The latest breakfast news forum/interaction, entitled PROS & CONS, will begin on August 13, 2015, 9:00 a. m. - 11:00 a. m. at the Aberdeen Court, Quezon Avenue, Quezon City. Yours truly will host/moderate the forum in cooperation with the Mass-Com Guild Strategies, Inc.
What makes the forum distinct from the other forums is that it will be lecture-type followed by Q.&A. Of course, hot and current issues will also be discussed, with the end in view of resolving them! (Posted August 3, 2015)
Four prestigious organizations have forged an agreement and a consensus of opinion that if the BBL is approved, "the Muslim- Tribal communities will suffer the most, and that instead of attaining peace, the BBL may result to a civil strife that will ultimately destroy our Democratic institution."
The four organizations are: Citizens Crime Watch, represented by its founding chairman/president Atty. Jose Malvar Villegas Jr.; Philippine United Tribal & Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Federation, Inc. represented by its founding chairman/president Mario T. Gamba;
Christian Peace Alliance, represented by its founding chairman Ricardo IV D. Fulgencio; Risen 44, represented by its chairman Atty. Melchor Magdamo, and Movement Against Dynasty, represented by its chairman/president Quintin Paredes San Diego.
The signatories vehemently object to the approval of BBL as it will be creating a state within a State (Philippines). A "Magna Carta for Muslim Mindanao" has also been crafted, and you can read the excerpts in our "NewsFeatures" section. (Posted July 4, 2015)
Whether Manila Rep. Amado Bagatsing was joking or not when he said that to solve the "photo bomber" issue, simply turn around the National Hero's monument to face the controversial Torre de Manila, the honorable congressman was out of his senses, lacking in some historical values, or rather, suffering some lapses in his wisdom or in his being an intellectual!
I repeat, the monument of Dr. Jose P. Rizal at the Rizal Park (formerly Luneta) is no joking matter! Bagatsing, to deserve the word "Honorable" prefixed to his name, should feel ashamed of himself, go before the monument of the National Hero and make an honest apology!
Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe expressed suspicion that Bagatsing was protecting the Torre de Manila builders; instead, Batocabe said that the high-rise "photo-bomber" building be demolished! Indeed, the builders are making fun of the monument of Dr. Jose P.Rizal!(Posted July 3, 2015)
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima issued recently a directive to all city and municipal fiscals prohibiting them to accept any form of allowances from local government units!
The regional state prosecutor for Region XI (Southern Mindanao) Antonio Arellano was quick to reply:
There are three laws providing for allowances of fiscals from LGUs: 1. Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1275 requiring LGUs to provide monthly allowances to prosecutors and employes through the National Prosecution Service created by PD 1275. 2. Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code which allows LGUs to give assistance to the prosecutors' office. 3. Republic Act No. 2010 which allows LGUs to grant allowances to prosecutors so long as the allowance is not more than 50% of their basic salaries! So, what can you say, Madame Leila de Lima? (Posted April 12, 2015)
I believe it's not the exclusive privilege of the Senate, the House of Representatives, Office of the President nor the judiciary to keep to themselves what's the Framework of Agreement and the BBL (Basic Bangsamoro Law)!
The people more than deserve to know what are these two features which the country's leadership is pushing for approval! The government must publish the contents of these two proposals so that we, the ordinary citizens of the Republic, can participate fully well in the discussion and make informed and intelligent decisions. After all, it is us, citizens, who will suffer more than anybody else, if and when these two proposals are of great disadvantage to us Filipinos!
We urge the government to publish immediately the contents of the Framework of Agreement and the BBL! I don't think the government cannot afford to publish the two features, unless of course, if it is hiding something from us! Do not keep us in the dark! No secrecy please! (Posted March 27, 2015)
If the current situation in Mindanao is not handled properly, the Philippines will soon become a "chop-chop" country! Considering now the military strength of the MILF, they are ready, at all cost, to fight for independence! What is one of their conditions?
If the so-called BBL is watered down, they will not accept it! Do you understand what does it mean? The MILF is already dictating the Philippine Government to follow and obey what it wants! How can the MILF do that? Because it is negotiating from a standpoint of strength, while the Philippine Government is practically negotiating for peace from a kneeling position!
After the Mamasapano tragedy, the Philippine Government was appealing to the MILF to return the weapons, uniforms and personal belongings of the SAF 44 the MILF killed or massacred! What a shame! The Philippine Government can not even speak a voice higher than the MILF! For the sake of peace? But it began all wrong on the side of the government! The government peace negotiators must be working for the government and not for the MILF! (Posted March 27, 2015)
WHILE the leadership of the country and its various departments, including the legislature, the judiciary, the armed forces and what have you are busy debating to protect their own RESPECTIVE interests - unfortunately not much about the interests of the country - they all missed the fact that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is already an ipso facto independent state!
The MILF has already its own territories in Mindanao, and they do not even need the proposed Bangsa Basic Law! There are areas in Mindanao where the country's armed forces are not even allowed to enter without the permission of MILF security personnel who are armed to the teeth! Take the case of the Mamasapano bungled operation of the so-called SAF: That's an MILF restricted territory! It required permission from the MILF for the SAF to enter to fulfill its mission to arrest Manwar!
The MILF has also its own military training camps strategically located in Mindanao and of which the military was not even aware of! Because the MILF territories are homogenous , they can now apply for recognition by the United Nations as an independent nation citing the absolute rights for self-determination!
As of now, the MILF has already a well-organized government structure, and they are going into a parliamentary form of government, and they may choose to join Malaysia as a federal state because Malaysia has a federal form of government! Their ambassadors to the Philippines? Professor Ferer and Secretary Deles, the Philippines' current peace negotiators to MILF whom Sen. Cayetano has questioned as representing the MILF instead of the Philippine government.
Everything is too late for the Philippine government to stop the MILF from seceding or declaring independence from the Philippines (see "Initiatives for Peace") They have long prepared for this, and they are absolutely ready now!
In terms of military strength, we only have 150,000 more or less personnel strength, not as well armed like the MILF. News reports said that some bullets used during the Mamasapano incident were even duds!
Besides, the MILF has easy access for heavy weapons from Muslim countries, and which we don't have! And the MILF knows the Mindanao terrains so much, and in case of an all-out war with the AFP, God forbids... the New People's Army (NPA) will also conduct simultaneous attacks on military camps, thus spreading the small military strength too much that it will lose its capacity to respond effectively!
Besides, if the armed forces and the police were not even able to coordinate effectively in the Mamasapano tragedy, how much more in an all-out war! Besides, Muslims are all over the country now, and definitely, their sympathy will go to their Muslim brothers and kin! (More in our succeeding issues, posted March 26, 2015)
Cris and I would like to join all peace-loving people in fervently praying to God Almighty that the Year 2015 is a year of prosperity for all of us, a year which abounds with good health, family welfare, peace and justice, forgiveness, understanding and love for one another!
Let us also strengthen more than ever our commitment to Save Mother Earth, for by doing so, we save not only ourselves but also the existence of humanity! (Posted Dedember 31, 2014)
Yes, Merry Christmas to one and all once again! This is the same message we used last year (see item following), this same Holiday Season as we celebrate again the birthday of our Lord Jesus Christ! We wish you all that God may pour on you abundance, prosperity, good health and family well-being not only this Holiday Season but also beyond! (Posted December 24, 2014)
This Christmas Season, it is our sincerest wish that God pours on all of us blessings now and beyond!
As a sign of our gratitude to Him, let peace, understanding, love, and forgiveness reign in our hearts!
Jesus Christ said that we love one another, even as St. Paul also said that we bear each other's burden!
And let us not forget the very reason we are celebrating Christmas - Jesus Christ!
Again, my wife Crispina and myself do pray that you enjoy a Christ-centered Christmas! (Posted December 24, 2013)
It's really funny that the Catholic Bishops' Conference (CBCP) is now urging the Philippine Government to take more action in minimizing or stopping corruption in the government!
What has CBCP been doing during the years back? A saying goes: you shall be known by your fruits! The Philippines is composed of practically 90% Catholics. Based on that saying, then the Catholic church has greatly failed in thePhilippines! All the government officials now being accused of graft and corruption are all Catholics!
What does this truth mean to you? That the Catholic Church failed dismally in its mission to instill the tenets of Christianity among the citizenry especially among government officials who continue shamelessly and relentlessly to plunder the treasury of the government! Did you, Catholic leaders, ever taught your flocks the value or virtue of honesty? How intensive was the inculcation of honesty among your flocks?
In a statement reportedly signed by CBCP president and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, it said that corruption should be addressed as it continues to worsen poverty in the Philippines. He said: "In the Philippines, this means urgently: stop the corruption. Stop the misuse of the people's money!"
Well-said! But what has the CBCP or the Catholic Church has really done to inculcate among the people, especially government officials, the virtue of honesty? Considering their clout, religious leaders must get out from their air-conditioned offices, and without ostentation but clothed in humility, must conduct frequent visits to their flocks and re-instill in them the virtue of honesty!
