Friday, May 30, 2008

Birthday Greetings

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to blogsphere's most famous blogger, Manolo Quezon. May you have more blessings and happiness. I hope you can all drop by his blog and share with him this special day.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Populist Rhetorics

Tell the people what they want to hear, and for sure they would listen. This is what GMA is doing now. Her motive of course is to appease the people who has been pummeled by the rising cost of living. If she is to survive until 2010, she has no other option but to do what is popular than what is right. This also diverts the people's attention from the systemic raping of the country by her gang. Of course this is nothing new to Gloria, she has mastered the art of lying.

Diverting attention has been her forte and she has managed to stave off threats over the years. With the crises engulfing us hitting where it really hurts, people tend to get restless and the crimes of her administrations becomes more evident. When the rice crisis erupted, she went around handing out bags of rice. When high energy cost started hurting us, she sent marching orders to Winston Garcia. But of course she will never admit that her EVAT is causing us more harm than good. Her indiscriminate borrowing is the root cause of our problems. Add the corruption that has been institutionalized during her administration, then you have the perfect recipe for an incurable disease.

I expect Gloria to go after companies that the people perceive to be the causes of our hard lives. I suppose she would go after the oil companies next and then the water utilities after. Glaring as it is, she never touched NAPOCOR, ERC, TRANSCO or the really big smugglers in our ports. She never even bothered to investigate the price-fixing allegations in the power sector. She closes her eyes to the fact that she has mismanaged the country's economic affairs. She has entered into agreements detrimental to the country and to the people. She undertook and wasted so much resources on projects we don't really need.

Legacy is about concrete results and about inspiring people. It is not about rhetorics, political gimmickry and lies. Legacy is something you leave behind so that people may realize their dreams. The only dreams she had realized are those of the greedy and power hungry. She has left more people destitute and hungry while those close to her devour what little we have left. We need reforms and accountability. She has not delivered anything during her 7-year reign. The country had sunk deeper and is on the verge of collapse. Life could not have been worse and the hardest hit are the very pillars of society, the families.

With life getting worse, families are torn apart with parents and children separated due to economic woes. Dole outs do not help at all, what we need are opportunities that would offer the people more. We do not need words that slowly caresses us to death. Instead of strengthening the country, GMA is slowly selling us off piece by piece. Her eyes widen at the prospect of how much she and her gang will be dividing.

We are all alone. Our leaders have deserted us. Words are the only things we have in our pockets and hope is what is left in our hearts. We will be inheriting the devastation Gloria has left. She and her family will be living comfortably while we enslave ourselves to pay off her debts. We are collateral damage to her corrupt practices and will have to try survive her holocaust. Rhetorical speeches, that's about the only thing is she good at.

She now walks on very thin ice, one wrong move and she will be ousted. She should thank the people's patience. If we had been a different race, she would have been kicked out a long time ago. Borrowing the words of Joey Salceda, "she is one lucky bitch."


Friday, May 23, 2008

Systems Loss

We've been hearing this phrase "systems loss" for several weeks now. It's suppose to mean loss through pilferage or in simpler terms, stolen. Meralco has been under fire from all sectors because it passes on their "systems losses" to their consumers. Because of their ineptitude, we are the ones who end up paying. We are being forced to pay for their failure and and supposed mismanagement. While Gloria's pack headed by GSIS president Winston Garcia is clawing at the heels of the Lopezes, it's high time we make Gloria's administration accountable for their own "systems loss" the we the people are paying for.

Corruption has been institutionalized under Gloria's watch. We are now the 8th most corrupt country in the world. Because this administration has been mismanaging the country, we are the ones paying the price. Loans and aids continue to be misused. Bribery and kickbacks rampant and GMA and her gang continue to make fools of us. With almost all institutions under her control, we are helpless against their onslaught. Just like Meralco, they have turned our country into a monopoly wherein we have no other choice but to take what they dish out.

Systems loss is when we are heavily taxed not because the government is trying to increase social services but because we need to pay our ballooning debt. Systems loss is when small importers pay more because smugglers pay less. Systems loss is when Gloria needs to bribe the lower house and she distributes loot bags full of money buy the loyalty of our local officials. Systems loss is when we have to pay for her junkets and trips that amount to nothing. Systems loss is when we spend millions of dollars for embassies which do not look after the welfare of our migrant workers. Systems loss is when politicians use their pork barrels for their personal gains and promotion. Systems loss is when we have to pay for overpriced projects which are substandard. Systems loss is when government pushes for projects we don't really need.

I am very sure there are more systems loss being charged to us by this corrupt and inept administration. Hidden under the rug are billions of unexplained expenditures which this administration has yet to account for. It is Gloria's politicking that is destroying this country. Because she needs to make her allies happy and loyal, we have to bear the brunt of their systems loss. Meralco maybe abusing us but we should not be blinded by Gloria's populist rhetorics. GMA and her gang should refund to us the systems loss of this administration.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Philippine Human Rights Record

While our government boasts of a vibrant democracy, hidden in the shadows is its human rights abuses. As bloggers around the world unite for human rights we in the Philippines would like the world to know about what is happening in our country. Abductions, enforced disappearances and summary executions are a dime a dozen here. Journalists, youths and even judges are not spared. The violations run in the thousands since Gloria and her henchmen took over the reins of power.

