Manuel Buencamino on the Smith custody controversy.
Take it or leave it
Dispatches from the Enchanted Kingdom
The announcement was made by US Embassy press attaché Matthew Lussenhop and the reason he gave was, “. . . the current custody issue. The usual protection for US servicemen remains in doubt.”
The usual protection Lussenhop refers to is the VFA (Visiting Forces Agreement) provision that says that US servicemen accused of committing crimes in the Philippines are to remain in US custody until the judicial proceedings against them are completed. The misunderstanding arises from when those proceedings actually end.
US Ambassador Kristie Kenney accused the Philippines of not complying with the VFA. But she was kind enough to allow the Philippine government to work its way out of its noncompliance.
We are declaring a unilateral cease-fire until midnight Dec. 26, 2006.
Maligayang Pasko sa inyong lahat.
One thing for sure, the expenses for this party didn’t come out of Brig. Gen. Delfin Bangit’s own pocket. We think he owes a least a Christmas card to all the taxpayers who made his party possible.
Isafp holds lavish Christmas bash with ‘Emperor’
By Fe Zamora
AMID shouts of “Long Live the Emperor,” Armed Forces intelligence chief Brig. Gen. Delfin Bangit threw P500 bills, like they were candy, at the Isafp (Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines) Christmas party held on Wednesday night.
Easily the grandest party in Camp Aguinaldo this season, the Christmas bash of the Intelligence Service of the AFP turned the highly secured compound into a rock concert-cum-Oktoberfest-cum-noontime TV show, complete with stand-up comics from popular bars on Timog and Quezon Avenue.
One insider told the Inquirer that “it was the most lavish” Christmas party ever celebrated at the Isafp headquarters.
AFP information officer Lt. Col. Bartolome Bacarro declined to comment on the Isafp party. “I don’t really know what transpired during the party,” he told the Inquirer yesterday.
Thanks to the inaction of the company union, Unifors. there is one less posting available to career ambassadors. Shirley Ho-Vecarion has been confimed by the CA as ambassador to Papua New Guinea.
Seriously, guys, don’t you think it’s time you folded your tent? When our movement, UNIFFORS, was formed following the revelation of the Garci tapes, we asked you to join us. Instead, you got ultra-legal, wrote a letter condemning us, and pledged your undying support of the cheater. Where did you your tuta attitude get you?
You think you were going to be rewarded for your loyalty? Smell the damn coffee! Nobody respects wimps.
Who’s the de facto Unifors president now? Na promote lang to ambassador nawalan na ng bayag.
The good news is Raul Gobzales was passed over, along with Mr. Health Card Duque, Mr. Garci bodyguard Ebdane, Mr. Former Everything Angelo Reyes, and seven other cabinet nominees. It should be mentioned that some of the seven by-passed nominees are actually decent people. Unfortunately, they chose to cast their lot with a cheat, a liar and a thief. Screw them all.
Manuel Buencamino rewrites the script of the cancelled ASEAN Summit in his weekly Business Mirror column.
‘De typhoon! De typhoon!’
Dispatches from the Enchanted Kingdom
In the Enchanted Kingdom there is an island where, for a handsome fee, dreams can come true. The Queen learned about the place, Fantasy Island, during the 2004 elections. Since then, the island has been her second home.
This year the Queen decided it was time to introduce her second home to the world. “Prepare for the grandest party you’ll ever throw. I have invited kings from far and near to grace your ‘coming-out’ party,” she told the Islanders.
The Islanders decorated their homes, filled potholes in their streets, and splashed new paint on anything that stood immobile for more than a few seconds. They even built a multimillion-peso venue especially for the ball.
When everything was ready, the Islanders went to the beach, tropical cocktails and aloha leis in hand, to await the arrival of the seaplane that was to fly in their honored guests. They stood for hours, patiently waiting for the drone of the seaplane’s engine and the voice of Tattoo, the Island dwarf, announcing, “De plane! De plane!”
