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Archive for November, 2008

Blasphemy

Posted by lenolea on November 28, 2008

Merriam Webster defines blasphemy as the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God or irreverence toward something considered sacred or inviolable.

During Tuesday’s impeachment hearing, Cebu Representative Pablo Garcia said, defending Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, “More than 2,000 years ago, our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified because of an opinion survey. Pontius Pilate presented our Lord to the crowd and said, ‘Whom would you prefer, Barabas or Christ to crucify?’ Our Lord Jesus Christ lost in the survey. Is that how we are going to judge our President because of an opinion survey?”

Just last week, Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesperson Jesus Dureza prayed before a Cabinet meeting, “Bless the president so we will have forebearance, good health, the tolerance to lead the nation up to 2010, and perhaps who knows, even beyond.”

It seems that Garcia and Dureza really idolize Mrs. Arroyo. Mrs. Arroyo herself professed divine intervention when she announced her intention of running for presidency.

Sometime in September 2003, Mrs. Arroyo made an official visit to Europe where she met Pope John Paul II. She said in Rome, “We want to pursue our goals for the country in ways that we perceive more akin to how God would want us to do it. That’s the greater conviction I received after meeting again with His Holiness.”

Nine months earlier, in December 2002, she also announced that she will not run for President again. She even said her decision not to run for president is God’s will.

Probably, Garcia and Dureza are among the few who experience heaven during Arroyo’s reign. The majority of the Filipino people, as evident in Mrs. Arroyo’s plummeting popularity surveys, are going through hell.

The economist in Malacañang has failed to resolve unemployment, hunger and poverty. Mrs. Arroyo has opted to continue implementing globalization policies that have wrought havoc on the nation’s economy.

Unlike Mrs. Arroyo, Jesus Christ was never accused of stealing billions from public coffers. He was not charged of implementing a policy that allows extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other grave human rights abuses.

Mrs. Arroyo’s style was not original. On March 19, 2003, when US President George W. Bush announced the US war on Iraq, he said, “My fellow citizens, the dangers to our country and the world will be overcome. We will pass through this time of peril and carry on the work of peace. We will defend our freedom. We will bring freedom to others. And we will prevail. May God bless our country and all who defend her.”

The so-called weapons of mass destruction are nowhere to be found in Iraq. Bush asked for his lord’s blessing to invade Iraq and kill millions of innocent civilians in the name of the so-called ‘war on terror.’

In the 1900s, the Philippine-American unequal relations also started with a prayer. President William McKinley told the US senators debating whether or not to invade the Philippines, “I am not ashamed to tell you, Gentlemen, [of the Senate] that I went down on my knees and prayed Almighty God for light and guidance that one night. And one night later it came to me this way… There was nothing left for us to do but to take them all and to educate the Filipinos and uplift and civilize … them, and by God’s grace do the very best we could by them, as our fellow men for whom Christ also died.”

More than 600,000 ‘uneducated and uncivilized’ Filipinos were brutally killed in the US’ Benevolent Assimilation.

One wonders to whom they were praying to. Bush’s and McKinley’s prayers led to slaughter of innocents. Dureza’s prayer and Garcia’s statement send shivers down everybody’s spines.

When will the shameless idolatries and blasphemies from the country’s highest seat of power end?

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Beyond 2010?

Posted by lenolea on November 25, 2008

It is apparent that the Arroyo ruling clique is determined to amend the 1987 Philippine Constitution.After failed attempts in the past, their push for Charter Change is gaining momentum once again.

Pampanga Representative Juan Miguel ‘Mikey’ Arroyo, the eldest son of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, without an iota of delicadeza, started getting the support of House members for the convening of a Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) to change the Constitution.

Malacañang was quick to distance itself from Cong. Mikey Arroyo’s moves, saying that Mrs. Arroyo’s son is like any ordinary guy. Are they insulting the intelligence of the public?

While Cong. Arroyo confirmed that there was a resolution for Con-Ass, it is to ‘revisit’ the provisions of the Constitution, and not to extend his mother’s term.

In an interview over dzRB AM radio, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Anthony Golez said, “The Palace will dismiss, exclude and reject amendments that deal with term extension or other moves or schemes to perpetuate (the interest of) or politically benefit incumbent elective officials to include the President.”

