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Archive for the ‘Ex-pat in the Philippines’ Category

Manila – Two government soldiers were wounded in a clash with communist rebels during a sweep of an eastern Philippine village, an Army spokesman said Friday. The soldiers were on combat operations in Sariaya town in Quezon province, 120 kilometres south of Manila, when they encountered a group of guerrillas.

Army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Ernesto Torres said the soldiers were scouring the village of Mamala to make sure that rebels had not re-established a base there after a clash last month.

“Two soldiers were wounded in action and were evacuated safely to a military hospital,”
he said. “They are now stable.” Communist rebels have been fighting the Philippine government since the late 1960s, making the movement one of the longest-running leftist insurgencies in Asia.

Yep, they sure have, and have made both the Phillipine Government and the army look like absolute buffoons for just as long.

MEANWHILE in Cotabato City, Philippines – At least five people were killed in a gunfight among relatives over a long-standing land dispute a regional police spokesman said Friday. Superintendent Danilo Bacas said several members of the Muslim clan were also wounded in the fighting that erupted late Thursday in a village in Datu Blah Sinsuat town in Shariff Kabunsuan province, 930 kilometres south of Manila.

“They are actually relatives by blood and by affinity, but they refused to settle their land problem amicably,” Bacas said.

Special police forces have been dispatched to keep the peace as about 20 families living on adjacent land were forced to evacuate to avoid being caught in the crossfire.

Bacas said the family members were all well-armed because they are members or supporters of Muslim rebel groups.

“Good” job there Superintendent Danilo Bacas! You readily admit they are armed and dangerous, in addition to “being members or supporters of Muslim rebel groups” and you sit around with your thumb up your ass. Asshat.

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High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens, watch out. Recently ousted American Idol contestant Ramiele Malubay is after your job.

“I really want to act for Disney Channel,” she declared when she stopped by the office yesterday to visit with the TV Fanatic, shamelessly admitting, “I haven’t watched Disney in a couple of weeks. I used to watch it every single day.”

A big fan of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Ramiele, 20, is hoping the kid-friendly network will pick her up “for anything. I would love to do it.” Disney wouldn’t have to worry about outrageous wardrobe costs for the 4’11″ singer. “I’ll buy a guy’s shirt, cut of the neck and wear it off the shoulder and I’m good. You can turn anything into a dress when you’re short.” A Zac Efron toss-off never looked so good!

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Two Filipinos, Edwin S. Antolin, 52, and Crisanto R. Ramos, 29, arrived in Hong Kong a board a Cathay Pacific flight from Dubai.

These two mental midgets decided to take two of the airlines life jackets as “souvenirs.”

Both Filipinos denied knowing each other and were seated on different rows when they arrived here at around 2:20 p.m. on Tuesday for a connecting flight to Manila.

Antolin put the jacket in his blue traveling bag, while Ramos hid his in a red shopping bag. They did not foresee that they would be arrested and charged in court for taking “souvenirs.”

What these two nitwits didn’t plan on was going through an X-ray machine before they taking their connecting flight home. The “suspicious objects” were detected in their bags and they were promptly hauled before Tsuen Wan Principal Magistrate Andrew Ma who imposed the fines of HK$2,000 (P10,700) each.

For that oversight in criminal planning. and perpetrating Stupid Filipino Trick #5,983,028, these two are awarded Cranial Cavity’s Asshat of the Day Award.

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Filipino-American Idol Ramielle Malubay finally got the ax on American idol quashing her dream of becoming the first Asian Idol.

Making the top ten is no easy task and frankly I’d like to know who coached her in song selection. Once she made the top 24 her performances hardly matched up with everything that went before. A consistent criticism was song selection and Malubay, or her coach, didn’t take the hint.

Moreover, she seemed not to be mentally prepared for all that is the American Idol. Although 20 years old she has the shy demeanor of a young teenager. Once on the big stage her performances suffered as a result.

