Monday, February 27, 2006

AC Milan's Big 20!

Twenty years with Silvio Berlusconi at the helm . . .


Milan recorded their first league win at Palermo for thirty years as Filippo Inzaghi and Andriy Shevchenko were on the mark to maintain the Rossoneri in second place in the table. Carlo Ancelotti’s side controlled the contest at the Barbera stadium and opened the scoring on 72 minutes when Inzaghi rose to head home Johann Vogel’s floated pass and Shevchenko put the game beyond doubt on 83 minutes from a penalty after a swift counter-attack ended with the Ukrainian being tripped by goalkeeper Mariano Andujar. The only black mark on an otherwise positive afternoon came when Jaap Stam was sent-off for a second yellow card.

Getting narrower?

"You see, the place where Filipinos can move around is getting narrower. The people are not enjoying freedom. It is instead getting even more curtailed." Reaction to Proclamation 1017 and the recent events in Metro Manila?

If some people continue to "do whatever they want" without regard to decency and the law, they are only limiting themselves by their own doing. There are also a lot of free space in other parts of the country, for your information

Abortion in South Dakota and Jamaica to get first woman leader

PIERRE, South Dakota (AP) -- State lawmakers voted Friday to ban nearly all abortions in South Dakota and sent the measure to the governor, who said he is inclined to sign it.

Under the legislation, doctors in South Dakota would face up to five years in prison for performing an abortion unless it was necessary to save the woman's life.

Read on:

The Caribbean island of Jamaica is to have a female prime minister for the first time. Portia Simpson Miller, 60, was elected president of the governing People's National Party in an internal vote. She will automatically become prime minister when the incumbent, PJ Patterson, steps down in the next few weeks after 14 years in the post.

Read on:


Well, well, ABS-CBN did broadcast Sharon's show last Sunday. What can I say?

Media afraid of 1017

Afraid of 1017? Read this:

What the heck, here it is in full (apologies for cut-and-paste, Sir Doronilla and INQ7):

1017: Press main target

First posted 06:13am (Mla time) Feb 27, 2006
By Amando Doronila

Editor's Note: Published on page A1 of the Feb. 27, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's proclamation of a state of national emergency on Friday has pushed the Philippines into the twilight zone of a failed democracy.

The failure of democracy was starkly highlighted by the swift crackdown on targeted political "enemies of the state" following the announcement of Proclamation No. 1017 on Friday morning.

Before ink of the President's signature on the proclamation had dried, police arrested two on the government's list of at least 10 people alleged to be part of the "tactical alliance" of mainstream opposition politicians, "military adventurers" and communist rebels "engaged in a concerted and systematic conspiracy to bring down the duly constituted government elected in May 2004 and raided the offices of the Tribune newspaper critical of the administration. Those arrested were former Philippine Constabulary chief Ramon Montaño and Representative Crispin Beltran, a leftist congressman representing the Anakpawis party-list group.

police actions left little doubt that the press has become a main target of the crackdown and the raids signaled a direct assault on the freedom of the press guaranteed by the Bill of Rights of the Constitution.

The raids have created apprehension in the media over what media organizations would be raided next, but the proclamation and general orders issued by the President to the national police to implement the proclamation have clearly indicated that press freedom has not been effectively curtailed in a degree not seen since President Ferdinand Marcos shut down newspapers and media networks in a total clampdown of the press following the declaration of martial law in September 1972.

The media should not have any illusion that Proclamation No. 1017 has effectively ended freedom of the press as they have known it.

Although the Marcos clampdown on media was total and sweeping, the Arroyo crackdown, which is being done incrementally, piecemeal and selectively, is no less a fatal body blow to press freedom, the first freedom to go under when a dictatorship is established. With the proclamation, Philippine democracy has lost one of its key underpinnings of political liberty.

More than the politicians and the members of the extreme Right and the extreme Left, the first victim of the crackdown is the media, accused by the administration of allegedly fueling political conspiracies aimed at overthrowing the government.

President Arroyo issued the proclamation in response to what it claimed was a systematic conspiracy of a tactical alliance of opposition politicians, military groups involved in coup plots and of communist rebels to overthrow the government. The thwarting of the plot triggered the proclamation.

The proclamation followed claims by the government that it had uncovered and aborted a plot to topple the government. The foiling of the plot led to the arrest last week of two senior officers – Brigadier General Danilo Lim and Colonel Ariel Querubin, brigade commander in Lanao del Sur.

The government claimed that Lim had planned to announce withdrawal of support of his unit for the government, that he had tried to persuade other military leaders to support the withdrawal, and that the withdrawal would have been the signal for the rebellious military units to join a general uprising together with civilian groups that had been demanding ouster of the Arroyo regime.

