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Archive for the ‘congress’ Category

Drunks have human rights too

Posted by commiedyan on December 9, 2007

Some self-proclaimed leaders of ‘civil’ society have recently appointed themselves guardians of the peace as well. This time they are not after pornography, nor litter bugs, nor gun-toting machos, nor geriatric rapists. They’re raising a hue and cry against drunks, specifically the right of drunks to homeward mobility.

Their concern seems valid at first glance. A man was recently convicted for the killing inside a jeepney of a another man who complained the drunk had been making unwanted advances on his wife. Well, we say good riddance to the killer. But now the guardians of the peace are pushing for a law which bars drunks from getting onto public transport to get home.

So what are drunks to do?

  1. Sleep upright inside one of Bayani Fernando’s pink abominations?
  2. Shack up for the night with a GRO? (some of our friends, like Taroogs, might say that would be an expansion of civil liberties, but we reserve comment).
  3. Walk to another bar and drink some more? (All drunks drink moderately, again and some more).

Well, how about simply driving home? While it is illegal in the Philippines to drive without a license, driving without a car is not, which goes to show just how wise our congressmen are. For as long as they have third party liability insurance, why not? And what possible damage can a drunk driving without a car inflict in a collision Read the rest of this entry »

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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 Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in analysis, congress, foreign affairs, Malacañang, media, security, special reports | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Fates of Cebu judge, Filipino nation, hang on conundrum: how long is a ‘quickie’?

Posted by commiedyan on November 24, 2007

Most of us know what a split second is: the time lapse from the moment the traffic light turns green and when the asshole behind you honks the horn. But how long is a ‘quickie?’ The answer is crucial not only to a suspended Toledo city judge but to the country’s economic development as well.

Judge Gaudioso Villarin has been suspended by the supreme court for ‘gross ignorance of the law.’ According to a report in the Cebu Daily News, Supreme Court probe team confirms quickie annulments:

“The SC audit team confirmed that Villarin, who is due for retirement in May next year, was approving the marriage annulments with astonishing speed and taking shortcuts that violated court procedures. An annulment case that would normally take one year was approved in 34 days.”

So 34 days is a quickie? Judge Villarin recently read A Brief History of Time to find the answer, but to his disappointment, Stephen Hawking had evaded the issue. He didn’t know that when the physicist wrote the bestseller, his carnal pleasures were completely in the mind.

The question is relevant to hotblooded high school teens who ask: Is the 15-minute afternoon recess long enough? And does the real thing or true love require skipping algebra and history classes as well? Girls can fake an Ω but can boys fake an ε? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in analysis, congress, religion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Philippine ‘typhoon corridor’ bill breezes thru House on third reading

Posted by commiedyan on November 23, 2007

Manila–Fearing the consequences of typhoon Mina (international codename Mitag; click here for real-time tracking), the House approved without a vote on third reading a measure creating the Philippine ‘typhoon corridor’ at four this morning. House Bill 999.9 sponsored by Rep. Perpetuo Quixote of windswept Batanes had been certified as urgent by Malacañang, allegedly to calm the political weather.

Deliberations of the public works committee had earlier been described as stormy, and before news of Mina, discussions had just been going round and round in circles and spirals.

The measure, mandating the use of state-of-the-art weather control technology, not only eliminates all damage from tropical disturbances but also quadruples the country’s wind energy potential to 16 gigawatts, proponents said. In addition, it would also help shed the country’s image as a state of calamity.

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, alleged Philippine president, lauded the development but warned of difficult negotiations in the bicameral conference committee because of radically conflicting provisions. Hearings on the senate bill have also frequently been cancelled because of bad weather.

The corridor, to be constructed at an estimated cost of anywhere from P55 billion to P1 trillion, will be financed in the main by official development assistance from China. It will thenceforth be the sole authorized passageway for all typhoons through the country, and will be administered by the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC). The infrastructure project will be the first of its kind in the world, NDCC spokesperson Anthony Golez said.

The House version envisions the corridor to be carved across valleys and mountains 20 kilometers south of the northern tip of Luzon. The counterpart bill in the upper chamber, sponsored by senators Aquilino Pimentel and Miguel Zubiri, wants the corridor to cut the whole country longitudinally, from Davao, zigzagging through the major cities in Mindanao and on to the Visayas and Luzon. The House version provides that displaced residents would be relocated to Taiwan while that of the Senate designates Malaysia and Singapore. Both versions provide for the establishment of wind farms along the breadth of the corridor under build-operate-own (BOO) arrangements. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in analysis, congress, Nature, science | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

TPO goes to senate disguised as Pravda

Posted by commiedyan on November 20, 2007

by Old Spice

We went to the senate to cover two hearings yesterday. One on the national broadband network, and the other on petroleum prices.