Her future in all probability isn’t a return to the sushi bar she worked at, she does have some talent, but it won’t be as some mega-star in the United States either. She’ll get some stateside support as did her Fil-Am predecessor Jasmine Trias but her future resides in the Philippines.

Jasmine Trias has done local television commercials and billboard ads for McDonald’s, Smart Telecommunications, Hapee Toothpaste, and Bench Clothing. Although her CD was certified platinum in the Philippines it only sold approximately 15,000 copies in the states.

Expect to see Malubay making the rounds of Filipino game & entertainment shows shortly after her American Idol top ten tour is finished.

Then quietly disappear.

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Forgettable, says Idol’s Cowell on Ramiele Malubay’s latest performance.

I haven’t taken the time to look but feel reasonably certain a tour of the Filipino blogs would show a near cult-like following for American Idol’s “littlest star.”

In short, no pun intended, Ramiele has a beautiful voice, cute personality, but is far from becoming a star in the U.S. I suspect she has garnered a lot of support from the Filipino community in the states, not to mention an “official” fan site, and is the sole reason she’s made it into the final nine.

In the end Ramiele will more than likely make the Final 10 Tour of American Idol and disappear from the American music scene. Her hope for stardom leads down the same path taken by Jasmin Trias and Camile Velasco, in the Philippines.

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According to Pinoy Spy Reporter Playboy is to launch a Philippine edition of the iconic mens magazine.

What’s the catch, and joke of the day you ask?

Call the Philippine’s version Playboy Lite, it will contain no nudity says Playboy Philippines editor Beting Laygo Dolor. “No, Playboy Philippines will not be more daring than FHM,” he says. “We will be adjusted to the local culture and sensibilities.”

BUWAHAHAHAHA!

What marketing “genius” thought this up?

Both FHM Philippines and Maxim Philippines offer nudity that can be seen in the checkout aisle at the local Handyman Hardware & WalterMart outlets among other places.

And it has to be said “local culture and sensibilities” include the Sex Bomb Dancers that shake their hardly covered asses daily on the Eat Bulaga! game show.

Philippines Playboy Lite… BUWAHAHAHAHA!

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Whether true or not the public’s vision of a sinking ship usually includes scenes of rats jumping overboard in an effort to save themselves.

In the case of Philippine President Arroyo and her sinking ship of State it appears as though she has pre-empted the “rats.” All day yesterday the country was awash in rumors some of Arroyo’s Cabinet members would be resigning in protest over allegations of election rigging.

Last night in an address over state run radio she called for the resignations of her entire cabinet and remained steadfast in her determination to stay in office. “First of all, I am not resigning my office,” Arroyo said. “At the same time, I will restructure and strengthen the Cabinet. I am asking the entire Cabinet to tender their resignations.”

She said her new Cabinet would have a free hand in governance while she focuses on fundamental changes to the constitution and the political system. How a mass resignation and re-naming of new cabinet members would alleviate the current political pressure is certainly debatable. It all smacks of a desparation move on her part. It’s also doubtful it would improve her current standing with the public. A poll released Wednesday showed only two of every 10 Filipinos still trust Arroyo and nearly half believe she should no longer be president.

Until last nights radio address most members of Arroyo’s cabinet have repeatedly expressed support for the president. No longer. Friday morning, in a hastly called press conference, several Philippine cabinet officials led by Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said they have asked President Gloria Arroyo to step down and allow Vice President Noli De Castro to take over the country’s leadership. Also present were Trade and Industry Secretary Juan Santos, Budget and Management Secretary Emilia Boncodin, Education Secretary Florencio Abad, Social Welfare Development Secretary Corazon Soliman and Agrarian Reform Secretary Rene Villa.

The heads of the government’s main revenue collection agencies, Guillermo Parayno of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Alberto Lina of the Bureau of Customs, also quit. Shortly after, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla announced he has resigned.

