Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Boy Is The Father Of The Man

Speaker Jose de Venecia should face the fact that in politics there are no permanent friends but only permanent interests. As the imbroglio in the lower house reaches its peak, the best thing for JdV to do is to let it go. No use trying to stop the inevitable. He will be ousted come hell or high water. His ouster has become personal. Despite Gloria's denial that the palace is not involved in the ouster bid, the fact remains that the Arroyos have an ax to grind with the de Venecias.

The rift began when JdV's son Joey exposed Mike Arroyo's role in the scrapped ZTE-NBN deal. Now the entire Arroyo family has joined the fray. Along with JdV's treacherous allies, JdV's speakership is about to end. I don't mind a trad-pol being kicked out, but the pretender is no better. Boy Nograles has his eyes set on the speakership. It has now come down to the nastiest of coups. Nograles has been JdV's staunchest ally I suppose JdV now knows what it feels like to be Caesar.

The old man can still outdo himself. With his long relation with Gloria and the tons of dirt he has on her, he can still do a lot of damage even if he is ousted. My advice to him is cut out quickly and let the Arroyos swim in their shit. No use fighting fair, trad-pols like him should know that. Fight dirt with muck. If one cuts off your hand, cut her off her arm. If Gloria thinks she can survive it, then take away her legs as well. Gloria has always been known to say one thing and do another, this may cost her big time. It's best to keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

The best that JdV can do is learn a thing or two from his son, Joey. Joey went against the Goliaths and they are clearly shaken. He had exposed enough to hurt Gloria, JdV with his long dealing with the Arroyos can do more damage. Forget that he maybe implicated as well, Filipinos love whistle-blowers. He may get out of this unscathed and even be hailed as a hero. JdV may still reinvent himself and smell good with the people. C'mon Mr. Speaker, it's time to abandon Gloria and throw caution to the wind. To finally nail the Arroyos would leave a lasting legacy.

Learn from the boy. What the boy does in his youth makes the man. It maybe a wrong analogy but from the looks of it, Joey has outshone his father. He seems more like a father teaching his son the right thing to do.


Monday, January 28, 2008


An urgent call for help was relayed to e by Fjordan Allego of Hiraya. It concerns a Leukemia patient who is in dire need of blood transfusion. I am publishing here the original request of Kat Cartagena. I appeal to you to please help this young man. Thank you in advance.

"Dear all,

I know u all have busy schedules... Still, we are asking for a little bit of your time. Because our batchmate and friend, Joven Bico is suffering from Leukemia. He already surpassed his first chemo. But he badly needs blood transfusion, any blood type would do. He's currently at UST hospital, please proceed to UST Blood Bank to donate. We really need your help.

Just contact me, Kat Cartagena (09275160871) and the patient’s brother (09164563828) for any help.

Thank you so much,


Please help us... thanks in advance and God bless.


Prolonging The Agony

As farmer groups remembered the Mendiola Massacre, twelve Sumilao farmers quietly came to Manila. Days before Christmas the 54-strong Sumilao group went home after Gloria placed their disputed land under the CARP. The farmers vowed to return to Manila if GMA fails to deliver on her promise. SMFI has filed an appeal with the DAR to counter the order. This is the only thing they can do. DAR sec. Pangandaman as we all know has been dragging his ass on this case.

SMFI floated an offer but nothing has come of it. Atty. Marlon Manuel said that they were never approached by SMFI nor a formal offer was made. And the farmers also would also stick to their claim of the disputed land. I am waiting for the case to reach the Supreme Court as the case has evolved and has taken a new dimension. SMFI is banking on Pangandaman but this is only prolonging the inevitable.

SMFI knows only too well that delay is the only thing they can do. Evidences and circumstances are not on their side. The lack of the cease and desist order is giving them a leverage as development continues. They can use this to bargain up to a certain extent. But it is not an assurance that the courts will decide in their favor.

So the fight of the Sumilao farmers is far from over. Time is not on their side. If this case drags on, SMFI might finish construction that could change the entire scenario, A cease and desist order should be issued by DAR, unless of course Pangandaman chooses not to end this quickly. Rumors have it that he cannot simply do so. I would leave it to your inquisitive mind why.

NOTE: A farmer is considered landless if he owns less than three hectares of land.


Friday, January 25, 2008

Gloria's Authoritarian Democracy

We are living in a country under an implied democratic system. Democracy exists only in name. Criticism is considered a crime against the state. The only thing which prevents the government from exposing its dictatorial nature is the perception of the international community. It cannot simply declare itself for fear of international condemnation or the removal of foreign aid.

