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It was a terrorist attack in EDSA

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These motherless scoundrels (when I say motherless scoundrels, I mean terrorists) love birthday surprises. Strange and sick.

I have no doubt that yesterday’s bus bombing at EDSA was a terrorist attack (besides, the police already confirmed that an improvised explosive device destroyed the bus and the innocent civilians it was carrying). And what “perfect” timing: the 78th birth anniversary of PNoy’s mom.

MANILA, Philippines—“Who is responsible? At this point all we can say is speculation,” President Benigno Aquino III said Tuesday night as he also disclosed that all intelligence agencies were in the process of identifying those behind the EDSA bombing that killed four (actually, the death toll climbed to five already when one of the victims succumbed to blast wounds at a hospital this morning —Pepito—), two instantly, and injured 14 others.

The bomb placed under the seat in the middle of a passenger bus driven by a man ironically named Maximo Peligro went off just before 2 p.m. on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) near the north gate of the upscale Forbes Park subdivision in Makati City.
The blast blew a huge hole on the right side of the northbound Newman Goldliner plying the Baclaran-SM Fairview route.

Makati Mayor Junjun Binay said the explosion was so powerful that it punched a hole in a nearby concrete fence.

“It appears that it was a big bomb that exploded but we’re still determining what kind of bomb,” said the Makati police chief, Senior Supt. Froilan Bonifacio.

The explosion shattered the windows of the air-conditioned bus (Plate No. TXJ-710), which was approaching the loading bay on EDSA and Metro Rail Transit station on Gil Puyat (formerly Buendía) Avenue.

Police said the sixth row on the right side of the bus sustained massive damage.

Remember that more than a decade ago, motherless scoundrels from the South (when I say motherless scoundrels from the South, I mean the Abu Sayyaf) beheaded two of their helpless hostages as a “birthday gift” to then President Erap. Downright sick.

Oh yeah, I accuse (besides, they also bombed a bus near the same area in 2005).

Similarities, similarities.

Inquirer.net provides more details about this cowardly act. Like all of you, all I can do is speculate. Es fácil hacer acusaciones, pero nunca ha sido fácil destruir a estos terroristas del sur.

Noynoy’s proclamation: a brief observation

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Senator Benigno Simeón “Noynoy” II Aquino y Cojuangco was proclaimed as the 15th president of the Philippines yesterday at the Batasang Pambansâ. In the same historic event, former Macati City Mayor Jejomar Binay was declared as Noynoy’s Vice President. Earlier during that day, Joseph “Erap” Estrada finally conceded (through the lips of his son Jinggoy who was reelected into the Philippine Senate).

But wait… I thought I saw Charo Santos de Concio in the crowd! She was seated with the Aquino sisters (accompanied by Boy Abunda) who were all dressed in black. That “special appearance” finally puts to rest the allegations that ABS-CBN was favoring a presidential candidate during the recently concluded 2010 Philippine National Elections.

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The crowd was in a frenzy. Some were still holding the “Laban” hand sign. There were cheers of “Noynoy! Noynoy!” and “Cory! Cory!” Some even cheered “Noy-Bi! Noy-Bi!”

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It took some time before Noynoy was escorted into the podium. Media reporters dashed onto him in a mad scramble. In a mad and futile scramble as always.

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Juan Ponce Enrile was in a pensive mood all the time. But when Jejomar went up the podium, his face beamed with delight! Meanwhile, his congressional counterpart, Próspero Nograles, was furiously banging the gavel whenever he had the chance.

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After the proclamation was the press conference. Vice President Binay didn’t join Noynoy in that event. Not a surprise. But what was surprising was the way Noynoy handled the interview. He always had a quick and ready answer to all the questions the media threw at him. He was, however, a bit irked with a reporter from Radio Veritas. That reporter questioned Noynoy’s stand against the controversial RH Bill to which Noynoy had a quick retort: that he had already explained his stand on the issue numerous times during his campaign sorties. But he still patiently enumerated his plans about the reproductive health issue.

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With regards to the status of the nation’s coffers, Noynoy said that he will be very transparent about it. As much as possible, he said that he will update the nation of our true economic state no matter what. It appears that he will not “paint a rosy picture of our economy”.

Shades of Erap.

