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  1. #21


    From Amando Doronila of the Inquirer...


    Citizen Cory Aquino Crosses Over into History

    By Amando Doronila
    Philippine Daily Inquirer

    Citizen Cory Aquino crossed over into the realm of history quietly in the early hours of Saturday. Her son, Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, announced that his mother died “peacefully” after enduring 16 months of excruciating pain from colon cancer with great dignity.

    The Aquino family declined a Malacañang offer of a state funeral. Noynoy Aquino said it was his mother’s wish to have a private funeral, adding that she had been a “private citizen since stepping down” from power in 1992.

    She shed power cleanly, without any second thoughts of remaining in office any second longer than her constitutional term. The manner in which she died sent the message: “My time is up … It’s time to go quietly.”

    That has not been the case with some of Cory’s successors who have schemed for ways to extend their constitutional term limits.

    In death, Cory reminded the nation that the 1987 Constitution still remained the fundamental legal architecture of the democratic system that she reestablished, that transitions of power and term limits are still governed by the fundamental law of the land, and that they are under threat and have to be respected and protected.

    The wish for a private funeral shafted the man whom she deposed in the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution and whose family has craved for his remains to be buried in Libingan ng mga Bayani with full state honors.

    But events have often played cruel jokes on men or women who have delusions of greatness by denying them their fondest wish.

    Full of ironies

    The spontaneous and unsolicited tributes that followed her death are full of ironies—the most sublime of which is the tribute paid by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

    Military camps across the country reverberated with volleys of cannon fire from sunrise to sunset on Saturday as the AFP paid their former Commander in Chief the highest military honor and memorial services.

    The honors failed to mask the fact that during the first three years of Cory’s presidency, her administration was threatened by at least six coup attempts staged by rebellious soldiers who tried to dislocate the fragile democracy she had restored. They also sought to tear apart the 1987 Constitution that formally replaced the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.

    Greatest legacy

    The universal tribute to Cory acknowledges that her greatest legacy is the restoration of democracy in the Philippines.

    This is best articulated by US President Barack Obama, who said Cory “played a crucial role in Philippine history,” moving the country to democratic rule through her nonviolent people power movement.

    “Her courage, determination, and moral leadership are an inspiration to us all and exemplify the best in the Filipino nation,” Obama said.

    It is not sufficiently appreciated that the most defining moment of Cory’s restoration of Philippine democracy occurred on Feb. 25, 1986, when she took her oath of office in Club Filipino, a civilian venue in Green Hills, San Juan, at the height of the People Power Revolution. The oath-taking took place hours before Marcos fled to Hawaii.

    Club Filipino or Camp Crame

    Before we forget the long-term importance of that oath-taking, it should never be forgotten that Cory arrived at Club Filipino two hours late for the oath-taking because of an impasse in crucial negotiations over the venue of the oath-taking with the military leaders, who had defected from the Marcos regime after the outbreak of the military mutiny at Camp Aguinaldo on Feb. 22.

    The generals led by Marcos’ defense minister, Juan Ponce Enrile, and Lt. Gen. Fidel Ramos, chief of the Philippine Constabulary, were appalled by Cory’s announcement that she intended to take her oath at Club Filipino, instead of at Camp Crame, the center of the rebellion against Marcos and also the headquarters of Ramos’ Constabulary.

    The military leaders, who were making their last stand at Camp Crame against Marcos’ troops, had wanted her to take her oath at Camp Crame. They claimed that Club Filipino was a security nightmare as it was within the range of mortar fire of Marcos loyalists.
    The military leaders offered to fly her to the camp from her home to ensure her safety.

    Supremacy of civilian rule

    Cory saw in this offer an issue with a fundamental implication for the supremacy of civilian rule in a restored democracy. She emphatically rejected the offer.

    She told the generals: “Camp Came was the first place where Ninoy, where every political detainee was brought. Filipinos once lived in dread of being taken there … The second thing, is, I have already told the people I would be at Club Filipino … I chose it because it is a neutral place. And I absolutely refuse to take a helicopter.”

    That singular decision defined the character of the restoration of Philippine democracy. It stamped clearly her political vision of the post-Marcos democracy.