This practice is common in developing countries which rely on foreign funding. Rarely do we see states declare its government an outright dictatorship. Human rights violations is the norm and the government will impose its will on the people. Unlike in stable and totally free countries, you see free expression suppressed in these states. Outspoken critics are quickly dealt with. More often than not, harassed or silenced to submission.

In countries like ours where our government covertly curtail civil liberties, you will hear of countless rumors which the government itself spreads. In reality, it is the government who destabilizes itself. This is to keep its critics scared shitless and the people wary of the opposition. The military leadership even puts a twist on doctrines to keep its forces in check and make them loyal to a person than to the constitution. Propaganda is normal practice and the government churns out advertisements that make itself feel good and the people somehow content. Notice how many ads this administration runs to paint a picture of stability and instability? They need to do this to confuse and divert the people's attention from the real issues besetting the nation.

Every so often, the administration and its security chiefs would "leak out" rumors of dreamed up plots to overthrow it. This allows them enough space to maneuver and of course a reason to crackdown on its critics. It relies on the long running insurgencies to conjure up lies and scare the populace into submission. One need not be a rocket scientist to see what the government is up to. They need to rock the boat to keep themselves in power. This practice diverts the blame away from Gloria's administration and leads to condemnation by the people of GMA's critics. Its a fairly simple gimmick.

Notice how many retired generals are put back into service in the different agencies of government? This is a practice in dictatorships, civilians are systematically eased out, the few civilians are carefully selected from Gloria's political allies. Outgoing Civil Service Commissioner blew the lid on Gloria's transactional politics by exposing her beneficiaries of political paybacks. The bureaucracy is overpopulated with retired military men and unqualified appointees. And these enjoy more benefits than the career employees. They in turn bleed the coffers dry and of course make money out of their stint in government.

Gloria really rocks, not just suck. She rocks the country to stay in power and she sucks our money to feed her insatiable pack. We, the taxpaying public end up shouldering the cost of her gang's hooliganism. She is one wily individual, often a step ahead. The few times she reacts late, her spin doctors do the dirty work. They subvert the constitution and mock our laws. They rely on their own brand of due process and rule of law, their law.

So is there genuine democracy in the Philippines or an implied one? It is obviously the latter. Gloria sure is learning a lot from her African counterparts. I've had comments from nonbelievers that continue to say that there is democracy in our country and compare us to Communist China. These comments come from individuals who reside abroad or maybe Gloria;s paid hacks. Obviously, they do not experience the uneasy air and chilling effect of Gloria's rule. Elections do not make democracies as they can be manipulated. Freedom to blog does not make democracies, believe me, I've had my share of threats. Media do not make democracies as they can easily be threatened or overrun with lies. She must allow us a comfort zone lest the world sees her as a dictator. It is clear she has no intention of stepping down. The Philippines is a democracy only by name, what the people have to learn is to read the fine print which says, "I am Gloria Arroyo and I am here to stay."


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Of Witch Hunts, Farmers And Fishermen

AFP chief of staff Hermogenes Esperon has less than a month in office. He is currently lobbying to get an extension. To bolster his bid, he concocts a story about another coup. With his cohorts in the PNP, they create a scenario of an alliance between the plotters and the Left. They placed the date to coincide with the farmers' march to commemorate the Mendiola Massacre.

So the day came and went. He now comes out to say that they have crushed the threat. He now says that the destabilizers are losing financiers and that the threat is contained. He is now singling out supposed funders of his imaginary coup. To bolster his claim, they arrested five individuals with three rusty, old firearms. Two have been released and the remaining three are facing illegal possession charges instead of rebellion. I did not know that five people and three firearms can launch a coup.

The PNP for its part is going on a fishing expedition. PNP chief Avelino Razon claims that a lady reporter aided escapee, Nicanor Faeldon. Journalists were illegally arrested after the Manila Pen press conference.This set the stage to a confrontation between media and the police. To save face and divert the attention from an impending human rights case, Razon now floats the rumor that a member of the media is a coup supporter.

To create confusion and of course, intimidate the media, Razon, instead of filing appropriate charges refuses to divulge the reporter's identity. But the Inquirer jumped the gun and named Jiji Press reporter, Dana Batnag. Razon claims she was caught on video by government controlled, RPN 9 cameraman who was covering the incident. The video shows Batnag speaking with Faeldon. So what, she could very well be interviewing Faeldon. Batnag now challenges the PNP and DoJ to file a case against her.

The DoJ's Raul Gonzalez joined the fray by stating that journalist could be arrested when covering events which involves the military and police. The journalists could be charged with obstruction of justice. You may recall that the journalists' presence prevented a commission of injustice during the Manila Pen incident. This forced the PNP to arrest the journalists as they foiled what could have been a rubout. The security forces has this habit of claiming a firefight to justify the killing of suspects.

