C-5 Road extension, a violation of Article VI Section 14 of the constitution which says in part: “…Neither shall he [Senator or Member of the House of Representatives], directly or indirectly, be interested financially in any contract with, or in any franchise or special privilege granted by the Government, or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including any government-owned or controlled corporation, or its subsidiary, during his term of office.” Failon contended that Villar shouldn’t have ran for Congress because he had and still has ownership of business enterprises involved in government transactions and funding.

From millionaire to multi-billionaire

In the 17 years that Villar has been in Congress, he has accumulated so much wealth. He is now ranked number five on the list of the Philippines’ richest men with his net worth of $940 million (P45 billion).  He has the largest shareholding in the real estate firm Vista Land. Indeed, Villar has come a long way from selling fish in Divisoria to the multi-billionaire that he is today.

Had Villar stayed out of politics and earned his wealth through hard and honest work, he could have become the role model for the Filipino entrepreneur. But allegations of “conflict of interest” and probable corrupt practices while serving the people in Congress have raised doubts in the people’s minds about his qualifications to become the president of the country.

The question that keeps on popping up in my mind is: Is Villar’s association with Gloria going to influence his presidency and create a plutocratic oligarchy where the wealthy few govern the powerless citizenry? There is an old adage that says: “Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are.” Yes, indeed. 

(PerryDiaz@gmail.com)

PerryScope
by Perry Diaz
 
 
Finally, after so much speculation about President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s “secret candidate,” a face has emerged. In his recent article, “Her” man, respected columnist and political consultant Lito Banayo exposed Manny Villar as Gloria’s “secret candidate.” I totally agree with Mr. Banayo’s arguments that Villar is now Gloria’s man. 

In a recent survey, Villar is second to frontrunner Noynoy Aquino by 11% while Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro — Gloria’s “anointed” candidate — is languishing at the tail end of the survey in single digits. Unless there is a miracle or massive cheating in the May 10 elections, Gibo doesn’t stand a chance of winning. Simply put, Gloria wouldn’t bet her political future on Gibo.

Since it is not possible or probable that Gloria would support Noynoy, Villar is Gloria’s only viable pick. Even if Gloria tried to play ball with Noynoy, I doubt if Noynoy would be willing to play with Gloria. On the other hand, Villar had nothing to lose and everything to gain by secretly dealing with Gloria. Heck, the fact that Villar allied himself with the leftists just shows that he would deal with the Devil himself if that’s what it would take to win the presidency. As he recently said, “the presidency is my last dream.” Indeed, it’s the ultimate dream of a lifetime that he would relentlessly — and ruthlessly — pursue by any means his money could buy. And that’s what makes Villar as dangerous as — if not more dangerous than — Gloria.

The fact that Villar has reportedly planned to spend at least P7 billion of his own money in his presidential campaign manifests his steely determination to win the presidency. That kind of money would be enough to buy the election. And should Villar win the election, how would he recoup his “investment” in his campaign?

Rags to riches

Villar claimed that he came from a poor family from Tondo. His father was a government employee and his mother was selling fish at the public market in Divisoria. When he was a boy, Villar said that he helped his mother sell fish. However, there were reports that Villar was adopted by the wealthy Jalandoni family of Nueva Ecija. When he reached legal age, the Jalandoni patriarch deeded 400 hectares in Licab, Nueva Ecija under his name.

In 1975, Villar married the former Cynthia Aguilar, daughter of a politically powerful and wealthy family from Las Pinas City. With his wife’s wealth, Villar started building and selling homes. He became a millionaire and a leader in the housing industry.

Villar enters politics

Basking in his “rags to riches” accomplishment, Villar entered politics. In 1992, he ran for Congress and won. In 1998, he was chosen Speaker of the House of Representatives. In 2001, he ran for Senator and won. In 2007, after his reelection he was chosen Senate President.

During his presidency of the Senate, a scandal erupted that would haunt Villar for the rest of his political life. In October 2008, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, in a privileged speech alleged that Villar caused the “double insertion” of funds into the C-5 extension project linking Las Pinas to Paranaque in the 2008 national budget. Lacson said that Villar allocated another P200 million on top of the P200 million already allotted by Malacañang for the same purpose. Sen. Jamby Madrigal joined the fray when she alleged that Villar “wanted the C-5 extension to cut through his property so he could sell the property at a higher price.” A month later, Villar was ousted from his presidency of the Senate.

In 2009, Villar declared his presidential bid amidst the “double insertion” scandal of which he has yet to be cleared.

