GRILLED

The New PNP Chief
Earlier this week, President Aquino appointed Deputy Director General Raul Bacalzo as the new chief of the Philippine National Police. Sought for reaction after his appointment, Bacalzo said, “Grabe! Para akong tumama sa jueteng!”

Newly-appointed PNP chief Deputy Director General Raul Bacalzo said “I’m ordering my regional and district directors to eradicate jueteng and all forms of illegal gambling,” – to which the regional and district directors said, “Sir, saan n’yo kami gustong magsimula? Sa puno?”

The Undersecretary
Rumors say the jueteng allegation has been taking its toll on Undersecretary Rico Puno. Of late, he couldn’t sleep, he couldn’t eat, and he couldn’t resist TV and radio guestings.

Interior Undersecretary Rico Puno denied allegations he was on the take from jueteng operators… but few people believed him. That’s one of the perils of being a Puno in government.

Interior Undersecretary Rico Puno has reportedly offered to step down. As of press time though, he’s still there. If he doesn’t resign in 11 days, President Aquino will take the cudgels for him.

ABS-CBN’s informant revealed that Interior Undersecretary Rico Puno is one of two high-ranking government officials who allegedly receive monthly jueteng payola. ABS-CBN has declined to identify its informant… out of respect for Archbishop Cruz’ request to remain anonymous.

Top 5 Movie Remakes Starring Interior Undersecretary Rico Puno

No. 5: Close Encounters of the Emissary Kind

No. 4: Kung Fu Pineda

No. 3: Jueteng to Exhale

No. 2: Look Who’s Taking!

And the No. 1 movie remake starring Interior Undersecretary Rico Puno…

Y Tu Mamá Tumbok ng otsenta, sahod ng beinte

The Senate Probe
Senators are set to conduct a fresh investigation into the jueteng controversy. If nothing comes out of the probe, they’ll invite TV news executives and blame them for reporting about jueteng.

News Execs Grilled
Last Tuesday, senators grilled television news executives and a couple of radio news anchors in connection with the bungled hostage rescue. ABS-CBN’s Maria Ressa tried to explain their side. GMA 7’s Jessica Soho tried to defend their action. RMN’s Michael Rogas tried to negotiate.

GMA News executive Jessica Soho admitted that after the August 23 hostage crisis, she and ABS-CBN news chief Maria Ressa became textmates. In fairness though, Ressa also tried to text TV5 news head Luchi Cruz-Valdez about the incident but she got disappointed when Luchi replied, “Hu u?”

Light Bites
Q: What has three heads, six legs and gives conflicting statements?
A: The Presidential Communications Group

Q: What has six legs, four eyes, and goes Ngoorkkzz?
A: A drunk executive secretary slumped on a chair
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“The safest way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket.”
– Kin Hubbard

Survey Says
Dapat bang pangalanan ni Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz ang high ranking officials na umano’y tumatanggap ng jueteng payola?
– OO! Now na! 84.23%
– HINDI! Trabaho ng DILG ‘yan! 5.18%
– Bahala s’ya. It’s up to him. 10.59%

We have a new survey. Please vote now.

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BAD

mikea1 The First Gentleman
First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo finally broke his silence on his alleged involvement in the World Bank road projects controversy. In an exclusive chance interview with GMA News, Attorney Arroyo said, “Of course not. It’s not true. Hearsay lang ‘yan.” Again, that was Mr. Arroyo speaking… not Miriam Defensor-Santiago, not Juan Ponce Enrile, not Joker Arroyo. Mabuti na’ng malinaw.

In a chance interview with GMA 7’s Joseph Morong outside the St. Luke’s Medical Center, First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo categorically denied his alleged involvement in the World Bank-funded road projects controversy. The reporter tried to obtain more info from Attorney Arroyo but his doctors had to intervene because every time the First Gentleman talks, his blood pressure shoots up, his skin turns pale, and his nose grows a centimeter longer.

GMA News was able to interview First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo on his alleged involvement in the World Bank road projects mess. Attorney Arroyo admitted that he knew Eduardo De Luna of the blacklisted E.C. Construction Corporation. When the reporter asked how much he knew the guy, he replied, “Five percent.”

According to his lawyer Ruy Rondain, he is not sure whether First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo’s doctors would allow him to attend the Senate hearing, but explained that Attorney Arroyo could play golf “because this is not stressful” – unless of course he overtakes the Pangandamans in the fairway.

