The first thing is to get him to testify under oath in front of the Congress that he did NOT cheat for Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in the 2004 elections. In fact, Garci in his "Opening Statement (ABSCBN News)" to Henry Omaga Diaz, claimed he was probably the victim of a wiretapping operation conducted by Senator Panfilo Lacson and/or persons unknown (he doesn't have to say who, really) who are currently sending him text messages threatenging to kill him if he doesn't shutup. He will denounce the opposition for then plotting to destabilize and eventually overthrow the government when they released and mass produced the Garci tapes. He will say he doesn't know how these tapes were recorded or by whom, but because he is getting death threats from Lacson, he will opine that Lacson conducted a wiretapping operation against the President and him, recording completely innocent conversations and then digitally altering them to produce what has enraged the public or at least convinced many that they represent evidence of vote-rigging. Or he will opine that that they are a mixture of real and doctored conversations, abjuring especially the most suggestive and damaging snippets. The Amazing Garci will amaze even the techies with his sudden erudition in the arts of audio splicing and digital sound editing. Before Garci's statement to Congress, he will demand immunity from suit in exchange for his full and cooperative testimony. Indeed he might even ask to be placed in the WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM as a security measure against those illegal wiretappers who are now after his head for speaking out against them. He will say he has the goods on them in their own election cheating operation. How in the world can the Congress refuse this demand, when just a few days before he appears in Congress, the ISAFP or PNP will announce that it has indeed uncovered evidence of the DESTABILIZATION PLOT the Palace has been warning of from the very beginning.
I think it would be a MAJOR BLUNDER for the House of Representatives, and especially the Five Committees investigating the Garci tapes, to agree to withdraw their ARREST WARRANT just because Garci shows up in Congress. After all the House ordered his arrest on the basis of his CONTEMPT for the institution. When has he ever stopped being guilty of that crime? Why should it be lifted when he has been continuously contemptuous of Congress for the last five months, and he is likely to heap insult-upon-insult upon the well-deserving, pusillanimous House. Rep. Teddy Boy Locsin said it himself, "That man is guilty by reason of flight." So how come he is suddenly innocent of contempt by reason of peremptorily roosting on our heads to deposit yellow matter there? How come the Congress will so easily surrender the People's honor? It is not the House's honor, after all, your Honors, and laughing about it doesn't really help. NO! I think he SHOULD be arrested on sight, and if he doesn't want that to happen, then he doesn't have to show up at Congress on December 7. Is not the reason for the Warrant being issued that he has thwarted the Right of the People to Know? How is expected to mend his ways if the ameliorative sanction is so easily withdrawn, on his demand. So what if he decides not to show? It will only keep the Book on Garci open, and the possibility of impeachment in June, 2006 viable.
Now, I never much liked accepting the Poisoned Pawn Gambit, though Bobby Fischer did, and while playing Black in this brilliant match againt Tringov, the former World Champion (and later a world class looney bin berating Jews from Baguio!) shows an Antidote to the Poisoned Pawn Sacrifice that leads to victory via a classic smothered mate with Black's Knight and Queen. But it depends on neutralizing White's Queen, by keeping it pinned down. I believe that is the gambit in the Return of Garci. All eyes and ire will be focussed on Garci as he does a rope-a-dope. Garci is the Poisoned Pawn bait but it is once more Jose de Venecia as White's Queen (with Butch Pichay in on the race for the next Speakership as the White Knight) who will close the Book on Garci, ala Datumanong and the plenary of Little Minds, and who will ensure that there will be NO MORE impeachments in the future based on the Garci tapes and the revelations of Gloriagate. Bobby Fischer's theoretical contribution was to show that if you keep your eye on JDV, err, White's Queen, then you can achieve a smothered-mate win.
Otherwise, they will start to rehearse shmarmy Christmas carols at Malacanang Palace early this year, in order to abet the urge for savage chest-beating by those who will have been outsmarted again. Mean streak, I tell you.
CAVEAT: We must treat the two crimes of alleged WIRE TAPPING and alleged VOTE-RIGGING separately. We do not really know at this point: (1) Who recorded or stage-produced the Garci conversations; or (2) Who procured and distributed the Garci tapes, or their motives. What we know is that Gloriagate and the actions of all involved have resulted in the devastating political crisis still gripping the Philippines. One group may not be the other, or it might. But to confuse who are the perpetrators and who are the victims in each of the two separate complexes of crime -- one against the Anti-Wire Tapping Law, and the other against the Omnibus Election Code -- is to fall into the Poisoned Pawn Gambit. I have used the language of a mere game in describing these speculations. But there is nothing trivial about the consequences to the Nation of how that game is now played.
(1345) ABSCBN's disarmingly punctilious Anchor, Pinky Webb, was talking to ROBERT AVENTAJADO, about the accusations of Thai Premier Thaksin Shinawatra that something fishy is going on at the Southeast Asian Games where the Philippines has garnered the largest gold medal tally in its history. Aventajado was being "diplomatic" but click here to get a good idea what former Abu Sayyaf hostage Gracia Burnham thinks of Mr. Aventajado and his brand of "diplomacy". Another side of this explosive story is this text message from Mr. Mike Joseph, a personal friend and acquaintance --
For the information of the public about Thai PM's innuendo of cheating: he probably doesn't know that in aquatics, the only judge disciplined by the FINA neutral referee (Robin Hood of New Zealand) for shady judging obviously favoring his own diver was from ....? THAILAND of course! and, the worst water polo referee who destroyed the Vietnam team with intentional bad calls and unfair player exclusions, hence was never allowed on deck again by FINA neutral delegate ( Khosrow Amini of Iran was ...? from Thailand of course! Mr. Taksin himself as a head of state was being unfair by engaging in innuendo and sour graping. ...We have computerized judges analyses to make him eat his words! Pass It On.Well I just did Mikey. But I sure hope you have given Philippine Commentary good info. You see folks, Politics is NOT the Philippines' No. 1 Spectator Sport. It's basketball, which has oddly been excluded from the current Southeast Asian Games. If only wars could be settled on the field of friendly competition. Oops, this better not work the other way around between the Philippines and Thailand! PDI Reports on what Bunye had to say.
(1530) DEEP BENCH of the INCREDIBLE HULK: Eric Buhain of the Games and Amusement board informed a Senate budgetary hearing of the First Gentleman's big role in the Philippine Medal Harvest. PDI:
Someone loves sports, eh? But Thailand has a FREE TRADE AGREEMENT with America. We don't! How come? [Correction via Econblogger (in the Comment Thread) :: the Free Trade Agreement between US and Thailand is two years in the making but not yet signed. This is how our Readers keep us out of trouble. Thanks--DJB]
He attributed the rich medal harvest to First Gentleman Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo's financial assistance and the Philippines' "deep bench."
Buhain cited Arroyo's contribution to local sports through the Medalyang Ginto (Gold Medal) program, which gave 25 million pesos to 85 athletes in the last SEA Games.
"To prepare for this year, [the same program] supported 280 of the Philippines' 890 athletes with 160 million pesos. That's 160 million divided by 280 athletes," Buhain said.
"That's pretty big. That's why what we see now is really the result of that," he said.
By the way check out the Econblogger's current post Stonewalling on Protection -- economics not Gloriagate!