"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

Mikey Arroyo, a picture is worth a thousand Booze or pandesal & soda

What’s up with Mikey Arroyo the McDo snob who is also “clueless” on SALN disclosure? Nothing much except wanting to regulate Facebook, hudas ooops who does he think he is? A member of politburo of the Chinese Communist Party or does he confuse the Philippines for China where internet access is regulated?
Apparently he was not pleased when he gained notoriety once more over a picture that was posted on Facebook that subsequently ended up getting posted on the blogs of Ellen Tordesillas’ Where’s Mikey in Ondoy’s aftermath, Uniffors’ Mikey’s flood assistance program, Delfin Montano's The Boozer During the Crisis and even a FaceBook Group called Mikey Arroyo is an Idiot. He says that he was in Malacañang (daw) doling out or rather handing out relief goods to the Ondoy flood victims. Hmmmmn, I wonder what kind of relief good he was talking about, because what I saw on TV tells of a different story which is the pathetic distribution of Pandesal (bread at least it was not Marie Antoinette’s cake) and soda.

Just to be fair and not being a barber the pandesal distribution was after the Saturday he claimed he was handing out relief goods so I will take his word for it. Seriously and curiously where and how did they get the funds for the relief good, oh well I guess they must have funded it with the consigliere or rather the cabinet’s 2 month salary on orders of La Napoleona de la Cirque. Poor jet setter Gloria Arroyo and her Tongress free loaders who seem to bungle things and getting caught up with her extravagant food and alcoholic binging sprees exposing her pathetic wrong priorities.

Manuel Buencamino states the obvious in his “Oops!” post wherein flat broke Gloria Arroyo is reduced to gesturing opening Malacañang to the poor hungry soul victims of Ondoy. She does not realize or should we say was in denial or delusional to say the least that there are throngs or multitude of people going hungry even before Ondoy’s wrath trooping to the palace overwhelming them and a visibly irked Gloria Arroyo has nothing to offer but pandesal and soda. Yuko Takei called my attention on the Malaya editorial that is so succinctly written, which I quote:
Gloria’s chickens come home to roost

REMEMBER the flap over that $20,000 dinner in New York and the P2.499 billion that taxpayers’ paid for Gloria Arroyo’s foreign trips? The cost of that Le Cirque outing was an obscenity, considering the hand-to-mouth existence of most Filipinos. So was the actual travel expenses incurred from 2001 to the present, considering that the original total allocation for her travels was only P1.439 billion.

The image polishers at the Palace, however, played down Gloria’s free-spending ways. They said there were essential foreign trips that could not have been foreseen during the budget process. The unforeseen expenses, Palace propagandists said, were the reason there was "budget flexibility."

The Palace’s justification was disingenuous. On August 20 we said: "In the case of foreign trips, the additional funding comes from the President’s Contingency Fund. Fine. But our understanding is the Contingency Fund is the source of quick-disbursement money for victims of earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions and other calamities, both natural and man-made. Every dollar spent on foreign travel sourced from the Contingency Fund must then necessarily be P50 less for hungry and homeless calamity victims.

"This is equivalent to snatching a ball of rice from a starving kid’s mouth."

After the onslaught of typhoon "Ondoy," Gloria’s chickens are coming home to roost. Today marks the end of September. There are three more months to go in 2010, but the President’s Contingency Fund apparently has already been bled dry. This is the reason we have not heard Gloria firing off directives to send flood victims more food and other relief goods bought with her contingency fund.

She is reduced to making symbolic gestures such as donating two months of her salary for relief work. She gets P63,525 a month, for a total donation of P127,050. That sum comes to about 8 percent of what she spent in that night’s outing in New York. Put another way, she can afford to donate only two months of her salary to flood victims while she could burn 16 months of her salary for a dinner at Le Cirque.

The difference, of course, is that that P127,050 is her own money. The P1 million she spent for dinner is for the account of poor Juan dela Cruz, who at this very moment lacks a roof over his head, clothes to ward off the cold and food to fill his grumbling stomach.
Now how pathetic is that and Mikey Arroyo has the gall to be so sanctimonious (like he is up on cloud nine riding his white carabao in his shining armor) chiding bloggers for not helping out when if he and her momma dearest did not help themselves first those poor hungry souls would not have endured the long lines just to eat pandesal and drink soda. Heck, giving soda to those hungry people may just cause more harm on an empty stomach is literally giving them stomach ulcer or having their tooth falling off caused by the sugar content of the soda. Looks like Mikey Arroyo can't do the math, now with that kind of help do we really need it, when we end up losing more? In case you are thinking of donating, you are better off sending it to legitimate charities or volunteers away from the government entities.

There are rumors going the rounds that a crocodile was seen floating in Pasig River near Malacañang, well we know how rumor flies confusing the place with Cainta or perhaps confusing the occupants as the predatory crocodiles. Take your pick which one is which, but really who can blame people for getting confused, what with how they are perceived.