So Gloria's enchanted is almost complete. She has "farmers" who plant evidences. She has "fishermen" who fishes for suspects. And to intimidate the people, she has witch hunts conducted by her wizards. The longer she stays in office, the more bizarre things happen. We live in dangerous times. We have a government for themselves, of themselves and by themselves. We are mere onlookers, an audience to an unfolding play. We are unwilling riders on Gloria's train.

Now you and I know very well that to stop the train, one only needs to pull that emergency stop. The problem now is who has the balls to pull that lever? Will it be you or me? Or will it be another unknown hero who will do it for us? But we can always unite and pull that lever at the same time can't we?


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Desperation Leads To A Creative Pinoy

*READERS BE WARNED: Portions of this entry may wreak havoc on your senses. Reader discretion is advised.

There was a survey that said that there less Filipinos who think they are poor. Yes they are no longer poor, they are desperate. Filipinos have been known to be creative in times of crises. Filipinos have also been known to love exotic dishes. There are several regions in the Philippines which actual consider bugs, field rodents and other animals as delicacies. That is true in the provinces, but it should never happen in Metro Manila. We all know how germ-filled these critters can be.

Desperate times call for desperate measures and some Filipinos have done just that. I Don't think that Discovery's Travel and Living or the Lifestyle channels will ever feature these in their programs. Wolfgang Puck wouldn't even dare showcase this in his show as well. Even Bizarre Food host, Andrew Zimmern will be put to shame with what some communities consider as food.

Several communities, not just families have resorted to using house roaches, rats and other life forms as their food. Yikes! I have tried crickets and ants, but those I mentioned I would definitely never try. Out of desperation and decreasing opportunities, people even dig up leftovers from trashcans. This is what we call "Pag-pag". They reheat these thinking it would decontaminate the food. Some have also become enterprising enough and sell these leftovers to poor people like them. Goods that are way off their shelf life are even gobbled up. You can just imagine how desperate these people must be. They have compromised their health and decency in the name of survival.

While Gloria and her gang boasts of a growing economy, why do practices like these continue? GMA says Filipinos are choosy and that is why the jobless continue to grow. There are thousands of jobs out there, but the employers are to blame not the job seekers. The requirements are either too restrictive or applicants do not match the jobs they offer. Corruption and an unstable government continue to shoo away investors. High taxes have also limited the Filipinos' buying capacity. Tax alone takes away almost half of a worker's pay. What is worst, despite the high taxation, social services are almost nonexistent.

The cost of living has gone up yet the pay remains low. People now have to resort to the unthinkable just to make ends meet. Children are forced to work to augment the needs of their families. As the country's population shots up, a holier than thou church continues block birth control programs yet they cannot offer anything concrete to address the problem. Gloria in her fear of being excommunicated has refused to allow NGOs to distributed contraceptives and billions are lost in international aid because of this.

The gap between rich and poor continue to grow. Child labor is on the rise and the poverty situation is worsening. Farm lands are lost to industrialization which has forced the country to import even the most staple of foods. With a government set on mining our country into oblivion, one would wonder if it is all worth it. Fertile fields lay idles, their tillers deprived of the livelihood their forefathers taught them. Subsidy for the agriculture sector is even stolen.

Our fisher folks do not fair better. Our seas are being raided by foreign fishermen with the coastguard unable to do anything. Companies which operate fish and pearl farms have even banned fishing in areas near their operations. I did not know that the bounties of the sea are only for the rich. Mining has ruined our waterways with government doing nothing. In fact, they are in the process of allowing more companies to mine our resources. As if this is not enough, communities around these mines do not benefit from them but are made to suffer and live in toxic environments.

Politicians allow logging in their areas and once lush forest are gone. Some politicians even own these firms. Even forest reserves have been given to these politicians in exchange for their loyalty to the current dispensation. With the bio-fuels law passed, authored by the senator of Maguindanao, our forest will soon disappear only to be replaced by his jatropha. Farmers will definitely plant this as well in the hope that it will give them more earnings. Food supply will be threatened anew.

The Filipinos have been known to be very creative and resilient. I just hope that in desperation, people would not resort to anything like the movie, Soylent Green.


Friday, January 18, 2008

Remembering EDSA 2

Ever since the Garci tapes forced me to start blogging, I have never forgotten what Nick Joaquin wrote. It has stuck to me and still people out there continue to deny they where tricked by Mike Arroyo and his gang. Every January as the anniversary of EDSA 2 comes around, I post Mr. Joaquin's article to open the minds of the unbelievers.

The Arroyos have planned Estrada's ouster perfectly. They executed the plan to its minutest detail. With the help of corrupt parties and people with vested interests, they succeeded. Allow me not so much to nag you but to show what EDSA 2 was really all about. It was lust and greed for power. It was a once in a lifetime chance for the Arroyos to take down the Philippines.