The first thing we noticed was security in the compound and inside the building was a joke. We were not frisked, and no one asked for names. But the guard had not heard of The Philippine Onion, so we said we were from Pravda and were waved in. I could have strapped 3 kilos of TNT around my sinewy body but I wasn’t suicidal then.

But I did become homicidal on seeing Senator Mar Roxas and Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes having a dog and pony show about deregulating and re-regulating the oil industry. At some point, I thought, what were these guys smoking? And who has Roxas been dating?

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Miriam goes gaga again, shoos, calls reporter crazy

Posted by commiedyan on November 19, 2007

“Wait till you get assasinated…and then you can investigate whether it was an assasination or an act of terrorism.”

Thus did Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago dismiss doubts of administration critics over the official police theory that the blast in the Batasan was a plot to assasinate Rep. Akbar of Basilan, punctuating the remark with that big inimitable laugh of hers.

The Philippines has the highest number of amateur detectives per capita in the world, she said, adding that these detectives automatically consider the police prime suspects in sensational crimes.

We sought an interview with her over allegations that during her time as a high-profile immigration commissioner, the rights of suspects were routinely violated. But she said she was on her way to her therapist. We asked if we could watch the session. “Go away! You’re crazy!” she said. Talk about the pot giving the kettle the benefit of the doubt.

Posted in briefly noted, congress, politics, security | Tagged: , , , | 12 Comments »

House justice body rejects impeach bid under influence of strange substance

Posted by commiedyan on November 14, 2007

In an overwhelming 43-1 vote, the justice committee of the House voted down the impeachment bid filed by Ruel Pulido before noon today, a day after members voted that it was sufficient in shape, color, and taste.

They must have been under the influence of a known substance, Metro Manila police chief Geary Barias told TPO in a psychic interview. “Are you thinking what we’re thinking?” “Yes,” Barias said, adding psychically, “they all tested positive for metamphetamine hydrochloride, except for Rep. San Luis and Pulido, who tested positive for tetrahydrocannabinol. There is no chance of false positives here.”

Ever loyal to her highness, committee chair Mat Defensor, whose constipated shit grew into an ass-licking prodigal son, was seen scratching his ass and farting, Barias said. Asked for material evidence, the police chief only retorted “What is essential is invisible to the eye.”

A congressman from Cebu said the complaint not only lacked sheep, it also smelled like a goat.

Posted in breaking news, briefly noted, congress, politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Forum: Sex, politics, and the Filipino (2)

Posted by commiedyan on November 13, 2007

In the second of our series Dolly continues the discussion with Dr. Aidan No and Margie Holmes. Our FAQ may also be read as fuck you, but that depends on you.

Dolly: In our last session we were about to go to sex and Philippine politics…

Margie: Yes..

Dr. No.: No. But go ahead.

Dolly: Is Abalos really an imp..tn bastard?

Read the rest of this entry »

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UP physics prof offers Filipino time machine to Rolex in impeachment bid

Posted by commiedyan on November 6, 2007

With hardly any chance the House majority leadership would allow a fortified impeachment bid against GMA, the only ray of hope now appears to be UP professor Joey Magpantay’s prototype Filipino Time Machine (FTM), with which, he assures us, we will never be late again. If talks succeed between Rolex Suplico and Magpantay, Rolex, Adel Tamano, and Harry Roque, with impeachment documents in hand, will be transported back to the Batasan to moments just before Ruel Pulido and Rep. Edgardo San Luis filed the original complaint before the chamber’s secretary general.

But a few delicate technical and financial issues need to be addressed. The strange contraption requires 1 gigawatt of electric power, almost 8% of the total in the entire Luzon grid. There would have to be proper coordination with the Wholesale Elecricity Spot Market (WESM), the National Transmission Company (NTC), National Power Corporation (NPC) and Meralco. Otherwise, the surge in demand as Joey flicks the switch at his backyard in the UP campus would cause voltage instability and even massive brownouts throughout Luzon.

Next hurdle is, who would foot the bill? Joey says it will take about one hour for the intrepid trio be atomized, sucked into the space-time vortex, and reconstituted, amended, and verified, at the targetted place. TPO calculations suggest that with 1 gigawatt for 60 minutes, at the wholesale time of use (TOU) rates of NPC of about P5 per kilowatthour, the electricity bill would amount to at least P5 million. The Black and White movement, we were told, is now passing the hat.

