Posted tagged ‘Senate’

FUGITIVE SENATOR LACSON’S RETURN MOCKS JUSTICE

March 28, 2011

FUGITIVE SENATOR LACSON’S RETURN MOCKS JUSTICE

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Fugitive Philippine Senator Panfilo Lacson, who has an arrest order served on him over a double murder case (killings of PR man Bobby Dacer and his driver Corbito), came out of over a year of hiding. On the strength of a decision of the Court of Appeals, which centered on questions of propriety of witness testimony, the arrest warrant served Lacson was nullified, hence permitting the fugitive to surface and resume with his duties in the Philippine Senate.

Lacson, former police director-general under President Erap Estrada (who was overthrown and jailed for 7 years on ill-gotten wealth case), is a very controversial figure. He is known among media, military, and police circles as a verdugo and protector of big crime syndicates, and may in fact have been chief organized crime operator himself in the areas of drugs, illegal gambling, kidnap-for-ransom or KFR, and more.

As police director-general, he was a highly dreaded man, dangerously sociopathic, but who can easily put a human face in front of media cameras. He was alleged to have ordered the extermination of Kuratong Baleleng mafia members, who already surrendered but were shot dead inside a van while being driven at the middle of a Manila highway on the way to a destined police station.

That is, Lacson has a penchant for eliminating as much witnesses as possible to crime cases that could pin him down. At some point, event the US Central Intellgence Agency found bothersome enough his being scot-free and occupying powerful state posts, that CIA agents themselves gave out intelligence reports thru channels to prospective investigators. I won’t be surprised if the Kuratong Baleleng case would resurface anytime now, compliments of CIA working behind the scene to see Lacson hanged.

Honestly, I feel very nauseated whenever Lacson speaks in public as a supposedly anti-corruption advocate. Why don’t you see for yourself the house where Lacson resides in the posh Ayala Alabang village? Isn’t that a mansion that is worth millions of bucks? Where and how did Lacson ever derive the funds to purchase such a house, when his pay as a state official can nil afford him to acquire one such property?

How did Lacson ever go into hiding in couples of countries, if he were as poor as ‘wretched of the Earth’? Who were Lacson’s contacts overseas, such as east Asia and western Europe where he stayed the longest? Who gave him passports to use along his routes of escape? The Interpol and CIA do have dossiers of Lacson, and he is far from the incorruptible or clean guy that he pretends to be.

That the Court of Appeals would dismiss the case against Lacson mocks of justice as we know it. You could just imagine the dread and anger of the family members of the late Bobby Dacer, who all migrated overseas to save themselves from the vergudo Lacson and a possible invisible sponsor of higher rank (Lacson identified Erap Estrada as the mastermind behind the double-murder case).

Not just the Dacer family, but also the political enemies of Lacson could have rounds of sleepless nights again as the dangerous man could be up to wiretapping them or doing nasty intelligence surveillance. That is, of course, to gather evidences of their dirty linens, and such dirty linens will be used for Lacson’s grandstanding committee investigations in the Senate.

Lacson’s detractors should move quickly and decisively to pin him down, inclusive of the United State’s CIA and Drug Enforcement Agency. The lesson in dealing with the likes of Lacson is: never play footsy with a Demonic Mind.

[Philippines, 27 March 2011]

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SCOURGE OF CORRUPTION

March 4, 2011

SCOURGE OF CORRUPTION

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good day to you fellow global citizens!

We just celebrated the 25th EDSA People Power Revolution in PH last Feb 25. A full twenty-five (25) years after EDSA, the country remains mired in the gargantuan problem of bad governance. Graft & corruption continues to be a scourge to this country, ditto for other countries.

Patrimonial interest groups of every shade continue to pillage the national coffers and the business sector. Business and politics are as intertwined as ever, thus barring efforts to bring down patron-client relations in the public and private spheres. No wonder that corruption remains high and could be, in fact, scaling up the heights in exponential fashion.

For as long as bad governance (‘bureaucrat capitalism’ is the Maoists’ term for it) remains in a vicious circle pattern, poverty will loom large in the near future. People’s incomes will be relatively stagnant, resulting to a stagnant if not declining middle income class. The high growth figure of 7% annual growth will therefore be meaningless, as the growth benefits largely those who are already very rich.

It doesn’t matter if the Philippines has already been urbanized, with as large as 68% of the population and/or the labor force residing in cities and big towns. Urban it is alright, yet replete with narratives of burgeoning urban poor populations.

So that brings us back to square 1, which is the self-perpetuating bad governance cycle. Whether the vicious cycle can be broken during the incumbency of the Aquino regime is doubtful. This government is being run by mediocre bureaucrats who are predominantly Jesuit-schooled boys and girls, who as a whole administer the public sector like “running a student council” as Sen. Joker Arroyo aptly described them.

Sadly for the country and other emerging markets, it is this governance side of the equation that cancels out the very positive outlook resulting from high growth. To note, it is this same scourge that had angered youthful Arabs in Tunisia and Egypt who watched their national leaders plunder the coffers like they were lusciously consuming personal candies, and the scourge is now driving many other Arabs to the streets to overthrow their corrupt leaders.

Good governance, strong institutions, and right policies are getting to be appreciated all the more by the youthful working peoples of the day, such as those in the Arab states. They are values that strongly appeal to the middle class of developing countries, while they resonate well for the young generation of Arabs. Amusing observations!