In announcing the thwarting of the plot, President Arroyo said, some officers had "tried to break out of the Armed Forces chain of command ... and establish a regime outside of the Constitution." The involvement of the press in the conspiracy, according to the President, is that the claims of "these elements" of the conspiracy as a tactical alliance of the "historical enemies of the democratic Philippine state" have been "recklessly" magnified by certain segments of the media.

To counter this conspiracy, the President invoked constitutional emergency powers that authorize her to call out the Armed Forces "to prevent and suppress rebellion" and authorize her to "temporarily take over or direct operation of any privately owned public utility or business affected with public interests."

The President ordered the Armed Forces "to maintain law and order throughout the Philippines, prevent or suppress all forms of lawless violence as well as any act of insurrection or rebellion, and to enforce obedience to all the laws and to all decrees, orders and regulations promulgated by me personally or upon my direction."

The proclamation gave a blanket authority to the military and national police in the implementation of the proclamation and in compliance of all presidential decrees and orders.

It is on the basis of these instructions that the Philippine National Police carried out the crackdown of the press. General Order No. 5 issued by the President last Friday gave the police and the military powers to carry out "necessary and appropriate actions and measures to suppress and prevent acts of terrorism."

PNP Director General Arturo Lomibao warned on Saturday the PNP would take over any media organization that would not follow "standards set by the government" during the national emergency. The setting up of standards defined by government in effect establishes censorship.

Lomibao said a government team would examine the editorial contents of newspapers and the news or views aired by broadcast stations to see if these conform to these standards. He said, "we will recommend (action) based on our evaluation." He said, "If they (the news groups) do not follow the standards -- and standards are if they would contribute to instability in the government, (or) if they do not subscribe to what is in General Order No. 5 and Presidential Proclamation No. 1017 -- we will recommend (a takeover)".

Violations of standards will be "left to the judgment of the PNP and other agencies that are empowered to implement the order. "Appropriate actions" refer to "actions which are hurting the Philippine state by obstructing government, including hindering the growth of the economy and sabotaging the people's confidence in government, and their faith in the future of this country."

Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye has said the government would issue guidelines on stories that "contribute to the exacerbation of the national emergency. So far the guidelines have not been issued, but these would clearly amount to censorship. It was not clear yesterday whether the Tribune would be taken over by the government or whether its editors would be arrested. The presidential chief of staff, Michael Defensor, issued a yet another chilly warning to the media about the risks they faced in publishing stories that might be deemed inflammatory by the government. He said the raid on the Tribune offices was meant to show a "strong presence, to tell media outlets not to connive or do anything that would help the rebels in bringing down government."

The general order and these statements point to the takeover by government of a broad range of discretionary powers in deciding whether to take over media outlets, arresting journalists and stories are offensive to the State. Defensor said, while the government did not want to stifle press freedom, "This is an abnormal situation ... there is a possibility of an armed takeover of the government. A government has a right to protect itself."

The proclamation has forced the press to define how it would operate within these restraints in the exercise of freedom of the press on behalf of the people.


Noise in Metro Manila

While the rest of the Philippines was working hard to continue pushing for national unity and development, some in Metro Manila have made noises again. Naman! Why can't they push for change silently yet effectively? Everyone knows their moves. What is this, a pool game? They should play it like chess.

Last Friday and again yesterday (Sunday), ABS-CBN and ANC were the only tv stations making blow-by-blow accounts of the activities of those days. And they were saying many times that media was not sleeping, was watching every move. True, perhaps. But why only them, doing the blow-by-blow? Are they the only ones in media then? Or don't they have any other show in their schedules. Oh, right, Wowowee has stopped airing for some time, so they might really have open time slots. And Sunday? Maybe Korina didn't have any show produced on her Balitang K, a friend of mine speculated. And why no show produced? We wonder.

Were the other media outlets afraid that government will take over their operations, especially that we are under the state of emergency, if they do this type of broadacast? Or are they only doing what is prudent? or right? or do they just don't care? or simply that the events did not merit more that the usual hourly updates and the local evening news broadcasts? You tell me.

The fact that ABS-CBN and ANC were not taken off the air should say something about the state of things, right?

Did anyone get to watch the premier telecast of the new Sharon Cuneta show on ABS-CBN last night? Or was it pre-empted by the "special coverage"? I don't know. I turned off the tv set when the scheduled start of Sharon's show passed, with ABS-CBN not saying anything about it. Perhaps I missed any announcement made. And I missed Shawie's show. Naman!

Stand down

Here are some words that could probably be meaningful for those who advocate for the destruction of the legitimate governments through viloent means, and those who want to usurp or cling to power as if they have the patent for it. Stand down.

The Way 151
Detachment. How hard it is! Oh, to be fastened by nothing but three nails and to have no more feeling in my flesh than the Cross

Thursday, February 23, 2006

On censorship

US court won't review college censorship case
Wednesday, February 22, 2006

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The Supreme Court declined Tuesday to decide whether university administrators can censor campus newspapers by insisting they be approved before publication.

