heads&tales Archives C | October 2007 - December 2007




By L. ‘ManongNoy’ Seņeres    Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Ex-caddy turned cad

Mike Arroyo: I never said ‘Back off’ – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Well, perhaps the FG may have said, “Ah’ll be back!”?

*    *    *

Solicitor General asks SC to
dismiss 3 cases vs ZTE – Manila Bulletin

Acting Justice Sec and SolGen Agnes Devanadera reportedly said that the ZTE contract is ‘the most advantageous to the government and the cheapest’.

This may be totally unrelated but is not known if she has also played golf with Ben Abalos.

*    *    *

Biblemode declares stand vs pornography – Manila Bulletin

I don’t know but shouldn’t Biblemode have chosen a word other than ‘stand’?

*    *    *

Arroyo okayed talks with ZTE on
NBN before NEDA review – GMA News

If Pres. Arroyo had indeed cooked the NBN deal, she deserves a new designation: Chef-in-Chief.

*    *    *

Abalos asks congressmen to treat
impeachment case fairly – GMA News

His abrupt resignation has effectively deleted the impeachment case against him but Abalos would have been fair game to JdV and his allies . . . if only to show him that verbally abusing the Speaker’s son is not without dire consequences.

*    *    *

Abalos resigns, vows to go after
Joey, Neri – Manila Standard Today

The ‘go after Joey, Neri’ part is clearly a PR stunt . . . but will people buy the ‘truth’ according to Abalos?

*    *    *

Pardon of Estrada too early,
ill-advised says prosecutor – Manila Times

It should be done closer to Christmas, right?

*    *    *

Talk of pardon only meant to
diffuse heat of ZTE probe – Manila Bulletin

Cong. Rufus could be right . . . that Erap was taken for a ride.

*    *    *

Arroyo cancels deal with ZTE;
China prexy accepts decision – GMA News

Smart move . . . but it shouldn’t stop Sen. Ping and company from pursuing the Senate probe.

*    *    *

Senators mull arrest of no-show Cabinet men – Malaya

No decision was reached due to lack of quorum and it should be fairly easy to guess who the no-show senators were, aside from Angara, Lapid and Zubiri . . . who have made themselves consistently scarce.


Ex-caddy turned cad

Although Benjamin Abalos’ resignation Monday was reportedly a surprise even to the Palace, it was apparently the only way for the Comelec chair to head off another slew of embarrassing questions that he would have been confronted with in an impeachment process that was expected to gain traction in both houses of Congress.

Not that Abalos would have been fazed by anything else that would have been thrown at him. After all, he seems to be the kind of fellow who would vehemently deny being unfaithful to his wife even if he’s caught ‘on top of the situation’ with another woman.

It’s a pity that what would have been an inspiring rags-to-riches story . . . Abalos’ rise from being a caddy at the Wack Wack Golf & Country Club to eventually becoming president of the same prestigious club, along the way in an extraordinary public service career that included stints as de-facto mayor of Mandaluyong, a judge, and Comelec chair . . . is unraveling into the unfortunate tale of the downfall of somebody who is now generally perceived as absolutely unprincipled, dishonorable and downright morally reprehensible.


No pain, no gain*

A married couple went to the hospital to have their 3rd baby delivered.

Upon their arrival, their doctor said he had invented a new machine that would transfer a portion of the mother's labor pain to the father. He asked if they were willing to try it out. They were both very much in favor of it.

The doctor set the pain transfer dial to 10% for starters, explaining that even 10% was probably more pain than the father had ever experienced before. But as the labor progressed, the husband felt fine and asked the doctor to go ahead and bump it up a notch.

The doctor then adjusted the machine to 20% pain transfer. The husband was still feeling fine.

After a while, the doctor checked the husband's blood pressure and was amazed at how well he was doing. At this point they decided to try for 50%.

The husband continued to feel quite well. Since it was obviously helping out his wife considerably, the husband encouraged the doctor to transfer ALL the pain to him.

The wife delivered a healthy baby with virtually no pain.

She and her husband were ecstatic.

When they got home a few days later, they found out that their friendly next door neighbor . . . a handsome young bachelor with no medical problems . . . had suddenly died of a heart attack at around the same time on the same afternoon that their new baby was being born.

*A heads&tales AnecJoke.    

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Damaged control

Pagcor, PCSO: Cash gifts not from us – Philippine Star

Has anybody heard from ZTE?

*    *    *

Panlilio to resurrect morality in government – ABS-CBN News

Come to think of it, how about a ‘President Panlilio’? Among Ed would be a credible . . . albeit not yet viable . . . alternative.

*    *    *

JdV: End government corruption – Manila Times

Translation: End GMA’s administration.

*    *    *

Atienza says ‘cash gifts’ are
normal fare in Arroyo Palace – GMA News

P200,000 to P500,000 handed out in cold cash to congressmen and governors without proper vouchers is now considered ‘normal’?

*    *    *

JDV son loses 'respect' for Arroyo – GMA News

The younger de Venecia . . . who used to refer to her as ‘My President’ . . . also quotes his father as having said, “the President is numb to corruption”.

*    *    *

Marine chief says bribery issue affecting soldiers – GMA News

That straight talk is refreshing but by saying so, Maj. Gen. Ben Dolorfino’s name could now drop to the bottom of the list of likely candidates to become the next AFP Chief of Staff.

