Friday, July 22, 2005

SONA!

Yes! Malapit na ang SONA ni GMA! Soon to be Ousted Na! SONA! Yan lang, maraming salamat, nagpaplugging lang. :)


Ito ang greatest achievements ni Gloria:

1) The highest level of public debt (P4.08 trillion as of yesterday) and the biggest amount of foreign borrowing. (More than Corazon Aquino, Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada combined).

2) The No. 2 most corrupt country in the world; No. 1 in Asia according to the World Economic Forum and Asian Development Bank.

3) The most dangerous place for journalists in the whole world, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and earlier the London-based ICJ.

4) The new shabu manufacturing center in Asia.

5) The harshest repression rate of freedom of speech and of assembly topped by a "no- permit, no-rally" policy.

6) The highest unemployment rate (13.9 percent or five million unemployed) and the highest underemployment rate including the collapse of the garment industry.

7) The weakest link in the war on terror and the loss of standing and respect in the international community accompanied by a deterioration of US-Philippine relations.

The most expensive and the most fraudulent elections over held on May 10, 2004.

8) The fastest deterioration in the poverty line from 32 percent under President Erap to 47 percent in four years.

9) The highest price of oil products ever (P33 per liter).

10) The highest dollar-peso exchange rate (P56 to $1).

11) The highest importation of rice over a four-year period (more than 5,000 metric tons) indicating a failure in agriculture.

12) The most number of casinos and gambling establishments.

13) The most number of foreign and domestic trips by a President.

14) Control of the Supreme Court and inferior courts.

15) The largest number of retired Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) officers appointed to civilian positions.

16) The biggest number of doctors, nurses, managers, professionals, even domestics and caregivers leaving the country.

17) The biggest percentage increase of service and clearance fees, tolls (3,000 percent), license fees, ever imposed by any administration. You even have to pay to enter a National Bureau of Investigation office.

18) The lowest amount ($14 million) of foreign investment in any given year.

19) The biggest number of pyramid scams, pre-need plans bankruptcy, thereby a failure to protect consumers.

20) Condemnation by the German government and business associations on the Fraport-Piatco issue.

21) The Peace bonds scam giving away P1.8 billion to Code NGO and incurring a P35 billion additional debt in the process.

22) The biggest amount of unpaid pensions to AFP and PNP retirees (P17 billion).

23) The biggest importer of used cars and tax-free luxury cars.

24) Control of all TV stations.

What does all of these amount to? A failure of governance by the worst administration in our 107-year history.

THERE are MORE..
1) US$14million kickback from revival of IMPSA contract of which US$2m went to NANI PEREZ, PGMA's FMATE - Despite the paper trail, no action was done to run after the BLOOD MONEY

2) US$20million Asking price of PANCHITO, PGMA's personal lawyer so that TERMINAL 3 will not be declared NULL & VOID by his compadre - TONY CARPIO, the author of GMA letter to DAVIDE at the height of Edsa 2

3) The most expensive Boulevard named after his father - DIOSDADO MACAPAGAL ARROYO - the overprice of US$10m was deposited by the contractor to JOSE PIDAL who maintained a UNION BANK Account in PEREA ST., MAKATI - incidentally, the branch is very close to LTA BUILDING, HEAD OFFICE OF FIRST GENTLEMAN- MIGUEL ARROYO- -

4) oh.. WHO IS JOSE PIDAL? - PIGGY ARROYO - WHO INVOKED HIS RIGHT TO PRIVACY

5) The Only President who ordered TAMPERING OF PUBLIC DOCUMENTS in the NATIONAL ARCHIVE courtesy of his fagot minion - RICA MANAPAT who also visited INJUSTICE TONY CARPIO

6) KIDNAPPING of PING LACSON's witness - MAHUSAY courtesy of MIKE DEFENSOR.

7) Ostensibly using PAGCOR money to bankroll her ELECTION KITTY. Efrain Genuino, eluding a lifestyle check, is responsible for the ouster of CHE CHE LAZARO's program in GMA 7 - Bernadette Sembrano was fired for telling the truth!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Cha-cha ni Gloria

CHARTER CHANGE, GATS, AND PRESIDENTIAL SURVIVAL

The Arroyo administration is banking on Charter change for its political survival, but amid the hulabaloo on the political aspects of Cha-cha, it should be remembered that its proponents also want to change vital economic provisions in the Charter.

