Thursday, November 27, 2008

Will JDV be Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's Chavit Singson?

As history has shown us, Chavit Singson was instrumental to the downfall of former President Joseph Estrada. Will history repeat itself as Congressman Joe De Venecia (JDV) decided to burn bridges with long time ally President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

JDV already started and accused PGMA of bribery to block impeachment bids last year. Although such an incident has been widely speculated since the first impeachment attempt, it sounds more serious when it comes from a former staunch supporter. JDV claimed that he lost his House Speakership status upon his direct refusal of PGMA's request to endorse a weak impeachment complaint.

JDV is also seen as a vital witness having first-hand account on some of the major discussions about issues surrounding the PGMA. Even if this does not prosper via impeachment, it will not stop anyone from suing her after she steps down in 2010. Perhaps this is also the reason why means are being explored to extend her term, one way or another by allies.

In addition to the ZTE scandal, the Fertilizer Fund Scam is haunting PGMA as she got accused to as the brains behind it. The same goes as well to the plan tagged, "Oplan Bantay Laya", where 601 political dissidents were reported to be tortured while some are missing as of this time.

Whethere there'll be more congressmen switching sides to JDV remains to be seen. The clout and political influence of the PGMA administration has been one of the most powerful and untouchable to date.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Distractions to keep PGMA in power

As aptly said by Arbet, there are lot of things happening that seem to serve as camouflage to distract Filipinos on the various issues at hand. As much as we all see it, we are also into this situation that we have to go on with our lives, day-by-day, surviving from one induced crisis to another.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Handling allies

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is surely busy this week with so many concerns to note of that includes:
  • Feelers are going around for the President to consider a Senator Richard Gordon and Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia administrative bet for 2010 elections. I think Gordon's temper is far more worst compared to PGMA.
  • The President was also pissed off when former representative Romeo Jalosjos was released without the knowledge of authorities and ordered an investigation on the matter. I wonder whose head will roll for that lack of initiative to take action on the matter.
On the positive side, the President gave a warm welcome to 220 travelers who arrived recently from Bahrain to Manila, a lot of them are OFWs. She also greeted Pampanga governor Eddie Panlilio during a pre-Christmas mass.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

PGMA strengthen ties with India

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo visited India early this month to pursue trade talks and strengthen the partnership between the two countries.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Reactions to PGMA's State of the Nation Address 2007

There are a variety of reactions to the President's State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the 1st regular session of the 14th Congress last July 23.

For Senator Pia Cayetano, it appeared that PGMA's speech was like a Friendster list. “T speech sounded like a Who's Who list of the President's closest friends and allies and the infrastructure projects they had asked from her administration as reward for their political loyalty."

Bulatlat reported of various migrant groups protesting recent SONA such as the Kapatiran sa Gitnang Silangan, BAYAN USA, United Filipinos in Hong Kong, and Centre for Philippine Concerns.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo cited SWS's data on hunger and opinion on the cost of medicines in her (SONA) .

The President's statement, "And I am happy to see that the latest survey in June shows the hunger rate has sharply gone down nationwide," pertains to the SWS report, “Hunger declines significantly to 14.7%: Moderate is 12.5%; Severe is 2.2%,” first printed in the BusinessWorld and released by SWS on the morning of July 23.

The President's statement, "Kaya sa isang survey, halos kalahati ang nagsabing abot-kaya ang gamot, kumpara sa 11% noong 1999," corresponds to the Third Quarter 2006 Social Weather Report for the Department of Health (DOH).

The Third Quarter 2006 Social Weather Survey, fielded over September 24 to October 2, 2006, included a DOH-commissioned item which specifically asked the respondents, “Ano po ang masasabi ninyo tungkol sa presyo ng gamot na inyong nabili? Ito po ba ay napakamura, medyo mura, medyo mahal, napakamahal?”

The survey found that 45% of those who bought medicines in the past six months said the medicines were very or somewhat cheap, no change from 43% in September 2003, but higher compared to 11% in December 1999 and 7% in September 2001.

However, President Arroyo’s statements, “Firms who were asked for bribes in taxes, permits and licenses dropped from one-third to one-half. Contract bribes are also down,” conflict with the findings of the SWS Surveys of Enterprises on Corruption.

The 2007 SWS Survey of Enterprises on Corruption found that three out of five (61%) Filipino managers were asked for a bribe for at least one of the seven transactions tested in the survey – up from 58% in 2006, but was already 61% in 2005.

For every transaction, more said they were asked for a bribe in the 2007 survey than in both 2005 and 2006 surveys.

Sasha of Bayanihan Blog Network believes that PGMA will "suffer more criticism from people more interested in quick gains than in gradual, but sustainable, development."

Blog coverage:

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Improving Philippines broadband hounded with supplier politics

One of the highlights in President Arroyo's 2007 State of the Nation Address was the improvement of broadband infrastructure and services in the country.

The Philippine Senate is expected to initiate an investigation into the $330-million contract awarded by the Philippines’ Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to ZTE Corp. This is especially true now that records show that even U.S. Ambassador Kristie Kenney aired concern on the transparency of the broadband project.

Two suppliers, Arescom Inc. and Amsterdam Holdings, cried foul on how the project proposals were reviewed. ZTE claims that there was no irregularity on how the deal was sealed. Although various reports are now coming on ZTE's various business irregularities in other countries. This is indeed a public relations nightmare on ZTE and the Philippine government.

While the government is busy defending the decision it made on this controversial project, Senator Loren Legarda has filed a bill proposing to establish a Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), to be spun off from the DOTC, which has come under fire for its supposed lack of transparency in forging a $330-million national broadband network contract with ZTE Corp.

Under Senate Bill 920, all existing DOTC offices dealing with communications would either be built into or attached to the DICT. These include the National Telecommunications Commission and the Philippine Postal Corp. The National Computer Center would also be ceded to the DICT.

Monday, July 23, 2007

State of the Nation Address 2007

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will be delivering her State of the Nation Address today. For Filipinos based abroad or those who don't have television in their office premises, Bitstop will do a live webcast.

Your thoughts on the President's 2007 SONA are more than welcome.

Thanks to Wilson Chua for the heads-up.