*    *    *

Palace ‘bribery’ could be for
Cha-cha revival, says Binay – The Daily Tribune

“What bribery?” seems to be the standard . . . and apparently scripted . . . Palace denial.

*    *    *

Lawyer slams threat to have
him disbarred – Manila Standard Today

If there’s any credence at all to allegations that lawyer Ruel Pulido . . . who’s now being derisively referred to as ‘Oliver Lozano, Jr.’ . . . is a Palace lackey, he certainly won’t end up being an impoverished ex-attorney.

*    *    *

Palace revives call to change Charter – Manila Standard Today

Which is a sign that the Palace is dead-sure that it can get rid of Speaker Joe shortly . . . who had been seeing himself as the first Prime Minister in a new parliamentary government.

*    *    *

Gov to keep cash windfall if
document trail is clean – Manila Standard Today

Among Ed must be getting ready to return the dough . . . since it would be wishful thinking to expect the Palace to come up with documentation.

*    *    *

Bishops slam Gloria’s moral bankruptcy – Malaya

Probably not the same bishops who are regular recipients of ‘blessings’ from Pagcor.

*    *    *

What is there in report that has to be hidden? – Malaya

Indeed, what is the military trying to hide in that internal report on Jonas Burgos’ mysterious disappearance?



Special commentary: Damaged control

To some people at the Palace, it may have seemed to be a good idea at the time but sending a nephew of the late Fabian Ver to allegedly bribe activist solon Crispin Beltran into endorsing Ruel Pulido’s fake impeachment complaint was downright stupid to begin with. There is no love lost between the old leftist warrior and the departed Marcos-era general so why would anybody expect that the messenger could persuade Ka Bel to suddenly be on the Palace’s side?

As if that monumental failure of common sense was not enough, the Palace did not ‘exempt’ Gov Ed Panlilio . . . a priest-on-leave while he’s running the province of Pampanga . . . from those congressmen and governors that received cash ‘gifts’ ranging from P200,000 to P500,000 after a gathering last Thursday.

Now Ka Bel is making a lot of noises about the bribery attempt and Among Ed is asking some really intriguing questions about the money . . . with nothing but uncredible denials emanating from the Palace.

The sad part is GMA has become ‘damaged goods’ even more and it is doubtful if even some of the best damage control experts that money can buy can now help her.



Missed calls*

It had been raining for days and days and the Agusan River had overflowed its banks . . . engulfing surrounding areas in a devastating flood. The waters rose so high that one man was forced to climb onto the roof of his house.

As the waters rose higher and higher, a man in a banca appeared, and told him to get in. “No,” replied the man on the roof. “I have faith in the Lord. The Lord will save me.” So the man in the banca went away and man on the roof resumed praying for God to save him.

Later that afternoon, the waters rose even higher and, suddenly, a speedboat appeared. “Climb in!” shouted a man in the boat. “No,” replied the man on the roof. “I have faith in the Lord and I know He will save me.” So the man in the speedboat went away while the man on the roof continued praying.

The next day, as the waters continued to rise, a helicopter appeared and over the loudspeaker, the pilot announced he would lower a rope to the man on the roof. “No,” yelled the man on the roof. “I have faith in the Lord and I’m sure the Lord will save me.” So the helicopter went away and the man on the roof went back to praying and reading his now drenched Bible.

But the rampaging waters rose higher and higher, and eventually the man on the roof drowned after he was washed away.

Upon arrival in heaven, the man brushed past St. Peter and marched straight over to God. “Heavenly Father,” he said, “I had faith in you . . . I prayed to you to save me, and yet you did nothing. Why?”

God gave him a puzzled look, and replied, “I sent you a banca, a speedboat, and a helicopter. What more did you expect?”

*A heads&tales AnecJoke.    

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fat guy, large largesse

Palace appeals as Chavit threatens to bolt – ABS-CBN News

The big question: Will Chavit do a Chavit . . . on GMA?

*    *    *

Defence chief: Armed Forces to
‘stand behind’ Arroyo – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Another reason why Pres. Arroyo has to watch her back?

*    *    *

Mike Arroyo rejects Senate
invitation for ZTE probe – ABS-CBN News

Either he has something to hide or he doesn’t have a thick hide.

*    *    *

Erap gives up on justice system, seeks pardon – Daily Tribune

Which would be precedent-setting if granted by GMA . . . and a possible win-win scenario if or when GMA herself is convicted similarly after she steps down.

*    *    *

Gov. Mendoza names Evardone,
Usec as ‘P500K bagmen’ – Daily Tribune

And Gov Evardone and Usec Panadero should realize that ‘vehemently’ denying the allegations just won’t cut it anymore.

*    *    *

Resign, call snap polls, Arroyo,
Noli asked anew – Daily Tribune

Of course, Cong Eduardo Joson probably knows that GMA and Noli would just feign acute hearing loss.

*    *    *

Ermita in US to ‘preempt’ Alston
report, Palace says – Daily Tribune

An international exercise in futility . . . unless Ermita can shed light on the whereabouts of Jonas Burgos, et. al.

*    *    *

Gloria calls off in-house probe of cash handouts – Malaya

She must have realized that the findings of an Internal Palace investigation wouldn’t be worth the paper that it would have been written on.

*    *    *

Trillanes: I have evidence vs Esperon, Gonzales – Malaya

The incarcerated senator might really have something there . . . and he must be allowed to appear before an independent body that should probe the Glorieta 2 blast.

