Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Apparently, the Second Aquino Administration sees this as HERESY! *BLAM!*

For one reason or another, the original article in the Manila Standard Today's website redirects to an adult site unless you're reading from outside the country. Compare #6 of the 14 Defining Characteristics of Fascism (Controlled Mass Media). Feel free to copy and paste the following text, and give the 250 Families a pair of middle fingers while you're at it.


‘Secret lunch story sparks angry voices’
By Francisco S. Tatad

MalacaÑang tried but failed on Monday to disprove this paper’s story about President B. S. Aquino III’s purported secret lunch meeting with Janet Lim Napoles at the Music Room of the Palace before the reputed pork barrel queen and former fugitive from justice “surrendered” on the evening of August 28.
As the story went viral online, angry voices in the social media began calling for Aquino’s impeachment.
It seems an improbable and wishful scenario, given Aquino’s virtual control of Congress, particularly the House of Representatives, which has the exclusive power to initiate all case of impeachment. But the call seems to show the anger of people who feel they have been betrayed. Absent any support from the “pork”-conflicted lawmakers, the angry netizens could simply turn to the streets and call for Aquino’s resignation instead.
This is not without precedent. Joseph Ejercito Estrada was ousted in a coup after a botched impeachment trial fueled by an “Erap resign” movement. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who succeeded him, had to survive ten years of continuing calls for her resignation and threats of impeachment.
On August 26, the so-called “Million People March” at Rizal Park and similar other marches in various parts of the country and abroad demanded the scrapping of the lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Fund and the President’s humongous “pork” presented as “lump sums” in the national budget. This was fueled by anger in the social media against Napoles’ and some lawmakers’ alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam over a period of 10 years.
But at the end of the day, some critics thought the crowds were not angry enough. This time, some people seem to believe Aquino’s reported secret lunch with Napoles could produce “better results.”
The Office of the Presidential Spokesman tried to deny parts of this paper’s story, which appeared under this writer’s byline, by saying —and using some footage, too—that at 10:00 am Aquino was addressing the 8th East Asia Conference on Competition Law and Policy at Sofitel, and at 1:30 pm, the 27th Apolinario Mabini Awarding Ceremonies at Malacanan’s Heroes Hall.
The conscript media swallowed hook, line and sinker the statement, which called this paper’s story “a tall tale” and its writer “a weaver of tales.” A modest attempt at analysis, however, should have shown that the official denial did not deny anything at all. Both the spokesman and the conscript media failed to consider that Sofitel is not quite 10 minutes away from Malacanang by presidential limousine, and that a president who delivers a short speech at 10:00 am and rushes out afterward could be back at the Palace by 10:30 am or 11 am, if he lingers a little. And that Heroes Hall is but a few steps away from the Music Room.
Above all, the official statement failed, and the conscript media failed to notice its failure, to dispute the story’s basic information that Napoles came to the Palace escorted by presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda at 10:30 am (not 10 am) and was immediately conducted inside the Music Room where she remained in “closed door” conversation with Aquino (obviously after his engagement at Sofitel), Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II and Lacierda, and eventually Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, and Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., until 4:30 pm.
According to the story, Aquino left the room three times between 2 pm and 3.30 pm, and then finally left for good at 4 pm. According to the spokesman’s statement, the President was (or was supposed to be) at the Heroes Hall at 1:30 pm; at the Study Conference Room, a few steps away from the Music Room, for a meeting with Ochoa, Abad and Finance Secretary Purisima at 3 pm; and back in the same room for a meeting with the Secretary of Transportation and Communication at 4 pm.
This paper’s story is confirmed, rather than contradicted, by the spokesman’s statement. The latter contains the President’s approved schedule for the day rather than what he actually did during the day. It is altogether possible that he went to Heroes Hall, a few steps away from Music Room, at 2 pm rather than 1:30 pm for no special reason.
The spokesman’s statement quoted Abad as saying he never went to Malacanang on that day. But the same statement said Aquino met with Abad, Ochoa and Purisima at the Study Conference Room at 3 pm. How did this contradiction find its way into the spokesman’s statement?
