Ferdinand Topacio, Bachelor of Laws: Godwin’s and Martial

Henceforth, Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, lawyer to the Arroyos, can no longer be relied on to make valid arguments. Godwin’s Law is in full effect:

What? Isn't that national hero Dr. Jose Rizal?

News website Rappler.com, the Philippine journalism equivalent of the Avengers, reports Topacio admires Hitler for his “single-minded vision for what he felt was better for all members of society.”

Hitler, the infamous Fuhrer, had long been scorned by historians because of his anti-Semitic views which led to the inhumane killing of Jews. As many as six million are believed to have perished, many of them in gas chambers.

But to Topacio, an “amateur historian” by his own admission, Hitler is “one of the most misunderstood historical figures. “His main fault, his main crime, was that he lost the war. And as you know, history is written by the victors,” he says in an interview with Rappler.

Atty. Topacio may, of course, just be being an original hipster by a. liking something that other people hate or b. doing it ironically to see whether his clients are smart enough to “get it.”

At any rate, Topacio is right when he calls himself an “amateur historian”, but only in the sense that he does not seem to have a working grasp of history.

A report from The Daily Tribune:

“President Aquino must be reminded that even during Martial Law, during the height of the Marcos rule which the Aquinos and their allies have consistently denounced and even at present continue to demonize, the Aquino family was allowed to leave to join Senator Ninoy Aquino for medical attention in the United States,” said Topacio.

“It is thus most execrable for the present government to accord such treatment to the Arroyos that is worse than what they had experienced during the Marcos administration,” the lawyer stressed.

Well, technically, Martial Law was over by then, I guess.

Hostage-taking ex-cop actually was an extortionist

Ex-cop Rolando Mendoza, who took tourists hostage last year to protest charges of extortion, which he said were used to extort money from him, actually was an extortionist, says the Court of Appeals.

In a 19-page decision, penned by Associate Justice Francisco Acosta, the CA’s Thirteenth Division, eventually cleared the names of (former ombudsman Merceditas) Gutierrez and (former deputy ombudsman Emilio) Gonzalez after it affirmed their ruling that Mendoza, who was killed during the hostage-taking, and his men were indeed “extortionists” which warranted their dismissal from the service.

The appellate court has junked the petition for review filed by petitioners Mendoza, P/ Insp. Nelson Lagasca, SPO1 Nestor David, PO3 Wilson Gavino and PO2 Roderick Lopeña.

Mendoza insisted he was innocent (of extortion, at least) and that his dismissal from the service was unjust. He was killed in a failed rescue attempt that night. Gonzalez lost his job after the incident for supposedly delaying action on Mendoza’s appeal and for supposedly trying to extort P150,000 from the dismissed cop.

Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., who signed the order dismissing Gonzalez, said: “The circumstances surrounding the charges of gross neglect of duty and gross misconduct lent credence to Mendoza’s accusation during the hostage-taking incident that Gonzalez was extorting P150,000 from him in exchange for a favorable decision.”

Now, this development doesn’t mean Gonzalez didn’t try to extort money from Mendoza but it does sort of demolish the narrative that Mendoza was an honest man forced by a corrupt system to take over a bus of tourists to protest that corrupt system. Mendoza was, apparently, dismissed from the service for cause. Gonzalez was removed over, in the end, nothing.

The appellate court ruled that the Office of the Ombudsman was correct in ruling that Mendoza and their men should be sacked from the PNP roster.

“Besides, questions remain unanswered: We could not understand why the petitioners extendedly kept or detained Kalaw in the police station when the purported basis was just a mere traffic violation, i.e., illegal parking and/or driving without required license; and why the petitioners put so much attention on Kalaw’s alleged traffic violations when primarily it is their job to apprehend traffic violators in the City of Manila,” the decision stated.

Gutierrez resigned as ombudsman in March after she was impeached by the House of Representatives for her supposed lack of action on corruption cases, especially those concerning former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Gutierrez defended and cleared Gonzalez of any wrongdoing.

Well...this is awkward, isn't it?

Christmas Message!

We apologize for the absolute dearth of recent posts.  Things have changed a lot since Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was arrested for electoral sabotage: a Supreme Court Chief Justice that she appointed has been impeached, her former Elections chief has also been arrested, and her Butcher of Mindanao ex-general is on the lam. This, alongside the Aquino administration seemingly unsure of whether to be decisive or bumbling.