By Joseph Yu

IBON Features-- As President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo struggles to hold on to the presidency, it seems her only hope lies in amending the Constitution. Charter change and the false hopes it offers are Arroyo's last chance to avert not just another popular uprising that would sweep her from power, but a more extreme political scenario such as a military junta.

The Arroyo administration is also urgently pursuing Charter change due to the current economic and financial crisis resulting from its adherence to globalization policies. The government is in dire economic straits as liberalization of trade and investment has substantially eroded domestic sources of industrial and agrarian growth, and resulted in a brewing balance of payments crisis.

Public debate on Charter change has so far revolved around the manner of changing the Constitution and the political "reforms" involved. Hence: a constituent assembly or a constitutional convention. A presidential vs. a parliamentary system.

But in the midst of all the hulabaloo about the political aspects of Charter change, some people seem to have forgotten that proponents of Constitutional reform also want to change vital economic provisions in the Charter. These changes would ease the entry of foreign investments in sectors that were previously restricted to Filipinos. Although Charter change would result in a short-term economic boost as a result of an influx of foreign direct investments (FDI), it would be at the cost of further long-term damage to the local economy.

Undermining Economic Sovereignty

The 1987 Constitution has not successfully regulated the country's trade and investment relations with other countries towards developing national industries and domestic agriculture. The most that can be said is that the Constitution has partially contained the full implementation of globalization policies and forced monopoly capitalists-- with the cooperation of the government-- to find ways to bypass, subvert or totally disregard it.

The concept of economic sovereignty is in fact enshrined in the Constitution's Declaration of Principles, which says that the State shall: develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos; and pursue an independent foreign policy whose paramount consideration shall be national sovereignty, territorial integrity, national interest and the right to self-determination.

Specific Charter provisions on economic sovereignty include:


  • Restricting foreign ownership, the degree of foreigners' involvement in decision-making and the grounds of expropriation;

  • Regulating the exploration, development and use of the national patrimony and defining corresponding rights, privileges and concessions;

  • Giving preference to Filipinos and stating the responsibility to protect, encourage and promote Filipino economic activity;

  • Giving the state various powers with which to assert national sovereignty, specifically in terms of: regulating trade, monopolies and other economic activity in the public interest and in favor of Filipinos; defining the State's treaty making powers; and giving the Supreme Court the power to assert the Constitution's nationalist provisions.



In principle, these provisions could be used to assert the Philippines' economic sovereignty at least in a limited way. In practice however, administrations from Ramos to Arroyo have seen these as barriers to foreign direct investments that should be removed. It has even undermined these provisions by ratifying the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and becoming a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and by passing laws such as the Foreign Investment Act of 1991 and the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.

Foreign chambers of commerce and other big business interests have also not been shy about revealing their preferences for Charter change. The US, in particular, has been very vocal in criticizing restrictions on foreign ownership of land and other nationality requirements in public utilities (i.e. electricity, water, telecommunications, public transport) and other sectors such as banking and advertising.

Foreign Domination of Services

Charter change is also in line with government's commitments to open the economy under the WTO. This would lead to transnational corporations gaining control of vital sectors of the domestic economy.

Recently, the government announced that it would open six service sectors to foreign investors under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). The offer covers information technology (IT), construction, distribution, energy, and environmental and tourism services. Constitutional "reform" would ease the process of opening these sectors to foreign investors.

For example, investing in the environmental services sector (which includes water and sewerage) would be more attractive to outside investors if total foreign control would be allowed. Although water services have been privatized, full foreign ownership is still prohibited under the Constitution.

The offer to liberalize the construction and energy sectors covers services incidental to the mining industry. After the Supreme Court recently upheld the 1995 Mining Act, government is hell-bent on liberalizing the industry, in violation of the Constitution and at the expense of indigenous peoples and small communities who oppose mining on their lands. Removing economic sovereignty provisions in the Charter would preclude later legal challenges to foreign control of these sectors.

Adherence to GATS itself should be prohibited under the Constitution because of its requirement for WTO members to extend most-favored-nation (MFN) treatment to trading partners. MFN treatment means that if a country allows foreign presence in a sector, it must allow equal opportunities in that sector to service providers from all other WTO member-nations.

But it can also be interpreted to mean that a government cannot provide incentives to domestic providers of a service without providing the same incentives to foreign providers. This sharply restricts government's powers to develop the local economy by protecting it against competition from foreign providers. This goes against Article XII Sec. 1 of the Constitution, which says that the State shall "protect Filipino enterprises against unfair foreign competition and trade practices."

