GMA’s war with media
By Ermin F. Garcia Jr.




As I write this column, President Arroyo announced that she has finally lifted the state of emergency in the country.  I guess, she surmised that journalists like us can now heave a sigh of relief with her monumental decision.

Thanks but no thanks.

She may have recalled her emergency powers but I doubt if she has given orders to her phalanx of unthinking police and military generals in her pocket to stop intimidating those who dare expose the shenanigans by her cronies (including members of her family) in her government.


PP 1017 was clearly aimed at the heart of media.

What was never lost to the Arroyo administration is the fact that it knows it can contain any attempts at muzzling its government or “acts of sedition” without resorting to a state of national emergency. The continuing calibrated preempted response policy and its EO 464 are enough proofs that this government has enough in its arsenal to quell and neutralize any noisy opposition to its policies.
What she didn’t have an answer to is how to silence and intimidate the media. Hence PP 1017.
Nice try. But it didn’t work. 


News by PP 1017

So what did Mrs. Arroyo, her arrogant generals and cabinet members expect media to do with the issuance of PP 1017?

They had hoped that PP 1017 would make media begin to say:

1. “Let’s move on.”

2. “Mrs. Arroyo won fair and square in the last elections. The Garci tapes were fabricated. Garci was telling the truth. No general was involved in any cheating. She never received campaign funds from jueteng operators”.

3. “No monies from Philhealth, OWWA, Road Users’ Fund and the Fertilizer fund were used in Mrs. Arroyo’s campaign.”

4. “Jocjoc Bolante did not misuse the P728M fertilizer fund.”

5. “B/Gen. Gudani, Col. Balutan, Capt. Mendoza and Michael Zuce are big liars.”

6. “Mike Arroyo and his son Mikey were never involved in jueteng. The police generals were never on the take. Boy Mayor and Sandra Cam were jueteng bagmen; Bong Pineda is a respectable businessman. Archbishop Oscar Cruz is hallucinating”.

7. “Jose Pidal never existed. There was no Vicky Toh.

8. “There is no corruption in the AFP and PNP. The Magdalo mutineers are misguided adventurers.”

9. “Senators Drilon, Lacson, Pimentel, Pangilinan, Arroyo, Villar and Congressmen Escudero, Zamora, Cayetano, Suplico, et al are incorrigible destabilizers.”

10. “The partylist congressmen are hardcore communists out to topple the government.”  

11.  “The strengthening of the peso is mainly on her account not the remittances of the OFWs.”

12. “Mrs. Arroyo will not be the President- Prime Minister for life under the Parliament system but she is the best person to lead the country.”

13.   “There was no overpricing in the construction of the Diosdado Macapagal Avenue and in the contract for the North Rail project.

14.  “Her former DOJ Sec. Nani Perez did not extort $2M from the IMPSA deal.”

15. “There is no rampant smuggling involving her husband and Vicky Toh.”

16.  “Mrs, Arroyo kept all her promises to government employees, soldiers and policemen. She never lied.”

17. “The Supreme Court led by Justice Panganiban is not beholden to her.”

Thank God, Pinoys in media will not be easily cowed. You can have them shot but you cant shut them up.


Hagibis” on the road

When was the last time anyone saw a motorcycle-riding cop giving chase (with blinking lights and wailing sirens) to fleeing suspects or over-speeding motorists? Perhaps, the question should be – did you ever see one?

Not even Pinoy movie directors or scriptwriters ever conjured such images in their work because that never happened in Pinoyland.

Well finally (and hopefully), the provincial PNP station has found something useful and worthwhile for the dashing speed cops (they who have been visibly inutile in the fight against crime and in the maintenance of peace and order) to do.

All these years, our sleek-looking motorcycle cops have proven themselves worthy and useful in only and only one thing –  to provide escort services to funerals of community VIPS,  convoys of  Speaker Joe de V and other national officials, and motorcades for every reason.

People have been so used to seeing our black-booted and helmeted cops in this fashion that most wondered if these guys even learned how to shoot.

Let’s see them move with blinking lights and wailing sirens with one difference this time – chasing suspected criminals at high speed. This way, they will still have a chance to earn medals of valor instead of simply constantly being made to wait for “TY” dole-outs for their “escort services”.


Obsession with Guinness World Records

What’s wrong with our mayors?

We have now local governments who would do all to land in the Guinness World Records but little else for the improvement of their constituents’ economic lot on a permanent basis.
Dagupan City is enamored with its claim to have the “longest barbecue grill” title, and now, the town of Alcala is out to wrest that honor. Villasis is also gunning for its own record of sorts, etc.
Can’t our mayors be motivated to work for their constituents without looking in the direction of Guinness? Not even .01% of the Philippine population is aware of the listings in the Guinness Book.   

There ought to be a more productive and lasting achievement that overseas Pangasinenses can involve themselves in.

Try gunning for “Pangasinan’s Economic Record for the World”!

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