Thursday, January 24, 2008

Not all elections symbolize democracy

Medyo pumalpak na naman si Toting Bunye. In a statement with regards the downgrade given to the Philippines by the New York-based Freedom House he said: Our people know best. We held elections last year and many potential candidates have been preparing for the 2010 elections even this early. These are examples of the vibrancy of our democracy.

The communist parties in China and the former USSR are used to holding elections. And almost before every elections, potential candidates also prepare. Pero democratic nga ba ang mga ito? Even the most dictatorial governments in the world also claim to hold elections. Democratic din ba ang mga ito?

In simple terms, elections do not always symbolize democracy. In 2004 we've had elections. And there were questions of legitimacy of the winning president as well as the vice president -- questions which were buried in technicalities. Shall we also say democratic din ito?

Or pinaka-simple: Can we call the Philippines a democratic country when it shun its eyes and ears to the voices of its critics? For instance, Raul Gonzales, in his capacity as the Secretary of the Department of Justice, has been calling the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Freedom House to jump in the river and the Pacific Ocean, respectively, for giving negative ratings to the Philippines. Is this fair and democratic enough? The fact na binabato pa ng mga akusasyon ang mga kritiko ng gobyerno instead of taking their ideas in and incorporating the same to further improve the system of administration, is a clear indication of how undemocratic the Philippines is.

Sabagay, ang mga isda nabibingwit sa sarili nilang mga bibig.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Foreign hiring: Who's next?

Sabi sa Inquirer: Baltimore hiring more Filipino public school teachers

From seamen, to domestic helpers, to nurses, to doctors and now, to teachers. Just lately, Australia also opened its doors for other skilled workers. All our workers are already starting to leave the country. Sino na ba ang susunod na aalis? Ang mga pulitiko ba?

Teka muna, wag niyong bigyan ng visa si Gloria!.... Waittt....

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Potential list of 2010 senatoriables from Lakas

From the Inquirer:

Fifteen congressmen, three Cabinet members and two re-electionists are among those in the 30 potential senatorial candidates being considered by the ruling Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats in 2010, its spokesman said on Wednesday.

List of potential candidates? Kala ko pa naman list of potential projects ng Lakas. O kaya list of political grasshoppers na tatanggalin ng Lakas. Sayang.

Anyway, curious lang ako sa senatoriables na kasama sa listahan -- si Bong Revilla tsaka si Lito Lapid. Di ba nahihiya ang Lakas sa performance ng mga ito bilang mga senador? O proud sila sa performance ng mga ito bilang mga artista? If it is the latter, puwede ba ulit itanong kung ang trabaho ng senado ngayon ay para gumawa na lang ng pelikula o para gumawa pa rin ng mga batas?

By the way, kasama daw sa listahan ng potential list of senators ang mga sumusunod:

1. Lito Lapid
2. Bong Revilla
3. Ralph Recto
4. Eduardo Zialcita
5. Prospero Pichay

Thursday, January 10, 2008

National ID System Revived

It appears that Malacanang had ran out of ideas for new projects so it revived once again the concept of National ID System. It should be noted that in 1998, the Supreme Court held unconstitutional the Fidel Ramos National ID System and declared that only a law emanating from the congress can make the proposed idea working. Pero parang sirang plaka, "paulit-ulit" ang Malacanang kaya't "heto na naman, heto na naman".

Anyway, why push the national ID system?

The revival of the idea came from the Armed Forces of the Philippines which is "determined to quash insurgency and terrorism" (kuno) in the country. Kaso, with the alleged partisan nature of the supposedly apolitical AFP, medyo nakakatakot naman ang proposition. Bakit kamo? Let us count the ways:

  1. On political rights: the qualified voters might be tagged for their partisan inclinations. This being the case, madali na ngayong i-pressure ang mga ito para lumipat sa pro-admin na kandidato. Remember the peasants in Negros whose fingers were tainted with indelible ink upon knowing their choices of candidates? And remember the Hello Garci where the "magic hand" already knows where to tinker and manipulate the election returns? Aminin: malapit na ang election. And Gloria in the Palace is even pushing for a Cha-cha so bak magka-plebiscite in the immediate future. Besides, the 2010 election will be crucial for GMA considering that the winning candidate will be a prime determinant on the success of the cases awaiting her for mal-administering the country and for abusing her power.
  2. On human rights: Siyempre, madali na ngayong i-tag ang mga undesirables as communists or terrorists. Ngayon nga na wala pang synchronized ID system todas na ang ilang mga suspected leftists, lalo na, to quote Aiza Seguerra, "pagdating ng panahon".
  3. On the freedom of the press: As tagging undesirables will be easy, so will be the journalists and mediamen. To note, number 2 pa rin ang Pilipinas bilang "most dangerous country for journalists" sa buong mundo.
  4. On the right to privacy: Teka, di ba enshrined sa constitution ang right to privacy? Ba't mukhang gustong i-tinker ng AFP? Besides, how infallible will the program be? In the very first place, the Filipinos are not even protected by the IT laws so how sure are the we na hindi mapaglalaruan ang mga datos ng mga tao? Has anybody remember or have seen the 1995 movie The Net starred by Sandra Bullock? How sure are the Filipinos na di ganun ang mangyayari? Second, ang Cyber Ed Project nga palpak na, how much more the crucial National ID System project?
If the primary purpose of the AFP to eradicate terrorism and insurgency, baka puwedeng tingnan muna nila ang institusyon nila. Has AFP answered the accusations of Trillanes and the Magdalo on corruption in the military? Has the AFP cleared its name in the "Hello, Garci!" controversy? Has AFP cleared its name in the report of Alston to the United Nations about the political killings and human rights abuse?

If so, the next step is to push for the poverty-free Philippines. Pag kumakalam kasi ang sikmura, mas madaling tumanggap ng ideya. A very good indicator is the feast of the Black Nazarene. Because the people feel poor, the more they seek a god. Similarly, because of poverty, people are prone to accept terroristic ideas.

Lastly, the AFP should remain apolitical and stand by the Constitution, not the leader. In the very first place, the leader (i.e., the Commander-in-Chief) is not the Constitution.

Teka, kaya kaya ito ng AFP? Forward, March!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Estrada's new book: Eraption or Corruption?

Here is ousted President Joseph Estrada's New Year's resolution: To write a book on himself.

Could that book be a pocketbook of jokes say "Eraption Volume 2"? Probably not. Taking clues from Inquirer's interview with Erap, mukhang seryoso ang laman nito. Estrada's book will even feature a chapter on exposés, which will keep “some political figures” on their toes.

"The exposés will be supported by official documents and other pertinent papers, according to the ousted leader who was convicted of plunder last year but was immediately pardoned by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo," the Inquirer continued.

Whether or not Erap's PR specialist is thinking bright or doing dull, mukhang may sense nga naman na isama ang chapter tungkol sa mga kurakot na opisyal. As the saying goes: Birds of the same feather flocks together. O di ba?

But the questions are: Kaya ba ni Erap harapin ang libel? House arrest pa nga lang nagrereklamo na siya, paano kung bugbugin siya ng libel at sapilitan na siyang ikulong sa Bilibid?

Second, is he also willing to face charges for hiding the truth and concealing the crime considering that most of the corruption cases he is planning to expose happened prior to, and during, his presidency?

Aber nga, tingnan natin?