Tuesday, September 30, 2008

From financial awakening to revolution

In just a week’s time, many Filipinos have transitioned from financial innocence to maturity, finally gaining considerable insight into the vitriol this column has heaped on “free market” economics. Many of them had previously held on to the authority of Western financial institutions, particularly “ratings agencies,” in judging our country’s financial performance -- institutions which have now had their credibility shattered for not having warned the world about the impending collapse of Lehman Bros. and a score of US and British financial houses.

So as bad as their once almighty dollar and economy have become, the commanding prestige of US financial authorities is now in tatters -- just as there are many red faces among Filipino “economists” here who have parroted the Chicago school of economics “free market” ideology.

I am writing this column for the new national leaders of this country who will find themselves at the helm of government sooner than expected. I am referring to detained General Danilo Lim, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, and the Bagong Katipuneros, and those in opposition political circles preparing to take over from the neo-colonially enslaved and corrupt Gloria Arroyo regime -- the most viable of which include PMP’s President Joseph E. Estrada, as well as, UNO stalwarts Mayor Jejomar Binay and Senator Ernesto Maceda.

The looming economic tsunami will precipitate calls for change even before the 2010 election as the severity of the crunch is already felt -- and growing -- even though the holiday season may distract us for a while.

Other countries are already changing gears. Bloomberg, in a report entitled “ China Shuns Paulson’s Free Market Push as Meltdown Burns U.S. ,” quotes former adviser to China ’s Central Bank Yu Yongding: “The U.S. financial system was regarded as a model… Suddenly we find our teacher is not that excellent, so the next time when we’re designing our financial system we will use our own mind more.”

Over a year ago, US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said to the Shanghai Futures Exchange, “An open, competitive, and liberalized financial market can effectively allocate scarce resources in a manner that promotes stability and prosperity far better than governmental intervention…”

Yet now Paulson is using $700 billion in US funds to save “the markets.”

As a former chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Paulson contradicts what the US prescribed Asian governments like Thailand, South Korea, Indonesia and the Philippines during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis (which was seconded by Solita Monsod et al.) to let unviable banks and their countries’ respective currencies fall.

Shanghai-based Andy Zie, formerly with Morgan Stanley, now has this to say:

“It’s the end of an era… In 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell, socialism was discredited and the whole world turned right. Now financial capital has been discredited and the whole world, including the U.S., is turning left.”

Although China has selectively liberalized since joining the WTO, it had never allowed “margin and derivatives trading” -- something that the likes of our Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) Tetangco approved last year.

Slowly but surely, Filipinos are learning. In the new, post-Gloria Philippine government, the first financial and economic action must be the removal of the Chicago Boys in the finance and economics offices of government.

Government financial policy-making must be freed from AIG’s Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, Philamlife, Citibank, Royal-Dutch Shell and other local subsidiaries under the Ayala umbrella. Of course, Gloria’s “Board of Economic Advisers” including Greenberg (again), Sycip, CIA men Wisner and Bosworth, and other corpo-rats must be junked as well.

It will have to recruit from socially-oriented and nationalist economists and finance experts, such as former national treasurer Norma Lasala, SOLAIR academics, patriotic businessmen and religious comrades from Katapat, KME, et al.

Pro-people, pro-nation state financial and economic policies will naturally flow from this fundamental change.

To visualize this reversal of financial and economic direction, think of: (a) Putting in place what Norma Lasala has long advocated -- that so-called dollar reserves be put into active use in the economy; (b) Nationalist economists paving the way for the re-nationalization of public utilities, resulting in the reduction of power, water and road toll rates to revive the economy and consumer confidence; (c) Patriotic businessmen and Church leaders reviving import-substitution industries and the “Buy Filipino” movement; (d) Jumpstarting the Freedom from Debt Coalition’s special mission of debt audit and renegotiation; and (e) Assigning Laban ng Masa, which has close ties with South American leftwing governments, to negotiate for low priced oil from countries like Venezuela.

For sure, there will be enormous resistance from foreign financial exploiters, making efforts to foment instability inevitable. But this is where the Bagong Katipuneros (a.k.a. Magdalos) will step in, tasked with the special mission of securing the nation from the “enemies within,” i.e. the US-British agents within the military and police establishment.

Of course, barring the total wipe out of any residual treasonous colonial mentality from incessant calls for patriotism and nationalism, the threat to be reckoned with can only be subversion from within as none of our neighbors will prefer to threaten us frontally.

Given this, top foreign agents in the Arroyo government should naturally be arrested posthaste like Norberto Gonzales, Archie Intengan, et al. Traitors in the military, meanwhile, who are known to military nationalists, are best left to the latter to dispose of in their own manner.

After securing the nation and stabilizing its financial and economic direction, the next step is establishing energy independence through immediate tapping of geothermal resources, which are more than sufficient for the country’s needs for the next decades. With the country’s improving negotiating position from the initiatives of the new government, optimal deals for the opening up of natural gas and oil reserves from the Liguasan Marsh and the Sulu Sea will make the Philippines one of the newest “rich boys” in the Asean neighborhood.

Filipino per capita income in 2007 ranked 15th at HK$16,675 (ADB, 2007), compared to China at 10th place with HK$23,267 and Malaysia at 6th with HK$65,217. But with financial and national revolution, we can move up to the top six too.

Then, the Philippines can dream of building the “PetroPhil” towers rivaling Malaysia ’s own Petronas. Our OFWs can come home and be with their families again. US- and European-based OFWs can likewise retire in our shores and contribute even more to the growth and strengthening of this nation. These are all possible today as the Filipino nation awakens from the collapse of the US economic and, consequently, geopolitical myth. The time to be free is NOW!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Lim, Trillanes: Our hope in these crisis times

Gloria Arroyo goes off to New York after rumblings in the military caused her to postpone her earlier scheduled trip. While there, she consults with Citibank and other investment top brass on the financial crisis spawned by the “Subprime Collapse” of Wall Street. Others, meanwhile, suspect she’s just updating herself on the damage to her own and FG Mike’s nest eggs in these failed funds.

