Monday, August 08, 2005

Gloriagate going kaput!? TestiMONEY evaporates.

"Another jueteng witness retracts testimony vs Arroyo" so went the headline of a breaking news item at ABS-CBN-dot-com and today the Philippine Daily Inquirer headline reads "Opposition loses another witness, but intel officer readied to back Zuce testimony".

On one hand we have the palace spin doctors and cats paws taking potshots at the Senate investigations on Juetengate; on the other, we have Senator Panfilo Lacson and other opposition figures saying that more witnesses are coming out to corroborate the Zuce testimony/testimoney.

Those watching the ongoing political drama or melodrama may as well be throwing their hands up in the air, exasperated. What conclusions can we hope these Senate investigations to turn up?

But then again, there may be no need as the conclusions have already been made by millions of Filipinos who had watched the proceedings of the Senate hearings on TV and listened on the radio.

But it seems this will be of no consequence whatsoever.

What will be of great consequence are these developments:

  • "LONDON, England (Reuters) -- Oil prices hit a new record high near $64 on Monday after warnings of militant attacks in the world's biggest oil exporter Saudi Arabia and on worries about refinery outages in the United States. U.S. crude was up $1.49 at $63.80 a barrel at 1725 GMT after peaking at $63.99. London Brent crude was up $1.49 at $62.56 a barrel after touching $62.70." READ MORE

While the formula for oil prices in the Philippines are still a mystery to me, not a few people are already imagining a Php50 per liter scenario within the next few months -- then again, my imagination may be getting the better of me at times.

Changes in the price of fuel have sometimes been erroneously linked to increases in the price of basic consumer goods, but its direct impact is felt in the cost of public transportation and the cost of cooking food.

Almost every major shift in the price of crude oil and its fuel derivatives pushes public transport vehicle operators to petition for fare hikes as this eats into their income. The last fare hike petition was granted in mid-July, with the minimum jeepney fare now pegged at P7.50 -- meaning a round trip of 16 kilometers now costs P15.00

LPG and kerosene prices are also bound to move along with charcoal prices which is the substitute cooking fuel. This impact is felt mostly by workers and employees who have to buy their food near their work site -- this can be a 2 to 5 peso increase.

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