heads&tales Archives E | April 2008 - June 2008





By L. ‘ManongNoy’ Señeres    Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Too much, too late

Lawyer: P900M from gov't hog program went to '04 kitty – GMA News

Ah sooo! Is that why there’s an abundance of swine in the present Congress?

*    *    *

Teodoro vows impartial probe
on P1.2-B chopper deal – Philippine Star

That becomes a broken vow if one of the guilty parties happens to be a predecessor of the DND sec.

*    *    *

Blood pressure drugs can prevent
heart attack, stroke in elderly – Philippine Star

A recent study shows that medications for hypertension can minimize hardening of the arteries. But guys like me who have been taking such drugs have experienced a prevalent side effect: Less hardening of something else.

*    *    *

Rice farmers to get P5B subsidy – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Possibly too much and definitely too late. A serious rice crisis is already upon us . . . and that round figure of P5B doesn’t look like it’s based on a coherent action plan.

*    *    *

Sumilao farmers ink deal with SMFI – Philippine Star

A fait accompli. It would have been outrageously bad PR had San Miguel decided otherwise.

*    *    *

Lawmakers want bishop sanctioned – Philippine Star

It’s alarming to see that there are actually nitwits in Congress who haven’t heard of ‘separation of Church and State’.

*    *    *

Hundreds of Filipinos protest as
GMA arrives in Hong Kong – Philippine Star

The Palace can’t blame Jun Lozada. That ‘destabilizer’ hasn’t been to HK lately.

*    *    *

3 on shortlist as possible Razon successor – Philippine Star

NCR chief Geary Barias, who’s only a two-star general, is not among the 3 but don’t be surprised if he jumps over their heads and succeeds Razon . . . if GMA and the FG sees him as the most ‘reliable’.

*    *    *

Supreme Court voids Marcos
order on fertilizer levy – BusinessWorld

That not too speedy decision should be great news to Joc-Joc Bolante.

*    *    *

No takers for Comelec lawyer’s post – Manila Standard Today

Abolish the post, I’d say. The Comelec has never been famous for upholding the law anyway.

*    *    *

‘Hanging judge’ heads graft court – Manila Standard Today

Of course, certain high officials who ought to be hanged are expecting ‘utang na loob’ to prevail when their times come.

*    *    *

Gloria rejects cut in tariff on rice – Malaya

Which keeps the government’s monopoly on rice imports . . . and keeps the kickbacks coming.

*    *    *

Women dominate 2007 Bar exams – Philippine Star

I don’t know about you, guys, but I’ve long suspected that they’re the smarter gender.


Friday, April 11, 2008

‘Dual citizenship’

Pregnant Oregon man is half-Filipino – ABS-CBN News

I bet the preggie is half-Filipina, too.

* * *

Whistle-blower, solon say secrecy
law doesn’t apply on swine scam – Daily Tribune

Prof. Roque and Sen. Chiz are right. And an old swine at the Palace that’s masquerading as a lawyer should come up with a less stupid opinion to cover up this new stink.

* * *

Trade barriers scored anew by US - BusinessWorld

One major ‘barrier’ is rampant corruption at the Bureau of Customs but the US report stopped short of revealing an open secret that an outsider that’s calling the shots is a big guy whose temporary address is down by a riverside.

* * *

Erap may run in 2010 to unite opposition – Daily Tribune

Erap should stop running his mouth and allow a new generation of opposition leaders to pick who among them would be the strongest presidential contender by the end of 2009.

* * *

2 junior officers get life over
2003 mutiny – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Both officers can expect to get a life after generally expected pardons for them are announced.

* * *

Escudero: Swine loan scammers
cannot hide behind bank secrecy law – Malaya

Wait ‘til Sen. Chiz unmasks those that are trying to save their hides . . . possibly including the relatives of a top Palace bureaucrat.

* * *

Sandigan summons Romulo to testify
on Lucio Tan wealth case – Manila Bulletin

Tan has been winning one big case after another lately. He must be delighted that, for him, this is a very ‘affordable’ administration.

* * *

Import restrictions on rice, corn lifted – Manila Standard Today

Private traders can now start negotiating ‘tong-pats’ with you-know-who . . . if they had not done so prior to this Palace decision.