They should not always be asking for donations! It's high time religious leaders took more actions - yes get out - and meet the people and reiterate to them the virtue of honesty! For comment/feedback: email@example.com (Posted December 5, 2014)
With the soaring and alarming number of crimes, including heinous crimes in the Philippines, there are urgent calls from law-abiding citizens to return the death penalty. A Batangas lawmaker, Rep. Mark Leandro L. Mendoza, even filed House Bill 5074 providing a death penalty for those who committed heinous crimes!
One misplaced opposition however is that a death penalty cannot prevent or stop the commission of heinous crimes! Historically, that's true! No one can stop an assassin who wants to kill the president, nor a rapist or robbers who also kill their own victims! This has been going on since time immemorial, or before the time of Jesus Christ!
So, what for is the death penalty? To give justice to the victims of heinous crimes! That's all, and not to prevent the commission of heinous crimes! Why keep alive in jail a man who abducted a 9-year old girl, raped, killed and burned here? Why keep alive in jail a man who robbed a 75-year old woman, mercilessly stabbed her more than 30 times, resulting in her death? Or why keep alive in jail a taxi driver who robbed his woman passenger and then killed her? Or why keep alive in jail a government official or a lawmaker who defrauded the people hundreds of millions of pesos? We cannot of course prevent the commission of such heinous crimes like plunder and corruption, but we are seeking justice for the people, the poor and marginalized citizens whose gnawing hunger could have been assuaged were it not for the heinous crimes of the corrupt government officials!
What we are seeking is justice for the victims when death penalty is imposed again! We are not trying to prevent heinous crimes! We can only minimize crimes when the people are well-educated, developed strong character, and spiritually rich! The big problem is that the institutions which are supposed to develop strong character and rich spiritual life have dismally failed up to this time. Fear of God seems to be a taboo already, or a laughing stock! We need a moral recovery or regeneration! Whatever happened to the moral recovery program of then Sen. Leticia Shahani? (Posted December 1, 2014)
"A public official," a time-honored slogan says, "must be beyond suspicion, like Caesar's wife!" But this is not so in Taguig City, where the local chief executive, Mayor Lani Cayetano, is now being asked to explain alleged city disbursements without complete supporting papers, or to locate or produce the warm bodies of "3,200 ghost employees!
Mayor Lani Cayetano is the wife of Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, a member of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee mandated to conduct investigations or hearings on the alleged shenanigans or corrupt practices of government officials whether they are appointed or elected!
Now, the Commission on Audit (COA) has come out with the following audit reports on Taguig City:
P317.4 Million paid to "3,200 ghost employees"; P102.3 Million paid for the purchase of medicines and hospital equipment of "doubtful existence"; P487 Million paid to contractual workers, and P39 Million paid as bonuses to the contractual workers!
TOTAL: P945.7 Million! Since there were only "ghost employees," medicines and hospital equipment of "doubtful existence" and contractual workers who were not supposed to have been hired at all, plus their bonuses, who benefitted from the P945.7 Million disbursed by the Taguig City government, and for which the COA is now asking Mayor Lani Cayetano to explain, or perhaps produce or locate the "3,200 ghost employees" to justify or rectify the payment of their salaries?
Mayor Lani Cayetano, incidentally was charged earlier with plunder and graft before the Office of the Ombudsman! It's an irony that her husband, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano is a member of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee and he was fiercely participating on the committee's hearing/investigation on the alleged over-pricing of the Makati City Parking building and other city government's building.
At least, if we may add, the overpriced parking building is there and it continues to benefit the people, but on the case of the "3,200 ghost employees" who got paid with P317.4 Million, who benefited? Don't tell me ghosts know how to receive and spend money!
Our challenge is for Sen. Cayetano to ask the Blue Ribbon Committee to convene a hearing on the COA audit report covering the P945.7 Million which his wife, Mayor Lani Cayetano allegedly disbursed without legal imprimatur!
Now, let us make comparison: Mayor Lani Cayetano, P945.7 Million vs Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, about P300 Million, and Sen. Ramon "Bong" Revilla, about P300 Million! Estrada and Revilla are now being detained pending the resolution of the plunder and graft charges filed against them with the Sandigan Bayan! Will Mayor Lani Cayetano be far behind? (Posted November 28, 2014)
Sen. Alan Cayetano, a member of the Blue Ribbon sub-committee hearing the alleged VP Binay's hacienda in Rosario, Batangas, is now proving himself that he lacks the finesse of conducting a hearing! Imagine telling businessman Antonio "Tony" Tiu that if he or any member of his family is kidnapped for ransom, he must enter into a bargain with the kidnappers to lower the amount!
What a stupid advice! Is the senator promoting kidnapping for ransom in the country? In a committee hearing, whether in the Senate or in the House, the concept is to ask relevant questions -- well-crafted and direct to the point! It is during the Q&A that you can determine if the senator is incisive or he did his homework. Further, you do not insult your resource person or witness just because his answer is not what you expected!
We really miss Sen. Jinggoy Estrada in the Senate committee hearings! He was so brilliant in asking questions that surprisingly, the witness was already telling the truth!
I strongly recommend that Sen. Alan Cayetano to study well the psychology of asking questions. Further, when you ask a question, never, never make any conclusion. Nor make any comment on the body language of the witness. After all, the conclusion will be included in the committee report! Indeed, lawmakers must learn the finesse of conducting a committee hearing! (Posted November 7, 2014)
It's more of grandstanding, and the longer it is conducted, the better image for them - Senators Koko Trinidad, Antonio Trillanes and Alan Cayetano! I am referring, of course, to the Blue Ribbon sub-committee conducting a hearing on the alleged hacienda of Vice President Jojo Binay in Rosario, Batangas!
What is so simple, they make it so complex and running around the bush, so to speak! Well, that gives them more exposure on TV! But they are also exposing themselves of some kind of intellectual bankruptcy!
The purpose of the hearing is to prove that Binay owns the 300-hectare or so hacienda. Well, subpoena the Land Registration Office to provide the Blue Ribbon sub-committee the Land Title of the land under question, a registration, and a deed of sale! Further, subpoena the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for a certificate of tax payment from the land owner or whoever owns the land under question.
If the subpoena results in the absence of such documents, then the proper government authority will now move for the confiscation and ownership of the hacienda! Plain and simple! (Posted November 2, 2014)
THE presidential ambition of Vice President Jejomar Binay is already a "DOA" this early! This is how Ado Paglinawan described the presidential ambition of the vice president. He made the statement during the breakfast news forum held October 31, 2014 at the Rembrandt hotel, Morato, Quezon City. Veteran journalist and broadcaster Erick San Juan hosts the weekly news forum.
DOA or Dead On Arrival is a medical term referring to a person rushed to the hospital for treatment but he died upon arrival! Paglinawan, who was a Philippine attache at our Washington embassy, observed that Binay is now being swarmed by accusations of alleged graft and corruption including illegal acquisition of about 300 hectares of farmland, overpriced city government buildings in Makati and a multi-story parking building.
What went wrong with Jojo? Until recently he always obtained the highest performance and credibility survey ratings. And suddenly, he was stripped - revealing the real Binay! A government or public official must be above suspicion, like Caesar's wife, to quote that dictum!
From an OIC of Makati City during the term of Pres. Cory Aquino, he served as mayor of the city for several terms, then followed by his wife Dr. Elenita Binay. Jojo subsequently replaced his wife, and now his Jun-Jun Binay is serving the city as the mayor.
His daughter Nancy is a senator, and another daughter, Abigail is a congresswoman. Indeed, the vice president fits very well into the description of a political dynasty, an immoral monopoly of elective government positions!
A survey indicated that more than 50% of the lawmakers belong to political dynasties. Sen. Alan Cayetano's wife is the mayor of Taguig City while his brother is a congressman. And, of course, his sister is Sen. Pia Cayetano!
A provision of the 1967 Constitution says that political dynasty is unacceptable, and that Congress must enact a law to that effect! None so far has been enacted! Of course, no lawmaker would voluntarily outlaw his own political dynasty!
That's the great dilemma, because many of those clowns in Congress are bereft of morality! (Posted October 31, 2014)
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) destroyed P1.8 billion worth of dangerous drugs during the first half of 2014! For a government agency so limited in personnel and funds, that's an unprecedented accomplishment!
The PDEA, headed by Director General Undersecretary Arturo G. Cacdac Jr., has the sole authority to destroy confiscated illegal drugs from anti-narcotics operations. The dangerous drugs were destroyed in public.
PDEA chief Cacdac stressed that the destruction of confiscated or seized dangerous drugs is to assure the public that these are not re-used, recycled, or sold back in the streets or fall into the wrong hands!
It reminds us of things past - when confiscated or seized dangerous drugs mysteriously disappeared from the locked rooms of some law enforcers! Indeed, the PDEA is accomplishing so much in the campaign against the illegal drug trade!
The illegal drug business is highly funded, and the PDEA must be strengthened with a bigger budget, more personnel, more training for its staff, and thus become a highly structured agency!
The success of PDEA gives us the assurance that our children, teenagers, and even our professional sons and daughters are safe from the deadly clutches of dangerous drugs!
Again, our profound congratulations to PDEA! Mabuhay po kayo Director Director General Arturo G. Cacdac Jr. (Posted October 10, 2014)
Practically every day, the Commission on Audit (COA) announces an audit report on corruption or missing government funds! While we commend COA for such a report, the report comes too late! Why can't COA make its auditing report faster!
