Law and Ordure

A detainee after the inspection by the Commission on Human Rights. Photo from Inquirer.

News of a detention cell hidden behind a bookshelf in a Manila Police District station spread on social and actual media last week.

Just as quickly were comments defending the police and dismissing the allegations of rights abuses from the detainees and their families.

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Political Tool

Stolen from the internet

A police investigation team at Mamasapano, Maguindanao

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said the Catholic Church is full of shit and accused a bishop of having two wives (and of being a monkey) but that was not the worst thing that a politician said that day.

Sycophant Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, failed vice-presidential candidate and absentee lawmaker of the Senate of the 17th Congress, spoke before the relatives of Special Action Force commandos killed in a covert mission in Maguindanao province two years ago to tell them that their loved ones did not die in vain.

The SAF 44 — the name given to the troopers who died in a badly-planned operation against a terrorist bomb maker– let us be clear, did not die in vain.

This much was already said two years ago by the head of the Philippine National Police, the man who actually had the standing and the experience to say that.

“I declare that Marwan is dead. Mission Accomplished,” PNP Officer-in-Charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina said in April 2015.

Cayetano, who pretended during Senate hearings in 2015 that he was an expert on tactics because he has seen many war movies, should know that for many of those in uniform: Mission comes first.

Here, for example, is a quote from the movie Jarhead:

Troy: Fuck politics. We’re here. All the rest is bullshit.
All Marines: Yeah.

But, of course, since Cayetano is who he is, he consoled the SAF 44 families by saying the deaths were glorious.

“It is also glorious because it has produced a man, President Rodrigo Duterte, that understands both peace and war, that understands the barrel of the gun, but also understands how to put together people in peace,” Cayetano said, because his life can rally only be divided into the time before Duterte and the time after.

He is, in many ways, like a Crossfitter except without being strong or fit. He is basically an annoying asshole who never shuts up about this one thing, is what I mean.

But this is par for the course for Cayetano. Tuesday was just the latest instance that he showed he was willing to use the corpses of others for political points.

He did it in 2015 when the bodies of the SAF 44 were still being buried and he did it in 2016 when a farmers’ protest in Kidapawan City ended in a bloody dispersal.

He did it as well to the thousands of people who were tortured, killed and disappeared during the Marcos regime. He spoke out well against the abuses when it suited him — during the vice presidential debate with then Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. — but kept silent about it when Duterte allowed the remains of the elder Marcos to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

“I haven’t kept quiet. Everyone has [his or her] role. And it is not my role at this point in time to be in the streets and rallying. My role, at this point in time, is helping the president in the capacity that he feels I can help him,” he said in December after people started referring to him as “Quietano”.

But we’re still alive, right?

There can be no doubt that this man was indeed a Chinese drug lord. Thank you, Batman

There can be no doubt that this man was indeed a Chinese drug lord. Thank you, Batman

June 30 — the day that President-elect Rodrigo Duterte became president in fact and in law — has come and gone and we are pleasantly surprised that none of the following has happened: The total collapse of society, the death of the Philippine economy, nor the end of our Filipino way of life.

It seems the fears of a rise in extrajudicial killings have been misplaced To quote Duterte’s predecessor, but we’re all still alive, right?

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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.

Indolent in the News!


Here’s an old clip from Sidetracked, a segment on TV5’s The Evening News (TEN), that mentioned Indolent Indio alongside actual A-listers like future Assistant Secretary Manuel Quezon III and journalist Ding Gagelonia (who has since passed). We were the youngest and least-known and the only website still blogging. MLQ3 still blogs but he is also a government official, so…we are half right.

TEN, not a blog, has also stopped airing.

I guess we have trouble moving on and stuff.

Anti-Social Media: Spin a win!

The Senate hearing this week on P660 million in loans that the Development Bank of the Philippines granted businessman Roberto Ongpin was a doozy.

The ABS-CBN News Channel broadcast the hearings live for a while but gave up when viewers began zoning out during the discussion on behest loans and stocks and banking principles that lasted for hours.

Even the news websites, usually on fire with breaking news whenever the Senate holds hearings, were oddly silent.

Reporters and editors either found the story too boring or too confusing for blow-by-blow accounts.

Behind the scenes, though, things were slightly more exciting. Two independent sources told Indolent Indio that a reporter not usually assigned to the Senate was there for the hearing.

The reporter was not there to cover the hearing. He was there to make sure it was covered right. And by right, we mean, the way the reporter’s principal wanted it covered.

The reporter is said to have gone the rounds of the Senate press office to offer his colleagues money in exchange for making it look like Ongpin engaged in insider trading and in bypassing the DBP’s rules on loan applications.

We do not know if Ongpin, former President Ferdinand Marcos’s old crony and trusted adviser, was shown preferential treatment by the DBP through loans that were processed and released within two weeks after they were filed.

We do know that somebody wants the public to think so.

The reporter, our sources say, is from a broadsheet with an office in the port area. Hypocritically (but not ironically), he usually files stories from a government branch charged with being fair and impartial.

We’re not ones to judge, but reporting and PR work should not go hand in hand.

Granted, Ongpin got rich by pandering to Marcos while he was trade secretary of the Marcos and Pals Club, but nailing him with unproven allegations is no way to bring him before the bar of justice. Which, incidentally, is where Rascally Reporter can usually be found.

Anti-Social Media: Think before you dick

This online editor better start thinking real quick and stop clicking Like buttons on Facebook.


Two staff members are about to hit send buttons on emails indicating their resignations.

This after only working six months or so for the news website that he supposedly heads.

What could be wrong in the office? Is it because the editor-in-chief is an award-winning journalist and is always willing to tell everyone about it? Or is it because the boss doesn’t make any mistakes at all, despite questionable news judgment?

No one knows. And apparently, no one cares, not even the top brass.

As a result, more than 40 or so employees have resigned in the past two years–a figure enough to fill up the current staff.

Exodus! Movement of Jah people!

Among those who left are two who have defected to another network, one who turned NGO, and one assistant who supposedly ran away with money. How much? Again, no one knows.

But one thing is clear: the company certainly wrote 30–or is it 20?–to that.

Commenting is back up!

Hey, guys! We’ve fixed the commenting system. It was working too well and therefore was not working at all. Things are fine now, though. The weather is great, too.

Customs bust a bust

The daring dawn raid we hinted at in the last post was not as daring as advertised.

The Bureau of Customs raided Tondo Friday morning and seized 60 bags of onions smuggled in from China.

At 10 pounds per bag, that comes to 600 pounds and a market value of around P17,680.

Sa presinto ka na magpaliwanag!

Admittedly, [deputy Customs commissioner Horacio] Suansing said, the confiscated onions have little value but pointed out that the raid was intended “to send a strong message to smugglers that even if the smuggled items have already left the premises of the Customs, we would still run after those selling them.”

Consider yourself schooled, Chinese onion smugglers.

Senator invites media to top secret raid

According to our baby mouse, a senator sent a media advisory today telling Senate media that a certain government agency will be conducting a raid on some people somewhere in just a few hours.

The actual advisory was, of course, not that vague. The senator who sent it was actually pretty helpful with the details, even providing a number people in the media can call to coordinate where to meet, what to wear, what the secret password is, etc.

Which is all very good for reporters looking for some action, but not so much for Philippine law enforcement. If this website was able to get the details of the raid without even trying, it’s a sure bet the criminals who are supposed to get raided know about it too.

(thx, Senate staff!)