*    *    *

De Venecia asks Arroyo for initial
gov’t reforms in 100 days – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Joey’s dad wants GMA to create a Council on Moral Reform and National Renewal . . . which would have been laughable if JdV did not have a son like Joey The Whistleblower.

*    *    *

Comelec orders arrest of Bedol – Malaya

But ‘Comelec orders arrest of Garci’ improbable . . . at least while GMA is still in power.

*    *    *

Court junks transsexual’s bid for
change of gender – Manila Standard Today

The CA sez Rommel Jacinto Dantes Silverio can’t change his first name to ‘Mely’ despite having had a sex-change operation in 2001 . . . so please continue to address him and his significant other as ‘Mr. & Mr.’



Fat guy, large largesse

After an excellent breakfast, it is customary to leave a generous tip. But things were a bit different at a breakfast meeting for congressmen, governors and mayors at the Palace last Friday: Many, if not all, of the attendees received small paper bags containing cash ranging from P200,000 to P500,000. 

It’s still unclear what the ‘tips in reverse’ were for . . . with some cabinet members and Palace officials are still tripping all over themselves in denying that money ever changed hands. But the truth cannot always be suppressed.

Two of the ‘ungrateful’ guests . . . Gov Ed Panlilio of Pampanga and Gov Jonjon Mendoza of Bulacan . . . have held press conferences signifying their intention to return the cash but the Palace has officially denied that it was the giver. That’s after Pagcor and the Finance Sec issued similar denials.

Yesterday’s latest spin from the Palace pointed to ‘private funds’ as the source of the ‘gifts’. Although Christmas is just around the corner, Santa Claus is not known to especially favor politicians so we can rule him out. But another fat guy . . . who has both the wherewithal and the motive to spread this kind of largesse around . . . is my prime suspect.



To whom it may constern*

At the height of a landgrabbing trial, the provincial prosecutor attacked the credibility of a witness. "Is it not it true, Mr. Policarpio," he shouted, "that you accepted five million pesos to compromise this case?"

The witness kept looking out the window as though he had not heard the question.

"Isn't it true that you accepted five million pesos to compromise this case?" the fiscal repeated.

The witness still did not respond.

Finally, the judge leaned over and said, "Mr. Policarpio, please answer the question."

"Oh," the startled witness said, "I thought he was talking to you.", throwing the whole courtroom into instant consternation.

*A heads&tales AnecJoke.    

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Gloria in excelsis GMA

Poll watchdog: ‘Name people above fray to Comelec’

In short, “No!” to Palace lapdogs.

*    *    *

Palace insists all is well
between GMA, Speaker –
Manila Times

Well, not if we ask for a second opinion from Manay Gina, the Speaker’s wife. And a third opinion from his son, Joey.

*     *    *

Uno impeachment rap dead – Manila Times

Only if the majority in Congress persist in ignoring pertinent fine print in the Constitution.

*    *    *

Palace won’t interfere in
choice of new Speaker – Daily Tribune

Which can only mean that, yes, the Palace wants JdV sacked and, yes, expect larger ‘paper bags’ to be handed out.

*    *    *

JDV belittles ouster threat – Daily Tribune

The Speaker thinks his critics do not have the numbers but he forgets that the Palace can move heaven and earth . . . and lots of cash . . . to replace him with someone else whose son is not a whistleblower.

*    *    *

Antigraft court may confiscate
Erap assets – Philippine Daily Inquirer

That’s only remotely possible and is really quite unlikely if the Estradas continue to heap praises on GMA for granting full pardon to Erap.

*    *    *

El Shaddei, INC, support pardon for
Erap, says Palace – Philippine Daily Inquirer

And confirms the general belief that it was granted by GMA primarily for political expediency.

*    *    *

Local company to invest $110 M in CNG
plant, refilling stations – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Callandra LCNG Fuels follows in the footsteps of Shell Philippines in retailing compressed natural gas . . . pipelined from Palawan . . . for specially-equipped taxicabs and buses. At substantially less than the price of diesel fuel.

*    *    *

Chief Justice shuns politics – Manila Times

CJ Puno clearly does not want to consider what’s improbable: The idea of him heading a transition government if GMA heads calls to step down in the wake major scandals that has rocked her administration.

*    *    *

Arroyo-Estrada alliance possible,
says Ermita – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Spoken as if this has not already started to unfold . . . with the Estradas unabashedly singing their own updated version of “Gloria In Excelsis Deo!”.


Short tales

Splash Corp., a local manufacturer of skin whitening products which was started as a mom-and-pop backyard business in the 1980s with only P12,000, is now reportedly worth P4 B. Small wonder that its impending IPO could possibly be oversubscribed at a level that would make past IPOs this year pale in comparison. . . . . . . . The Philippines’ business process outsourcing (BPO) industry is expected to outgrow its competitors in China, Malaysia and India, probably because properly-trained Filipinos are better at speaking ‘Americanese’ than their Asian counterparts. . . . . . . . The Department of Agriculture reports that fifteen companies are interested in investing a total of P34.08 billion to grow crops such as sugarcane, cassava, jatropha, corn, oil palm and coconut for biofuel production. Coupled with utilization of CNG to power public utility vehicles, the country’s reliance on imported crude oil should see a significant reduction down the road.

Note: My usual special commentary shall soon be seen at PinoyPundit.com, my about to be reactivated blog.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007’

Would Joey do a Neri?

JDV keeps Speaker post, for now – Philippine Star

But can his son Joey keep his mouth shut?