* * *

Anxiety rises over rice supplies – Manila Standard Today

If only the recently-conceived plans to boost rice production had been implemented early in this administration, there would have been little or no anxiety over how much of this commodity is still available to buy by the Philippines . . . that has become the world’s biggest rice importer.

* * *

Ex-AFP comptroller Garcia cleared
of another perjury case – Philippine Star

What’s clear by now to crooks at all levels is that they can get away with anything for as long as the ‘profit sharing’ takes care of people ‘upstairs’

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Scripting the SC

Miriam loses balance, hits head on the floor – Malaya

Except for a ‘minor contusion’, there appears to be no additional damage to Miriam’s head.

*    *    *

Gloria to personally lead
crackdown vs ‘bandits’ – GMA News

Sorry but Gloria was referring to rice hoarders . . . not to members of her immediate and official families.

*    *     *

Atienza insists constructions 
in Boracay should stop – Manila Times

This would affect the ‘furnitures’ industry.

*    *    *

Tobacco farmers offer to plant palay – Philippine Star

Yes, it’s always better to plant something that keeps people alive as apposed to something that kills . . . slowly.

*    *    *

Ermita called a liar over rights report to UN – Malaya

Ermita’s UN audience might have thought he’s a comedian . . . because he was applauded when he said, “The Arroyo government is a ‘human rights defender’".

*    *    *

High Court fails to rule on
Senate motion on Neri case – Manila Times

High Court might be waiting for the next Palace-written ‘script’.

*    *    *

Teodoro: Advising Trillanes not my business – Malaya

Defense sec Teodoro is right. He’s doing very well in the business of being a rubber stamp for Gen. Esperon and GMA.

*    *    *

No more P18.25 rice in Metro markets – Malaya

Agri sec Yap says cheap NFA rice will be pulled out of public markets “in two or three weeks” . . . which should give everybody enough time for panic buying.

*    *    *

MWSS exec who discovered
anomalies finally leaves post – GMA News

The Palace solution: Fire the MWSS boss so the underlings and their outside handlers can go ahead with the anomalous deals that the boss uncovered.

*    *    *

Cabinet revamp: Esperon to
DND, Teodoro to DOJ? – Philippine Star

But will Sec. Gonzales retire anytime soon? Voluntarily?

*    *    *

Senators abroad; political
turbulence settles down – Manila Standard Today

Too bad we can’t keep some of them from coming back.

*    *    *

GMA pushes deal with Japan – Manila Standard Today

After pushing deals with China, GMA probably wants to show that she’s an equal opportunity ‘dealmaker’ even though the JPEPA pact is potentially disadvantageous to the Philippines . . . to include being the dumping site of Japanese toxic industrial waste.

*     *    *

Manila eyes more rice imports,
Indonesia curbs exports – ABS-CBN News

With most rice producing countries curtailing exports, the Philippines would have to practically offer blank checks to buy anything at any price.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Rear view recorded

DOH identifies ‘YouTube’ docs – Philippine Star

The stink started when someone uploaded a video . . . taken without the patient’s knowledge . . . of rectal surgery to remove a canister of perfume.

*    *    *

PCA plans to increase exports of
coco-sugar taken from ‘tuba’ – Manila Bulletin

Good idea but they’re courting trouble if we have a tuba shortage and a rice shortage at the same time.

*    *    *

BIR fails to meet Q1 goal in
netting P166.6 billion – BusinessWorld

Possibly because personal ‘goals’ of BIR people were met first . . . as usual.

*    *    *

Esperon has DND portfolio in the bag? – Malaya

Not according to some Palace officials . . . so that means Sec. Gonzales won’t be left holding the bag if Sec. Teodoro is shunted to DOJ.

*    *    *

Soldiers, policemen assured of P18 rice – Malaya

That’s to assure the Palace that cops and soldiers won’t have funny ideas about ‘withdrawal of support’ if their families go hungry.

*    *    *

Corruption, not population,
blamed for poverty – Malaya

Correction, please, Archbishop Oscar Cruz. Make that overpopulation and corruption . . . in that order . . . as the prime causes of poverty.

*    *    *

Army recommends charges
versus corrupt official – BusinessWorld

Maj. Gen. Jose Barbieto should be charged with stupid conduct unbecoming of an officer who’s by no means a gentleman . . . for thinking that he could get away with wholesale extortion by requiring an ‘entrance’ fee of all recruits.

