Wednesday, April 30, 2008

GMA vindicated from the NBN scandal?

While the report is yet to be prepared, Malacanang is already confident that sitting president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will be vindicated from the NBN scandal. The reason: There is no evidence linking the president to the scandal.

First, paano ba sila nakakasiguro lalo na si Ed Ermita na vindicated nga talaga si Gloria? Mukhang me whitewash na agad na nangangamoy ah?

Second, paano nga ba talaga magkakaroon ng ebidensiya? They controlled all the possibilities to come out with an evidence? Parang Impeachment Trial. They kill it immediately with technicalities.

Pero vindicated nga ba? Not beyond reasonable doubt. Hanggang ngayon lutang pa rin ang mga koneksiyon ni Gloria sa mga iskandalo ng gobyerno. Actually she even admitted these categorically. She said sorry when she called Garci. And she said she still signed the NBN Contract despite the anomalies. This means she is not scot-free. And this will haunt her til the rest of history.

Culture of Corruption & Culture of Poverty

Biklish has an interesting post on how the cultures of poverty and corruption were embedded in the Filipino psychology. The posts say that it's a result of the legitimization provided by the government, the people and the Church.

A portion of the post is as follows:

[...] a few individuals in the government became greedy. They became corrupt until corruption became a virus. By their silence, the people seemed to have allowed the virus to spread...

To give moral legitimacy to corruption, the Church also had her part. For instance, during the Marcos-Aquino presidential elections, Cardinal Sin was at the forefront saying: Ang pera sa bulsa, ang boto sa balota...

This was further strengthened when the high-ranking members of the Church admitted accepting money from PAGCOR, or money from gambling operations...

But more than the strengthening of the culture of corruption, the Church also has a role to play in strengthening the culture of poverty. Intentionally or not, she had been espousing a mis-contextualized Biblical passage “Blessed are the poor for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”... In the proper context, though, poverty should not be with a child of God. Again, basing from the Bible and even the Q’ran, man was created in the image of God. And God is not poor. As a matter of fact, God gave man the authority over everything on earth. Man can utilize that, etc., etc.

Of course, to be blamed also are the people. They accept things without questions. And they treat alleged authorities with pure reverence. Just like their treatment for the government. Just like their treatment with the Church. Otherwise, another people power uprising should have transpired even without the leadership of the Church[...]

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Miracles & Reverse engineering: From politics to showbiz

In the Philippines, almost everything is possible: Public money vanishing in thin air, infrastructure projects that are invisible, one vote that is equivalent to four or five, agriculture fertilizers for use in buildings, and so on and so forth.

And then the usual trend -- showbiz personalities turning politicians. But lately, it is the reverse: politicians turning showbiz personalities. The culprit of the fad -- Eddie Gil.

Pero dahil uso, we now have Senator Ping Lacson endorsing a product for metrosexuals particularly a beauty product for men. Sunod din si Cong. Joel Villanueva ng CIBAC party-list endorsing a spa and wellness center. To add the list we also have Senators Pia Cayetano, Mar Roxas and Kiko Pangilinan. Galing di ba? Pero teka, iiwan na ba nila ang politics?

For miracle's sake, hindi. Sabi ng mga espiritu-santong prayle, step one daw yun for 2010. Kaya nga todo alma si Senator Brenda Santiago. Porke ba walang offer sa kanya? O violation ng isang existing law or guideline? If so, aantayin na lang natin si Senator. Pero sa ngayon, consistent pa rin ang Pinas and this? This can be found only in the Philippines.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

What is life without dignity?

The Vicente Sotto Memorial Scandal would not die down. A few days ago, nagpalabas ng press release ang hospital admitting some excessive and unwanted actions on the part of their personnel. Kaso di pinangalanan. Bakit? Dahil sa right to privacy of the doctors and nurses involved? Paano naman yung right to privacy ng pasyente?

Worse, argumento ng hospital, isipin din ang kakulangan ng mga doktor. At dapat nga magpasalamat pa dahil maayos ang operasyon at safe ang pasyente.

