Weather report

The weather plays a part in military strategy. Politicians have finally caught on to that. That is why I think the country is looking at a tumultuous next two months. The weather, as both People Power uprisings have shown, is perfect for massive public demonstrations. I do not mean to be facetious, but one important reason Edsa I and II succeeded is because the air was, well, nippy.

There are other factors in play, of course — factors which make the restiveness among junior officers even more of a concern. The US government’s investigation into the Aragoncillo spying case, which implicates both Sen. Ping Lacson and ex-president Joseph Estrada, will move to the next level soon. Erap already has a defense ready.

"His only fault was for being overly concerned about his relatives and fellow Filipinos," said Estrada, who acknowledged receiving information from Aragoncillo by e-mail last year.

"Even if he was already at the FBI and a naturalized American, he still has a Filipino heart," Estrada told The Associated Press by telephone.

The Senate resumes its hearings on the election-related wiretaps today. Ex-senator Gringo Honasan (who if sources are right has some explaining to do to the Magdalo mutiny leaders) is scheduled to be one of the witnesses, thus guaranteeing the hearings a closeness of attention (especially within the armed services) that it otherwise wouldn’t have. The following bit is doubly interesting though:

Senate sources on Wednesday said that former senator Gregorio Honasan was invited to the hearing.

But Honasan expressed reservations because the issue of the escape from prison of the soldiers in the failed Oakwood mutiny of 2003 "has become too complicated and too hot to handle," the source said.

Now what would a Senate hearing on wiretaps have to do with the Magdalo fugitives?

Not least, there is the specter of yet another internal crisis in the Arroyo administration, again involving the scandal-tainted First Gentleman. The speaker is Jovito Salonga (who really should have been elected president in 1992); the subject is Mike Arroyo’s alleged intercession, on behalf of certain cases, with the previous Ombudsman.

"I confronted him [Marcelo] by phone and later personally. He did not deny it," Salonga said, quoting Marcelo as saying, "Kaya po gusto ko nang mag-resign dito. Hinihintay ko na lang ang desisyon doon sa Erap case (That’s why I want to resign. I am just waiting for the decision on the Erap [Joseph Estrada] case)."

All this, and more, when the temperature is in the low 20s.


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