COA's report sometimes comes after several years, when it has hardly any effect anymore on the culprit! What Congress must do is to strengthen COA with a bigger budget so that it can hire more auditors and personnel and improve its computerization system.
This month, COA revealed, according to its 2013 Annual Financial Reports on GOCC that some P3.7B DAP fund is missing!
COA must be transformed into a quasi-judicial body so that it can file charges immediately against the suspected culprits, and not to rely on Senate/House Committee hearings or from any other government agencies! (Posted October 22, 2014)
I strongly agree with the observation of the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) that a recent fashion show which featured a woman held on leash by a male model was outright condemnable!
Human values should not be sacrificed in the name of profits. And the producer of such show, whether he has apologized in public or not yet, has, we believe a perverted sense of values!
And the women and men who were used to portray such acts, or any other similar acts, are by themselves, have no moral sensitivity! They are simply ignorant of what are human values. They made themselves willing victims of such immorality!
The PCW said: "While staging a fashion show is part of a company's marketing strategy... it should never be tolerated especially... to dehumanize and demeans the dignity of women, treating their bodies as mere sex objects and commodities.
"Women should be portrayed and represented with dignity. Presentation of women as inferior beings and sexual objects should be eliminated.
"PCW also condemna commodification of male bodies which were flaunted exaggeratedly during the show, making their series of acts akin to soft porno."
Producers and people in the advertising industry, the PCW said, must always exercise sensitivity and promote positive portrayal of women. Section 19 of the Magna Carta of Women (MCW) or the R. A. 9710 clearly states that the portrayal of women in a discriminatory, demeaning and/or derogatory manner in advertisements, shows and programs not allowed."
Congratulations, PCW! But we ask you to look more around! (Posted September 27, 2014)
I absolutely agree with Ilocos Norte Rep. Rudy Farinas that Cabinet secretaries whose confirmation of appointments was by-passed three times or more by the Commission on Appointments (CA) must step down! Rep. Farinas is a Majority Leader of the CA.
Farinas cited a provision of the Constitution that all presidential appointees to key positions in government must be confirmed by the CA. And for the president to keep on re-appointing by-passed secretaries is a mockery of the Constitution, Farinas stressed.
He also cited a resolution that then Sen. Aquino authored during the 14th Congress that any Cabinet secretary by-passed by the CA three times must be considered rejected.
The Cabinet secretaries already by-passed three times are DOJ Sec. Leila de Lima, DSWD Sec. Corazon "Dinky" Soliman, DENR Sec. Ramon Paje, and COA Comssioner Heidi Mendoza!
Now Pres. Aquino must not violate his own resolution, and of course, the provision of the Constitution.
The "by-passed" officials must now step down, or else, together with Pres. Aquino, they are all making a "mockery" of the Constitution! What a shame!
May we hasten to add that a presidential appointee to a key position in government must remain a nominee until a confirmation of the appointment has been approved by the CA, and only then shall the nominee assume officially the position! (Posted March 6, 2014)
A taxi discovered to be a "colurum" will be impounded for three months, and the operator or owner will be fined P120,000.00!
"We will let your taxi rust!" thus said LTFRB Chairman Winston Gines during a meeting Monday afternoon with some taxi operators in his office. If that warning does not still sink into the brains of the operators, then we do not know to what kind of living species do they belong!
At least, we are now certain that here's a government official who knows exactly what he is doing! We are wondering why previous LTFRB officials never thought of such a simple measure to curb or eliminate "colurum" vehicles which have no business plying the roads! Pera-perahan ba ang nangyari?
Reports say that there are 35,000 taxis plying the roads in Metro Manila, but a supposedly official count says there are only 25,000 to 27,000! The difference is therefore the number of "colurum" taxis.
Not an easy task for LTFRB, but hunting down these illegal taxis would be fast, because the targets are visible. Further, organize a network of tipsters, with a reward system, and the illegal taxis will fall immediately, like in a domino game!
Being a CPA himself, Chairman Gines also warned the operators to come up with an accurate, honest annual income report, or else, they will be charged with tax evasion by the BIR and possibly a revocation of their franchises! That too, we believe, had a chilling effect on the taxi operators!
Further, Chairman Gines also stressed that drivers who do not issue receipts to their passengers are liable to a fine of P2,000.00!
Chairman Gines also instructed taxi operators to have their drivers wear appropriate uniforms, and as such, passengers may not be experiencing some foul odor anymore inside the taxi!
So, you see, it's that easy! If the government official at the helm does his job with persistence, or consistency, with passion, and above all, considering the interest and welfare of the public at all times! (Posted March 4, 2014)
To my surprise, or to everyone's surprise, the Land Transportation Franchising & Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has started working - or in action, implementing its mandate!
Where before, the general reaction was, in Tagalog parlance, pera-pera lang yan! (Roughly translated, "just fix them up - the LTFRB officials, and you can wantonly violate the rules, or you can have as many "kolurum" vehicles as you want! Fix them up means bribe them!)
For how else do you explain the presence of so many illegal passenger buses, jeepneys, and taxis plying the roads? And "kambal" (twin) license plates? Pera-pera lang yan!
According to a study, EDSA can only accommodate 3,500 passenger buses a day, but there were 8,000 or more!
With the new officials of LTFRB, headed by its chairman, Atty. Winston Gines, much has changed- drastically - at the LTFRB! Immediate, positive actions have become the rules of the day, not the exceptions!
Order on the roads are finally taking effect, and though we still see now and then a wayward bus lording it over EDSA or Commonwealth Avenue, the reckless and discourteous driver will, at the soonest time, finds himself yanked out of the road and take a mandatory, indefinte vacation without pay!
We have much to thank the new officials of LTFRB for finally taking action, which gives as the assurance of being safe as we commute everyday! But the action of LTFRB must be matched by the other government agencies mandated to make land transportation a safe undertaking! (Posted February 27, 2014)
What a shame for those people - vultures - who prey on the helpless survivors of the super Yolanda typhoon! The bunkhouses, which are supposed to be temporary shelters of the homeless - thousands of them - are found to be substandard, and even reported that they were overpriced! A politician allegedly orchestrated the anomaly in cahoots with the contractors.
If Davao City has banned firecrackers or fireworks for the last 11 years, followed by Makati City and then Muntinlupa City, how come other local government units have not done the same?
The number of injured, as of last count, as a result of firecrackers or fireworks, totaled 559 as Filipinos celebrated New Year's Eve!
If fireworks were banned, then there could not have been any New Year revelry injuries!
Now there are legislative proposals to totally ban fireworks in pursuance to an earlier proposal of the Department of Health to totally ban fireworks or firecrackers, or whatever you may call them.
A legislative measure emanating from Congress is just a waste of money, time and efforts. Imagine how much Congress will spend to craft the bill which will take maybe months or even a year or more, considering the kind of Congress we have.
Besides, a national legislation is not needed! The problem is of local nature, and so, it only requires a local ordinance! Why don't the other cities and municipalities get a copy of the ordinances banning fireworks in Davao City, Makati City and Muntinlupa City? It's as simple as that! Otherwise, the other LGU executives do not understand the problem!
Year-in and year-out, the police discovers "illegal" kind of fireworks, and this is a crazy cycle! The PNP should recommend the kind of fireworks to be manufactured, and all licensed fireworks producers must submit to the PNP their productions indicating therein that they are complying with the rules. Or the LGUs designate in their respective jurisdictions where to hold safe fireworks displays. Better still, use "torotot" to welcome the New Year like what Davao City just did! (Posted January 2, 2014)
Reckless driving and mechanical failures have been causing an unprecedented and alarming increase of traffic accidents, and only recently, a passenger bus plunged down from a Skyway killing 18 passengers and injuring several others.
With a knee-jerk reaction, an Iloilo House representative, filed a proposed law mandating the installation of "speed limiters" in all passenger buses. An incorrigible, reckless or drunk driver would easily defeat the purpose of the "speed limiter" if there is such a thing.
People are asking if there's anything good we can still expect from Pres. Aquino in his two and a half years remaining of his administration! The Palace (represents the sitting president) made a statement earlier that Pres. Aquino cannot intervene in the sudden prohibitive increase of electric rates as announced by Meralco! For that statement alone, the president is already playing fire! What for is he as president?
No other than Sen. Antonio Trillanes, Aquino's ally, who vehemently criticized the president for doing nothing to protect the people, the consumers! Is Aquino the puppet of business? Of course, business has to make profits, but not when it is already digging a mass grave for the people!
Even former Sen. Kit Tatad said that Aquino has no concrete plans at all, adding that Aquino had no accomplishments to be proud of when he was a congressman and then as senator. Pinoy, Tatad stressed. must remember that Pinoy declared that the people is his boss! One may now ask? Shall we fire him now because of his incompetence or indifference to the people he is supposed to serve and protect? An Inquirer columnist stated that Pinoy is already irrelevant! (Posted December 16, 2013)
Many Pacquiao's tax evasion case can undo whatever wealth he has accumulated - and he has only himself to blame! The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has slapped him with a P2.2-billion tax delinquency case, followed with a freezing of his bank accounts!