It should also be noted that MFN treatment applies even if a country has made no specific commitments to provide foreign companies access to its markets under the WTO.

Presidential Survival Tactics

The Arroyo administration is banking on Charter change for its political survival. In a recent speech before 500 Philippine consuls and honorary consuls to the US and Filipino-American investors, Arroyo once again pledged that she would speed up constitutional amendments.

But it is clear that the real motive behind Charter change is to remove Constitutional provisions on economic sovereignty that hamper transnational corporations' full exploitation of the country's natural resources and labor.

Charter change advocates also aim to tighten their control over the political system by diluting the Charter's provisions on civil liberties and human rights. This would allow them to stifle dissent over their iniquitous economic policies. Moves towards the intensification of state repression are already evident with the rash of killings of activists.

Admittedly, the 1987 Constitution is not perfect. But for all its weaknesses, it must be prevented from becoming worse through Charter change. It is not the Constitution itself that is the root of the people's social and economic problems. The basic problems of the country are foreign domination, factionalism of elite politics, bad governance and feudal bondage-- and any Charter emerging amidst these problems can only be worse.

Meaningful constitutional change can only take place when it is driven by the people's true economic and political interests rather than in response to the demands of foreign interests.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Prolongation of Arroyo regime

Prolongation of Arroyo regime aggravates crisis of the ruling
system

As in counting votes, Gloria M. Arroyo and her subalterns engage in dagdag bawas (add-subtract) in counting rallyists. They claim that the anti-Arroyo rally of 30,000 people on July 8 was only 3,000 to 10,000 and that of 70,000 to 80,000 on July 13 was only 9,000 to 15,000 although some pro-Arroyo journalists concede that it was 40,000 or even 50,000. The July 13 rally in Makati was even more impressive if we consider that the police and military of the regime blocked many of the rallyists coming from Central and Southern Luzon.

The officials, police and press operatives of the Arroyo regime go to extremes in belittling the anti-Arroyo mass actions as well as in exaggerating the number of rallyists on July 16 at Rizal Park. The pro-Arroyo organizers of the rally press ganged local government employees, teachers and students and deceived them that they were attending a prayer rally.

The police gave absurdly high estimates of the crowd, ranging from 125,000 to 250,000. Two major pro-Arroyo newspapers also estimated the crowd at 120,000 and 125,000. The seemingly more modest but arithmetically confused propagandists of Arroyo claim less than 100,000 but boast that the pro-Arroyo rallyists were "twice" the peak of 80,000 rallyists on July 13. The same press drumbeaters of Arroyo during the 2004 electional campaign and vote count are still serving her faithfully.

The mass movement for the ouster or resignation of Arroyo has grown in size, scope and intensity in the national capital region and in the provinces since June. Every new peak in the mass actions are preceded by localized build up mass actions by various mass organizations of the national democratic movement. But her subalterns in the media keep on harping that the people suffer from protest fatigue and that mass actions are failing to attract enough people to topple the regime.

Subsequently, they spread the brazen lie that the broad united front and the broad masses of the people are giving up on mass actions and are submitting themselves exclusively to proceedings in Congress or a "truth commission". Arroyo and her sycophants daydream and boast in pro-Arroyo print and electronic media that they could bring the people's outrage to a venue in order to squelch it.

The regime is terrified that the broad united front would soon be able to muster at least 500,000 at some focal point in the national capital region, expose the inability of Arroyo to govern and encourage the military and police forces to withdraw their support from her. At the same time, the regime is jittery about the fact that the oppositionists in the House of Representatives are now close to gathering 79 signatures for the Senate to try her for high crimes and for Noli de Castro to start opposing her .

The Arroyo regime has a definite objective in consistently belittling and mocking at the mass actions of the people outraged by electoral fraud, corruption, puppetry and human rights violations and in trying to frighten the people with the malicious claim that communists and Muslims are out to disrupt the mass actions. The rabid loyalists of the regime in the military and police forces are in fact preparing for the violent suppression of the mass actions.

They anticipate that the anti-Arroyo marches and rallies on July 25 on the occasion of the state of the nation address (SONA) will be larger than previous ones. Thus, they are now planning to block and assault the prospective rallyists. But the various forces in the broad united front are now alerted and are adopting the measures to frustrate the regime. Patriotic military and police officers have assured them that they will openly make a stand and act against the regime if its loyalists unleash violence against the rallying people.