But the welcome party would wait in vain. There would be no Tattoo announcing the arrival of guests to Mr. Roarke that day. In his stead, another dwarf came screaming, “De typhoon! De typhoon!”
This is really something that should concern UNIFORS, the above -ground foreign officers union, and not us, UNIFFORS. But we were approached by a concerned foreign service officer who requested us to write about yet another political appointment to the diplomatic corps.
Gloria Arroyo appointed a certain Shirley Ho Vecario as ambassador to Papua New Guinea.
Our source was disappointed that the company union talked about the appointment and wrung its hands but did not take a stand on the matter except to say they will try to write procedures for appointments.
Who is Ms. Vecario and what are her qualifications for the post?
Her CV says she was a provincial board member, 1st Distrcit Northern Samar, from 2001 -2004. Before that she was a municipal vice mayor. 1998-2001 in San Isidro, Northern Samar.
Her previous work experience prior to politics was with the National Food Authority in Quezon City where she started out as an office clerk, (1982- 1986), and rose to Private Secretary (1986-1988) to Confidential Assistant (1988-1989) to Grains operations Assistant (1989-1990) to Executive Asst II (1990 – 1998)
She finished law in UST but there’s no mention of her taking or passing the bar. She attended two post graduate courses, a masters degree in business administration and a masters in public management but she did not submit her thesis for either course.
We recognize that ambassadorial appointments are the chief executive’s prerogative. However, because the DFA is a career service, political appointments should be few and far between and reserved only for truly exceptional individuals.
Ms. Vecario’s appointment is being rammed through the Commission on Appointments.
Our source said,
“Tomorrow’s Commission on Appointment’s hearing, the last this year, is reserved for the promotion of DND personnel. But, at the insistence of some political interests, Ms. Vecario’s confirmation is being rushed. The plan is to present her at the hearing and then straight to the plenary for confirmation.
Why the rush? Her name was not even published, as all other nominations are. Her CV and other relevant papers have not even been reviewed or discussed at the committee level.
Recall that the CA hearing of journalist Amando Doronilla focused on his knowledge, or lack of it, regarding RP-Belgian relations. He was subjected to such an intense scrutiny, he decided to withdraw his nomination.
Now, the confirmation of this lady is being rushed. There has been no proper investigation of her qualifications.
Secforaf Romulo has not even signed on to her appointment. Her papers were signed by Mrs. Arroyo and forwarded to DFA for immediate transmittal to the CA.
It has been said that career ambassadors refuse to serve in Papua New Guinea because it is a hardship post and this poltician from Samar is willing to go where no diplomat will dare venture. But that’s not true.
Not one career ambassador was told that the PNG post was available. And some career ambassadors have expressed interest in the post, should it become available.
There are 23 able, experienced, and qualified career ambassadors waiting to be posted but Mrs. Arroyo decided Ms. Vecario’s broad experience in the National Food Authority and the provincial and municipal government of Northern Samar carries more weight. It’s not surprising.
She appointed a retired policeman to replace a career ambassador posted in Jakarta because the ex-cop had a unique qualification, he was a classmate of the Indonesian president. She appointed former chief justice Davide to the UN Mission. What is it that Davide knows about the UN that a career ambassador does not know? Fortunately, Davide has not been confirmed, months after his appointment papers were submitted to the CA, because he has not submitted his statement of assets and liabilities.
Well, UNIFFORS has done its part. We publicized the matter. Let’s see what the company union, UNIFORS, does to protect its members.
UNIFFORS was formed to rally the career officers into withdrawing their support for Gloria. But once in a while, we lend a helping hand to career officers whose leaders don’t have the balls to protect their own.
THE LONG VIEW
By Manuel L. Quezon III
Published on page A15 of the December 18, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer
GARRY WILLS WROTE: “THE LEADER IS ONE who mobilizes others toward a goal shared by leader and followers. In that brief definition, all these elements are present, and indispensable …. Leaders, followers and goals make up the three equally necessary supports for leadership …. The goal must be shared, no matter how many other motives are present that are not shared.”