Conflict of interest

One of the hazards of running for president is that your life story becomes public and everything you’ve done in the past is unearthed and exposed for all to see. One of the issues that has been dogging Villar recently was the appearance of “conflict of interest” in regard to his real estate empire vis-à-vis his elected position as a legislative leader in both chambers of Congress.

On December 22, 2009, Ted Failon, host of the“Failon Ngayon” TV show, exposed Villar’s 23 subdivisions which were all connected by the C-5 Road extension — Daang Hari Road –linking Las Pinas and Cavite. Failon showed how Daang Hari Road — instead of a straight line — snaked around the 23 subdivisions from Las Pinas to Cavite by way of Muntinglupa, Alabang, and Laguna. Failon said that the C-5 Road extension — completed in 2004 –was funded by the national budget which was passed by Congress at the time Villar was Speaker of the House and then Senator who chaired the Finance Committee. Failon indicated that Villar voted for the national budget that appropriated funds for the C-5 Road extension, a violation of Article VI Section 14 of the constitution which says in part: “…Neither shall he [Senator or Member of the House of Representatives], directly or indirectly, be interested financially in any contract with, or in any franchise or special privilege granted by the Government, or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including any government-owned or controlled corporation, or its subsidiary, during his term of office.” Failon contended that Villar shouldn’t have ran for Congress because he had and still has ownership of business enterprises involved in government transactions and funding.

From millionaire to multi-billionaire

In the 17 years that Villar has been in Congress, he has accumulated so much wealth. He is now ranked number five on the list of the Philippines’ richest men with his net worth of $940 million (P45 billion).  He has the largest shareholding in the real estate firm Vista Land. Indeed, Villar has come a long way from selling fish in Divisoria to the multi-billionaire that he is today.

Had Villar stayed out of politics and earned his wealth through hard and honest work, he could have become the role model for the Filipino entrepreneur. But allegations of “conflict of interest” and probable corrupt practices while serving the people in Congress have raised doubts in the people’s minds about his qualifications to become the president of the country.

The question that keeps on popping up in my mind is: Is Villar’s association with Gloria going to influence his presidency and create a plutocratic oligarchy where the wealthy few govern the powerless citizenry? There is an old adage that says: “Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are.” Yes, indeed. 

(PerryDiaz@gmail.com)

Balitang Kutsero
by Perry Diaz

Balitang KutseroIs Dick Gordon getting desperate? He just fired the first salvo against Noynoy Aquino in the “Demolition War of 2010.” In a press release, “Flashy Dick” Gordon said, “It is not Facebook that matters here, it is not your face that matters.” Whoa! Has he been drinking? Well, let’s look at the Facebook numbers. Noynoy has 210,988 supporters while Flashy Dick has 2,894. My investigative reporter James Macaquecquec said that Noynoy’s response to Flashy Dick was: “Eat your heart out because dehin ka pogi at dehin ka pa goli (you’re not handsome and you don’t take a bath). Ako ay pogi na, goli pa (I’m handsome and I take a bath). Ha ha ha…” Attaboys! Keep firing until the last man standing!

Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather agreed to go to mediation to settle the “blood testing” issue. When reporters asked Pacquiao if he was comfortable mediating with Mayweather, Pacquiao responded, “Oki lang sa akin (It’s okay with me) because I’m used to it. I always meditate before a fight.” Huh?

I just learned that Pacquiao didn’t want to fight junior middleweight champion Yuri Foreman for a shot at his eighth world title in eight weight classes. His reason was he is 5-½ inches shorter than Foreman. However, Pacquiao confided to James that his real reason was it would be like David fighting Goliath. “But Goliath lost to David!” James said. Pacquiao stared at him and said, “Look, dummy! The only reason Goliath lost was David used a slingshot!”

***

The eight presidential wannabes were in a plane heading to Mindanao for a candidates’ forum when the captain announced that three engines died and the plane had only one engine left running. He then said that the plane could make it to the nearest airport only if three passengers jumped out. Silence.

Noynoy Aquino broke the silence and said, “Since I’m the frontrunner in poll ratings, I find it my duty for love of country and my late parents, Ninoy and Cory, to sacrifice myself and be the first to jump out. He cried, “Adios, patria adorada (Farewell, dear fatherland)” and jumped out of the plane. Silence.

Manny Villar broke the silence and said, “With Noynoy gone, I’m now the frontrunner. And like Noynoy, I find it my duty for love of country and my people to sacrifice my life.” He shouted, “Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! (Long live the Philippines!)” and jumped out of the plane. Silence… silence…

Gibo Teodoro broke the long silence, turned to Erap, and said, “Well, Erap, with Noynoy and Manny gone, you are now the frontrunner, isn’t it? Therefore, for love of country and your many wives and mistresses, it’s now your turn to jump out. Come on Erap, do it!”