The Arroyo regime would throw itself posthaste into the abyss if it used violence against the people. It does not have the resources that were still available to Marcos when he imposed a fascist dictatorship on the country. The suppression of legal and peaceful but militant mass actions would give justification to a wide range of militant actions for proving the inability of the regime to govern in the urban areas. Such actions would encourage the rapid spread of tactical offensives against the local police forces in the rural areas, as in Nepal from 1996 onwards.

The prolongation of the Arroyo regime by any means is nothing but an aggravation of the socio-economic and political crisis of the ruling system of big compradors and landlords. However, even if impeachment proceedings would induce Arroyo to resign and enable De Castro to replace Arroyo, he would not be able to last long in power. He would dig his own political grave by following the same Arroyo policies dictated by the US and the IMF, World Bank and WTO. The people would reject him as one complicit in electoral fraud, corruption and other high crimes of the Arroyo regime.

The broad masses of the people would not be satisfied with the replacement of one reactionary president by another through whatever method. They want ultimately to overthrow the rotten ruling system of big compradors and landlords and to establish a truly new democratic system of the working people and the middle social strata. They wish to bring about a new Philippines that is independent, democratic, just, progressive, prosperous and peace-loving. They want to liberate themselves from the clutches of imperialism and reaction.###

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
July 17, 2005

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Gloria is going down

I repost this from another blog for those reading this blog and who have not stumbled upon this info. summarized, GMA's governance is now crumbling from within.

INSIDE PCIJ: Stories behind our stories
End game
July 8, 2005 @ 6:30 pm · Posted by Yvonne Chua
Filed under In the News
by Sheila S. Coronel and Yvonne T. Chua

THE most serious blow that has so far hit the
presidency of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has come not
from the opposition but from within the heart of Mrs.
Arroyo's Cabinet.

The resignation this morning of eight Cabinet members
and two senior revenue officials took the political
initiative out of Congress and raised the issue to a
higher level. The question now is no longer just the
president's probable involvement in electoral fraud.
It has been elevated to Mrs. Arroyo's ability to
govern, given the "cloud of doubt and mistrust" that
hangs over her presidency.

By resigning, the Cabinet secretaries have outflanked
MalacaƱang and Congress. They are pushing the path
away from impeachment, which they believe would be
long and costly, and toward resignation and a
relatively quick and painless transition.

They are also fending off other options, such as
former President Fidel Ramos's proposal for a
constitutional assembly and a presidential election to
be scheduled next year. At the same time, they are
seizing the initiative from the opposition and
stalling extraconstitutional moves toward "regime
change."

Not that the president did not see the blow from her
Cabinet coming. She did, and last night's statement
was precisely a preemptive strike.

But Mrs. Arroyo herself, through her intransigence,
brought the current crisis to a roiling boil. After
all, the Cabinet secretaries who announced their
resignation this morning did not make their intention
secret.

When 12 members of the Cabinet met with the President
in the evening of June 24, they already told her that
the presidency was suffering from a crisis of
credibility that required swift, surgical measures,
among them, an admission of guilt and an apology for
the conversations in the "Hello Garci" tapes; the
banishment from political life of her husband, son and
brother-in-law; the removal from government of
appointees associated with the First Gentleman; and
the implementation of reforms to shield the poor from
the impact of higher taxes and skyrocketing oil
prices.

During that meeting, the "doves" in the Cabinet even
suggested that the President should consider all of
them resigned so that she could have a free hand in
reorganizing the government to rid it of the unsavory
characters associated with Mr. Arroyo. Among those
present at the meeting were Defense Secretary Avelino
Cruz, Education Secretary Florencio Abad Jr., Trade
Secretary Juan Santos, Finance Secretary Cesar
Purisima, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman,
Budget Secetary Emilia Boncodin, Labor Secretary
Patricia Sto. Tomas, Science Secretary Estrella
Alabastro, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla,
presidential adviser on the peace process Teresita
Deles and Communications Director Silvestre Afable.
(Some of the "doves" like Sto. Tomas and Lotilla
tendered their resignation today, but stopped short of
calling for the president's resignation.)

In the June 24 meeting, the president was unyielding.
"I'm not changing my stand on this," she told her
secretaries. She said she was following the advice of
her legal advisers, who were competent and
independent-minded. But she also promised to consider
the demands.