*    *    *

Estrada to support Arroyo
impeachment proceedings – Philippine Star

Only if and when Pulido’s complaint ever moves beyond the jurisdiction of the House Committee on Justice, where it is expected to do a Mona Lisa . . . which is to “lie there and die there”.

*    *    *

Puno: Constant political
turmoil not good for RP – Malaya

But good for Supreme Court CJ Puno who’s being touted to head a transition government if GMA ever decides to do the unexpected and steps down anytime soon.

*    *    *

Somebody, anybody please arrest Bedol – Malaya

But first, arrest the local regional police chief who had dragged his feet about executing Comelec’s arrest order.

*    *    *

Macarambon takes oath,
inspects new office – Philippine Star

The new Comelec commissioner might as well inspect his cell phone also because . . . like Garci’s . . .  it may already be bugged.

*    *    *

Estrada: Sandigan can't
confiscate everything – Philippine Star

Poor Erap should realize that, aside from his primary residence, all of his other properties may be subject to confiscation . . . whether these were acquired before he became president or not.

*    *    *

Not enough numbers for new impeachment’ – Philippine Star

Not anymore . . . not after GMA and JdV effectively kissed and made up last Saturday.

*    *    *

GMA’s party latest to own ‘cash gifts’ – Malaya

Not yet heard from: Santa Claus

*    *    *

Villar: Early politicking unhealthy – Malaya

Particularly true for those presidential wannabes who . . . unlike Senate Pres. Villar . . . do not have ‘healthy’ bank accounts.

*    *    *

Erap told to pay P500 million
in 5 days – Phillippine Daily Inquirer

And Erap promptly told the sheriff that the amount should be reduced by P200 million . . . which he insisted was pocketed by Chavit Singson, his ex best friend and alleged former chief jueteng bagman.

*    *    *

House junks 2 impeachment
plaints – Phillippine Daily Inquirer

Let’s see if legal eagle Adel Tamano can pull any surprises . . . since the guy named Rolex is starting to look like he’s just wasting his time.

*    *    *

38 cops axed in new PNP chief’s
1st month – Phillippine Daily Inquirer

Some of those erring policemen had dabbled in a bit of ‘horticulture’ . . . by planting evidence of the purported crime and extorting money afterwards.

*    *    *

Military bucks bid to search camps for
2 missing UP coeds – Phillippine Daily Inquirer

Which leaves the military open to speculation that they have something . . . or some people . . . to hide.

*    *    *

Lawyers 'discover' new Jose
Velarde account with P400M – GMA News

Since this new ‘discovery’ would jack up the total from the so-called Jose Velarde accounts, would Erap be entitled to a ‘refund’ of anything in excess of the P500 million that the Sandiganbayan wants him to cough up?

*    *    *

Will De Venecia son show up when
Senate resumes NBN probe? – Phillippine Daily Inquirer

Quite possibly, if Joey wants history to treat his dad kindly . . . after Speaker Joe is ousted for backing a son who is on the side of the truth.


Short tales

Rich Filipinos drink more often than others according to Synovate, a market research firm that polled wealthy respondents in 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region on their consumption of brandy, cognac, whisky, wine, champagne, and beer. And overall consumption levels of alcohol among affluent Filipinos have risen steadily in the country by 4 percent since last year, possibly because Pinoys have more sorrows to drown . . . what with the country going to the dogs . . . than other Asianos.

The Quality Affordable Medicines Act was passed by the Senate on final reading earlier this week. Authored by Sen. Mar ‘ Mr. Palengke’ Roxas, it aims to lower the prices of pharmaceuticals by liberalizing patent laws and expanding the government’s parallel imports of commonly used medicines. This is great news . . . now that we know cough syrup made in India does not really leave a curry aftertaste.

Dollar remittances by Filipinos working abroad in time for the Christmas holidays continue to strengthen the peso, which closed Tuesday at P43.61 . . . much to the chagrin of their dependents at home who are now receiving far fewer pesos . . . compared to what they used to get for the same amount of dollars just a few months ago when the exchange rates had hovered at around P55 to $1.

Previous heads&tales are here

Please direct comments or feedback to: newswealth@usa.com

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Made in China . . . also




PNP chief launches anti-extortion texting service – Daily Tribune

4get it. da pnp tsip shud 1st jel sam kotong cops as sampol. he must no hu n wer dey r in mla.

*    *    *

‘Justice Dalaig will be missed’ – Philippine Star

Comelec law department head Dalaig was not really a ‘Justice’ but the murderer who gunned him down surely did not miss.

*    *    *

Feng shui believer Neri moves CHED
office for positive vibes – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Which will not protect him from a slew of negative reactions if he does reappear at the Senate’s ZTE NBN probe.

*    *    *

Enrile dares JDV to public debate
on North Rail, NBN issues – Philippine Star

JdV would surely be trounced . . . unless he sends his wife ahead for a shouting match with Mang Juan.

*    *    *

Another impeachment complaint
filed vs Arroyo – Philippine Daily Inquirer

It’s still a numbers game, surely not dependent on how many impeachment complaints are filed by the opposition . . . which will be promptly thumbed down by the ‘bagged’ majority in Congress.

*    *    *

GMA sends SOS to business leaders – Philippine Star

A skipper’s tacit admission that her ship is sinking?

*    *    *

Sarmiento wants greater
security for poll officials – ABS-CBN News

Poll officials must also try greater transparency . . . and less corruption.