GMA News was able to interview First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo outside the St. Luke’s Medical Center yesterday. With all the allegations being hurled against him, Attorney Arroyo admitted that he was angry… but not as angry as ABS-CBN News boss Maria Ressa who refused to accept her reporter’s excuse why GMA 7 outscooped them.

gmadavos The Economy Is So Bad…
You’ve probably heard this. Electronics company Amkor Technology Inc. has laid off 1,500 workers from its two plants in Muntinlupa and Sta. Rosa. Also last week, Fujitsu Philippines confirmed it would lay off hundreds of workers from its disk manufacturing plants in Laguna and Batangas. The economy is so bad FedEx has closed its facility in Subic; Intel has closed its factory in Cavite, and Barack Obama has closed his doors on GMA.

The economy is so bad First Gentleman Mike Arroyo has agreed to lower his commission to 3 percent.

yusoph121 The economy is so bad newly-appointed Comelec commissioner Atty. Elias Yusoph cannot even buy a razor to shave.

The economy is so bad Celso De Los Angeles is now selling his soul to the devil just to settle his obligations.

The economy is so bad the devil declined due to bankruptcy.

The economy is so bad other DOJ prosecutors have started their own lending businesses.

alabang_boys3 The economy is so bad the Alabang Boys have switched from Ecstasy to Biogesic.

The economy is so bad Sen. Lito Lapid is riding a horse to the Senate.

The economy is so bad ABS-CBN cannot even send a reporter to St. Luke’s Hospital to interview Attorney Mike Arroyo.

The economy is so bad GMA 7 has to “steal” a song from Gary Granada.

The economy is so bad TV5’s resigned executive Christopher Sy actually earned thrice more than his network did last year.

below2 FedEx’s facility has closed. Intel’s facility has closed. The economy is so damn bad not even another surgery could stop Vicki Belo’s left eye from closing.

On second thought, the economy may not be that bad at all… because from being a “palengke person,” Mar Roxas is now a pharmacist.

legacy-2 The Legacy Group
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas branded the Legacy Group of Companies owned by Celso de los Angeles as an organized syndicate, probably the second largest of its kind… next only to Philippine Congress.
_________

“Denial. It’s not just a river in Egypt. It’s a freakin’ ocean.”
~Dr. Meredith Grey, Grey’s Anatomy

OF DIVAS & DIVOS

Obama and Nine World Leaders
President-elect Barack Obama spoke by telephone with the leaders of nine US allies to express thanks for their messages of congratulations. He returned the calls to the leaders of Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Mexico and South Korea. Obama actually considered returning the call of President Arroyo but decided to postpone it… until such time his intelligence adviser has given him the assurance his call won’t be wiretapped.

Miriam’s Failed ICJ Seat Bid
After being edged out by the candidate from the African nation of Somalia, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago lost her bid for a seat in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Reporters tried to get Santiago’s reaction but her staff said she was busy doing a background check on the Somalian candidate… whose intense ICJ campaign she suspected of having been run by DILG Sec. Ronaldo Puno.

Bolante Update
The spokeswoman of St. Luke’s Medical Center said former agriculture undersecretary Jocjoc Bolante was diagnosed with a sleeping disorder and must stay in the hospital for further tests. Asked about the possible cause of the disorder, she replied, “severe exhaustion of the conscience.”

The spokeswoman of St. Luke’s Medical Center said former agriculture undersecretary Jocjoc Bolante was diagnosed with a sleeping disorder. Now that’s really bad. Noon, ‘yong mga dating kaibigan lang ang ayaw dumalaw sa kanya. Ngayon naman, pati antok ayaw siyang dalawin.


CNN’s New Technology
Remember the holographic technology used by CNN in its election coverage last week? A reporter who was actually in Chicago was made to look as if she was right inside the network’s Manhattan studio. Amazing! That’s the same technology being used now by St. Luke’s Medical Center to make it appear Jocjoc Bolante’s still there.

SWS Survey
The third quarter survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations showed that Vice President Noli De Castro (29%) was still the top pick of Filipinos to replace President Arroyo in 2010. Senate President Manuel Villar (28%) came in close second, and Sen. Loren Legarda (26%) placed third. Cong. Jose De Venecia got one percent… which probably explains why he spent two whole days at the cemetery on November 1 & 2. He visited his political career.