In the meantime while Mikey Arroyo lashes out at bloggers and FaceBook members there are half a million victims crammed in evacuation centers. Here is an excellent site of List of places to donate and volunteer (Ondoy Manila) complete with map and Dr. Philip Chua’s Filipino United Network raising funds to provide assistance in the funeral expense of the victims.

At Facebook Manny SD Lopez suggested that we launch a dollar campaign for Muelmar Magallanes the hero who rescued and saved more than 30 people who unfortunately drowned and succumbed to the strong flood water current due to severe exhaustion. In an email to Dr. Philip Chua who happens to be one of our contributors here at Pedestrian Observer GB he stated his intention to make Muelmars Magallanes as one of the their beneficiary for his heroic selfless deed.. The number of people who perished in Ondoy's wrath so far is 280 and counting, contributions are badly needed and will surely be appreciated.

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Muelmar Magallanes, A Tribute to a True Selfless Hero

Amidst the destruction and uncertainties brought about by typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) hitting the most populous region in the Philippines, striking mercilessly at the heart of metro Manila we hear of stories that serves to sadden yet inspire us and give us courage instead of gloom of moving on with a blinding glow of hope seen on the horizon. A calamity of epic proportion not seen in four decades wrecking havoc on the lives of the citizens rich and poor alike caught by nature’s wrath. While fear and panic raises through our minds of saving our own skin the heroic acts of unsung heroes has a away of allaying our fears especially when you see total strangers who truly cares in their courageous selfless act of saving others.
Muelmar MagallanesThe harrowing sight of people swept by rampaging current of swelling rivers hanging on to dear life hanging on to floating debris as people frantically throw them rope to extricate them to safety is a sight that forever lingers on to our consciousness. No words can describe such disturbing scene of how these people felt knowing their life is at the mercy of Mother Nature’s wrath.

In the ensuing havoc and destruction in our midst a beacon of light shines through when we hear of stories of countless and nameless unsung heroes in their deeds of courageous acts serving as a testament on the goodness of man. Total strangers lending a helping hand, caring for others despite the risk and dangers they faced rushing to save others is truly inspiring.

One such hero a labor construction worker is Muelmar Magallaness in his teens with a heart of gold braving rampaging waters bringing along boulders, rubbles and debris on its path of destruction saved more than 30 lives most of whom are total strangers.

Their house is just 800 meters (1200 ft) away from the river and realizing that the river banks had burst his father Samuel decided to evacuate their family. With the help of his elder brother Muelmar Magallanes tied a string around his waist and attached his three younger siblings in tow waded out of the flooded area towards higher grounds. He then came back for his parents and once they were all on higher grounds being a good swimmer his caring for others prompted him to rescue his neighbors who are now perched on their rooftops due to the fast rising .flood waters. Braving the rampaging waters going back and forth he saved more than 30 people in the process.

While in the safety of his family exhausted, wet, and shivering he heard frantic cries of distress from Menchie Penalosa being swept away by the current with her six month old baby girl in a polystyrene box. Penalosa was sinking in and out due the strong current thinking she is about to die was grabbed out of nowhere by Muelmar Magallanes to safety. Unfortunately due to severe exhaustion Magallanes was swept away by the strong current of the swelling river whose body was found the next day by his neighbors.

This is quite an inspiring display of selflessness and courage and his ultimate sacrifice hopefully should serve as an inspiration for us to emulate. Indeed, it is when one notice and truly care for others that one gets noticed and hopefully we all learn from the ultimate sacrifice of Magallanes, a virtue that hopefully will inspire us even more to help typhoon Ondoy victims. It will be good to see a foundation under his name to honor his selfless sacrifice and the focus should be on him to inspire others of the goodness of man. An honorable teen barely a man at 18 years old yet man enough to stand tall side by side with the greatest men of virtues of our Filipino ancestors in my book of heroes…….. Farewell Muelmar Magallanes, you will be missed but not forgotten. To Samuel and Maria Luz Magallanes our debt of gratitude for bearing a son that instill hope and inspiration amidst the destruction and desperation brought about by Mother Nature’s wrath.

Update: 12/12/09

Muelmar Magallanes heroic deeds made it to Time Magazine's Top Ten heroes for 2009.

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Help "Ondoy" Victims in the Philippines

Tropical storm Ondoy wrought destruction on its path at 85 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center submerging most of Northern Luzon Philippines with an epic rainfall lasting for 6 hours. People are stranded by the thousands or rendered homeless as floods engulfed their homes while maritime and airline flights are canceled with passengers stranded at piers and airports.

As of this writing 40 people are feared dead while thousands seek shelters on higher grounds need help for medicines, food and dry clothes. Niña Terol-Zialcita at Facebook started a blog to serve as a single info hub calling on Filipinos at facebook to extend their support to the flood victims. You can also visit MLQ III blog for more info on how to help the flood victims and view some images and video on the calamity.

