06 May 2007

Weekend notes 2: Desperation, as others weigh in

1. YESTERDAY, one of the hot news items in Naga concerned a Kampi bet for the city council who barged the other night into the campaign headquarters of Mayor Jesse Robredo at the Abonal-Soria Building along Mayflower Street and threatened his volunteers.

None of the Team Naga candidates, including the mayor, was around when Felix Repuyan, a retired police colonel running under the Kampi ticket of Jojo Villafuerte, charged in unannounced, declared that Robredo will no longer sit as city mayor, and made implied threats against those present. The incident was promptly reported in the police blotter.

Expectedly, irate calls again flooded DWNX, mostly calling the act as one of desperation. It dovetails with the climate of impunity and insanity that Philippine Star columnist Billy Esposo describes the run-up to May 14.

2. Esposo is just one of other Manila-based personalities who have continued to weigh in on Robredo's disqualification.

Alarming is the scenario he paints, characterizing as Malacañang-orchestrated the simultaneous hit jobs on Mayors Binay and Robredo as a calculated move intended to sow public disorder and justify the cancellation of the May 14 elections.

The political actions against Robredo and Binay reek of desperate measures that result from desperate situations. To avoid impending defeat, the Arroyo regime may be attempting to provoke reactions from an enraged citizenry that will justify canceling the elections. Thus, the political objective goes beyond the cities of Naga and Makati and has everything to do with Madame Arroyo’s obsession to retain power at all costs.
Inquirer editor John Nery, writing for the Current weblog of the country's leading daily, joins Winnie Monsod's fulminations and characterizes the Brawner decision as "the essential document of the 2007 vote" and a "masterpiece of deliberate obtuseness."

I also missed Bel Cunanan's piece on the subject, mainly because I hardly read the Arroyo administration's apologist in the Inquirer op-ed pages. But she also questioned the timing of this resolution, showing that Bel can also get things right from time to time. But is it because he loves JDV more and Villafuerte less?

Senator Nene Pimentel, who authored the 1991 Local Government Code, added his voice to those who criticized Comelec. "The administration-instigated disqualification move against Robredo smacks of the policy of vindictiveness being followed by the powers-that-be against independent-minded and principled local government officials who have refused to be reduced into lapdogs or surrogates of Malacañang," his press statement said.

Ellen Tordesillas also reproduces Malaya's news story on the Comelec decision.

An interesting flurry of comments in Manolo's entry on the matter, muddled lately by a UP student's allegation that Robredo carries a Taiwanese passport.

The GMA News website, on the other, hand has remarkably stayed silent on the issue.

3. Bicolano businessmen are up in arms against the intermittent brownouts that have become a fixture here lately. Yesterday, it went out for about three hours, coming back only at around 8pm.


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