    Had Cory not resisted the browbeating by the military leaders, it would have changed the character of the restored democracy. It would have laid the foundation of a military-dominated regime after Marcos.

    Intuitive political instincts

    In rejecting the military plan, Cory was guided by her intuitive political instincts.

    As a consequence of the rejection of the Camp Crame plan, disgruntled military leaders who had felt that they had been robbed of the fruits of their rebellion by the civilian leadership, staged a number of coup attempts to seize power.

    The coups introduced a period of political instability that wiped out the dramatic gains in economic growth fostered by a fresh leadership change and the advent of an honest government.


    During the People Power Revolution, Cory was clear-sighted in her vision of the post-Marcos government. The goal of the People Power Revolution was restoration of democracy.

    During her presidency, Cory was criticized for her unflinching devotion to democratic restoration. She has already come under growing criticism over her neglect of or indifference to social and agrarian reforms.

    But that issue is not the focus of this article. It will be revisited in a comprehensive assessment of the Cory presidency.

  2. #22


    para sa akin, cory aquino's greatest achievement was holding on to power. for those too young to remember, the coup attempts were quite unnerving. because i live in the cubao area, my place was within spitting distance to camp aguinaldo, kaya dumadagundong sa bahay namin pag nagkakabombahan sa kampo. dahil dun, madalas kaming maipit sa crossfire ng RAM at government soldiers, and at the height of the bloody 1989 coup, my family seriously considered evacuating to montalban, rizal, where we had a farmhouse. good thing president aquino was able to hold on after then major general pong biazon, the commander of the philippine marines at the time, was able to rid makati of the freeloaders that occupied the intercon and helped themselves to its food and beverage section for almost half a month. the final blows, however, came when two US F-16 fighter planes swooped down on known RAM lairs in makati, manila, and quezon city in what has been called "persuasion flights."

    astig si biazon nung panahong yon: he was both field commander and armed combatant.
    "Of all the books I read, Facebook is the greatest"
    --sign on a T-shirt I saw on the way to work the other day

  3. #23


    ^^^ Pong Biazon eventually went on to become the first Marine Commandant and last 2-star general to be named Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

  4. #24


    From Inquirer News - - -

    Morato joins Nat’l Artists Awards all-out War

    By Jerry E. Esplanada, Marlon Ramos
    Philippine Daily Inquirer
    First Posted 05:45:00 08/08/2009

    MANILA, Philippines — The controversy over two National Artists named by Malacañang shows that “so much falsehood, insincerity and hypocrisy have infected our culture,” former censors chief Manuel Morato said Friday.

    It is “indicative of the culture of hatred that is so embedded in our society today,” Morato said in the course of lamenting the violent reactions to the Palace’s award of the title to his friends Carlo J. Caparas and Cecile Guidote Alvarez.

    “Even some members of our Catholic Church are guilty of it,” said Morato, also a former chair of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and a defeated senatorial candidate in the 1992 and 2001 elections.

    At a “necrological service” for the award—a protest action held Friday afternoon and attended by the daughters of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, Imee and Irene—four National Artists “buried” their gold medallions to protest what they said was a mockery of the recognition given to exceptional Filipino artists.

    National Artists for Literature Virgilio Almario and Bienvenido Lumbera vowed not to wear the medallions until President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo recalls the title she conferred on Caparas, a komiks writer and film director, and Alvarez, the executive director of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA), which oversees the grant of the award together with the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

    “We want to show our disgust. We will not use our medallion until this issue is settled,” Almario told the Inquirer.

    Said Lumbera: “It’s really frustrating how some people like [Ms Arroyo] disregard the real essence of the award.”

    National Artists for Visual Arts Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera and Arturo Luz also laid their medallions to rest in a symbolic funeral ceremony in front of the CCP in Pasay City.

    Also in attendance were National Artists Napoleon Abueva, Salvador Bernal and Eddie Romero.

    An insult

    Singer Celeste Legaspi, whose father Cesar Legaspi was a National Artist for Visual Arts, said bestowing the title on Caparas was “an insult to the memory” of her father.

    She pointed out that Caparas did not even know how to draw or paint.