Representative Ruffy Biazon, posted in his Facebook status the situation in Muntinglupa City which should give us an idea of how extensive is the damage and dislocation brought about by typhoon Ondoy:
1,800 families are now in evacuation centers in Muntinlupa City, roughly about 10,000 persons. While my office and the local government are appropriating our resources to give assistance, donations of food, medicine, clothing, insect repellant, diapers, blankets and sleeping mats are welcome and needed.
For those outside the Philippines here are some organizations at CNN's Impact Your World helping the victims of Typhoon Ondoy that you may want to consider sending your donations.

Donate to the Philippine Red Cross for ONDOY victims

Monetary Donations

Please send cash or check donations to the PNRC National Headquarters in Manila. Checks should be made payable to The Philippine National Red Cross. We can also arrange for donation pick-up.

Account Name: The Phil. Nat’l. Red Cross

Port Area Branch
Peso Acct.: 151-3-041-63122-8
Dollar Acct.: 151-2-151-00218-2
Type of Acct. : SAVINGS
Swift Code: MBTC PH MM

Port Area Branch
Peso Acct.: 4991-0010-99
Type of Account: CURRENT

UN Branch
Dollar Acct.: 8114-0030-94
Type of Account: SAVINGS
Swift Code: BOPI PH MM

For your donations to be properly acknowledged, please fax the bank transaction slip at nos. +63.2.527.0575 or +63.2.404.0979 with your name, address and contact number.

Credit Card

Please fax the following info to +632.404.09.79 and +632.527.0575:

Name of card member, billing address, contact nos. (phone & mobile), credit card no., expiration date, CCV2/ CVC2 (last three digits at the back of the credit card), billing address, amount to be donated.

For online donations you may also visit our website at www.redcross.org.ph .

In-Kind Donations

Please send in-kind local donations to The Philippine National Red Cross – National Headquarters in Manila. We could also arrange for donation pick-up.


1. Send a letter of intent to donate to the PNRC
2. A letter of acceptance from PNRC shall be sent back to the donor
3. Immediately after shipping the goods, please send the (a) original Deed of Donation, (b) copy of packing list and (c) original Airway Bill for air shipments or Bill of Lading for sea shipments to The Philippine National Red Cross–National Headquarters c/o Secretary General Corazon Alma de Leon, Bonifacio Drive, Port Area, Manila 2803, Philippines.

The PNRC does not accept rotten, damaged, expired or decayed goods. Though we appreciate your generosity, the PNRC also discourages donations of old clothes as we have more than enough to go around.

SMS and G-CASH (Globe)

text REDAMOUNT to 2899 (Globe) or 4483 (Smart)


Most urgent needs

Food items: Rice, noodles, canned goods, sugar, iodized salt, cooking oil, monggo beans and potable water

Medicines: Paracetamol, antibiotics, analgesic, oral rehydration salts, multivitamins and medications to treat diarrheal diseases

Non-food items: Bath soaps, face towels, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, plastic mats, blankets, mosquito nets, jerry cans, water containers, water purification tablets, plastic sheetings, and Laundry soap

Rehabilitation Programs: Shelter materials for house repair

Call Hotline 143 or 527.0000

Bonifacio Drive, Port Area,
Manila 2803, Philippines

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Filipino Architect Gonzalo S. Raymundo, Guggenheim Art Museum Design It Shelter Competition Finalist

Filipino Architect Gonzalo S. Raymundo of Quezon City, Philippines is on a world spotlight with his Guggenheim Art Museum Design It Shelter Competition entry. The competition as described in the Guggenheim Art Museum website:
On the occasion of the exhibitions Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward and Learning By Doing, the Guggenheim and Google SketchUp invited amateur and professional designers from around the world to submit a 3-D shelter for any location in the world using Google SketchUp and Google Earth. Over the course of the summer, nearly 600 contestants from 68 different countries submitted designs that met the competition requirements. Current Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture students then selected ten finalists for the People's Prize award.
On August 23, 2009 students of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture selected 10 finalists out of the nearly 600 entries from 68 countries for the people's prize award. The top honor will be chosen through online voting, deadline for online voting is on October 10, 2009.

Among the 10 finalist as of this writing, Filipino Architect Gonzalo Raymundo is leading with his design as shown and described below:
A Bamboo Shelter in Garbage Dump City

The shelter is located in a garbage dump where scavengers barely survive by collecting and sorting garbage. Made of bamboo, an indigenous material, on a concrete base, it is a place of refuge from the afternoon heat or a sudden rainfall. The bamboo wall represents people collectively carrying the roof above, expressing the proverb --- where there is unity there is strength. It is a symbol of sustainability and hope.
On October 21 the People’s Prize winner will be announced on the 50th anniversary of the Guggenheim Art Museum along with a special juried prize award selected by a panel of experts. Vote for Gonzalo S. Raymundo if you think his shelter design deserves world recognition. Since you are a believer of Raymundo’s talent who happen to be a Filipino sharing this news to your online network will help him stay on the top of the list.

