Monday, July 30, 2007

Omens and Lumens

Who says GMA is copying Tabako Ramos?

More than a decade ago, El Presidente Fidel "Tabako" Ramos proposed NIC-hood. Marami ang umangal at umangil. Erap was said to have copied the vision and renamed it by including the same in the agenda of his Jeep ni Erap. Later, Gloria in the Palace also was said to have copied the NIC-hood only that the name was changed to "Strong Republic" added with the spice of cha-cha, tango, etc.

Pero mali pala. Mas matindi pala ang pangarap ni Gloria. Quoting her 2007 SONA:

Hangarin kong mapabilang ang Pilipinas sa mayayamang bansa sa loob ng
dalawampung taon. By then poverty shall have been marginalized; and
the marginalized raised to a robust middle class.

We will have achieved the hallmarks of a modern society, where
institutions are strong.

By 2010, the Philippines should be well on its way to achieving that vision.

So, will she stay until 2037? Grabe naman yun.

Pero teka, mukhang Kristiyana nga talaga si Gloria. Sabi sa Bible: And the poor shall always be with you. So Gloria said: After 20 years, poverty shall have been marginalized; and the marginalized raised to a robust middle class.

Mukhang lugi tayo dun ah. So she isn't serious in eradicating poverty. Sabagay, if there is no poverty, wala rin silang pera. As there is money in garbage so is there richness in poverty. Asan na ba ang mga international loans ng bansang Pilipinas just to eradicate poverty? At magkano na nga ba ang loans na yun? At asan na rin ang mga batas at polisiya ntumutugon sa kahirapan? Pabahay ni Noli na kung wala ng pambayad ang nakatira palalayasin na? Rice and noodles na ibinebenta sa murang halaga at itsa-puwera ang walang pera? Trabaho na contractualization ang sistema at after six months tanggalan blues na? Palayasin ang mga professionals natin at ipagtabuyan sa ibang bansa para maging DH ang titsers at maging nurse ang doktor? Are these the ways to address poverty? Galing naman no?

Well, these are omens. And these luminates us what our "strong leader" is doing to make us weak.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Some says the state of the nation address of Gloria Arroyo is not really a SONA but a travelogue. Whatever, at least she found her way to Bicol.

Arroyo said that with her seven billion-peso calamity allocation in Region V, the Bicolanos are now getting their rightful share. So, admitted na talaga na hindi binibigyan ang Bicol ng karampatang atensiyon. Bakit, dahil ba sa opposition country ang tingin sa Bicol Region? Pero sabi ni Jay Carizo ng IPD, myths lang daw yun? (Read here or here) That being the case, mali nga talaga ang mga espiritu santong prayle ni Gloria. A case of misreading the political environment? If mali nga ang political reading, then mali then ang mga plano ni Gloria. Hence, paano kaya mangyayari ang pagiging kabilang ng Pilipinas sa mayayamang bansa in a couple of decades? Hmmmmnnnn?

Sabagay, wish list niya lang yun. At alang masama sa pangarap.

Pero ang tanong, kung hindi ba binagyo ang Bicol di ba nila ito bibigyan ng pansin? O props lang para sabihing dahil kay Datu kaya nabigay ang seven billion? Aber nga, aber?

Monday, July 16, 2007

'S' for 'Seven'; 'S' for 'Shut-up'

Joining the "7-7-7" hype is my friend, Albytes, who got wed on that date. He thought seven is a lucky number so after seven years, he is dreaming of having seven children.

But seven is not a lucky number after all. After nearly seven hours of debates, the members of the Supreme Court voted 7 favor and 7 against the petition of Pimentel the Son for the plea for temporary restraining order. The equal number of votes simply meant denying the petition and thereby continuing the proclamation of Team Unity's Juan Miguel Zubiri as the 12th Senator of the Pinoy Republic.

Pimentel the Son felt a great loss but the Filipino people suffered a far greater loss. As Tribune simply put it: The former congressman’s [Zubiri's]proclamation at the expense of his rival [Koko Pimentel]from the opposition camp for the 12th seat has legitimized cheating and any views to the contrary will only “inspire” the politically ambitious into looking for the Bedols around and, presto, the Comelec will raise his hands as victor.

In simple terms it means bastardizing democracy and making the voting public look stupid.


7-7 is to be remembered also for shutting-up dissident voices because of the implementation of the anti-opposition law.... err., anti-terrorism law couched in a beautifully worded term "Human Security Act".

The implementation of the law started July 15 even without the necessary implementing rules and regulations (IRR).According to Toting Bunye, the IRR is not anymore necessary.

Naks naman. If the IRR is not necessary, then anything that “causes widespread and extraordinary fear and panic among the populace” can be considered as acts of terrorism because that is the definition of the law. So if you happened to wear a mask for the maskara festival, or if you are trying to imitate and provide a visual description for the tambaloslos in the Ibalong festival, you must be a terrorist already.