*    *    *

Binay: Erap is ‘last option’
of opposition in 2010 – Malaya

Unfortunately, Erap himself . . . by his body language and busy schedule of public appearances in the past several weeks . . . seems to believe that he’s the opposition’s one and only option.

*    *    *

9 DPWH execs sacked over
Asean lampposts – Philippine Star

Fortunately for the erring DPWH officials, they will only be dismissed from public service . . . not hanged from the lampposts that were allegedly overpriced by almost 1000%

*    *    *

Perez to Sandiganbayan:
Suspend graft proceedings – Malaya

Good idea . . . if Nani Perez is charged with plunder instead.

*    *     *

Marijuana loses ground
to silkworms in Cordillera – Malaya

P2,000 per kilogram of raw silk may not be much compared to what some of the locals can get for a kilo of ‘weed’ but a mulberry tree farmer should be able to sleep better at night.

*    *    *

Gutierrez ready to face impeach
moves in Congress – Philippine Star

But do we really want to watch another ‘moro-moro’ with a predictable ending?

*    *    *

Jamby: This is a hatchet job
by my relatives – Manila Standard Today

The senadora says she’s contesting the supposed will of her recently-departed billionaire aunt on a matter of ‘principle’ . . . which can be worth hundreds of millions more than what she allegedly got in advance inheritance to fund her election campaign.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Abalos’ alleged raison d'être

GMA: Cabinet revamp set in May – Philippine Star

Those with skeletons in their closets should not be in the Cabinet.

*    *    *

Annabelle Rama advises son Richard Gutierrez
to always practice safe sex – GMA News

However, when you try to stop Annabelle from saying something controversial, what is the procedure called?

Oral contra-inception.

*    *    *

Camote rice, anyone? – Malaya

“Yes, we have no bananas today”?

*    *    *

JDV pushes federalism – Philippine Star

Of course. It’s JDV’s only doable option to become head of state.

*    *    *

Warrant vs Nani served today – Malaya

Since none of the charges are non-bailable, Nani and his wife Rosario promptly posted cash bail bonds before Batangas Judge Ruben A. Galvez . . . and the telenovela continues.

*    *    *

Pimentel confident of smooth passage of federalism bill – Malaya

Wanted: 350 congressmen and 72 senators.

*    *    *

Gloria seeks to end NFA rice imports – Malaya

Before the end happens, Sec. Yap wants to import more rice without public bidding.

*    *    *

16 senators OK Constituent Assembly – Manila Bulletin

The new Con-Ass backers are Sens. Zubiri, Lapid, Legarda, and Aquino . . . in addition to Sens. Pimentel, Villar, Pangilinan, Angara, Biazon, Pia Cayetano, Enrile, Escudero, Estrada, Honasan, Lacson, and Revilla . . . who can now look forward to saving hundreds of millions since they would only have to fund local statewide campaigns afterwards.

*    *    *

Palace: Lozada is waning – Manila Bulletin

Actually, Lozada is still winning . . . because a recent Social Weather Station (SWS) survey said three out of five Filipinos believe his testimony on the ZTE-NBN issue.

*    *    *

Landbank to fund 100,000 has.
Jatropha plantation in Quezon – Manila Bulletin

Landbank will grant interest-free loans to small farmers that will not utilize any rice lands simply because Jatropha Curcas thrives on any type of soil . . . unlike rice.

*    *    *

Another arrest warrant
issued against Nani – Malaya

Not to worry . . . Nani should still have enough loose change for another substantial cash bail bond.

*    *    *

Migrante: Consul in Jeddah
culpable for OFW's death – Malaya

Migrante charges that Consul General Ezzedin Tago cannot hide behind a 'silly' reason for his incapability to protect the rights of OFWs in his area of responsibility.

*    *    *

No direct NBN link to the President,
says Cayetano – Manila Bulletin

And that’s supposedly the raison d'être of Benjamin Abalos, Sr.

By L. ‘ManongNoy’ Señeres    Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Tower of babble

Study: Baby birds babble like humans
before singing – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Some humans babble even as adults . . . and quite a few are in Congress.

*    *    *

Rosales says women, not gays, should
be in Santacruzan rites – Manila Bulletin

Let me give it to the cardinal straight: Your Eminence seems to ignore the reality that gays . . . including countless priests and nuns . . . are also God’s creations!

