Too much love will kill you

This is an excerpt from the concert-tribute to Freddie Mercury of the Queen. He is the all-time best lead singer for me.

I’m just the pieces of the man I used to be
Too many bitter tears are raining down on me
I’m far away from home
And I’ve been facing this alone
For much too long

I feel like no-one ever told the truth to me
About growing up and what a struggle it would be
In my tangled state of mind
I’ve been looking back to find
Where I went wrong

Too much love will kill you
If you can’t make up your mind
Torn between the lover
And the love you leave behind
You’re headed for disaster
‘cos you never read the signs
Too much love will kill you
Every time

I’m just the shadow of the man I used to be
And it seems like there’s no way out of this for me
I used to bring you sunshine
Now all I ever do is bring you down
How would it be if you were standing in my shoes
Can’t you see that it’s impossible to choose
No there’s no making sense of it
Every way I go I’m bound to lose

Too much love will kill you
Just as sure as none at all
It’ll drain the power that’s in you
Make you plead and scream and crawl
And the pain will make you crazy
You’re the victim of your crime
Too much love will kill you
Every time

Too much love will kill you
It’ll make your life a lie
Yes, too much love will kill you
And you won’t understand why
You’d give your life, you’d sell your soul
But here it comes again
Too much love will kill you
In the end…
In the end.

…para sa isang kaibigan


Ka Crispin Beltran

Lider Manggagawa, Kongresista

tagapagtaguyod at tagapagtanggol ng uring anakpawis

Pagpupugay sa isang haligi ng uring manggagawa,

Taas kamao, nagwawagayway na pulang bandila,

mga kahanay at mga kauri, sa paglisan nyo’y naulila.

Sa dilim ng kahirapan, buhay nyo tila isang tala.

Ka Bel, magkaiba man tayo ng paniniwala

Di man tayo magkahanay, magkaiba man ang ating bandila,

Sa inyo’y mataas ang aking paggalang at ako’y lubos na humahanga.

Sa inyo yaring aking taospusong pagpupugay,

sa mga kaanak, mga mahal nyo at kilusang inyong inulila, aking pakikiramay.


Any one who knows me well knows that I am not a sucker for music. There are songs that I like but I don’t really go crazy about bands, singers nor their songs. Di ko lang talaga kinahihiligan ang music, maliban na lang kung ito ay may special meaning sa aking ginagawa o sa aking karanasan.

There is this one song, however, that really touches me to the core every time I listen to it. Its mellow and flowing notes never fail to settle me down. Kahit anong pagod, galit, inis, saya ko lagi akong napapakalma ng musikang ito.

Cavatina is the theme from the 1978 film Deer Hunter (starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, Meryll Streep,). The song is from Stanly Myers and is played on classical guitar. There are other versions on other instruments but I love the classical guitar version most.

I don’t really know what magic this piece of music has over me. Every pluck of the guitar strings sends the note straight into my heart. Lagi ko ngang sinasabi sa mga kaibigan ko na ito ang musikang gusto kong maghahatid sa dulo ng aking paglalakbay. Habang malayo pa yun (sana hehehe) gusto ko lang itong pakinggan nang paulit-ulit at walang pagsasawa.

Below is John Williams playing Cavatina on classical guitar with The Sky. Whoooaaaa!!!! para akong naka droga 😀

Ano naman ang tunog ng Cavatina sa isang solo classical guitar na tinutugtog ng isang babae… mas romantic kaya at mas touching? Here is Ana Vidovic, a Croatian classical guitarist, with her rendition of Cavatina…

Paano naman kaya kung nilagyan ang Cavatina ng lyrics at kinanta ni Paul Potts, ang nagwagi sa unang series ng Britain’s Got Talent noong 2007?

If there is heaven on earth… listening to the song is my small corner of heaven amidst the struggles in this world.