Many coffee shops aficionados said the BIR was a killjoy, punching Pacquiao with the case immediately after he won over the American boxer, Brandon Rios! Pacquiao has to borrow money now from friends to support his family and to pay the salary of his staff.
The BIR is reported to be preparing for the garnishment of all the luxury cars of Pacquiao, his mansions, yatch, airplane and all other expensive properties! Pacquiao will be reduced to a rabble!
The BIR said it gave Pacquiao two years to settle the tax delinquency case, but Pacquiao did nothing.
"We have a law to implement!" President Noynoy Aquino said.
If the ordinary employee pays his taxes promptly and honestly, why can't Pacquiao do the same?
One assumption was that Pacquiao's staff, lawyers and accountants simply did nothing nor did they advice Pacquiao properly. They were all basking in the greatness and fame of Pacquiao, perhaps even thinking that he, being famous, was untouchable. His being famous could have been enhanced to a greater significance if he made himself a role model in the payment or settling of his taxes - promptly and honesty like what ordinary tax payers do! Let me quote a very relevant excerpt of the editorial of the Philippine Daily Inquirer on its November 27, 2013 edition:
"...Pacquiao's a champion again! And more than ever, it seems time for him to get down to serious work as the evangelist and public servant that he attempts to reinvent himself to be. His record as a lawmaker is highlighted by mediocrity and pales in comparison with his fight record. Well into his second term. He has nothing to show as far as legislation is concerned.
"For his own good and for the good of the constituents he is sworn to serve, it's time to quit boxing while the quitting is good. Sometimes, a champion's greatness is measured by his ability to acknowledge that his time is up."
(Posted November 27, 2013)
It appears that Department of Interior & Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas has a very poor grasp of administration and management especially when faced with a gargantuan task like the relief and rescue operations after Yolanda unleashed its super fury over the Eastern Visayas particularly Tacloban City and Quiuan!
Roxas appeared to have been bludgeoned by the aftermath of the super typhoon that he did not simply know what to do! He was like a small child whose cookies were forcibly taken away from him! A true and genuine leader is equal to or even bigger than the task!
But Sec. Roxas proved himself to be a weak dwarf before the challenge. He forgot that public service is above self, and it does not discriminate whom to help particularly during tragedies or disasters! He put politics his primary consideration!
It was even reported that Roxas wanted to take over Tacloban City! For what? Because the mayor does not belong to the same political party of which Roxas is the leader?
The unprecedented disaster could have been a great opportunity for Roxas to have shown his statesmanship, his sterling qualities as a leader by hastening the relief and rescue operations, but he dismally failed, putting politics above true public service.
(Posted November 25, 2013)
It was so funny that Pres. Noynoy Aquino had to fire the police officer who estimated right after the Yolanda that the death toll would reach 10,000!
As of latest count, the death toll was about 7,000 already! A number of bodies, rotting and decomposing, are being uncovered from heavy debris being removed from streets or from underneath of flattened houses. We do not understand why Pres. Aquino was so allergic to figures.
There's nothing wrong, we believe, in knowing what's the real score! Counting the dead is not like the pork barrel where the citizens are not allowed to know the truth - where those hundreds of millions, or even billions of pesos were spent!
We didn't know that even the dead are also victims of politics and pa-pogi!
(Posted November 25, 2013)
There are various speculations circulating among coffee shops aficionados about the decision of the Supreme Court that the Priority Development Assistance Fund - in short the pork barrel - is unconstitutional! The Supreme Court also directed legal offices of the government to investigate lawmakers and even private individuals who have abused the PDAF and file charges against them.
The decision of the Supreme Court covers the period back to 1989 when the pork barrel was instituted by then Pres. Cory C. Aquino and up to the administration of her son, now Pres. Noynoy Aquino!
That order of the Supreme Court is indeed gigantic, but at least it has taken away from the abusive lawmakers - whose primary interest were more for their pockets rather than truly serving the people they were mandated to do! With the decision of the Supreme Court, we are hoping now to a less corrupt or non-corrupt House of Representatives and the Senate! (Posted November 22, 2013)
Where in the world can you find legislators and high-ranking government officials almost simultaneously robbing the peoples' money by the billions of pesos in broad daylight, like in a high-noon robbery?
Only in the Philippines! Yes, Corruption is indeed more fun in the Philippines!
I would say that those involved in massive corruption are demon-possessed, otherwise, they would have placed love of country above unquenchable greed for money! Or they are the demons themselves!
In the New Testament of the Bible, Jesus Christ rebuked demons from two individuals and the demons entered into a herd of swine which ran and fell into a deep ravine and "perished in the water!
That's how those government officials involved in massive graft and corruption suffer: first, because they are demons, they will be rebuked - the rebuke by the people against them is now on-going - and then they will enter a herd of swine to hide their thick-skinned faces and then ran and fall violently down the deep ravine and "perish in the water!"
There's nothing really honorable among them. They should stop using the word "honorable" before their names!
The Filipino citizens are so angry at these corrupt government officials, and to express further their ire, someone made a fitting illustrtation about some of these corrupt officials, and just in case you missed it from the internet, we are republishing it here in this column! It is our humble contribution in the nationwide anger against them! (Posted October 3, 2013)
The alleged P10-Billion "pork barrel" scam could have been effectively prevented if lawmakers - the Senators and members of the House of Representatives - established "feedback mechanism" for the grants they gave to non-government organizations (NGOs) to fund their projects!
A feedback mechanism is being used by even an ordinary businessman to see to it that his programs or products or services are satisfactorily accepted by his clients or customers.
In the case of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), the feedback mechanism should have been a system where the NGO recipient is required to provide "feed backs" to the donor on a monthly basis, submitting documents which include photos and videos of said projects to which the grant was intended for.
Such feedbacks also include details on how the grant is being spent on a weekly or monthly basis.
It appears, that as it is alleged, the donor - the lawmaker - simply signed the Special Allocation Release Order (SARO) and forgot all about the grant.
If you are giving a P10-Million grant to a certain NGO, it is simply gross ignorance or irresponsibility, to say the least, if you are not requiring the recipient to submit to you regularly a well-documented report on how the P10 million is going to be spent - plus of course - the list of beneficiaries!
Further, a component of the P10-Million grant should be a member of your staff, or appoint one who will inspect regularly the development of the supposed projects to ensure that the grant is being utilized as intended.
It appears that none of the lawmakers mentioned in the alleged scam has done this simple requirement of establishing a feedback mechanism.
Imagine Sen. Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. hiring an expert to verify his own signatures if indeed genuine or forged. He allegedly was "victimized" 22 times!
If he, like a simple businessman, could have established his own feedback mechanism since he started giving grants to individuals or NGOs, he would not be facing a grave problem today!
The system of endorsing an NGO for funding by a lawmaker is also full of loopholes! How come the recipient NGOs had false or non-existing addresses? Besides, were project feasibilites submitted, or what is the scope of such projects?
Business common sense requires that the addresses of these NGOs should have been inspected, as well as their areas of operations. But what actually happened, I suspect, was that the accrediting authority simply relied on submitted documents.
When you are recommending an NGO to receive a P10-Million grant, it is also again common sense that you must conduct an occular inspection of its address and its areas of operation! I suspect that none of this was undertaken! This also, is gross ignorance of one's responsibilities as the endorsing authority!
The Commission on Audit (COA) is also to blame. COA is supposed to prevent the misuse of government funds. Imagine conducting an audit on those pork barrel remittances during the years 2007 and 2009, and released only last week the results! Four years after!
That's why the COA is often suspected as a tool for a demolition job against a so and so politician or government official.
With speed and accuracy, COA must conduct its audit and release soonest time possible the results! This way, it will effectively prevent the misuse of government funds. If it takes four years for COA to conduct an audit for a particular sector of government, then there is something amiss in its mandate to prevent the misuse of government money.
Okay, COA found unacceptable expenses - and charges are filed against the suspects. But it will take years before the charges are resolved - hence, in the long run, COA contributed to a futile exercise, the government spending so much time and money just so to resolve the charges where the accused might even turn to be not guilty!
What we need is speed and accuracy! If COA can do it, then it is effectively preventing the misuse of government money! Not four years after, please! (Posted August 22, 2013)
Though how we are prepared to lessen the disastrous impact of any storm or typhoon, any such preparation will always be not enough! There will always be destruction of properties, loss of life, injuries and even missing people!
We are facing the force of nature, and we should not blame government officials for alleged ineptness in protecting, rescuing or saving the people along the path of floods, strong winds or even earthquake.
The Philippines, our country, is so located along the paths of storms and typhoons, around 20 of them a year!
These we cannot evade! We have to face, whether we like it or not, the brunt of such storms or typhoons! The most that we can do is pray to our Universal Father to keep us safe!
There are lessons, however, that we can learn. The three-day heavy downpour - August 19-21, 2013 - caused by storm Manilan as it hit the Philippines, particularly Metro Manila, should make us realize the urgency of being more adequately prepared in terms of rescue and relief operations.
It is very pathetic to see those rubberized speed boats - which can only accommodate less than a dozen- to rescue people being endangered by high water along those streets in Metro Manila. Besides, those rubber boats are also prone to being punctured, and thus collapse or sink.
