Back Online

Sorry for the lack of updates and for being offline the past days. We’re really swamped with work — office stuff and personal things to attend to. We also had to fix a malware issue that placed us on Google’s restricted sites.

We were unable to write about a number of events including the death of Rep. Crispin Beltran, Comelec Commissioner Romeo Brawner, and actor Rudy Fernandez, the dismissal of Joc-joc Bolante’s appeal for asylum in the US, and the kidnapping of Ces Drilon and her crew. We’ll be back to “regular programming” soon.

Journalist Bayani Abadilla Passes Away

From Pinoy Weekly:

Ka Bay passes away

Bayani Abadilla, writer, professor and journalist, passed away last May 14 after a long battle with lymphoma.

Son of pioneering Filipino modernist poet Alejandro G. Abadilla, Bayani was a veteran of the First Quarter Storm. He was one of the founders of the progressive writers group Paksa or Panulat Para sa Kaunlaran ng Sambayanan and wrote for various underground and opposition newspapers and publications during Martial Law.

After the fall of the Marcos dictatorship, Bayani taught at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines upon PUP Pres. Nemesio Prudente’s return to the university in 1986.

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Turning the Tables on Emano

Earlier this month, Paulino Emano, mayor of Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental, claimed in a television interview with GMA-7 that the South Korean firm Hanjin Heavy Industries Construction Company, Ltd. offered him $400 worth of contract in exchange for the diversion of a part of river in his town where Hanjin is constructing a shipyard.

Emano had ordered Hanjin to stop the construction for lack of required documents such as environmental compliance certificate and municipal building permit. When Mrs. Arroyo visited his province, Emano said he told Arroyo about the offer, but she said nothing about it. She even reportedly scolded him for stopping the project.

On the night that Emano’s interview was shown on TV, Malacanang — in an apparent attempt to prevent another ZTE bribery scandal — issued a statement saying that Arroyo would never violate any law. The next day, the secretary of interior appeared on TV, saying the Palace has received reports that Emano attempted to extort money from Hanjin, and he will face investigation.

Emano, an Arroyo ally, has since recanted his claim.

Gonzalez Strikes Again

“If I were Archbishop Cruz I’d run for president, let’s see if he’ll win. Many priests are running in politics anyway, and one of them became Pampanga governor. Perhaps Cruz would like to run for president.”

This was what Justice Secretary Raul M. Gonzalez reportedly said in reaction to Archbishop Oscar Cruz’s statement that the Arroyo government suffers from “shortages in honesty and integrity plus consequent shortages in credibility and acceptability.”

The archbishop reacted by saying minding him is not good for Gonzalez’ health.

In the past, Gonzalez had also verbally attacked other critics of President Arroyo such the two widows of the anti-Arroyo movement: Susan Roces-Poe and President Corazon Aquino.

Money Lost in Recent Scams in the Arroyo Admin

How much public money has been spent in the past scams under the Arroyo administration?

Senator Pia Cayetano, reacting to reports that President Arroyo wants to allocate P43.7 billion pesos for food security, computed the total amount of money involved in recent scams:

“We’re talking about P43 billion that the President wants to allocate. I computed the figures involved in the past scams: P750 million for the fertilizer scam, P2.25 [billion] for the swine fund, P3.1 billion for the irrigation fund, that’s already P6 billion that’s questionable. Then the administration will refuse to explain, will refuse to attend hearings, will go to court and have a case that says they will not go to the Senate?” (Senate.gov.ph)

Archbishop Cruz and the “Public Sinner”

Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz recently said that public sinners should not be given the Holy communion. News reports said he was referring to Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo — the Philippines’ de facto president who is accused of election fraud and corruption. But the maverick archbishop denied he called Arroyo a public sinner who should not be given communion.

He told CBCPNews that all he stated was, according to the teachings of the Church, a public sinner should not be given communion.

He had earlier wrote on his blog:

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Mar Roxas and Traditional Politics

Among our mainstream political parties, Liberal Party is the one that is a bit different from the others. Despite having members whose loyalty seems to be with Lakas, LP has a clearer ideology than the personality-oriented parties.

That is why it is disappointing to hear its possible standard bearer in 2010, Mar Roxas, say that they are “open to talking with everyone” when asked about former president and convicted plunderer Joseph Estrada’s multi-party opposition nomination process.

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