Seven years of bad luck, that's what the Arroyos have given us. They have managed to destroy everything in their path. Institutions crumbled and hundreds of lives lost. Leaderless and divided because of distrust and denial, the Filipinos will continue to suffer under the Arroyos' curse. Here is the article and allow me to once again remind you of how "People Power" and the legacy of EDSA 1 can be destroyed by GREED and LUST.

Credit should go to Mike Arroyo
THIS is a season of remembering those exhilarating days in January last year when Joseph Estrada, accused of betraying the trust of the Filipino people who elected him president, was ousted three years and five months short of his term.

Believing in giving credit to where credit is due, we are reprinting here again excerpts of the interview with Mike Arroyo by the eminent Nick Joaquin on his role in the ouster of Estrada, which paved the way for his wife's takeover of the presidency. The interview appeared in the March 5, 2001 issue of Philippine Graphic.

"She had really left the Cabinet at the right moment: the timing was perfect. If she had tarried a moment longer, she would have been too late for EDSA: she would have made it there as an opportunist. And as for the ill-feeling in Metro Manila, we tackled that by going back to the door-to-door campaign: she went from barangay to barangay explaining her motives, outlining her program. And it worked. Then came the impeachment trial, and from there, tuloy-tuloy na.

"There was a time honestly, when I felt I erred in advising her to resign from the Cabinet. The masa in Manila apparently wanted her to stick it out with Erap. And when she started attacking him, everything fell on us - grabe!- everything! But I told myself: it's now or never; if we lose here we're totally destroyed and it's goodbye to her political career - but if we win here, she becomes President! So we really fought.

"We got all those Erap tapes from Ramon Jacinto and distributed them all over. We bought one million and a half million copies of Pinoy Times to give away so the public could read about the Erap mansions and bank accounts.

"And when EDSA happened, we texted everybody to go running there. EDSA, EDSA: everybody converge on EDSA! Panalo kung panalo. Patay kung patay! Jinggoy had already announced what they would do to us if they won.

"Chavit Singson had Plan B involving elements of the military to strike the first blow. They would kindle the spark by withdrawing from the government, and one by one others would follow: Class '71 would also withdraw, then Class '72, and so forth. But General de Villa warned that the timing had to be precise because one untimely move against the government and the military would automatically defend it. The move must be made at what De Villa called a 'defining moment.'

"You see, General De Villa had his Plan A, which was better than ours, because his was focused on the Chief of Staff and the Service Commanders. At past one o'clock p.m. January 20, Chief of Staff Angelo Reyes defected but we knew that already the night before, when negotiations had lasted until the small hours. By past 2 a.m. we knew Reyes had been convinced to join. His only condition was: Show us a million people on EDSA so it will b easier to bring in the service commanders.

"And they asked when the crowd was thickest; we told them: from three to five in the afternoon. So they agreed to come to EDSA at around that time. But while hiding in their safehouse, they got reports that General Calimlim could not be located and their first thought was: "He's out looking for us!" So they decided to rush to EDSA right away. When they got there, why there too at the Shrine was Calimlim! He had been looking for them all right, but join to join them, not to arrest them!

"Our group there was a back-up strike force. In fact, it was our group that won over to our side the PNP first. If Panfilo Lacson had resisted, he and his men would have been repelled: there would have been bloodshed, but not on EDSA. In every place where Erap loyalists had a force, we had a counter-force to face it, with orders to shoot. And not only in Metro Manila. Carillo had already been sent to the provinces; and in Nueva Ecija, for instance, we had Rabosa. This was a fight to the finish. That's why those five days that Erap was demanding were so important. He was counting on counter-coups and baliktaran.

"I was negotiating with Pardo up to three o'clock in the morning: niloloko lang pala kami. But I told him point-blank: "If by six o'clock this morning you haven't given us the resignation letter, we will storm the gates of Malacañang!' But they insisted on more talk: with De Villa up front, and my back channel debate with Pardo, which even became a three-way contest, with Buboy Virata pitching in.

"But the threat to march to Malacañang was for real. And so was the danger of bloodshed. I wasn't telling Gloria everything: I didn't want her alarmed. So she didn't know about the orders to shoot."

But then of course Gloria would have know too. There was a script to be followed for the plan to succeed. It was a partnership, they are partners in crime. To this day, the partners continue to rape the country and bleed the people dry. Revolutions need not be bloody. Let's be creative. Civil disobedience is one and nationwide strike is another. Let's not be apathetic. This is the only country we have. It's about time we start loving it. I hope this will enlighten you and finally convince you of the evils behind EDSA 2.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008


The Public Attorneys Office have been harping on the pardon of the thirteen soldiers convicted of murdering Sen. Benigno Aquino. The Dept. of Justice is saying that priest killer and cannibal, Norberto Manero could be released soon. And had it not been for a vigilant media, child rapist Romeo Jalosjos would have been a free man. Is this kind of people we Filipinos would like to see walking among us? Hell NO!