On June 27, Mrs. Arroyo gave her famous "I am sorry"
speech. Frustrated by what they thought was a
half-hearted apology, the "doves" met with her again
right after that announcement. It was, they said, a
lengthy get-together that lasted from 9 p.m, to
midnight.

After that, the Cabinet secretaries converged in the
home of Defense Secretary Cruz, where they talked till
3 a.m. They were all deeply disappointed with the
President's stubbornness and her sense that things
were going back to normal when all of them thought the
country was teetering on the brink.

Things came to a head in the executive session of the
Cabinet that took place on Tuesday, July 5. The
"doves" were shocked when the President said she
regretted her June 27 apology. "She felt she got more
flak than sympathy," said one Cabinet secretary then.
"She was in a way telling us, I didn't get anything
from apologizing." The secretaries realized that the
admission wasn't done with contriteness nor did the
president intend to come clean on the charges in the
Garci tape.

For many among the "doves," this was the last straw.
It became very clear to most of them that the
president put her political survival above everything
else and that the next five years of her presidency
would be consumed by the imperatives of her survival.

Not that they didn't have an inkling of this already.
The women Cabinet members, many of whom had been with
Mrs. Arroyo since the start of her presidency, had
already felt deep unease about the president's
leadership style and the way government programs were
being compromised to advance Mrs. Arroyo's personal
political agenda.

The economic secretaries, meanwhile, were getting
increasingly worried that their reform programs were
being frustrated by the wheeling-dealing of the First
Gentleman and his associates. The campaign against
smuggling, for example, was being derailed by the
apparent protection the "FG" and his men were giving
to businesspeople believed to be associated with
smuggling.

When the Supreme Court declared a temporary
restraining order (TRO) on the implementation of the
newly minted value-added-tax law on July 1, Purisima
hit the roof. Although there was no proof that
Malacanang had lobbied for the TRO, he was deeply
suspicious. "VAT was a big issue that firmed up his
resolve," said someone close to the Cabinet.

When the President remained unyielding in their July 5
meeting, the "doves" decided it was useless for them
to hang on. They intended to announce their
resignation today and worked on consolidating their
ranks.

"Our immediate concern is not poison politics or
infirmities in the Constitution; the problem is the
symbol of government has been compromised," a close
aide quoted one of the "doves" as saying. "If we don't
deal with this now, we will have even more problems.
We're just simply disturbed that reforms are discussed
only in a crisis."

On Wednesday, July 6, Abad and Purisima flew to Hong
Kong to meet with Vice President Noli de Castro. They
told him about the resignation plan. De Castro was
supposedly surprised and asked for time to consult
with his family and advisers.

Although the Liberal Party denies it, sources at the
Nacionalista Party say that during that meeting, the
two Cabinet secretaries also asked De Castro to name
Senate President Franklin Drilon, an LP stalwart, as
his vice president and concurrently also executive
secretary. De Castro, however, was noncommittal. The
NP is pushing for Sen. Manuel Villar to take on the
vice presidency.

NP sources say that former President Corazon Aquino,
who met with de Castro yesterday, also lobbied asked
for Drilon. Mrs. Aquino also met with the president
last night.

Malacanang sources say that many in the Palace believe
that some of the "doves," especially those connected
with the Liberal Party, have a political agenda. They
also say that the president is determined to hang on.
She meant it when she said last night she's not going
to resign.

While the end game seems to have begun, the
resignation option will not be viable unless the
president concedes defeat and prepares for a graceful
exit. For the moment, though, Malacanang is still far
from the "graceful exit mode." For now, Mrs. Arroyo is
sticking to only one option: she is president and she
will hang on.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Doktor ng Bayan

A website was launch recently under Arkibong Bayan dealing with the events leading to the death of Dr. Bobby de la Paz. He was one of the martyrs in the book Six Young Filipino Martyrs published in 1997, along with Lean Alejandro, Lorena Barros, Edgar Jopson, Emmanual Lacaba, and Abraham Sarmiento Jr. As described in that book, they comprise "a young batch indeed but never too young. They were young: too young to die, too young to carry the complacency of a slumbering people, too young to suffer tyrants. They deserved to live."

To the students out there, these stories are not only good references for term papers in social sciences but also, more importantly, inspirations in life and sample of lives to follow.

Click here to visit the website for Dr. de la Paz: http://www.arkibongbayan.org/bobby/bobby.htm.