The most effective rescue vehicle is still the vintage amphibian truck which can travel on land and in water. We are wondering why the government, national or local, do not acquire adequate number of amphibians to rescue people endangered by high water in Metro Manila or in other urban areas of the country.
The amphibian truck can be customized so that it can be used to deliver government-issued goods during summer or non-rainy days.
As we have earlier suggested, the government must construct open-air multi-purpose refugee centers in strategic locations in Metro Manila, with steel frameworks and steel plating as floors. Each floor - at least five floors - are adequately with sanitation and hygiene facilities.
Constructed within a one-hectare lot, the center can be used as a parking area, convention center and shopping malls during non-rainy days and during summer. Hence, it will be earning for its own upkeep!
Relief goods - like food and medicine - should be stored and stocked in a quarterly basis. When there is no storm within the quarter, then use the food to form part of any feeding program of the government
With this procedure, the government will be more effective in its rescue and relief operations for victims of storms or typhoons! (Posted August 21, 2013)
Department of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has announced that lawmakers allegedly linked to the P10-Billion scam would be charged, but she added that complete evidence were still being gathered.
This is what we call headline-hugging statements! It is a very careless and tactless gesture! As a Justice Secretary, de Lima should refrain from making such statements which are meaningless!
She should have waited until the investigation being conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is finished, and then come up with a grand announcement!
We are wondering up to now why the bogus non-government organizations (NGOs) which were reportedly the beneficiaries of the scam were not being investigated yet. Is it not more than enough as evidence the fact that these NGOs were bogus and that appropriate charges should have filed against their respective officers!
Why is it that not even one of the officials was "invited" for questioning? Is it because Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged brain of the scam, was the one who organized these bogus NGOs?
In a previous Inquirer story, Napoles was quoted as having said: "Hawak ko ang gobyerno!" (Rough English translation: "The government is within my power!") In other words, Napoles tentacles are wound around the necks of government officials concerned, and for any unfavorable statements they make, the powerful tentacles would strangle them mercilessly!
A lawmaker had also previously stated that around P100 million was contributed by Napoles to the campaign fund of the Team Pinoy during the May 13, 2013 midterm elections!
This disclosure has not been debunked yet by the Administration!
Now, do you get the point why de Lima was making those tactless statements? (Posted August 14, 2013)
It might be too premature to ask, but like so many investigations conducted by the government, whether in the past or now, nothing resulted into something that is satisfactory to the public!
The current alleged scam, the more than P10-Billion pork barrel money siphoned to bogus projects, has been the headlines of the Philippine Daily Inquirer for weeks, detailing the methods by which the money were taken from some Senators and members of the House of Representatives and allegedly with the help of the Department of Agriculture.
The bogus recipients, NGOs, or non-government organizations and their respective presidents, were identified! How come the concerned government agencies have not "invited" these presidents and asked them where the money really went, or did they ever receive the amounts as alleged?
It is so sad indeed, that here comes Justice Secretary Leila de Lima saying that there were no enough evidence yet to merit an investigation by the DOJ! What evidence is she looking for? That's why you investigate to ferret from the suspects the evidence! Common sense!
Sen. Ramon "Bong" Revilla was reported to have been victimized 22 times by Janet Lim-Napoles, but the Honorable senator called it a demolition job by the Administration because of his plan to run for the presidency in 2016.
The allegedly bogus NGOs to which his pork barrel money went were identified! Why didn't he take action against such NGOs, charging them in court? All the senators and members of the House of Representatives linked to the scam should by this time have already filed charges against the bogus NGOs! But no! Why?
It was also reported that allegedly, the senators and representatives concerned received big amount of rebates from Janet Lim-Napoles.
It was also reported that Janet Lim-Napoles allegedly contributed P100-Million to the campaign fund of the Liberal Party during the May 13, 2013 mid-term elections! Could this be the reason the government is taking its time to file a complaint against Janet Lim-Napoles, or that Sec. de Lima said that there were no evidence yet to warrant the investigation of Madame Napoles?
Some citizens we have talked to said that the government is "hawak ni Napoles." (Rough English translation: "the government is under the stranglehold of Napoles.").
What do you think? (Posted August 9, 2013)
Fatalities due to traffic accidents keep on increasing! On a Philippine setting, this has become a common occurrence! Or it has become a mind-set! But what about the innocent victims who die in the prime of their health!
Early dawn, June 14, 2013 - three people were killed by an SUV who bumped them, aside from six others who were injured along Commonwealth Ave., Quezon City. The SUV was driven by Mark Eleazar Lapina, son of Quezon City Police District Directorial Staff Superintendent Procopio Lipana!
We earnestly hope there will be no white-wash in the case!
It is a popular formula that to keep road safety intact, there must be "Engineering, Education and Enforcement (EEE). But somehow, there's practically none of the three factors.
Engineering - What do we have? There are even no barrier lights or warning lights. Road lanes are not adequately marked. Or barriers are placed at the wrong places.
Education - Most motorists are not trained on safe driving or defensive driving. They are simply on their own when they are driving - with no concern at all on traffic safety. Usually, they do not care about safe driving, driver's responsibility and accountability. Driver education is a waste of time. Accidents cannot be avoided, they say, that's why they are called accidents. But upon analysis, practically all accidents were preventable. Driver education is a waste of time, they say, but try having an accident! It's going to be expensive and a lot waste of time!
Enforcfement - It's here where we find the weakest leg of the three EEE in traffic enforcement. Enforcers, whom we do not see most of the time on the road, are mostly ignorant of driving because they do not know how to drive. That's why they do not understand the philosophy and practices in safe driving, or defensive driving. Traffic enforcers must first be good drivers! (Posted July 15, 2013)
Yes, when does life begin? This became the core of debate during the oral argument between the pros and cons on the RH Law before the Supreme Court Tuesday July 9!
Life does not begin, it has always been there since the creation of the world or the universe! But life individualizes itself in various, different forms through a process true to all living beings - such as fertlization, mating, or pollination.
For human beings, like in animals, the individualization of life is through sexual intercourse. The sperms of man, about 50 million of them, are injected into the woman's vagina during a sexual intercourse. The sperms then race through the fallopian tube to reach the woman's ovum or egg, and the sperm which reaches first the ovum triggers a mechanism which closes the ovum from all the other sperms.Thus fertilization begins!
Every sperm carries with it a life potential which only germinates when it reaches the ovum - which carries also a life potential. So we conclude that a full life - not anymore a life potential - begins to develop in accordance to the Law of Nature.
Potential is defined as the capability to become something - like new life. But potential needs a required ingredient to become something. Alone, potential is just a potential, or impotent!
The same is true with the ovum - it has a life potential, but unless fertilized by a sperm, it remains potential, or impotent!
Hence, life begins when the sperm successfully fertilizes the ovum! Before fertilization, there is no full life created!
Therefore, fertility management must be undertaken before the sperm meets the ovum, and since there is no full life created yet, then no one is harmed!
Couples must therefore be educated or trained on how to prevent or stop the sperm from reaching the ovum with the use of harmless tools! This must be the objective of the RH Law! Or with the couples well-informed and make their right decision, there's even no need of the RH Law! (Posted July 10, 2013)
Yes, it is immoral! At whatever angle you look at it, it is immoral! Yes, even if it is legal!
Imagine for Maynilad and Manila Water to pass on to the consumers an estimated P3.1 Billion a year income tax from 2008 to 2012!
The two water concessionaires claim that the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System-Regulatory Office (MWSS-RO) approved the agreement wayback in 2008! The MWSS-RO was anomalously ignorant of its obligation to protect the people whom it is supposed to serve!
If the deal is not immediately rescinded, Manila Water consumers, according to Water for the People Network, will unjustly shoulder P77 Billion passed-on income taxes, and for Maynilad, P76 Billion, covering the period 2013 to 2037!
It is so immoral indeed, this unquenchable thirst for wealth! (Click "Special Features" for the complete report of Water for the People Network) (Posted July 9, 2013)
After coming up with an historical narration leading to the "lease" of Sabah to the British North Bornio, Judge NC Naidu concluded:
"I am therefore left with no doubt in my mind that The Claim over Sabah is clear, measurable, lawful, legal, and legitimate. We must invoke the wisdom of the World Court and the International Court of Justice in The Hague to ponder and decide The Claim so that political expediency, economic necessity and social policy can be harmonized for the Sultan of Sulu and His Highness's people."
Judge NC Naidu, when he rendered his opinion (2010) was Chief Judge. Lipan Apache Band of Texas, USA.
His opinion on The Claim was sought and he came up with some historical facts!
Judge Naidu wrote: "My particular interest, investigating into The Claim begins with the 1878 Overbeck-Dent Pack when two European merchants went into business to lease British North Borneo (Sabah) from the Sultan of Sulu. The original lease agreement was translated and transliterated into Arabic, Malay and English when, mysteriously it would appear, the word lease was replaced surreptitiously with cede which has an altogether different meaning for political purposes."