While Gloria is issuing pardons left and right, there are minors as young as five years old languishing in our jails. These kids have ran afoul with the law due to lack of parental guidance, love, desperation and hunger. There are even cases as petty as stealing a pair of slippers to stealing a can of sardines. Had it not been for, as usual, intrepid media, these minors would still be locked up with hardened criminals making rehabilitation impossible. Only recently was a law passed directing the Bureau of Corrections and Penology to turn over these minors to the care of the Dept. of Social Welfare and Development.

Now we have these supposed to be defenders of justice and human rights asking for compassion for criminals who have committed far more severe crimes. These lawyers should rethink their calls for compassion as the victims in these cases have to endure a lifetime of pain. We still hear of sixty, seventy and even eighty year olds who rape molest and kill their victims. Are we to accept the reason that they are nearing the end of their lives? Hell NO!

Its unjust to be so hard on minor offenders and be very lenient on adults who have a mature understanding of what they did. How stupid can these assholes be? Their positions in society dictates that they be prudent and sensitive to the plight of all. High profile cases are often tickets to "stardom" that some hungry lawyers take just to make a name for themselves.

I hope that everyone reflects on what is happening to our society. Before we ask for anything, we must view everything in its proper perspective. There is a world of difference between compassion and justice. Compassion is not only to the old but to the youngest offenders as well. Desperation leads to crime, at least in the case of many of our minor offenders. But to those who are old enough to understand what the consequences of their crimes are, let the full weight of the law bear on them.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Clash Of The Titans

With Raul Gonzalez barking threats anew, a clash between titans looms in the horizon. Media practitioners have slammed Gonzalez on his threat to criminalize news coverage. The threat stemmed from media's coverage of the press conference of Sen. Trillanes and Gen. Lim last November at the Manila Peninsula. What could have ended as a rubout was prevented by the presence of the media in the hotel.

The final assault was never intended to capture the two gentlemen, it was suppose to end in a bloodbath with the Magdalo finally eradicated and free the administration of the thorn in its side. Media covered the incident from start to finish and never left the site of the standoff. They showed the inept and poor leadership the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines have. The coverage caught the government forces in their most embarrassing moment. The media caught them in their moment of stupidity.

The subsequent arrest of the journalists have set the stage for a confrontation never before seen in the country. The government has been at odds with the media over its reporting. Gloria's scandalous government has not been getting good reports and reviews from media. Even with the different propaganda and advertisements, Gloria's rating continues to plummet due to her own doing. And media was there as witness and the public the judge. Gloria's spin doctors cannot sew her tattered image together despite government owning several stations. Her allies who own media outfits couldn't help her either. News had to be reported and the reality bared.

Now Gonzalez steps in to add fuel to the fire which DILG Sec. Ronaldo Puno had started. The threat has riled both local and foreign journalists. With this, Gloria can now kiss her image-building programs goodbye. Our constitution and even the United Nation guarantees freedom of the press. Gonzalez on the other hand wants to legalize Gloria's freedom to suppress.

Wars and conflicts around the world are covered by journalists. Many have lost their lives in the line of duty. But even this did not force governments to threaten these journalists with arrest. The danger did not deter these journalists from performing their jobs. Danger accompanies them everywhere. Their safety lies in their hands. It has always been their call. The government can come up with whatever reasons they want but they can never overstep the boundaries of press freedom.

Gonzalez and Gloria knows they cannot win this fight. They will have to kill all journalists in the country to win. With Gloria's human rights record now getting international attention, it might just be the one that would bring her down. At the end of the day, it's the people's right to information that should reign supreme. Gloria and "her laws" can never silence the press.


Monday, January 14, 2008

The True Beneficiaries Of Charter Change

The administration has resurrected Cha-Cha in the guise of achieving peace in Mindanao. They have now found the perfect reason to shift to a parliamentary system. They have now have more space to maneuver. The Moro rebellion has been going on for decades. The root cause is their claim of their ancestral lands. We all know that migrants have slowly pushed the Moros into the hills, taking their land in the process.

Mindanao have remained unconquered for centuries. Through the years, their leaders power have waned. What are left are warlords and the rich politicians. These groups managed to reduce Mindanao to their own little kingdoms. They rule with iron fists and the law is the gun in their hands. They strike fear in the hearts of the people that what they say must be followed by all.

