PIRATES & PRAYERS

Postscript to a Senate Coup
Did you hear about US President-elect Barack Obama’s pre-dawn call to President Arroyo last Tuesday? They say Malacañang is so proud of that one call… to which Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said, “That’s nothing! Before dawn last Tuesday, I received 13 calls.”

As of press time Thursday, both the Senate majority and minority were claiming Sen. Lito Lapid, the confused chairman of the games and amusements committee as their own – prompting the Kapampangan action star to complain, “Ewan ko nga ba sa mga ‘yan. Ang gulu-gulo at ang ingay-ingay sa session hall. Kulang na nga ako sa tulog eh.”

Sen. Francis Escudero wants the chairmanship of the powerful Blue Ribbon committee. Sen. Richard Gordon also wants the Blue Ribbon. Other senators want Alan Peter Cayetano to keep the Blue Ribbon. Everyone is desperate for the Blue Ribbon… except perhaps for Lito Lapid whose only craving is a Red Ribbon.

A Worried JDV
Reports say Cong. Jose De Venecia is worried about the upcoming new appointments in the Supreme Court. Two days ago, he got worried when Juan Ponce Enrile was installed Senate president. He is also worried Congress might totally junk the impeachment complaint filed by his son against President Arroyo. Kawawa naman ‘tong taong ‘to. Ayaw tigilan ng konsensya. Nakakatulog pa kaya siya?

Pulse Asia Survey
In the latest survey conducted by Pulse Asia Inc, 58 percent of Filipinos said they were “losers” or “worse now” compared to last year. Sen. Manuel Villar and Cong. Jose De Venecia share the same sentiment.


Somali Pirates I
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the number of abducted Filipino seafarers being held hostage in waters off Somalia rose to 134 after another group of Somali pirates seized a merchant vessel with seven Filipinos on board. President Arroyo is calling on all Filipinos to pray for the safety of the hostages. She ordered Press Secretary Jesus Dureza to lead the prayer.

Somali Pirates II
Somali pirates hijacked Saudi oil super-tanker Sirius Star with 19 Filipinos on board. Sketchy reports say the Pinoy hostages were allowed to use mobile phones. Those who were able to call home assured their loved ones they are being treated humanely, with some pirates even promising them clothes, food, and a chance to meet Johnny Depp.

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If you talk to God, you are praying. If God talks to you, you have schizophrenia.
~Thomas Szasz

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NA COUP HA SA TIYAGA

The Coup
Sen. Manuel Villar has been ousted as Senate president and Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile was installed as his replacement. Sen. Gringo Honasan swore in Enrile to his new position. After 22 years, the duo has finally staged their first ever successful coup.

Juan Ponce Enrile is the new Senate president. In his acceptance speech, the 84-year-old lawmaker talked about the Senate’s advocacies, ambitious projects, and a bright future as an independent institution – words that were truly inspiring to hear… especially from someone who may no longer be there when “future” happens.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer identified the members of the core group that strenuously worked for Villar’s ouster: Loren Legarda, Panfilo Lacson, Mar Roxas, and Jamby Madrigal. However, even if you combined their best efforts, much of the credit should still go to Korina Sanchez.

Juan Ponce Enrile is the new Senate president. In his acceptance speech, he thanked everyone who helped him (snatch the third highest post in the land) especially Loren Legarda, Mar Roxas, Panfilo Lacson, Jamby Madrigal, and CP Garcia Avenue.

Another Inquirer report quoted an administration senator as saying Sen. Edgardo Angara plotted against Villar to advance the vice presidential bid of Loren Legarda who could become Joseph Estrada’s running mate if he decided to run. And we all thought the “affair” was over.

Administration senators who voted to oust Villar included Honasan, Richard Gordon, Edgardo Angara, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., and Juan Miguel Zubiri. Lito Lapid who couldn’t understand what was happening also voted “Yes” to Villar’s ouster but only because he had a hard time spelling “Abstain.”

Sen. Manuel Villar said he was saddened and surprised by Jinggoy Estrada’s vote. He was even more surprised when the Senate allowed Lito Lapid to vote.

In a statement released following his ouster, Sen. Manuel Villar said he would now concentrate on being a fiscalizer, to which a curious Lito Lapid said, “So, may negosyo rin siyang abono?”

Tuesday’s headline of The Manila Standard Today reads: “Enrile two heartbeats away from the presidency.” When Noli De Castro saw this he said, “So kung ako, one heartbeat, kawawa naman si Pangulong Arroyo, zero heartbeat.”

In Other News…
Press Secretary Jesus Dureza said President Arroyo on Tuesday got a pre-dawn call from US President-elect Barack Obama. Obama reportedly assured Arroyo that good relations and cooperation between the US and the Philippines would continue… in her dreams.

US President-elect Barack Obama phoned President Arroyo on Tuesday at around 3:17 in the morning. Yup, that was a pre-dawn call. Apparently, Obama was hoping nobody would answer.

Malacañang said President Arroyo received a pre-dawn call from US President-elect Barack Obama. Obama praised Arroyo for being honest, hardworking, incorruptible, principled, morally upright, and ethical. And then she woke up.

Pulse Asia Survey
Vice President Noli De Castro topped the latest survey on presidential aspirants conducted by Pulse Asia. De Castro got 18 percent, followed by Manuel Villar and Joseph Estrada, 17 percent; Francis Escudero, 15 percent; Loren Legarda, 13 percent and Panfilo Lacson, 7 percent. With Mar Roxas placing a distant seventh, other presidentiables are hoping to avoid a clash with DZMM’s Korina Sanchez.
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We have to distrust each other. It is our only defence against betrayal.
~Tennessee Williams