Dureza, Golez, and Shit

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the October 27th, 2008

Over at Radio ng Bayan, Palace mouthpiece Anthony Golez downplayed JDV’s endorsement of the impeachment complaint.

    The unexplained and unreasonable delay in revealing that he has personal knowledge about the controversy casts serious doubts on the veracity of his claim.”


Because, said Gloez,

    “The Supreme Court has ruled that the longer it takes to report to the authorities regarding the commission of a crime, the greater the possibility that the crime never happened.”

O sige na nga.

Let’s all pretend that a basic tenet of law- testimony against one’s own interest carries a lot of weight- does not exist.

Let’s prevent JDV from testifying. Let’s just take the word of Golez that “the crime never happened.”

Let’s also celebrate the news coming from Golez’ boss, Jess Dureza.

    “All the world leaders are praising the Philippines and the President because of the programs she put in place before the financial crisis could hit us. The other countries are now using her management style and her programs as their model.”

No shit. Who praised her? Which countries are using her style and programs as role models?

Speaking of shit….on the US election, the New Yorker’s David Sedaris has this to say about “the undecideds.”

    To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat.

    “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”

    To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.

    I mean, really, what’s to be confused about?

JDV statement on impeachment

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the October 25th, 2008
    This fight is not my son’s fight alone. The complainants represent a wide segment of national society.”

    “One of the principal complainants is my son, Joey de Venecia III,” explaining why, out of delicadeza, he didn’t endorse the impeachment right away.

    “Since then, however, I have come to believe this impeachment complaint is invested with a purpose that commands a higher sense of duty to country and people. For me not to endorse such grave allegations—and so prevent them from being heard by a competent political court—would in itself constitute a crime against the Filipino people,” said the former Speaker.

So those in the so-called opposition who asked why should they endorse the impeachment if JDV won’t, well there’s the fucking answer.

Now they have no excuse.

Change the narrative

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the October 22nd, 2008

Nothing seems to work so in my column for Business Mirror I make a suggestion you might call crazy at first glance. And maybe at second and third glance too.

    Change the narrative

    “…he not busy being born is busy dying.”
    - Bob Dylan

    Your Majesty,

    You listened to operators and you ended up humiliated by Supreme Court justices. I won’t repeat their painful words but I’ll say you made the mistake of assuming operators are capable of giving sound advice.

    The official reaction to the Court’s decision, “We respect the Supreme Court decision even as we, with all due respect, maintain that… blah… blah… blah…blah” proved your trusted aides haven’t learned a thing. Saving face is defensive and backward looking. You should be moving forward.

    Your operator-advisers call “focusing on authentic dialogues with affected communities and sectors and qualifying that further negotiations with the MILF will be on the basis of Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR)” a new paradigm. It is not. It is only a tactical shift because it does not challenge the MILF narrative that says Moros are not Filipinos.

    A true paradigm shift involves changing the game itself. Going from “the sun revolves around the earth” to “the earth revolves around the sun” is a true paradigm shift. So is the Magna Carta because it made law, not a monarch’s caprice, supreme.

    Challenge the MILF narrative. You do it by being physically present in ARMM. Establish temporary headquarters right in the heartland of the MILF. Raise the flag, remind Moros that they are Filipinos.

    Govern the country from ARMM until real progress towards peace and reconciliation is made. You don’t need to be based in Manila anyway. If you can manage disaster relief from hotel suites in San Francisco, Washington DC, and New York, you can certainly run the country from ARMM, at least for the time being.

    As chief executive on site, you can see to it that the funds you allocate for development and relief reach their final destination intact. You can monitor infrastructure projects personally. In addition, you will be the one to conduct those “authentic dialogues with affected communities.” You don’t want to delegate those consultations to the same operator-advisers who told you that the MoA-AD was the way to go, do you?

    As commander in chief on site you will lift the morale of your soldiers. They will not run out of supplies because you will be there to make sure they don’t. They won’t have to die from loss of blood while waiting for helicopter rescue because your entire presidential helicopter fleet will be around to augment the Air Force’s lone Huey. Furthermore, there will be more troops available to pursue bandits because the well-equipped presidential security command and all those elite perimeter forces guarding Malacanan will be with you in ARMM.

    When things start getting done, when local warlordism wanes because you are around for extended periods and not just for occasional lightning visits, Moros will see that the MILF narrative is both self-serving and untrue.

    The shift to direct consultation and DDR is good but it won’t work unless it’s done under a new narrative, one that begins with “Moros are citizens of the Republic of the Philippines…”

    Your loyal subject,

Walang pakialam?

