PAGHAHANDA

Markahan sa mga kalendaryo,

ilagay sa reminder ng telepono, ikarga sa task ng PDA;

ang wala ng mga ito– magbilang ng paatras sa daliri.

Tandaan: Mula Hulyo a-kinse,

dos mil siyete;

buburahin sa lupa ang terorismo!

Kaya’t ang lahat ay maghanda.

Huwag maglakad ng nag-iisa.

Umuwi na nang maaga. Magdala ng anumang pagkakakilanlan.

Magpagupit at mag-ahit.

Magpa-manicure at pedicure. Magpa-foot spa at derma.

Ang walang kakayanang gawin ang mga ito– magsapaniki at gawing araw ang gabi.

Tandaan: Mula Hulyo a-kinse,

taong dos mil siyete;

lilipulin sa lupa ang mga kaaway ng batas!

Kaya’t ang lahat ay maghanda.

Iwasang magdala ng anumang sumasabog; granada, atis, abokado,

kamote; dinamita, C4, C2, Gatorade.

Iwasang magdala ng anumang pumuputok; Armalite, M-14, MP-5, mp3, WMA.

Iwasang magdala ng anumang sumasambulat; bomba, Bulgar, Toro, Abante, Inquirer.

Ang sadyang di gumagamit ng mga ito; ni huwag magbibiro, ni huwag iimik.

Tandaan: Mula Hulyo a-kinse,

taong dos mil siyete;

didisarmahan ang mga bandido!

Kaya’t ang lahat ay maghanda.

Iwasang maging kahina-hinala dahil ipagbabawal ang paghihinala!

Iwasang maging kaduda-duda dahil ipagbabawal ang pagdududa!

Iwasang maging mareklamo dahil ipagbabawal ang pagrereklamo!

Ang sadyang makati ang dila– basahin at bigkasin itong aking tula!

Tandaan: Mula Hulyo a-kinse,

taong dos mil siyete;

bibiguin natin ang Batas Kontra- Terorismo!

AXEL PINPIN

Detinidong Pulitikal Camp Vicente Lim

Cabuyao, Laguna

June 30, 2007

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Erap has been weighed, and he was found guilty. Remember?

The Arroyo administration is on the horns of a dilemma with regard to the looming Erap verdict. And it is evident in the recent paid-ads that came out recently. 

As I see it, the ads are nothing but a patented Arroyo-style trial balloon meant to test the people’s reaction on the outcome of the Estrada plunder trial, be it an acquittal or a conviction.  It is a calculated move by a tottering regime that is so afraid of the people.  

The Estrada camp is correct when it lambasted the ads as a move by the Arroyo administration to condition the minds of the public of a looming guilty verdict for the deposed President. But for me, the people need not be divided on the issue.  

Last I heard, the Erap verdict was handed down on EDSA II by no less than the Filipino people, and he was found guilty for his crimes.   

The Arroyo administration in a ‘lose-lose situation’ on the Erap verdict? That’s their problem, not ours.  

But, speaking as among those who bravely marched towards the Malacanang Palace on the last day of EDSA II, I really want Erap to pay dearly for his plundering ways, and I hope the Sandiganbayan does also.  

So long as Arroyo suffers the same fate as Erap’s for surpassing his (even Marcos’) record of plunder and human rights violations.

She should face the axe also.

Agitated over Bedol and the Maguindanao mess

I and the rest of the hardworking employees in the COMELEC were the ones who cringed like cornered rats in embarrassment and total disappointment after the Commission en banc’s ‘moro-moro’ hearing on the charges of indirect contempt against Maguindanao poll supervisor Atty. Lintang Bedol.

Bedol, the eye-patched, self-confessed Garci boy; appeared finally before the Commission on Elections Tuesday, and after his ‘not guilty’ plea before the highest poll officials in the land, he came out of the 20 minute proceedings a free man. Free to go back to his gun-toting life in Maguindanao – a place which could easily land a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for holding the longest count in the planet’s voting history.

