the babel machine


Saturday, February 25, 2006

cory, cardinal rosales lead edsa rites

Aquino, Bishop Rosales lead
prayer at EDSA Shrine

By Maila Ager

ORTIGAS--Former president Corazon Aquino and Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales led a prayer at the EDSA Shrine in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the first People Power revolution that ended a 20-year dictatorship in the Philippines.

Read the Running Account.

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rp ambassador to us says gov't to uphold rights

Gov't will uphold human rights
despite emergency rule--envoy

WASHINGTON--The Philippines will uphold human rights and the rule of law despite emergency rule imposed in the Southeast Asian archipelago to quell an alleged coup bid, its Washington envoy said Friday.

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Friday declared a "state of national emergency," invoking powers to use the military to quell a rebellion.

Read the Running Account.

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sison condemns proclamation 1017

Proclamation 1017, tyrannical act
of desperation--Sison

By Delfin T. Mallari Jr.
Southern Luzon Bureau

LUCENA CITY--The self-exiled founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines called as a "tyrannical act of desperation" President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's Proclamation 1017 that declared a state of national emergency.

Read the Running Account.

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ramos appalled by state of emergency

'Appalled,' Ramos says of Arroyo’s
state of emergency

By Stella O. Gonzales

MAKATI CITY--Former president Fidel Ramos hit President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for declaring a state of national emergency.

Read the Running Account.

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ocampo eludes arrest

Ocampo eludes arrest

By Maila Ager

QUEZON CITY--Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo eluded arrest at an opposition-sponsored forum at a hotel in Quezon City on Saturday, his lawyer said.

Read the Running Account.

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bunye defends action vs tribune

Bunye: Police had justification for Tribune entry

By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez

MALACAÑANG--PRESS Secretary Ignacio Bunye on Saturday said he believes the police had justification for entering the editorial offices of pro-opposition broadsheet Daily Tribune at early dawn of Saturday.

Read the Running Account.

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congressman beltran arrested in bulacan

Congressman Beltran arrested in Bulacan

By Maila Ager

ANAKPAWIS Representative Crispin Beltran was arrested by police Saturday, a lawmaker disclosed in a forum in Quezon City.

Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo said the Karapatan group informed him that Beltran was arrested in Bulacan, Bulacan province at past 10 a.m.

A text message sent by one of Beltran's staff to reporters said the congressman, along with a bodyguard, his wife, and two other companions, “were flagged down in Muzon, Bulacan by soldiers, led by a certain Major Corpuz.”

“They are being escorted now to [Camp] Crame for questioning by the CIDG [Criminal Investigation and Detection Group],” the staff said.

Read the Running Account for more updates on the state of emergency.

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freedom of the press

This is how the Arroyo administration is defending democracy:

1017: Veiled warning to some segments of media?

"We're entering a period of censorship and intimidation never before seen since the 1970s and the 1980s," said Manuel L. Quezon III, a columnist of the Inquirer.

He was quoted saying this in the article Media fear censorship, intimidation.

So, are we journalists just being paranoid? Gee, maybe Tribune publisher Niñez Cacho-Olivarez is only being paranoid:

Cops enter Tribune office, get copies of mock-up issue

Inquirer columnist and UP professor Randy David, who led one of the rallies yesterday, was detained by cops and later released:

"We have so many ironies today, not least of which is the fact that in January 2001, we were on the same march on Edsa, and she (Ms Arroyo) was at the Edsa Shrine, waiting for us to give her the presidency. And now she's stopping us," said University of the Philippines professor and Inquirer columnist Randy David shortly before he was arrested by policemen in plainclothes.

David, along with Akbayan president Ronald Llamas and lawyer Argee Guevarra, was taken in a green Toyota Corolla sedan (plate number WJU-141) to Camp Karingal, according to Akbayan media officer Percy Sendaña.

The three were charged with illegal assembly and inciting to sedition, but were released early last night.

Not to worry, however, said
National Telecommunications Commission chief Ronald Solis, who met with representatives of broadcast media yesterday after the proclamation of the state of emergency to ask for "balanced reporting."

Solis spoke to the Inquirer before meeting with representatives of various broadcast media.

He said fears of a government crackdown on the media were unfounded and described as "OA [overacting]" suspicions of eventual curtailment of press freedom.

He said circulars had already been distributed to broadcast media organizations in the past outlining what they could and could not do during periods of emergency.

Ay sori, sir, OA lang po pala kami.

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Friday, February 24, 2006

state of the nation

Everything's apparently quiet now, but here's what it was like for most of the day, courtesy of the Running Account.

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arroyo declares state of emergency

In a televised speech, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared a state of emergency.

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no rallies?

Police officials have warned that protesters who will join street rallies commemorating the 20th anniversary of Edsa 1 will face the threat of forced dispersal.

POLICE will not allow street protests in Metro Manila on Friday, an official said, after the military thwarted a plot to unseat President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

"All street rallies are not allowed today to prevent any breach of peace," Metro Manila police chief Director Vidal Querol said in a text message.

Read the rest of the INQ7 Breaking News item.

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latest attempt vs arroyo administration

Military says anti-Arroyo plot thwarted

In times of uncertainty, all we can really do is hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

As members of media, we always have to be careful to give the public the information they need, without inadvertently sowing panic or, in effect, creating the news. As you might expect, is taking all necessary steps to prepare for any contingency, to continue giving our readers, especially the many Filipinos overseas, the most up-to-date, accurate coverage of breaking news events.