31 Days

I woke up at around 4:30 am today to do some writing on the Calatagan case. I have picked up the habit of working early dawn when I had to do double work in the midst of the  Sumilao campaign.  I scanned the news and wrote a press release release for today. I have already emailed the PR to my mailing list when I noticed the date today – May 5, and I suddenly realized that in 31 days birthday ko na ulit. I just sat staring at my rainlendar staring at the date for a couple of minutes. Joskopo taon-taon na lang ako nagbibirthday hehehe.

I don’t usually celebrate my birthdays, they are just like any other ordinary day (except for a few occasions when friends insist on  having a get-together). I guess my birthday next month won’t be any different, gaya ng dati, ordinaryong araw lang ito para sa akin. Pero di ko maikakaila na na may something talaga pag nagkwakwarenta ka na hehehe. Mas napapaisip ka. What have I to show after 40 years?

Di naman siguro natutuwa sa akin mga magulang ko. Lahat ata ng ambisyon nila para sa akin ay sinuway ko. I didn’t even graduate from college, which I guess broke my father’s heart kasi kahit in the middle of his struggle against cancer a couple of years back, lagi nya akong kinukumbinsing ipagpatuloy ang college ko. Gusto nya talaga akong maging abugado. Lord, Dad, kung ganito na nga ako na out-of-youth (walang kokontra!) ano na lang kung may Atty. pa sa simula ng pangalan ko hehehe.

Di rin ako magaling na tatay na ikakatuwa ng anak ko. Madami akong pagkukulang bilang ama sa anak ko. Pilit ko man gawin ang lahat para maipakita ang pagmamahal ko sa kanya, I know that our circumstances make it not only difficult for the both of us but also confusing for him. I wish he would grow up to be a forgiving son.

My life has always been a cycle of impossible dreams and impossible causes. I do not know what exactly made me choose this kind of life but I cannot imagine myself living any other life. Adik ata ako sa sa mga imposibleng mga kaso. Maybe I am addicted to insurmountable odds and heartaches.

i am happy with my life. I may not have the material things nor the academic degrees to show, but I am rich in terms of battle scars and impossible victories (however few they might be).

Thirty-one days to go. Forty-years in the making.  Hay buhay, ba’t ba ako napapa-isip 😀


This blog has been on a standstill for quite a time. Maybe I am having a long bout of blogodrought (imbento ko lang na term). It does not mean though that I have been on a standstill. On the contrary my days have been heavy, my brain and my hands have written so much the past weeks that having time to write or simply taking a peek in this blog has become a luxury.

My 6-month involvement in the recently concluded Sumilao campaign has dragged me from my lazy, inactive and happy-go-lucky ways and shoved me once more smack in the middle of a world of struggling people. It made me realize that i have been emotionally detached from the struggles around me even if I find time to write about these struggles here in my blog.

I am presently involved in the struggle of yet another group of farmers. This time they are just a couple of hundred kilometers from Manila. They have almost the same story as that of the Sumilao farmers, struggling for land that has once been theirs and struggling to pry loose the grasping hands of a greedy company which is using all its powers to snatch from the poor the land that give them sustenance and hope. i amm talking about he farmers of barangays Baha and Talibayog in Calatagan, Batangas.

I met them last December when they joined the Sumilao farmers in the final leg of the latter’s 1,700-km walk from Bukidnon to Manila. I did not get to know them well because my attention was with the farmers from Sumilao. However, a week after I came back from accompanying the victorious Sumilao farmers home, I was drawn into the struggle of the Calatagan farmers. A different group of people, a different case in a different place… but the same struggle – a fight for what is just and what is right, a struggle against institutionalized greed.

This blog may be suffering from a severe drought of updates and posts…. but I am very active in another blog… CALATAGANMARCH.WORDPRESS.COM – a blog about the 300-kilometer odyssey of 55 farmers in search of justice. I invite you to visit that blog. maraming salamat.



The nomad is signing off once more….

*Photo of Manang Hilda courtesy of Dondi Tawatao

**Photo of the Calatagan March by Reggie Aquino

TAGGED: 12 months


Here are the rules:

1. Mention the person who tagged you and create a link back to them.
2. Copy-paste the traits for all the twelve months.
3. Pick your month of birth.
4. Highlight the traits that apply to you.
5. Tag 12 people and let them know by visiting their blogs and leaving a comment for them.
6. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve done it!

