Wednesday, October 24, 2007

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


In the wake of a resuscitated public clamor for Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to resign following the expose of possible bribery of local leaders and congressmen in Malacanang, an explosion occurred in Glorieta 2, a popular shopping area, that caused the death of 9 and injury to 100. The Philippine media echoing the immediate reaction of the people raised the probable connection between the two incidents. We cannot blame the people for expressing such an attitude towards the Arroyo Administration because unpopular governments in general such as the Marcos government during the 70s and 80s resorted to state-sponsored acts of terrorism.

Philippine Senator Antonio Trillanes IV who is a former Naval Officer and head of a military revolutionary group called MAGDALO passed a Resolution calling for an in-depth probe of the Glorietta Blast on the probable involvement of de facto President Arroyo and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon. As an exceptional military officer, Sen. Trillanes was trained in special military operations particularly knowledge in in psychological warfare and urban guerrilla tactics. He has his own reasons for initiating the resolution because of his familiarity with what he described as secret Malacanang documents reportedly circulated among top military commanders authorizing military-sponsored bombings of airports and power facilities in 2003 designed to blame the violence on the Muslim Independence Liberation Movement (MILF), a violent group of Filipino Muslims that advocates secession from the Philippines.

Given the conflicting reports from the Police and Army investigators as to what caused the Glorietta Explosion – whether it's an explosive device or an inflammable gas leak – I think a full-scale congressional inquiry is in order. Remember, here in our country, it took a congressional inquiry and an independent investigation to clear the facts surrounding the 9/11 World Trade Center Explosion in 2001.


If ever former Philippine President Joseph Estrada who was convicted of Plunder and sentenced to almost a life sentence behind bars would be given full and unconditional pardon by de facto President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo because of Estrada's final submission to “Her Excellency” as the legitimate President of the Philippines, then it could be said that Estrada's guilt is not stealing the Filipino people's money in millions but his refusal to recognize Arroyo as president.

Having been detained for six years, Estrada who was a movie star in the Philippines famous for playing the role of a strong defender of the poor against the cruel gangsters before he joined politics, must have been mentally tortured. It is always expected of such a victim to give in to the wishes of the torturer in any given normal situation unless the victim is of an extraordinarily rare character like that of Jose Rizal at least or the Lord Jesus Christ at most.

I would not blame “Erap” (Estrada's popular nickname) for his final submission to the “powers”against his will because as a mere mortal, he surely prefers to enjoy the remaining years of his life with his beloved family that to be a dying inmate surrounded by the cold wall of a prison cell in Muntinglupa.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


Joey De Venecia, son of the Speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives Joe De Venecia and the key Senate witness who testified of the Arroyo Administration's anomalous deal with Chinese businessmen, declared in a recent television interview in the Philippines that de facto Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is already “numb” to corruption. The Speaker also confirmed to Philippine media that he also used the same word to describe Arroyo's behavior towards corruption charges being launched against her administration.

If it's true that Arroyo suffers from numbness when it comes to corruption, then her numbness would suggest a symptom of the more serious disease of administrative “cancer.” If her administrative “cancer” has already metastasized, then her de facto services as leader of the Filipino people need to be terminated urgently.

The Filipino people has long been innocently intimidated by the unknown: What will happen next following Arroyo's sequestration? Who will succeed her? The people are afraid that her successor may be worse. Comparing her administration with that of her predecessor, Joseph Estrada who was convicted of plunder, Arroyo comes out more unsatisfactory.

Life is full of uncertainties and so with the political life of the Philippines. Yet there exists a reality called hope for the better. There's always a time for a change. As a popular song says, “night follows day, day follows night.” As our world revolves around the sun so is our life in this world that moves in cycles. In plain words, the darkness that now surrounds the Arroyo administration would be replaced by a brightness of a succeeding one.

It is improbable that Arroyo's successor would be much worse. People learned from mistakes. It's the responsibility of Philippine lawmakers to institute more safeguards and sanctions to ward off graft and corruption in government. Let the Philippine Congress continue with its hearings and investigations to guide them in formulating appropriate legislations to answer specific governmental problems such as plunder, graft and corruption, and other wrongdoings in government.

If President Arroyo is indeed too “numb” to heed the people's cry to resign because of her inability to govern and her loss of moral authority, let the Filipino people call an ambulance to pick her up and take her to the hospital. DEMOCRACY IN THE PHILIPPINES IS AT STAKE.


Manny Pacquiao is a trained fighter in a boxing ring. Just like any trained warrior, he renders total obeisance to his benefactors such as former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza, presidential spouse Mike Arroyo, and Governor Luis”Chavit” Singson who all belong the Arroyo Administration's political party.

Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim belongs to the political opposition and an ardent critic of Pacquiao's benefactors. So Pacquiao opted to skip Mayor Lim's planned victory parade in Manila to celebrate his recent win over a famous Mexican boxer in Las Vegas to make his benefactors happy. Somewhat having the mentality of his fighting cocks, he reacts foolishly at the cue of his benefactor-handlers.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


Nicholas Wapshott, a New York Sun columnist, writes in his October 10th article
“Inevitable?” that among the Democratic presidential candidates, only former vice-presidential candidate John Edwards, has the guts to “pull the trigger” and unleash a barrage of attacks against Hillary Clinton, the current front runner for the Democratic Primary next year. The other candidates like Obama, Biden, Richardson, and Dodd were observed to have pulled their punches against Hillary to make themselves available for being selected as a running mate or being offered top positions in an “inevitable” Clinton administration.

