05 March 2007

The week that was

ONE HOT news item related to the emergence of San Fernando Mayor Sabas Mabulo as opposition bet against Diosdado Arroyo, Jr. is the stupid attempt of some Philippine Army elements to ingratiate themselves to the presidential son, which commentators dubbed to be partisan and in bad taste.

According to radio reports, participants to an Army seminar in the first district of Camarines Sur were asked to shout "Mabuhay si Dato Arroyo!" towards the end of the event even if the putative congressional aspirant is nowhere to be seen. In a radio interview over DWNX last week, one Col. Florante Esles, Army spokesman, was insistent it was in line with their tradition to honor sponsors of their events. Along the lines of "Hello! Garci" perhaps?

But this morning, Manuel Andal of the Philcomsat fame and a cabalen of the Macapagal-Arroyos, denied any involvement in the Army fiasco in his capacity as Dato's campaign manager. With sycophants like these, who needs enemies?

Bicol Mail's print version bannered the newest update on the City Hall ejection case involving RTC Judge Filemon Montenegro, who was ordered by the Supreme Court to answer Mayor Jesse Robredo's complaint, accusing him of gross misconduct and grave abuse of authority among other charges. SC Administrator Christopher Lock also denied Montenegro's petition for reinstatement as RTC executive judge.

Unfortunately, this news item, as well many others in its March 1 issue, has yet to be uploaded on its site. The same is true with The Bikol Reporter, its main competitor; its website here is three issues late. I don't know if they realize it, but they are missing the boat here bigtime because clearly, online is the way to go. (Take Newsbreak, for instance.) And its pretty cheap nowadays; with free blogging services like Blogger and Wordpress, all these local papers need is a little technological savvy, a little more patience and lots of imagination in uploading their articles, which have surely been word processed anyway.

In other news, the political pot continues to boil as former Iriga Mayor Emmanuel Alfelor is said to be entertaining the thought of running against incumbent Gov. LRay Villafuerte, if only to ensure that the latter will not run unopposed. Albay Vice Governor Jesus Calisin is threatening to bolt Lakas-CMD after Sorsogon Gov. and regional party chair Raul Lee opts to support incumbent Rep. Edcel Lagman's reelection bid.

Lagman, as political butterflies are wont to do, is a Lakas newbie after playing a key role in defeating the two impeachment bids against President Arroyo, ditching Aksyon Demokratiko in the process. "Is this the price I get for serving the party with utmost loyalty for decades?" Calisin was quoted as saying.

In the local punditocracy, Kristian Cordero bats in the op-ed pages of Bicol Mail for the proposed name-change of the city hall-managed Plaza Quezon to Plaza Arejola, in honor of the brothers Tomas and Ludovico who figured prominently in Naga's overthrow of Spanish rule at the turn of the 19th century. The proposal, by the way, came all the way from the Sangguniang Bayan of Minalabac; it is now being deliberated on at the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

Salvador Flor of Bikol Reporter wants foreign contractors and engineers to take over construction work in the region after DPWH Regional Director Orlando Roces got his goat for saying that Legazpi City and neighboring towns are helpless against Mayon's mudflows. He pointed to the Pantao Port anomaly as another exhibit of the DPWH's ineptness.

In the Bikol bloglandia, Irvin Sto. Tomas reports a Nagueña, Beatriz Imperial Saw, has made it to the current edition of Pinoy Big Brother. Dave Oliva pens an evolving fantasy fiction based on the popular online network game Ragnarok. Jobart Bartolome goes food-tripping this time in his continuing exploration of the national languages. Master Jessie Natividad ends up 38th in a local SEO contest without really trying. And Maryanne Moll announces the winners of his blog game -- I missed the top prize by a hairline -- but ends up giving me a special token, after a little egging.


mschumey07 said...

Its sad that the AFP which is supposed to be apolitical is involved in Dato's campaign. I even heard reports that those who will not support Dato will be accused as NPAs. Lokohan na talaga ito.

dave (",) said...

Hey, thanks for the promotion! For that I'll give you some behind-the-scene tidbit ;) Basing the story on Ragnarok is just a ruse. Bicolanos, most especially, would have an inkling that it is based more on other things. I won't spoil these for others, discovering them is part of the fun, haha!

In more mundane matters, given my family background, I'm generally supportive of the military, especially when they do their job battling insurgency, terrorism and external threats. But the clumsy, stupid way the men are being handled right now disappoints me. It's times like these that I miss the late Max Soliven.

Willy B. Prilles, Jr. said...

Schumey: I guess there's gonna be a lot of them come May 14.

Dave: Is that so? Then I'll really have to read that piece more closely.:)

It's not really Max I'm missing, it's the late Teddy Boy Benigno.