*    *    *

Senate on course for Northrail probe – Daily Tribune

Which could expose JdV as the wrong guy to espouse a ‘moral revolution’.

*    *    *

QC gov’t to Sandigan: Prove
Boracay Mansion is Erap’s – Daily Tribune

Can’t the Sandigan just ask the ex-starlet who was its former mistress-in-residence?

*    *    *

Neri could be arrested, says Sen. Cayetano – Manila Times

That’s if he continues to hide behind that overused ‘executive privilege’ excuse.

*    *    *

Erap ‘ready to die’ if court seizes assets – Manila Times

Here’s one instance where ignorance of the law can be hazardous to one’s health. And with his still considerable support among the masa in Tondo, quite possibly trigger EDSA 4.

*    *    *

Puno: Lacson raps on PNP funds
diversion foul, baseless – Daily Tribune

Lacson’s comeback: Account for PNP intel funds.

*    *    *

Gloria hints at revoking Erap pardon – Daily Tribune

Not likely . . . unless she wants to run the risk of being an ex Palace resident far too early.

*    *    *

House kills Pulido ‘token’
impeachment case today – Daily Tribune

And with this year’s updated version of Lozano’s ‘impeach me’ case dying an unnatural death in Congress, Senator Lacson, Pimentel and company would have to hold their horses until next year.

*    *    *

Only 1 car registered to Erap;
Sandigan starts forfeiture – Philippine Star

The Sandigan’s chief sheriff should perhaps check the garages of Erap’s ‘Number 2’, ‘Number 3’, ‘Number 4’, et. al.

*    *    *

Gov. Panlilio: Lone star witness in
bribe probe – Philippine Daily Inquirer

The priest-turned-politician obviously has no fear . . . and seemingly no personal agenda other than to be the kind of public servant that his constituents want him to be.


Short tales

Sen. Migz Zubiri has demanded an apology from CNN for airing on November 6th what he deplored in a privilege speech as an “erroneous” slant on trade of human organs in the Philippines. He charged CNN with making it appear that the country is heading towards the direction of not only legalizing commercial kidney ‘donations’ but also making human kidneys an official Philippine export. And we had thought that it was bad enough that our homeland’s economy would not be kept afloat without the billions in foreign currency that our OFWs send back to relatives back home . . . . . . .

DOTC Sec. Leandro Mendoza must really have a special preference for things made in China. Almost a year after the latest ASEAN Summit that was held in Cebu, the Commission on Audit reports at its website that as part of preparations for the event, 136 projects were implemented by DOTC without public bidding. One notable exception was a contract for the supply of streetlights that was awarded to a China-based supplier for P54.95 million but was found bloated by P35.56 million!

Previous heads&tales are here

Please direct comments or feedback to: newswealth@usa.com

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Maxing metaphors

Senate set to reopen inquiry into Northrail issue – Daily Tribune

Speaker Joe and his son Joey are about to find out that people who live in glass houses should . . . well, ahhh . . . leave some stones unturned.

*    *    *

Ex-Basilan mayor nabbed for Batasan blast – ABS-CBN News

Former Tuburan mayor Hajaron Jamiri may be involved in the assassination of Cong. Wahab Akbar but the mastermind could be a bigger fish than him.

*    *    *

Three OFWs rescued from Malaysian sex den – ABS-CBN News

Veep Noli deserves kudos for coordinating the rescue operations but, unfortunately, he took grandstanding to a higher level by presenting the unfortunate Pinays to media . . . as if the victims of an unscrupulous OFW recruiter had not been humiliated and traumatized enough.

*    *    *

Lambino echoes allegation of
assassination plot vs de Venecias – ABS-CBN News

JdV’s personal attorney shot down snide remarks by one of the supposed plotters, DOTC Asec Reynaldo Berroya . . . who was convicted of kidnapping a Taiwanese national some 10 years ago when he was still a top police official . . . that the allegation is ‘a product of Joey de Venecia’s fertile imagination’.

*    *    *

Palace probes bid rigging report – ABS-CBN News

Only after the World Bank deferred a $262M loan to the country . . . that’s for the first phase of the National Road Improvement and Management Program (NRIMP) . . . because the WB had reportedly discovered that the bidding process was rigged.

*    *    *

Palace denies hand in JdV impeach plaint ruling – Daily Tribune

Fortunately for JdV, he’s all too familiar with the Palace’s often clumsy slight-of-hand.

*    *    *

Apostol: Erap pardon cannot be revoked – Daily Tribune

An opinion shared by newly-recovered DOJ Sec Gonzales and contrary to Agnes Devanavera’s, the stand-in DOJ caretaker who does not appear to comprehend the word ‘absolute’ when it’s used to describe executive clemency.

*    *    *

GSIS taps Citibank as fund manager – Manila Standard Today

Why on earth did GSIS boss Winston Garcia hire the biggest loser among current hedge fund investors?

*    *    *

Globe, Smart say they can do ZTE’s job – Manila Times

Yeah, but can they do a good job of dancing to an ‘AB ZTE FG’ tune?

*    *    *

Neri asked to explain absence in NBN probe – Manila Times

Just a courtesy before the former NEDA head . . . who’s clearly being gagged by the Palace . . . is served with a Senate arrest warrant.

*    *    *

Government blames WB, will
proceed with projects – Philippine Star

But of course . . . because there’s no money to be made by stopping implementation of public works.