Mass in Malacañang
Shortly before midnight on Friday, President Arroyo heard mass in Malacañang celebrated by a bishop from Quezon, and organized by NGO leader Evelyn Kilayko amid rumors of a destabilization plot. Kilayko says she received a text message saying Jose De Venecia is leading the plot. Apparently, Kilayko is not used to receiving text jokes.

ABS-CBN Lets Go of Luchi
ABS-CBN confirmed the resignation of Luchi Cruz-Valdez, vice-president for news production & current affairs after a bitter dispute with fellow news executive Maria Ressa. ABS-CBN accepted her resignation and hailed her contribution to the organization, and to the network’s cost-cutting measures.

With the resignation of Luchi Cruz-Valdez, the network’s so-called group of “tres marias” aka “three divas” has officially been dissolved. The remaining duo of Maria Ressa and Charie Villa will soon be known as “dos lesbos.”

Bayani Wins TV Tilt
MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando has been declared champion of GMA 7’s talent search Celebrity Duets Season 2. Residents of Marikina City are rejoicing… mainly because Mayor Marides Fernando will now stop soliciting text votes for her husband.

Personal
History has repeated itself. I left (and probably lost) my phone in a taxicab Sunday noon. Yup, that’s the same phone i lost in a cab five weeks ago but was found and returned by a UP stude. This time, I think whoever found it has no intention of giving it back to me. Sigh. I’ve got a new phone though.
__________
Sometimes it is better to lose and do the right thing than to win and do the wrong thing.
–Tony Blair

ETHICAL

NTC vs. ABS-CBN
For airing an interview with wanted MILF leader Kumander Bravo, the National Telecommunications Commission filed a complaint to the KBP against ABS-CBN. The NTC says the network violated the KBP’s Broadcast Code of 2007 particularly the provision that states, “”broadcast facilities shall not be used or allowed to be used for advocating the overthrow of government by force or violence,” and “the broadcast of materials which tend to incite treason, rebellion, sedition or create civil disorder or disturbance is prohibited.” This marks the first time NTC officials filed such a complaint against ABS-CBN… which could only mean one thing: they haven’t actually listened to DZMM’s “Tambalang Failon and Sanchez.”

NTC vs. ABS-CBN II
The NTC filed a complaint to the KBP against ABS-CBN for airing an interview with rogue MILF leader Kumander Bravo who is wanted by the military. But ABS-CBN News head Maria Ressa insists that the Kumander Bravo interview is a legitimate and ethical story and that ABS-CBN will not suspend the airing of his interviews… unless he starts talking about Nadia Montenegro’s love life.

NTC vs. ABS-CBN III
ABS-CBN successfully located and interviewed rogue MILF commander Bravo who has a 10 million-peso bounty on his head and is wanted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Outraged military officials who watched the interview vowed to intensify the info gathering and massive manhunt for Bravo in the Lanao Provinces, and soon at the ABS-CBN newsroom.

Meralco’s Power Rate Hike
Amid difficult times, the Lopez-owned Manila Electric Company or Meralco implemented a 36 percent power rate increase. Militant leader Rafael Mariano described the increase as “deceitful.” Cong. Mikey Arroyo believed it was “unjustified.” ABS-CBN News said it was “legitimate and ethical.”

“Euro Generals” Controversy
Retired Philippine National Police director for comptrollership Eliseo De La Paz underwent normal arrival procedures at the NAIA when he arrived Tuesday. Airport manager Angel Atutubo said De La Paz was not treated as a VIP and not a single marshal was assigned to escort him. Atutubo was understandably being careful… because the last time he escorted someone out of the airport, the La Salle Brothers accused him of kidnapping!

“Euro Generals” Controversy II
This has yet to be confirmed but retired PNP director for comptrollership Eliseo De La Paz will reportedly bring to the Senate what’s left of the undeclared 6.9 million pesos cash he was caught carrying in Moscow. To be sure it’s the real stuff, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago wanted to hire canines to sniff out the money. But Sen. Panfilo Lacson said there’s no need for a K9 unit… as long as Senators Alan Peter and Joker Arroyo are there.

“Euro Generals” Controversy III
Retired PNP director for comptrollership Eliseo De La Paz and DILG Sec. Ronaldo Puno have conflicting claims with regard to the 6.9 million pesos worth of undeclared cash De La Paz carried while in Russia. De La Paz said the money was a “cash advance” while Puno claimed it was a “contingency” fund. But De La Paz’ wife, Maria Fe who traveled with him to Russia said, “I couldn’t really tell whether it was a cash advance or a contingency fund because when my husband handed me the money, he just said, “Sweetheart, ingatan mo ‘to… pang-shopping!”