Tsk, tsk, tsk! Ganyan ba talaga sila kababaw? What is life without dignity, in the first place? Buhay nga ang pasyente parang baboy naman ang tingin sa kanya. Dagdag pa ang banat ni Msgr. Dakay ng Diocese of Cebu. Sabi ni Dakay, kasalanan ng biktima ang nangyari kasi in the first place, nakipag-sex ito sa kapwa lalaki. In simple terms, dissecting Dakay's logic, okay lang gumawa ng isa pang kasalanan kasi me nauna nang kasalanan. Analogously, okay lang ang mga sex scandals na involved ang mga pari kasi in the first place, pumatol naman ang mga babae. Galing di ba?

Hmmmnnn.... Kaya pala kina Tikboy me mga pari na magagara ang bahay. Usap-usapan, donated ito ng mga jueteng lords para sana sa pagpapa-renovate ng simbahan. Kaso di na ipinagawa ng simbahan kundi personal na bahay ng pari kasi in the first place jueteng money naman ito. At meron din na nagbuntis at nanganak gayong wala namang asawa. Out of immaculate conception? Siguro pero ang alam ng lahat, close ang babae kay father. At malaki ang hawig ng bata kay father. So, using Dakay's logic: It's just ok that father fathered a child because the mother of the child was willing also to let father be the father of what he fathered.

Ang gulo!

Lapid as the most productive senator?

After the stormy days and unholy nights caused by the NBN deal and the scandals rocking the administration, another joke calmed the nerves. No, it was not the lies sholtage of Gloria Arroyo. It's about the Senator Lito Lapid whom everybody thought had resigned or had gone into seclusion after they lost their political territory in Pampanga to Fr. Ed Panlilio.

And the joke? Lapid is the seventh most productive in the Senate!


[Sorry. Tikboy just spilled some coffee on his keypad.]

Pero kakatawa yun ah? Ang hindi lang po nakakatawa, totoo yun. Sabi ng, Lapid was absent for only two sessions since the Congress opened last July 2007, and ranked seventh in terms of the bills filed.

Sabi ni Doy: HUWWWAATTTT????

Papaano nangyari yun? Almost everybody was noisy during the Senate hearings that even Dinggol, este, Jinggoy Estrada honed his tongue in English and Tagalog. And Madrigal? She had a verbal battle with other senators that she even dared to bring the issue of Commission on Appointments' composition at the Supreme Court. Pero si Lapid? He was silent as a lamb, di ba? So how come?

Sabi ng staff ni Lapid, silent worker lang ang senator. As a matter of fact, after the roll call and the national anthem, he would exercise seclusion by going to the Senators' Lounge otherwise he would break his vow of silence.

But if that is his ritual, paano siya naging most productive? How was he able to "pass the bills" without sponsoring it? To note, to sponsor a bill one must declare it publicly by addressing the "Mr. (Senate) President" so that it will be recorded and referred to the committee. Di ba most productive siya? Or the meaning of "pass the bill" is just soooo literal that he just gave it (pass) to another senator?

Well, this is funny. And in times like this, we need some funny stories to calm our nerves. Pero teka... is this still funny? We are angry with Gloria for the un-glorious issues of mal-administration and corruption. And here is Lapid, earning his salary from our taxes, ang pinaghirapan at pinagpawisang buwis. Tapos wala namang nagagawa? Hmmmnnnn...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Just Another Fallacy: Fajardo and SBMA on Hanjin

Malacanang Spokesperson, Atty. Lorelei Fajardo, and the Subic Bay Metropolitian Authority committed another fallacy by arguing that Hanjin should not be put into bad light with regards the environment as it is contributing a lot to the Philippine economy. Sabi ni Fajardo, it is infusing billions of dollar-worth investments. Sabi naman ng SBMA, it is generating a lot of employment as Hanjin helps build ships, which employs Filipinos, and ships employ seamen, which also utilizes Filipinos.

The problem is, they seem to evade the issue -- the effect of Hanjin operations on the environment particularly on the construction of the condominium in the middle of a forest. And clearly, there is already a violation for the company had cut trees more than what it is permitted to do so. Para bang argumento ni Catholic Bishop Cinense na wag na muna nating palitan si Arroyo dahil negatibo sa ekonomiya.

These people seem to forget to argue by attacking directly the argument not belaboring it with other things. The Arroyo issue, for instance, involves a moral issue and therefore, Cinense should argue on moral grounds not on economic grounds. Besides, morality is Cinense's expertise being a supposedly guardian of morality. Kaya lang, it appears na he shifted his area of expertise -- economy.