I don't know how things will play out, just as I didn't know when I was doing the Running Account/What's Happening for INQ7's coverage of Edsa Dos how the story would end. All I know is that whatever happens, we'll be there to tell you about it.

Longtime readers know that when traffic from so many readers all over the world threatens to overwhelm the site when big events unfold or tension grips the country, we switch over to a streamlined news version.

The President is supposed to hold a press conference less than an hour from now. Our military claims the attempted withdrawal of support by some disgruntled officers has been thwarted.

Presidential chief of staff Mike Defensor has said in an interview with GMA-7 that no rallies will be held today, as the government will cancel all permits for rallies. Protesters, however, have said they will push through with massive demontrations to commemorate Edsa I and call for the ouster of Arroyo. And former president Cory Aquino is supposed to lead a march in Makati City at 3 p.m. today.

We keep talking about the spirit of Edsa. I just wish this would truly live in the hearts of Filipinos. I just wish we would see genuine change.

Let's just hope for the best. And pray.

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 8:20 AM :: 0 Comments:

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

inq7 @ 5 now live

Check out our INQ7 @ 5 anniversary site and celebrate with us online.

I'm really happy with this site and proud of what everyone on the team accomplished in record time. When we started brainstorming a little over a month ago (yeah, we like to cut things a little close, heh), I proposed an anniversary site that would not only talk about the things we have in store for readers, but actually give them a taste of these services in action. I also wanted to emphasize how these different gadgets and online tools are already part of our everyday lives.

As I told the different stakeholders in that meeting, including our president and CEO Paolo Prieto, why not take advantage of what many of us are actually doing everyday for our personal use, such as taking pics and shooting videos with our camera phones, and adapt this to our needs as a news organization? Why not allow readers to submit user-generated content utilizing these same tools?

I guess what I said in our Blog section intro best explains what we tried to achieve with this site:

One thing we really wanted to do this year was to have the anniv site showcase the different online tools we’ll be deploying to deliver INQ7 content and services. Stuff like blogs and podcasts, which many Internet users are already familiar with, but which may be exotic toys for some news readers, and exciting new playgrounds for news organizations.

We want you to be able to enjoy these services, to see for yourselves how they can become valuable tools for delivering the news. Of course, we’re tailoring them to the needs of a news organization, and what works for us may not necessarily be what’s best for a personal blog, and vice versa.

At the risk of sounding pedantic, we’d like to demystify blogs and podcasts — to emphasize what we actually do with these tools, rather than the technology itself.

For instance, you don’t need high-end equipment to create your own online broadcasts. Which is why we shot the video clips using camera phones, and extracted audio from these to create our podcasts. Sure, the quality of the audio and the resolution won’t be as great, but when you can bring down online content and video-on-demand to the level of cell phones and other mobile devices, then you can make more people not only appreciate the power of digital media, but also encourage them to become content creators and online publishers themselves.

I'm not going to lie to you: it's not always easy being part of I've experienced my share of stress and frustrations over the years. Still, I wouldn't be where I am now if not for the opportunities this company has given me. Somehow, through thick and thin, something about inspires us to give our best. And you know what? A company whose executives are willing to support a fun experiment like this anniversary site, whose big bosses are game enough to be interviewed using mobile phones, and whose hardworking people keep outdoing themselves with every new project, must be worth it.

I hope you'll enjoy experimenting with these tools and submit your own photos, videos and audio greetings that creatively convey your anniversary message. Just check each section for the guidelines.

Use the integrated WordPress blog to post your own articles or comment on existing entries. You’ll have to register to start posting blog entries, but you don’t need to register to comment on existing articles. All entries and comments, however, will not immediately appear on the blog but will first be sent to a moderator.

So check out the site and start submitting your own content, whether it's serious or light-hearted stuff. would be nothing without our readers, the almost one million unique visitors who make our site their virtual home each day.

Thanks for your continuing support. Happy 5th Anniversary,!

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 11:02 PM :: 0 Comments:

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ePLDT creating a gaming monopoly?

Here's an excerpt from my INQ7 Infotech @Play column piece this week:

WELL, they finally did it. The possibility of the number one Philippine online game publisher Level Up! becoming a PLDT company has been the subject of speculation for some time. Thanks to hackenslash and INQ7 Infotech reporter Erwin Oliva’s tireless efforts in pursuing this story, we got the scoop when ePLDT, the information and communications technology arm of the country’s biggest telco, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., acquired a controlling 60-percent stake in Level Up! and announced that the company behind Ragnarok Philippines, ROSE Online and other popular online games will be merged next year with existing ePLDT subsidiary NetGames, which publishes Khan, FLYFF and PangYa...

Industry players and observers had been predicting since early last year that we would soon see consolidation, pointing out that the Philippine market is still too small to sustain so many online gaming companies, which sprouted like mushrooms following the phenomenal success of Ragnarok. Last year saw the first casualty of the MMOG wars, with Cebu-based Beetlerock shutting down Fairyland Philippines. Now the biggest online gaming publisher in the Philippines is the property of the biggest Philippine telco, so the question is: will this be good for the industry?

Read the rest of my column piece.

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cutting no corners

Better late than never: say hello to YOU BLog Addict of the Week, Geralyn.

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 12:27 PM :: 0 Comments:

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