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Sep 30th
Home Columns Unsolicited Advice The Arroyo “Czarzuela” Is Actually a De-facto Military Junta
The Arroyo “Czarzuela” Is Actually a De-facto Military Junta PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Unsolicited Advice
Thursday, 29 January 2009 03:22

T he recent editorial of the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) entitled “The President's Men” should have been called, “The President’s Rasputins.” We should remember Grigori Efimovich Rasputin and his influence over the royal court of Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his wife the Tsaritsa Alexandra. Well, the President-of-a-Czar Arroyo is actually propped up by at least 25 retired army-and-police generals and naval officers. Of course, many of the incumbent generals are likewise pampered as well as their retired comrades. The gang of the Filipino Rasputins is led no other than by “the Little President himself, Eduardo Ermita,” to copy the words of the PDI.


The fact is that Gloria Macapagal Arroyo became the President as a result of the EDSA-II “people-powered revolution,” which was in reality a coup d’etat. The Filipino military and police generals actually control the strings of a presidential puppet and they continue to have power over their little “czarina.” When and if President Arroyo becomes more of a liability than an asset, the Rasputins may be able to orchestrate another EDSA-type of a comedia, if not another "czarzuela," to borrow the term first used almost at the same time by Jose Caedo of San Francisco, California, and Mon Ramirez of Metro Manila.


The Filipino Rasputins are doing their best in extending the reign of their czarina (sic) by doing the Charter-Change scenario. If they are unable to do it, they will try to influence the 2010 presidential election and help elect a traditional politician who can be their next czar. But there is hope. The well-fed and well-paid generals are not complaining about the rotten Arroyo Administration but almost all of the junior officers, the rank-and-file members of the military and the police are fed-up with the corruption. The enlisted men and the law-enforcement officers at the front line who die merely get the lip service of the leaders of a grateful nation but their widows and dependents do not get the right pension and assistance from the military establishment. A clean, courageous and competent President who will be elected in the 2010 elections can and will be able to get the support of the junior officers and the good men and women of the Philippine military and police forces. The continued loyalty of the career officers and non-commissioned officers to their new Commander-in-chief is guaranteed, especially if the new President would have publicized the right platforms of government and economics during the presidential campaign.



* Editor’s Note: For an update of the Philippines-United States Relations on mutual defense and a report on the recent visit of US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, please go to



H ere are other related articles that this website recently published:


President Arroyo Gets New Title of “Czarina”


Scoop: The Philippine Government to Clone President Arroyo


The “Moro-Moro” (AKA EDSA-type of a Revolt) Again Is the National Pastime of the Philippines


More on the Trillanes-led Comedia (AKA Moro-Moro)


The Latest Coup Attempt Was Another Comedia, If Not Part II of a Moro-Moro


The “Moro-Moro” (AKA EDSA-type of a Revolt) Again Is the National Pastime of the Philippines


Readers may like also to visit the Reinventing the Philippines  column of this website and read the rest of the series on Reinventing the Philippine Military to Prevent the Coming of a Junta.  The series on the military has so far has six articles (parts).


Aside from the PDI and other Philippine and Overseas-Philippine publications, there are other national leaders like Sen. Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr., who have voiced out their voices of dissent over the conduct of President Arroyo and her Rasputins. Senator Pimentel has issued lately two press releases about the recent appointments of two more retired military officers. Here are the press releases from Senator Pimentel’s press office:


Government Told to Prosecute Palparan, Instead of Tapping Him for Drug Drive


enate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today dared the Arroyo administration to pursue the criminal prosecution of retired Army Gen. Jovito Palparan for his alleged involvement in extra-judicial killings and disappearances of political activists, instead of resurrecting his career and tapping his services in the campaign against illegal drugs.


          Pimentel said the Palace is afflicted with amnesia over the “sins” of Palparan and being impervious to public opinion by floating the idea of assigning him to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency or Dangerous Drugs Board.


