Monday, September 19, 2005

Bye, bye American spy | Lawmakers’ souls for sale—cheap! (PJI editorials 17-18 September 2005)

Bye, bye American spy

SPIES are usual condiments of life and politics in these god-forsaken islands.

Unlike the bulk of readers who poke their snouts into useless trivia and intrigue in show business circles hereabouts, those shadowy figures among us zero in on strategic and tactical information—the sort that can be used to grab key politicos and industry leaders by the balls, that is, if they have any.

It is likely the bulk of such gathered information provide American policymakers a voyeur’s glimpse into the workings of our so-called ‘amokcracy’—make that gone amok democracy.

Who knows if those shadowy oafs may have helped the ‘Hello Garci’ protagonist to fly the coop? They might have even given an eager hand in kneading the poll tallies and kneading numbers in the air-conditioned comforts of a hotel room to foist a president upon a gullible populace who won’t care if either Darna or a hippopotamus is enthroned in Malacañang.

Politically useful information costs a bundle of money. Amassing a welter of such information costs a lot more—leaking ‘em info for political and pecuniary considerations is downright criminal.

So the Federal Bureau of Investigation collared ex-cop Michael Ray Aquino and intelligence analyst Leandro Aragoncillo. The duo played croak and dagger, leaking a sizable bulk of classified information on the Philippines to local politicos. Those leaks have to be plugged shut—umm, not exactly shot or plugged all over with a few clips of ammunition.

Aquino and Aragoncillo did espionage for interest of certain local politicos. Probably for the national interest—we just have to figure what that nation is as its collective interest may likely lie between Darna’s legs. Aquino and cohort got caught. There’ll be hell to pay.

Meanwhile, local brown brother spies among us continually amass classified information and feed ‘em to their control officers across the globe. We haven’t caught any of these ‘coconuts’— of tough brown shells to coat their all-white meat inside—for selling out their country.

We really ought to grab a dozen or two of such spies among us who likely plied out such ruse as the “Hello Garci” episode that triggered so much turmoil in our troubled lives.

So we can sing a Don Maclean, “Bye, bye, American spy…”
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Lintik na tiktik

KARANIWANG sahog ang mga tiktik sa pamumuhay at pamumulitika sa ating isinumpang kapuluan.

Taliwas sa bulto ng mambabasa na nakasubsob sa walang latoy na kuntil-butil at intriga sa larangan ng libangan at pelikula, nakatutok ang mga aninong ito sa mga tinatawag na strategic at tactical information—‘yung magagamit para sunggaban ang mga pulitiko’t lider-industriya sa bayag nila, kung meron man sila noon.

Malamang na ang bulto ng mga inasuwang na kaalaman, sapat para lumikha ng butas para makapamboso sa ikid at ikot ng ating tinatawag na ‘amokrasya’—o nag-amok na demokrasya.

Sino ang makapagsasabi kung ang mga aninong iyon ay kasabwat para makalipad palabas ng bansa ang bida sa ‘Hello Garci’? Baka nga katulong sila sa paglamutak sa mga resulta ng halalan para maitanghal ang isang pangulo sa bobotanteng populasyon na walang pakialam kung si Darna man o hippopotamus ang isasalaksak sa Malacañang.

Tumataginting na salapi ang katumbas ng impormasyon na pakikinabangan sa pulitika. Dumadagundong na salapi ang katapat sa pagkalap at pagkalkal sa ganoong uri ng impormasyon—kung ibibisaklat lang para sa bayad na pera o poder, talagang krimen na.

Nasakote ng Federal Bureau of Investigation si dating pulis Michael Ray Aquino at tagakilatis ng nakalkal na impormasyong Leandro Aragoncillo. Nagtaktak sa Pilipinas ng kanilang natiktikan ang dalawa. Nalintikan ang paniniktik nila.

Naniktik ang dalawa para sa kapakanan ng ilang lokal na pulitiko. Baka naman para sa pambansang interes—kailangan lang matiyak kung aling bansa at baka nakasubsob ang interes niyon sa pagitan ng dalawang hita ni Darna. Huli ang dalawa. Lagot sila.

Samantala, may mga kababayang tiktik sa ating paligid na patuloy na nagkakalkal at nagkakamal ng mga mahalagang impormasyon na ibinabalibag sa mga humahawak sa kanila sa labas ng bansa. Wala pa tayong natitimbog sa mga ganitong ‘niyog’—kayumanggi ang balat pero puti ang laman-loob—na naghuhudas sa kanilang bansa.

Dapat yatang makadakma din tayo ng ganoong tiktik sa ating paligid na maaaring kapural ng kabanatang “Hello Garci’ na lumikha ng sandamakmak na alingasngas sa bansa.

Kapag nakahuli tayo, kantahan natin ng kay Don Maclean, “Bye, bye, American spy.”
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Lawmakers’ souls for sale—cheap!

IT takes two years for a public school teacher in America to earn $75,000. That’s roughly P4.2 million— still a princely sum in return for brain-wracking work.