Erap Estrada scratched his head. Silence… Then he slowly stood up shaking and with his voice quivering, said, “I… guess… it’s my turn, huh?” He looked around and then said, “For love of my beloved Pilipinas and the powerless poor, I plan to continue my program which I started during my first presidency.” Then he shouted, “Erap para sa mahirap! (Erap for the poor!),” turned around, grabbed Gibo and pushed him out of the plane.

***

A news report says that the ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD is thinking of repackaging the image of Gibo Teodoro to increase his chances of winning the presidential race. They said that Gibo could be the next Manuel Quezon. No kidding? Quezon was well known for his battle cry, “I prefer a government run like hell by Filipinos to a government run like heaven by Americans!” We’re already in hell, what else could Gibo do?

Another news report says that Lakas-Kampi-CMD could deliver up to 10.8 million votes for Gibo. With Gibo’s anemic 4% poll rating, how are they going to do that? Virgilio “Garci” Garcillano delivered only three million votes to Gloria in 2004, enough to give her one million votes more than her opponent. Garci and his boys used “dagdag-bawas” (add-subtract) to fix the numbers. I’m beginning to suspect that the “Garci boys” will only use “dagdag-dagdag” this time. Yup, just keep adding them up, boys!

Gibo urged the Commission on Elections to prepare a contingency plan in the event that the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines were not delivered in time for the May 10 elections. Gibo has nothing to worry about because a contingency plan is already in place which has been thoroughly tested during the 2004 and 2007 elections. In both elections, the “Garci boys” did a fantastic job in counting all the votes. That… is the contingency plan.

By the way, Gibo recently adopted “green” as his signature color for his campaign. I think “green” makes him sentimentally nostalgic. He’s been used to seeing green when he lived and practiced law in New York. Yup, he had a “green card” then and lots of 100-dollar greenbacks in his wallet.

Not to be outdone by the Liberal Party’s plan to raise a 500,000-strong “Yellow Army” to monitor the polls, the Nacionalista Party is going to raise a “rainbow army” of one million volunteers. Gibo is not fazed at all cuz he has at his disposal Gloria’s private armies — the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police. That’s more than 2 million people, and they’re all armed to the teeth.

Gloria appointed Undersecretary Antonio Villar Jr. as chairman of the Dangerous Drugs Board. Villar said that as the new anti-drug czar he “will work hard to reduce, if not entirely eliminate, illegal drugs.” Villar, who concurrently serves as Gloria’s anti-smuggling czar, also said, “I have lost friends and political allies when I took the reins as anti-smuggling czar, and I am now expecting more foes as I push the legacy of the government [war] against drugs.” Well, from what I heard Czar-Czar Villar and Mike Arroyo are still very good friends. Hey! friendship goes a long way in politics.

Gloria ordered defense and military officials to promote soldiers who “professionally implemented martial law in Maguindanao.” “Those who were assigned to implement martial law in Maguindanao showed our people that the Philippines is a law abiding democratic nation and upholds the rule of law and respects human rights, I thank our soldiers very much for that,” Gloria said. With 50 new generals, 100 new colonels, 250 new majors, and 500 new captains, Gloria can now impose martial law in the entire country. As Gloria’s granddaughter once said, “What lola wants, lola gets.”

(PerryDiaz@gmail.com)

Balitang Kutsero
by Perry Diaz

Balitang KutseroIs Dick Gordon getting desperate? He just fired the first salvo against Noynoy Aquino in the “Demolition War of 2010.” In a press release, “Flashy Dick” Gordon said, “It is not Facebook that matters here, it is not your face that matters.” Whoa! Has he been drinking? Well, let’s look at the Facebook numbers. Noynoy has 210,988 supporters while Flashy Dick has 2,894. My investigative reporter James Macaquecquec said that Noynoy’s response to Flashy Dick was: “Eat your heart out because dehin ka pogi at dehin ka pa goli (you’re not handsome and you don’t take a bath). Ako ay pogi na, goli pa (I’m handsome and I take a bath). Ha ha ha…” Attaboys! Keep firing until the last man standing!

Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather agreed to go to mediation to settle the “blood testing” issue. When reporters asked Pacquiao if he was comfortable mediating with Mayweather, Pacquiao responded, “Oki lang sa akin (It’s okay with me) because I’m used to it. I always meditate before a fight.” Huh?