But whatever her reasons are, she might as well call in one of the top members of her original “Board of Economic Advisers,” Maurice “Hank” Greenberg -- godfather of the now bankrupt AIG -- to ask for more advice on how to wriggle out of this one as the Philippines will be among the hardest hit by the financial tsunami now swiftly gaining inexorable momentum across the Pacific.

Already, Gloria’s business cronies are disavowing her denials of the staggering economic damage this US financial collapse will do to our country.

Here are excerpts from Irma Isip on reports by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and the Philippine Exporters Federation Inc. (PEFI): “Edgardo Lacson and Donald Dee, president and chairman emeritus of the PCCI said they are more concerned now on how the crisis in the US and the subsequent slowdown in the demand of Americans for consumer products would impact on Philippine exports… As it is, Dee said, the electronics and semiconductors industry is already bracing for a zero growth. The electronics industry accounts for 70 percent of the country’s total exports…”

In the housing and construction sector, Sergio Luis-Ortiz said, “…overseas Filipino workers in the US , the biggest buyers of condo units and single-detached homes, might be behind payments or choose not to buy at all… Prince Cruz… of the Global Property Guide said based on the feedback of real estate developers the share of foreign-based buyers to total home purchases has been declining. He said that last year, some developers are reporting that 70 to 80 percent of their buyers are foreign based, some as high as 9 out of 10. Now the share has dropped to about 30 percent...”

And as Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) chief Armando Tetangco says there are no takers for BSP emergency loans, Lacson (of PCCI) said, “…providing cash relief to those hit by the collapse…has had a calming effect on consumers.”

So why does Tetangco lie?

In the Great Depression of the 1930’s, the US was hit with a 30 percent unemployment rate. But the Philippines back then was not as integrated to the US financial sector as it is today.

So as Filipino banks get severely hit, there arises an issue of financial ethics and philosophy attached to these bank investments abroad: Is it moral and pragmatic to invest outside such huge money profited from the Philippines , and in such speculative “casino” investments, instead of lending to “hard industries” in the home country to build up the productive economic infrastructure?

With their little less than $400 million in Lehman, it is certain that Filipino banks have also placed more in other troubled US financial institutions. Yet, come to think of it, these billions could have funded a lot of domestic oil, gas, and geothermal energy development!

There is a certain naiveté among Philippine officials, going to as high up as Gloria and her finance managers, to those at the helm of Philippine banks, that expects the US and the West to profit in a clean-cut way from their financial system. This is why an understanding of the history of financial booms and busts in the US and Western countries is in order, which will clearly show the manipulation of the “markets” by their core power elite.

In the last twenty years, there have been 3 trillion dollars worth of financial meltdowns in the US -- from the “Junk Bonds” and the “Savings and Loans Crisis” in the 1980’s, to the “Dot.com Bubble” at the turn of the millennium, to today’s “Subprime Mortgage Collapse.”

Add to these the 1997 “Asian Financial Crisis,” which was engineered by George Soros who “shorted” the Thai Baht just before Western banks pulled out their loans and “hot money” simultaneously.

By traditional standards, these “junk bonds,” dot.com start ups and subprime mortgage scams are by their very names already shaky and considered garbage assets -- which is why these are prohibited by law from being traded by banks or declared as assets.

However, “Reaganomics” changed all that through deregulation, which gave banks free rein to use such “funds” as assets for leveraging, and to buy and sell these amongst themselves to bloat values and create bandwagons to entice the public -- thereby “pyramiding” them -- until the impending collapse.

Even the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has played this game. Just the other day, Ding Lichauco discovered a very small report on the BSP’s investment of $10 billion in JP Morgan and $4 billion in Deutsch Bank in 2007, which he expects to have increased to $20 billion by now -- a figure which he believes the BSP is concealing to cover up its actual loss.

In another small item, the GSIS said it is holding foreign stock investments like its $1 billion early this year. Although claiming it has not invested in Lehman’s, it cannot also deny it had invested in other funds. Since we know that all Western financial institutions have lost tremendous amounts, how much have the GSIS investments lost?

Again, the same moral and practical questions arise: Why invest outside? For kickbacks’ sake?

By and large, Filipino “leaders,” the BSP, and the banks have all been willing victims of the Western financial frauds and scams. For this reason alone, this nation cannot entrust its money and its future to these people, counterparts of whom Franklin D. Roosevelt called “self-seeking” and “without vision” in his own country.

Truly, the Philippines ’ collapsing socio-economic condition is there for all to see. Aside from the standard poverty and hunger statistics, Gabriela’s recent report on Philippine child prostitution already moves the Philippines up to No. 4 in the world amid the backdrop of domestic prostitution now being the fourth largest contributor to our GNP.

Given these staggering realities, plus the truth that no one in the political establishment offers hope, it is timely to recall the nationalist and self-sacrificing leaders incarcerated for exposing corruption and calling for social change: General Danilo Lim, whom we should launch into public office, and Senator Trillanes who continues to expose transgressions by the Arroyo government, i.e. Executive Secretary Ermita’s chairing of the Senate Baseline Committee meetings that mocks the separation of powers and advances the sellout of Philippine territory vis-à-vis Miriam Santiago’s bill.

Without doubt, only the Bagong Katipuneros, President Estrada (who sacrificed seven years in jail), and our nationalist economists and social activists offer real hope to our land in these difficult times.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Replacing self-seekers with visionaries

The high and mighty leaders of the political-economic cabal that has lorded over our nation for the past twenty-two years since Edsa I are in a quandary. As they hitched the Philippines onto the West’s economic system, preaching the infallibility of “free market” and private capitalism, they have dishonestly promised global prosperity and progress from the “efficiency” of free market competition and the compassion of so-called “corporate social responsibility.”

The 80’s Thatcherite and Reaganomics did just that, spurring deregulation and privatization everywhere. And with the fall of socialist Soviet Russia, it seemed the triumph of the capitalist “free trade” model was further set in stone, leading its adherents to propagate this doctrine even more.

Given these seemingly powerful arguments, many Filipinos bought in as the endorsers counted the likes of Cory Aquino, Solita Monsod, Fidel V. Ramos, Gloria Arroyo, Paderanga, etc.

So much was the enthusiasm back then that US historian Francis Fukuyama proposed that the Western capitalist model had ushered in the “End of History” and that no better system could ever be devised again.