Within the last hour (13:30 PST) former president Cory Aquino, a long time ally of Arroyo, has also called for Arroyo’s resignation and to shift power to the Vice President. In short she said it would be in the best interests of the country if Arroyo stepped aside and avoided either an impeachment trail or another reoccurence of the all too familiar “people’s power” revolt in the streets of Manila.

As yet the major newspapers, other than reporting the news, have remained clear of the controversy. I suspect within a few days and with pressure building one of them will break ranks and call for Arroyo’s resignation also.

As an aside, I say Woo-Who! This is like getting a pay raise, the peso has lost value in the last two weeks and now sits at P56.45 to one US dollar. When it hits 65 to the dollar I’ve got a nice little stash to cash in.

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Consider this headline: “Arroyo may end up executed on the streets.” Of course it should be taken with a grain of salt, the statement was issued by a Philippine communist party spokesman.

Accusations that Mrs. Arroyo’s family received illegal-gambling payoffs and that she cheated in the election have plunged her government into crisis, prompting opposition calls for her resignation.

“The main issue now is how to speed up the ouster of [Mrs. Arroyo],”

Gregorio Rosal, a spokesman for the Communist Party of the Philippines—the rebels’ political wing—told DZMM radio.

“What we see is that if [Mrs. Arroyo] does not resign . . . she most probably will be forcefully booted out by the people, and the worst thing is she may meet the same fate as the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, who were toppled and executed in the streets,” said Rosal.

Meanwhile, back inside the “official government”, such as it is, Major Jason Aquino of the Army Scout Rangers was relieved as operations chief of the paratrooper unit on Sunday. Major Aquino was sacked for “politicking” after it was found out that he was the source of a pamphlet being distributed to the ranks that openly questioned Ms Arroyo’s administration.

Maj Gen Romeo Dominguez, meanwhile, quit his post as commanding general of the military’s northern Luzon command, just two days after one of his men was linked to destabilisation plots against Ms Arroyo.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s husband, accused of taking illegal gambling payoffs, left for the United States on Wednesday after his stay in Hong Kong. Amid a political storm over election rigging and other scandals that has threatened his wife’s stay in office he was summarily “tossed” out of the Philippines last week by his beloved Commander-in-Chief Hubby.

And there is this quote: “She will forever be hounded by people’s questions about her moral ascendancy and legitimacy to lead this country,” the statement said. “The most honorable thing for her to do now is to resign.”

Care to guess who it is attributed to? Nevermind, I love being the spoiler, it was issued by The Protestant National Council of Churches in the Philippines. NCCP chairman Most Rev. Ignacio Soliba uttered it in their demand for Pres. Arroyo’s resignation.

Me thinks if she has lost the church my prediction of a Christmas, at the latest, end to “Ate Glo’s” presidency is a wee bit overly optimistic.

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You could say this is satire in the best tradition of Scrappleface, but it isn’t. Philippine President Arroyo has tossed her husband out of the country to hide him from corruption allegations.

Jun 29, 2005 — MANILA (Reuters) – Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo moved dramatically on Wednesday to reduce pressure on her government from graft allegations, saying her husband had agreed to leave the country.

She did not say how long her husband, Jose Miguel and known widely as Mike, would remain abroad. Opposition lawmakers have said he, the couple’s son and other family members were involved in payoffs from gambling syndicates, but nothing has been proved.

Her husband has also been accused by the opposition of helping Arroyo try to fix the results of last year’s election in telephone conversations with an election official.

“Today, my family is once again called to sacrifice our personal happiness to allow me to serve best as president of our country,” Arroyo, her voice cracking with emotion, told a business forum in Manila.

“My husband has volunteered to go abroad. I mention this here today because I want to signal to everyone that nothing can stop my administration from implementing … our reform agenda.”

Volunteered? That’s rich, as I said it borders on being satire. It also gives “Mike” an opportunity to stash any US assets from prying legal eyes. One note of advise to the Philippine customs department. Better give “Mike” a complete inspection on his way out of the country. There’s no telling how much may be secreted out under the guise of “personnel papers.”