*    *    *

Buckle down to work,
Nograles tells Mikey – Daily Tribune

That’s after the presidential son returned from the USA where he went for the Holy Week break of Congress . . . but Mikey’s took almost two months.

*    *    *

Sandigan justices let out
loophole for Perez et. al. – Daily Tribune

One associate justice . . . who is not likely to win any awards for subtlety in playing the role of a Palace lapdog . . . asked the prosecutors if they have “evidence that accused Perez was armed with a firearm, in the presence of his wife Rosario, and asked for $2 million.” .

*    *    *

Meralco’s profit grows by
double-digits in first quarter – The Manila Times

Notwithstanding that laudable performance, it’s unclear why the government wants to take over the Philippines’ largest electricity distributor . . . other than to cow the Lopezes and their vast media properties.

*    *    *

Esperon sees no more
destabilization threats vs GMA – Philippine Star

That’s myopic simply because Esperon clearly refers to the final week-long time frame before his term as AFP chief ends next week.

*    *    *

Mikey joins fray, sets probe for
top-level Meralco revamp – Daily Tribune

Those of us who were wondering why Mikey practically twisted a few arms to grab the chairmanship of the Energy Committee . . . despite his inexperience and lack of seniority . . . can now put two and two together and finally figure out his personal agenda.

*    *    *

Pimentel: Failed bid for imported rice a ruse – Daily Tribune

How right Pimentel is. Now the ultra-greedy crooks can demand bigger kickbacks in the negotiated sale that’s now legally justified by a failed bidding.

*    *    *

Miriam backs state control of Meralco – Manila Times

Miriam invariably backs whatever the Palace wants . . . although the chances of unseating the current board of Meralco this year are remote . . , if we would rather take the word of others that are not in the political prostitution business.

*    *    *

GMA vows to lower cost of energy – Manila Bulletin

In the face of the rising price of crude oil that could top $200 per barrel in the foreseeable future, that’s as good a promise as keeping the price of NFA rice at the present level until the next main harvest season.

*    *    *

Customs misses target anew in April – Philippine Star

Here’s the problem: Those Customs bosses are taking orders from more than one big boss at the Palace. Actually, make that one Small Boss and one Big Boss.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fore! and after

New NBN-ZTE witness surfaces – Philippine Daily Inquirer

This fellow claims he was with GMA’s retinue when she made an undisclosed visit to Zhenshen for a secret meeting with ZTE officials on November 2, 2006 . . . and brought PDI a picture that shows Gloria and Mike supposedly on a golf course there . . . five months before she witnessed the signing of the national broadband network (NBN) contract.

*    *    *

ZTE exec: ‘No visit from your President’ – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Okay, but that small woman under an oversized golf umbrella being held by a supersized fellow that resembles her husband looks awfully familiar.

*    *    *

‘Bunye given golden parachute’ – Philippine Star

Nene Pimentel’s opinion couldn’t be more ‘on the money’ . . . on Bunye’s appointment to the Monetary Board . . . after the Palace spokesman started the process of making way for the reemployment a defeated senatorial candidate.

*    *    *

Arroyo pardons nine leaders of 2003 coup – ABS-CBN News

As expected . . . and all part of a dung deal.

*    *    *

Jail sought for convicted RTC judge – Malaya

If only to serve as an example, former Valenzuela City RTC executive judge Jaime Bautista . . . who was found guilty of bribery in April last year . . . should become a member of the ‘behind bars’.

*    *    *

Govt stops Batangas farm conversion
into hotel-beach resort – Manila Standard Today

DAR Secretary Nasser Pangandaman did the right thing in blocking the conversion of a farm in San Juan, Batangas into what was planned to become the Treasure Island Resort after the owners failed to implement an authority within the five years it was given to do so . . . possibly for lack of treasure.

*    *    *

Globe bags iPhone deal – BusinessWorld

Globe will be the only telco to offer the iPhone in the Philippines . . . unless Apple decides it would be smart idea to allow others to sell the hot gadget as well.

*    *    *

Bello named new Secretary to the Cabinet – Daily Tribune

If the name doesn’t ring a bell, Silvestre Bello III was DOJ sec during the Ramos administration

*    *    *

Aquino: ‘My body is responding positively
to the treatment’ – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Thank God . . . and great advances in medical research . . . Pres. Cory may yet survive cancer. Like moi.