          He said that a retired military officer like Palparan who has a terrible record of human rights violations is a dangerous and worst person to take a lead role in the anti-drug campaign.


          “I share the fear of concerned citizens that if the controversial general will be placed at the PDEA or DDB, he would employ the dreaded tactics he used in the military in dealing with leftist activists.  We cannot tolerate a situation where suspects in drug-related offenses will just disappear or be found floating in the waters of Pasig River,” the minority leader said.


          Senator Pimentel reminded the Palace of the recommendation of the Melo Commission to investigate the alleged involvement of Palparan and other military officers/personnel in extra-judicial execution of political activists, and if warranted by evidence prosecute them in court.


          He said the Court of Appeals, in particular, has ruled that there is a basis to continue with the prosecution of Palparan in connection with the disappearance of two University of the Philippines coeds in response to the petition of the relatives of the victims and human rights organizations.


          Pimentel decried that the Arroyo government is coddling notorious violators of human rights instead of heeding the call of the United Nations, European Union and other international organizations to improve its human rights records.


          He assailed the failure of Congress to enact the Human Rights Compensation Bill, apparently due to pressure from the Palace, thereby fueling the suspicion that the Pl0 billion fund allocated for the purpose – part of the recovered Marcos bank deposits in Swiss banks – had been squandered or diverted to election campaign by the administration.


          Pimentel drew the attention of the Arroyo government to the statement of United States President Barack Obama that it is wrong policy to pursue steps to advance the security of the state if these are made at the expense of the human rights of the people.


          “I believe that it would be better for the Arroyo government to drop its plan to name Palparan as a chief enforcer of our drug laws. It is like putting a hammer and knocking it against one’s head,” he said.


* * * * *


Pimentel Seeks Inquiry into Change of Head of National Printing Office


S enate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today called for a Senate inquiry into the circumstances behind the ouster of Enrique Agana as chief of the National Printing Office (NPO) and his replacement by retired Admiral Tirso Danga.


Danga, Pimentel noted that he was the head of Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) during the 2004 elections when operatives of the spy agency supposedly conducted wiretapping operations that produced the taped conversations between President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and then Commission on Elections Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano. In those conversations, the two supposedly discussed “special operations” on the rigging of election results in favor of Mrs. Arroyo to make it appear he won over opposition contender Fernando Poe, Jr.


Pimentel said that placing Danga as the director of NPO is like appointing a forger Governor of the Central Bank.


He said the choice of Danga as chief of the NPO, which prints official ballots and other election forms, is highly objectionable because of his alleged role in the cover-up of the massive fraud that marred the 2004 presidential elections during his stint as chief of the ISAFP.


Agana was accused of raping the girl by Napoleon Bunagan, Jr. of Valenzuela City who identified himself as a concerned citizen. However, the mother of the girl, identified in newspaper reports as Carmen, denied that there was a rape.


Carmen said the accusation against Agana was concocted by Bunagan, Francisco Datu and a woman named Yanni.


Agana said Bunagan, owner of a printing plant, and his accomplices tried to blackmail him after he disapproved a printing contract that would have earned them P33 million.


Without conducting an inquiry into the alleged rape, Malacañang decided to replace Agana with Danga.


Senator Pimentel said if there is truth behind Agana’s claim that the Palace did not give him an opportunity to present his side and clear his name, that speaks ill of the sense of fairness and justice on the part of the Arroyo administration.

“The swiftness with which the Palace removed Agana from his post and installed Rear Admiral Danga as his replacement clearly show an administration effort to put the National Printing Office under the control of a man whom it can trust despite his sullied reputation. But this only raises suspicion that this is part of a sinister agenda to manipulate the 2010 elections to keep administration forces in power,” he said.


Pimentel stressed that the NPO should be headed by a person of proven integrity, nonpartisanship and competence to prevent a repetition of irregularities in the 2004 presidential elections involving the NPO such as the alleged overprinting of ballots, election returns and other official election forms. Moreover Danga, he said, was implicated in the cover-up of the murder of Navy Ensign Philip Pestaño in 1995.