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the October 21st, 2008

Here is a Palace press release on Jocjoc Bolante. It quotes press secretary Dureza extensively.

    Palace distances itself from Bolante

    “Walang pakialam ang gobyerno sa kaniya ngayon. He is a private citizen.”

    Thus Malacanang distanced itself today from former Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn ‘JocJoc’ Bolante who is reportedly set to return to the Philippines from the United States.

    “He (Bolante) is not an official at all of the government. Kaya kung anuman ang mangyari sa kaniya (So no matter what happens to him), he takes care of himself,” said Press Secretary Jesus Dureza in a radio interview this morning.

    The Press Secretary added, “Kung may mga kaso siya, harapin niya (If he has any case/s), he should face them. Kung may mga atraso siya sa batas, pananagutan niya.”

    Asked if the government intends to help Bolante as a former agriculture undersecretary, Dureza reiterated, thus: “He is a private citizen. He can take care of himself. And he should take care of himself.”

    “We have no take on him as a person dahil private citizen na siya. So we cannot say we welcome him or we don’t want him here,” the Press Secretary added, pointing out that Bolante’s next move all depends on the former aggie official:

    “Depende sa kaniya kung ano ang gawin niya sa buhay niya, at kung ano ang gagawin niya to defend himself kung mayroon siyang mga pananagutan dito o haharapin dito sa Pilipinas.”

    released 10/20/2008


The “Hero” hates veterans

Posted in Brownman's Posts by uniffors on the October 20th, 2008

Keith Olbermann exposes the John McCain’s agenda against veterans.

Mitigating Market and Government Failures

Posted in Brownman's Posts by uniffors on the October 20th, 2008

Nepomuceno Malaluan’s article for Business World’s Yellow Pad discusses how to reduce the negative effects of market and government failure.

    Mitigating Market and Government Failures

    20 October 2008

    Nepomuceno A. Malaluan

    The market, left to itself, facilitates the achievement of great things. The peculiar ability of the market mechanism to bring about economic growth and progress has been a central observation of Adam Smith in his popular treatise An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, first published in 1776. Such ability, he posited, finds root in the human propensity to exchange with one another, not out of benevolence but out of their regard for their self-interest, and in the process gives rise to division of labor.

    It is this division of labor, as it results in improved expertise, time efficiencies, and invention of new technology, that allows the ever-increasing quantity of work that can be done by the same number of people. For society as a whole, this means ever-greater choices and conveniences at the least cost. Thus, although intending only his own gain, man in the course of market-facilitated exchange is, in the words of Smith, “led by an invisible hand” to at the same time promote the interest of society.

    The observation of the positive social consequence of the division of labor and of exchange may have been expressed elsewhere and in a much earlier time. Wen-tzu, an elaboration of teachings attributed to the ancient sage Lao-tzu, stated in part:

    “In ancient times, when the sage-king Yao governed the land, he guided the people in such a way that those who lived by the water fished, those who lived in the forests gathered, those who lived in the valleys herded, and those who lived on high land tilled the soil. Their habitats where suited to their occupations, their occupations were suited to their tools, and their tools were suited to their resources….

    “Thus the people were able to use what they had to exchange for what they lacked, using their skills in exchange for what they could not do themselves. Therefore those who rebelled were few, while those who followed were many.”

    Such was ancient free-market policy.

    But the market, left to itself, has its social drawbacks. From society’s perspective a free market does not always allocate resources efficiently. Instances of market failures include: the failure to provide key public goods that society needs (think lack of infrastructure) ; the over-production of goods or activities with negative externalities borne by society (think climate change); and the existence of market power in certain goods and activities (think Meralco). Also, market players do not always behave efficiently, sometimes with huge social costs (think Asian crisis and US financial crisis; think Maynilad). Markets are also often unable to correct distributional inequalities that society may want to narrow (think parts of Mindanao). Finally, there is no guarantee that the promise of sustained growth and development will be fulfilled (think Philippines) .

    These market failures give occasion for government to intervene in the market in the name of public interest, such as through the provision of public goods, the regulation of various markets and activities, the imposition of fees and taxes or the grant of subsidies, and the introduction of redistributive policies. But we Filipinos know only too well how government interventions to overcome market failure often fail. Think large-scale corruption, losing government-owned or government-controll ed corporations, and white elephants whose costs are ultimately borne by society even for generations to come.

    In the face of the reality of failures in both government and market, the social debate has been between freeing the markets versus introducing more government interventions. Depending on one’s perspective, he may view either the free market or the government as the solution to the failing of the other.

    But to go beyond the government versus market discourse, it may be worthwhile to explore non-governmental, non-market institutions, mechanisms or initiatives that can mitigate both government and market failures, to the benefit of all.

