like the abu sayyaf

My friend natoy reyes of bayan muna hit it right on the head. asking gma to lead a corruption-free society is like asking the abu sayyaf to take care of kidnappings in mindanao.

Hay, like the government, we should not let the cbcp depress us. I am sure those bishops from Mindanao have their own reasons for supporting GMA. Millions of reasons in thick, white envelopes. This is really the Age of Hypocrisy.

And so this Friday, the Ateneo delegation is joining the big rally in Makati. May free bus pa, but no water and food for us :-) So I told my students, simply, I am not coming to class this Fridayto join a rally. Join me if you want, but no ten points added to your quizzes if you do.

I have not skipped a class to attend a rally so far, but enough is enough. The country is bigger than my classroom.

And as for GMA? Listen, listen to the rumblings of the junior officers. She may have the generals in the hem of her shiny skirts, but these old farts are nothing compared to the vigour, the passion, the love of country exhibited by the junior officers.

Just you wait and see.

high ho, high ho

hahahahaha! as the French would put it, do not correct your enemies when they are making a mistake.

Gaite whose salary is less than P30 k giving P500 k to Lozada who has met just twice?

GMA admitting she corrected the flawed NBN ZTE deal, but only after five months, when the Senate began investigating.

Ermita correcting Gaite when Gaite said the money came from him.

Buney correcting GMA when she said the NBN ZTE deal is flawed.

The generals marching down EDSA like a flock of penguins.

Those of us old enough during martial law have seen this and heard this.

As the great Scottish poet and novelsit Sir Walter Scott put it, in my paraphrase: The more you attempt to deceive, the more you would get stuck in a spider web of lies.

And so, like nunal on the face, like blue-bottle flies (bangaw) caught in spider webs, let us applaud and cheer as this government dooms itself with one lie after another.

comments from the closet

i got lots of text messages telling me that they fear that the government has an alleged secret video of neri with his boyfriend and if that is released, how could neri's family take it?

what? say that again?

our focus here is on neri telling the truth. thus, we don't want anybody -- whether individual or state -- to blackmail him into telling the truth by foisting the threat of outing him. all this video scenario sounds like an fbi case in the 1950s.

most of the people who texted me are closeted cases themselves. in neri they might have seen what could have happened, or what might happen, if there are unsavory videos of themselves with their boyfriends. do you really think your parents will have a heart attack if they know you're gay? or that your sibling don't know?

excuse me lang, ano. i have received vicious attacks in one gay site for speaking out like this. i don't care if these gay men spend all their lives in the closet and ogling porn in the Internet. Mabulag kayo diyan. But I do care when they spite me for speaking out. Or when they make libelous comments that the Free Press award-winning story published by the site was plagiarized. The comment was written in Bicolano, and the bitch did not know that my parents are from Bicol and I could out-curse him in that colorful language. They are just brave because they are anonymous in the Internet. When I answered one of them in his yahoo account, naturally he kept silent. the silence of the lambs. tail hidden between doggy legs. gloria's cousin, i am sure.

or when people told me to keep quiet and not tangle with senator madrigal because like me, she is also with the opposition. i am not personally tangling with her. i am discussing a political and professional issue with her.

even though i am running for political office, allow me to speak my mind in my patented colorful way. that is the way i am. and woe to him, or her, who wants to transform me into a pre-packaged, image-burnished politician.

he or she won't even get past the dog in the yard.

see what gloria does to us? a proliferation of dog images!

That was why,

Ang Ladlad statement

Ang Ladlad slams anti-gay acts
in the NBN-ZTE issue


“We support the call of whistle-blower Jun Lozada for truth and transparency in the NBN-ZTE scandal, and we deplore the continued silence of Commission on Higher Education Chairman Romulo Neri, Jr. on the issue,” said Danton Remoto, the chairman of Ang Ladlad, the national organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Filipinos.