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He was asked many times about what his plans are during his first 100 days. Even the last reporter who asked him –a Japanese lady from the NHK media network– threw in the same question. A visibly irked Noynoy, who was still all smiles, finally refused to answer it and said that he will just have one of his staff give the Japanese reporter an English translation of what he said just a few minutes back. The Japanese reporter didn’t give up. So Noynoy cleverly told her that he’s not a jukebox that can be made to repeat itself by someone ¡Ang taray!.

Shades of Tita Glo.

The torch was passed to clamorous cheers in a blaze of yellow as Congress Wednesday proclaimed Sen. Benigno Aquino III the country’s next president and Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay vice president.

It brought a festive end to eight days of contentious canvassing following the country’s first nationwide automated elections.

Wild applause and loud cheering filled the session hall of the Batasang Pambansâ in Quezon City as Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Speaker Próspero Nograles raised the hands of the country’s next leaders.

Aquino was declared winner at exactly 4 p.m., paving the way for a peaceful transition of power as President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is set to step down on June 30 after nine years in office. Binay was proclaimed at 3:56 p.m.

The winners’ families joined them at the podium, but Aquino’s girlfriend Shalani Soledad remained seated in the VIP gallery.

Ex-President Joseph Estrada, ousted in a popular uprising in 2001 and later convicted and imprisoned in 2007 on plunder charges only to be pardoned weeks later, accepted his political defeat.

“I join our people in extending unqualified support to the new President with both hope and prayers he will serve our country faithfully and will perform his duties honorably without fear or favor,” Estrada said in a statement read by his son Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada.

No objections were heard at the joint session as the floor leaders moved for the proclamation, and the affirmative rulings sent the Aquino and Binay supporters into a frenzy of chanting.

Binay’s supporters were more vocal, loudly chanting “Binay, Binay” at every chance they got.

The side of the gallery filled with Aquino’s supporters, who formed a sea of bright yellow, also chanted “Noynoy” and “Aquino” at various intervals, but their shouts were sometimes drowned out by the Binay supporters.

At one point, the Binay side of the gallery chanted “Noy-Bi,” but the Aquino side did not join it. Aquino’s running mate, Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, was not present at the proclamation.

The cheering got so loud that Enrile had to remind the gallery to maintain order and to sit down.

Aside from their supporters in the gallery, Aquino and Binay did not lack for backers on the floor. Lawmakers from various political parties lined up on the aisle where they would walk, waiting to offer their congratulations. Inquirer.net

Villar sh!ts on PSE for more money?

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Great. How timely.

Just when I’m all set to buy some stocks from listed companies in the Philippine Stock Exchange, then sh!t like this happens…

Estrada, Enrile accuse Villar of pressuring PSE on stock sale

Sen. Manuel Villar, Nacionalista Party standard-bearer, earmarked for his presidential campaign P5 billion which he raised from an allegedly irregular transaction three years ago involving his real estate firm’s shares, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said Thursday.

The P5 billion came from the P26 billion that the family-controlled Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc. (the corporate successor of real estate developer C&P Homes Inc.) raised in the stock market, said Enrile, senatorial candidate of the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP).

Enrile accused Villar of influencing the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) board in June 2007 into approving his request to release almost 30 percent of his shares in Vista Land from the lock-up period in violation of stock exchange rules.

“If he can do this when he is still not the President, how much more if he is already the President of this country?” Enrile said at a news conference at the campaign headquarters of former President Joseph Estrada’s PMP in Mandaluyong City.

“Is this the type of person that the country should install as the next President of the Philippines?” he added.

Prohibition

The lock-up requirement is a prohibition on all listings and public offerings of shares of stock of private corporations.

It prohibits major shareholders like the Villars from selling their shares within a certain period to protect small shareholders from the devaluation of the shares, according to Enrile.

“In simple terms, those who want to generate funding for their companies by selling their shares to the public are prohibited from selling or dumping their own shares within a certain period because such will affect the price or value of the listed shares, thus unjustly enriching the majority shareholders at the expense of and to the detriment of the public,” Enrile said.

Villar at PSE meeting

Enrile presented minutes of a supposedly confidential PSE meeting in 2007 and a letter of PSE chair Hans Sicat as proof of his allegations against Villar. (Sicat joined the PSE board and became its chair only last year.)

The minutes showed that Villar was present at the PSE board meeting on June 29, 2007, when the board approved the release of 29.28 percent of his shares. Enrile said it was Villar himself who requested an audience with the PSE directors.