    One such mechanism is public access to information held by government. The mitigating effects of public access to government information on government failures are easy to appreciate. For one, a free flow of information results in better government policies. It enhances the capacity of the public to provide timely feedback to government, promotes informed debate among stakeholders, and builds consensus around policy objectives and design.

    For another, a free flow of information is a vital safeguard against corruption and rent seeking. Secrecy in government gives public officials and rent seekers alike a wide room for maneuver and greater cover for evidence of corruption (think Romy Neri invoking executive privilege). In contrast, transparency exposes the vested interests involved and leads to the identification of corrupt officials.

    Access to government information also helps mitigate market failures. The availability of information on rules and government policies, programs, and resource allocation enables the private sector to make sound long-term economic decisions.

    Private sector participation in publicly critical activities should be covered by access to information rights as well. In critical enterprises such as electricity and water, public access to relevant information can help guard against undue exercise of market power.

    Our access to information held by government is guaranteed by no less than the Constitution. Section 7, Article III (Bill of Rights), states that the right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Unfortunately, while our Supreme Court has confirmed that this provision is self-executing, it is far from complete. Its effective implementation has for the past two decades suffered from the lack of the necessary substantive and procedural details that only the legislature can provide.

    The Action for Economic Reforms (AER), along with members of the Access to Information Network (ATIN), has long been working for the enactment of a Freedom of Information law. They have come closer to fulfilling this advocacy when allies in Congress led by Representative Erin Tañada were able to push the early approval of the bill in the Lower House. The House approved on third reading House Bill 3732, or the Freedom of Information Act of 2008, on12 May 2008.

    What remains to be done is for the Senate to pass its counterpart measure. We hope that Senator Bong Revilla, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media, will start hearings on the measure at the soonest.

    Another possible mechanism to address government or market failures is the harnessing by civil society of a range of human values beyond self-interest, such as the bayanihan spirit. An example is the Gawad Kalinga. A non-market, non-government initiative, it undertakes to systematically provide key goods that the government and the market have otherwise underprovided, in particular housing for the poorest. Gawad Kalinga is now branching out to provision of education and health within its communities.

    To be sure, there is no substitute for directly addressing the foundations of bad Philippine government. But as the problem of bad government appears intractable at present, the institutions, mechanisms and initiatives I describe at least allow us to explore alternatives beyond surrendering our social fate completely to the workings of the market.

    Mr. Malaluan, a lawyer with an academic background in economics, is the corporate secretary of Action for Economic Reforms (www.aer.ph) , and a convener of the Access to Information Network.

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The Impeachment Complaint

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the October 15th, 2008

The man who will dispense the $700B bail-out is called Neel Kashkari, believe it or not. Cashcarry, get it?

My Dispatch from the Enchanted Kingdom is on the new impeachment complaint.

    That’s entertainment

    “Moral passion without entertainment is propaganda, and entertainment without moral passion is television.”—Rita Mae Brown

    The Batasan approved the 2009 budget last week. It has fulfilled its duty to fund all the government’s programs and expenses for the coming year. It can now move on to a matter of the greatest national importance: impeachment.

    Now is the time to determine whether Gloria Arroyo can be trusted with the P1.4-trillion budget.

    The impeachment charges—betraying public trust, culpable violations of the Constitution, acts amounting to bribery and acts of graft and corruption—are neither recycled nor frivolous. It’s not, as a Palace mouthpiece would have the public believe, “like replaying a movie that never took off.”

    There are new elements in this complaint:

    The Quedancor scam has been added to the charge of corruption, and the selling of Mount Diwalwal’s gold to ZTE is a new element in the charge of betrayal of public trust.

    The allegation of bribery, that Gloria Arroyo paid congressmen to endorse the fake two-page Pulido impeachment complaint, has been confirmed by Rep. Antonio Cuenco, the late Rep. Crispin Beltran and “admissions made by the Liberal Party that 14 of its members received amounts of P500,000 from respondent [Gloria Arroyo].”

    In addition, Govs. Ed Panlilio and Jonjon Mendoza revealed they received money while attending a meeting where the Roel Pulido impeachment was discussed. Panlilio even showed the bundle of money he received to a Senate committee investigating the matter.

    The allegation of human-rights violations cannot be ignored, either, not after the Supreme Court said Gloria Arroyo’s hero, retired Gen. Jovito Palparan, was involved in the abduction of the Manalo brothers.

    The impeachment complaint is so solid Malacañang has to lie, obfuscate and distract so as not to address it.