JANUARY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Ambitious and serious. Loves to teach and be taught. Always looking at people’s flaws and weaknesses. Likes to criticize. Hardworking and productive. Smart, neat and organized. Sensitive and has deep thoughts. Knows how to make others happy. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Rather reserved. Highly attentive. Resistant to illnesses but prone to colds. Romantic but has difficulties expressing love. Loves children. Loyal. Has great social abilities yet easily jealous. Very stubborn and money cautious.

FEBRUARY: Abstract thoughts. Loves reality and abstract. Intelligent and clever. Changing personality. Attractive. Sexy. Temperamental. Quiet, shy and humble. Honest and loyal. Determined to reach goals. Loves freedom. Rebellious when restricted. Loves aggressiveness. Too sensitive and easily hurt. Gets angry really easily but does not show it. Dislikes unnecessary things. Loves making friends but rarely shows it. Daring and stubborn. Ambitious. Realizes dreams and hopes. Sharp. Loves entertainment and leisure. Romantic on the inside not outside. Superstitious and ludicrous. Spendthrift. Tries to learn to show emotions.

MARCH: Attractive personality, Sexy, Affectionate. Shy and reserved. Secretive. Naturally honest, generous and sympathetic. Loves peace and serenity. Sensitive to others. Loves to serve others. Easily angered. Trustworthy. Appreciative and returns kindness. Observant and assesses others.Revengeful. Loves to dream and fantasize. Loves traveling. Loves attention. Hasty decisions in choosing partners.Loves home decors. Musically talented. Loves special things. Moody.

APRIL: Active and dynamic. Decisive and hasty but tends to regret. Attractive and affectionate to oneself. Strong mentality. Loves attention. Diplomatic. Consoling, friendly and solves people’s problems. Brave and fearless. Adventurous. Loving and caring. Suave and generous. Emotional. Aggressive. Hasty. Good memory. Moving. Motivates oneself and others. Sickness usually of the head and chest. Sexy in a way that only their lover can see.

MAY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Strong-willed and highly motivated. Sharp thoughts. Easily angered. Attracts others and loves attention. Deep feelings. Beautiful physically and mentally. Firm Standpoint. Needs no motivation. Easily consoled. Systematic (left brain). Loves to dream. Strong clairvoyance. Understanding. Sickness usually in the ear and neck. Good imagination. Good physical. Weak breathing. Loves literature and the arts. Loves traveling. Dislike being at home. Restless. Not having many children. Hardworking. High spirited. Spendthrift.


Thinks far with vision. Yeah, I have a 20/20 vision and I can see far. Think far? yeah sometimes I do have far-out, outrageous and outlandish ideas.

Easily influenced by kindness. Maybe, because I am seldom under the influence of alcohol.

Polite and soft-spoken. F*ck!!! Ako nga to lintek! may aangal? may kokontra? pak yu!

Having ideas. You just don’t know what kind of ideas I have. Curious? Tara try natin iba kong mga ideas hehehe. No MAlice 😀

. Yes! very sensitive in some parts of my anatomy.

Active mind. Yeah, di pa naman ako brain dead 😀

Hesitating, tends to delay. Hesitating? yeah because oftentimes I’m shy. Tends to delay? Yeah ‘coz I like long foreplays hehehe.

Choosy and always wants the best. Sino ba ang ayaw ng the best?

Temperamental. Yeah lagi akong nilalagnat at sinisinat… hay

Funny and humorous. Definitely not me. I’m grim and determined, boring …

Loves to joke. (Refer to answer above)

Good debating skills
. Yeah definitely me. Magaling akong mandilat ng kadebate at malakas ang aking boses at mataas ang pitch. Bungangero in other words.

Talkative. Nah! not me, sorry.

Daydreamer. Only when I’m puyat.

Friendly. Ako nga to!

Knows how to make friends. …and enemies too

Able to show character
. Ano kaya ibig sabihin nito? I don;t SHOW okey?!?!?!

