The Philippine Onion

Lies and half-truths shall set you free

Our disappearing civil liberties, or why some liberties are greater than others, especially if you have been forced to disappear

Posted by commiedyan on December 4, 2007

by Onionista

Speaking with her now legendary candor and sincerity, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said she was sorry about the sorry plight of reporters who had been cuffed and bussed off to Bicutan for ‘processing.’ “I am sorry,” said she as her nose glowed even with the bright lights in the Malacanang press briefing room. Just a few hours later, around 20 million Filipinos were placed under house arrest in Metro Manila and adjacent regions with what former UP law dean Raul Pangalangan said was an unconstitutional 12-5 a.m. curfew. The streets of the capital were eerier than on Good Fridays in a country dominated by nominally devout Catholics. Only the lord, if there is a lord, knows how many agogo dancers, carnappers, akyat-bahay gangsters, hotblooded teenagers, restless and bored husbands, matronas and their dance attorneys, balut vendors, wanderlustful congressmen had their freedom of movement curtailed, with dire consequences not only for the formal and informal sectors of the economy, but also on the freedom-seeking human spirit.

The ubiquitous checkpoints prompted a variation of the second law of cartoon physics: Any body in motion will tend to remain in motion until a checkpoint appears, in which case kotong will have to be paid for the body to regain its momentum. If no kotong is paid, the body will disappear until a writ of amparo makes it reappear.

More recently, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) subpoenaed Maria Ressa of ABS-CBN to investigate the network’s alleged involvement in Oplan Peninsula. The subpoena was served after Malacañang, taking liberties with the word ‘dialogue’ proposed a meeting between the PNP/AFP and the press. Ressa has reportedly sent a conciliatory text message to interior and local government secretary Ronnie Puno: go fuck and talk to your own ass.

In a related development, TPO has learned that human rights consultants of the Armed Forces of the Philippines have advised chief of staff Hermogenes Esperon to answer writs of amparo from the Supreme Court with duly notarized certificates of voluntary disappearance.

Meanwhile, messages intercepted by the powerful surveillance systems of the US National Security Agency last Friday were later decoded thus:

Low-flying disc-shaped object: Only armed crocodiles in checkpoints here. Kotong! Kotong! No signs of intelligent life. None. Over…

Mother Ship: Get specimens at all costs… Over.

The transcripts were shared by the US Homeland Security Department with certain European security agencies investigating why the passports of certain congressmen in the party of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo had no departure and arrival stamps and why the legislators could not show any airline tickets. This might be humiliating for the dimwitted critics of the administration who are quick to call for investigations into the source of travel funds. Look up at the clear night sky once in a while, Rep. Teddy Casiño.

If you have read this far, you might be wondering about the photos of the mug, which lists civil rights guaranteed by the US constitution. When you pour hot liquid into it, all rights except the right to bear arms disappear. In the Philippine version marketed by TPO, only the right to disappear appears.

(We were alerted to by Mornings at ANC. See related feature).

4 Responses to “Our disappearing civil liberties, or why some liberties are greater than others, especially if you have been forced to disappear”

  1. WillyJ said

    The 12-5am curfew is a harebrained idea if ever there was one.
    It will just force all the cops to stay up all night doing their
    kotong thing, and the next day they will be all too sleepy to do their job. And then it will also force those evil nightowls to shift their dark deeds to daytime, leaving all of us none the better. I’d say next time schedule the curfew 8am to 12noon instead. Then nobody will complain, as we can all sleep longer.

  2. commiedyan said

    So Willy you’re one of the owls, I suppose.

  3. […] nets P1.5M in kotongOplan Peninsula:Rebellion charges to be dropped, civilian captives freedOur disappearing civil liberties, or why some liberties are greater than others, especially if you h…Catholic hierarchy rethinks stand on annulment, divorceaboutOh yeah baby, what swell (political) […]

  4. nice work, bro

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