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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

NY Times & Bush Admin: 15mins of posing

President Bush is up in arms over the snooping report the New York Times and other media outlets raised on the ’so called secret” bank transactions snooping on US nationals and corporations to check into the sources of those funding groups linked to terrorism.
Its clearly just another issue the Bush administration is stretching bit to improve poll numbers among conservative voters.

[] … The US president has accused US newspapers of hampering the “war on terror” by publishing details of a secret scheme to track money transfers. George W Bush defended the scheme and said the disclosure was “disgraceful”. BBCNEWS … []

But -the entire program is outlined in the reports of governments activities versus terrorism - here :

[] … Financial Action Task Force on Money LaunderingInter-governmental body developing and promoting policies to combat money laundering and terrorist…
www.fatf-gafi.org/ … []

I mean its not spelled out in exact details - but - it goes over the program and is on a public access website. Everyone else in the world has their accounts regularly scrutinized over the sending of funds abroad. Most worry nothing about it unless you have something to hide.

Looking at the media reports you would think some major scoop had been scored by the NY Times when in actuality its al out there in the public domain.

On the side of the white house its a easy way to take a snap at a media outlet over the something that looks almost treason - when in reality its nothing but political posturing to make poll numbers rise among a specific constituency.

So the saga will drag on - they will blister and pucker and act like peacocks for a few weeks.
Bottom line- if the Bush administration feels some law was violated. File charges in court. If the NY Times feels its right were violated- file charges before the supreme court for culpable violations of the constitution - a impeachable offense. Otherwise- you both got the thing you wanted everyone’s attention now we can all go back to sleep and wait for the next ‘pseudo scandal’ to emerge.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


New English NewsWeb channel in Manila

Great stuff online by FYITV.net look it over and see the newest best source for news you wont see on your TV here- where everytihng is fair, factual, and well put together....
News image
FYI Special Report

About a Boy

…who lost his parents at age 5, grew up believing in the same revolutionary cause he knew they left him for… only to discover 20 years later that his parents were tortured and buried alive by their own comrades on suspicion of being Deep Penetration Agents. —Winona Cueva

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


“Spiritual Leader?” of Jemaah Islamiah free anew

In the Counter terrorism blog of Zachary Abuza: "Abu Bakar Ba’asyir Walks Out of Prison Today a Free Man"

Bali bomb cleric freed from jail
[]… Today, Indonesian authorities will release Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, a 68 year old cleric and the spiritual leader of the Southeast Asian affiliate of Al Qaeda, Jemaah Islamiyah." … []
The report echoes the sentiments of those who see Ba' Asyir,

They say Abu Bakar who had; allegedly met with Osmaa Bin Laden in Afghanistan years ago was a integral part of the movement to set up a Caliphate across SE Asia years and the establishment of the armed struggle of Jihadi's.

But while there are those who say in his defense - that the mans teachings are no more violent than those of some in the extremist sects and preachers of other regions - Christians and Jews included who speak of violence and 'ruling over the world' for each religion without respect for sensitivities or right to exist of the other religions who all worship the one God.

But; while he himself may have never built a bomb or fired a gun or detonated a device his teachings as observed by many - are or can be viewed by some - as a dangerous ideological weapon for those who praise violence.

Prof. Abuza write further Ba 'asyir;

[] … Ba’asyir has always asserted his innocence and blamed his incarceration on the heavy-handed diplomatic pressure from Australia and the United States. "I was sure that the detention and the sentence by the district, provincial and the supreme courts was purely an order of Allah's enemies, especially the US and Australia. Repeatedly these two infidel countries intervened into my case," he said.

While the US government has said little about Ba’asyir’s release (the state department spokesman expressed "deep disappointment" on Tuesday), the Australian government, has expressed considerable concern. Nearly half of the 202 people killed in the October 2002 Bali bombings were Australians and in September 2004, ….[]
It is a fact many of his former students are either in jail or being hunted in Indonesia and across Asia as part of the Terror network that is Jemaah Islamiah.

But scores of others are not violent militants - if compared to say other teachers or professors across the region it would be like jailing half of those in teaching profession who speak of armed struggle or jailing every priest who would speak out for 'the masses rights' or anything else speak some in his defense.

But Ba' Aysir is known to have financed or arranged financing for camps in Mindanao - that is confirmed - he allegedly was at the opening of some; He was a visitor to the MILF and MNLF areas over the years - more so - and this is something no one doubts are the bombs on the Philippine Embassy residence in jakarta.

The attacks on many Philippine targets in Mindanao, the 2000 bombings in Manila on Rizal Day, the bombings of the the ASG and Jemaah Islamiah and the numerous acts of kidnappings, massacres and killings of these groups - have never been condemned or critisized by Ba'aysir- even as in nearly every attack his students or people idetified with groups he was a part of were involved.