*    *    *

House okays tax relief bill – BusinessWorld

The bill increases the personal tax exemption to P50,000 for all workers, whether married, single . . . or undecided.

*    *    *

Philippine peso slides to 5-1/2-month low – GMA News

Bad news but good news to OFWs and their families: The exchange rate yesterday was P42.66 per dollar.

*    *    *

Yano takes over as AFP chief; Esperon
says mission accomplished – Philippine Star

Which reminds me . . . Hello, Esperon?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fiesta in Hell

Biking priest unimpressed with Saludo's
defense of Arroyo on corruption charges – GMA News

But let’s not expect Sec. Saludo to backpedal.

*    *    *

Suspect in Laguna massacre
killed in ‘shootout’ – Daily Tribune

Bernabe Fiesta, the sole suspect in the massacre of eight hapless villagers including four children in Laguna, probably deserves the hottest nook in Hell.

*    *    *

Labor champ ‘Ka Bel’ dies
in mishap; several mourn – Daily Tribune

Crispin Beltran was apparently an absolutely honest congressman who was not inclined to misappropriate his pork barrel funds for his personal needs. He died after falling from the roof of his home . . . while fixing a leak himself.

*    *    *

Witness ‘Alex’ missing; NBN
probe to push on with ‘Joe’ – Daily Tribune

Alex may have given in to unfriendly persuasion.

*    *     *

Villar still richest among senators – Daily Tribune

And Villar, a truly self-made man, is one public official that won’t have to worry about passing a lifestyle check.

*    *    *

Zubiri, Lacson want to restore death penalty – Manila Bulletin

It’s about time . . . if only to deter cold-blooded murders during bank heists and carjackings.

*    *    *

'Terrorists' catch camp guards by surprise – Malaya

It was only a drill but the ‘terrorists’ car was able to breach a gate at Camp Aguinaldo.

*    *    *

Nario tipped as new PCGG chief – Malaya

Narciso Nario is slated to replace the underperforming Camilo Sabio.

*    *    *

Students make bioethanol from rice straws – Manila Times

The best part: Unlike corn-based bioethanol, this biofuel does not influence the price of rice as a food source. High-fives to Ateneo de Manila studes Miguel Angelo Vicente, Dulce Marie Romea and Jose Maria Villamor!

*    *    *

Esperon’s appointment comes under fire – Manila Times

Understandably so . . . for how can a military general morph into a peacemaker overnight after an active service focussed on waging war on the very insurgents that he’s now tasked to sit down with?

*    *    *

NEDA employees urge release of
documents on NBN-ZTE deal – ABS-CBN News

I’m just concerned that the prime movers would quickly become ex-NEDA employees.

*    *    *

Senators may still pin down GMA on NBN-ZTE deal – GMA News

Maybe . . . if the Supreme Court approves a petition filed in October 2007 by Sens. Mar and Noynoy questioning NEDA’s refusal to furnish the Senate with copies of NEDA’s Project Evaluation Report and minutes of March 2006 meetings regarding the NBN-ZTE deal.

*    *    *

Sex change illegal, appeals court says – Manila Standard Today

A ‘missed’ opportunity that’s not yet legal in the Philippines.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Miriam’s crazy idea

Lopezes keep Meralco – Philippine Daily Inquirer

And it should be ‘keep quiet’ time for GSIS boss and Meralco takeover wannabe Winston Garcia . . . as all the noise he has been making has diminished Meralco’s stock price.

*    *    *

Santiago accuses Lopezes of sabotaging
bid for world court – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Miriam could not even land a seat in our own Supreme Court . . . which makes the idea of her being picked for the International Court of Justice not only farfetched but downright crazy.

*    *    *

Bro. Eddie urges JDV to tell all
about ZTE deal – Philippine Daily Inquirer

One possible problem: If JdV points an accusing finger at Gloria Arroyo, he could find three of his own pointing right back at him.

*    *    *

Legazpi bishop affirms order not to say
Mass for Ka Bel – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Bishop Lucilo Quimbao has declared Ka Bel a ‘non-Catholic’ . . . just because his remains had been brought to an Aglipayan church in Manila. Bishop Quiambao has either lost sight of ecumenism or is stupid enough to risk seeing legions of the beloved labor icon’s followers leave the Catholic church.