The most difficult problem, however, remains. The space-time pinpoint mechanism is not precise. Any little voltage and frequency perturbations might transport Suplico, Tamano, and Roque to Iloilo, Batac, or Taipei, and if things really get fouled up, back to the time of ex-presidents Diosdado Macapagal or Ferdinand Marcos.

Magpantay waxes optimistic that in due time and with scale economies, he might be able to offer the service to anyone willing to pay P1 million to be transported to better times. “How about if all the rest of our countrymen who can no longer endure the indignities of Arroyo want to time-travel as one?” we asked. “That is possible,” Joey said, but “the copper and coal required to pull that off could trigger a world economic crisis.”

Just before deadline we interviewed Rolex:

TPO: Que hora es segun tu reloj?

Rolex: Lo siento. No tengo reloj.

Posted in congress, politics, science, special reports | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Dead men talking

Posted by commiedyan on October 31, 2007

by Ai-ai Sy Yu

Time to rise! This was what my editor shouted through the speaker phone when I took his call at six last night. I’m glad I did, for otherwise I would not be able to tell you this story.

I arrived at the scene, near the mall just before Commonwealth springs a tooth on the right to the UP campus, about two minutes before six, to find the area nearly deserted except for an unusual deployment of anti-riot police in full battle gear. I quickly learned they were to block a throng of marchers planning to lay siege to the House of Representatives on Halloween. After a while, an officer with a bullhorn was shouting “Stop!”
Bystanders were confused for they could not see whoever it was he was addressing. I wasn’t, and that was precisely why I got the assignment. I could see. About 3,000 thousand dead men and women, heads bowed, with nothing on, taking half steps until the leaders were toe to toe with the officer with the horn, who looked crazy shouting at no one. “Stop!” he said again. And they did. One of them whispered into the officer’s ear:
What’s the problem? We’re not obstructing anything are we?
You have no permit, and that’s against the law and we will disperse you within the hour, the officer replied.
The standoff was resolved four hours after Speaker Jose de Venecia arrived, having interrupted his holiday just to help untangle the traffic mess which had built up since I arrived.

This is what really happened. The dead, for the first time in our country’s history, had organized themselves to exercise their constitutional right to seek redress of grievances. It seems they had suffered all the injustices (dilapidated cemeteries, unauthorized use of their names in elections, frequent misquotations by the living) in silence. But what broke the silence in the cemeteries was the news that Joseph Estrada had been pardoned and that his civil and political rights (except to be elected) had been restored.

What about us? They asked. In the barangay elections we were accused of being flying voters. We can fly but we are no longer registered, they protested. Yet, what part of the national and local budgets are allocated for us to rest in peace? Nada! And we have not even asked for research funds to help retrieve is from limbo.

I must say that like the living, the dead have their own political biases or predispositions, and even party loyalties. The marchers came from the five most heavily populated cemeteries in Metro Manila. Yet they came together to have their voices heard. To name a few of the organizations with their conflicting advocacies:

  1. fDc or free us from death coalition was the most militant, along with
  2. NSD or never say die; and
  1. RIP self-explanatory
  2. Move.On.Na (extremely moderate)

Yet these four organizations were one in their demands to JdV, who confronted them pale-faced and deadpan. What choices were he really left with at the time? I will not judge him, but it in the spirit of Halloween I will give you this list:

  1. On resources for the dead. He would press for allocation of 0.0001 per cent of budget to clean cemeteries, including installing biodigesters to produce methane for energy;
  2. On bio research, P1 B for bio-engineering in case dead want to be alive again. (safe and morally ambiguous program for pro-life and pro-choice) For living who want to be (mentally) dead, JdV said, he would support their election to Congress).
  3. On political participation, JdV agreed that the dead are the largest constituency that has not had a party list party. He would support this with seed funds and the suggested name Kumpetai.
  4. On the anomalies in the village elections, JdV said he would lead the purging of voters lists by eliminating illegally registered dead voters.

Finally, the Speaker urged the dead to withhold judgment on the living. After all, he said, he and Gloria were still alive. (Shame on you, he whispered to me ,in his usual deniable monotone).

Ai-ai Sy Yu is a certfied paranormal investigative reporter for TPO, but we do not guarantee her reports as we have never met her. But we stand by her account.

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