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Is Korina Sanchez turning into a bridezilla?

Who needs to watch reality television show when the Philippine political and celebrity scene offers more exciting drama? Brides are suppose to be sweet, well not all but normally when one is about to march into the altar of love, love and not hate should fill the air. So what’s up with Korina Sanchez? Or better yet why is Korina Sanchez on a warpath looking for enemies when she is about to embark on a fantasy dream wedding that most little girls can only dream of? Is Korina Sanchez turning into a bridezilla? If we look at the way she seeks or looks for enemies she is probably close to it or perhaps has arrived at the honor or was it horror of being crowned as one.
Some people Like Angela Stuart think that Kris Aquino should be gagged for talking too much on what they believe was her “shallow and dumb” plan to package Noynoy complete with hair raising or rather scalp treatment to prevent hair loss. That she ought to just do it without broadcasting it to the idiot box which they feel is just too much. I just don’t know why some people makes a fuzz over it when they have in their hands the greatest invention of all time, the remote control so you can flip channels if what you see is not to your own liking or preference. Kris Aquino is one talkative lady and that is just her character which is the reason why she earns the big bucks as she has no qualms baring it all. It allows people to learn more about her personal life as she is a public figure quenching the thirst of the inquisitive minds and yet as surreal as it sounds her ways allows people to get in her thoughts and private life as if they are her friend. Unlike Korina Sanchez, Kris is not the combative confrontational kind so, if there is anyone that needed to be gagged it is none other than Korina Sanchez.

Conrado de Quiroz got the ire of the bride when he says that the groom Mar Roxas is an atat na atat (too eager) presidential wannabe based on an observation regarding media ads of the tricycle pedal kicker featuring Korina’s fiancée. While Conrado’s comment may have been moot after Mar Roxas statesman like redemption withdrawing his presidential ambition giving way to Noynoy Aquino, it just escapes me why she is demanding for an apology. I have no clue what planet Korina is on right now but in case she has not noticed most if not all the presidential wannabe are basically too eager beaver for comfort approaching illegal acts for early electioneering bombarding people with pathetic obnoxious ads geared for their presidential run.

If it makes Korina Sanchez happy we have to implore Conrado de Quiroz to apologize to Mar Roxas pronto because it seems the one who is the bigger atat na atat is none other than the frustrated first lady wannabe Korina.

Sharon Cuneta a megastar (gawd I can't believe I am saying megastar, lol) was born with a silver spoon in her mouth and yet instead of a brat like attitude in defense of Mr. Noted errrr husband Kiko Pangilinan when Korina Sanchez calls him an ingrate, shows she has more class choosing not to dignify Korina’s tirade by not responding. It makes you wonder if Mar Roxas told Korina that the presidential run is bigger than themselves and to feel betrayed on a perceived notion that Kiko Pangilinan’s support of Noynoy Aquino caused the slide of support away from Mar Roxas to just the vice presidency only shows she does not get it.

Then we have RG Cruz who made the mistake that he can poke fun in his Facebook account at the frustrated first lady Korina Sanchez, a co-worker at the “Kapamilya” (family) ABS CBN network. Talk about family eh, no wonder some people including this Political Jaywalker are not attracted at joining this “family” especially one that is so dysfunctional. In all of these incidents, she has no qualms airing it in public that her new found enemies owes her a favor like one who thinks like a queen except she is missing her crown to borrow RG Cruzes apt description should not forget they owe her a debt of gratitude. To think that she is one who believes or should we say deludes herself she can make a difference when she displays despicable traits of the political patronage. kind There goes the drama of sacrifice for love of inang bayan, looks like she is one narcissist who thinks the world revolves around her.

She could have handled this better although she is probably in a lot of pressure as most brides to be and while if this white paper really came from her she is mishandling the incidents very poorly, to quote:
While some characters would sit back, relax and ignore the nuances and irritants of daily living, some characters such as mine are the types who would see and know, by experience if I may add, that evil prospers when good men do nothing. While there is wisdom in silence, there is nobility to be found in response and courage — as foolish as some might think these to be, given specific circumstances.
True, I agree that evil prospers when good men do nothing but “good men” or women being good knows enough to act with class and not be combative because it not only validates their contention when one reacts like Korina did and worse comes up with an allege scary retort below:
So to you, RG Cruz, I say, I hope that — as your Facebook entry narrated — as you were “eating chocolate” and indulging your gastronomical cravings while events at Club Filipino on the 2nd of September 2009 were unfolding and all you could think of and delight in, as written in your Facebook, are your cruel attacks, pettiness, inanities and insensitivities to the sacrifice of others and, horror of horrors, make these public — you will, henceforth, attempt to save yourself from the very real prospect of disappearing, leaving this world without a trace, no better and even worse than when you found it.
People disappear without a trace and are never heard again when they get the ire of the powers that be, this is not something one jokes about and coming from an eager beaver wannabe first lady is a window to the future on the kind of occupant that will inhabit the palace. I am sure one happy camper not seeing Mar Roxas running for the presidency as he has a very scary bitter vindictive partner with a tendency to have anger management problem.