These printing irregularities were widely reported in the media and were elaborated in the Senate’s investigation of the “Hello Garci” scandal, the minority leader said.


* * * * *


Here is the PDI Editorial: The President's Men


Philippine Daily Inquirer

First Posted 22:48:00 01/28/2009 


S enate President Juan Ponce Enrile pooh-poohs concerns over President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's continuing appointment of retired military and police officials to significant positions, saying in effect that these people posed no danger to the supremacy of the civilian government. That's par for the course coming from a man with an interesting past — a defense minister and martial law enforcer who is now a senator of the realm, who was a key figure of EDSA People Power I uprising but eventually became a considered thorn in the side of the Corazon Aquino administration, and who was and is looked up to by known coup plotters and others who at one time or another swore by the swift, sharp wonders of a putsch.


But anyone halfway attentive to current goings-on would raise an eyebrow at the number of ex-military and police officials occupying posts of stature and influence — and be convinced that, true to the ways of power, Ms Arroyo means not only to reward her tested lieutenants but also to ensure their loyalty.


There are at least 25 of them led by the Little President himself, Eduardo Ermita.


They hold Cabinet portfolios (Leandro Mendoza of transportation, Hermogenes Ebdane of public works, Angelo Reyes of energy); ambassadorships (Ernesto de Leon to Australia, Efren Abu to the BIMP-East ASEAN Growth Area, Vidal Querol to Indonesia, Generoso Senga to Iran); and plum posts (Narcisco Abaya at the Bases Conversion Development Authority, Edgardo Espinosa at the Manila Economic and Cultural Office, Thelmo Cunanan at the Social Security System, Glenn Rabonza at the Office of Civil Defense, Roberto Lastimoso at the Metro Rail Transit Corp.).


They carry important titles (Roy Cimatu is Ms Arroyo's special envoy, Honesto Isleta her assistant on strategic information). They rule over critical areas (Angel Atutubo at the Manila International Airport Authority). They advise the President on peace (Hermogenes Esperon and Avelino Razon).


Thus are they positioned in the scheme of things, all helping resurrect the Marcos-era militarist culture, their appointments blithely encroaching on career offices or requiring the creation of a new satrapy (such as the National Counter Terrorism Action Group for Arturo Lomibao).


One may grant that the President will want to be advised by a former military officer (such as Arturo Carillo) on military affairs, and a former police officer (such as Orlando Macaspac) on police affairs. But what credentials did foreign service career officers sorely lack that they were bypassed in the appointment of retired military men as envoys?

Indeed, why was Edgardo Aglipay deemed particularly suitable to head the Philippine Retirement Agency? Why should the Presidential Management Staff now be considered right up Esperon's alley? And what was it in Florencio Fianza that he was named head of the Philippine Racing Commission (until complaints led to his being put to pasture) and "special envoy for transnational crimes"?


What now takes the cake is the appointment of Tirso Danga to the helm of the National Printing Office (the chair of which was accused of raping a child and was subsequently sacked). The appointment particularly rankles because Danga, a retired vice admiral, is implicated in the "Hello, Garci" election fraud scandal that was exposed in 2005 and has since been crying for resolution — and the NPO is in charge of the government's printing requirements including election forms and other poll documents. (Connecting the dots hardly needs a background in rocket science.)


On top of all that is the recent bit of news apparently meant to test the waters: Jovito Palparan for the Dangerous Drugs Board, perhaps to complement Dionisio Santiago at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.


Palparan redux is a horrific possibility for those who have linked the so-called "butcher" to the death and torture of numerous activists. But ultimately, it will be an unsurprising feather in the cap of a man after the President's own heart, and on whom she has heaped fulsome praise. # # #


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Last Updated on Monday, 15 June 2009 07:10

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