*    *    *

Erap: I could be ‘last option’ in 2010 – ABS-CBN News

At the rate he’s doing those ‘medical missions’ in his former bailiwicks, he’s already on track to be the first option . . . assuming that GMA will actually step down in 2010.

*    *    *

Speaker faces ethics case – Manila Times

Joey’s dad may be treading into ‘unfamiliar territory’.


Short tales

  • The COMELEC has disqualified Batas, a party-list group, on grounds that it is a front for ‘Ang Dating Daan’, the religious group headed by controversial ‘Bro.’ Eli Soriano. But don’t count on the COMELEC to be evenhanded and take similar action on Buhay, another party list group that’s clearly identified with Mike Velarde’s El Shaddei.
  • Sen. Ping Lacson has reportedly decided that he will no longer oppose DOJ Sec Raul Gonzalez’ CA confirmation. Sec. Raul is naturally grateful and said he has sent his erstwhile detractor a thank you note. Possibly unmentioned in the letter is this quid pro quo: Gonzales will no longer open several cans of beans that he had declared the FBI had sent him . . . properly labeled ‘How To Ping A Senator’s Espionage Activities..

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Back to kickbacks

UN: AFP systematically
executing leftists – Daily Tribune

Either that or the countless victims simply committed mass hara-kiri.

*    *    *

Singaporean firm puts up
jatropha business venture – BusinessWorld

Good news that could fuel large-scale utilization of otherwise marginally-productive lands all over the country to produce biodiesel.

*    *    *

Govt: No politics in review of
raps vs JDV, Landoil – ABS-CBN News

If JdV can believe that, I can get him a good deal to buy a bridge in Brooklyn.

*    *    *

Cory, Noynoy no-shows in Aquino
commemoration rites – ABS-CBN News

Not a surprising reaction to GMA’s ill-adviced decision to free one of Ninoy’s assailants from incarceration . . . just days before the hero’s birth anniversary.

*    *    *

Senate threatens to cite Neri
for contempt over NBN – ABS-CBN News

And rightly so . . . because only the President and her Executive Secretary can invoke executive privilege avoid appearing before Senate probes.

*    *    *

Arroyo orders probe into
corruption claims – ABS-CBN News

An order that’s not worth the paper it’s written on . . . unless it’s undertaken by a truly independent private sector panel.

*    *    *

Locsin says 2 senators linked
to JdV ‘behest loan’ – Daily Tribune

Among senators who have been around long enough to have possibly anything to do with aiding and abetting JdV’s past wheeling and dealing, it should be fairly easy to pick out the prime suspects from a short list that would include Pimentel, Enrile, and Arroyo.

*    *    *

3 ‘elephants’ in 2010 polls, says Miriam – Manila Bulletin

The 3 are Villar, Roxas, and Erap . . . with the likes of Ping and Loren just mere ‘ants’ in the eyes of Miriam.

*    *    *

Pacquiao to fight Marquez – Manila Standard Today

It’s going to be a ‘win-win’ situation for Pacman. He gets $5M . . . win or lose.

*    *    *

Kuwaiti supreme court confirms
Filipina's death sentence – Philippine Daily Inquirer

The fate of OFW Marilou Ranario’s . . . who killed her employer while defending her honor . . . now lies in the hands of the Kuwaiti head of state who may be persuaded to commute her sentence to life imprisonment.

*    *    *

Imports growth up in Sept. but
sustainability a concern – BusinessWorld

Isn’t it odd why any analyst would be preoccupied with growth in imports . . . especially consumer goods . . . when everyone should focus on exports?



Short tales

  • Sen. Miriam racks up pogi points in exposing what appeared to be suspicious motivations in the undue haste by Paul Aquino, a Palace appointee and the late Ninoy’s brother, in putting 2 government-owned geothermal power plants on the block. Closer scrutiny also makes presidential son, Cong. Mikey, appear to have the same sense of urgency . . . which may partly explain why he grabbed the chairmanship of the House Energy Committee despite virtually zero qualifications for the post.
  • About a month ago, Executive Sec. Eduardo Ermita led a team that Pres. Arroyo dispatched to United Nations headquarters in New York to defend her government’s human rights record as UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston was preparing to submit his preliminary findings on his fact-finding trip to the Philippines in February this year. But it now looks like it was a complete waste of time for Ermita and his crew because Alston’s final report blames the government and the Armed Forces of the Philippines for the extrajudicial executions of activists . . . and called on President Arroyo to issue an order ending "aspects of counterinsurgency operations which have led to the targeting and execution of many individuals working for civil society organizations."

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

House boys and House maids

Security cited for Trillanes’ transfer – Philippine Daily Inquirer

That’s quite a downgrade . . . from the Pen to the National Penitentiary.

*    *    *

Erap to Trillanes: Do it properly next time – ABS-CBN News

Like take over the right building instead, specifically the one where PGMA lives?

*    *    *

Faeldon back as RP's most wanted – ABS-CBN News

Faeldon has a penchant for taunting the top brass so only a guy like him must feel that it’s nice to feel that wanted.

*    *    *

Rebel with wacky wig identified as
Binay security man – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Binay denies prior knowledge of his bodyguard’s participation in last Thursday’s farcical ‘revolt’ by Trillanes . . . and probably would have picked a better wig for the guy if he had.

*    *    *

Puno, cops summoned over media
harassment – Philippine Daily Inquirer

But can the Commission on Human Rights actually get Puno, Razon, and Barias to show up at its scheduled hearing tomorrow?