Should Manila be worried? The council of foreign relations reports this:

Consider these other points raised Prof. Abruza:

[]… Ba'asyir … proscribed under the UN's 1267 list, which prohibits him from travelling outside of Indonesia.

Ba’asyir was designated by the US Department of the Treasury on 13 April 2006 (as a Terrorist supporter.)

Ba’asyir will return to his madrassah, the Al Mukmin School, in Solo, Central Java. Though the school’s alumni are a who’s who of jihadists and terrorist in Southeast Asia, the Indonesian government refuses to shut it down. …[] counter-terrorism blog

June 14th, 2006 Posted by mikeinmanila | Uncategorized, news, News and politics, pirates, News Of China, china, asia, war on terror, Views, war, philippines, Democrats, Afghanistan, Filipino, Bush, Rants, Raves, Whathaveyou..., freedom of speech, Pinoy, protests, republican, border security, free speech, al qaeda, Palawan, OFW, abu sayyaf


Tabak: terrorists says Gov’t

After two days of confusion over if the group that has so far claimed responcibility for five separate bombings on Luzon Island even existed or not - the Philippine Government has declared the TABAK or Taong Bayan at Kawal group terrorists.

[]… Palace calls bombings acts of terrorism
Malacañan on Tuesday branded the series of bombings in Metro Manila as acts of terrorism.
abs-cbnNEWS.com … []
The group had at first been seen as a ' grudge ' group of politcal activists who were claiming responcibility for any act they could speed dial TV networks about.

But now the view is clear- the group does exist- what its goals are still a mystery…

But one thing is claer- injured persons were victims of the blasts in Quezon City albeit the numbers were less than half a dozen.

Todays early morning attack on a old SWAT van parked inside the Camp Bagong Diwa compound - in Taguig raised a few eyebrows. But the camp is hardly a high security area as a whole - a number of communities are in the area and could easily be seen as part of the access routes used by the bomber.

I remember covering stories inside the camp over the years and it is a relatively open area to all who passing through - but there are sections of it where the place is very secure.

The van was parked in a area anyone could have reached.

June 13th, 2006 Posted by mikeinmanila

Sunday bombings hit Manila & Batangas - Tabak claims Manila blasts

Reports coming out tonight in the capitol city of the Philippines have claimed that the same group that claimed responsibility for an attack in Lubao, Pampanga and in Makati's financial district has come forward to claim responsibly for two attacks on Police Stations today.

'Taong Bayan at Kawal' claims Sunday blasts
The group that claimed responsibility for the series of bombings last week said it was behind two attacks on police stations in Metro Manila on Sunday, ABS-CBN News learned.
abs-cbnNEWS.com (6/11/2006 6:58:59 PM)

BAYAN tags govt in Sunday blasts
The activist Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) said the bombings that hit some areas in Metro Manila and Batangas could be part of a plot to scare and prevent the public from joining protest rallies on Monday, Araw ng Kalayaan (Independence Day), ABS-CBN News learned.
abs-cbnNEWS.com (6/11/2006 6:06:31 PM

The group did not claim responsibility for the Bombing in Lipa City- but police there do say there is a police outpost near the scene of the blast - hence they are also looking at the same group as all three explosions happened at around the same time.

ABS-CBN InteractiveA group calling itself "Taong Bayan at Kawal" on Friday claimed responsibility to the bombing of the house of Lubao Mayor Dennis Pineda, son of suspected
www.abs-cbnnews.com/storypage.aspx?StoryId=41223 - 22k - 9 Jun 2006 -

Manila Standard Today — Metro –A shadowy group, calling itself Taong Bayan at Kawal ng Pilipinas (Tabak) yesterday claimed responsibility for last Monday’s explosion within the vicinity
www.manilastandardonline.com/?page=police01_feb01_2006 - 20k

Manila Bulletin OnlineA group calling itself "Taong Bayan at Kawal (or Tabak)" (Masses and Soldiers) claimed responsibility for the attack. The group said it was in retaliation
www.mb.com.ph/MTNN2006060666120.html - 27k

The Daily Tribune <<<>>>A shadowy group called the “Taong Bayan at Kawal” (People and Soldiers) has claimed responsibility for the explosion that rocked an office building in
www.tribune.net.ph/headlines/20060607hed3.html - 9k

The group is seen as new and has not been heard of before these attacks it is unclear what is the objective of the 'TABAK' group as there have not been statements issued by on Political goals of these bombers.

Authorities are investigating. People are puzzled… who are they?