Easily hurt. …. but I love being spanked hihihi

Prone to getting colds. …and getting hot too!

Loves to dress up. On the contrary I love to undress and get undressed.

Easily bored. …only when I’m talking to myself. Again refer to my answer way up above.

Fussy. Op Kors!!!! I love fussy.

Seldom shows emotions. I’m a foker face

Takes time to recover when hurt. Nah! feel free to spank and bite me again the next round.

Brand conscious. Only when when buying ukay-ukay.

Executive. Oo, kaya dapat may secretary ako.

Stubborn. Yes, I love having stubborn. Nakakakiliti daw sabi nila.

JULY: Fun to be with. Secretive. Difficult to fathom and to be understood. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Takes pride in oneself. Has reputation. Easily consoled. Honest. Concerned about people’s feelings. Tactful. Friendly. Approachable. Emotional temperamental and unpredictable. Moody and easily hurt. Witty and sparkly. Not revengeful. Forgiving but never forgets. Dislikes nonsensical and unnecessary things. Guides others physically and mentally. Sensitive and forms impressions carefully. Caring and loving. Treats others equally. Strong sense of sympathy. Wary and sharp. Judges people through observations. Hardworking. No difficulties in studying. Loves to be alone. Always broods about the past and the old friends. Likes to be quiet. Homely person. Waits for friends. Never looks for friends. Not aggressive unless provoked. Prone to having stomach and dieting problems. Loves to be loved. Easily hurt but takes long to recover.

AUGUST: Loves to joke. Attractive. Suave and caring. Brave and fearless. Firm and has leadership qualities. Knows how to console others. Too generous and egoistic. Takes high pride in oneself. Thirsty for praises. Extraordinary spirit. Easily angered. Angry when provoked. Easily jealous. Observant. Careful and cautious. Thinks quickly. Independent thoughts. Loves to lead and to be led. Loves to dream. Talented in the arts, music and defense. Sensitive but not petty. Poor resistance against illnesses. Learns to relax. Hasty and trusty. Romantic. Loving and caring. Loves to make friends.

SEPTEMBER: Suave and compromising. Careful, cautious and organized. Likes to point out people’s mistakes. Likes to criticize. Stubborn. Quiet but able to talk well. Calm and cool. Kind and sympathetic. Concerned and detailed. Loyal but not always honest. Does work well. Very confident. Sensitive. Good memory. Clever and knowledgeable. Loves to look for information. Must control oneself when criticizing. Able to motivate oneself. Understanding. Fun to be around. Secretive. Loves leisure and traveling. Hardly shows emotions. Tends to bottle up feelings. Very choosy, especially in relationships. Systematic.

OCTOBER: Loves to chat. Loves those who loves them. Loves to take things at the center. Inner and physical beauty. Lies but doesn’t pretend. Gets angry often. Treats friends importantly. Always making friends. Easily hurt but recovers easily. Daydreamer. Opinionated. Does not care of what others think. Emotional. Decisive. Strong clairvoyance. Loves to travel, the arts and literature. Touchy and easily jealous. Concerned. Loves outdoors. Just and fair. Spendthrift. Easily influenced. Easily loses confidence. Loves children.

NOVEMBER: Has a lot of ideas. Difficult to fathom. Thinks forward. Unique and brilliant. Extraordinary ideas. Sharp thinking. Fine and strong clairvoyance. Can become good doctors. Dynamic in personality. Secretive. Inquisitive. Knows how to dig secrets. Always thinking. Less talkative but amiable. Brave and generous. Patient. Stubborn and hard-hearted. If there is a will, there is a way. Determined. Never give up. Hardly becomes angry unless provoked. Loves to be alone. Thinks differently from others. Sharp-minded. Motivates oneself. Does not appreciate praises. High-spirited. Well-built and tough. Deep love and emotions. Romantic. Uncertain in relationships. Homely. Hardworking. High abilities. Trustworthy. Honest and keeps secrets. Not able to control emotions. Unpredictable.