*    *    *

Palace confident of Perez acquittal in
$2-M extortion-robbery charges – Daily Tribune

Of course, since the Palace appears to have produced, written and directed the moro-moro that requires a happy ending for Nani Perez . . . or else he could spill the beans on somebody who supposedly received a bigger slice of the reported $14 million bribe from Impsa.

*    *    *

CHR Chief: Killing of RCBC
massacre suspects a rubout – Daily Tribune

With Leila de Lima now at the helm of the Commission on Human Rights, we can expect a significant reduction in summary executions of crime suspects that some rogue police elements often try to pass off as ‘firefights’.

*    *    *

Testify, risk ‘tragic ending,’
Palace warns JdV – Daily Tribune

‘Tragic ending’ usually means somebody dies in the end. If I were JdV, I’d treat that Palace warning as a serious threat.

*    *    *

Cayetano asks de Venecia to testify soon – Manila Times

That testimony can only take place if de Venecia believes he won’t end up smelling like a bigger rat than Pres. Arroyo.

*    *    *

Villar calls for rules on senators’
product endorsements – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Some people are still unhappy that Sen. Villar once upon a time pitched ‘Hapee’, a local toothpaste brand.

*    *    *

BSP approves RCBC takeover – BusinessWorld

It’s actually RCBC that will take over Merchants Bank . . . which keeps the Yuchengco-controlled RCBC well on track to net close to P4 B this year.

*    *    *

Cops linked to rubout relieved – Malaya

A clear signal from PNP Chief Avelino Razon Jr. that he’s dead serious about creating a positive image for the typical ‘Mamang Pulis’.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Lucio ill-got the ill-gotten?

Revilla for VP in 2010 – Philippine Star

Why? And let go of the co-chairmanship of the Senate’s Committee on Silence?

*    *    *

Imelda to testify vs. Lucio Tan – Manila Times

Under litigation is a chunk of Ferdinand Marcos’ allegedly ill-gotten wealth that was allegedly ill-gotten by Lucio Tan.

*    *    *

Loren: VP Noli spent P200M of
public funds to project self – GMA News

That would be The Noli For President Project.

*    *    *

Group seeks fare hike freeze – Philippine Star

It’s not known whether the new group . . . that calls itself ‘Mega Manila Transport Operators and Drivers Association’ . . . actually has more members than can be transported by a single jeepney.

*    *    *

De Venecia to announce Sunday
whether he would testify – GMA News

Let’s hope that the climax . . . if JdV is not incapable of one . . . is as good as his extended foreplay.

*    *    *

Palace to JDV: Skip ZTE probe, be a statesman – GMA News

That’s absolutely right . . . a ‘statesman’ in the mould of Ben Abalos.

*    *    *

Mikey leads Lakas 2010 senatorial bets – Daily Tribune

Good thing that’s two years away because if elections were held now, Mikey would lead the losers.

*    *    *

Legarda: ‘I will run in 2010’ – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Expected to say exactly the same thing is Ping Lacson, which will open the door for Erap . . . who has threatened to run if the opposition is not united.

*    *    *

Subic execs lauded for
big shabu bust – Philippine Star

Dick Gordon insults the public’s intelligence with this attempt to exonerate his protégées at SBMA . . . under whose very noses a ‘locator’ was smuggling drugs by the ton . . . and marginalizes PASG’s latest major haul.

*    *    *

Presidentiables say 'no'
to snap elections – Philippine Star

Perhaps they’re afraid that the Palace might just bring back Abalos and Garci from retirement?

*    *    *

Hospitals asked to adopt
surgical safety list – Philippine Star

Actually a WHO checklist . . . to make sure that the wrong foot is not amputated by mistake, among other things.

*    *    *

DOJ chief: Meddling foreign traders
also funded Makati rallies – GMA News

The DOJ chief may be telling the truth . . . but the truth is, those foreigners can’t very well tell his boss directly that it’s time to vacate the Palace.

*    *    *

Gonzalez on JDV: He could be a
star witness, or a falling star – GMA News

Wettaminit, is Sir Raul trying to sound like moi?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Noah’s Ark may be torpedoed

Congress won’t give GMA ‘crisis’ powers – Philippine Star

Unless Congress is eventually instructed to do so . . . by GMA.