Another "panicky" pothole in the law is the question as to who will give the qualification of a terrorist. That is because, with the general definition, Ducat of the Manila hostage drama can be considered a terrorist. 40 years pa naman iyon sa kulungan.

Similarly, all the rallyists can be tagged as terrorists especially if Gloria in the Palace will be rattled with their "storming presence" as what happened in February last year. Gloria thinks she is the state with the promulgation of PP 1017 and the CPR so the possibility is not remote for her, being the State, to experience “widespread and extraordinary fear and panic". That being the case, goodbye dear rallyists.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Same Old Politics

With the 14th Congress having almost the same members as in the past congresses, it is hard to expect something new. As the election for the House Speakership draws near, the politics of mud-slinging is already dirtying the batasan halls.

Report ng After accusing Speaker Jose de Venecia of lacking the moral ascendancy to keep the speakership, Cebu Representative Pablo Garcia himself came under fire from the speaker’s allies who claimed Garcia himself had been accused of corruption.

Which reminds me of a radio (and TV) ad I heard this morning. The ad tries to rebut the idea that the Philippines is the number one in corruption in Asia. The narrator even cited "authorities" clarifying that the Philippines is not the first and goes on to hit the "opposition" and "de-stabilizers" for spreading false information for their personal interests.

But the fact is, the advertisement didn't directly rebut the idea that the Philippine government and its instrumentalities is corrupt. He misses the point that whether the Philippines is number one man or number two, the country is still corrupt. And instead of lambasting the "opposition" and "de-stabilizers", why not cite the efforts, if any, being done to eliminate corruption? O wala naman talagang ginagawa?

why beat the goose that lays the golden egg? Attack mo na lang kalaban mo para at least me issue. Something like Campbell and No. 10 Downing Street.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

8M Filipinos over-employed?

The vow of Gloria in the Palace during her last SONAs was to solve the problem of un-employment. Pero mukhang sumobra naman. Report ng Department of Labor and Employment: Close to eight million Filipinos or almost 25 percent of those currently employed are considered overemployed.


Of course not! Over-employment is a negative sign and the government must look carefully into the matter. Why? Let us count the ways:

  1. Over-employment simply means the fangs of poverty are still around so all bodies able to work must keep watch and always be on guard. Buti kasi kung fangs lang. Me kasama pang leon at bad breath,no?
  2. Over-employment simply means worker dissatisfaction. The wages are low and the working conditions are bad. Well, it had been quite a time since the last government-mandated wage increase. And to note, many workers are still working below the minimum wage rate.
  3. Over-employment simply means a country has an unhealthy citizenry. Too much work is bad. Work and leisure should be balanced.
  4. Over-employment simply means a government has a bad policy. It does not care for its citizens.
  5. Over-employment simply means an imbalance of work and workers. This is bad economy.
But wait, di ba economist si Gloria in the Palace? Hmmmnnn. Bad economist?

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Trillanes's Mandate

The editorial of Inquirer is quite incisive. To quote:

Should [Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV] accused of leading a coup d'etat be allowed either temporary or conditional liberty, to allow him to discharge his duties as a new member of the Senate? Should he enjoy a change in his custody status, from military detention to perhaps the custody of the Senate? Not least, should his election to the Senate, on the strength of over 11 million votes, be considered as absolving him of his liability?

A friend who is now a Dutch citizen lamented that in the Philippines, anybody who wants to be a senator must first stage a coup d' etat. Just like Honasan and Trillaness. Such a thinking, he continued, makes the Filipinos an "inexplicable political morons".

(Well, my friend isn't Miriam Santiago. Too bad he isn't that we can't rid a country with at least one genius liar.)

Well I may not be proud to be a Filipino. Neither am I proud to be an inexplicable political moron. But if such a moronic state could give sanity to elections, so be it. The way I read the signs, the election of Trillanes simply means a wake up call to those "seated in the most high". If the Filipinos are satisfied, why would they exchange chocolates for "delimon"? Or a castle for a "barong-barong"? Nobody would even want a "tinapa" in exchange for a beefsteak (unless he/she is a Hindi).

At first I also believe that the Filipinos are an irrational voter. It's hard to predict what they want and who will they choose. Add the mud that the Catholic church spread by saying "Ang pera sa bulsa, ang boto sa balota". But th was before. It was only lately that I realized Filipinos are what Samuel Popkins call as a "Reasoning Voter". They vote retrospectively and prospectively. They want to punish their officials for not performing well, and they sometimes have "moronic" choices because they think that someday, somehow, things will still change. And for that reason, they chose Trillanes.

But as to Inquirer's question on the fate of Trillanes, the only possible reply is: Read the signs. The signs are clear and these are written already on the ballot.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

To Acquit, Or Not To Acquit?

To Acquit, Or Not To Acquit?

This remains the question as the axe of the SandiganBayan remains hanging in the air. Will it cut Estrada's head? Or will it cut the rope that will hang Estrada's head?