Judge Naidu continued: "The Sultanate of Sulu maintains its stand till today that it was a lease that was supposed to have lasted 99 years, that is, it ought to have ended in 1977. Semper in dubiisbenignioraprafaeferenda is a Latin maxim which mens "in doubtful matters the more liberal view is always to be preferred. But the Pact was abrubtly abandoned in 1963 - a good 14 years prior to maturity and expiry of the Pact. It may have inspired the proponents of political association to justify the violating of a previously agreed upon contract. Under the provisions of Republic Act 1643 of the Philippines Civil Cod the invalidation of a lease before its designated term of expiry is a breach and violation of the law. The Overbeck-Dent Pacy which was buldozed and over prior to the expiry of 99 years qualifies as a mala fide act.
Taking from the views of essayists, writers, researchers and many more, Judge Naidu said hat "all agree on a common theme - that Sabah rightfully belongs to the de facto Sultanate of Sulu with evident de jure rights which ought to be pursued by the sovereign government of the Philippines because Sulu and Mindanao are geographically located in the Philippines."
But what happened? Except for President Diosdado Macapagal and President Ferdinand E. Marcos who attempted to pursue the Sabah claim, succeeding presidents slept on the legitimate claim - and if the pronouncements of Sultan Firdaussi Abbas is true, because they received huge financial concessions from whoever is the prime minister of Malaysia! (Posted March 10, 2013)
DILG Secretary Mar Roxas has been angrily described as "anti-Muslim" and was accused as "spokesman" of the Malaysian government rather than for Filipinos!
The accusation was made by the camp of the Sultanate of Sulu in Taguig City.
That accusation will remain deep in the hearts of the Muslim Filipinos and they will not forget it during the presidential election in 2016 if ever Roxas becomes a presidential candidate.
The big problem of some government officials is that they love to take a free ride whenever there is a crisis. They immediately open their mouth, and with the luxury of ignorance, make a statement which they will regret having said it. I wonder if Sec. Roxas has a full grasp of the Sabah claim!
The Sabah issue is absolutely a matter of diplomacy, and no one in government, except the President, should be making a statement except the Department of Foreign Affairs. Sec. Roxas actually made an unnecessary intrusion into the function of DFA. And look at what he got? He got a new name, "Anti-Muslim."
Sec. Roxas, who has not made an impressive performance yet at the DILG, must focus himself to his job, rather than making statements on any subject or issue of which he has nothing to do.
The Sabah standoff has turned into a shootout between Malaysian forces and the Royal Forces of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo! It therefore now requires a more in-depth diplomacy to arrive at a peaceful resolution of the crisis. And this is the challenge for the DFA to undertake!
Unless it also becomes "the spokesman" of the Malaysian government! (Posted March 5, 2013)
Two I.T. experts, Lito Averia and Prof. Rene Azurin were one in opinion that if the Commission on Elections (Comelec) could not resolve soonest time the defects of the second-hand Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines, such defective machines will provide opportunities for wholesale cheating in the forthcoming mid-term elections on May 13, 2013!
Averia and Azurin were panelists during the regular Friday breakfast news forum hosted by broadcast/columnist Eric San Juan at the Rembrandt hotel, Tomas Morato St., Quezon City.
Eric even said that the winning senatorial candidates could have already been programmed into the PCOS machines.
In an automated elections, we use the diskette or flash cards (FC) to register the votes and save such votes.
Just like in a CD (compact disk). If the CD is re-writable, you can re-use it for additional text and photos until it is full and gives you the instructions to save the new items to another CD, FC or USB.
In a non-re-writable CD or FC, once you have saved into it what you encoded, the FC or CD will no longer accept any additional information you would like to encode.
The automated election uses a non-rewritable FC, so that once an information has been encoded and saved into it, it will no longer accept any additional information.
Let us assume that an FC has been programmed in advance, and votes for so and so candidates have been encoded and saved into it.
The FC is inserted into the PCOS. Now you go and cast your vote. The machine will accept your ballot paper but it will no longer read, record and save your vote because the FC has already saved an earlier information and is now closed to any other information.
Let us assume, for the purpose of illustration, that a dozen PCOS operators are isolated in a hideout or safehouse. The operators are instructed to encode the votes for so and so candidates, making so and so candidates the winners and the others as losers in a proportion that is credible, or in accordance to surveys.
A day or two before the election date, the FCs which have been programmed, will be inserted into the PCOS. Definitely, the candidates who have been programmed to win will emerge as winners, regardless of votes which are now being cast by the ivoters!
The only way to prevent this wholesale cheating is for the citizens to check first the "virginity" of the FCs before they are inserted into the PCOS!
During the May 10, 2011 automated elections, it was reported that about 72,000 FCs were replaced with new ones a day or two before the election date!
What really was the reason? Your guess is as good as mine!
(For more of this, click the link "Breakfast News Forums")
(Posted February 22, 2013)
The indignant uproar against the perpetrators of the P12-Billion scam has subsided already, and while there were more than 8,000 complaints filed against the culprits and some of them were already taken into custody by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), there's no certainty yet that the victims would ever get back, even partially, the money they "invested."
Complaints - syndicated estafa - filed against earlier schemers are still unresolved because the concerned authorities have been sitting on them for the last several years. Did I hear someone say "Money talks?"
Anyway, the biggest scam which is continuously being committed by some government officials is graft and corruption! The latest estimate we know is about P85 Billion a year! That, my bosses, is the "Mother of all scams in the Philippines."
The victims are not only 15,000 misguided investors like in the Amman Futures, but about 95,000,000 Filipinos! Yes, you and I, plain citizens who honestly pay taxes, are the victims of government negligence, inefficiency and poor governance! And the culprits are mostly some top government officials who remain well-entrenched in their lofty and lucrative positions!
Sen. Miriam Santiago once exposed in a privilege speech that a cabinet secretary could not account some P52 Billion road users tax. That, friends, is a gargantuan scam!
Scams are not only committed by some top ranking government officials whether in the bureaucracy or among law enforcers! Anytime a government personnel does not fulfill his obligation to serve the people, that's a scam! And every day, scams like these are being committed practically in all government offices!
Even when a government personnel does not greet you with a smile, that's a serious scam! Yes, a scam indeed! (Posted December 6, 2012)
My wedding godfather Jesse Bello once told me: "There's a sucker born every minute!" And suckers indeed are many! And that's why pre-need plans, pyramid schemes, pension plans, college plans and etc. etc. prosper fast and also collapse fast, leaving their victims nothing of their money they so hopefully invested in such plans!
Now we have another pyramid scam where no less than 15,000 individuals in Mindanao were victimized, or shall we say allowed themselves to be victimized!
The founder and owner of the Aman Futures, Amalilio, has already left the Philippines, and it is very unlikely that he would ever be brought back to the country to face about 8,000 complaints filed by his victims whom he defrauded allegedly in the tune of about P12 Billion!
It is very seldom, if ever, that victims ever get their money back, or a part of it!
Friends, don't be suckers. I am so sorry if I am rubbing salt hard on your wounds, but next time around, when an individual offers you an interest rate - 20 to 30% - of the money you invest and even paid to you in advance, warn that person never to approach you again, or call the police! This is the best way to protect you from scams, unless of course if you are an incorrigible sucker!
Some of the victims of the Aman Futures even said "Killjoy" to their friends who warned them that they were getting into a scam! Well, they could only blame themselves!
Lesson: Earn your money honestly and with hard work! (Posted November 16, 2012)
The United States, so long as it protects the freedom of speech of an imbecile, even if that culprit is already causing riots and protests among the Muslims against the U. S. wordwide, killing Americans including an ambassador and destroying U. S. properties, cannot even arrest Nakoula Baseley Nakoula, the producer of the anti-Islam movie, "Innocence of Muslims."
Nakoula was only invited for an interview in a police precinct in California! And to think that he was in a five-year probation for multi-bank frauds.
Imagine the most powerful nation in the world cannot even handcuff the producer and convict because of the so-called freedom of speech!
The Americans must know that freedom of speech carries with it accountability and responsibility. Freedom of speech even if that freedom has already caused Muslims worldwide to protest against the United States?
Nakoula is not even an American! He is an Egyptian Coptic Christian!
What the Americans could have done was to arrest and parade him around, or turned him over to the Muslims!
Because of their freedom of speech without accountability and responsibility, no wonder some Americans even call their presidents unpalatable names!
Unless the American government welcomes the riots and protests as its pretext to launch pocket wars, because we know very well that America's economy cannot thrive well without wars. There must be a way to sell their weapons and other instruments of wars! (Posted September 17, 2012)
The furor over Sen. Vic Sotto's alleged plagiarism of the late Robert F. Kennedy's speech appears to be gaining center-stage particularly in the internet.
Kennedy's speech, entitled "The Day of Affirmation," was delivered in South Africa June 6, 1966 in support for global human rights.
Sen. Sotto's speech was delivered September 12, 2012 in the Senate in support of "pro-life" and against the RH Bill.
Here's a part of Kennedy's speech allegedly plagiarized by Sen. Sotto:
Few will have the greatness to bend history (Iilan ang maging dakila sa pagbali ng kasaysayan),
but each of us can work to change a small portion of the event. (subalit bawat isa sa atin ay maaring kumilos gaano man kaliit para ibahin ang takbo ng pangyayari.)