*    *    *

Villar declares 2010 presidential bid – Philippine Star

He’s the second pangulo-wannabe to do so . . . after Loren Legarda . . . but he’ll likely end up in 3rd or 4th place, even with his own billions to finance his campaign.

*    *    *

Arroyo adviser proposes P316B
'Noah's Ark' subsidy plan – ABS-CBN News

Albay gov Joey Salceda describes his proposal as “an imperative in the face of a clear and present danger to our national survival” . . . but isn’t it curious that the orig Noah’s Ark was built and launched for the survival of only one family?

*    *    *

ABS-CBN’s Drilon kidnapped by
ASG; P10M demanded – Daily Tribune

Time to bring in a skilful negotiator . . . with P10M.

*    *    *

Rosales: Same-sex marriage not in God's plan – Malaya

I’m assuming that the cardinal got this unequivocal opinion recently in a text message directly from God . . . since the Bible itself is unclear on the matter.

*    *    *

BoI shifts from regulation to
investment promotion – Manila Bulletin

Not expected to be tapped for any advisory roles are Senators Enrile, Santiago and Arroyo . . . who may have scared away some prospective foreign investors with their highhanded interrogation of officials of the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce at last Friday’s hearing on proposed amendments to the EPIRA law.

*    *    *

Favila hits De Venecia on ZTE ad – Philippine Star

The Trade sec insists that the decision to convert the project into a government-to-government agreement was made long after the luncheon in Shenzhen. Sooo . . . did GMA okay the amended accord at dinnertime then?

*    *    *

1st Lapid bill passed, gives tax
breaks for free legal aid – Manila Standard Today

The Legal Assistance Act of 2008 is perhaps the most costly bill ever passed . . . if we factor in the salaries, allowances and pork barrel funds that Lapid has received so far.

*    *    *

Senate approves PERA bill for workers – Daily Tribune

Sen. Edong’s bill will mean more pera for retirees in the form of tax credits.

*    *    *

BFAD, DoH urged to probe
anti-smoking drug’s dangers – Daily Tribune

The questionable drug, Champix, can reduce a smoker’s risk of contracting cancer if that smoker kicks the habit but it supposedly has alarming side effects . . . including psychosis, paranoia, heart ailments and suicidal tendencies.

*    *    *

GMA orders rescue of Ces – Manila Times

The Palace must really hate Ces’ bosses . . . the Lopezes . . . because that rescue order is ill-timed and could have tragic consequences.

*    *    *

Gina de V: JdV will testify on all GMA corrupt deals – Manila Times

Why not have Manay Gina spill the whole can of beans . . . and just ask her husband to say, “Yes, that’s true, dear.” as often as necessary?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

‘Luxury camping’ Mindanao-style

Meralco lashes at GSIS exec over
rate reduction tirade – Daily Tribune

Quite clearly, a clash between profit motive and ulterior motive.

*    *    *

Erap: Time for Edsa 1, 2, 3 to
unite, restore rule of law – Daily Tribune

I agree . . . unless Erap said “restore rule of law” to mean restore him in Malacañang.

*    *    *

P1B to convert PU vehicles to LPG – Malaya

That should read ‘LNG’ for liquefied natural gas that the country has in vast abundance from Palawan. A smart and timely Palace decision that Pres. Arroyo deserves credit for . . . especially if the government would also partly subsidize the one-time cost of converting taxis, jeepneys and buses to run on the cheaper fuel.

*    *    *

Group wants Neri fired as
CHED chairman – Manila Times

The Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities (PACU) accuses Neri of playing “deaf and blind” to tertiary education concerns. Since he is also “mute” as far as Senate probers are concerned, Neri should be reassigned to head that agency for people with disabilities.

*    *    *

Troop movements continue in
Sulu – Philippine Daily Inquirer

That’s military ‘intelligence’ in action. How else can anybody explain the questionable timing of massive troop movements and cannon shelling in Indanan . . . where kidnapped journalist Ces Drilon is reportedly being held by her captors . . . before negotiations for her freedom can make headway?

*    *    *

Gov’t claims capturing one
of Ces’ kidnappers – Daily Tribune

The government is opposed to prisoner swaps . . . so what’s the point?