A good example is how they manage to control the riches of the region. From minerals to other resources, they control everything. But despite these bounties, Mindanao remains underdeveloped and poverty rules the day. This is the reason why these groups have managed to control the Moros. Gloria is doing the same to the country. The people are too busy surviving that they will not have time to make her accountable for crimes she has committed.

There are however pockets of resistance that are untouched by the lords of abuse. Still, these pockets of resistance cannot fully takeoff and are careful not to earn the ire of the lords. Unless they want whatever wealth they have be taken away, they would rather sway with the wind.

Now the lords and Malacañang have formed an alliance. Imagine if they could finally succeed with their main goal, to get the elusive Cha-Cha they both desire. With charter change, the lords can finally rule Mindanao unmolested. They will wield powers that would not leave anything for the people. And of course, with Cha-Cha, Gloria will now be immune from the crimes she committed. Both parties can now go on with their shenanigans and the people will have to bear the brunt.

The goals of the Moro rebellion has changed. Many of their so-called rebels are nothing but mercenaries of some politician or warlord. They can now control even the minds of the people. Gloria of course will have a field day. She and her band of marauders can continue raiding our coffers. They can now spend to their hearts' content while the people live miserably.

The true beneficiaries of charter change is not you and me or our brothers in the south. The power brokers are the ones that will benefit the most if not, the only beneficiaries. Charter change is not for the people or the country, it is for the warlords and politicians who would like to rule like kings and queens. This is the kind of "democracy" they want and hope they can get away with. Let us not allow them to tear this country apart with their greed and lust for power.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Gov. Ed Panlilio's Revolution

Its the a new year and what better way to start it with renewal. Fr. Ed "Among" Panlilio surprised the trapos of Pampanga when he trounced them in the polls. The priest had no machinery to boast of, what he had is his flock. People tired of traditional politics went out of their way to campaign for Among Ed. It was a lesson that all should learn.

Pampanga have been suffering for decades under politicians whose greed is insatiable. Many have tried to change the culture but came out short. Fr. Panlilio walked the path less traveled. He was a lowly voice in a wilderness filled with trials and evil. His fight was laughed at by those who wielded power and had wells of money. While gambling money flowed and corruption lorded over the province, people finally saw the chance for change.

Among Ed won despite the pressures exerted on the people. The province ravaged by Pinatubo can now look to a brighter future. His crusade for good governance and genuine public service. But change was a bitter pill to swallow for the corrupt. He now finds himself now embroiled in a power struggle with his local officials. Obviously, they were the hardest hit by the changes trying to be instituted by the governor.

They all ganged up on Among Ed when he exposed the bribery in Malacañang. They all hailed their queen and rised to protect her. Just like their president, their greed is insatiable. Among Ed exposed how humongous the kickbacks the greedy officials are getting out of quarrying. Although Pinatubo devastated the province, she had a gift for those she hurt. Pinatubo's ashes is Pampanga's goldmine. With everyday that passes, Gov. Panlilio slowly exposes how big his officials pocketing.

With the exposés, the people now realize how they are being robbed blind by the very people that swore to serve them. They have suffering for so long. Their leaders were the culprits all along. These hoodlums have been fooling their constituents. all the while, the people thought that have been eternally damned into a life of poverty. Gov. Panlilio has set the bar to a higher level. The people comes first and it's but proper that they get the biger chunk of the pie.

Gov. Panlilio has shown that good governance and transparency leads to a better life for Pampanga. I hope that he will overcome the onslaught of the greedy and corrupt. If I were the people of Pampanga, it's time to rise up and tell their leaders, enough is enough and if possible, physically throw these officials out of their province. This is the only way Pampanga can redeem itself from the virus Gloria and her Pampanga connection is trying to spread.

Join Among Ed's crusade HERE.


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Money, Money, Money

This piece really caught my eye. GMANews.TV had this report on the National Statistics Office new policy. Priests must attend a seminar now to be authorized to solemnize your marriage. Bishop Oscar Cruz says that only 40 priests all over the country had met this requirement. The number excludes pastors, ministers and imams. The certificate will be good for three years.

NSO administrator Carmelita Ericta said the move was to curb the proliferation of instant wedding ministers that prey on couples and makes huge profits in wedding services. She also pointed out that seminars they will conduct will prevent errors in filing of marriage certificates. Ok, fine, church officials should be careful in filling out these forms. But There is more to this than what is presented.

This is the breakdown of what is to be collected from an applicant:
P375 - Registration (new applicant)
P150 - Renewal
P75 - Certified Transcript
P75 - Copy of Certified Transcript

I see no problem with this as everyone who offers services here needs to be certified. What is so questionable is the fee they collect for seminars that they will conduct. Ericta said that these seminars cost from P900 to P2,400. I did not know that a seminar which teaches priests how to fill out properly marriage certificates cost so much. A simple seminar on filling out a form? This is clearly a profit-generating program.