What ever happened to the fiery words that came out of Commissioner Ferrer after Bedol arrogantly challenged the Commission to sue him? To his pledge to make the poll supervisor “cringe like a cornered rat” for “challenging the institution” and “regaling the media with his boast of possession of an armory of long firearms and side arms”?

Maybe it got lost in the Maguindanao Neverland along with the province’s vote tallies Bedol said was ‘stolen’.

From a “fugitive”, Bedol to my amazement suddenly metamorphosed into becoming a “witness” in the eyes of Ferrer and the rest of the Commissioners during the hearing. Bedol, Ferrer said, is “not being penalized”, he said: “The Commission is just exercising its right to compel him to personally be present this morning and explain to us why he should not be charged for contempt.”

Worse, instead of asking him if elections happened in Maguindanao, and if indeed there were, then where the hell are the Certificates of Canvass (COCs), the Commission en banc granted Bedol recognizance and turned him over to the custody of his lawyer slash spokesman.

Why the sudden cringe ala-cornered rats by the Commissioners? It seems that Bedol to them is the COMELEC’s latest version of Garci, a Jocjoc Bolante reincarnate even. If Bedol goes, so will the neighborhood. Because he has a lot of stored potentially explosive ammunition, perhaps even more damaging than what’s in his personal armory.

If Bedol hangs, he will surely bring down all the people who benefited from massive fraud that occurred in the province. This would likely include COMELEC officials, politicians, candidates, police, military etc, etc. Hell, he could even bring down the entire Arroyo regime if he so decides to spill the beans.

And if Bedol is proven guilty even in the flimsy charges of indirect contempt and infidelity, it would certainly lead to the exclusion of the Maguindanao COCs, that would in turn lead to Koko Pimentel dancing the Boom tarat-tarat in the Senate because he’ll surely bag the hotly contested 12th and last Senatorial slot.

I’m pretty sure the administration would never allow this to happen. Smile Migz.

That, to my mind, is the shortest straightforward explanation of Bedol’s audacity and arrogance and the Commission’s 180 degree turn.

One thing though, I feel sorry for Atty. Andrei Bon Tagum who took custody over Bedol. If his client decides to do a slip and vanish into thin air like Garci and Bolante, then it will be his entire fault (see convenient scapegoat).

If I were him, I’ll be storming the heavens right now and pray that his “guarantee” (that Bedol will appear in the next hearings) truly end up being “as good as gold”.

But then again….

Comm. Ferrer clarified that Bedol is not yet off the hook. He says Bedol has until July 17 to answer all the charges against him. Until then, I can only hope that the Commission throws the book on him to send a strong message to election cheats that the COMELEC means business.

If it truly intends to rise from the gutter of ill repute, then this move is a good start. 

Let’s see..

Islas de los Ladrones (The islands of thieves)

Friends from Filipino organizations in South Korea have related to me that the shoplifting diplomat caught in the act of stealing a music player and a bottle of perfume at a US base duty free store is no other than RP Ambassador to South Korea Susan Castrence. They told me that ‘reliable sources’ from inside the embassy have confirmed to them that it was indeed Castrence who did the scandalous deed.  

Although the embattled diplomat has came out recently to deny the charges against her as ‘unfounded’ and that the Department of Foreign Affairs has came to Castrence’s rescue, I cant help but wonder why the issue was kept under wraps for quite a long time (I understand that the shameful deed was done sometime in November but it came out in public barely two weeks ago) and why the hell did Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo found it necessary to meet with the US base’s Deputy Chief of Staff in the sidelines of his recent Korea trip? Are they trying to hide something? 

Have we really become a nation of thieves? We have a President who stole and killed her way into office, a Commission on Elections riddled with accusations of vote rigging, a Congressional Commission on Appointments who extort money from Cabinet members in exchange for their confirmation…

And now, shoplifting envoys.  

Sad.