Saturday, February 23, 2008

Twice for Two Hundred

The President has recently released P200 million to help flood victims in Eastern Samar. That's the same price as the proposed bribe to Secretary Neri. That's 3% of P6.5 billion. P6.5 billion at P50=$1 is $130 million...

To think P200 million can already go a long way into helping those in need, while a whopping 97% goes to the pockets of our esteemed officials??

Friday, February 22, 2008

Coats and Cravats, Caucus at the CBD, and a Could-be Caveat

I remember watching Jun Lozada’s Harapan episode the other night with my dad & sister and saw the latter part. There were some aspects that looks like it may have been staged, like his shirt for example, or the witticisms (i.e. buti pa sila naka-amerikana, ako hindi). Being a businessman and a founder of several businesses, he could afford to wear suits (or in his case, since he now had contact with the outside world but unable to move in it, he could’ve have a nice suit sent over). But I guess someone advised him not to do so (I wouldn’t call them handlers, but more like image advisors).

Regardless of that possible stunt, it did not derail him from veering away from his story one bit. Almost ten high-level leaders fell all over themselves trying to refute his statement (and even getting sucked into the suit argument) but his core story stood firm.

Dad was a bit turned off by those possible stunts, saying he should’ve just stuck to the issue. But I think those possible stunts with his quips even endeared him to more normal folk, since they can relate better to his situation (like a common worker wearing a shirt considered as an undershirt by the upper class and speaking to the suited aristocrat). Although Dad & I both agreed that Jun Lozada’s main story on the commissions was the truth.

Furthermore, General Razon’s excuse that he had to leave a function and his wife underscored the difference between him and Jun Lozada (and the rest of the people). At least Gen. Razon got to attend a function, in a suit, and still leave his wife in a nice place. Jun Lozada (and a whole lot of other people) are forcibly separated from his family, and can’t even attend formal functions in formal suits.


I went to the Makati rally out of curiosity and proximity to the new office. I got there when it was around 7pm, so it was winding down. I walked from the Paseo de Roxas side, and I was surprised that the Makati cops didn’t stop me from walking all the way to the stage! I was able to see people I only saw on the paper/TV/internet. I almost bumped elbows with Fr. Robert Reyes, JDV3, Argee Guevarra, Renato Constantino Jr. (he was thinner than I imagined), and saw Conrado de Quiros walking along the Enterprise Center. Unfortunately, I also saw some people trucked in to pad the crowd a bit (they were in a white dump truck eating from the standard white Styrofoam meal packs).

As I headed back to parking (I had to leave early), I was texting my sister that I was around. The cops suddenly asked me to walk to the side (“Boss, patabi lang po”). I thought a car was going to pass through. Then, I saw one of the K-9 cops with a brown Labrador (a common sight in Makati) walking towards an unattended big, black bag near the corner of Dela Rosa & Paseo de Roxas. Thinking it might be a bomb, I walked briskly until I reached the Sycip Salazar building. I looked back to see what happened, and the K-9 was still sniffing it. I guess it wasn’t a bomb since no news came out of it until now.

I wonder if that was part of the administration’s dirty tricks department, trying to scare everyone to throw them off. Or maybe it was just a plain black bag somebody forgot.