[]…. Police clueless on 'Taong Bayan' bombers
Authorities are still facing a blank wall on a group who owned up to four separate bombings in Metro Manila and Pampanga since last Tuesday.Director Vidal Querol, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office, said the police have yet to establish the identities of the people … []

Less than two hours later- Police say the group which clamed the attacks and the events themselves were isolated and unrealted- as far ome in the PNP believe the group which is making these claims - DOES NOT EXIST?

[]… PNP: Sunday blasts unrelated
The Philippine National Police (PNP) said Monday three explosions that hit a market in Lipa City, Batangas, and two police precincts in Quezon City and Manila Sunday, were unrelated. …[] ABS-CBN News
In other words - they may just be a group calling up media anytime something happens and claiming repsoncibility. Or so say Police intel who are looking into the mater and after a week cannot find anything or anyone that may be this group.

June 11th, 2006 Posted by mikeinmanila | Uncategorized, news, News and politics, pirates, News Of China, china, war on terror, war, philippines, Democrats, immigration, Filipino, Bush, Rants, Raves, Whathaveyou..., freedom of speech, Buhay ofw, Pinoy, protests, free speech, al qaeda, Palawan, Al Gore, OFW, abu sayyaf, fil-am, filipino-american, Jemaah Islamiah

Taong Bayan at Kawal: politcal bombings all ‘Boom’ but little damage from the bangs.

The group is obscure to say the least one bomb at the grepalife building Makati another bomb in Lubao both of which they claimed responsibility for - it is unclear exactly who or what is the group about.

But any group that uses violence to archive a political end - is either labeled one way or another by law enforcers.

[] …Obscure bombers strike in Lubao
A group calling itself Taong Bayan at Kawal, which owned up to the bombing of the Grepalife Building on Buendia Avenue in Makati, has claimed it also set off the explosion in front of the house of Mayor Dennis Pineda of Lubao, Pampanga, on Friday.
The Manila Times …[] ABS-CBNNews.com

I do remember a few yars back when I was still a reporter in the field when a group was leaving IEDs all over manila - if I was not mistaken they planted a maze of some 34 devices some fake- some real some small devices and some filled only with paint pellets.

That groups name was - Indigenous People's Federal Army (IPFA)

[]…. Aliases: Ad Rev, Indigenous Federal State Army (IFSA)

Founding Philosophy: The Indigenous People's Federal Army (IPFA) is a relatively new terrorist organization that operates in the Philippines. Essentially, the IPFA wants to separate the Philippines into three distinct federal states for Muslims, Christians, and indigenous people. In addition to advocating a separation of ethno-religious groups, the IPFA advocates a federal form of government. As its name implies, the Indigenous People's Federal Army is especially concerned with the plight of the Philippines' indigenous population. The group has vowed to recover ancestral land of specific indigenous groups.

Current Goals: While the Indigenous People's Federal Army has committed several terrorist incidents, none of the attacks resulted in fatalities. The group's objectives for the immediate future are unknown. ….[] Rand corporation data base

That group did do some violent bombings in Mindanao.


But this one Taong Bayan at Kawal - seems to be going after the public perceived sources of discontent:

First - a education plan offices- currently in the news. Then a reputed or alleged gambling figure.. the two known 'attacks' as it were of this group which has been using mostly pyrotechnic devices- a lot of boom but little damage from the bangs.

Classic political messages with few collateral effects. dangerous but a interesting group to follow…
Let's hope like the above IPFA - the group having made its point - disbands - and moves on to less violent politcal activism. However- I dont think we've heard the last of this bunch.

June 10th, 2006 Posted by mikeinmanila | Uncategorized, news, News and politics, war on terror, terrorism, Views, war, philippines, Afghanistan, Filipino, Rants, Raves, Whathaveyou..., freedom of speech, Buhay ofw, Pinoy, protests, border security, free speech, al qaeda, Palawan, OFW, abu sayyaf, fil-am, filipino-american


MikeinManila: the video blog


Track ball fever

A problem of too much time for silly things leads to silly videos.

posted by MikeCohen-at-large at 12:44 AM 0 comments

June 13th, 2006 Posted by mikeinmanila | Uncategorized, news, News and politics, sex, News Of China, Views, philippines, Rants, Raves, Whathaveyou..., freedom of speech, Pinoy, protests, republican, free speech, Palawan, OFW

Sunday, June 04, 2006


New Security agreement between RP-US ‘debate begins’ & the ‘De Venecia’ code poster!

On one hand the Executive branch says the new deal is a not a major shift but mearly a definition of roles and terms under existing treaties. On the other hand the Philippine senate says the people through the Senate have the right of review over all maters pertaining to new treaties as defined by the constitution.