A decade later, the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffet, the richest billionaire in the world revealed in a CNN interview: “The rich people are doing so well in this country. I mean we never had it so good… It’s class warfare; my class is winning… Right now corporate profits as a percent of GDP in this country are right at the high. Corporate taxes as a percent of total taxes are very close to the bottom.”

The rich people everywhere else in the world, particularly the Philippines, were doing likewise, especially the bankers who, for instance, reveled in the repeal of the Anti-Usury Law, profiting from the currency crisis that shot interest rates over 40 percent in the wake of the Ninoy assassination, as with the local agents of transnational corporations taking over profitable public utilities paid for by public money.

Today, the plight of the US subprime mortgage victims exemplifies this situation. A CNN discussion with a panel of ordinary US home buyers, who have suddenly found themselves kicked out of the houses they were paying for, and community leaders, faced with half of the houses in their community suddenly left empty, with criminality overtaking their locales, made it poignantly clear that the deregulated interest rates for housing loans allowed mortgage rates to rise continuously even as middle and lower class wages did not keep up, causing homeowners to default and lose their homes.

While bankers lobbied with politicians and bought legislative favors with campaign contributions, the little people were helpless. Now, with the crisis in full force, US politicians are again bailing out the bankers and not the people. In a just world, the government would directly bailout home buyers and bankrupt the bankers.

Indeed, the $800 billion bailout has produced a “dead cat bounce,” i.e. a temporary recovery that will not last. They’ve been doing such bailouts, such as the year 2000 dot.com collapse, eventhough the inevitable will happen. That’s what transpired in the Great Depression and even then President Franklin D. Roosevelt zeroed in on the real culprits. It is timely to quote him on his Inaugural Address:

“...Our distress comes from no failure of substance. We are stricken by no plague of locusts. Compared with the perils which our forefathers conquered, because they believed and were not afraid, we have still much to be thankful for. Nature still offers her bounty and human efforts have multiplied it. Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply.

“Primarily, this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankind’s goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and have abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.

“True, they have tried. But their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit, they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They only know the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish.”

In the US , as well as, the Philippines , the “unscrupulous money changers” through their “false leadership” are trying to persuade the people that they are fixing things alright. One mainstream local paper quoted FDR’s saying, “Nothing to fear but fear itself.” Local headlines blared that local banks have only $382 million in Lehman's.” But do you think they don’t have investments in Merrill Lynch, AIG, and the like? Is Cuisia credible when he says Philam is okay because it has a different capital base when everybody in the industry knows that all of Philam’s investments are made from Hong Kong and the local chief is only a figurehead?

In the US , mainstream media is making the argument that the bailout of the bankers is necessary and that the alternative is worse, as typified by the line: “What would have happened if AIG was not bailed out?” But for anyone who understands justice and real economics, the answer, of course, is that government should go direct to the people and bail them out.

Government as a principle should finance people’s homes directly without the bankers’ intermediation. In the Philippines , government should issue credit directly to farms, by skipping the bankers who buy T-bills to skirt their duty to help agriculture grow, as well as, fund factories directly -- else, bankers will just lend to mall operators or car dealers for zero interest purchases.

By the way, since GSIS had recently appointed a foreign fund manager, can we believe that it didn’t invest in any of other major failing funds even as it announced that it has not invested in Lehman’s?

There was a wise rule in the SSS during Marcos’ time banning the investment of its funds in stock markets and the like -- a rule that began to whittle under FVR’s time with Rene Valencia, and which would have accelerated under Nañagas but thankfully shelved after intense opposition from the SSS union.

Bankers, corporations, and politicians: These constitute the generation of self-seekers whom Franklin D. Roosevelt indicted for the Great Depression, who are much like the self-seekers of today. We need to seek out visionaries and place them at the helm…today!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Real vs. Casino Economics

What does the collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Lehman, AIG, and now the latest financial turmoil around UK ’s HBOS and Halifax mean to ordinary folks? Free market economist Solita Monsod was quoted saying those who have no money or no money invested in these financial institutions would not be affected. That is like saying an earthquake rated 9 on the Richter Scale hitting the coast of the US -- and destroying one of the bedrocks of the global financial system, the 150-year-old Lehman -- can have no effect across the Pacific. If the impact has not yet been felt in Manila the past few days since the bankruptcy declaration of Lehman, it is because it takes any tsunami to travel a distance to strike across the ocean.

While we are watching the international cable news, thousands of Wall Street employees clear their desks and carry off boxes of their belongings out of their offices to look for other jobs (if they can find any), the financial and economic tsunami is already traveling fast to our shores. Since those US employees being laid off are consumers of export goods from Asia and the Pacific, over 300,000 such consumers are expected to be lost in the coming months. If, as it is being described now, the financial crisis in the US is going to be worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s, then millions of US jobs are bound to be lost and a collapse of the “export-oriented” Philippine economy will get worse. At the same time, the US OFW remittances constituting 30 percent of all remittances will decline dramatically.

Cash from US land-based OFWs grew by less than a percent (0.66) to $2.462 billion in the six months ending May against the same six-month period in 2007 of $2.446 billion. After the US financial collapse, this will decline rapidly. Other Philippine export markets will similarly be hit. The UK ’s Northern Rock and Bank of Scotland have already taken devastating hits. OFWs there will also start reducing remittances, and that will not be the end of the chain reaction. Italy and Spain ’s large OFW population will similarly contract their remittances. This shows the folly of Solita Monsod’s comments that irresponsibly try to hide the perils that lie ahead for the Philippines , to cover up her erroneous advocacy of financial liberalization that has made the Philippines dependent on the Western speculative financial system.

This speculative financial system is sometimes called the “casino economy,” where people or institutions with money -- or claiming to have money -- allegedly put antes or bets on various “investments” which promise very high yields for little sweat. They bet on stock market shares and futures shares (such as oil and other commodities). They even bet on the bets, insure the bets so bettors believe they are completely covered from any loss, take easy premiums and re-insure the premiums.