According to Wapshott, Edwards does not believe that Clinton is the inevitable winner in the Primary elections early next year and a possible winner in the November 2008 general elections against the Republican nominee. He is just waiting for the right timing like knocking your opponent in the 11th round of a boxing match.

Well, anybody who watched any of the Democratic presidential debates would notice that Sen. Hillary Clinton's performance followed a carefully written script in response to an expected question. In other words, the democratic voters have no idea what's really behind her big piercing eyes. John Edwards and his wife somehow know and are ready to press the button very soon.

To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, consider reading the transcripts of all the criminal cases and graft cases filed against the Clinton couple and their cronies from the time prior to Bill's election to the governorship of Arkansas until his impeachment proceedings during his second term of office as president of the United States. I may say that however powerful is Bill's so-called charisma or “teflon character” to ward off the stinging darts of his critics, it won't help Hillary because as they proudly say, they always do their thing together. When they are politically undressed during the campaign, the voters will cover their noses from the stink.

There's no wonder now why Republican strategists, particularly Karl Rove, wants to see Hillary as the Democratic nominee. Is she indeed an inevitable loser in the general elections?


Two ruling families in control of the Philippine government, the Arroyo Family and the De Venecia Family, reportedly had an urgent meeting in Malacanang Palace, official residence of the de facto president, to ease a growing tension between them as a result of the Philippine Senate's expose of a bribery and “kickback” scandal in connection with a multi-million dollar Philippine-China business deal that involve Joey De Venecia, the House Speaker's son and Benjamin Abalos, the resigned Commission on Election chairman. Abalos is widely believed to have managed the rigging of the 2004 presidential elections to favor Gloria Arroyo over the now deceased opposition candidate, Fernando Poe, Jr. who was a popular movie actor. In the meeting, both families pledged to stay as political allies and preserve their shaky coalition to keep themselves in power.

Lately the Philippine Senate Committee charged with investigating the criminal conspiracy among the major players belonging to the two families, particularly Mike Arroyo, the Philippine president's husband, announced to proceed with the hearings this month. They want to have Romulo Neri who is considered to be a very close Arroyo crony in the witness stand again. In the past hearing, Neri refused to continue with his testimony about his conversations with President Arroyo after he was told not to accept Abalos' 200 million peso bribe and invoked “Executive Privilege”

In this particular situation, the Philippine Senate may be able to make Romulo Neri and Joey De Venecia as their own “Joseph Valachi” to tell the truth to the Filipino people about the existence of a criminal syndicate and its chain of command within the government. Perhaps Luis “Chavit”Singson whose testimony led to the conviction of his close friend, former Philippine president Joseph Estrada for plunder, is smiling ear to ear because his tribe is increasing.


Friday, October 05, 2007

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


When lousy comedian Joan Rivers labeled all Filipinos as dog-eaters, I wrote a warning to her and her daughter Melinda in my old column, For Your Eyes Only, published by another paper not to travel to the Philippines because they might be mistaken for dogs and be eaten by the people. I believe Joan Rivers later on took a series of cosmetic surgeries on her face but still failed to change her distinguishing canine looks.

When “loonie” Howard Stern, a monster-looking buffoon, tagged all Filipino fathers to be selling their daughters for money, I made another quip clearly described as a joke in the same column(this column is being used by an Internet website called High Beam Encyclopedia) saying Stern as a Jew may be a good excuse for the Holocaust. I was criticized by some readers as a bigot. In a battle of ethnic jokes or sensitivities, let the weak withdraw and stop their crazy antics.

This time, the television network ABC tolerated the producers of “Desperate Housewives” to stigmatize all medical schools in the Philippines as unreliable in a line used by the show's leading character, actress Teri Hatcher, whose roots can be traced back to a God-forsaken place in India. It was not a joke but a serious conversation piece watched by millions of television viewers.
After a barrage of complaints lodged before the television station demanding an apology, well, ABC Network did apologize. But as one Filipino American doctor said, “the damage was already done.”

This is now my wild recommendation: If any of the people connected with the production of “Desperate Housewives,” particularly the Chairman and CEO of ABC and the producers get sick in the Philippines, they should be immediately deported back to their countries of origin sans any medical treatment in order to prevent an epidemic among the Filipino people.


Benjamin Abalos, was reported to have resigned his post as Chairman of the Philippine Commission on Elections, a constitutional body designed to conduct elections and proclaim the winners. This development came up as an offshoot of the Senate's inquiry into an anomalous business contract between Chinese and Filipino government officials called the ZTE National Broadband Deal where Abalos has been accused of brokering and bribing. Because of the testimonies of two men, Joey De Venecia who is the son of Philippine Speaker of the House of Representatives and Romulo Neri who is a close aide and confidante of de facto Philippine president Gloria Arroyo, impeachment proceedings in Congress and criminal suits before a court of law have been launched against Abalos for the crime of bribery and graft and corruption.

If it's true that Abalos indeed officially resigned as he announced to the media, then I may say that he is an honorable man. If he just took a leave of absence scheduled to expire on the day of his retirement next year, then he is a congenital criminal and should be prosecuted to the hilt.

Here's a good question: How come the de facto president of the Philippines is still glued to her stolen presidential chair despite more than two testimonies that she has committed plunder, graft and corruption, electoral fraud and other high crimes? Possible answer: Because of 300 years of abusive Spanish colonial rule, Filipinos can become insensitive to abuses of government officials as long as they still manage to survive on garbage and left-overs for food. When they reach their saturation point, a slight spark can ignite a holocaust.