The NSO doesn't need to conduct such a seminar, they can easily send out guidelines. I am sure that they will be giving out handouts for this. Why conduct a seminar? Just imagine how many marriage officials will have to shell out between P900 to P2,400 for a freaking seminar? This seminar is a requisite for one's application for certification to solemnize a marriage.

The government is really out to make money. The land Transportation Office after creating a monopoly of the Third Party Liability Insurance for GSIS also wants to recall license plates of all vehicles from the year 2003 and below. They said that these plates lack the "Matatag na Republika" phrase. It's to standardize all plates according to them. My 11-yr. old car's plates are in very good condition, even better than some of the new plates I see around. The new plates will cost P450 each.

Travelers and OFWs are also charged exorbitant fees. High airport fees and OWWA contributions continue to bleed the public. You don't see any improvements do you? What has worsened is the service extended to travelers and OFWs alike. Travelers still have to deal with rude personnel like what Nightdreamer recently had to deal with.

It's tax season once again. The government will be asking for our "donations" soon. But one would wonder where on earth our taxes go? Every year, P200 billion are lost to corruption. Instead of plugging holes, the government is selling its assets left and right. It's suppose to balance the budget, After that and with no assets to sell anymore, I am sure they will go back to the business of borrowing to address the deficit. The government will again look for more ways to drain our already bleeding pockets. While they enjoy the fruits of our labor, we will have to think of more ways to make money just to make ends meet. Despite the strong peso, commodities and utilities continue to rise. The peso's buying power continues to diminish everyday.

By 2010, Gloria and her merry gang would have amassed a comfortable retirement. They would be living comfortably while we try to make sense of the years GMA was in office. If we're not vigilant, this gang may stay on way beyond 2010 and do more damage than Marcos.


Monday, January 07, 2008

Extension For What?

Hermogenes Esperon is one thick-faced individual. A true officer and a gentleman will not boast nor even utter a word to promote himself. Gloria's bodyguard is nearing the end of his questionable career. Because he thinks he is Gloria's favorite ass, he is now lobbying to get an extension. He cloaks his desire to stay on with everybody's favorite line, "to sustain the momentum". The only thing that has been gaining momentum is the free-fall the military has been in since Gloria took office.

Esperon is no soldier, he is a mercenary. He got his position because he forgot what the Philippine Military Academy taught him. A true soldier will never cheat, he cheated for Gloria and that's how he got his rank. He's no better than a rat as he ratted on idealistic soldiers whose only desire was to have genuine reforms. He is nothing but a rotten egg and the UP students dramatized that by throwing eggs at him. He never retaliated because he knew what he is. I suppose he hasn't saved enough unlike Angelo Reyes who has a mansion that could be seen from the last three holes of the navy's golf course.

He did not accomplish anything in his stint as chief of staff. If he had, loyalty checks wouldn't be necessary just to make sure that Gloria is safe. He managed to destroy the military institution. Under his watch, people now view the military as an abuser of human rights and oppressor. The military has been reduced to a group of automatons bereft of wisdom and reason. Those who dare question are quickly dealt with in the severest fashion.

Like his master, justice and the rule of law are not followed. Just take the case of dozens of personnel incarcerated without charges being filed. If not for the vigilant media, those in Camp Capinpin would not have gotten a fair shake. To this day, the kangaroo court he created has failed to prosecute those implicated in the failed withdrawal of support because there simply was no case.

I suppose he will get the extension he seeks because Gloria still needs him. If that happens, the incompetence in the military leadership will continue. How many families must be orphaned because the military's leadership is too busy protecting GMA? I would rather have a military that thinks than one who allows itself to be used by personalities whose only agenda is to instill fear and rape the country blind. With Esperon, dreams of a professional army can never be realized. The military will continue to be tools of oppression and abuse, its leaders would sell the force to the highest bidder.

Corruption will not stop as he has to keep the top-brass happy while the lowly soldier will have to make do with poor equipment and scraps. While his gang lives in comfort, the lowly soldier sits in his muddy foxhole eating supplies he bought himself. While their children get the best education, the lowly soldier's children will have to make do with what the government can offer. Soldiers will continue to die to the arms their leaders sold to the rebels.

Soldiering is an advocacy. One puts his life on the line for people, country and flag. It never said to protect a corrupt regime nor did it say to protect Gloria. Esperon has nothing to back his lobbying for an extension. His only accomplishment is keeping Gloria in power and disgracing the armed forces. I'd gladly give him an extension, an extension cord to hang himself for disgracing the uniform he wears.