We have always tried to have an opinion on things, but recent events (the impeachment, Sendong, losing at the Philippine Blog Awards yet again, Christmas) have us rethinking paradigms and stroking our napes from high blood pressure, and taking naps.

If nothing else, we have seen the Philippines mature politically. Although, sometimes, that maturity strays into senility. Take our rage at the “railroading” of the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Renato Corona, for example. We were alarmed at the speed of the thing, from a House majority caucus to a complaint signed by an overwhelming majority of congressmen, to actual impeachment faster than it takes some lawmakers to wrap up their privileged speeches.

Martial Law!,” so many of us cried.

Never mind, as it turns out, that impeachment is a power given to the House of Representatives, and that the so-called railroading is enshrined in the Constitution. In the words of Bro. Eli Soriano, “Magbasa muna kayo.” Not to the point that you can quote the Constitution to answer whether man and dinosaur co-existed or anything like that, just enough to know what you claim to be defending against tyranny, I guess.

Sometimes, the senility of our political maturity is less metaphorical: as in the case of Tagbilaran City Mayor Dan Lim, who, when prevented from going to the lavatory while on a flight to Manila, allegedly whipped out his trouser snake for all and sundry. It was the arrogance of the Philippine elite, uh, writ small. [Ed: Important, but not mentioned, is that Lim is 59 and may just be old, not arrogant ] [Thanks, Ed!]

Dramatic Reenactment

Diaz said Lim also partly pulled down his underwear while seated in the front row facing them. She said the mayor violently reacted after she prevented him from going to the lavatory while the “fasten your seat belt” light was on.

You want me to pee here?” Lim reportedly asked Diaz.

To avoid trouble, the pilot, Capt. Ronaldo Ramos, who was informed of the commotion, allowed Lim to use the lavatory.

“It was a shocking, traumatic experience we had,” Diaz said.

Diaz said she was embarrassed by the incident and cried in front of the passengers. She was even more shocked after learning that the “exhibitionist” is a city mayor.

Anyway, we have been talking about a new direction for Indolent Indio since this whole political commentary thing hasn’t really blown up as much as we hoped. We’ll still be doing commentary but will be branching out to other topics as well. Food blogging maybe, or movie reviews, or vague and self-righteous regional pride that can get pretty goddamned annoying. Watch this space.

Internet Research and How Not To Do It

The Internet is such a wonderful thing for the curious.

Anyone can go online and have almost any question answered by downloading free books from Project Gutenberg, or using Wikipedia as a jump-off point for further research. With the right kind of eyes, you can even gain access to entire peer-reviewed journals and scientific papers.

Or, you can do your Internet research the lazy way:

That's what the National Historical Commission is for, right?

I would not be the least bit surprised if “IVAN” actually thought he was sending a message to former chief justice Jose Abad Santos and that Abad Santos would rise from the grave, walk to the library, and look it up “faster cause this is IVAN’s report.”

That report isn't going to write itself, former chief justice Jose Abad Santos

Make up your mind, little girl

It’s difficult to believe Arroyo spokesperson Elena Bautista-Horn’s claims of a plot to murder former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo because she doesn’t seem to know anything about the plot except that it supposedly exists and because she doesn’t know what she wants the government to do about it.

When the Aquino administration played down the alleged murder plot as a work of fiction, Horn got angry at the government’s callousness:

Mas ma-appreciate namin kung sabihin man lang nila paiimbestigahan ang report na ito. Walang effort to even investigate, (We sould appreciate it if they at least said they will investigate the report. But there’s no effort to investigate),” she told dwIZ radio.

Which, apparently, the police did “even as some sectors were simply laughing off the claim.”

[Philippine National Police chief Nicanor] Bartolome admitted he just learned of the supposed slay plot from a news report Wednesday evening, adding that the PNP has yet to receive details of the alleged assassination plot.

He said that it would be of help if Horn would name her source so that police could go directly to the person to investigate.

And Bautista-Horn, eager to nip any assassination plot in the bud promptly did, giving the police leads that led to the dramatic arrest of a group of disgruntled military officers who had been biding their time to exact vengeance. Or, at least, that’s would have happened in a normal world where people do things that make sense.