“From the record of all these proceedings, there is no doubt in my mind that Sen. Manuel Villar himself lobbied and exerted pressure to railroad the approval of his family-owned company’s request for exemption to enable him and his family to sell their shares which were otherwise subject to lockup at a hefty premium!” Enrile said.

How does his election campaign song go again?

♫ Hindí bawal mañgarap
Ang mahirap
Bastá’t maáabot itó
Sa malinis na paraán… ♪

Click here for more of the Villar-PSE debacle.

GMA gunning for a House seat: an all-time low for her character

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Gloria has done it all.

First, she stole the presidency from Erap in 2001. Then in 2004, she lied about not running anymore, but she did. Then came the infamous “Hello Garci” scandal which divulged massive election fraud during the 2004 Philippine National Elections. FPJ should’ve been the president.

Several scandals followed her after that, the most infamous of them all was the ZTE-NBN scam which put all previous Erap accusations to shame.

But now, what is this?

GMA wants House seat

Ending speculation about her political plans, President Arroyo declared yesterday that she is running for Congress representing the second district of Pampanga next year.

Speaking over government-run Radyo ng Bayan, Mrs. Arroyo said she realized after “much contemplation” that “I am not ready to step down completely from public service.”

“As you know, the people of my home district in Pampanga want me to remain in public life,” she said in a mix of Filipino and English. “So after much soul-searching, I have decided to respond affirmatively to their call.”

Mrs. Arroyo said she hopes to be a champion for the poor in Congress and work to uplift the economy.

“To that end, I will file my candidacy for Congress in order to serve the hardworking people of my home province,” she said.

She vowed to remain focused on her work as President until her final day in office.

Rómulo Macalintal, Mrs. Arroyo’s lawyer, and Press Secretary Cerge Remonde were present during the interview.

Macalintal told reporters “some local mayors” authorized by Mrs. Arroyo will file her certificate of candidacy (COC) today.

Mrs. Arroyo is ready for any lawsuit after she files her COC, he added.

Macalintal said it was about a month ago that Mrs. Arroyo started contemplating about running for Congress.

“About a month ago, that was talked about, she consulted her family, some supporters in Pampanga,” he said.

“She thought she was still very young and can still serve. That’s the judgment call of the President.”

He was not aware of any dissent from Mrs. Arroyo’s family on her decision, Macalintal said.

Mrs. Arroyo said she studied several options before deciding on continuing to be in politics.

“While I’m very much looking forward to stepping down at the end of my term, I have been mulling different ways to stay involved,” she said.

“I looked at going back to teaching. I have also examined working with non-profit organizations on issues ranging from the environment to women’s issues.

“I thought of many opportunities. One day I hope to pursue them… work for causes near and dear to me, like the fight against climate change, improvement of education and the cause of women.”

Mrs. Arroyo dismissed allegations that she wants to be a member of the House of Representatives to obtain immunity from the torrent of lawsuits to be filed by her political enemies after she steps down from the presidency.

“The only congressional immunity is from libel suits, from utterances made in a congressional session—that’s not what I’m after,” she said.

“This move reflects my ongoing commitment to public service. I have given careful consideration to a number of options that I could pursue upon leaving office.

“But I have come to the conclusion that I can best serve the nation from a seat in Congress should I be elected.”

Mrs. Arroyo said she is determined to champion the poor, fight for a stronger economy, and ensure that health, education and jobs are within reach of all Kapampañgans.

Once elected to Congress, she would get a chance to continue her advocacies “closer to the people,” she added.

Mrs. Arroyo said she will remain “firmly in control of our national government until the last day I am in office,” while campaigning for a seat in the House of Representatives.

“As President, my first commitment is to the nation we all love,” she said.

“My bid for Congress will be only spirited but secondary to my duty as President. I will devote very little time for my campaign for Congress.

“We have come too far and too much is at stake for me to waver in these last few months on my commitment to the people of the nation. I will keep a steady hand on the tiller of the ship of state.”

Mrs. Arroyo said she would continue to pour resources to the Comelec to ensure free, fair and open elections next year.

“And then I will work cooperatively with the incoming administration so they can hit the ground running,” she said. philstar.com

OK. Let’s put this into more simpler terms. Let us just say, for one hot minute, that all her excuses were acceptable.