What is so amazing is she has no qualms showing her bitterness in not attending Mar Roxas acceptance of Noynoy Aquino’s offer to be his running mate. Fer cryin’ out loud you just loss us there Korina, it is time to move on and please stop making a spectacle of yourself as you are hurting your future hubby and dragging Noynoy down too in his impending presidential run. Think of the poor people in Payatas who believe that change is possible and with the meager or literally scarce resources they are rejecting patronage politics and showing us the way by donating whatever they have for the cause.

In the interest of "saving" inang bayan and not dampen the resurgence of hope of desperate people that are eternal victims of political hypocrisy and double talk, Korina Sanchez should figure out how she can control her temper and apologizing for her behavior is really not a bad idea. She can opt to be the way she is which is not very pleasant especially for a future bride, as in making herself a spectacle like those in reality TV show with no redeeming social value or she can still walk tall without the help of a 10 inch heels if only she tries to re-examine the folly of her confrontational attitude. Not that it is any of my business to want to see Korina change her ways but there is this possibility that she might grow old like my favorite Senator Miriam Santiago, who when angry says she her mouth is foaming, homicidal and has the urge to spit on a justice face that irates her. I dare say that it is time for Mar Roxas to drop the Mr. Palengke (Mr. Market as in economist having graduated from Wharton) packaging lest his ex-future wannabe first lady goes on a tantrum spell again if she is referred to as Mrs. Palengkera...........

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Vicki Belo's Cyberspace Libel Suit Ought to be Heard Nowhere but on Netizen's Facebook Forum

Here we go again, libel, libel everywhere, where it stops no one knows? The Philippines indeed is teeming with onion skinned indiciduals, as if filing a libel suit really clears what they believe was their good name and refutation. As if we don't have enough pending cases due to the snail paced justice dispensation we see frivolous libel suits clogging the system when there are serious pressing cases that deserved to be heard expediently.

Once again we are about to witness a spectacle involving Dr. Vicki Belo of the botched ass job against activist lawyer Argee Guevarra, I am posting this article sent to my FB inbox

Facebook User Welcomes Dr. Vicky Belo's Libel Suit "As First of its Kind" in the World

Facebook user and activist-lawyer Argee Guevarra today welcomed the libel suit filed by the Belo Medical Group and Dr..Vicki Belo against him at the Office of the City Prosecutor in Taytay, Rizal, Philippines, for his status updates and shout-outs in his private Facebook account.

Guevarra, who acts as counsel for Belo victim Josefina Norcio over two botched butt augmentation procedures performed by the Belo Medical Group using the banned substance Hydrogel, was sued for libel over status update posts in his Facebook account where Guevarra called for a national patients’ boycott of Belo Clinics and for referring to Dr. Belo as “Reyna ng Kaplastikan, Reyna ng Kapalpakan” (Queen of False Pretenses, Queen of Incompetence).

Dr.Vicki Belo is a celebrity doctor previously involved in a video sex scandal. She operates upscale plastic and cosmetic surgery clinics frequented by this impoverished nation’s elite and owns various offshore clinics and booking offices in Thailand, South Korea and the United States. Dr. Belo, however, is not licensed by the Philippine Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (PAPRAS) to perform cosmetic surgery procedures. She presides over a multi-million dollar empire consisting of plastic surgery clinics, beauty salons and manufactures health and beauty products.

The suit is the first Facebook libel case in the world where the complainant does not even belong to the defendant’s network of Facebook friends. A previous Facebook libel case was, however, filed in UK where businessman Mathew Firsht sued a former school friend over a false personal profile on the site that included private information about him and untrue allegations about his sexual orientation.

The libel suit against Guevarra was commenced vicariously through Dr. Belo’s general manager who managed to add herself to Guevarra’s network of 1,472 friends.

Guevarra, a political activist previously jailed by the Arroyo regime for his participation in two failed uprisings, similarly faced a Php 300 million ($6 million) libel suit from former First Lady Imelda Marcos 13 years ago after Guevarra wrote in his erstwhile column in BusinessWorld, a series of commentaries accusing the former strongman’s wife of widespread plunder during the reign of the Marcos dictatorship. The libel suit was eventually dismissed.