The same with Fajardo. As a lawyer, she should argue on legal grounds. The problem she has to solve is whether or not what the Hanjin did is legal. If bastardizing the environment is legal, ok lang yun. Ang importante, Fajardo answered based on her area of expertise. But talking about investments? And economy? And evading the issue of legality?

Argumentum ad envidiam is also the line of the SBMA. Though simple lang naman sana ang tanong: Base ba sa SBMA land use plan, tama ba ang ginawa ng Hanjin? Kaso, they made it complicated by appealing to the social condition of the people. Are they hiding something?

Kung sabagay, consistent din naman sila. Their boss who, instead of answering the charges of corruption and mal-administration, would rather appeal to the "need to consider the economy and economic growth". And there is this saying: Kung ano ang puno, ganun din ang bunga.

But one funny thing: When Satan tempted Jesus, the devil also used food (which Gloria is also doing when she is offering rice and noodles to the hungry "masa")and wealth (just like the economic argument of Cinense, Fajardo, and the SBMA). Is this just a plain coincidence?

Hmmmnnn :-?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

GMA and her unsatisfaction ratings

A few days ago, the Social Weather Stations released the results of its latest round of surveys measuring the satisfaction ratings of the sitting-president of the Pilay na Republic.... err, Philippine Republic, Gloria Arroyo. As usual, di pa rin ito nakakaahon sa lusak. From negative 16% in December 2007, her ratings further dived to negative 26% this March. And it is expected that the figure will further search the bottom of the Mariana Trench with the alleged crisis in rice.

Ang nakapagtataka, the ratings of the Visayans who, Arroyo claims as the Filipinos who loved her very much, continue to dip from positive 1% last September to negative 9% last December and now to negative 15%. Ibig sabihin, the people who were slow to get aroused by her mal-governance are now expressing their feelings against her. Isn't she alarmed?

Kung sabagay, there is no cause for the alarm sabi nga ni Toting Bunye. It's just a survey at gawa lang yan ng oposisyon. Ever since naman, pag negative news, gawa yan ng oposisyon pero pag maganda ang resulta ng survey, that's correct sabi ng administrasyon. Look at the survey on hunger and food sufficiency last year. Tuwang-tuwa pa kamo ang Malakanyang. But did the survey really trickle down to the grassroots? Only the NSCB figures on poverty as well as the food shortage this year can say.

Pero there is really no cause for alarm. So what kung mababa ang satisfaction ratings? Look at Ramon Magsaysay, highly popular pero di natapos ang term. Si Joseph Estrada, hari ng masa, very popular, di natapos ang term. Si Fernando Poe Jr., pinaka-popular pero ni hindi man lang nakaupo kahit isang minuto para sa kanyang term... BUT: Look at Ferdinand Marcos, unpopular pero nagsilbi ng kung ilang terms. And here is Gloria, very unpopular pero nakaupo for more than one term na...

O di ba?

GMA and her unsatisfaction ratings

A few days ago, the Social Weather Stations released the results of its lates round of surveys

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Esperon for DND?

Even before his actual retirement, Gen. Hermogenes Esperon is already floating the idea that he is willing to take the post of Cabinet Secretary in the Department of Defense. Ibig sabihin, wala pa man at may nakaupo pa, willing siyang mag-take-over.


While we do agree na qualified si Esperon, we do not agree with the way he aired his vested interests. Has shame eluded him considering the fact na andiyan pa nakaupo si Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro? Or is he just claiming something as if Malacanang owes him something and that the Chief Executive needs to pay him back? If so, eto ba yung alleged participation ni general noong 2004 presidential elections? Helloooo....??? Garci??? O eto yung mga ginawa ni general to save the queen during her turbulent times? We do not know. But Esperon is retiring by May and after that, in the succeeding months perhaps, we will surely know.

Pero teka... Esperon? Retiring? Bakit magta-trabaho pa? What's the use of our retirement laws? Isa pa, marami naman ng graduates natin ba't di nalang sila kunin? Para naman mabawas-bawasan ang un-employment rate. Naniningil nga ba talaga? Hmmmnnn...


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Rice shortage or Lies shortage?

Circulating in the SMS-sphere:

The ZTE Scandal has broken the relation between China and the Philippines. To mend this, GMA visited Beijing. The Chinese president was very accommodating and devoid of Orwellian talks typical of GMA, he offered his country's help to solve the Philippines' alleged rice shortage.