    Palace spokesman Anthony Golez lied. He said, “Wala silang na-prove, it did not prosper in any of the official courts in the country. Ano ang bago sa binibintang nila?”

    Arroyo has not been brought to any “official courts in the country” because she has immunity, duh. The only court that can try her is the Senate, but no case has been filed there because the “fiscals” (congressmen) were paid to drop the case. Don’t be so stupid as to think we are idiots, Anthony.

    For distraction and obfuscation, Anthony added smear to his lie. He asked, “Tatakbo ba sila sa 2010, that’s why they are using other people for their ambition?”

    Motives have nothing to do with the objective merits of the case; motives may color the case but they cannot and do not change the facts, Anthony.

    Jess Dureza also chose the low road when he said, “Let’s not give importance to these two. It’s so obvious that this move is actually the launching of their senatorial bids. Why else would they do it if not for that?”

    It’s typical of the former peace adviser who can’t differentiate between capitulation and making peace not to do anything right. In trying to dismiss the impeachment complaint, he said Joey de Venecia should not be given importance. Thus, he unwittingly bolstered the argument that the impeachment should be about Gloria Arroyo and not Joey de Venecia.

    The Batasan pitched in. Speaker Prospero Nograles reminded everyone that “at the end of the day, it’s still a numbers game.” There must be a sign at the entrance of Nograles’s office that reads: “Welcome. But leave your conscience at the door.”

    A congressman brought up the global financial crisis and said we should attend to it rather than the national malaise brought about by a lying, thieving administration. It’s true the meltdown should concern us all, but what can the Batasan really do besides talking about it, pass a law making meltdowns illegal? Do something about things you can do something about, Mr. Congressman. Put an end to this sorry chapter in our history; impeach Gloria.

    Gloria Arroyo insists she is clean and has nothing to hide. So why does she spend so much money to abort impeachment complaints?

    Why does she prefer to keep her reputation under a cloud when, in an impeachment trial, she can confront her accusers and clear her name?

    What are you afraid of, Mrs. Arroyo?

    A televised impeachment will provide entertainment for a jobless, starving people. There is no better way to distract them from the miserable life you gave them. Think about it.

Gangland Justice

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the October 14th, 2008

The Supreme Court upheld the finding of the Court of Appeals linking Gen Jovito Palparan to the abduction, detention, and torture of the Manalo brothers.

United Opposition president Jejomar Binay immediately issued a challenge to the Justice Department.

    “The Arroyo administration should file charges and order the arrest of Palparan to show its adherence to the constitutional provisions of protecting human rights and the rule of law.”

Binay added,

    “To keep silent on the matter would only confirm the sentiment of local and international human rights observers that her administration condones such practices.

Palparan reacted to Binay’s statement,

    “If I were him, I would just let the court decide. I have not been convicted of any charges. Anyway, the President is not stupid to make such an order, otherwise my arrest would be illegal.”

So if Arroyo orders his arrest she will be stupid.

Anyway, the DOJ swung into action right away.

It recommended the filing of a criminal complaint against Joey De Venecia and his father for their involvement in the ZTE deal and cleared everyone else of any wrongdoing.

The De Venecia’s will be charged under the law that bans relatives of high government officials from doing business with relatives.

The DOJ found no evidence of overpricing in the ZTE-NBN deal.

    “The two supposed resource persons (De Venecia and Jun Lozada) were very vocal on the charges of overpricing. But they refused to appear before the panel. The failure to appear is considered by the panel as an indication that they are not in a position to present any solid proof of overpricing in the costs of the ZTE project.”

The filing of the criminal charges against the De Venecias right after Joey filed an impeachment complaint against Mrs. Arroyo is purely coincidental of course.


The Supreme Court did not bow to Malacanan pressure to declare the anti-MoA petitions as moot. It ruled on the merits of the case and found the agreement unconstitutional.

This is solid grounds for impeachment!

Unfortunately it is not included in the complaint filed by Joey De Venecia because leftist party list solons would not endorse the petition if it was included. You see they favor ceding territory to the MILF.

Sa madaling salita: The left’s commitment to an Arroyo impeachment is conditional. They are only anti-Arroyo when it suits their agenda.

No wonder they supported her in 2004 and supported Joker in 2007.

George Parr explains the crisis and how to solve it

Posted in Brownman's Posts by uniffors on the October 13th, 2008
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The Real McCain

Posted in Brownman's Posts by uniffors on the October 10th, 2008

“No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar”
– Abraham Lincoln

The finger on the nuclear button gets its signals from this addled brain.

Uniffora thanks AdB for bringing these clips to our attention.

And Petraeus seems more in harmony with Obama

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