Guevarra welcomes the libel suit as an opportunity to invite public attention to the hazards and dangers of cosmetic surgery clinics performing surgeries with untrained, unskilled, incompetent and unlicensed medical practitioners and advertising such services as safe and hopes to ring alarm bells at the Health Department against the proliferation of such colorum clinics which is destroying the country’s medical tourism industry and earning for the country the moniker of being Asia’s No. 1 Chop Shop. More than this, Guevarra seeks to defend himself all the way to the Supreme Court in order to elicit jurisprudence regarding internet-based libels.

Guevarra reacted to the libel suit in his Facebook status update which states: "A wannabe mortician masquerading as a cosmetic surgeon will never be able to stitch up the difference between formalin or botox, between free speech or slander when suing for libel a Facebook user for his shout outs and status updates. Such surgical stupidity results in mistaking Facebook for Erasebook”.

For his part, Atty.Guevarra’s counsel, Atty. J.V. Bautista, a U.P. classmate of Dr. Belo, laughed off the libel suit and pointed out its material defects – “The libel case filed by Dr. Belo needs a serious facelift before it could even be dignified in any court of law. The pleading itself reads and looks like a failed surgery on the laws of libel …

First, the venue is improperly laid. It should not have been filed before the Taytay Prosecutor Office and instead filed before Makati City Prosecutor’s Office which is the place of the offended party (Dr. Belo) and where Facebook, Philippines holds Office. The filing of the case in Taytay may have sinister motives. What is so special about filing the case in Taytay?

Second, the libelous statements were printed and published by Dr. Belo’s own general manager and upon the authority given her by Dr. Belo’s estranged husband and Belo Medical Group Corporate Secretary Atom Henares, which should make said general manager a co-respondent of Atty. Guevarra. In effect, Dr. Belo should be suing her own general manager;

Third, the alleged defamatory statements are privileged communication and are per se, not libelous. Said statements of Atty.Guevarra fall under constitutionally protected exercise of free speech;

Finally, the analogous libel case of Alfonso Yuchengco/Pacific Plans vs. Philip Piccio, arising from a blog written by Mr. Piccio against Pacific Plans was ordered dismissed by the Department of Justice which ruled that there is no such thing as internet libel since Art. 355 of the Revised Penal Code strictly provides that libel can only be committed by means set forth therein (writing, printing, radio etc.) and does not include the internet. Furthermore, criminal statutes are construed strictly in favor of the accused.”

The preliminary investigation is set on Sept. 24, 2009 at the Taytay Hall of Justice, Taytay, Rizal before Asst. City Prosecutor Cheloy Garrafil.

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The Furor over Marc Jacobs' Publisher Timothy Mark Depakakibo Garcia

What was Marc Jacobs' personnel thinking when they hired the son of a former Philippine military official as their publicist just after he was released from detention in connection with his family’s plunder case? Obviously they never checked his background and Tim Garcia never told them about his case until Page Six (yes, the same column that broke the news on Gloria Arroyo and her free loading shameless entourage on the gluttonous US$20K Le Cirque dinner) broke the news on his case. In a society where no one questions the veracity of what you say and people in general assume in good faith it is the truth, liars will have a field day through omission or outright lies working their sleazy way into the system.

While Major General Carlos F. Garcia, former comptroller of the Armed Forces of the Philippines is spending his time in Philippine jail accused of amassing ill-gotten wealth to the tune of P303M (US$6.2M) his son Tim Garcia an American citizen after spending 95 days at the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center now wears a house arrest ankle bracelet. The ankle bracelet is reserved for individuals who are flight risk with pending criminal cases whose movement are restricted and monitored.

While millions of people in the Philippines are living in subhuman conditions in congested make shift quarters in squatter colonies, some are even reduced to living under the bridge, sidewalks or any available space in the urban jungles of the cities in contrast the son of an accused plunderer is living in style in an all white one bedroom apartment at the expensive high end Trump Plaza. In these hard times of economic uncertainty where people are losing jobs by the thousands, firms going bankrupt, to see one enjoying an expensive decadent lifestyle in an apartment purchased by Clarita Garcia the wife/partner of an accused plunderer in 2004 for $765,000 the mother of Tim Garcia is truly the height of callous insensitivity, to quote Fashions night on probation by Peter Davis:

In April, Garcia says he was asked to hand over his “apartment and bank accounts.” He protested. “I knew that it was all bullshit. I was like, ‘No! I will never waver in the conviction of my father’s innocence and doing that would just hurt my father’s case.” The government still contends that some of that $6.2 million dollars went into purchasing the Trump Plaza apartment. The government also says the Garcias transferred $2 million from the Philippines to the United States.

Tim Garcia can act clueless but coming from a third world country where corruption is so endemic did he even bother to inquire where and how exactly can her mother Clarita Garcia afford or get the funds to purchase the Trump Plaza unit? Out of the millions of Filipinos who are aware of the plunder case he tries to pull a fast one as the only clueless person around when he should know better being the son would have noticed the sudden change of affluence. Who the heck really falls for it except him creating or worse suffering from altered reality when he professed that his father is not guilty is truly baffling.