DECEMBER: Loyal and generous. Sexy. Patriotic. Active in games and interactions. Impatient and hasty. Ambitious. Influential in organizations. Fun to be with. Loves to socialize. Loves praises. Loves attention. Loves to be loved. Honest and trustworthy. Not pretending. Short tempered. Changing personality. Not egotistic. Take high pride in oneself. Hates restrictions. Loves to joke. Good sense of humor. Logical.

Sumagot lang po sa tag at pasensya na kung di ako makapag-tag ng iba. Bow!

Postscript to an Exodus

Exactly a week ago today, the Sumilao farmers made a final push from their camp in Caritas in Pandacan to San Carlos Seminary in Guadalupe, Makati. They brought with them not banners that proclaimed the calls the bore for the last 12 years but calls for other landless farmers who remain struggling for their land. In their final walk in Manila to sign the Memorandum of Agreement with San Miguel Corporation, the Sumilao farmers echoed the cries of their fellow farmers calling for justice.

The walk to San Carlos Seminary was a walk of triumph, the triumph of sacrifice and perseverance, the triumph of solidarity, the triumph of Daviid over the giant Goliath. This walk was the culmination of tens if not hundreds of thousands of steps the Sumilao farmers took to make their plight too scandalous to be ignored. In the end they were triumphant.

San Miguel Corporation said it was their commitment to “corporate social responsibility” that made March 29 possible. Malakanyang claimed that it the Arroyo administration’s commitment to social justice that made March 29 possible. We all know that both SMC anD GMA were pushed to a corner and the MOA signing last March 29 was but a fait accompli for both. The sacrifices of the Sumilao farmers and the rightness and justness of their cause that awakened the hearts of thousands including church people and ordinary citizens left SMC and GMA with no choice but to go for a settlement.

Last Sunday, the Sumilao farmers went home. They made a final walk into the land that they can now call their own. They broke the barb wires that for decades kept them away from their land. The rubicon was crossed. Shouts and tears of joy erupted. Families were reunited. The Sumilao farmers were finally HOME.

I am blessed to have shared their journey.

Fokker 27

cutting the wirescutting the wires


The end of an exodus

No Filipino farmer deserves to be slave in his own country. No Filipino farmer should be landless. No Filipino farmer should be robbed of the land he/she rightfully and justly deserves to own, cultivate and make a decent living from. The fertile and rich lands of our country is the heritage of the Filipino farmers. No farmer should be deprived of land in our own country. This is what the Sumilao farmers’ Exodus is all about, the quest for justice and claiming what is rightfully theirs.
The story of injustices endured by the farmers and their struggle for justice and their land have spanned more than 12 years.

The Exodus of the Sumilao farmers is about to come to an end. I have not written anything thepast few days because I have wanted to write about this, I have patiently waited to write about this. Naghahanap lang ako ng timing anf besides di ko pwede ma-out dahil sa media embargo.



Easter settlement

MANILA, Philippines – The news that began filtering out late last week—the first text messages circulated on Holy Thursday—immediately gave rise to hopes of the Easter Sunday variety. The Sumilao farmers, it was reported, were close to a settlement with San Miguel Foods, the company that had bought the 144-hectare property in Bukidnon in the center of the long-running and high-profile land dispute. Perhaps the farmers could reclaim their old life, and finally begin a new one, right during the Easter season?We hope so. The details of the settlement are still sketchy. Indeed, the settlement itself has not yet hardened into fact. Many things can still go wrong in today’s negotiations. But we are heartened by the seeming success of the process—of the consultation and creative problem-solving that marked it and the spirit of compromise that animated it.

The first reports indicate that the Sumilao farmers will reclaim ownership of 50 hectares of the original property plus 94 hectares from an adjacent property, in an arrangement that San Miguel Foods will help make possible. If these early signs prove accurate, then the Sumilao farmers will regain a 144-hectare property in the same area (just not the same 144 hectares), while San Miguel Foods gets to protect its billion-peso investment. And both parties do so without loosening their commitment to absolute albeit different principles. A true Easter settlement, then, if the parties come to terms.

