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Our issue for December 10, 2005



December 10, 2005 Issue

Main Features

1.Cover: Pag-IBIG Fund Anniversary (with 8-page, full-color supplement)

2. Garci Talks

Virgilio Garcillano surfaces and claims he has never left the Philippines during the five months that he disappeared after the Arroyo tapes scandal broke out. Singapore’s Foreign Ministry must have been lying when it informed the Philippines that Garcillano transited Singapore on July 14 on his way to another country. He says he had been moving around fearing for his life because he had learned that Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s men were looking for him. Lacson? Why Lacson? That’s Malacañang, of course. Without Fernando Poe Jr. and Raul Roco, Lacson, the third-placer in last year’s presidential election, is the biggest threat to Mrs. Arroyo—as a possible alternative to her, that is. So Lacson’s men are no longer looking for Garcillano, that’s why Garcillano has decided to come out? No. He says that “after [he was] convicted before the bar of public opinion, the people are now ready to hear the truth.? How’s that—after convicting him, the people are now ready to listen to him? To his lies, the opposition says. Opposition leaders says Malacañang is behind Garcillano’s return. That’s most likely true. Malacañang has been insisting on closing the book on the Arroyo tapes scandal, but has acknowledged that there can be no closure unless Garcillano comes out and tells all. So here is Garcillano saying Mrs. Arroyo did not rig the election and setting conditions for his appearance before the Arroyo tapes investigation in the House of Representatives: lift the arrest warrant issued against him, recall the bounty offered for his arrest, and he won’t talk about the tapes during his questioning. He has also asked the Supreme Court to quash the warrant and stop the House investigation because the tapes were illegally obtained. The man just doesn’t want to be investigated. Without discussion of the tapes, what will the congressmen discuss with him? If the investigation is not completed, the accusation of electoral fraud against Mrs. Arroyo remains and she will have to defend herself in another impeachment in Congress next September. It is doubtful, however, that the Supreme Court will meddle in the business of Congress, a co-equal branch of government. Besides, before Garcillano can complain of being the victim of illegal wiretapping, he first has to admit that he is indeed Mrs. Arroyo’s phone pal and they are really the ones talking about rigging the election on the tapes. If he does, he confirms the charges against Mrs. Arroyo. She faces impeachment, he faces six years in jail (for electoral fraud alone). The congressional investigators are willing to accommodate him: if he is willing to talk, the warrant and the bounty fly. His supposed fear for his life doesn’t sell: he is more valuable to the opposition alive than dead; the reverse is true for the administration. Lacson says it is to his interest that Garcillano lives so that he can tell the truth about the election. PDP-Laban Rep. Teodoro Locsin Jr. of Makati, chairman of the House Committee on Suffrage, says, “Everybody wants him alive so we can catch him in his contradictions.?

By Ricky S. Torre, Wendell Vigilia and Butch Serrano

3. The Music Changes

Now the senators like the idea of amending the Constitution through a constituent assembly. This is news. What happened?

By Guiller de Guzman and Butch Serrano

4. Forgetting the Budget

Government projects will be delayed by at least three months in 2006 because Congress cannot pass the P1.05 trillion proposed national budget in time for the new year. The Senate blames the House of Representatives for the delay, but the House blames the delay on the impeachment of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Stupid. Do they think the people have forgotten that it was Mrs. Arroyo who asked to be impeached during her State of the Nation address to Congress on July 25? The budget is delayed because the House has put work on it behind the proposal to amend the Constitution. Didn’t they say that two weeks ago?

By Guiller de Guzman and Wendell Vigilia

5. Poverty Policy

Despite the closure of 1,000 private and public hospitals over the last five years, Labor Secretary Patricia Santo Tomas does not believe the medical brain drain is happening. It’s just a perception, she says. She wants “hard data,? but the Labor Department cannot even produce credible employment figures. The department places the unemployment rate at 7.7 percent of the 35.3 million work force but this figure is definitely outdated, if not an outright lie cooked up from the department’s definition of “unemployed?: you are jobless if you are unemployed, but you are not unemployed if you are looking for a job. The fact is that thousands of Filipinos, including doctors and nurses, leave the Philippines every day for jobs overseas. These people leave because there are no jobs here or because jobs here do not pay enough to allow decent living. The government’s policy is to keep wages low so that foreign investors will stay and new ones will come. The result is endless poverty for the majority of Filipinos.

By Ramiro C. Alvarez

Two editorials



  1. Chuck Jenks says:

    Dear Sirs, why is it so hard for a Pilippino lady to leave the country to marry an american…is there any other alternative for her to leave the country…or taking the yr. in political paper work, only sometimes to be denied….seems so frustrating being from a free country….God bless…hope you can help

  2. We’re sorry, but without more information, we can’t hazard an opinion.

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