I just learned that Pacquiao didn’t want to fight junior middleweight champion Yuri Foreman for a shot at his eighth world title in eight weight classes. His reason was he is 5-½ inches shorter than Foreman. However, Pacquiao confided to James that his real reason was it would be like David fighting Goliath. “But Goliath lost to David!” James said. Pacquiao stared at him and said, “Look, dummy! The only reason Goliath lost was David used a slingshot!”

***

The eight presidential wannabes were in a plane heading to Mindanao for a candidates’ forum when the captain announced that three engines died and the plane had only one engine left running. He then said that the plane could make it to the nearest airport only if three passengers jumped out. Silence.

Noynoy Aquino broke the silence and said, “Since I’m the frontrunner in poll ratings, I find it my duty for love of country and my late parents, Ninoy and Cory, to sacrifice myself and be the first to jump out. He cried, “Adios, patria adorada (Farewell, dear fatherland)” and jumped out of the plane. Silence.

Manny Villar broke the silence and said, “With Noynoy gone, I’m now the frontrunner. And like Noynoy, I find it my duty for love of country and my people to sacrifice my life.” He shouted, “Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! (Long live the Philippines!)” and jumped out of the plane. Silence… silence…

Gibo Teodoro broke the long silence, turned to Erap, and said, “Well, Erap, with Noynoy and Manny gone, you are now the frontrunner, isn’t it? Therefore, for love of country and your many wives and mistresses, it’s now your turn to jump out. Come on Erap, do it!”

Erap Estrada scratched his head. Silence… Then he slowly stood up shaking and with his voice quivering, said, “I… guess… it’s my turn, huh?” He looked around and then said, “For love of my beloved Pilipinas and the powerless poor, I plan to continue my program which I started during my first presidency.” Then he shouted, “Erap para sa mahirap! (Erap for the poor!),” turned around, grabbed Gibo and pushed him out of the plane.

***

A news report says that the ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD is thinking of repackaging the image of Gibo Teodoro to increase his chances of winning the presidential race. They said that Gibo could be the next Manuel Quezon. No kidding? Quezon was well known for his battle cry, “I prefer a government run like hell by Filipinos to a government run like heaven by Americans!” We’re already in hell, what else could Gibo do?

Another news report says that Lakas-Kampi-CMD could deliver up to 10.8 million votes for Gibo. With Gibo’s anemic 4% poll rating, how are they going to do that? Virgilio “Garci” Garcillano delivered only three million votes to Gloria in 2004, enough to give her one million votes more than her opponent. Garci and his boys used “dagdag-bawas” (add-subtract) to fix the numbers. I’m beginning to suspect that the “Garci boys” will only use “dagdag-dagdag” this time. Yup, just keep adding them up, boys!

Gibo urged the Commission on Elections to prepare a contingency plan in the event that the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines were not delivered in time for the May 10 elections. Gibo has nothing to worry about because a contingency plan is already in place which has been thoroughly tested during the 2004 and 2007 elections. In both elections, the “Garci boys” did a fantastic job in counting all the votes. That… is the contingency plan.

By the way, Gibo recently adopted “green” as his signature color for his campaign. I think “green” makes him sentimentally nostalgic. He’s been used to seeing green when he lived and practiced law in New York. Yup, he had a “green card” then and lots of 100-dollar greenbacks in his wallet.

Not to be outdone by the Liberal Party’s plan to raise a 500,000-strong “Yellow Army” to monitor the polls, the Nacionalista Party is going to raise a “rainbow army” of one million volunteers. Gibo is not fazed at all cuz he has at his disposal Gloria’s private armies — the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police. That’s more than 2 million people, and they’re all armed to the teeth.

Gloria appointed Undersecretary Antonio Villar Jr. as chairman of the Dangerous Drugs Board. Villar said that as the new anti-drug czar he “will work hard to reduce, if not entirely eliminate, illegal drugs.” Villar, who concurrently serves as Gloria’s anti-smuggling czar, also said, “I have lost friends and political allies when I took the reins as anti-smuggling czar, and I am now expecting more foes as I push the legacy of the government [war] against drugs.” Well, from what I heard Czar-Czar Villar and Mike Arroyo are still very good friends. Hey! friendship goes a long way in politics.

Gloria ordered defense and military officials to promote soldiers who “professionally implemented martial law in Maguindanao.” “Those who were assigned to implement martial law in Maguindanao showed our people that the Philippines is a law abiding democratic nation and upholds the rule of law and respects human rights, I thank our soldiers very much for that,” Gloria said. With 50 new generals, 100 new colonels, 250 new majors, and 500 new captains, Gloria can now impose martial law in the entire country. As Gloria’s granddaughter once said, “What lola wants, lola gets.”

(PerryDiaz@gmail.com)