*    *    *

Palace shortlist for Comelec
commissioners down to 3 – ABS-CBN News

Since there are exactly 3 openings, the only remaining question is which one of them would be the designated successor to ‘Garci’.

*    *    *

Tax exemption bill signed – Manila Standard Today

Authored by Sen. Mar, the new law would exempt minimum wage earners from income tax and effectively increase their take-home pay by at least P34 per working day . . . which is far better than the measly P20 that a regional wage board recently granted workers in the Metro Manila area.

*    *    *

Escudero to call Senate hearing on
smuggling next week Philippine Daily Inquirer

It should be interesting to find out why the value of imports in 2007 from Bureau of Customs records totalled billions less . . . in US dollars . . . than what the International Monetary Fund has tallied from countries that exported goods to the Philippines. And why, this early, people have asked Sen. Chiz if the First Gentleman would be ‘invited’ to the probe.

*    *    *

Ces, 2 others freed – Philippine Star

Moral of the story: If you’re a foreigner or any kind of celeb, never venture into some parts of Mindanao where the Abu Sayyaf charges accidental 'tourists' an arm and a leg for ‘board and lodging’ sans amenities similar to those at luxury camping resorts.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Common candidate for common sense 

Isnaji supporters massing in Sulu – Philippine Star 06-20-2008

Lemme see . . . ahhh, they want a piece of Mayor Isnaji’s 60% cut from the ‘no ransom’ payment?

*    *    *

Neda assures the poor NFA rice will
stay at P18.25/kilo – ABS-CBN 06-23-2008

It’s unclear just how NEDA can deliver on that assurance after extensive crop damage in the wake of Typhoon Frank and the latest NFA rice imports costing almost twice that much.

*    *    *

Sulpicio Lines defends seaworthiness
of sunken ferry – ABS-CBN 06-23-2008

If initial reports pointed to ‘engine trouble’ as the reason why the vessel could not get out of harm’s way and eventually ran aground, that defence insults the memory of hundreds of their passengers that are now presumed dead.

*    *    *

CBCP head slams ‘exaggerated,
expensive’ GMA trip – Philippine Star 06-23-2008

It would have been less ‘exaggerated’ if GMA had brought along just a few cabinet officials who had any justifiable business to sit down with their US counterparts . . . but what about those 60 or so clearly junketing solons?

*    *    *

Comelec to take up premature
campaigning complaint – Malaya 06-23-2008

Seeking a restraining order against the appearance of politicians who will probably run in the 2010 national elections in commercial advertisements is Miriam Santiago . . . whose own chances of being asked to be a product endorser are probably slim to none.

*    *    *

Bishop: US trip shows administration’s
moral bankruptcy – GMA News 06-23-2008

GMA would end up also orally bankrupt. After all, what can she ask for . . . and expect to get . . . from a US president whose term is about to end?

*    *    *

Hefti recommends dismissal of 51
district officers – Philippine Star 06-23-2008

The lady BIR boss apparently means business . . . because that’s almost half of the entire country’s RDOs . . . but the Lateral Attrition Act of 2005 allows her to dismiss those that have missed their collection targets.

*    *    *

Teves orders Customs to probe oil import
data – Manila Standard Today Star 06-23-2008

But only after somebody pointed out that there’s a substantial difference between the Bureau of Customs’ tally of total taxable imports in 2007 and publicly accessible data compiled by the IMF.

*    *    *

Field a common opposition presidential
bet in 2010 – Philippine Daily Inquirer 06-24-2008

Pimentel’s wish can rightly be called ‘Mission Impossible’ . . . what with Villar, Lacson, Legarda, Roxas and even Erap not expected to step aside for anybody or anything.

*    *    *

Prosecutors try to revive perjury case vs Erap – Malaya 06-23-2008

They would probably back off if Erap ceases to revive hopes of ever going back to live in Malacañang.

*    *    *

President, Bush strengthen ties in
bilateral meeting – Manila Bulletin 06-24-2008

Sounds like ‘diplomatese’ for “Good to see you again, Gloria, but I can’t promise you anything”.

*    *    *

Nograles orders solons to attend to
needs of victims – Manila Bulletin 06-24-2008

Certainly not the solons who . . . like Boy Nograles . . . are still in the USA on a grand junket with Gloria Arroyo.

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