*    *    *

House work stops as solons
escort Arroyo to Europe – ABS-CBN News

One backlash: There were not enough of Pres. Arroyo’s House boys and House maids around when the Ethics Committee threw out the impeachment complaint against JdV earlier this week..

*    *    *

Senate probe of Trillanes gains
ground – Manila Standard Today

Sen. Miriam’s resolution has gained support from just Sen. Pangilinan so it’s not expected to get off the ground.

*    *    *

Japan approves P7.7 billion for Pinatubo
recovery projects – Manila Standard Today

How much or how little from those billions will actually trickle down to the slopes of Mt. Pinatubo would depend on how vigilant the Japanese government itself will be in monitoring those projects.

*    *    *

GMA wants ‘Peninsula 36’ in Muntinlupa – Malaya

GMA clearly discounts the possibility that Trillanes can talk his fellow inmates into staging the biggest jailbreak in Muntinlupa’s history.

*    *    *

House ethics panel junks Pulido case vs JdV – Daily Tribune

And Makati Cong. Teddy Boy Locsin couldn’t help noting that, by way of comparison, Pulido’s impeachment compliant against GMA consisted of only 3 pages while his beef versus JdV took all of 34 sheets.

*    *    *

Binay on siege: Blame AFP intel, not me – Philippine Star

Mayor Jojo makes an excellent point: Since AFP Chief Esperon has claimed that he had advance intel on Trillanes’ stunt, how were the ‘revolters’ able to take a leisurely stroll from the Makati RTC to the Pen unimpeded? Or was Esperon himself keeping his options open . . . just in case there was a sudden and widespread response to Trillanes’ and Danny Lim’s call for ‘withdrawal of support’?

*    *    *

Soldier in Makati standoff nabbed at NAIA – ABS-CBN News

It was not too difficult to pick out Private First Class Alvin Celestino from the crowd at the departure area . . . partly because he was not wearing a wig.


Short tales

Chief Supt. Joel Goltiao, PNP director for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) as been summoned to appear before the Comelec en banc session on Dec. 11 to explain why the arrest warrant issued against Maguindanao election supervisor Lintang Bedol remains unserved. Now that Bedol has vanished, the big question is why Goltiao was reluctant to apprehend Bedol while he was still in plain sight. 

And the latest GMA ‘loyalty awards’ go to:

  • Defeated senatorial candidate Mike Defensor . . . said to be a recent frequent Macao visitor . . . who has been appointed to the board of Petron.
  • Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro . . . part of the three-magistrate Special Division that convicted former President Joseph Estrada of plunder last September . . . who will replace Supreme Court Associate Justice Cancio Garcia who retired in October. 
  • Some 30 congressmen, mostly from the administration’s Lakas-CMD party . . . who are in the delegation of GMA on her 10-day state visit to France, Spain and the United Kingdom. With all expenses paid, including those of their ‘unofficial’ companions.

Previous heads&tales are here

Please direct comments or feedback to: newswealth@usa.com

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Playing Santa . . . poorly

Arroyo to play Santa Claus to 600,000
families nationwide – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Each poor family will get 2 kilos of rice and a few other goodies that could be enough to fight hunger for just a couple of days . . . enough to give Santa Claus a bad reputation.

*    *    *

1,000 troops to guard Magdalo trial in Makati – Philippine Star

Too many, too late.

*    *    *

IMF to RP: Explain dismal showing by BIR, BOC – ABS-CBN News

The short answer: Graft and corruption.

*    *    *

Automobile sales in January-November
increase 18% from last year – BusinessWorld

One hopes this is directly proportional to the effects of recent anti-smuggling initiatives on the part of the government.

*    *    *

3 Batasan blast suspects cry torture
by PNP; recant testimonies – Daily Tribune

The speed in which PNP declared the fatal incident as ‘practially solved’ within a matter of days did sound suspicious.

*    *    *

Palace denies hand in warrants
issued vs Binay’s wife et. al. – Daily Tribune

But what’s the business of Presidential Management Staff chief Cerge Remonde in issuing the denial?

*    *    *

Police official shoots at ex-gov’s convoy in Makati – Daily Tribune

Fortunately for Sr. Insp. Jethro Jacon Lim . . . who may have been intoxicated at the time . . . former Bulacan Gov. Josie de la Cruz’s Pajero is bullet-resistant.

*    *    *

Worse human rights violator than Marcos? – Malaya

Yes, according to Fr. Joe Dizon, a convenor of the group Ecumenical Voice for Peace and Human Rights, who points out that throughout the late dictator’s 20-year martial rule, there were about 1000 political killings . . . compared to some 800 ‘liquidations’ in just six years of the Arroyo administration..

*    *    *

Sumilao farmers assured project will benefit them – Malaya

Short of backing off from the acquisition of supposedly ancestral lands of those farmers, San Miguel Foods cannot possibly extricate itself from what has become a humongous PR disaster.

*    *    *

8 of 9 see worsening corruption under Gloria – Malaya

1 out of 9 may be corrupt officials working under Gloria.


Short tales

Agri Sec Arthur Yap has brought back more good news from Spain: Abengoa Bioenergy . . . which operates bioethanol facilities in Europe, the USA, and Brazil . . . is seriously looking into investing some $250 million in the Philippines to generate over 150 million liters of bioethanol from cassava annually. This is on top of the planned $200 million investment by Bionor Transformacion S.A. to develop at least 100,000 hectares of land into jatropha plantations. Jatropha is used as feedstock for the production of biodiesel.