But while the axe remains raised, advertisements apparently trying to condition the mind of the public are almost everywhere. The advertisements, allegedly from a group who calls itself "Mahal Kita Pilipinas", is asking for the public to respect the court's decision. Teka, wala pa ngang desisyon ba't ganun na ang tema? Hmmmnnn...

But while the Estrada camp is troubled and the public seems "walang paki", let us do some mind games and try to forecast what the verdict will be, IF, indeed, Malacanang has a hand on the Erap case. Of course, we will not dwell into the evidences. That is for the court and the prosecutors to determine. What our game will do is to forecast what the impression will be of Erap's acquittal or non-acquittal.

To Acquit: If Erap will be acquitted, Gloria in the Palace will be limited in her moves. Siyempre, kung dati ang dance niya ay cha-cha, baka sweet na lang ngayon. Erap will always be watching, di ba? Erap is still a political boss and can still command a crowd. Second, if Erap will be acquitted, it will also mean in one way or another that Gloria in the Palace cheated her way to the presidency in 2001. O di ba? The public might say: Di naman pala talaga nagnakaw si Erap ba't pa siya pinalayas sa puwesto at ikinulong? Worse, the acquittal will further re-enforce Erap's innocence. Bakit kamo? Dahil ang korte na mismo ang nagsabi at ang korte na yan ay nasa ilalim pa ng pamumuno ni Gloria in the Palace. Ibig sabihin, wala talaga silang nakuhang ebidensiya when all odds are supposed to be with Erap. Di ba?

Siyempre, the acquittal will also mean the EDSA 2 is wrong. And so with its organizers.

Not To Acquit. If Erap will not be acquitted, magkakaroon ng restlessness lalo na from the camp of Erap. Worse comes to worst, EDSA 4 pero ang model ay EDSA 3 aka "The rise of the masses". Whether it succeeds or not, affected ang economy. Bababa ang halaga ng piso. (Makabili na nga ng dolyar mamya.) Troubled ang Gloria.

But the trouble will be short-lived. Kung maha-hire nga nila ulit yung nagtrabaho na spinmeister during the Garci scandal, baka wala ngang mangyayaring trouble. Hero pa ang ale. Bakit? Kasi puwedeng mag-may-i-proclaim ang Gloria in the Palace na grant niya ng executive clemency si Erap. O di ba? To note, malaki-laki rin ang hatak ni Erap na mga kongresista so baka push to the max na ang Cha-Cha. In 2010 or earlier, prime-minister/queen pa ang lola.

Siyempre, suporta na rin ang Erap. Kesa "Goodbye Tanay, Hello Taning" na siya sa Bilibid. Mahirap dun, no? And he will make sisi na hindi niya binigyan ng atensyon ang mga kulungan sa bansang Pilipinas during his term. Mahirap yun. Magmatigas naman siyang lalo, kulong na nga siya, baka me kaso pa siyang terrorism. 40 years ata sa preso ang parusa dun, no? Unless ok lang sa kanya dahil tulad sa kanyang mga pelikula, gusto niyang maging hero against the evil dwarf .... err, evil giant ...., err... sino na nga yun? Snow white?

So most logical option, "Support Gloria, Support Gloria, Go!" na ang rahrah niya.

Again, the non-acquittal will also mean tama ang EDSA 2. Tama si Gloria, tama ang mga kakutsaba niya, at tama ang civil society na ginamit niya. O di ba, oks na oks?

Conclusion: To acquit or not to acquit? Siyempre not to acquit na.

Anti-Terrorism law is Plain and Simple Terrorism Law

Army Chief Hermogenes Esperon Jr. admitted that they can resort to wiretapping, if needed. He qualified on to say that wiretapping will be done to probable suspects of terrorism.

Now, they are talking.

It is an elemental principle that no person shall be deprived of his rights. But with the passage of the Anti-Terrorism Law (Human Security Act), anyone suspected of being a terrorist can be wiretapped. And at will. (Note Esperon's words: If called for.) Which simply means, no one is secure and that there is really no such thing as privacy of communication under the Human Security Act.

Ganito na ba ka-desperado ang gobyerno? It appears that the term Human Security Act is no security act at all. It is plain and simple terrorism. The law terrorises the people by implying: Hey, take note I am wiretapping you.

Monday, July 02, 2007

A negative is negative

According to the Social Weather Stations, the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC)'s satisfaction rating in its drive against corruption is negative 7% in 2005 which fell to negative 17% last year and partially recovered to negative 8% this year.

For this, PAGC Chair Constancia De Guzman retorted: That is something, a positive sign that we are succeeding in the fight against graft and corruption.

Teka, teka, teka! It appears that Ms. De Guzman is misled. A negative rating is still a negative rating. Whatever the figure is, it simply means you are not doing your job well. If you do, then where are the sharks that you were able to catch? Or you have catched only anchovies? And why is the Philippines still on top of the list of corrupt governments in Asia? Hmmnnn?