For instance, the home mortgage market was an investment that could not have gone wrong -- so they claimed -- because of the home as collateral; but then, it’s reused as credit card security, and reused for buying stocks and futures, even buying second property used again as collateral, ad infinitum.

But why can’t the US Federal Reserve keep printing money to shore up the collapsing financial institutions? Actually, it is doing that. The buyout of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America for $50 billion, four times its collapsed value, is bailout money from the US Fed. They’re hiding the fraud of saving criminally speculative private funds with US taxpayer loans to them, which US taxpayers will continue to pay off for years to come. They couldn’t hide it anymore for AIG, with $85 billion representing 80 percent of its $110 billion investment portfolio lost in the financial casino. However, the US Federal Reserve can’t keep on issuing credit without ending up like Zimbabwe with the 3,371.1 percent inflation of its money. So the US now wants China , Japan , Saudi Arabia et al. to “invest” in or lend to these collapsed financial companies.

All major economies in the world have degrees of dependence on the US capital markets, investments in US bonds, stocks, and the like. While the US collapse is already dragging down major Asian capital markets, it is primarily important to recognize the financial system based on financial speculation for what it is: a system which can only build a virtual economy based on paper wealth -- a great pyramiding scam that inevitably collapses, leaving tons of worthless paper in the pockets, with people hungry for jobs and food. It happened in the Great Depression; it is happening again. The worse is still to come. For the financial gangsters to escape responsibility, they will create a new World War.

Real economics is about real people and real goods, not paper wealth. Countries will have to turn away from the stock, money and futures markets to the real physical markets — production and trade of food, manufactured goods and exchange of services. To do this, the Philippines must reduce interest rates and direct credit toward agricultural production, mineral extraction and the processing and manufacturing sectors. China lowered its interest by 1 percent the day Lehman’s declared bankruptcy; the US Fed will lower rates by 25 percentage points. In contrast, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ Tetangco recently announced another raising of interest rates. He should be lined up and shot!

For good measure, the finance managers going up with Gloria on stage for the mid-year Economic Briefing declaring “the Philippines has weathered the economic storm” should be lined up with Tetangco as well.

The Philippines has not even weathered the 1997 Financial Crisis, with employment lagging behind job entrants according to the recent ADB report, coupled with the fall from No. 77 to No. 90 in the UN Human Development Index. Ralph Recto then should be on the firing line’s center stage for claiming his eVAT helped RP weather the US economic storm, together, of course, with Gloria for accelerating liberalization and privatization for these global finance speculators.

Filipinos must get out and take their money out of the casinos, go to fields and factories to plant rice and vegetables, raise cara-buffaloes for milk and meat, and build factories to manufacture shoes, tractors and trains. This is real economics, the only way to ensure our future. To do this, a coalition of nationalist civilian forces, backed by our nationalist military leaders, should provide leadership. Take the cue from South America ; they’re doing just fine.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

China: Enabling a Disabled World

The World Blind Union’s Kiki Nordstrom says it best about Beijing ’s hosting of the world’s paraplegic Olympics: “ Beijing ’s Paralympics opens up path(s) for (the) disabled into society.”

It is awe-inspiring indeed to see disabled athletes from all over the world -- the blind running in track events (strung by the wrist to a seeing guide-runner) and the wheelchair-bound racing the oval -- and to watch winners burst with joy, marveling at the triumph of the human spirit over disabilities.

The disabled today are no longer outcasts as they quickly rise from the limitations set by their circumstances. And to that end, Beijing ’s munificent hosting of the 2008 Paralympics has naturally earned accolades from the world and showcased the Chinese people’s humanity and hospitality at their best.

From the Beijing Olympics last 08-08-08 down to the Paralympics which opened on September 11, China has overwhelmed the World not only with its awesome capabilities for mobilizing capital and technology for any undertaking but also with its people’s capacity for social discipline and hospitality. One million citizen-volunteer-ushers all over Beijing helping Olympic fans and visitors with their utmost care and service has without doubt become the largest and most palpable of China’s international undertakings that it has generated not only tremendous goodwill but more importantly, conveyed the echoes of the Olympic spirit in keeping with China’s mantra of “One World, One Dream.”

Just to contrast: While China has spent billions building the harmony of civilizations, the US continues to spend billions, creating wars in all four corners of the globe.

China , by its lavishing of immense resources and energy onto its “One World, One Dream” Olympic project, has enabled the world to take a new look at itself. It was the first break in the dark clouds of war that had overtaken the world’s horizons since US President George W. Bush was inaugurated in 2001, which had divided the world between itself and its so-called “Axis of Evil” nations, which was quickly followed by its withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty on December 2001, and later, its reversal of the “no first strike” nuclear policy.

Just over a decade before, “glasnost,” “perestroika” and concessions Russia yielded to for its dialogue with the West all offered hope for the long-awaited end to the global “arms race,” ensuring permanent peace for the world.

But alas! Eight hundred years after the last of the eight Crusades of the West, George W. Bush and his cabal of neo-conservative ideologues of Western hegemony attempted to re-ignite religious war between Christianity and Islam yet again.

Chief among these neo-cons was Samuel Huntington, commissioned to write “The Clash of Civilizations” to lay the predicate of the “historic inevitability” of the global religious war -- make that perpetual war -- that only profits the corporatocracy-funded neo-conservatives. This they did as they prepared for the new “Pearl Harbor” in the form of the World Trade Center “attack,” which provided the pretext for the invasion of Afghanistan (where Unocal maintains an oil pipeline) and Iraq (violating UN consensus and where US oil now has a lock on its contracts).

Yet throughout this period of the “Clash of Civilizations” upon which Bush built his “War on Terror,” China has been promoting the principle of “Harmony of Civilizations” based on Confucian principles. In the past decades, especially during celebrations of Confucius’ millennial birthdays, there have been various international conferences discussing these contrasting philosophies of world evolution.

President Hu Jintao first expounded the concept of “a harmonious world” at the UN Summit in 2005 commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the UN’s founding and expressed the Chinese people’s wish to maintain world peace and promote mutual progress.

Last year, the Xinhua Net covered one such event and reported, “World Conference on Sinology Criticized the Theory of Clash of Civilizations and called for the Building of a Harmonious World.”