Read on:

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Feast of the Chair of St. Peter

Today, we celebrate the Feast of St. Peter.
We pray more fervently to God for the Pope.

Here are some words of St. Josemaria Escriva that we can find useful this day:

The Forge 638

Our Holy Mother the Church, in a magnificent outpouring of love, is scattering the seed of the Gospel throughout the world; from Rome to the outposts of the earth.

As you help in this work of expansion throughout the whole world, bring those in the outposts to the Pope, so that the earth may be one flock and one Shepherd: one apostolate!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Here's how VDay is celebrated in Japan

Valentine's Day and White Day in Japan

By: Billy Hammond

The Japanese celebrate St. Valentine's day in a rather unique fashion. Women give the men gifts of chocolate as well as other gifts.

These gifts of chocolate are divided into two types: giri choco (obligatory chocolate) and honmei choco (chocolate for the man the woman is serious about). Giri choco is given by women to their superiors at work as well as to other male co-workers. It is not unusual for a woman to buy 20 to 30 boxes of this type of chocolate for distribution around the office as well as to men that she has regular contact with.

Needless to say, the approach of Valentine's Day is something that department stores and shops look forward to and promote with zeal because of its potential for increased sales. Large displays featuring chocolate usually with heart-shaped displays start to grace the floors of department stores from mid-January or so.

A woman will normally purchase boxes of giri choco in the several hundred yen range and may purchase an expensive box of honmei choco and another gift such as a necktie for her "special someone".

While all of this may seem quite one-sided, confectioners in Japan - never ones to miss an opportunity to sell more - took advantage of the Japanese feelings of obligation and created "White Day" in 1980 to help assuage the guilt feelings of those poor obligated males who received chocolate on Valentine's Day. On March 14th, exactly one month after Valentine's Day, men who were lucky enough to receive gifts of chocolate have the chance to return the favor by giving the women who gave them gifts of chocolate a more expensive box of chocolate or sweets (for some reason or other, these return gifts seem to be priced slightly higher than those the women purchase). Again, the stores provide plenty of reminders of the approach of this day so that even the most forgetful man cannot say that it slipped his mind. The gifts of chocolate that men buy are in white boxes (after all, it is "White Day") and come with separate shopping bags to put them in.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Tiger is the man

Tiger Woods over the weekend officially opened his $25M Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, California. See, Tiger isn't all golf. He is truly one of the greatest.

Here's a link to story:

Monday, February 06, 2006

Pictures during the sunset

Pictures I took of various areas of the sky at sunset. Lahug, Cebu City.


We want to find the cause of accident that caused the death of 70 plus before a game show in Manila last Saturday. There cannot be just one to be blamed. The organizers could have not prepared well for crowd control and people themselves were not prepared to form their lines and wait their turn. In the Philippines, I believe we do not have the culture of waiting patiently in line. If we want to be first, we have to line up first. Last Thursday, I was second in the line waiting to have my ticket checked before entering the pre-departure area for Superferry 12 (at Pier 4 terminal), and what do we see? Someone actually wanting to get ahead of me. I could have let it pass, but he looked me in the eye, and he caught my gaze, so he backtracked. It happens many times. Really.

Funny though, some have already concluded that it is the President (GMA) who is a fault. C'mon. Sure, I did not vote for her in 2004, but to put the blame on her for this tragedy is too much. Of course, it is not surprising also that she'd be blamed, for she has also been blamed for the rise of the world market price for crude oil. C'mon. C'mon.

Tiger Tiger

Tiger Woods has so far won 2 out of 2 tournaments he entered. Woods won the Dubai Desert Classic over Ernie Els on Sunday, forcing a one-hole playoff against the defending champion with birdies on the last two holes of regulation.

I was happy that Martina won over Masha (6-3, 6-1) in the semis at Tokyo. Too bad she lost on a rout in the finals by Elena Dementieva's big serves and returns, falling 6-2, 6-0.

The Steelers went on the win SB 40, their fifth SB win.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

ACMilan out of the Italian Cup

1/31/2006 11:03:00 PM
Milan waved goodbye to this season’s Italian Cup following a 3-0 defeat at Palermo. The result sent the Rossoneri out of the competition 3-1 on aggregate and handed new Rosanero coach Giuseppe Papadopulo a debut victory. After almost scoring inside the first eight minutes through Kakà, Milan were undone in an eight-minute goal-spell, as first Nicolas Mariano Gonzalez and then Andrea Caracciolo turned the tie around in the Sicilian side’s favour. A further goal from Gonzalez earlier in the second half left Carlo Ancelotti’s side with a mountain to climb and despite a number of goalscoring chances, home goalkeeper Mariano Andujar was in fine form and the first piece of silverware has gone by the wayside.