As thousands marched and joined the card-posting-protest with nice police around (CPP/NPA) organized by the Black and White movement (B&WM) at noon yesterday, the national security cluster in the palace was convened to assess the threat. Traffic was not unduly disrupted because of the cooperation of the Makati police, who expressed support for the action.At exactly 15 minutes past noon, the disciplined protesters marched from the staging area at the base of the Aquino monument on Ayala and Paseo avenues to the Makati Central Post Office just 400 meters away, where they were welcomed by postal employees who could not hide their pleasure at the record-breaking patronage. In fact, one of them signed a card for posting by TPO. The cards are to serve as notices of eviction to GMA as the Pinoy Big Briber.
Seen at the march were Enteng Romano, Dan Songco, Lea Navarro, Manolo Quezon, Karen Tanada of B&WM; Berthie Lim of the Makati Business Club; former UP vice president Ma. Serena Diokno with a small contingent from Diliman; Butch Abad of the Liberal Party; and Raffy Albert of Akbayan.
Not shown in photo are Babalu, Panchito, and Nida Blanca.
TPO’s laser-guided automatic crowd estimator placed attendance at between 250 and 10,000, but we manually counted only 249. Thus we take our best unbiased estimate to be the median, 5,125, as the correct figure we will defend to the death. Manolo has a more conservative estimate.
Also seen at the scene were Dolphy (much trimmer since we last saw him) and a trio who resembled Panchito, Babalu and Nida Blanca. Our photographer swears she took their photos but only the background remained after the images were downloaded to our server. We were however, able to verify the presence of Maurice Arcache, there ostensibly to greet his palanggas, including Gretchen Barreto and a group of socialites we could not identify.
“This is a good sign,” Romano told TPO, “signifying convergence in the sentiments of the various classes in society.”
Nowhere to be found were the lead actors of Postcards from the Edge, the acclaimed movie in Manolo Quezon’s mind. Perhaps our sources lied to us. Or maybe we lied. We are still investigating ourselves. But Dinky Soliman, in an e-mail to TPO, insisted it was she and not a lookalike who was seen with the stars at the NAIA Thursday night. She said she was back in Phnom Penh where she helped distribute protest shirts to a group of Filipinos who marched to the Philippine embassy.
In the Palace later in the afternoon, presidential management staff chief Cerge Remonde told TPO that the honest and hard-working GMA liked the postcard design. However, she vetoed the suggestion of chief of staff Eduardo Ermita that the cards be read one by one in the next cabinet meeting so GMA could show her openness and sincerity, after dismissing suggestions by her national security adviser, Norberto Gonzales, that the cards could be laced with anthrax. “That will set a bad precedent!” she allegedly said, banging the table. “I will not tolerate any further distraction from the serious business of governing.”
She then directed press secretary Ignacio Bunye to closely monitor foreign press reports on the protest, which was covered among others by Washington Pest managing editor Victor Woodward and New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, and Pepa Bueno of TVE.
photos by Ai_ai Sy Yu