The president of San Miguel Corp., the parent company of San Miguel Foods, has given credit to the Archbishop of Manila, Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, for his role in the breakthrough-in-the-making; by all accounts, Rosales, the former bishop of Malaybalay, Bukidnon, has been a moving force in both the farmers’ extraordinary protest action (involving, most dramatically, a 1,700-kilometer march “from Mindanao to Malacañang”) and in the negotiations. (To be sure, much of the work of protest was borne by the farmers themselves, and by civil society organizations assisting them.)

In the public mind, especially in the turbulent months since the Hello, Garci tapes first surfaced, Rosales pales in comparison with his fire-and-brimstone predecessor, the late Jaime Cardinal Sin. But in the Sumilao case it must be acknowledged that the soft-spoken Rosales has used Sin’s weapons of choice—private diplomacy and public pressure, applied at the same time—to good effect.

The farmers too must be recognized for adopting an attitude open to compromise. Last December, after President Macapagal-Arroyo issued an order reclassifying the disputed property as agricultural, we praised the breakthrough but worried about the “politically untenable position” the farmers seemed about to adopt: “Despite the President’s order, they refuse to go back to Bukidnon until they are ‘finally installed’ in their land. But the order has to work its way through the legal and bureaucratic processes …”

The looming settlement with San Miguel Foods effectively makes those processes irrelevant—but there would be no settlement if the farmers were not ready to accept a “50 + 94” proposal, or variations thereof.

But we must also point out that, unlike the Quisumbing company that gamed the legal system and eventually hoodwinked the Supreme Court with an elaborate fantasy of development for the disputed property (a fantasy it did nothing to translate to gritty reality once it had won the case in the Supreme Court), San Miguel Foods has by and large conducted itself honorably. Last January, in siding with the farmers’ rejection of a complete swap (another property altogether, for the 144 hectares in Sumilao), we noted “San Miguel’s impressive track record and traditional commitment to the communities in which it operates.”

Indeed, it bears pointing out that in social justice issues like the Sumilao saga of frustrated land reform, the advantage always lies with the moneyed, in this case San Miguel Foods. The meek may ultimately inherit the earth, but in the meantime the rich get richer. An immensely rich company that could have opted to play the legal and bureaucratic game for as long as necessary but instead chose not to—thus allowing the Sumilao farmers to continue living the life they chose for themselves—surely deserves a nation’s gratitude too.


The walk of the Sumilao farmers will finally bring them back to the land they rightly and justly own. Their Exodus is about to end. Freed from the clutches of landlessness, they will be going home as TILLERS OF THE LAND THEY OWN. They are coming home to reap the fruits of their sacrifices in the last 12 years. They are coming home to plant the seeds of a better future for their children.

This is indeed a happy Easter. Hallelujah!


In Memory of Attys. Bob Gana & Caloy Ollado

The Sumilao farmers are waiting for the final resolution of their case. Their journey to this point in their struggle was not a rosy and glorious one, it was a journey full of frustrations, fears, hardships and pain. The 144-hectare land that they are claiming would have long been lost had it not for their perseverance and their sacrifices. They did not venture on that journey alone. The were others who shared in their journey. As the Sumilao farmers stand staring at the horizon waiting for the sun of victory to rise, they remember two of their companions in the struggle – Attys. Bob Gana and Caloy Ollado.

Ten years ago, on February 2, 1998, Cebu Pacific Flt. 5J-387 flew from Manila to Cagayan de Oro with 99 passengers and 5 crew members on board. The plane did not reach its destination.


plane crash

Among the 99 passengers on were 2 lawyers from the Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligal (SALIGAN). They were on their way to Sumilao, Bukidnon to discuss with the farmers their case which was then lodged at the Supreme Court. Atty. Bob and Caloy did not make it to the meeting.

Bob was simple man with a big heart. He was a consistent and aggressive defender of the rights of the poor especially the landless farmers. Caloy was known for his critical role in the repeal of Presidential Decree 772 (Anti-Squatting Law) which criminalized millions of urban poor who settled in lands they did not own. Both lawyers turned their backs on more financially rewarding practice to offer their expertise in the struggle of the poor and the defenseless.