Police authorities are reportedly checking new intel that former Tuburan, Basilan mayor Hajarun Jamiri was paid P3 million to recant his first two affidavits in which he implicated several personalities in the Nov. 13 bombing at the House of Representatives that killed Basilan Rep. Wahab Akbar and four others. P3 million seems like a pittance . . . considering the personalities that are allegedly involved . . . so what they should be looking into is how much more than P3 million Jamiri received to sing from a different song book.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Just bypassed . . . or ‘overpassed’?

Breastfeeding drive intensified – Manila Bulletin

An excellent directive from GMA because breast milk is free, always available pre-heated at the right temperature, and usually comes in attractive ‘packaging’.

*    *    *

Nograles named acting President of PDIC – BusinessWorld

Jose C. Nograles might really be the most qualified to be the PDIC top dog but it may have helped that he’s a brother of a high-profile Palace lapdog.

*    *    *

Former landowner hits ‘unknown hands’ – Malaya

But he should realize that he’s standing on shaky ground if the best his lawyer can blurt out is that the Sumilao farmers "have no legal personality in the first place."

*    *    *

Cops unlikely to get full bonus of P10,000 – Malaya

But why should everybody get a P10,000 ‘performance’ bonus in the first place?

*    *    *

CA bypasses Reyes, Justice chief – Daily Tribune

There should be a law that would bar the Palace from ‘recycling’ the appointments of cabinet secretaries that have been repeatedly junked by the Commission on Appointments.

*    *    *

Palace explains Jalosjos decision – Manila Standard Today

Chief presidential legal counsel Sergio Apostol offers one ‘explanation’ . . . which differs big time with DOJ sec Raul Gonzales’ . . . but still unheard from are self-appointed fibber Cerge Remonde and official pinnochio Ignacio Bunye.

*    *    *

Gonzalez gags Jalosjos, other cons – Philippine Daily Inquirer

The better to prevent another ‘honest mistake’ at the Palace from making liars out of everyone.

*    *    *

3 ‘flying voters’ nabbed in special
village, youth polls – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Probably born in Capiz . . . like me



Short tales

An SWS survey commissioned by BusinessWorld shows that Pres. Arroyo’s approval figures have fallen even further in the fourth quarter, with her net rating now at negative16, from negative11 previously . . . despite another SWS finding that 54% of Filipinos believe GMA’s grant of a pardon to former President Joseph E. Estrada was "good for the country."

Former president Joseph Estrada has announced that he’s started writing his autobiography. Erap plans to include earliest memories of his childhood as well as accounts of his life as an actor and a politician. He intends to dwell on the details of the plotting by ‘two giant businessmen in the country’ that led to his ouster from the presidency. JV’s old man is a compelling storyteller . . . and frequently funny . . . so the forthcoming book should be a good read.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

unHappy New Year

15 inmates marry spouses under
heavy guard in Makati – Daily Tribune

Each of the 15 inmates can now expect to be under heavier guard . . . by his new spouse.

*    *    *

Lacson: No ouster to spoil Villar’s
Christmas – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Which raises the likelihood that Villar will have an unHappy New Year.

*    *    *

Retired soldiers seek land for Jathropa planting – Daily Tribune

It would be wonderful if those smart retirees would get to plant this biodiesel raw material on around 10,000 hectares of Army-administered idle lands in Mindanao.

*    *    *

House ethics committee dismisses
complaint filed against De Venecia – Daily Tribune

Was that in exchange for his son Joey becoming a permanent ex-witness against Mike ‘Back Off!’ Tangkad?

*    *    *

P240-M additional pork for 12 congressmen – Philippine Star

Those pigs . . . all members of the Commission on Appointments . . . . got to wangle P20M each in projects from Public Works Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. who is now expected to be confirmed.

*     *    *

Jalosjos spends Christmas eve
in prison with family – ABS-CBN News

No word if some other inmates at the penal colony in Zamboanga City were given similar privileges.

*    *    *

Panlilio’s Expose Triggered Lawyers’ Ad Against Corruption – NewsBreak

But will the ad trigger something more newsworthy than the likes of Trillanes taking over a function room at the Pen?

*    *    *

Year’s Best Sound Bite: Erap’s or Neri’s? – NewsBreak

My pick: former Comelec boss Abalos supposedly telling Neri, “Sec, meron kang 200 dito”

*    *    *

Palace: Lavish $50-M lobby deal a go – Malaya

$50M is not quite lavish by Washington DC standards . . . but it can buy better spinmeisters than Bunye, Remonde, and Apostol.

*    *    *

DBP execs seek dismissal
of P207M behest loans case – Malaya

Good thing Jose R. Tengco Jr. and Dino Crucillo are now former DBP execs . . . otherwise the Ombudsman could have sought their outright dismissal from government service.

*    *    *

Joma Sison recalls birth of CPP
in Alaminos – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Interesting . . . but Joma is still enjoying the relative comforts of political asylum in the Netherlands.

*    *    *

Medical tourism law pushed – Philippine Daily Inquirer

A smart idea that has the potential to generate over half a billion dollars a year . . . and it’s heartening to note that the Philippines now has the technology to develop a new kidney in an ailing patient, as well as the capability to treat cancer via immunotherapy.

Previous heads&tales are here

Please direct comments or feedback to: newswealth@usa.com


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