Ex-FG lawyer twits reports using Wikileaks

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News Posted at 09/07/2011 12:09 PM | Updated as of 09/07/2011 4:58 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The legal counsel for former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo today assailed the credibility of reports originating from information leaked by anti-secrecy website, WikiLeaks. In an emailed statement, Inocencio Ferrer Jr. said, “It is illogical for the news or media people to rely on reports coming from Wikileaks.

The reports on the said webpage are inaccurate and unsupported by evidence.” He noted Senator Panfilo Lacson himself, “who everyone knows to be the number one critic of our family, said that he did not see a pattern of accuracy in Wikileaks reports. Moreover, how can one rely on reports from a webpage founded by a person who has been criminally charged for rape and is an international fugitive?” He is referring to Julian Assange, the Internet activist who set up WikiLeaks.

Ferrer reiterated Arroyo’s statements on Monday, where he repeatedly denied any connection to illegal activities. “My client, Jose Miguel T. Arroyo, himself, made a statement on Monday that he was never involved in ‘jueteng’ or smuggling.

In fact, he does not even know how to play the said numbers game. He also knew that ‘jueteng’ was what brought former President Estrada down, so he would not have involved himself in such illegal activities to the detriment of his wife’s credibility as then President,” he said.

Ferrer’s statement comes on the heels of Wikileaks-based reports claiming businessman Francis Chua, Washington Sycip and Guillermo Luz told US authorities that then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo knew of her husband’s illegal activities but did not do anything because he helped her in her presidential campaign. Ferrer said, “The statements allegedly attributed to Washington SyCip, Francis Chua and Guillermo Luz cannot be relied on for being false, based on hearsay and unsupported by evidence.

These statements should be considered baseless rumors or ‘tsismis.’” He said they are first and foremost businessmen and not investigators, prosecutors or judges. “They did not conduct any investigation and are, therefore, not competent to make these false accusations being attributed to them.” Ferrer also saw an opportunity to take a swipe at the administration.

“These recycled issues against my client have already been rejected and thrown out a long time ago. My client further stated that ‘this administration and the Senate should do their jobs by concentrating on improving the lives of the Filipino people instead of engaging in never-ending persecution and character assassination.’”

Majority of Americans disapprove of Obama

US President Barack Obama (Photo from http://www.facebook.com/barackobama)

US President Barack Obama (Photo from http://www.facebook.com/barackobama)

Just when he thought it couldn’t get any worse, approval ratings for US President Barack Obama continue to sink. The latest poll revealed this week continues to chronicle the American unrest directed towards the commander-in-chief.

A survey conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News just published reveals that the disapproval rating of Barack Obama is at a majority for the first time since he entered the White House. A similar study also just out from NBC News in conjunction with the Wall Street Journal shows similar standing for the president. In the first poll, Obama faces a 53 percent disapproval rating; in the second: 51 percent.

Despite seeing a surge in popularity following the execution of Osama bin Laden earlier this year, Obama’s approval rating has waned amid the debt crisis which plagued politics for the last several months. As the country attempts to rebound from recession (and avoid another one), the president is tasked with saving the United States from entering a second Great Depression while also attempting to create jobs at a time when the unemployment rate is at a significantly high standing.

Earlier this summer, a Gallup poll concluded that of 1,500 adults surveyed, only 39 percent approved of Obama’s job performance. That was the first time the president’s approval rating below 40 percent in Gallup-conducted studies since the Obama administration began in January 2009. Now other polling houses are coming to the same consensus.

The Washington Post adds that while Obama’s approval rating is now worse than those of both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton during the same time in their first terms as president, both managed to still remain in office for a second round, despite “serious midterm setbacks.”

In the latest polls, however, both reveal that only one-in-five Americans feel that the country is “headed in the right direction,” which might make it easy for the Republican candidates vying for the GOP nomination to attack the Democrats at this week’s debate. The NBC/WSJ poll puts President Obama only five percentage points ahead of Texas Governor Rick Perry in regards to registered voter’s stance on the 2012 election. When polled on the matter of Obama against whichever Republican candidate earns the GOP nomination, however, the poll puts the president in second place.

It isn’t all bad news for Obama, though. The NBC poll says that 70 percent of Americans still like Obama “personally.”

Sabah leader Karim Ghani quits Umno: Party has failed Sabahans

KOTA KINABALU – A key veteran politician who brought Umno into Sabah, Datuk Karim Ghani (pic), announced he quit the party today.


We in Sarawak always thought that UMNO has no political games in Sarawak. UMNO do not have to appear in Sarawak like as  in Sabah because Taib Mahmud is the right hand of UMNO. Jabu knows this. That is why when sarawakian wanted to invite UMNO into Sarawak, immediately PBB will react to the idea. PBB do not want UMNO to have new partner in Sarawak.

Why? It is good business for PBB leaders to have Taib as UMNO proxy. It brings good business. Being proxy to UMNO, it does not mean that PBB can get more money from Federal Government. You can see in 2011 budget, Sarawak do not even received 1% of the nation budget. Well Sabah also do not get 1% of the national budget. What happen to the balance 98%?

One 100 storey tower building is $5 billion. More then Sabah and Sarawak allocation put together. The bulk of civil service is in Malaya. 40% of budget is for civil servant. So most of the moeny will be distributed in Malaya. That will provide more moeny in business. Our Sabah and Sarawak cicil service is small, so how much money can we get and spend?

We must think deeper into this problem because our request for additional help is always ignored by UMNO resulting in Datuk Karim, a veteran politician to give up on UMNO. In Sarawak it is the same. UMNO feel superior to Sarawak government. Our leaders also acting like “baggers” in front of UMNO leaders. How do you think UMNO can give us what we need. If you talk too much, then UMNO will either buy you to keep silence or they will get Taib to kick you out the next election.

UMNO or Federal Government treated Sabah and sarawak like colony, remember! Now UMNO Sabah is in trouble becuase a strong politician like Karim do not like to be treated like a kid. I do hope some politician in Sarawak do have “balls” in between they thigh some how and react to this good for nothing budget. If not, it is election year, we simply do not give our vote to BN.

Change WE Must.

Karim was among former United Sabah National Organisation (Usno) leaders, including the late Tun Datu Mustapha Datu Harun (who founded Usno), who played a part in bringing Umno into the state in the 1990s. Usno was disbanded to make way for Umno.

He said he had sent his resignation letter to the Umno headquarters in Kuala Lumpur and the party’s state office here, earlier today.

“I quit Umno with immediate effect today. I stick to my final decision and in the meantime, I will remain partyless until I find the right political party to join,” he told a news conference here.

Karim said he got fed up and was disillusioned with Umno’s failure to fight for Sabahans’ rights and welfare.

The former Usno vice-president was among a group loyal to Usno who recently pleaded to Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to review the decision of rejecting their application to revive Usno.

There were reports saying that many former Usno leaders felt sidelined and wanted their old party to be revived to continue their political struggles. – Bernama