It is from numberless, diverse acts of courage such as these (Ang mga hindi mabilang pa na iba't ibang galaw ng katapangan at paninindigan)
that the belief that human history is thus shaped.(ang humuhubog sa kasaysayan ng sangkatauhan.)
Each time a man stands up for an idea, (Tuwing maninindigan tayo sa isang paniwala,)
or acts to improve the lot of others, (tuwing kumikilos tayo para mapabuti ang buhay ng iba,)
Or strikes out against injustice (tuwing nilalabanan ang kawalan ng katarungan)
he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope (nakakalikha tayo ng maliliit na galaw).
And crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples (Kapag nagkasama-sama ang munting galaw na ito)
build a current which can sweep down (bubuo ito ng isang malakas na puwersang kayang mapabagsak)
the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance (maging ng pinakamatatag na dingding ng opresyon)
Now you be the judge: Did Sen. Vic Sotto commit plagiarism?
Kerry Kennedy, daughter of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, said: "I am particularly offended to see a speech of my father gave in support of global human rights distorted by Senator Sotto as an argument against the right to contraception... This is a clear case of plagiarism..." (Posted November 12, 2012)
From the very beginning, we already mentioned in this column that the "Party-List" law or system is an anomally! Where in the world is a millionnaire supposed to represent a marginalized sector of society? Well, thanks to Comelec Chairman Sixto Brilliantes Jr., the Comelec has disqualified from participating in the 2013 mid-term elections party-list which are not really qualified!
During the administration of Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos, the term used then was "sector representative." From among the marginalized sectors of society, let's say, owners of small sari-sari stores, they recommend among themselves their sector representative to the House of Representatives. And the President confirmed the appointment of the recommended sector representative.
All those who recommended the sector represetative, who was also a small sari-sari store owner, were all bona fide small sari-sari store owners!
The appointment of the sector representative as recommended by the sector concerned could be during any time of the year!
This same procedure of electing a sector representative is similar to that of Germany.
To amend the party-list law, the same procdure of then electing a sector representative must be adopted with some refinements!
Congress must be specific in defining what are the marginalized sectors in the country which are not being properly or adequately represented in the House of Representatives. Then these various marginalized sectors must organize themselves into their respective categories and from among themselves, elect their representative - or sector representative - one for each category!
With this procedure, Congress can already determine and limit the number of sector representatives, and as such, there is no more need for first nominee, second nominee, third nominee! You may recall that nominees for party-lists were even protected by secrecy which caused the unprecedented abuse of the party-list system by people whose interest was only to serve, perhaps, themselves!
It must be recalled that in the present system of electing party-list nominees, they need to get about 2% only of the total number of votes. This alone is another anomally! They should only be voted by the sectors they truly represent!
We appeal to Congress to look well into the party-list law and make the necessary amendments that are precise, specific and with no loopholes! (Posted November 3, 2012)
The Arabs, particularly the militants, are again venting their anger against Americans because of the movie, "Innocence of Muslims" by Sam Bacile. The movie was produced in the U. S., and allegedly by Jewish financiers.
According to Reuters's Hadeel al Shalchi, "The film portrayed Mohammad as a fool, a philanderer and a religious fake.In one clip posted on YouTube, Mohammad was shown in an apparent sexual act with a woman."
I saw the railer on YouTube and it was really abhorent! That movie should have not been made at all!
The movie provoked militant Arabs, in protests, raided the U. S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya and killed U. S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, his information officer and another consulate staff member. Reuters said there were several Libyans injured or killed.
Making movies is within the confines of the freedom of speech, but this freedom is not absolute, and it is void when it hurts or insults the religion of anyone!
When someone insults a religion, he or she will surely suffer a curse. A movie producer, in one scene, had the bread shot through its center with a rifle bullet during a Eucharist. The producer soon suffered cancer and never recovered from it.
Another producer had the bread dropped on the cleavage of a woman while taking a communion, and the producer suffered a serious illness which he never recovered from.
Hence, whatever you are doing, never insult a religion, whether Christian, Muslism, Judaism or even paganism! (Posted Setptember 12, 2012)
While the offer of the Palace to bury the remains of the late DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani is worthwhile, the decision of the family to have Naga City as Robredo's final resting place is absolutely right and proper!
Why Naga City? So that the people there can honor Robredo anytime they wanted, and not in the Libingan ng Mga Bayani where they will be restricted by so many red tapes! Aside from the fact that it is too expensive and waste of time to come to the Libignan ng Mga Bayani!
Indeed, the best and final resting place of a great public servant is his own native hometown! The people there honor him best, not in a place it is strange to them! Imagine if Robredo's remains were placed side-by-side with a "hero" with dubious character, or even a suicide! (Posted August 25, 2012)
Any individual appointed by the President to join his Cabinet should remain a "nominee" and can only assume his position when his appointment has been confirmed by the Commission on Appointments composed by some members of the Senate and the House of Representatives!
Some members of the President's Cabinet are still not confirmed by the CA, and that included DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo. We understand that Robredo's papers were submitted to the CA last November 2011, and yet the CA did nothing about it! What do you think of the mentality of the CA members? Out of shame, they should not attend the wake of the multi-awarded government official!
The law or tradition of appointing Cabinet secretaries and for them to immediately assume their positions is flawed. Unconfirmed, it is very embarrassing for them when their appointments are by-passed by the CA.
It's only when their appointments are confirmed by the CA that they can legally and morally assume their positions.
That's why we are strongly suggesting that when an individual is appointed by the President for a Cabinet position, he should remain a "nominee" and cannot assume his position until he is confirmed by the CA.
When the "nominees" are known, the CA must conduct a marathon hearings so that government functions are not disrupted. With this procedure, embarrassment is avoided, and the Filipinos benefit from it! (Posted August 22, 2012)
Whether "Escape" or "Kidnapping," it can only mean one sure thing: Some prison officials are in cahoots with some bastards engaged in shenanigans, or that they are simply inefficient they do not even notice some kidnappers pass by them, or that the security at the country's main prison camp must be so tupsy-turvy that a high profile prisoner like Rolito Go can easily walk out of the supposedly well-secured prison camp!
If command responsibility is to be applied, then the chief of the Bureau of Correction must not only go "on leave" but must now resign from his position irrevocably! He has no business staying there a minute longer!
It is a well-known fact that there are allegedly a lot of corruption in the New Bilibid Compound. These involve allegedly the purchase of supplies and equipment, and visiting hours privileges. Unless the government focuses itself on cleansing the compound, it will continue to be not only a snake pit but more so as a crater of hell! (Posted August 20, 2012)
Now and then, or very often, we hear about illegal drugs and illegal logs being seized by concerned government agencies! But where are the perpetrators of crimes?
We still have to see one arrested and presented to the press!
What do you think is the reason these perpetrators of crimes are invisible? Well, your guess is as good as mine! (Posted August 21, 2012)
Only in the Philippines! Yes, only in the Philippines!
Where you pay for services you never received! Or what you bought suddenly disappears even before you can fully use it! All because an insensitive government tolerates it, or the government is in cahoots with the perpetrators of deception and unfair and immoral business practices!
For instance, a water agency started collecting fees for projects it never started nor finished. When there was an energy crisis, the government entered into a service contract with independent energy providers and consumers were made to pay for electricity they never used.
Now, when you buy "a load" for your cellphone, it will soon expire as predetermined by the company, even if you have only a few calls or text messages!
This is a noontime robbery, wantonly victimizing and bleeding cellphone users, especially among the poor!
Recently, the National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) announced that it is studying the possibility of removing the "expiry" of "loads." What a shame and a disservice to the people! They know very well that the people are being victimized every second, and yet the NTC waited this long to realize the immorality of the "expiry" term of the "loads."
We are calling on all cellphone subscribers to come up with a passive protest by not making any call or text messages at least eight hours a day, and successively for a week or more! We should not allow ourselves to be victimized by immoral business transactions! (Posted July 19, 2012)
Converting schools, stadia or even churches as evacuation centers for refugees - victims of typhoons and floods - is an indication of intellectual bankruptcy! The country has been suffering from all those deadly floods but concerned government officials did not even think of constructing multi-purpose evacuation centers!
A multi-purpose and open evacuation center, at least five floors and equipped with basic necessities, like plumbing, bathroom, lighting, and other items as may be needed by the refugees.
The center is made of steel planks as floors, and whatever the architects may recommend. The size of one center depends upon the number of expected refugees based on previous experiences.
Why multi-purpose? During fair weather, the center is used as a parking space, and as such, it will earn money for its own maintenance and for the city or municipal government which is hosting it.
The center can also be used for trade exhibits, and thus earn additional income! Or even for social gatherings, such as weddings, anniversaries, conventions or conferences! (Posted August 18, 2012)
And political dynasty will never be eliminated! In one city, for instance, the mayor is the wife, the husband is the vice mayor, the son is the congressman (regular), and the daughter a party-list representatative! And their dog is the chairman of a barngay!
The political dynasty as it is now being perpetrated is an insult to the intelligence of the Filipinos! (Posted July 19, 2012)
The Department of Social Welfare & Development (DSWD) will be disbursing next year or in 2013 P45 Billion for its so-called Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), or money to be given to the poor!
This year, the DSWD has CCT budget of P34 Billion!