Chinese Translator: Oul plesident asks if del is a lice sholtage in the Pilipins. (Our president asks if there is a rice shortage in the Philippines.)
GMA (mimicking the way the translator speaks para magpa-cute): How thoughtful but please tell youl plesident we have no lies sholtage in the Philippines.

Kung sabagay, wala nga naman talaga tayong pagkukulang sa mga kasinungalingan.

There are even thoughts that there is really no rice shortage. Gimik lang ng Malacanang para matabunan ang isyu ng ZTE, ng Supreme Court Decision at ng mga akusasyon ni Lozada. Whether this is true or not, di natin alam. Ang nakapagtataka lang, bakit ngayong panahon ng anihan lumabas ang issue ng alleged rice shortage?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Of Millions and Minions

After going around the bush, Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez finally ordered the filing of criminal raps against former Justice Secretary Hernani Perez and family. Sana hindi lang mauwi sa filing. Sana me resolusyon din. Yun bang hindi tulad sa crime statistics ng Philippine National Police na panay record lang walang actual resolution such as incarceration of the criminals, or cutting their fingers just like what the Yakuzas do, or, at the very least, caning them just like in the laws in the arabian countries. O kahit pitik man lang sa ilong kung di pa rin puwede.

But somebody said: Sec, me 200 tayo diyan.

Yung nagsabi ba ng "may 200 tayo diyan" puwede rin bang isama? Everybody knows he is a government officials and all government officials are also expected to be of high standards of behavior. And the 200, whether million pesos man yan o simply pesos lang is still under the jurisdiction of the anti-graft court. And definitely, under the Office of the Ombudsman.

Siyempre, idagdag na rin dapat yung umamin na nagbigay kay Jun Lozada ng pera. That includes Manny Gaite and company. Where did they get the money and why should they bribe Lozada?

These, of course, are just the minions. During the 2004 elections somebody said "dapat di bababa ng one million". Isama na rin dapat yun together with that Comelec official named Garci who really ensured na hindi bababa ng one million ang boto ng boss niya.

If the Ombudsman will do this and is able to convict the minions and their boss, marami ang tulad ni Tikboy na willing magpa-alipin kay Merceditas Gutierrez forever kahit pa sabihing di na uso ang slavery. It's hard to find a person who has the guts like that. Of course, kasabay na diyan si Liwayway Vinzons Chato who also had the guts to fight the tax evaders... even though the government is now evading her as she now battles the legal cases filed against her for being committed to sincerely implement the government policies.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Rice sufficiency? Hellooueeer!!!!????

A funny story from Inquirer.Net: RP aims for 92% self-sufficiency in rice in 2008

According to the report, the ambitious plan came after Gloria Arroyo "announced an ambitious multi-billion-peso plan to overhaul the country's agricultural sector to cope with the rising world price of food, particularly rice, the national diet staple."

The methods? Restoring irrigation and post-harvest facilities.

With the presence of the International Rice Research Institute in the country, marami ang puwedeng maniwala. But analyzing how the government handles the taxpayers' money (Note: the "liquified" fertilizer, and the latest: ang nababoy na Swine Program implemented with Quedancor), along with its policies supporting the Filipino farmers, mukhang suntok sa buwan lang ang mga pronouncements. Bakit kamo? Let us count the ways:

First, when the Philippines entered the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trades (GATT) as well as the World Trade Organization (WTO), there was no realistic safety net offered to the agricultural sector. So ngayon, binabaha tayo ng cheap agricultural products from other countries, nasaan na ang mga pinoy na nagtatanim ng palay?

Ikalawa, rice smuggling is un-abated. Worse, me mga ilang taga-gobyerno pa na sangkot dito. Ano ang ginagawa nila? Ang Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group (PASG), ano lang ba ang hinahabol: smuggled na luxury cars?

Ikatlo, asan ang mga pera na dapat ay mapupunta sa mga magsasaka? Should we still ask Jocjoc Bolante for the issue of the fertilizer na allegedly ginamit ni Gloria noong nakaraang eleksiyon?