On a more serious note, Archbishop Oscar Cruz advised President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to “just go” and “there is life after the presidency.”

That’s most likely true, the question is will that life be behind bars.

Cross Posted On the Third Hand.

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The current vote rigging scandal has swirled around Philippines President for close to four weeks. After protest marches, calls for snap elections, rumors of government takeovers too numerous to count and portions of the alleged “smoking gun” tape becoming the latest rage in cellphone ringtones Pres. Arroyo addressed the country. What follows is the full text of her address to the nation:

Mga Minamahal kong Kababayan,

For the last several weeks, the issue of the tape recordings has spun out of control. Tonight, I want to set the record straight. You deserve an explanation; from me, because you are the people I was elected to serve.

As you recall, the election canvassing process was unnecessarily slow even after the election results were already in and the votes had been counted.

I was anxious to protect my votes and during that time had conversations with many people, including a Comelec official. My intent was not to influence the outcome of the election, and it did not. As I mentioned, the election had already been decided and the votes counted. And as you remember, the outcome had been predicted by every major public opinion poll, and adjudged free, fair and decisive by international election observers, and our own Namfrel.

That said, let me tell you how I personally feel, I recognize that making any such call was a lapse in judgment. I’m sorry. I also regret taking so long to speak before you on this matter. I take full responsibility for my actions and to you and to all those good citizens who may have had their faith shaken by these events. I want to assure you that I have redoubled my efforts to serve the nation and earn your trust.

Nagagambala ako. Maliwanag na may kakulangan sa wastong pagpapasya ang nangyaring pagtawag sa telepono.//pinagsisisihan ko ito ng lubos.// Pinana’gutan ko nang lubusan ang aking mga ginawa at humuhingi ako ng tawad sa inyo, sa lahat ng mga butihing mamamayan na nabawasan ng tiwala dahil sa mga pangyayaring ito. Ibig kong tiyakin sa inyo na lalo pa akong magsisikap upang maglingkod sa bayan at matamo ang inyong tiwala.

I took office with a mandate to carry out a plan for the nation. Since that time, I have focused on making the tough but necessary decisions to make up for years of economic neglect. We passed a comprehensive fiscally responsible national budget; raised new and necessary revenues to reinvest in the people; and implemented new anti-corruption measures that have led to the highest collection of taxes in history.

Nothing should stand in the way of this work, or the next phase of my reform agenda, which includes new investments in education and social services with our new revenues; and an expansion of our successful anti-corruption and lifestyle checks.

That is why I want to close this chapter and move on with the business of governing.

I ask each and every one of you to join hands with me in a show of unity, to help forge One Philippines, where everyone is equal under the law, and where everyone has the opportunity to use their God-given talents to make a better life.

Our nation is strong and getting stronger. The progress is steady and I ask you to walk with me on this journey to rebuild our great nation. I remain your humble servant and promise you that I will fulfill my constitutional oath of office to serve the people to the best of my ability.

God Bless the Philippines.

It should be pointed out Arroyo was required under law to make this statement. Under Section 5 of Republic Act 6713, otherwise known as the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, all public officials are required to reply within 15 working days to any query or complaint from any citizen. The complaint alleging vote fraud was filed on 12 June.

President Arroyo has remained deadly silent on the scandal until she was forced to meet this deadline. And to be honest it’s short on substance and long on platitudes. Based on these words her greatest achievement has been the passage of the controversial value added tax.

Even as she was giving her speech, behind the scenes, the government is studying the possibility of lowering the tariff duty on crude and refined oil products to soften the impact of the 10-percent value added tax on petroleum products. That would seem to undercut any gains she has already made.

The bottom line is this. Despite her claims at fulfilling her constitutional oath and serving the people, I’m sticking by my recent prediction. She’s gone by Christmas at the latest.

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