We wrote then that the P32-B CCT fund would be enmeshed with unaccounted expenses! We are proven right because the DSWD could not even truly identify who are the poorest of the poor to be given CCT funds!
According to the Comission on Audit (COA) reports, there are even double beneficiaries or entries! And up to now, COA should have come up with a report revealing the list of beneficiaries who were given dole-outs!
Gabriela Women's Party-List Rep. Emmi de Jesus said that the CCT has no positive long term impact on the lives of its beneficiaries, and so she questioned the 30% increased of the CCT for 2013, a mid-term election year!
If the P34-B was utilized in the creation of jobs, entrepreneural training, and other forms of livelihood activities plus marketing, the amount could have been used for a long-range positive impact for the beneficiaries!
We are asking now the DSWD to publish a list of beneficiaries and how they were chosen. Otherwise, the DSWD remains a suspect in an inefficient management of a huge amount of people's money! (Posted June 20, 2012)
The practice of appointing cabinet secretaries by the President is circuitous, or even a rigmarole! Imagine the confirmation of the appointee by the CA being by-passed several times, and yet the appointee remains in his post performing official duties inherent to the position he is holding.
Raul Gonzales, or Raul Gonzalez, who was appointed by then Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo never got the nod of the CA, yet he stayed on as secretary of justice until he resigned to run for a political position in his home province, Iloilo!
By the way, the CA is composed by selected members from both Houses of Congress.
The individual appointed by the President to a cabinet post should not assume the position immediately and perform official functions already. The appointee must instead remain a NOMINEE UNTIL SUCH TIME THAT THE CA CONFIRMS THE APPOINTMENT!
Tradition had it that a department had an UNDERSECRETARY, whose function is to run the department. The Undersecretary is a career official, untouchable by politics. He is nerve-center and workhorse of the department, so that even if the President appoints a nincompoop or a chimpanzee to the department, the department will still run smoothly because of the professionalism and excellent efficiency of the Undersecretary.
Hence, an appointee, or better, the nominee, should not assume the position he is nominated into until his nomination has been confirmed by the CA!
Promoted officials whose promotions require CA nod, whether in the Armed Forces of the Philippines or in any department of the government should not assume the titles until such time that their promotions are confirmed by the CA. It is anomalous, illegal and immoral to assume any position for which one is promoted into until such time that the CA has approved or confirmed the promotion.
Just recently, the CA bypassed the nominations of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Department of Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje, Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jessie Robredo, Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Soliman.
They were bypassed earlier in past CA plenary sessions! Officially, the above cabinet secretaries have no legal rights to be holding on to their respective positions! Hence, they must remain as nominees, standing or waiting at the lobby or elsewhere until the CA confirms their nominations! (Posted June 8, 2012)
There was a flurry in recent days and weeks of crimes which mostly policmen - the SPOs (Special Police Officer) - committed!
The Philippine National Police (PNP) has a personnel strength of about 130,000, and it is now the most feared, or even mistrusted by the general citizenry!
The keyword, which emboldens some policemen to commit crimes is the word "balato," or roughly translated, "gift." Hence, when an SPO1 commits a crime, his immedate officer or buddy will ask the arresting officer to give the culprit as "balato" to the officer or buddy. And the culprit is released.
The "balato" is a reciprocal tradition in the PNP!
Another reason some policemen are emboldened to commit crimes is because the long process of trial and judgement while the accused policeman is free roaming the streets. Justice is not swift at all.
You can call the PNP one giant fraternity, officers and men protecting each other.
And take a look at the PNP's motto: "I protect. I serve." Whom does it protect and serve? It could be their own interests, and not at all the citizenry - the civilians particularly.
When a policeman commits an error, he is even transferred to another town or city far from where he committed the crime. Because the PNP is "national" in scope!
While the PNP is national in scope, I strongly suggest that in each town or city, the policemen recruited, assigned or detailed in a particular municipality or city should all be home-grown!
I believe that they will all be more disciplined and serve well the people because the residents know the policemen very well. When one policeman commits an error, he will not be transferred to another region to escape the anger of the people as it is now being practiced. (Posted June 13, 2012)
If there was anything we gained from the former Chief Justice Renato Corona, it was the unconditional "waiver" he signed! That was a challenge to all government officials elected or appointed!
A trickle of lawmakers accepted the challenge, and even Vice President Jojo Binay had announced he would also sign a "waiver."
A "waiver" by the way means that the signatory has abandoned the secrecy of his bank accounts, and any Juan or Pedro can look into the accounts of the signatory!
No more secrecy of bank accounts whether in foreign currencies or pesos!
From now on, I strongly suggest that before an individual is accepted to a government position, he must already sign a "waiver."
All candidates for elective positions must also sign their own respective waivers!
Thanks to former Chief Justice Renato Corona. At least you did something legally and morally right when you signed your waiver! (Posted June 7, 2012)
It appears to be the height of inefficiency - or even gross ignorance - that up to now the Department of Education (DepEd) always finds itself in a shortage of school teachers and classrooms year in and year out!
Report says that there are allegedly 132,000 shortage of public school teachers and also a backlog of 26,000 classrooms! How come DepEd only come to know about these shortages during school openings?
Don't they have a study on the yearly increase of enrolees, the additional classroom requirements, and the number of school teachers to be hired!
In the Philippines, the birth rate is more than 2% a year, or more than two millions babies. Based on those figures, the DepEd should base its calculations on how many new kids will go to school, and thus provide for the construction of new classrooms, new school teachers and the acquisition of new school educational materials.
And the increase of population growth is constant - more than 2% each succeeding year! The DepEd must base its study and calculation at least ten years ahead! Not every year! Which means that it never looks beyond the tip of its toes! In short, short-sighted! (Posted June 5, 2012)
Chief Justice Renato Corona for Senator? Why not! He will be more qualified than a number of senators now seating in the Senate!
But how can he become a candidate for Senator? Easy! Before the Senators, seating as impeachment jurors/judges cast and explain their votes this Monday or Tuesday, CJ Corona must return to the Senate and announce his resignation!
This will be a very effective move, catching the Senators, prosecution and defense flat-footed! A great majority of Filipinos watching him live on TV will be puzzled, shocked or surprised for a few seconds, but when they all recover, they will raise their hands and give Corona a roaring applause!
When Corona delivered his three-hour testimony, critics and political analysts said that he gained so much sympathy from the public. But that was marred when he "walked out" at the conclusion of his testimony.
During his second appearance in the witness both, he apoligized to the Senate for his apparent walkout. That showed his humility which again gained much sympathy from the public. Especially so when he submitted his waiver to the Presiding Judge, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.
That again, was an unprecedented move, which proved his humility and advocacy for transparency and accountability! The waiver he presented is dificult to follow by other government officials and employees, but Corona has set a precedent in government service!
With his admission of his dollar and peso accounts, there's nothing more to blame him.
But of course, the Senator/Judges will judge him - but if Corona resigns, there will be no more need to convict or aquit him!
If Corona resigns, he will still be qualified to hold a public office - because he is not found guilty!
He has until Monday, May 28, 2012 to announce his resignation!
And if he resigns indeed, which I strongly suggest, he will have enough time to go to the provinces and explain and clear his name before the people! Definitely, the people, or majority of them will consider him as credible, and even admire him for his frankness and submitting himself to the people themselves!
The Administration will not be able to send a parallel mission to again accuse Corona before the people! Because Corona has resigned! And he will announce that he wants to serve the people in a wider and national level - and as such, he will be running for Senator in the forthcoming mid-term election!
I strongly suggest that Corona will run as an independent senatorial candidate, and believe you me, he will be a sure winner!
Chief Justice Corona, before it's too late, resign now from your position as Chief Justice. If you're convicted, it will be worse for you, and if you're acquitted, your torrturer(s) will continue pestering you and you will never live a peaceful and normal life thereafter!
If you resign now, you will be like the legendary Phoenix which rose from the ashes and soared to high heavens.
If you become a senator, you will stay in public service long after Noynoy or Pinoy has long gone as President of the Republic of the Philippines!
So please, resign now Mr. Chief Justice! And become a Senator! Who knows, you might even become a President of the Republic of the Philippines - perhaps after Jojo Binay, or whoever replaces Pinoy! (Posted May 26, 2012)
It appears that illegal loggers in the Philippines are untouchables! In the history of government campaigns against illegal loggers, not a single culprit has been apprehended and sent to jail!
The recent massive flood in Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro exposed the destructiveness of illegal logging. Hundreds if not thousands of logs were brought down by the flood and they wrecked houses and killed people along the way!
As of the last count, more than a thousand people perished in the flood aggravated by the logs while more than a thousand more are missing!
So many laws have been passed, but practically none of them were implemented by the government! Last February 2011, President Benigno Aquino III signed an executive order providing for total log ban in the country.
But the implementors of the EO, particularly the Department of Environment and Natural Resources cannot even be sure if the EO includes the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) where those illegally cut logs were exposed by the killer flood!
Up to this writing, none of the illegal loggers has been identified! But one thing is sure: if there will be any apprehension, it will just be the lowly worker who does not even know the name of his employer!
That's how weak the government is in protecting the forest! In Tagalog parlance, "walang maaasahan!" (Posted January 5, 2012)