“However, we are also uncomfortable with the scare tactics being made against Neri by people who promised they would spill the beans regarding his secret, personal life. On record, Senator Jamby Madrigal has threatened to do this in retaliation for what she said was Neri’s statement regarding the patriotic fund that supposedly besmirched her good family name. While we laud the strong stand taken by Sen. Madrigal to ferret out the truth, we are unhappy with the bullying and aggressive, if not crude, tactics being used to reach this noble goal.

“Ang Ladlad also slams former Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos for his malicious snide remark asking why was Lozada always with Neri at the Wack-Wack Golf Club. This was the same Comelec Chairman who refused to accredit Ang Ladlad as a party list on the weak argument of lack of national constituency, saying that what we have are just “phantom voters” and that a group of drunkards might as well run for party list if Ang Ladlad is allowed to do so. This was also the same Abalos who figured in the overpriced election automated machines contract, as well as the 2004 and 2007 elections marred by blatant cheating. Under his controversial tenure, the reputation of Comelec plunged to an all-time low.

“We call on Chairman Neri to disclose everything he knows about the NBN-ZTE deal. He should step forward into the light and leave the shadows behind. In that shadowy world, talks are rife about his alleged homosexual relations that supposedly prevent him from disclosing everything he knows about the issue. In this way, homosexuality is used as a blackmail to prevent one from speaking the truth. Ang Ladlad is against this Gestapo tactic being done by the State.

“Ang Ladlad bravely fought for its accreditation in the last elections and revealed the racket on party list accreditation that was for sale. We continue to fight for the rights of Filipino LGBTs. We are asking Chairman Neri to reveal everything he knows about the NBN-ZTE deal. In this way, he will finally feel how it is to be free from one’s fears and bask in the pure light of truth.


Danton Remoto
danton.lodestar@gmail.com
danton_ph@yahoo.com

images on a tv screen

i went to la salle for the mass. we have to thank gma for making la salle and ateneo work for a common objective -- her ouster.

at la salle i saw poor people, not just the middle and upper classes the papers reported. one old woman was holding the hand of her grandson, who has Down's syndrome. A mother was carrying her baby. A father came with two kids in tow. When parents and grandparents bring their children -- and when the nuns and the businessmen are already there -- the boat is on the way to tipping over.

I am in school and could not go to the senate today. But we will have a mass at ateneo, then candle-lighting and rally again, at katipunan avenuei already called up the tv stations. they are lightning-quick with their responses. for all their excesses, i am happy phil media are here. if not, jun lozada would be dead by now.

the saga continues. my psychics said people will fall from their perches. malapit na...

the bearable lightness of being

two fridays ago i was at the senate to watch jun lozada uncover the stench of the government. jaws dropped to the floor as he detonated one bomb after another. when a government begins to use all its state power versus one ordinary man and his family, the end has begun. manolo quezon told me that when one of the whistle blowers return, I should tell him: "Come out, come out, come out ka na!" I said I might just do that.

last sunday i attended the pdp-laban anniversary in manila. it was full of people -- ordinary people -- not the bewigged and fragrant ones you find in other political pow-wows. koko pimentel was happy to see me and said i would be perfect as a spokesman of pdp-laban. some mayors, etc, posed beside me for photos, because they said they see me on TV. eyebags and all, i smiled for the camera. as i have said earlier, i ran in the last elections under the pdp-laban banner. but that was in may of 2007. i met with jojo binay and we chatted briefly...

this week saw part two of the jun lozada expose. i did not attend because i knew the people in government would just lie. since i work in the senate and we are supposed to be objective, i would find it hard not to scream and hurl a chair at them.

gen. razon has admitted he told a lie when he stated earlier that the family of lozada wrote them asking for security. also, lozada, an hour ago, admitted that howard dee, a presidential adviser whom conrad de quiros calls donald duck, pressured neri. howard is the brother of dewey dee, who fled during the dying days of the marcos regime, with his loot of millions of dollars. the economy almost collapsed. so something really runs in their family, huh!