    But Caparas and Alvarez continued to lash at their critics.

    At a news conference at the NCCA office in Intramuros, Manila, Caparas assailed his “elitist” critics for belittling his body of work, saying a smooth face and a high education were not necessary to be a National Artist.

    He reiterated that he did not ask for the award, adding: “Those not chosen this year should wait for their turn.” Caparas’ wife, film producer Donna Villa, assailed what she called “below-the-belt criticisms by some vicious sectoral artists.”

    “If it’s a member of their clique that was chosen, it’s OK by them. If not, they criticize the awardee. It’s really unfair,” Villa said.

    Alvarez, Ms Arroyo’s adviser on culture, said she “did not lobby for the award,” contrary to claims by some of her critics.

    She denied that the award was “a political gift” from the President. Alvarez also said that “although I’m the NCCA executive director, I’m not part of the selection process.”

    “What lack of delicadeza (propriety) are they talking about?” she said.

    What about the ‘masa’?

    At the same news conference, NCCA Chair Vilma Labrador said both Alvarez and Caparas were “qualified to win the award,” which, she stressed, was “long overdue.”

    Labrador said the award was a “validation of a lifetime dedication to the arts of Mrs. Alvarez in leading the movement for a national theater and its development to forge our cultural identity and preserve our heritage.”

    She also cited Alvarez for “vigorously leading the pursuit of cultural initiatives meant to highlight the country’s depth of talent and expertise in the performing arts and showcasing through her efforts the wealth of heritage, history and language with a sensitivity to our social conditions to pursue the Millennium Development Goals.”

    Labrador also denied that the NCCA had been involved in “dagdag-bawas” (padding and shaving): “The President did not abuse her powers. She studied the nominees and their qualifications carefully.”

    She added: “It’s sad that this issue has divided the arts and culture sector.

    “Does one need to be elitista to be a National Artist? How about those belonging to the masa who are also qualified to be National Artists?”


    BenCab read a eulogy during the hour-long program at the CCP attended by some 800 artists and supporters wearing black t-shirts.

    Led by eight women wearing black veils, the group laid down a funeral wreath with the National Artist Awards logo.

    The assembly then proceeded to the NCCA office in a motorcade.

    But the otherwise peaceful gathering of artists was marred by near fisticuffs between ardent supporters of Alvarez and some of the protesters who tried to force their way into the NCCA building at around 5:15 p.m.

    At the height of the commotion, an unidentified NCCA employee tried to hit a protester with an audio speaker.

    A blind man identified only as Zaldy, a member of Alvarez’s choral group, reminded the protesters that it was the President who gave “Ma’am” the award. “She’s the one you should blame,” he said.

    Actress Angie Ferro shouted at the colleagues that she saw among the protesters.

    “You are all elitists! Don’t bring chaos here. Johnny, why are you there?” Ferro said, apparently addressing actor Johnny Delgado, who attended the protest action along with his wife, director Laurice Guillen.

    Ferro also engaged Lumbera in a shouting match.

    “Why are you here, Bien? You know Cecile is not at fault here,” she said.

    Retorted Lumbera: “Look at you, Angie. You’re already old and yet Cecile can still fool you.”

    The protesters also assailed Alvarez for allegedly ordering the playing of folk songs from loudspeakers in front of the NCCA building.

    The commotion ended when organizers told the assembly to calmly disperse and leave the area.

    Sought for comment, Alvarez defended the setting up of loudspeakers outside her office.

    “My people just want to have fun rather than hear people shouting and cursing,” she said.

    When told of Almario’s claim that he declined the National Artist award when he was the NCCA executive director, she said: “Well, I’m not Almario.”

    FPJ’s Panday

    Imee Marcos surmised that the National Artist award was given to Caparas as “payment for the sale of the iconic poster of ‘Panday.’”

    She claimed that Caparas had sold the rights for the poster of the legendary character he created to prevent the late Fernando Poe Jr.—who immortalized “Panday” on the silver screen—from using it when he ran against Ms Arroyo in the 2004 presidential election.

    “They wanted to erase FPJ’s image as Panday in the consciousness of the Filipinos. But that will never happen,” she said.