As a publicist he should not have attracted attention to himself but that is how self-indulgent self-centered sorry ass of an individual they are thinking the world revolves around them. If the intent was to elicit sympathy then he is wrong and the only one who can understand his predicament is perhaps his kind like clueless Mikey Arroyo.

This wannabe Paris Hilton is wallowing in his collection of signature clothes and accessories that will make Imelda Marcos excesses pale in comparison and definitely will squeeze the fat out of fashionista pretender Malu Fernandez. Tim Garcia is no Paris Hilton (aside from being a trust fund baby Paris earns a lot of money being a celebrity on endorsements, appearances and TV shows), not even by any stretch of imagination will he even come close, so acting like a brat spoiled “rich” kid is not going to cut it. There is nothing wrong with being rich and it is not a sin after all we are in a capitalist society. The problem is when it comes from unexplained wealth and the whole family is facing criminal charges, only a dumb fool of moronic proportion will have the impudence to flaunt it. Who does he think he is anyway, the Teflon Mafiosi boss? But then again corrupt government officials act and operate like Mafiosi crime syndicates, so this one has the potential of a comedic crime material for the silver screen. Imagine a gay signature label fixated version of Don Vito Corleoni, hanging out in fashion shows dressed and accessorized to the hilt with designer labels on the prowl eyeing men looking like a transsexual Doña BITUin (star).

The nerve of this plunderers’ son or was it daughter complaining that the ankle bracelet is limiting his fashion choice, lamenting he can’t wear his knee high croc boots by Sergio Rossi for the fall is the height of shallow insensitivity. True, he may have earned his designer clothes and accessories legitimately but flaunting it when your family is accused of plundering the government is just numbingly ridiculous. The Doña BITUin plans to write a memoir, and who may I ask will bother reading such trash coming from an obscure now in the center of notoriety not for being rich and famous due to royal family lineage or accomplished long line of family of achievers acknowledged contributors, innovators and trend setters of a better society, but a family that plunders together is truly delusional? Do readers even care to read or know the lives of corrupt family of plunderers?

A call for boycott of Marc Jacon’s will probably not make a dent when most Filipinos can not afford it anyway or have a clue what Marc Jacobs sells. While Tim Garcia is not yet convicted, still enjoying the benefit of the doubt, we can always appeal to the consumers’ sensibilities or sense of propriety in not patronizing their product for their callous disregard on the plight of the poor that are the ultimate victim of the plunderers. While the poor people of the Philippines are reduced to playing Russian roulette with their health and lives scavenging for discarded food products in the garbage dump they choose to employ Tim Garcia. Once the plunder case is proven in court Tim Garcia will become a ‘30's Ma Barker version of the millennium enjoying the fruits of the family’s pillaging and plunder and what will Marc Jacobs do should that eventuality unfolds?

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Panfilo Lacson’s Expose’ Against Joseph Estrada

Something peculiar wafts the air on the expose’ of Senator Panfilo Lacson implicating former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada. Unlike other scandals this one fails to deliver the punch, perhaps due to Senator Panfilo Lacson’s boring to say the least delivery, that it fails to put as on edge despite the gravity of the allegations. Could it be that we are so numbed by these numerous scandals that it fails to shock some people anymore?

The intimidation, harassment and forcing the sale of Yuchengco PLDT stocks which was confirmed right away by businessman former Ambassador Alfonso Yuchengco gave some credence to Lacson’s revelation below:
In August 1998, in the early part of Mr. Estrada’s abbreviated presidency, Mr. Alfonso Yuchengco was pressured to sign conveyance of his 7.75% PTIC (Philippine Telecommunications Investment Corporation) holdings, equivalent to 18,720 shares to Metro Pacific, represented by Manuel V. Pangilinan.

These PTIC holdings correspond to 2,017,650 PLDT common shares.

Mr. Yuchengco, I also learned later, was pressed to sign a waiver of his right of first refusal over the PTIC shares of the Cojuangco-Meer group.

It was only after the passage of many years that I was to learn that Mr. Estrada, barely two months in office then, used the PNP to harass Mr. Yuchengco’s son, Tito, with threat of arrest on some trumped-up drug charges to force his father, Mr. Yuchengco to sell.

This harassment of the young man was accomplished through deliberate and obvious physical surveillance.
On the Dacer-Corbito double murder that one soon to be state witness points to the one they referred to as the bigote (moustache which Joseph “Erap” Estrada denies because he is not known as the bigote but obviously a reference to him behind his back) is getting too close for comfort for Estrada’s as the alleged brains for the killing. So far on this score Lacson it appears has the edge over Estrada when Former Supt. Glenn Dumlao corroborates his statement in a TV interview.
Since Joseph “Erap” Estrada filed a libel case against Yuchengco for confirming Lacosn’s statement does it mean he will also file a libel cases against Dumlao and the rest who confirms Lacson’s allegations?