and that gaite, the deputy executive secretary of malacanang, gave lozada P500,000 to spend for one week in hong kong. so lozada stayed in a suite for P60,000 per day, then shopped at louis vuitton, et al. he wanted to feel how it feels, to spend mindlessly lots of money not your own. it turned out to be a superficial joy. he could not take it, and in the middle of the week, decided to come home.

and so history is repeating itself. tatad of the marcos era is now bunye of the arroyo era -- bunye who was a poor scholar at the ateneo in the late 1960s, educated and fed and given books by the jesuits, and look what he is doing now to the country and to its people, 70 percent of whom are poor!

the problem with lying is, one day, you will forget your script. notice how the eyes of the people in the government look up to the right when they are being interviewed -- trying to retrieve the words, the dialogues, the frame of the script.

and lozada? he is telling them what he knows, with fear and trembling, but also with the happiness that comes only to the truly free.

the eyes of history see everything.

rotten fruit

First, the police deny they abducted Jun Lozada, whistle-blower of the $330 million ZTE NBN broadband deal. Then they said Lozada was with them, but he asked for police protection. Lozada said he didn't. Then the police said that one of the 13 Lozada siblings asked for it. The siblings denied this -- and ran to the Supreme Court, to file for a writ of amparo protection and habeas corpus for Lozada. PNP head Avelino Razon is one of the few officers I used to admire. We were guests in a talk show ten years ago and he seemed a competent one. I do not know what happened to him.

The images are riveting: Lozada surrounded by nuns -- in front, beside, on his back -- before the crack of dawn, giving a press conference. Lozada talking about love of country beyond the rhetoric that the Malacanang dogs loved to spout. The devil, as they say, is in the details. The man could not be possibly lying, as the lapdogs of Malacanang said. He had individuating details, concrete details, for the caper that was the ZTE NBN deal. Even the police could not make up ONE version for the Lozada abduction. Lozada was consistently detailed in his narration.

Rotten fruit. This is the way this administration is going. Remember Jose Rizal's El Filibusterismo? Ibarra came back to afflict everybody with corruption, so that like an over-ripe fruit, the system would just fall to the ground from the weight of its own corruption. With a loud thud.

That is the way this government is going.

Those of us old enough to have been through the Marcos dictatorship had seen this before -- in the cockiness of Bongbong Marcos now repeated in the cockiness of the two Arroyo siblings three nights ago in Congress when they ousted Speaker Joe de Venecia. These boys were asked to leave the Ateneo de Manila for not meeting the grade requirements. In short, they were kicked OUT of the school.

We had seen this arrogance before, of Marcos and Imelda then, and of the Fat Man and Bugs Bunny now. The roll of fat and the bucked teeth, I am sure, are now panicking. And that oily-faced Abalos looked like a rat trapped in a corner when media hounded him. Asking for $130 million (P5 billion) plus for a project not connected to the elections? I am sure there is a special place in hell for scum like this. And this was the man I debated with in the last elections, now sweating nervously through skin thicker than that of a rhinoceros.

Something, someone, some people are going to fall. The history of this country is going to be repeated.

Two nights ago I was washing my face and said, if there really is a God, he or she should do something to this country -- and soon. Well, maybe there is one, for look, look, look:

Tomorrow, I will attend the 10 am hearing at the Senate. I know it will be packed with people, and revelations will spill, and doomsday for some people is at hand.

It is called karma. Swift and sure as a sword.

tips for senatoriables

You see them everywhere, beginning to strut their stuff for 2010. I have some tips for my fellow senatorial candidates in 2010. While these might not make them land in the top 12, these might help them land in the top 24 -- thus making them hot candidates for the 2013 elections.

1. Lose weight.
Nothing discombobulates voters more than the sight of candidates with tummies the size of oversized watermelons. Do not blame the voters if they think that their taxes, in the form of pork barrels, will just end up in the deepest cavities of these bellies.