[] …. Feud brews over new RP pact with US

Sun.Star, The Philippines Department of Justice (DOJ) insisted that the new security agreement reached between the Philippines and the US is an executive agreement thus it does not []

[]… THE AGREEMENT between the Philippines and the United States to set up a Security Engagement Board (SEB) for “nontraditional security concerns” like terrorism and pandemic outbreaks should be ratified by the Senate before it can be implemented, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago said … []

[] … The Philippines and the United States Establish Security Engagement Board

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo, Defense Secretary Avelino J. Cruz, Jr., and US Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie A. Kenney announced the establishment of the Security Engagement Board (SEB), a new security consultative mechanism for RP-US cooperation on non-traditional security concerns. Full Story … []

Based on the statements all parties have points - it is "a new board" - under an existing treaty so not a new treaty.

However in fairness to the mandate the senate has to review all international agreements under the concept of the right of the people to see any agreements entered into on their behalf.

A review is within the realm of law. EO 464 does not exempt agreements from appearing before the chamber.
Afterall the key element of democracy is checks and balance. At a time when the autonomy of the diplomat, technocrat, and, soldier in the USA is increasingly being reviewed by the US Senate and House.

The Autonomous extent of those government being reviewed - and I mean - in this case both in the USA or here when security concerns or intelligence issues are raised is one aspect of Democracy that cannot be ignored. Even if only at closed door senate level if security concerns are raised that may be sensitive.


Speaking of the sensitive a new poster out is all the rage on cell phones, forums, and, blogs

I wonder if the writers of my old channel Studio 23's Wazup-Whats-up are going to do a documentary on this topic.

It sure would be a nice though if the show went beyond slapstick huimor and went into real heavy satire. This one below is a perfect realm for them to look into. But would the news spoof show have the guts to do this kind of story? Not just a few laughs but a genuine hard satire of it all. Ala 'Sic o clock news' of old.
I remember when Bad Banana's and Abagan ng Susunood ng Kabatanata on Channel 2; when it started did a great job on the concenpts of the day. No one was spared until 'the onion skined set' put in pressure on some to 'tone it down'.

If there would be a perfect men for a John Stewart "Comedy central of the Philippines" type of show would be in my opinion Mark Logan & Tony Velasquez. that would rate 30 daily it might even come out nightly on the main channel 2.

[]… The De Venecia Code
I KNEW it. Sooner or later, in typical Pinoy parody fashion, the poster of the film adaptation of Dan Brown’s highly controversial book “The Da Vinci Code” will be appropriated to satirize a burning local political issue. … []

June 4th, 2006 Posted by mikeinmanila | Uncategorized, news, News and politics, asia, war on terror, Views, philippines, Democrats, Filipino, Afghanistan, Rants, Raves, Whathaveyou..., Bush, freedom of speech, Global Warming, Pinoy, republican, Al Gore, abu sayyaf, filipino-american, border security, Jemaah Islamiah


UN scandal: UN orders staff not to cooperate with Dili massacre investigation

A Filipino police officer who is still in critical condition in a hospital and along with twenty others injured cannot count on the UN for assistance in the investigation trying to catch the murderers who massacred Police officers in Dili.

Even to though the Massacare is the key element that is believed to have led to riots and anarchy in Dil; a massive cover up is underway with memrandum issued to UN staff who witnessed and saw and even in some cases took pictures of the six men who in cold blood killed a half dozen. Reports from both East Timor and Australia have revealed.

[] … "A letter from the UN's deputy representative in Timor, Pakistani General Anis Bajwa, had been circulated to all staff, including employees evacuated to Australia, directing them not to assist AFP detectives investigating the worst atrocity since the violence of 1999". …[] The Age reports
Based on the reports a Pakistani UN Police commander actions led the injuries and put his men in the line of fire - and right into the murderous bands hands.

The sudden order to all UN staff in east timor has raised the spectare that the Pakistanti Police chief actions and failure to comprehend what the armed bands would do even if he was warned led the deahs of those unarmed police.

[]… "He was told by all his advisers not to take them out there, but he would not listen," sources close to the investigation said. "He kept insisting the presence of the UN could protect them." …[] The Age

Witness reports say he even ordered the Pinoy peacekeepers to be 'disarmed' - something reportedly they refussed to do - perhaps the only reason they got out alive. and managed to get the injured out. Noiw come the deputy cheif of Pakaistani orgin and also a military man ordering staff not cooperate with the investigation being conducted by Australian Federal Police in the area at East Timors request to do an impartial investigation.
[]… UN order fuels cover-up claim
NEWS.com.au, Australia -
100m from their headquarters when two soldiers opened fire, killing 12 officers and wounding at least 20, including UN police protectors from the Philippines. …[]

June 4th, 2006 Posted by mikeinmanila | Uncategorized, news, News and politics, asia, war on terror, Views, war, philippines, Democrats, Filipino, Rants, Raves, Whathaveyou..., Pinoy, protests, East Timor, border security, fil-am

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