Indeed, Golez is fit for his job.

The National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) said, “House Resolution 550 directly proposes the extension of term of President Arroyo and all other elective officials and the postponement of the 2010 elections to June 30, 2011. Another resolution proposes the elimination of the current term limits and another resolution for the expansion of the term of congressmen to four years instead of three years…”

Once the Con-Ass is convened, nothing can stop it from amending, even overhauling, the Charter.

Presidential Political Adviser Gabriel Claudio said in a statement that the Palace is in favor of transparency in Charter change moves and initiatives.

Well, the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments withdrew its previous decision to hold four public consultations in Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao on the need for Charter change.

The failed attempts to railroad Charter change indicate that the Arroyo ruling clique has utilized schemes that can hardly be called transparent and honest. The Oct. 25, 2006 Supreme Court ruling, for example, branded the so-called people’s initiative as ‘gigantic fraud’ on the Filipino people. Then, Arroyo’s cohorts in the Lower House, led by then House Speaker Jose de Venecia, pushed for a Senate-less Con-Ass. Raging protests frustrated the plan.

Malacañang seems to be ready now. With Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, a known Arroyo ally and advocate of Charter change and the incoming Arroyo appointees to the Supreme Court, the Arroyo ruling clique must really be serious in ramming Charter change down everybody’s throats.

Today, we face a very serious threat –the threat of Arroyo perpetuating herself in Malacañang. With it comes continuous economic misery and shameless corruption. With her in power, the country remains subservient to foreign interests at the expense of the people’s welfare.

Arroyo’s long list of crimes against the Filipino people was again recited in this year’s impeachment proceedings in Congress, she would have every reason to immune herself from prosecution. Plunder and grave human rights violations are no ordinary sins.

Can’t this country wake up to end this nightmare?

Perhaps soon this ruling clique’s madness will get the finale it rightfully deserves.

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Truth-telling

Posted by lenolea on November 17, 2008

What is the price of truth?

Nilo Arado, secretary general of local peasant group Pahagpong sa mga Mag-uuma sa Panay and regional chair of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) in Panay, testified during a Senate investigation, Nov. 17, 2005, that farmers in the island never received fertilizer subsidies supposedly released by the Department of Agriculture.

On April 12, 2007, Arado was abducted by suspected state agents in Oton town of Iloilo. He remains missing to this day.

Ofelia Rodriguez, a resident of Barangay Divisoria in Mexico, Pampanga, appeared on ABS-CBN’s investigative program Probe Team on August 25, 2005. Like Arado, Rodriguez said they never received any fertilizer subsidies.

After her appearance on television, Rodriguez had been invited several times by the Philippine Army’s 69th Infantry Battalion. On October 25 of the same year, a certain 2nd Lt. John Paul Nicolas pressured Rodriguez into admitting she is a member of the New People’s Army (NPA). Barely three months later, on January 16, 2006, a lone gunman entered Rodriquez’ house and shot her in the head.

Other witnesses to the P728-million fertilizer fund scam have been facing threats on their lives.

Danilo Ramos, secretary general of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and Joseph Canlas, regional chairperson of Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon (AMGL) could no longer go home. For security reasons, they constantly change their routes and routines. Suspected intelligence agents tail them relentlessly.

Who could forget Marlene Garcia Esperat, a journalist who also exposed the fertilizer scam? Esperat was shot dead in her home in front of her ten-year-old daughter by two gunmen on March 24, 2005 in Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat.

Recently, the Office of the Ombudsman junked the case filed by Esperat in 2004 against Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, former Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn “Joc-Joc” Bolante, and other officials over the illegal use of public funds.

And what is the truth for Joc-Joc Bolante?

During the Senate inquiry, the alleged architect of the fertilizer scam said 91 percent of the P728 million has been liquidated by program implementors.

He also said that no fund was released before the May 2004 presidential elections.

Joc-Joc also said there were threats on his life when he was in the United States.

Joc-Joc also said that Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is not and has not been involved in the fertilizer and farm tool program Ginintuang Masagana Ani (GMA).

If Joc-Joc were to tell the truth, his former boss could be driven out of Malacañang.

If there were no suppression of truth, if there were no cover-ups committed by those who wish to get away with their crimes, then Arado, Rodriquez, Esperat and many others need not have suffered dearly in the name of truth.

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