2. Buy thin paper that soaks oil on your face.
Please. Along with a ref-sized body, nothing turns off voters up close than the sight of all that oil leaking from your porcine faces. Oil enough to fry the next morning's cold rice.

3. Talk in Tagalog and keep it short.
Nothing displeases poor voters more than those who talk in English, or Taglish. You are not Kris Aquino. Or Kristeta Bernadette Aquino, when she was our English major student at the Ateneo. And since Kris is running, let her run the range of her Taglish vocabulary. Talk in Tagalog, and talk no longer than 5 minutes.

4. Do not talk of food to the poor.
I was in the LP anniversary at a depressed community last week and was aghast when one woman who will run for senator began talking about food. This, to people who survive on less than one dollar a day. Hija, 90 percent of Filipino voters are poor. They develop split personalities and sharp migraines from watching TV ads with all those Jollibee chickenjoys they could hardly afford.

5. Appear in a sitcom or a film -- not indie, but mainstream.
In the next year or so, you will see us appearing on TV sitcoms, game shows and in mainstream films. I have been offered at this early stage of the pre-election campaign to appear in one TV sitcom and one game show, but I turned them down. I want to see the script, I want to have a say on what I will say. And one director has asked me to appear in a mainstream film, shooting for which might begin this summer.

I will play the role of an English teacher who scares the bejesus out of his students. I told him perfect! I do not have to act at all.

pulutan

Yesterday, i went to powerbooks 3 in greenbelt to attend the launching of pulutan, a book by former magdalo detainees and PMA officers Emerson Cruz and Elmer Rosales.

The book has since become a bestseller since its publication last September but was launched only yesterday. The two writers were released from detention only last December.

When I joined a table of writers that included Gemma Cruz Araneta, one of the women told me, "Maanghang yan, Danton." I tasted and smiled. It was nothing: of course, being from Bicol, that peppery thing was nothing.

I lined up to have my book signed. Elmer went to the rest room and only Emerson was there. I told him my name, and he said, "Of course, I know you. You should run for senator in 2010."

And then in a lower voice, he told me something that made me smile. Since they are the Boys of Magdalo, I am not under liberty to tell you what those boys told me.

Secret.

silence of the lambs

sorry for the silence of one week. anyway, some days last week i posted at least onc, at the most, two blog entries.

i attended the 62nd anniversary of the liberal party held at the sb barangay hall in barangay commonwealth, a depressed area. there was a medical and dental mission, as well as a town hall meeting on zero VAT for oil and the cheaper medicines bill of Sen Mar Roxas.

I went there as an observer. The media, as well as LP politicians (Butch Abad, Bolet Banal of QC, Congressman Erin Tanada, et al) asked me if I am already a member of the LP. I said I am not.

I have not yet made a decision which party to join for the 2010 elections. The president of the party is duty-bound to help his VP and senatorial candidates, especially in the financial aspect. Nobody with clean hands has P50 million of his own personal money to burn in a senatorial election.

Two political parties have asked me to join their senatorial slate. I will meet with two more parties, then I will decide during the last quarter of the year.

In the meantime, did you notice Ace Durano's tourism ads on TV? He is being asked to run. Did you notice Noli de Castro's Pag-Ibig housing ads on TV? He is definitely running.

And what am I doing?

Going to college campuses every two weeks, talking to student editors and student leaders, as well as hundreds and hundreds of students.

Finalizing an AM station deal that will make my voice be heard twice a week, all over the country.

And trying to sit down and start my long-delayed tabloid column.

Let us see who will capture the imagination of the nation in 2010. If 70 percent of voters are between 18-40, then that is the voting niche that you have to focus on.

Otherwise, you can burn all your ill-gotten money and land beyond the top 12. Look at the names of the losers in the last senatorial elections. Too much money spent, but still, kulelat.

God must still be there, outside the voting center, paring his or her fingernails.