Frankly, the US has crippled the world towards making peace by its systematic dismantling of the building blocks towards this global peace, which are civility in international relations, non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs, respect for international borders, and fair international trade relations.

Unfortunately, Russia has found itself seriously disadvantaged over the past decades by the US’ treachery against the Eurasian continent, which has also caused China to suffer the worst of the West’s calumnies on Tibet and even the anti-China propaganda in the run-up to the Beijing Games -- with the latest affront being the US’ violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NNPT) as it sells nuclear weapons technology to non-signatory India while leaving other signatories like China shortchanged. But then, NNPT member Iran is likewise being persecuted by the US in favor of Israel , which to this day, refuses to sign said treaty.

Truly, the litany of US transgressions is limitless. Just look at the long list of continuing atrocities it has and continues to commit in the Philippines and anyone will get a clear picture -- from the murders of Filipinos in the former US bases in Clark and Subic, to the Michael Meiring bombings in Davao in 2002, to its current conspiracy to take the oil and natural gas riches of Mindanao away from the Filipino nation.

Ninety-nine percent of Philippine opinion writers and broadcasters are simply superficial and are toadies of US political culture to be taken seriously on matters of global history and international relations. While it is evident in Western media that Bush, Obama and McCain all declare the imperative to expand war, like the Afghan War and its intrusion into Pakistani territory, China is expanding international cultural dialogue as evidenced by its official Chinese CCTV 9 programs.

The Philippines should look to China for a view of what its role could be in the global evolution towards peace and harmony. Witek John of Georgetown University said that the traditional Chinese doctrines of Confucius and Mencius illustrate the essence of humanity, which can be used to promote harmonious development in the world. Professor Zhang Liwen from Renmin University of China, famous for his theory of “Study of Harmony” (he he xue), proposed five fundamental principles for the building of a harmonious world: 1) Harmonious Life, 2) Harmonious Co-existence, 3) Harmonious Independence , 4) Harmonious Development, and 5) Harmonious Love.

China has no military bases outside its country while international NGOs tag 700 US foreign military bases in more than 60 countries. China ’s international relations will place commerce and cultural mutualism as priority -- not imperialism.

China today enables the world with peace that Bush has disabled with war.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

False flags – are you fooled?

“False flag operations are covert operations conducted by governments, corporations or other organizations which are designed to appear as if they are being carried out by other entities. The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is, flying the flag of a country other than one’s own. False flag operations are not limited to war and counter-insurgency operations, and have been used in peace-time; for example, during Italy ’s strategy of tension.” — Wikipedia

“How many buildings collapsed in the 9/11 World Trade Center ‘attack’,” I often ask groups that I have coffee with to test their understanding of what happened in the World Trade Center complex in New York on Sept. 11, 2001. Nine out of 10 would answer without hesitation that two buildings collapsed. One would either be uncertain and say that he seems to have an impression that more than two buildings collapsed or another would say even more buildings had collapsed. The fact is, three buildings collapsed. WTC 1 and 2 -- the North and South Towers -- were hit by airplanes and collapsed allegedly due to the heat from the exploding planes and jet fuel; but a third building, WTC 7, also collapsed, which was never hit by any airplane; yet it collapsed.

Even more intriguing is the fact that the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) reported on air the collapse of WTC 7 20 minutes before it actually happened, giving rise to the belief that the people stage-managing the news were fed the information too early and screwed up -- as it’s all caught on TV footage. There is also a video footage available on YouTube of the WTC building complex owner, Larry Silverstein, saying he ordered to “pull it” on WTC 7 — which, in building demolition language, is an order to demolish a building. Larry Silverstein bought the complex about six months before 9/11 and added “terror attack” to the insurance coverage while he had a security company handling the security of the complex which had a Bush brother on the board.

There is an article on the Internet entitled, “70 reasons you should doubt the official 9/11 story” that I suggest for readers to Google to learn more. I can only cite a few crucial reasons in this limited space: 1) aviation fuel can burn only at a maximum of 1,500°F while the special structural steel of the WTC buildings were designed to withstand up to 2,750°F heat, 2) WTC 1 and 2 fell flat out in just over nine and a half seconds or at free fall speed, and any resisting structures were simultaneously removed as the top fell, which is only possible in a virtually simultaneous explosion of each floor, 3) there is no building in history, some almost as tall and decades older than WTC and being 10 times longer, that has ever collapsed from fire. These are only three of the 70 other reasons you should study.

Over 400 US scientists (physicists, architects, engineers, explosive experts, etc.) and thousands of experts all over the world have come forward to oppose the official version of what happened on 9/11 at the WTC. Michael Moore started the documentary critiques of the official version with Fahrenheit 9/11 which was followed by Loose Change 9/11 (now in its third or fourth editions), the 9/11 Mysteries and 9/11 Chronicles, and now an Italian investigative production entitled ZERO. There are also German and Japanese productions -- the latter has one proving that the so-called cell phone calls from the airplanes to the ground were not possible at that time because of technological limitations. The 9/11 Truth Movement skeptics are gaining more ground as time moves on -- a sure sign that it has truth on its side.

According to an ABC News poll, in October 2001, 92 percent of US citizens approved of “the way Bush (was) handling the US campaign against terrorism.” Today, that number has dropped to 53 percent. The numbers mirror those in a CBS and Gallup poll. According to a May Zogby survey, 42 percent of the US population believes the government concealed evidence contradicting official accounts of the events of that day, and 45 percent believes there should be another investigation. According to an August Scripps Howard-Ohio University survey, 36 percent of the US population believes it is “very or somewhat likely that federal officials either participated in or allowed the attacks to happen to justify war in the Middle East .” Celebrities who doubt that al-Qaeda “did it” include Gov. Jesse Ventura, Charlie and Martin Sheen, Rosie O’Donnell, and others.

What is beyond doubt in the 9/11 WTC attack saga is that Bush, Cheney and the neo-cons used it as the excuse to declare the “War on Terror,” thereafter attacking Afghanistan and Iraq, raising defense industry stocks and imposing Draconian statues in the US and elsewhere -- like the Philippines, which was compelled to enact anti-terror laws too.