BUT!!! –

Whatever happened to delicadeza? She should know what the word means; the last time I heard, Spanish is her language…

Her declaration only puts a black eye to the Maguindanáo Massacre. Instead of focusing on resolving this latest smear to her already scandal-riddened administration, she selfishly thought it best to announce her greed for power.

Shame on you.

GMA should expect to see more of this -- hopefully in Pampanga.

The race for VP: Game !

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Actor and popular TV game show host Edu Manzano has joined the race for VP!

Erap Estrada and his VP mate, Macati Mayor Jejomar Bínay has welcomed Manzano to the 2010 Philippine National Elections. As if they have a choice.

It seems history will repeat itself. In 2001, Manzano, who was then the Vice Mayor of Macati, ran for mayor of that city. But he lost to incumbent mayor Bínay. Next year, Manzano will again have to face his former nemesis. But the battleground will no longer be local but national.

Will Manzano redeem himself the next time around?

EDU MANZANO

Next year, Edu will no longer be a game show host. He will be a contestant himself, but in a different game!

Game !

Loren’s shopping for a presidentiable.

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Vice Presidential hopeful Loren Legarda is shopping around for a Presidential candidate for the upcoming 2010 Philippine National Elections.

Real estate magnate Manny Villar’s going to be an expensive one. Noynoy Aquino’s a classic brand name (and besides, Mar Roxas is with him already). Chiz Escudero — to cheesy. There’s Gilbert Teodoro, but he’s not a popular product.

Too bad Erap’s already expired.

Visiting Typhoon Ondoy's victims: a perfect way to campaign:

Visiting Typhoon Ondoy's victims: a perfect way to campaign:

For Dacer’s Family, Erap Is It

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ERAP-DACER-LACSON

Ping Lacson won vs Erap in local politics’ latest mudslinging.

Lacson’s privilege speech last Monday help made murdered publicist Bubby Dacer’s family to consider the wily senator as a possible state witness against the one who masterminded the grisly crime.

“We are not persecuting anyone. We are after the mastermind behind the crime. We are open to everything that will lead to the bringing to justice of the killers of Dacer,” said Atty. Demetrio Custodio, lawyer of Bubby’s daughters.

But of course, it is obvious that Erap is all in their minds. The poor opposition leader has been prejudged once again.

And Lacson is all smiles together with Arroyo, toasting their premature victory wineglasses in the air.

Lacson’s Delayed Truth

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Senator Lacson should answer this:

Why did it take almost a decade for him to tell “the truth” about Joseph Estrada’s alleged corruption during the latter’s short-lived and ill-fated term?

Senator Panfilo Lacson on Monday exposed former President Joseph Estrada’s extensive involvement in the illegal numbers game “jueteng,” rice smuggling, and “other misdeeds” during his short-lived administration from 1998 to early 2001.

In a privilege speech, Lacson also hinted Estrada may have a hand in the 2000 murders of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito.

Lacson said Estrada used to issue orders directly to his police officers way back when Lacson was still the chief of the Philippine National Police.

The top police official during Estrada’s time did not say it outright but his take on Estrada’s relationship with the PNP seems to buttress the claim of state witness and former police official Cezar Mancao II that Estrada approved Operation Delta, the alleged plan to liquidate Dacer.

“(I) have personal knowledge on this, during his presidency, he was giving direct orders and instructions deep into the layers of the entire government bureaucracy, the PNP, and Presidential Anti Organized Crime Task Force,” Lacson told fellow senators.

So there. He has personal knowledge of Erap’s “misdeeds”. And he had to wait for a falling out between him and Erap to make him talk (oh boy, another José de Venecia in the making).

Justice delayed is justice denied. And so it is with the truth, Senator Lacson. You should know that. You’re older than your kids.

Click here for more Lacson lies, err, I mean testimonies, hehehe…

"I got too busy with my facial ads that's why I had to sideline The Truth for awhile."

The Lacson Suspense

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Will Senator Pánfilo Lacson spill the beans on Monday?

Are those beans any good at all?

What's he really up too?

What's he really up too?

Earlier in the Senate, Lacson said he would reveal the true character of Estrada as a public servant in a privilege speech on Monday.

“Ano ba talaga si Joseph Ejercito Estrada bilang isang government official? Lahat ng catotohanan ang sasabihin co don at itó’y patutunayan co rín (I’ll reveal what kind of government official Joseph Estrada was. I can prove everything that I will say),” Lacson told reporters.