Halitosis Ni Gloria

I suppose it has not dawned on Malacañang what happened in last year's midterm elections. They now boast that GMA's anointed one in 2010 would have a breath of life. This early, names have been floated and I can only hope that the one she endorses has a full head on his shoulders and thinks twice.

With Gloria's popularity in the gutters and her trust rating in the sewer, she is the last person any aspirant would want to be their endorser. Her virus is far-reaching and everything or anyone she touches disintegrates into immorality. Without vote-buying and massive cheating, her candidates in the last elections would not have won. Take the case of the senator from Maguindanao, Migz Zubiri. He could never win but with the entire cheating machinery of the COMELEC, he stole his way into office.

Its funny how Malacañang's spin doctors would try to distort the truth. Living in their own enchanted kingdom, they live and believe in the lies they themselves made. The last years of Gloria will be highly incredulous and politicized. They will dream up tales of grandeur and success. They will even try to sell us stories of progress and a balanced budget. In politics, the administration will try to do everything and use its machinery to get a friendly president elected. To have a "rebellious" one will spell disaster for her and her gang.

All she has is air, very bad air and it spells disaster. The next question is not who she will endorse but if there will be elections. The Cha-Cha is being revived and I am sure that that the administration will say that it will be a "breath of new life" for the country. We've been living in her stink for six years. Please pass me a face mask quick, I'm not about allow her to kill me with her bad breath.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

While You Were Sleeping

2007 came and went without much effect, on the apathetic Filipino at least. The past year was drowned in more scandalous issues against the government. The year started with the usual fever that goes with elections. Politicians took time off and were too busy with their political lives as the elections drew near. The usual incidents such as ambushes and political killings accompanied the event. Several big names and dynasties occupied the polls. The expected rigging and cheating with Koko Pimentel being the biggest victim.

When the smoke of the elections cleared, the COMELEC showed how institutionalized and blatant cheating is. Despite evidences linking its officials to irregularities, nothing prospered and the operators did their jobs with impunity. As expected, congressmen wielded their "powers" and stormed their way into office. The senatorial race became a protest vote with Gloria's candidates being trounced in the polls. If it wasn't for Garcillano's protege, Bedol, Migz Zubiri wouldn't be in the senate today.

The scandals became bigger and more daring. Joey De Venecia exposed how Abalo's maneuvered the ZTE-NBN deal. Big names were implicated and even Mike Arroyo was included in the list. Miriam blew her top and blamed China for inventing corruption. The senate hearings showed who among the senators are really dumb or at least bad actors. Joker and Enrile showed how they do not deserve to be senators but very effective comedians.

The scandals did not stop but increased as Gloria's "Impeach Me" exposed the severity of corruption. Several opposition congressmen were offered bribes to sign the impeachment complaint of Atty. Pulido. When that did not work, Local officials and congressmen were given "loot bags" to pressure JDV into speed up the process and inoculate GMA from a more substantial complaint. As usual, the opposition was unprepared and Gloria is safe for another year. But the ghost will surely haunt her as Among ed Panlilio came out to prove the bribing. GMA's allies this time had to resort to the absurd just to protect her.

Twin bombings hit Metro Manila. The Glorietta 2 blast and the Batasan blast killed dozens of innocent bystanders. The PNP in its usual ineptness has yet to resolve both incidents. As usual, instead of an earnest and thorough investigation, they took the easy way out and just tagged anyone they found convenient and ruled out other possibilities.

Justice died when pardons flew left and right. Estrada though found guilty of plunder never spent a day in jail because he is 70 yrs. old. One of Ninoy's assassins also was set free. As of late, child rapist Romeo Jalosjos walked out of prison. The DoJ had to act quickly as the repercussions of his pardon threatens Gloria anew.

Of course who would forget the Manila Pen standoff. Senator elect Antonio Trillanes and Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim walked out of a court hearing and held a press conference at the hotel. Malacañang acted quickly and showed the people how several APCs and hundred of troops are needed to serve an arrest warrant for contempt of court. The government also showed how media should be(man)handled. The following imposition of a curfew set alarm bells ringing.

The Halston report on human rights abuses took away whatever credibility the Arroyo administration had in the eyes of the international community. The report of Transparency International and anti-corruption groups proved how corrupt GMA's administration is. Despite the economic growth boasted by GMA, the numbers of those going hungry increased. Poverty levels rose and a disturbing rise in school dropouts was recorded. Social programs remain unimplemented despite their urgency. The farmers from Sumilao, Bukidnon finally gained a foothold in their decade-old fight for their claim on a disputed land.

The country slept through all these and now face a new year. Will the people still be in hibernation or would they finally wake up and say no? Will you once again sleep for another year while Gloria and her cohorts rape you?