    When asked if it was the first time she joined a protest action, Imee said: “No. But this is the first time I went with [my sister] Irene.”

    She said her brother, Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., also wanted to attend the rally but had an earlier commitment.

    “Our family is saddened by this scandal. This award was meant to recognize outstanding artists and not for political accommodation,” Imee said, adding that it was her mother, former first lady Imelda Marcos, who had conceptualized the National Artist awards.

  5. #25


    ^ There is a part of me that thinks there is no way the king of Philippine massacre movies, the ultimate in film garbage, should be getting a National Artist award.

    Yet there is another part of me that truly believes the man who brought us PANDAY, JOAQUIN BORDADO and KAMANDAG ought to get some sort of real recognition for doing so.

    What do you guys think?

  6. #26


    Caparas would've been acceptable as a National Artist for Visual Arts if he was indeed involved in creating the komiks, which includes drawing, inking, and coloring. Unfortunately, he was not involved in any of the processes -- all he did was create the characters. In this case, those who were indeed involved in drawing and inking deserve to be named National Artists more than Caparas.

    I watched his interview on Channel 2 yesterday and I must say his attitude towards respected artists such as Lumbera and Almario remind me of Eminem diss-tracks: "More people read my works! Who reads Rio Alma anyway?"
    Brokensauce. Coming soon to a club near you.

  7. #27


    Quote Originally Posted by gfy
    The opposition to ChaCha can snowball. Gloria and her allies will regret this and this may result in People Power 3 (or 4?). I for one will join mass demonstrations after a long, long time.
    basta ako sama ako kay sir gfy. ;D

    i doubt, though, that gloria and her congressional lapdogs will try anything of the sort at this point.

    tita cory is dead, but she continues to live in our hearts. mabuhay pa rin si tita cory!
    When a religious scheme is shattered (as Christianity was shattered at the Reformation), it is not merely the vices that are let loose. The vices are, indeed, let loose, and they wander and do damage. But the virtues are let loose also. - G.K.Chesterton, Orthodoxy
    Dominus vobiscum

  8. #28


    Quote Originally Posted by Joescoundrel
    ^ There is a part of me that thinks there is no way the king of Philippine massacre movies, the ultimate in film garbage, should be getting a National Artist award.

    Yet there is another part of me that truly believes the man who brought us PANDAY, JOAQUIN BORDADO and KAMANDAG ought to get some sort of real recognition for doing so.

    What do you guys think?
    Is there any Western Democracy that has a National Artist Award?

    Makoy's Fascist regime started all of this based on the Soviet model. Ewan ko lang pero kund hinid makarelate and simpleng tao, dpat ang tawag National Artists of the Oligarchy Award.

    Just like the Oder of the British Empire Award...anak ng teteng ano pang Empire? Delusional talaga itong Britanya!

    Joke lang pero magandang pag-isipan... ;D

    Understand? / ¿Entiendes?

  9. #29


    This is one of the most pathetic statements I've heard in recent times. It's like saying "parang awa nyo na, bugbog na bugbog na kami, baka pwedeng awat muna?"

    Speaker Nograles, can't you come up with something more creative?


    Stop hitting Arroyo, Nograles asks critics
    By TJ Burgonio
    Philippine Daily Inquirer
    First Posted 11:49:00 08/14/2009

    Filed Under: Government, Travel & Commuting, Politics
    MANILA, Philippines -- Speaker Prospero Nograles appealed Friday to critics to stop hitting President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo over her much ballyhooed lavish dinners in Washington, D.C. and New York during her trip to the US.

    "I think we should stop making the President a punching bag, and let us concentrate more on the donut, not the hole. And let's look at the better things in life," he told reporters in Malacañang after the ceremonial signing into law of the Magna Carta for Women.

    "Because every time we hit the government, and hit it excessively, we are destroying our own house, we are destroying our own nation. We are destroying our nation before the international community. I don't think that's what we want," he added.


    Mr. Speaker, perhaps you want to rethink who has been doing the destroying?

  10. #30


    From Ateneo professor Ciel Habito - - -

    No Free Lunch

    Are Oil Products Overpriced?

