First article for Battle Briefings, my contribution to our decision to make lfs.ph a weekly internet magazine of sorts. We are still working on the technical, aesthetic and other details of the webstie remodelling so I'm going to post this entry here for a while. For want of something to post. Hehe.

This week, it was speeches that made headlines, the first, from an embattled house speaker, hours before he was ousted by Malacanang’s cohorts in Congress, and second, from the star witness in the continuing soap opera in the Senate, the ZTE-National Broadband Network hearings.

In a well-applauded speech that was supposed to last only ten minutes but dragged on for over an hour, (now former) Speaker Jose de Venecia raved about her past relations with Mrs. Arroyo and then “burned his bridge” to Malacanang. Speech here

Hours before the speech and the voting that put an end to JDV’s five terms as house speaker, the Palace in a press conference has already been calling him “the former speaker,” a reminder that lower house, after all, with a large majority belonging to the administration coalition is a mere stamp-pad of the Arroyos.

But the JDV's outbursts and his ouster was years in the making, with a widening rift between the Pangasinan Congressman and Arroyo, the gap between both factions being heavily widened after JDV’’s son and namesake testified in the Senate hearings on ZTE, naming former COMELEC Commissioner Benjamin Abalos and First Gentleman Mike Arroyo as brokers in the controversial project. “Back off,” continues to ring in our ears.

However, it must be noted that JDV did not tell us anything new. All he said were things that we already know. The only difference is the fact that this time, it is not an activist speaking but a long-time friend and (former) hard-ally of Arroyo. We already know that the Arroyo family has been running the government like a family business in a syndicate and mafia-like manner.
In fact, JDV’s speech was soft. He only gave us whiff of the foul-smelling Malacanang odor that he can open with what he knows about the dealings of Arroyo. Apparently, JDV has not yet given up full hope, and his speech was a vain attempt to blackmail Malacanang into not letting him go to the pits.

However, Arroyo, her sons, and their accomplices have other plans, knowing that there are other traditional politicians in Congress, hungry for power (and cash) that is willing to take JDV’s place as Malacanang’s speaker in Congress (pun intended).

And this is the major point in the JDV affair of the week. Of course, we know that JDV’’s speech and eventual ouster is an attestation to contradictions within the ruling class, even within the ruling faction of that class, to which progressives must grab as an opportunity to further isolate the narrowest target (the Arroyo family). But more than that, the ouster was another maneuvering of Arroyo to tighten her grip in Congress.

Arroyo knows that the ongoing ZTE hearings especially with a new star witness may provide another opportunity for an impeachment complaint which may fare better than its predecessors. She cannot have a rogue house speaker at a time like this.

Which brings us to the second speech that made this week’s headlines and removed JDV from the limelight was that of the ZTE star witness himself, Jun Lozada, who resurfaced after being incomunicado for some time at 2:00 am in La Salle, Greenhills.

Teary-eyed and between sobs, the long-time friend of fellow ZTE witness Romulo Neri recounted how the PNP forced him to sign an affidavit that would negate an earlier affidavit that began with the words “If you are reading this, I am probably dead.”

Apparently, the reports of how Lozada made an affidavit to safeguard himself from an assassination plot or threat to life is true. The very fact that he remains alive and that the PNP had to force him to sign the second affidavit would reveal how sensitive the contents of Affidavit A is.

In his speech, Lozada also linked Abalos and Mike Arroyo to the scandal, corroborating the earlier testimonies of ZTE scandal whistle blower Joey de Venecia III.

Hindi lang tumutukoy sa isang pamilya. Ang salitang Pilipino ay tumutukoy sa
isang bansa, isang bansang Pilipino.Sometimes it is worth taking a risk....
(sobs)... for this country. Maraming salamat po

This may very well be the quote of the week, for it sums up the frustration of all Filipinos to the Arroyo family syndicate.

Hopefully, CHEd Commissioner Romulo Neri and JDV would follow Lozada’s example and spill the beans on Malacanang and expose how rotten the rule of Arroyo is. And they better do it soon, because for all we know, Malacanang will be pulling another dirty trick from its sleeve.

Speaking of speeches, they may also like to learn a thing or two form US Presidential aspirant Obama, in his Martin Luther King-like speech, “Yes, we can,” turned into a song by Black Eyed Peas’ will.I.am and now being broadcasted in Youtube, and giving us the LSS.

3 komento:

OlgaSchmolga February 11, 2008 at 4:48 AM  

Panalo. First article ng budding columnist ba ito? :)

LAD February 23, 2008 at 9:03 PM  

wow, very moving ang video. napaurong ako haha.

ang haba ng article haha. isa lang masasabi ko, mabuting ama si JDV hehe. dahil sa anak niya kaya nangyari ang lahat ng ito haha

philippine politics April 8, 2008 at 5:41 PM  

you have a good article here... this is philippine politics, pag wala ng issues and scams, it will be a miracle. i have also written some articles on this issues and scams.