If the middle class of emerging markets can inspire the young generations of Arabs and countries with authoritarian regimes at the helm, well and good. But let the ‘regime change’ agents be reminded that overthrowing corrupt authoritarian and/or autocratic regimes do not an incorruptible government make.

Examine the history of the Philippines and other countries that are similarly situated, where bad governance perpetually churns itself out long after dictatorships were overthrown. Our neighbor Indonesia is similarly situated, and so are couples of countries in Latin America. The more so for African countries where the problem of racial integration complicates the scourge of corruption.

It seems like we badly hit a quagmire in PH and other developing countries, in regard to graft & corruption. Whether we shall all jettison efficaciously out of the quagmire in the short run is a delusion. And maybe never will there be hope in reforming governance institutions that would enable eradication of poverty and attendant problems.

As to the reason behind the scourge, I am reminded of the explanation of the pioneer sociologist Emile Durkheim. The noblesse gentleman cogitated that there will always be deviants in society, unless that society is populated by saints. Deviance, such as corruption, will always prevail at levels beyond the residual, to follow Durkheim’s logic.

Economists would have it that ‘rent seeking’ will assert itself in diverse circumstances, inclusive of the public sector. Rent seeking, or reaping profits beyond opportunity costs, explicates corrupt practices and no less. The UP School of Economics professor Emmanuel De Dios had already writ informative articles about the matter, so please try to search for his articles in university libraries and online.

I do perceive corruption as a scourge, even as I remain optimistic that in the very long run it will be minimized. Humans will gradually evolve across time, and I guess the conscience of future humans will work the greater to make values work in daily life. But it seems my concluding note is only wishful thinking, so I’d leave it up to you to form your opinions on the subject matter.

[Philippines, 27 February 2011]

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Come Visit E. Argonza’s blogs anytime!

Social Blogs:
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GLOBAL ELITES FOR NOYNOY AQUINO

March 21, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

[21 January 2010]

This analyst has been a keen observer of the behavior of the global elites (‘military-industrial complex’ was coined for them in the 1950s) and their maneuverings in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. In a borderless global economic order, all the more have the global elites been flexing their muscles, with the aim of destroying nation-states in order to advance their pecuniary pursuits.

Come to think of it, this country never really was able to fully exercise sovereignty so as to effectively dis-engage itself from the global elites. As signatory to the Breton woods agreement that created the World Bank-IMF Group, this country had created enormous constrictions on its own growth and prosperity drives as greedy global oligarchs control its strategic business interests and loot its finances via liberalized currency and financial trading that the IMF-World Bank enforced.

The same oligarchic cabals (note the plural), through the Tri-Lateral Commission, were the ones who orchestrated the overthrow of the autocrat F. Marcos for stubbornly refusing to submit to their dictates. There was that juncture when Marcos released enormous amounts of gold in the global market, which effectively crashed the price of gold and angered the British-Dutch financial cartels.

The lynchpin personages in the country—political and business leaders—who serve as agents of the global oligarchs, are now aging, their influence plummeting in both public and private spheres. You can see the ‘who-is-who’ among these key crocodile players during the forum of the Makati Business Club, including that old hag of a technocrat who was World Bank’s chief operator in liberalizing the key sectors of the economy to equalize the playing field for foreign oligarchs such as those connected with George Soros (see Quantum fund investors).

My observation of unfolding political events shows that the global oligarchy is consolidating its support in just a single political team: the Noynoy Aquino-Mar Roxas Team. Noynoy recently spoke like a local George Bush who promised a friendly tax policy environment for Big Business, thus echoing the Jurassic Reaganomics policies of liberalization, privatization, deregulation, tax reforms, less subsidies for social services, and wage freeze.

Noynoy and the Liberal Party serve the interests of the global elites, they being the civil libertarian face to oligarchism. We wonder how the liberal agenda would cohere with their ‘bayan muna bago lahat’ cliché, since the same agenda serves oligarchic interest by creating an open door political context which will serve as the sweetener for uncontrolled greed by global looters and plunderers. Liberalism serves egotistical, self-aggrandizing pockets and not the nation & people.

It is pure and empty sophism, this liberal agenda so-called, the same sophism that served the interests in antiquity of the elites of Athens. The same Athenian oligarchy then waged ceaseless wars, with political sophists serving as public blinders for their true agenda: loot and ravage polities everywhere where their dirty hands can dip unto. Those wars—Pelopponesian Wars—led to the catastrophic decay of Greece and the destruction of its classical culture.

The agenda of the global oligarchy is to keep RP and diverse client-states into ‘weak states’ and ‘failed states’, so that eventually they can break up our nation and others into mini-states. Each mini-state will become private property of certain gigantic corporate groups, with their own corporate armies coming to their defense. The same oligarchs have already succeeded in fragmenting former Yugoslavia, and there’s no reason why they won’t proceed to bring such demonic successes to new levels such as to balkanize the Philippines.

Nationalism, not liberalism, is the ideology that can serve to galvanize us into a strong nation with strong institutions, and empower us to effectively neutralize the destructive agenda of the global oligarchy. We Filipinos need to stand together firmly against those forces that have been striving to destroy us from within and with-out, our bonds thus cemented by genuine nationalism patriotism.