What actually happened, apparently, is Bautista-Horn told the police nothing.


The Arroyo camp will also not be asking for additional government security since that will mean more risk for the former President since the government itself is trying to kill her.

So basically, Bautista-Horn wants us to take an alleged plan to kill her boss seriously but also not do anything about it (aside from snickering, anyway). People skilled in politics (being politicians) have called the move a red herring and an appeal for sympathy, which it might well be. But really, Bautista-Horn can save herself the trouble of doing the rounds of TV and radio station by just getting on Twitter and sending this message: “The government wants to kill my boss. #justsaying”


This hat keeps Them out of my head but I know They are listening.

An Expected Plot Twist

On a scale of 1 to 5, how crazy would you say the shit you say sounds?

The winds changed again last night when Elena Bautista-Horn, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s spokesperson, bared a pretty bare bones plot to kill her boss.

The supposed assassination plot is backed up by a tip from an anonymous member of the Aquino administration and an opinion column by Mon Tulfo, that paragon of journalistic integrity who has quit profanity but still turns out shit.

“Alam rin po natin na lumabas sa column ni Mon Tulfo na sinabi daw po ni Secretary Butch Abad na kung pababa-biyahihen si Mrs. Arroyo eh mabuti na daw na barilin siya sa tarmac. So napagtatagpi-tagpi namin ang istorya na talagang parang may agenda na hindi maganda para sa dating pangulo, [As we know, a column by Mon Tulfo said Department of Budget Butch Abad said it would be better to shoot Mrs. Arroyo on the tarmac*]” she said in an example of constitutes quintiplemillion hearsay.  

Tulfo, whose column now features more asterisks than words, actually wrote:

What’s this I heard from the Malacañang grapevine about a bad joke made by a Cabinet official during a meeting that P-Noy had with his Cabinet over the showdown between his government and the Supreme Court?

Budget Secretary Butch Abad allegedly butted in during a discussion on why Gloria and her husband should not be allowed to leave the country: “Why don’t we just shoot her at the tarmac?”

If true, Abad’s joke was in bad taste, but to jump to the conclusion that this is proof of a laughably named Operation ‘Put The Little Girl To Sleep’ is such a leap that even Arroyo lawyer Raul Lambino, who has come up with a lot of whoppers himself, probably said “what the fuck?” before scrambling to come up with something even more outlandish. Like an alien plot to abduct Arroyo, maybe. Or that a team of time-travelling terminator robots have been sent from the future to take her out.

A few weeks ago, the nation sort of felt sympathy for Arroyo when she was kept from leaving the country even though the Supreme Court said she had. The supot stand off at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, where Arroyo arrived and left in a St. Luke’s ambulance/airport taxi service,  had Bautista-Horn, Lambino, and lawyer Ferdinand Topacio screaming about martial law and the death of democracy. And for a while, people actually bought it.

How dare the government prevent Arroyo from exercising her right to travel? She has hypoparathyroidism and a rare bone disease that could kill her if left untreated by foreign doctors who are much better than local doctors!

Until last week, when Arroyo’s doctors told a Pasay City court that their patient was actually doing okay. Until then, Arroyo’s people had been saying she needed to fly abroad for urgent treatment. If she couldn’t fly out, she should at least be granted hospital arrest.

With that cat out of the bag, Arroyo’s lawyers dropped the bid for hospital arrest and asked that she be allowed house arrest instead. Arroyo has since developed colitis, an incredibly rare and deadly disease that the rest of us call being poopy.

And since being a poopy pants isn’t really enough of a reason to not stay in jail while facing a case of electoral sabotage, her camp probably thought playing the “there is a plot to kill me” card would win them sympathy.

Except it’s not. Not when it’s based on two rumors and no proof. Not when you squandered away your credibility in nine years of saying one thing and doing another, saying “I’m sorry” for something that you never acknowledge doing again, and surrounding yourself with an increasingly shady inner circle of crooks.

With this latest claim of a kill plot against her, Arroyo’s camp is finally scraping the bottom of the barrel and has run out of halfway credible things to say. There is only one thing to say at this point, however incredible: Not guilty. And she should say it in court.

 *Because, you see, this is Martial Law and she is the new Ninoy Aquino.