    By Cielito Habito
    Philippine Daily Inquirer
    First Posted 23:49:00 08/16/2009

    NEWS OF THE RESIGNATION OF NEDA Director-General Ralph Recto last week triggered much speculation that there must be more than meets the eye behind his unexpected and sudden departure from the Arroyo Cabinet. While he publicly explains that he has decided to leave to explore his political options for next year, the natural object of people’s suspicion has been the recent public disagreement over oil prices between Recto and Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes.

    Neda and Recto had asserted that gasoline pump prices in the country may be up to P8 a liter higher than they should be. If true, then the oil companies have been making undue profits at the expense of the Filipino consumers.

    Downward stickiness

    People may not have noticed nor cared as much as they should, because fuel prices have generally been much lower this year compared to last year, when the international crude oil price had climbed to a record of more than $147 a barrel in July 2008.

    The price is now hovering around $70, or less than half of what it was last year—and yet the decline in pump prices of gasoline and diesel has not been as dramatic. Economists describe the situation as a “downward stickiness” in prices; that is, it is generally easier for prices to go up than to go down with corresponding movements in actual costs.

    Where there is not enough competition in an industry, businesses can control prices enough to get away with such pricing behavior.

    Have the oil companies been colluding with each other to prevent fuel prices from going down to their more proper levels given current world crude prices? Neda appears to believe so. And it explains why in its website, where one can readily open a PowerPoint file detailing its calculations that led to its findings of seemingly excessive prices.

    The argument is simple: The pump prices of gasoline and diesel now should approximate their observed prices in recent past instances when the prevailing crude oil price in peso terms was at the same level as they are now. However, Neda finds that prevailing current prices are much higher than they were when crude oil cost about the same.


    The following summarizes the pencil-pushing that Neda did:

    Last April 16, Dubai Crude Oil (DCO) cost $50 a barrel, which translated to P2,408 at the prevailing exchange rate of P48.16 a dollar. Gasoline sold then at around P40 a liter at the pump.

    In February 2005, DCO price was $39.70 a barrel, which at the exchange rate then of P54.81 a dollar, amounted to P2,176.07. At that time, gasoline pump price was P27.37 a liter.

    In March 2005, DCO sold for $45.84 a barrel, or P2,495.54 at the exchange rate then of P54.44 a dollar. Gasoline pump price was P29.22 a liter.

    Since the April 16, 2009, DCO price of P2,408 lies between the February and March 2005 prices, pump price of gasoline would be expected to lie between the February 2005 price of P27.37 and the March 2005 price of P29.22. A straight-line interpolation would yield P28.71. Adding the 12-percent VAT which gasoline was still not subject to in 2005, the expected price comes up to P32.16. So why, then, was it selling for P40 last April?

    Turf battle

    Just to be sure, Neda tried other approaches to calculating the expected gasoline pump price that should have prevailed in mid-April 2009, including using the Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS) gasoline price for comparison. With adequate competition, domestic gasoline prices must be tied to the price at which gasoline is internationally traded, indicated by the MOPS price, which was $60.46 a barrel.

    At a dollar exchange rate of P48.19, and adding in all costs incurred leading to the pump price (including oil company margins, specific taxes, VAT and other costs), gasoline pump price should have been P32.21. Still two other estimation approaches Neda invoked led to gasoline pump prices of P30.57 to P33.69. Even at the most liberal estimate, the actual pump price observed last April was still more than P6 higher than it should have been.

    This is the apparent fuel overpricing that Secretary Recto had called attention to, which led to his run-in with Secretary Reyes who apparently resented the Neda secretary’s perceived encroachment into his turf.

    The introductory note on the Neda PowerPoint hints at the turf battle somewhat defensively: “As the primary economic and development planning agency of the country, Neda puts the welfare of the general public at the center of its work. We recognize that it is the Department of Energy (DOE) that is the main body which monitors oil price movements and oil companies’ behavior. Neda commented on oil pricing to underscore the effects of escalating oil prices on the general economy.”

    It is indeed incumbent upon Neda to raise such questions, especially when lack of competition and lack of transparency on the part of the oil industry may be compromising the public interest.

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