During the whole day of August 28, Napoles carried a P10-million bounty on her head, set by the President himself, in connection with charges lodged by the National Bureau of Investigation for the alleged illegal detention of her cousin and former employee Benhur Luy. This prompted the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 to issue an arrest order, which in turn prompted her to go into hiding, from August 14. Yet Lacierda never denied having escorted the fugitive from justice to and from the Palace before they reappeared together at 9:27 pm for the formal “surrender” photo op with the President.
Malacanang’s laborious non-denial came late in the afternoon. Before that, this writer had been swamped with reports that his article had been blocked on the Internet and could no longer be posted on Facebook or forwarded to others. The first report came from Inquirer Radio in a telephone interview, then from an email from abroad, saying: “It seems your explosive piece today was censored by your ISP (Internet Service Provider). They may be putting a trace to all your bloggers. They cannot do this without the connivance of your ISP. Please investigate.”
Presumably Big Brother—the surveillance system originally imagined by George Orwell in his novel “1984” has become such a reality in our time, as Edward Snowden tells us. But if the story was entirely worthless, why should a government that sees itself above the law and all mores bother at all? And why all the invectives being thrown by the spokesman at this writer?
For most of the day there seemed to be no sign of Malacanang reacting. “They will probably not react officially,” said some loyal Aquino insiders. “But it has created quite a stir,” they added. “The lower and middle echelon guys are reacting, some positive, some negative.”
By late afternoon, however, the official statement came. It tried to build its case on the basis of the Sofitel and Heroes Hall engagements, but it made no effort to deny categorically that Napoles came to the Palace escorted by Lacierda and talked through lunch with the President and several Cabinet members, then left the Palace around 4:30 pm, escorted by the same official.
Apparently embarrassed by such mindless performance, Malacanang has now turned its attention on trying to uncover this paper’s “Deep Throat,” sources said. “Deep Throat” is the title of a 1972 American pornographic film, which the reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post adopted as a pseudonym to protect their source of the deep secrets about the Nixon administration’s involvement in the 1972 Watergate affair.
Watergate shook the US for years until President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974—the only president to do so in US history. “Deep Throat” was subsequently identified as Mark Felt, former associate director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 31 years after Watergate and 11 years after Nixon’s death.
This paper’s sources have since theorized that Malacanang first showed its inclination to protect Napoles as early as March when the NBI took cognizance of the complaint of Arturo and Gertrudes Luy and their children Arthur and Annabelle that Benur Luy was being detained against his will by Janet Lim Napoles and her brother Reynald Lim.
However, it appears Malacanang and the DOJ got their signals crossed, the sources said. After the NBI “rescued” Luy from a Napoles condominium in the South Wings Gardens of Pacific Plaza Tower at Bonfacio Global City on March 22, he started executing affidavits about Napoles’s alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam.
Napoles was alarmed. So on April 17, she wrote Aquino a letter, reportedly with the assistance of Ochoa’s former law office, denouncing the NBI for alleged “threats, intimidation and even physical harm being inflicted upon us by several unscrupulous individuals in cohorts (sic) with some ‘corrupt agents of the NBI.” The letter was reportedly handed to the President by Ochoa himself. She wanted the NBI to cease and desist.
Aquino promptly called Justice Secretary Leila de Lima about it, the sources said, and the next day she ordered the NBI to respond to Napoles’s complaints. The NBI denied the allegations. But powerful Liberal Party officials feared that the PDAF issue could involve valuable political allies. So they thought it best to let the matter “sleep” until after the May elections, the sources said. That would give them time to “clean up” the list of accountable politicians, they thought. They also thought they could also tap Napoles to “sweeten” their war chest, the sources said.
On June 10, the DOJ dismissed the charge of illegal detention against Napoles. But when the NBI moved for reconsideration, the DOJ had a change of heart and reversed its earlier ruling. This apparently did not sit well with some people in Malacanang, causing some friction between those who wanted to prosecute and those who wanted to protect Napoles.
This was why ultimately NBI Director Nonnatus Rojas had to resign irrevocably, the sources said. It is also why we could never be sure that Leila de Lima would long remain in her position, they added.

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