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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Same Dog different collar

That's a saying my wife has when it comes to Philippine politics. She was born and raised in Leyte Province of the Philippines. Her family home is about fifteen minutes from the famous spot Douglas MacArthur waded ashore at in 1944. The place known as Red Beach has a monument there to this date to commemorate that famous day and the photo that was taken of it.

Philippine politics has always been tumultous in its 60 years since the US granted independence to the island nation. The Marcoses, Ferdinand and Imelda ruled for almost 25 years and were known for their lavishness and corruption. Remember the 400 pairs of shoes that were found? To be frank despite much talk of reform, Politics has remained the same. The collar may be be different but the politics of this nation remain the same.

My wife's family came from the same province as Imelda Marcos. My youngest brother-in-law was a child piano prodigy who sometimes played for the Marcoses when they visited Leyte. Dear Wife's father was briefly a Tacloban City Councilman after the Marcos cronies were moved out after the People power revolution in 1986.

As is reported by AP and Yahoo news, massive demonstrations took place today. Another corruption scandal is raking the country. This reaching to the very top and Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. One thing that makes this scandal unique is the fact that the bribes given were caught on tape by Philippine Military Intelligence. It's pretty clear cut to me that Arroyo is another in a long line of Philippine politicians who only serve themselves. This wonderful country and its people deserve much better.

The full article can be found at-;_ylt=AlyeZnsgYEVjzCMcz.0Ewfms0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA2MTQ3MTFjBHNlYwN0cw--

MANILA, Philippines - Thousands of protesters on Saturday demanded President
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo' step down during the biggest anti-government rally since allegations surfaced that she fixed last year's election and her family received gambling kickbacks.

The government has denied the allegations, saying they were part of a plot to unseat Arroyo. Police nationwide and soldiers in the capital Manila were on full alert against a power grab in a country with a history of coup attempts.

Claims of payoffs to Arroyo's son and a brother-in-law from illegal gambling operators and an alleged wiretapped conversation between Arroyo and an election official to fix the 2004 vote, come as she battles poverty, rising prices, a fiscal deficit, corruption and the lowest popularity rating since late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

At a reception on the eve of Philippine independence, Arroyo said "purveyors of instability and intrigue" were undermining her efforts to reform the economy.

Arroyo said she was focused "like a laser beam" on reforms "to turn this economy around, and no one will deter me from that mission."

"We cannot resolve our differences by tossing out the democratic process just because we are not getting our way," she said.

In a rare show of solidarity, a wide spectrum of anti-Arroyo groups, including opposition politicians and rival leftist groups, joined forces in Saturday's rally dubbed a "National Day of Mourning." Police estimated that 5,000 people took part in the protest.

"The rally for me can be seen as a measure of how far or how widespread the disgust is for Arroyo and her isolation," said Rep. Teddy Casino of the left wing Bayan Muna party.
Casino said his party wants Arroyo's ouster, but opposes a coup d'etat, a military junta or a "palace coup."

"This is the early stage of the struggle for the eventual regime change that is expected," he said. However, he said talk of "an imminent downfall is not accurate."

Earlier in the week, a key witness testifying in an ongoing Senate hearing on the illegal numbers game called jueteng claimed she personally handed payoffs to Arroyo's son and brother-in-law, who are both members of the House of Representatives.

The two men have denied the charges. Arroyo's son has filed a libel suit against the witness.

To show she was not protecting her family, Arroyo immediately ordered government investigators to look into the allegations and file charges if warranted, saying her kin are not above the law.

A coup in my opinion is a definite possibility. Besides the Marcos overthow in 1986, a rather tame affair in Philippine style there have been at least six coup attempts in the last 20 years. During the 1986 overthrow, Women and children in protest did sit down before Army tanks and troops. Being a Catholic country, the soldiers didn't have it in their hearts to kill innocents. The December 1989 coup against Corazon Aquino was the bloodiest other 86. I seem to recall the 89 death toll was less than 200.

My wife and I had a personal experience with the Dec 89 coup. We married in May of 89 and I began doing the immigration paperwork for DW to come to the states. Her embassy interview was scheduled for Dec. 4th and I left the US on Nov. 30th to meet my wife and bring her home.

The coup took place on Dec 1st. My Northwest flight was supposed to be LAX-Seoul-Manila. We went LAX-Anchorage supposedly due to high head winds over the Pacific. On arrival in Alaska, the pilot announced what happened in Manila. My wife was waiting there for my arrival. I began to shake.

Half the flight emptied out to go back to the mainland states. But some of us myself included flew on to Seoul where NWA put us up for 3 days as we hoped Manila airport would re-open. This was done at airline expense but when the coup began to look protracted, NWA gave me and my fellow passengers a choice. Either pay our own way in Seoul and NW would fly us when Manila airport opened or we return back to the states. I didn't have enough funds to afford Seoul, so I went home. The same night Manila airport opened and I heard later the people waiting in Seoul were flown in that night.

My ordeal was mentally nerve-wracking only. It was worse for DW who was in Manila where the coup was taking place. She was staying with cousins who had no phone and continued to await my arrival through a dangerous time. In the end DW went to the embassy alone on Dec 7th and got her visa. We were re-united on Dec. 17th in Los Angeles.

God have mercy on the Philippine people and may he bring down his wrath on the crooked politicians who exploit their own people

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