Here, this column has been the chief advocate of educating the Filipino public about “false flag” operations because it is the key to liberating the Filipino mind from the manipulation of powerful forces who can create heinous, violent events to spin in media and manipulate mass perceptions toward political-economic objectives. “False flag” operations have been standard political tools since historian Hannah Arendt studied the Nazi’s “Reichstag Fire” false flag operation which allowed Hitler to impose his police state over Germany .

Filipinos have been increasingly victimized by “false flag” operations in the past decades, from the incompetent “ambush me” of Juan Ponce Enrile in the build-up toward Martial Rule of Marcos, to the FIDEL (Plaza Ferguson, International airport, Dusit Hotel, Edsan Transit and LRT) bombings by Gloria henchmen but blamed on various Islamic movements (and even on Erap and Lacson) but meant to depose Erap, the Glorietta bombing which Bert Gonzales attempted to blame on Muslim extremists as a pretext to imposing emergency measures, and the Basilan Massacre of Marines to divert AFP focus from Manila to Basilan while Gloria “convicted” former President Estrada. The recent Kato and Bravo attacks on Mindanao communities are also a deliberate diversion to shift blame for the MILF MoA fiasco away from Gloria.

Some classic “false flag” operations have involved one by CIA agent Michael Meiring in Davao in 2002, which aimed to create tension while the US regrouped the MILF after being scuttled by Erap in 2000 and, of course, “Operation Greenbase,” which the Magdalos exposed at Oakwood.

Remember: “By way of deception, thou shalt do war.” — Mossad

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Agustin Chan turns in his grave

Ilocos Sur CoA provincial auditor Agustin Chan was closing his investigation on the financial shenanigans of an Ilocos Sur governor -- from an invisible tomato paste plant to billions in tobacco subsidies that could not be found -- until these were all traced back to the governor.

Before Chan could even finalize his report, he was gunned down and killed in Barrio Bantay, Ilocos Sur, along with his driver Alex Recacho on October 4, 2001. If motive were the only prime element in murder, then the governor Chan was investigating should have been the chief suspect right off the bat.

Yet there has never been an investigation on this heinous act. In fact, over the years under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, this suspect has even risen to the highest ranks of government power.

The Agustin Chan murder will be eight years old this October, yet it remains unsolved. All this time, Chan’s family has been overtaken by a gloom that has taken its toll on the morale of the children, who have all but lost faith in society and the system.

Also, during this span of time, the prime murder suspect has continued to spread the scourge of social decay and oppression all over society, with jueteng abetted by the ruling powers, which have no regard for law and even less for justice.

But then, there is no more law in Philippine society today, only the rule of force and corruption by gangsters and hoodlums in uniform, robes, and sultanas.

I include the sultana-donning priests because of the proliferation of jueteng today, which they used as a pretext to launch Edsa II to oust a law-abiding president.

And now, could you even imagine the chief jueteng promoter being promoted to secure the nation? What is he to secure -- jueteng?

While one bishop has postured himself to be the arch-nemesis of jueteng, he nonetheless obfuscates the campaign by pulling the rug from under the only Catholic leader, Gov. Ed Panlilio, who has actually done something to stop it by joining the call for him to vacate the governorship.

I almost forgot to include the gangsters in business suits who supported the jueteng governor in Edsa II. They are as silent today because as evil politics entrenches itself, it pays them off with inordinate corporate profits.

We understand Senator Ping Lacson’s plaintive lament on the Philippine Star’s headline, “Exposing gov’t anomalies really tiring, says Lacson.” That is why despite the highest negative rating of any Philippine president in history, the demonstrations and rallies against Gloria have been growing steadily tepid as angry people face the same sentiment -- exposés and protests are useless against a regime that is not bound by any moral or legal precepts.

Stealing from the people’s coffers, murdering innocents, corruption of government and society -- these evils are growing in severity and nothing in the arsenal of law and justice has any potency anymore. Only the use of counter-force remains and this, it seems, is what the oppressive rulers are inviting.

Gloria’s sect of political evil and its rule over our government is the main issue in Philippine society today. This high priestess and her religion of greed and corruption have relentlessly pursued the corruption, dehumanization and dismemberment of this nation -- blighting the entire history of this country.

We ask each and everyone who claims to desire to lead this country of what they say about this. It is a timely question because there are already a number posturing to lead this nation. For Senator Villar, for example, what can he now say considering his role in fast tracking this evil sect to power when he was Speaker of the House in 2000? And what will he say once his own evil loans are exposed in the course of the campaign in the coming months? Is he then any different from Gloria?

This early, Villar doesn’t seem to be shy of manipulating surveys to make it appear he is really in the running. A latest SWS poll was ingenuously geared to show Villar rising in the surveys, contrary to his very poor showing in the Pulse Asia survey earlier. The variance on Chiz Escudero and Erap in the SWS poll was too big to be credible, a ploy which may have worked had SWS not had the damaged reputation from its 2004 “exit poll,” where it projected a huge Metro Manila victory for Gloria, only to be thrashed when the actually counting ended, as FPJ won overwhelmingly in all Metro Manila cities and towns, except in the Villars’ Las Piñas bailiwick. It was such a grievous error that SWS’ Mahar Mangahas had to apologize in October 2005 after finding out that their subcontractor, led by Jayjay Soriano, had “massaged” the survey.

Truly, the only leadership that can cure the cancer Gloria infected this country with and untangle all the legal and constitutional mess must be her exact opposite. This leadership must be truly human, stringently honest, principled, law abiding, unselfish and creative. It must also be perceptive enough to have seen through the masquerades of Gloria and her cabal right from the start.

Those who still feign ignorance over Gloria’s malevolence in the run up to Edsa II are all paradigms of hypocrisy. Her record from the Garments Board to the Pinatubo Commission had already displayed her amoral greed. It’s just that “civil society” used her greed and evil for their own greed and corruption, as what Villar did.

The electoral process in the Philippines, like in the US, is a circus keeping ordinary folks enthralled while exploiting rulers perpetuate themselves through electoral and campaign laws, which are only meant to be violated.

This early, Villar is already buying media time and has gotten Joe de Venecia’s endorsement -- though a kiss of death by any standards. The NPC, meanwhile, waits to field candidates who will do its oligarch-master’s bidding. As for the Comelec, Chairman Melo has failed yet again, presiding over the farce that was last ARMM elections despite the promise of automation.