Then we have Joseph Estrada’s son actor now Senator Jinggoy Estrada who promised to deliver a point by point rebuttal on Lacson’s claims that I should say was disappointingly nothing more than a shallow personal attack on Lacson as a traitor and an ingrate. Disparaging Lacson for his utter lack of sense of gratitude will not fly especially when the point of contention is the allegations on criminal activities and not on principles or integrity. Well, this is the senate hall and not a Mafiosi hangout or was it? If it is any consolation to Jinggoy (who should have stayed on his day job as an actor instead of being in the senate) that his response was at par with Mikey Arroyo’s callous defense of his mother’s gluttonous Le Cirque brouhaha and Winnie Monsod’s grilling him on SALN issue.

What a trip to boredom land it is when Jinggoy did not interpellate Lacson's privilege speech or allowed Lacson during his privilege speech. Whoever convinced Jinggoy to run for the senate and unluckily for us that he won must have a deep longstanding grudge against the guy. Unlike in tinseltown where everything is scripted Jinggoy Estrada should realize by now that this is really beyond him.

On the Jueteng issue you would expect at least for Jinggoy to question that an actual conversation occurred by citing dates or other proof to debunked Lacson’s claims instead just like his father, both of them sounding more like US Representative Wilson’s “You Lied!” outburst. The legalization of Jueteng is a poor defense and supposedly worrying on the welfare of the Cobramen and women’s (Jueteng illegal numbers game bet collectors) just shows where their moral compass points or if ever they have one. We know what happened with the Jueteng issue because of the falling out among Estrada’s people thus Sabit errrr Chavit Singson became the “hero” of Gloria Arroyo who escaped culpability on his confession on his role as the Jueteng bagman even getting appointed to various presidential adviser position.

Senator Panfilo Lacson’s expose’ has the makings of a whistleblower and in case a senate probe is in the offing one should really worry because unlike Chavit Singson’s case where it paved the way for a takeover or power grab by Gloria Arroyo this one is about a disgraced former president. Unless a whistleblower’s revelation is good enough to topple even a garcified presidency the risk and prospect of facing a criminal charge is not highly unlikely so forget about being hailed as a “hero” like that “macho” who beats up defenseless woman black and blue.

Miriam Santiago a friend of Joseph “Erap” Estrada one of my “favorite” senadora next to Pia Cayetano the savior of fictional distressed domestic help who has no clue she is distressed has this to say on TV Patrol, which I quote:
Does this mean that Senator Lacson was complicit in all of these alleged illegal activities of then President Estrada? It is very suspicious that Senator Lacson did not reveal all of these complaints or allegations before this time. As I have said evidence suppressed is evidence adverse.
At least she is not foaming in the mouth unlike her statement against the Supreme Court justices thus her question seems to make sense. If we go by where Senadora Miriam Santiago’s argument, it seems to take a familiar route, hopefully not the route of frustration that whistleblower Jun Lozada seems to be redirected nowadays by some Senate quarters for Lacson. Not yet anyway, at least until he divulges everything and hopefully if he is not complicit as Santiago avers then he has nothing to worry about.

What exactly is the political implication on the upcoming election and re-alignment of political forces on Lacson’s revelation and more to come as he promised is something we need to pay really close attention? For one, there are talks that to persuade Joseph Estrada to withdraw from the presidential race is to have Jinggoy Estrada as the vice-presidential running mate of the presidential candidate he will endorse. Yikes, what have we done to deserve this but I am hoping that Lacson’s series ala tele-novella revelation will show that Jinggoy really belongs to the silver screen and not the second highest position in the land.

It is bad enough that we have jokers vying for the presidential position and we have to add yet one who can’t even act in real life will surely bring back the dreaded apathy among our people. On the other hand if Estrada opted not to ruin errr run in the election bloggers will have limited materials or politicians to be the butt of jokes. Jokes although cruel (cruel jokes on us and others) like this one by Manay Erna oooops Ernie Maceda who I am afraid may cause Inday Espina Varona to get dehydrated in her FaceBook status post below:
PUKE MOMENT#1: Ernesto Maceda, speaking before La Salle Bacolod students, likens Erap to -- NELSON MANDELA?!@# Because they both suffered imprisonment daw!
Poor Nelson Mandela the hero who sacrificed spending most of his life in prison fighting apartheid in South Africa, what did he do to deserve this cruel comparison? He must be having a heart attack for the gravest disrespect and desecration of his honorable cause by one who seems to have an altered schizophrenic reality. A convicted plunderer and a freedom fighter are not the same but in Maceda’s mind they are one and the same. Yikes, I hope Maceda realizes that once one gets on the edge of seeing altered reality it will be difficult to come back to normality………..

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