Lacson was the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) during the short-lived Estrada presidency. Both were implicated in the killing of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and Emmanuel Corbito in November 2000.

Estrada was ousted from office in 2001 amid allegations of corruption. Both him and Lacson have repeatedly denied involvement in the Dacer-Corbito case.

Many questions arose…

Has Lacson finally sided with the hated Arroyo government due to pressure from the Dacer-Corbito allegations?

Is this some sort of payback? Remember that Lacson was in a way slighted when Estrada chose legendary icon Fernando Poe, Jr. instead of him to be the opposition’s main man in the controversial 2004 Philippine National Elections.

Many people are still wondering why Lacson suddenly dropped his presidential bid for the 2010 Philippine National Elections. And now he leaves political analysts in suspense due to that “Monday bombshell”. The timing is so suspect… could it be true that he’s the one who’s sleeping with the enemy and not Estrada?

Estrada dared Lacson to drop the bomb. Why does the deposed leader sound a bit unfriendly? For all we know, maybe Lacson doesn’t have any plans of betraying Estrada. Doesn’t Erap trust Lacson anymore? If so, why?

If ever Lacson’s suspense-filled privilege speech this coming Monday will reveal more facts about Estrada’s true character (i.e., bad ones), why didn’t he say it earlier?

Both Estrada and Lacson are under fire due to Cézar Mancáo’s testimonies regarding the Dacer-Corbito Double Murder Case. Pulling each other down will not do both of them any good. For sure, Arroyo is laughing her head off in some cozy Malacañang bedroom that should’ve never been hers in the first place.

The opposition, if it really seeks national unity, should first unite themselves and put both Erap and Lacson (and Noynoy Aquino III) on an emergency meeting. They should also discuss if this issue is all about the opposition, the administration, or the nation.

Who are these people putting in peril? The economically starved populace, of course. Juan de la Cruz is always at the receiving end of useless political clouts and bickerings. Does he deserve this?

Since he doesn’t know his national identity, sadly, I think he does…

Breaking (The) News

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Youth urged: register to make a difference — Youthvote Philippines convener Jaime Garchitorena.

We’ve been making a difference for a long time now by not registering.

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“…we appeal to everyone, including the accused (President Joseph Estrada and Senator Pánfilo Lacson), to freely submit to the justice system and to due process…” — Press Secretary Cerge Remonde on the Dacer-Corbito Double Murder Case.

But he said everyone… what the heck do I have to do anything about the crime?

Our star for the past week!

Our star for the past week!

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Convicted rapist-murderer Juan “Paco” Larrañaga of Cebú’s mighty Osmeña clan to be transferred to a Spanish jail. It’s because his dad’s a Spanish citizen. And this move is in accordance to a prisoner-exchange treaty with dear Mother Spain.

But the said criminal didn’t grow up in Spain. Why bring him to a prison there? Let him talk to me first in Spanish in order to assess if he could mingle with other Spanish-speaking prisoners. If he couldn’t converse in Castilian, he’d only become more of an anti-social prisoner there due to language barriers. And that would make him more wacko.

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Asked why Larrañaga can’t just serve his sentence in in our country, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s chief legal counsel Raúl González said: “We have a treaty that has been passed. Let’s not talk of something that has taken place already. This is a treaty that has been signed long ago. This was ratified by the Senate.”

The verbose former justice secretary got tired of talking too much.

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Secretary Gabriel Claudio divulged that Arroyo was elated over the news that at least 49 governors have endorsed Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro to run as president.

Who is he?

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Actress Rufa Mae Quinto denies that she has an affair with Gloria’s son Mikey Macapagal Arroyo.

It’s believable. Rufa Mae doesn’t spend her time in California.

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Aside from telling Erap and Lacson to submit themselves to the justice system, Remonde also told the same thing to Arroyo supporter Luis “Chavit” Singson with regard to beating up his common-law-wife last month.

Can he say that to Mikey?

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Anti-Catholic leader Eraño Manalo, who died last week, is to be interred tomorrow. At least two million people are expected to attend the cortege.

Expect to see the stars of the 2010 Philippine National Elections.

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As of this writing, a rescue team is busily attending to Superferry 9 which was reported listing earlier today in the stormy seas of Zamboanga. More or less 1,000 people are on the ship!

A perfunctory reaction from the reading public: what’s new?

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Let’s try to have a happy day this rainy Sunday!

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