Without doubt, “The Last Revolution” is the final option. As Ding Lichauco calls for a non-electoral manner of re-installing President Estrada for his open declarations against Gloria and foreign interference, Gen. Danilo Lim, Senator Trillanes and the Bagong Katipuneros are also ready to lead. Then, and only then, can the Agustin Chan’s of the land finally rest in peace.

(Tune in to: Talk News TV on GNN, Destiny Cable Channel 3, tomorrow at 8:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. with guest, His Excellency, Amb. Manuel Perez Iturbe of Venezuela; Kape’t Kamulatan, Kabansa on 1098AM, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.; and Suló ng Pilipino every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the same station)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Western-led assaults on RP and Thailand

It is easy to get confused about what’s going on in Thailand . But one thing’s clear: A self-styled democratic movement called People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) has forcibly occupied an elected Prime Minister’s premises, and blocked airplane and train stations, which have started to cripple the Thai economy.

Ostensibly, some distinguishing features of PAD’s leadership are: 1) they speak good English, 2) they are moralistic, white collar, intelligentsia and lay religious types like the Edsa I and II “civil socialites” here, and 3) they look down on the Thai “masa” especially rural folk who have resoundingly given Thaksin and the current Prime Minister Samat their electoral mandates. But what's lesser known is that they are wards of Western ideological and financial sources like the National Endowment for Democracy and George Soros.

Amid all the hoopla, the PAD’s real target has been Thaksin, charging him with massive corruption. His personal and family fortunes are, however, known to precede his stint as prime minister. Thaksin built his multi-billion dollar Shin Corp. telecoms empire before he sold it to Temasek Holdings, a Singaporean firm with a bevy of Chinese investments, according to some sources.

That sale exacerbated his political troubles as Western and traditional domestic aristocratic interests were incensed that the sale did not benefit them. However, the start of his troubles preceded that as two of Thaksin’s policies already ran counter to powerful geopolitical forces in the Indochinese peninsula.

The West has long used Thailand as a trading post for opium grown by historic British clients such as the Karen in Myanmar , as well as, the US ’ cohorts like the Kuomintang-led Khun Sha Army in the Golden Triangle.

As a former Thai police official, Thaksin had committed to eradicate illicit drugs in Thailand with a serious iron fist policy. In 2003, he ordered summary justice against suspected drug dealers, which “human rights” groups all over the world protested.

Human Rights campaigners, though, can serve double purposes as they protect the so-called “rights” of drug dealers (something which Opium War victim China doesn’t care to appreciate). As we all know, the opium trade was pioneered by the Brits.

The nationalist US publication EIR sent an article by Michael Billington, which we quote: “The Soros-linked mobs on the streets today against Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, as in 2006 against the former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, are but a continuation of Soros's brutal economic destruction of Thailand in 1997 on behalf of his British controllers…It is also no coincidence that Prime Minister Thaksin's ‘war on drugs’ in Thailand in 2003 was a major target of the global Soros-funded human rights mafia, building towards the 2006 coup, nor that Prime Minister Samak has discussed reviving the war on drugs this year.”

Drugs from the Indochinese peninsula have been Western imperialism’s currency in this region, like Colombian drugs in Oliver North’s Iran-Contra operations.

Meanwhile, the other policy of Thaksin contrary to the West’s agenda was the massive rural development initiative of his Village Revolving Fund (70 billion Baht for 70,000 villages), which boosted rural production, incomes and spending. Although this was vote-buying, as alleged by the PAD, even the Economist magazine had to grant this as a positive boost to the Thai economy.

Like the PAD, the IMF-WB painted it negatively too, claiming it was “subsidizing” the poor, which to my mind, should be appreciated as plowing money to the sectors where it is needed most, which makes “trickle up” economics most effective. But then, this naturally didn’t sit well with the traditional power elite in Thailand as political power tended to be diffused away from the center.

Interestingly, Asia Times’ Shawn Crispin has another perspective: “While the US maintained strong ties with Thaksin's authoritarian administration, particularly through cooperation on counter-terrorism issues, there were concurrent concerns in Washington that the ethnically Chinese Thaksin was gradually moving Thailand closer to Beijing at the United States’ strategic expense.”

Among other issues, Crispin cites the role of Thaksin in arranging the first satellite link with Myanmar, which the West adamantly opposed.

My point in writing this piece is to help the Filipino observer of the current Thai crisis see through the PAD and Western reportage of alleged “corruption,” and appreciate the underlying pressures exerted by Western imperialism, using well-funded “civil society” lackeys.

At the same time, we must note how the Thai military is behaving, as it is unwilling to crack down on the economic sabotage being committed by PAD because of the role of US-controlled retired military officers. Like Fidel V. Ramos in the Philippines who maintains a special relationship with the US military-industrial complex, there are numerous Thai generals in the same league.

The revered Thai monarch, too, has an enigmatic role in the Thai military inaction, but has apparently shirked in his duty to maintain law and order in the current crisis. No doubt, if the demonstrators were poor rural folks, the Thai military would have cracked down on them, and cracked skulls and bones or even started mowing them down as they have done in the past -- like the massacre of our poor in Edsa III.

Truly, Western imperialism is still the main issue today. In Thailand , the West wants to overturn the democratic vote and establish a 70-percent appointed parliament. In the Philippines , the US is supporting a Kosovo Liberation Army-type MILF to create a new state in Mindanao .

But through it all, only one Filipino political leader has stepped forward to tell it like it is, instructing the US Embassy to “keep off our Mindanao conflict,” and he’s none other than President Joseph E. Estrada.

He is the same democratically-elected leader whom the US deposed with the help of local “civil society” in order to pursue the plunder of our country and the Balkanization of Mindanao.

As Sun Tzu once said, “…know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.”

In Mindanao, the real enemy is not the petty MILF but the US ; in Thailand , it is not the PAD but the British opium network. As nationalism and genuine mass-based democracies grow in response to Western imperialism; so should a third most important principle for this part of our world -- “ Asia for Asians.”