Last February 2, 2008, on the 10th anniversary of their deaths, the Sumilao farmers walked more than 10 kilometers to the Cagayan de Oro Gardens where the unidentified remains of the victims of Cebu Pacific Flt. 5J-387 were interred. This walk was dedicated in memory of these two modern heroes. Written in the banner at the head of the march was –Atty Bobby & Caloy nagpabilin kamong buhi sa aming kasing-kasing ug sa among pakigbisog… – Sumilao Farmers (Atty. Bobby & Caloy you live in our hearts and in our struggle).”

While the dawn of victory in the struggle of the Sumilao farmers is about to break, Bob and Caloy lives in their victory. other lawyers have taken on the struggle but the inspiration of the lives of Bob and Caloy remain burning in our hearts.

Rescinding EO 464

While I was walking with the Sumilao farmers yesterday in what the media has labeled as the “Jericho March” one of the hottest issues of the day is Executive Order 464. This order was issued by Gloria in 2005 to prevent cabinet members and top officials not only of the civil government but also of the military to be dragged into congressional and senate investigations without the expressed authorization of the Thief Chief Executive. Since the “Hello Garci” scandal, EO 464 gave Gloria’s cohorts a safe haven from the inquisitive eyes of the public. EO 464 became Malakanyang’s shield that silences not only the crooks in the cabinet but the decent ones as well (I used to believe Romy Neri was decent). It became a carrot as well as a stick to ensure silence among top government officials accountable to the President. Brig. Gen. Francisco Gudani and Col. Alexander Balutan of the Philippine Marines who were court martialled because he testified before the senate during the “Hello Garci” investigations in violation of EO 464.

Yesterday, in her efforts to appease the Catholic Bishops, Gloria gave in and rescinded EO 464. Was it a victory? Will this bring us nearer to the truth in the ZTE-NBN scam and other scandals like the “Hello Garci” and the fertilizer scam (remember Jokjok Bolante?)?

Do you think Gloria will give in just like that? Ain’t this just another calculated move designed to project an image of introducing changes because she has her back on the wall?

For the most part, EO 464 was already declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Rescinding an order declared unconstitutional by the highest court of the land is not an act of goodwill. In fact, faking goodwill by rescinding EO 464 make it an act of deception.

Without EO 464, high government officials can now be summoned by congress and the senate to their investigations even without the consent of the president. This will just ensure their appearance but can they be forced to talk much less tell the truth? They still have Executive Privilege to hide behind. The scope of executive privilege is still being debate on. In the case of Romy Neri, the senate can force him to appear before the senate but he will just invoke executive privilege every time they will delve into his communications with the president. We may end up going to the Supreme Court with every question asked to which he will invoke executive privilege, making our search for the truth a constant and slow legal struggle.

We cannot legislate honesty. We cannot abolish dishonesty nor the conspiracy of deception and silence of the Arroyo administration. Honesty is a personal virtue, a virtue abandoned by even the most decent in the Arroyo cabinet. They can even lie under oath and lie in front of millions o Filipinos watching the live coverage of the proceedings (remember Abalos, Manny Gaite, Gen. Razon, Sec. Atienza and the airport gang?).

Gloria and her cohorts have calculated the risks of rescinding EO 464 to fake goodwill to the Catholic bishops. They concluded that taking out EO 464 will not damage their concealment of the truth.

EO 464 has been abolished. Will it bring out the TRUTH?

I still believe the abolition of EO 464 is a hollow and meaningless act. Like the declaration of a state or emergency, it is just a disposable barrier that Gloria created to derail the search for the truth just like the rusty container vans that she uses to block the entrance to the palace.

The Arroyo administration should be taken to task for imposing EO 464 in the first place. Rescinding it after it has been declared unconstitutional to appease the Church and to project an image as is the Arroyo administration is seeking for the truth makes it an act of deceit and a ploy for survival.

Gloria and her highly paid and richly commissioned gang of a$$lickers can shove EO 464 up each other’s A$$ES and consider that their Executive Privilege.