It’s the same amount that a U.S.-based public relations outfit stands to earn each month to lobby, probably induce serious hypnosis or put out a contract on some 250 lawmakers in Congress to hush their qualms about overhauling the 1987 Constitution.

A cabal, a coterie, probably a clique of haves are plunking that serious money for the services of that PR outfit. The services all boil down to convincing Congress to rework the nation’s Charter—and it would probably be easier and less costly to hire professionals to terminate a few hundred intransigent noisemakers-cum-lawmakers that have proved too heavy a burden on taxpayers’ pockets.

There’s no free lunch. That shadowy group out to bleed over P4.2 million monthly for lobby work must want something in exchange. P4.2 million plus a month isn’t a wager—it’s an investment. They ought to gain more for their money’s worth. They’ll keep such foreseeable gains in secret.

We don’t even have an inkling who these dark shadows are that might give us an idea whether their intentions are divine or diabolical.

Remember? One Dr. Johannes Faustus bargained his soul for occult knowledge plus a romp in bed with Helen of Troy—the devil kept his part of the bargain. But the soul-seller hardly enjoyed what he bought for himself. Maybe, Helen’s face could have launched a thousand ships but not a similar number of orgasms.

This early, the well-paid lobbyists ought to have begun their campaign to win lawmakers’ souls.

A lot of Faustian bargaining unreels anew and there’ll be much pecuniary profits for taking, so what if souls are lost?

Besides, not too many Filipinos have a whit of knowledge on the 1987 Charter anyway—a Pulse Asia survey found out only two of every 10 (or one in every five) have an inkling of what the fundamental body of laws is all about.

So, ignorance ought to be blissful for most of us. We won’t even know what sort of animal or livestock a Constitution is that will be butchered and cut up into delicious morsels—it’s likely the choicest parts would go to that shadowy cabal of paymasters, they’re paying over P4.2 million monthly.

Ah, those paymasters need not pay too much for lawmakers’ souls—a lot of ‘em have sold out in that impeachment try. Now they don’t have any to sell again.

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Kaluluwa ng mga mambabatas ibinebenta—mura lang!

DALAWANG taong kakayod ang isang public school teacher sa Amerika para kumita ng $75,000. Katumbas iyon ng P4.2 milyon—malaki na ring halaga katumbas ng makatagtag-utak na trabaho.

Ganoon ding halaga ang matatanggap buwan-buwan ng isang public relations company sa US para sulsulan, siguro’y ihipnotismo o ipatumba sa bayarang pusakal ang may 250 mambabatas sa Congress para pumayag silang maretoke ang 1987 Saligang Batas.

Isang pangkat, magkakakutsaba o magkakasabwat na mapera ang maglalarga ng pondo para sa serbisyo ng naturang PR company. Tahasang paghikayat sa Congress ang magiging serbisyo upang masangkutsa ang Konstitusyon—pero mas tipid pa rin na umupa na lang ng mga pusakal para iligpit ang ilan daang sutil na mambabatas na talagang pabigat na sa bulsa ng sambayanan.

Sabi nga’y walang libreng pagkain. Ang mga anino na magpapadugo ng P4.2 milyon sambuwan ay tiyak na may hinahangad na kapalit. Hindi taya sa sugal ang P4.2 milyon sambuwan—ipinuhunan iyon. Tiyak na may inaasintang mas dambuhalang tubo. Ililihim nila ang kanilang pakay.

Ni hindi natin mahulaan kung sinu-sino silang nasa karimlan para makapa natin kung ang kanilang hangarin ay kabutihan o kabuhungan.

Teka, isang Dr. Johannes Faustus ang nagbenta ng kanyang kaluluwa katumbas ng karunungang lihim at pakikipagtalik kay Helen of Troy— ibinigay iyon sa kanya ng diyablo. Pero hindi naman nasiyahan si Faustus sa kanyang nakamit. Baka kasi nakapaglunsad nga ng sanlibong barko ang mukha ni Helen pero hindi siguro ganoon karaming orgasmo ang malalasap.

Ngayon pa man, nagsimula nang mamili ang lobbyists ng kaluluwa ng mga mambabatas.

Masisilayan muli ang diskarteng Faustus—at tiyak na pera lang ang malalaspag kapalit ng kaluluwa.

Kaunting Pinoy lang naman ang may nalalaman sa 1987 Konstitusyon—natukoy nga ng Pulse Asia, Inc. na dalawa bawat 10 (isa sa bawat lima) Pinoy ang may katiting na kaalaman hinggil sa Saligang Batas ng bansa.

Wala tayong dapat na ipangamba. Ni hindi natin malalaman kung anong hayup o manok ba ang Konstitusyon na kakatayin at titipak-tipakin—tiyak na mauuwi ang mga pinakamasarap na tipak sa mga itim na aninong nagbabayad ng P4.2 milyon sambuwan.

Hindi naman kailangan ng mga nagbabayad na maglarga ng malaking halaga para mabili ang kaluluwa ng mga mambabatas—mas marami sa kanila ang nagbenta na nitong sumablay na tangka sa impeachment. Kaya wala na silang kaluluwang maibebenta.


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