Wednesday, November 23, 2005

PCIJ goes podcasting (and then some)

Hats off to the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ). Its popular blog, the "Inside PCIJ", now has podcast entries. Its latest podcast entry focuses on the highlights of the infamous "Hello, Garci" scandal, including the government officials whose voices were caught in the tapes. Ma'am Yvonne reports. Of course, you know that "Garci" refers to former elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano, who as of press time, is nowhere to be seen.

Hmm, by the way, I wonder if Garcillano would really appear before the public and tell us what really happened during the 2004 elections. The search for Garci is beginning to be like an "X-files" episode or a special issue of the United States-based tabloid the "National Enquirer". His on-and-off sightings and possible whereabouts in and outside the country put the UFO sightings or the search for the Lochness monster to shame. I won't get surprised if Bigfoot shows up first than Garci.

Here is what the Professional Heckler (one of the more prominent bloggers in the country) said recently about Garcillano, who won as the Harry Houdini Act of the Year in his blog's 2005 Year-End Awards: "Who else deserves the award but former Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano. He made a fool out of everyone in the opposition. One day he is in Singapore, the next day, he is in London. A week later, Pimentel claims Garci’s in New Jersey even as Gilbert Remulla reveals he’s in South America. The next day, Lacson would report a sighting in Bataan. Just today, the senator says Garci is in Bukidnon. Talk about omnipresence. For all we know, he is so dead and his spirit has just embarked on a world tour. Matakot na kayo kapag may iniulat na bagong aparisyon sa Agoo."

For those who feel glum about the country's situation, you may find some comfort and humor in Avigail Olarte's report on the October 26 book launch of "Hello, Garci, Hello Ma’am: Political Humor in the Cellphone Age", PCIJ's third joke book.

Sigh, living in the Philippines is like appearing in a tragicomedy or at the Theater of the Absurd. Our current situation is almost absurd that it is funny. So funny it hurts.

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