When President Macapagal-Arroyo set the Charter change ball rolling in the crisis month of July 2005, I pointed out she was doing a disservice to its cause by wrapping herself up in its mantle. Whether or not she was ever intellectually convinced of the need for constitutional amendments and of the manner she felt best to pursue it, that became beside the point: operating in an atmosphere of a political emergency, she retained one of the greatest powers of her office, the power to propose, but she lost the legitimacy required to unite the country.
The Luneta rally did not get the 500,000 warm bodies the organizers had hoped. Some of them will cite myriad reasons for falling short of their goal. But that would be self-destructive. There’s an old political maxim that says, “in politics when you’re explaining, you’re losing.”
There is no need for explanations. The only thing that matters is that there are people who are willing to stand up for what’s right. They deserve our gratitude.
Thank you to all who came to the rally. Without you we lose completely
As we say in our bannerhead –
“In a nation run by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together: Not necessarily to Win, but mainly to keep from Losing Completely”
Thank you again for keeping up the good fight!
Almost ten days after Gloria Arroy cancelled the ASEAN Summit because of a non-typhoon, Amb. Vic Lecaros, spokesman of the 12th ASEAN Summit, still insists,
“Truth is, the only real cause (for the postponement) was that blandest of all conversational topics in everyday life: the weather.”
Pag-asa said the typhoon would not hit Cebu. Pag-asa said the typhoon would be out, not only off Cebu, but out of the Philippne area of responsibility by the time the summit was scheduled to begin. Pag-asa said it was okay to go on with the summit. (ANC has Pag-asa on tape.)
Vic Lecaros, an ambassador by profession, is saying that Gloria Arroyo, a liar and a cheat by choice, is more qualified than Pag-asa when it comes to tracking the path of a typhoon.
Pag-asa can be wrong sometimes but they never lie. The same cannot be said of Gloria Arroyo and now, sadly, of Amb. Vic Lecaros.
It pains us to see an otherwise intelligent and qualified foreign service officer like Lecaros reduced to lying for Gloria Arroyo.
Amb. Lecaros you should have left the lying to low-lifes like Amb. Jun Paynor, chief protocol of Malacanan. Sinira mo lang ang pangalan mo. Sayang.
Norberto Gonzalez, the other Gonzalez, is up to his old tricks again. (READ HERE)
Yesterday, Norbee announced,
“I received credible intelligence information that provocateurs will attempt to sow civil disorder and violent confrontations during the prayer rally.”
But, Brig. Gen. Ben Mohammad Dolorfino, commander of the military’s National Capital Region Command. says otherwise.
“Asked if he has monitored any plan by any group to sabotage the prayer rally, Dolorfino said: “There is none. On our part, on the part of the NCRcom, we have not monitored anything to that effect.”
So why is Norbee lying again? Because he wants to set up road-blocks on the highways leading to Manila to prevent people from the provinces from joining Sunday’s rally.
“Gonzales said the checkpoints will be set up in key thoroughfares leading to Metro Manila “in order to monitor the unauthorized entry of weapons and explosive devices or materials.”
Norbee is trying to scare parents and schools into keeping their children home on Sunday.
“I am appealing to the parents to check with the Catholic school authorities if their sons and daughters are being required to participate in Sunday’s prayer rally. If their children will be attending, I’m asking them to request the school authorities to ensure that their children are adequately protected and that measures are in place should trouble happen,”
We’re willing to bet Gonzalez’s commission on the Venable contract that there are already “communist suspects” in custody who will be presented to the press if Arroyo’s security forces do decide “to sow civil disorder and violent confrontations during the prayer rally.”
The stage is set. The script is written. And the actors are cast.
Let’s pray somebody in that rathole by the Pasig comes to his senses and says “Cut!” instead of “Action!”