(Tune in to: Talk News TV on GNN, Destiny Cable Channel 3, Tuesday at 8:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Kape’t Kamulatan, Kabansa on 1098AM, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.; and Suló ng Pilipino every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the same station. Also, check out: http://hermantiulaurel.blogspo

Monday, September 1, 2008

Revolution Precedes Good Governance

While apologists of appeasement from mainstream media, government, and foreign-sponsored NGOs on the MoA-AD obfuscate the issues, other tentacles of Western imperialism continue to rape our economy and deceive our people. The Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (Wesm), for instance, will raise power rates by P1 per kilowatt-hour, at a time when it should be drastically lowering rates because of much lower fuel costs. At the same time, while the people awaken to US imperialism as they witness its manipulation of the Arroyo-MILF MoA-AD swindle, the US-sponsored Ramon Magsaysay Awards is propagating false hopes and palliatives through do-gooder “icons” to counter the nation’s rising revolutionary consciousness.

The Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) created the Wesm supposedly as a market clearing house to promote competitive pricing (or lower rates), as well as, prevent market manipulation. But the truth should now be obvious to all -- the Wesm has brought about the reverse of all that it had promised. What it has only succeeded to remove is any regulation on the power sector, whereby Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and distributors now charge the highest rates possible under “prevailing” supply conditions.

Take the most recent rate increase excuse: Low-cost coal and natural power plants tripped and broke down, causing the average price to rise due to purchases from high-cost, fossil-fueled generation plants through the Wesm.

Under ideal circumstances, Meralco, for instance, should buy straight from the National Power Corporation (Napocor) where electricity prices are always cheaper. But the Epira prevents this because it mandates all electricity supplies to be bought only through the Wesm, where power distribution and IPP companies have interlocking participation -- meaning, control and interests beyond the purview of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). This is how Meralco manipulates prices by buying from its sister IPPs instead of Napocor. Furthermore, the Wesm also adds a layer of profit for electricity traders -- another one of the many abuses now part of our system because of Epira.

In contrast, during pre-Epira days, the now defunct Energy Regulatory Board had real power and ensured public review as the State monopoly averaged electricity rates from its broad generation mix.

Meanwhile, there’s been much hoopla over the Ramon Magsaysay (RM) Awards. I wonder, though, if the great Asian anti-colonial, independence leaders and nation-builders would have gotten such awards. As I reviewed the RM Awards list from 1958 to the present, I could not find the truly great Asians there, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Mao Tse Tung, Chou En Lai, Deng Xiao Peng, Ho Chi Minh, Sukarno, Rahman, Mahathir and others. Sure, there are a lot of Asian do-gooders who are worthy of awards for their individual achievements and good deeds, but to project this award as a standard for leadership for the nations of Asia is stretching it too far. At its worst, it is used as a platform for launching US mascots for political leadership in the region, especially in the Philippines .

The headlines ensuing from the present RM Awards is “good governance,” as if that motherhood statement is the complete, definitive final answer to the crises plaguing many Asean nations like the Philippines . The proposition identifies itself both as a definition of the problem and the solution: There is bad governance; therefore, the solution is good governance. But it skips the middle question: What prevents good governance from happening? The standard answer as always is corruption. Yet China , India and Vietnam all have corruption. So why are they registering fantastic growth rates while the Philippines languishes? With its so-called “free press,” the Philippines certainly cannot be more corrupt than those countries!

Truth is, progressive Asian countries have patriotic and revolutionary leadership. There is no benefit to a nation if the much-touted “good governance” is tailored to foreign interests with a domestic exploitative clique in tow.

Would the RM Awards recognize advocates of actions such as: 1) rejection of unjust foreign debt; 2) protection of the national patrimony and economy from foreign exploitation; and 3) pursuit of an independent international policy?

Surely, can any good governance succeed if 70 percent of a country’s revenues go to debt payment? Can a nation grow if it is a net capital exporter because foreign and local corporations are siphoning huge profits out? Can a nation survive while being subservient to foreign interests and international relations?

We started this column by citing the electricity sector because it typifies the foreign corporate control and abuse of Philippine wealth. Then we shifted to the RM Awards for its questionable standards.

Grace Padaca is a good human being and an honest local leader, but whether she will be a paradigm for national leadership as the US-funded RM Awards and Joe Almonte’s “Kaya Natin” project is grooming her to be remains to be seen.

Or will she be just another Cory Aquino, an immaculate Western-supported figure who started this nation’s march to collapse?

Perhaps expectedly, keynoting the awards was Big Business scion Augusto Zobel de Ayala, big captain of the Ayala group that raised our water rates by 2,000 percent, on top of the billions in tax holidays it obtained from the Arroyo government, which it helped install in 2001. The Ayalas’ feigned role in nurturing “good governance” reminded me of Keynes’ words: “Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men for the nastiest of motives will somehow work for the benefit of all.”

Philippine society needs a complete overhaul with its system turned inside out -- its rulers and institutions subservient to Western, corporate and feudal interests completely replaced by patriotic and revolutionary leadership that kowtows only to the nation and the people’s welfare.

In specific terms, the new leadership must: Free the nation of its Debt Trap; pursue its self-reliance and self-sustainability, as well as, reserve all public utilities and natural resources for national development, and never for profit; build a strong and independent defense system, including a people’s army; pursue an independent foreign policy with emphasis on relations will anti-imperialist nations such as Venezuela; and support a multi-polar world that gives more room for smaller nations to grow.

Revolution or systemic change -- one that’s peaceful or otherwise -- precedes good governance. The present crises we face, from the economic collapse to the continuing threat of Mindanao ’s dismemberment, should awaken and galvanize all Filipinos to gravitate toward the leadership of patriots, from political leaders like President Estrada to nationalist intellectuals like Ding Lichauco, to soldier-leaders like General Danilo Lim, Senator Antonio Trillanes and the Bagong Katipuneros (a.k.a. Magdalos).

(Tune in to: Talk News TV on GNN, Destiny Cable Channel 3, tomorrow at 8:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. with guest, Cuban Amb. Jorge Rey Jimenez; Kape’t Kamulatan, Kabansa on 1098AM, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.; and Suló ng Pilipino every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the same station.)