Jocjoc to be Deported
US authorities will deport former agriculture undersecretary Jocjoc Bolante before the end of October. But Bolante’s legal counsel Ira Azulay refused to reveal the exact return date saying, “We’re concerned about his safety.” That’s actually a valid concern… because if he gets “kidnapped” when he arrives at the NAIA, he cannot expect support from the La Salle Brothers. He’s Atenean.

Jocjoc to be Deported 2
Lawyer Harry Roque is all over the news again announcing with certainty that former agriculture undersecretary Jocjoc Bolante will be deported in 24 hours. I know for a fact that Roque’s a UP professor (and I admire him) but I didn’t know he’s with the US Department of Homeland Security.

__________
Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.
– Plato

RELAX, SEE A MOVIE

Top 20 Movie Casting Choices That Were Meant to Be 2

20: ex-Sen. Ramon Revilla Sr.: Staying Alive

19: Vicki Belo & Ellen Lising: House of Wax

18: DOJ Sec. Raul Gonzales: The Jerk

17: Sen. Antonio Trillanes: Chasing Liberty

16: Tim Yap/DJ Montano: Close Encounters of the Third Kind

15: Mrs. Rose Flaminiano: Super Size Me

14: The Gucci Gang with the special participation of Ms. Nora Aunor: Romancing the Stone

13: Shell, Petron, and Caltex: Liar Liar

12: ABS-CBN News’ Maria Ressa: The Punisher

11: Nadia Montenegro: Grease

10: Doña Mary Ejercito: 10,000 BC

9: Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada: The Man Who Knew Too Much

8: Sen. Lito Lapid: Artificial Intelligence

7: ex-Sen. John Osmeña: Girl, Interrupted

6: (tie) MILF’s Kumander Bravo and Umbra Kato: Psycho and Jose “Joey” De Venecia III: V for Vendetta

5: Panfilo Lacson and Jamby Madrigal: Sister Act

4: Sen. Manuel Villar: Two for the Road

3: Sens. Loren Legarda & Edgardo Angara: An Inconvenient Truth

2: Claudio Teehankee Jr.: While You Were Sleeping

And the No. 1 movie casting choice that was meant to be…

1: Sen. Francis Pangilinan: Unfaithful

See also The Top 20 Movie Casting Choices That Were Meant to Be

KARMA

null ABS-CBN Suspends TV Host
ABS-CBN suspended the talent contract of libel convict and TV/radio host Cristy Fermin following her explosive tirade against actress Nadia Montenegro which the network said violated the highest standards of professionalism and journalistic integrity. In another report dismissed as “unrelated” by Fermin herself, Kris Aquino has reportedly issued a statement saying, “God is really good and God knows how much I have missed The Buzz.”

ABS-CBN Suspends TV Host II
Libel convict Cristy Fermin has been suspended by ABS-CBN “for violating the highest standards of professionalism and journalistic integrity.” She’ll neither appear on “The Buzz” nor host her radio program on DZMM. Likewise, she’ll automatically be barred from entering the province of Rizal… unless the governor lifts the ban on the entry of Metro Manila garbage.

ABS-CBN Suspends TV Host III
Less than a week after ABS-CBN News boss Maria Ressa fired Cristy Fermin’s protégé – showbiz columnist Ogie Diaz for violating the network’s code of ethics, ABS-CBN Entertainment suspended Fermin for violating the highest standards of professionalism and journalistic integrity. Last month, the network also suspended news executive Luchi Cruz-Valdez and Ces Drilon was also suspended for disobeying her superiors. With these recent developments, ABS-CBN insiders are left with one question: “Bakit sobrang lakas ng kapit ni Willie Revillame?”

null ABS-CBN Suspends TV Host IV
After dismissing tabloid columnist Ogie Diaz, ABS-CBN suspended Cristy Fermin. Network executives were quick to deny allegations… of “ethnic cleansing.”

Dangerous Places
The International Federation of Journalists says Iraq is still the most dangerous place in the world for journalists followed by the African nation of Somalia. In close third was ABS-CBN.


Madonna-Guy Ritchie Divorce
British newspapers say Madonna and Guy Ritchie are splitting up. The rumor intensified when Madonna was spotted in Hong Kong with her make-up artist.