The most glaring assault on press freedom was that of the alleged failed coup last Nov. 29, 2007. An elected senator, a general and several civilians locked themselves in a hotel in the prime city of Makati. Journalists who covered the event was later summarily arrested and brought to a military camp to be questioned. The GMA administration threatened the journalists of charges of obstruction and aiding and abetting the alleged participants of the coup. Even foreign journalists were not spared. Though released soon after, the government left a chilling effect on the media. The GMA-controlled Dept. of Justice also threatened the hapless journalists.

Access to information is also being denied to the public. Any personality who exposes anomalies are charged with libel or worst, kidnapped. Members of progressive groups who have been educating rural folks of their rights are branded communists and liquidated. Men, women and children are not spared from harassment by security forces. During an encounter last year between rebels and the military, a young child was shot pointblank by a soldier. They planted an assault rifle bigger than the slain child and made it appear that the poor kid was a child-soldier.

Due process is nonexistent as the administration controls all institutions of government. The corruption that pervades has made life so hard that hunger and malnutrition in children is common. Many of the less fortunate subsist on foraging for food in garbage cans. Child labor is widespread and an accepted norm. Despite assertions by the government that poverty has decreased, the reality on the ground shows otherwise.

Women may enjoy equal rights on paper, but more often than not, victims of rape end up being blamed for what happened to them. Hypocrisy and apathy by the very people tasked to protect rape victims has led to numerous unreported cases of rape. Children victimized by pedophiles suffer in silence. A convicted child rapist would have been released had it not been exposed by the vigilant media.

A student who died during a fraternity hazing is yet to be served justice. Perpetrators of the crime still roam freely due to the protection of influential members who are in government. Connections to personalities in power leave the citizens to the hands of lawless gangs who has no respect for human rights and justice. Death squads roam with impunity through the auspices of local officials. Life is cheap in this country and killings go unsolved because of an indifferent justice system and an apathetic society.

People are terrorized into submission. With government condoning outright abuse, justice comes slow to those who seek it. Government only shows superficial efforts to address these violations to appease the international community. The reality is that the administration would rather enrich themselves than do its job. The proof of our government insincerity is its refusal to ratify the Rome statute that could pave the for a genuine resolution to human rights abuses.

Human rights is the foundation for a modern global society. Unless these abuses stop, the world will forever have strife and suffering. Each one of us must do our share in pressuring our leaders and the the peoples of the world that for peace and progress to reign, protecting the rights of all is imperative.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Barking Up The Wrong Tree

Education is suppose to be a right and not a privilege. It is every parent's dream to see his children finish school. A bill filed by Rep. Rufus Rodriguez aims make liable, parents who fail to send their children to school. The law in itself is laudable and should be passed. Education Secretary, Jesli Lapus is also pushing for the passing of this bill. He adds that children should be in school and that poverty is not an excuse.

While I agree philosophically, the reality is that the high dropout rate is a consequence of the government's ineptitude. Public education is indeed free in the primary and secondary levels but there are hidden expenses that Lapus and Rodriguez should consider as well. Poverty plays a humongous role in education. Infrastructure and accessibility are other factors to consider too.

It is so easy to put the blame on parents and not the government. If this bill is passed, then Gloria should be charged as well. The government has a program of putting 15 year olds to work. Isn't this espousing child labor as well? With GMA's computation of squeezing in kids in a cramped classroom, what kind of education will the children be getting? The government cannot even provide textbooks and other materials to allow for genuine education. Despite pouring billions in our education system, the lack of educators continue to plague the system.

Schools are also far from some communities that kids as young as six have to walk for hours just to get to school. Some schools even conduct mixed-grade classes. This further compounds the problem of learning. The rising cost of living and lack of opportunities add to the woes of parents. It has been reported that a family of five must earn a daily income of P842/day to live decently. With the low wages, even the middle class is having a hard time to make ends meet.

Corruption and misuse of government resources is one of the biggest problems we face. Congress and the other government agencies throw away billions in projects we do not need. While there are legislators who do pour their pork barrels in education, a bigger number of them do not. The government relies heavily on the private sector in the name of corporate responsibility to its job. NGOs both foreign and local have also been immersed in programs to help the education system in the country.

But Gloria and her gang has this penchant to redirect blame on others. They cover up their crimes by diverting attention away from them. Now it's the parents who must suffer because of their indiscretions. I am sure the kids would not be forced to stop schooling if their parents have decent jobs or an opportunity to earn decently.

Government must also push for a genuine family planning program. It lacks political will to undergo such a deviation from the norm and is so afraid of losing the church's support. Perhaps the government should focus more on this before pointing fingers. The government should also make accountable those among its ranks continue to steal from the nation's coffers. Rodriguez and those like him perhaps do not feel the economic pinch the country is in. Congressmen have huge allowances and pork barrel that they allocate improperly. Some of our politicians also have numerous "families" to feed and wives to please which of course results to corruption.

Public education may have been good in the past, but not today. With tuition fees in private schools increasing every year, many of those who cannot cope transfer their kids to public schools. This in turn eases out those in the lower rungs of society. Had Gloria concentrated on specific institutions instead of spreading our resources thinly, we wouldn't be in this situation. She should have allocated an entire year's budget on one institution per year and perhaps development in these institutions could have been adequate.

I hope that all concerned agencies would conduct further research before passing this bill. Parents I know should be made responsible but we must weigh in all the factors. We also must first make accountable those whose corrupt practices have led to the hard life Filipinos are in. Education is fast becoming a privilege than a right. Bark if you must but please bite the right people.