Ikaapat, ano na ang nangyayari sa mga lupa na dati ay tinatamnan ng mga palay? Ginagawang subdibisyon. Kahit nga ang Banawe Rice Terraces unti-unti nang naglalaho at ginagawang Banawe Subdivision Terraces. Bakit? Dahil malinaw ang pera... este ang polisiya ng gobyerno -- polisiya na wala itong pakialam kung mawalan man ng mga taniman ng palay basta merong tatayong mga bahay. Kung sabagay, dalawa ang kita dito: una, sa lobbying para sa conversion ng lupa, at ikalawa, building permits. Tanungin niyo si suspended Mayor Ping Cuerpo kung magkano. O kaya tingnan niyo sa Google Earth paano inaararo ang Montalban para gawing TANIMAN NG BAHAY. And Montalban is not alone. Look at Bulacan. Marami din dun.

Ikalima, even the National Food Authority, instead na bumili sa mga magsasaka, ay bumibili sa labas ng bansa. In simple terms, nag-iimport.

Ikaanim, wala ring tiwala ang mga taga-gobyerno na matutupad talaga ito. Consider the NFA saying the mag-iimport pa rin sila dahil "it was still more expensive to produce rice in an archipelagic country like the Philippines compared with those with large land masses like Thailand and Viet Nam." So how can we believe something to be realized kung ang proponents nito ay hindi nga naniniwala. It's like a priest saying "Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's wife" pero sa loob-loob nito "because I am the only one entitled to do so". Or, it's like hearing a government official say "I am waging a war against corruption" pero sa loob-loob niya may karugtong na "kasi magkakaroon ako ng kakumpetensiya". Look at Gloria.

Kung sabagay, it's not impossible nga namn to attain rice sufficiency. Madali lang yun: Mag-import ng mag-import. Anyway, marami naman tayong dollars na galing sa mga overseas Filipino workers. What's the use of these slaves sacrificing their lives and being called as the contemporary "Filipino Heroes"?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Church and the "Arroyo to finish her term" debate

As the debate whether or not to allow Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to finish the term given to the supposed winner of the 2004 presidential election neared its conclusion, a Catholic Bishop made another hirit: Let Arroyo finish her term.

Florentino Cinense
, a Catholic bishop from Tarlac said that it would be costly to replace Arroyo at this moment and that economically, the idea would be disadvantageous to the Philippines. He also said that instead of calling for Arroyo to step down, the people should just call for more projects instead.

Is Cinense's view the voice of God? That we do not know. But his logic sounds like: Huwag na muna nating itigil ang jueteng kasi it would be costly to stop the illegal numbers game (considering the number of employment it generates) and that ceasing its operations would be economically unsound (i.e., konti na lang ang papasok sa kaban ng Simbahan dahil mababawasan ang mananalo na magbibigay-pasasalamat sa Diyos). Kung sabagay, it took the Catholic Church several centuries before acknowledging that Galileo, the man they declared as heretic and a disciple of Satan for proving that the earth moves around the sun and not otherwise, is right. Even though they already knew the truth behind Galileo's claim, they did not retract the declaration easily dahil it would be costly on part of the Church -- that is, they might lose their face for the mal-declaration.

Cinense's view also resounds the same old Catholic logic na di puwede mag-asawa ang pari dahil reserved lang ito para sa Diyos. And they turn blind eye sa mga pari na nagiging ama... unless ang ipinagbubuntis ng mga kaibigang babae ng ilan sa mga pari ay out of immaculate concepcion. But if that is the case, walang pinagkaiba ngayon ang Diyos ng mga Katoliko kay Zeus, isang tsikboy na diyos ng mga Griyego.

While we are still weighing the consequences of Arroyo reaching 2010 or not in the presidential seat, mas maigi siguro na tumahimik na lang ang mga obispong ito. When people were seeking for their guidance, tahimik sila. Ngayon na di naman hinihingi ang kanilang opinyon, saka lang sila nag-iingay. Which makes people ask: Nagbe-benefit nga ba talaga sila sa Malakanyang?

Whether they do or not, it's hard to tell. But circumstantial evidences seem to show that they do. Imagine nga naman: Discussing the morality issue in economic terms instead of moral terms!


Kaya pala lalong dumadami ang pumapasok ngayon sa ibang relihiyon. If Gloria is the primary recruiter of activitists and people disgruntled of the administration, the Catholic Church is also the primary proselytizer of non-Catholic believers.