Madonna-Guy Ritchie Divorce II
British newspapers say Madonna and Guy Ritchie are splitting up. Local newspapers are not buying it though… unless Fanny Serrano issues a confirmation.

null Top RP Universities
Overtaking the University of the Philippines System, Ateneo De Manila University topped the 2008 survey of Philippine universities conducted by The Times Higher Education-Quacquarelli Symonds (THE-QS). Perennnial frontrunner UP System doubted the survey saying it did not participate this year after THE-QS asked for an advertising fee of $49,000 or P2M pesos. Distant third placer De La Salle University also issued a statement on Ateneo’s feat. It blamed the referees.

__________
People pay for what they do, and still more, for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it simply: by the lives they lead.
– Edith Wharton

FOR THE FOURTH TIME

null
Impeachment Complaint vs. GMA
Losing NBN contract bidder Jose “Joey” De Venecia III said there “was nothing political” about his filing of a new impeachment complaint against President Arroyo. So ano ‘yon? Showbiz?!?

null Unknown to many, lawyer Oliver Lozano did try to submit his impeachment complaint ahead of the De Venecia group last Monday. Unfortunately though, he arrived late because his driver plied the C5 route instead of Edsa. It was too late for them to realize they were driving along the “road to nowhere.”

Losing NBN bidder Jose “Joey” De Venecia III, former congressman Rolex Suplico and lawyer Harry Roque led the filing of a new impeachment complaint against President Arroyo. Nine more and the opposition’s senatorial slate for 2010 is complete.

House Speaker Prospero Nograles and Minority Floor Leader Ronaldo Zamora both stressed, “The impeachment is a numbers game,” to which former president Joseph Estrada said, “Talaga? Kelan pa?!? Paano mag-franchise?”

President Arroyo is facing yet another impeachment complaint. That’s the fourth time her critics have tried to unseat her and the fourth time actor Rez Cortez tried to resurrect his career.

According to reports, Joey De Venecia woke up a bit early to file the impeachment complaint against Mrs. Arroyo. Close friends however claim, Joey had no sleep when he went to Batasan. He’s gotten used to it though. You know… habit. (Itanong n’yo pa kay Luli.)

GMA’s Ratings
The latest Social Weather Stations survey showed that 27% are satisfied and 54% are dissatisfied with President Arroyo’s performance. The remaining 19% replied, “Aba malay ko! Ako ba ang asawa niya?!”

Loren Online
Reports say Sen. Loren Legarda has formally launched her Friendster, Myspace, and Multiply accounts as well as her official website. But Legarda denied it had something to do with her political plans for 2010. It’s just her latest effort to… “romantically move on.”

Loren Online II
Reports say Sen. Loren Legarda has opened accounts in three social networking sites: Friendster, MySpace, and Multiply… to which Sen. Jamby Madrigal said, “Hmpf! Gaya-gaya! Matagal na kaya akong may Downelink!”

null Sulpicio vs. PAGASA
The Manila RTC junked the case filed by Sulpicio Lines against the local weather bureau, PAGASA. Sulpicio Lines has blamed the MV Princess of the Stars tragedy to PAGASA’s alleged inaccurate forecast… to which the court said, “Tandaan: Ang maniwala sa sabi-sabi walang bait sa sarili.”

Strict Policies null
I don’t know if you’ve heard the news but ABS-CBN News bigwig Maria Ressa has fired Umagang Kayganda showbiz segment host Ogie Diaz for reportedly violating their code of ethics. Diaz is just unfortunate he’s part of Ressa’s team. If he were part of the senate, he’d surely keep his post.

null Strict Policies II
For violating the news department’s code of ethics, tv host Ogie Diaz was sacked from Umagang Kayganda by ABS-CBN News boss Maria Ressa. If Ressa were head of ABS-CBN Entertainment, the Lopez network would be a virtual ghost town.

null I Witnessed…
… Sen. Jamby Madrigal and husband Eric Valade in our special screening of the Diane Lane-Richard Gere starrer Nights in Rodanthe at Powerplant Cinema earlier this evening. Jamby approached us and asked if she could attend the by-invitation-only screening although she didn’t have tickets. We let them in. She looked haggard. Para silang mag-tiya ng kanyang asawa. She likes movies pala. I might send her invites to our sneak preview of “Twilight.”

Finally…
After 23 days, I’ve claimed my 2008 Philippine Blog Awards trophy.

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Crime does not pay … as well as politics.
– Alfred Newman