Thursday, June 30, 2011

We aren’t to blame for low IQ

By Alex P. Vidal
Soren Kierkegaard was right when he cautioned that we must understand life backward and live it forward.
Before we die, we must at least be able to to know the truth and understand the roots of our sufferings, what precipitated our ignorance and why many of us are ashamed of our culture and why we are wallowing in insecurity and lack of pride as a nation.
The murder of Ferdinand Magellan by Lapu-Lapu sealed our fate.
Although Magellan’s death delayed the Spanish colonization of the Philippines by more than 40 years, what happened next became a horror which had unleashed irreparable damage and wrought unimaginable havoc on our psyche until today in the computer age.
Desperate to enslave the Filipinos after efforts to conquer them by force failed, the Spaniards shifted to Plan B: they instituted an organization which would disable the development of our critical thinking, an IQ reducation program aimed at making the natives dumb.
And they succeeded!
According to Dr. Carlos Alfonso Santos, this program was called the National IQ Reduction Commission (NIQRC) founded in 1521 “by a bunch of starving Spanish conquistadores in Limasawa.”
“The conquest was not doing well,” wrote Santos. “They were hopelessly lost (they were really looking for Malacca) and Lapu-Lapu had just killed Magellan. The Spaniards realized that if they wanted to claim the land, they would have to make the natives dumber. So they began a number of IQ reduction programs, all coordinated by the NIQRC.”
The most successful initiative at the time, according to Santos, was taken by the Catholic Church. “The fraile (Spanish word for “horny cretin”) pretended to preach the Gospel, but actually aimed to impose blind obedience and servitude.”
“Every Sunday, homilies throughout the archipelago essentially revolved around one them: You are dirty, uneducated, learning impaired idiots who need white men to manage your affairs.”
Santos revealed that when the Americans bought the Philippines three centuries later, they asked the Spaniards what the secret was to holding on to a colony for so long. A former governor general reportedly answered: “It’s simple: keep them stupid.”
“The Americans took this advice to heart and did their utmost in keeping our IQs low. Instead of using the Church, however, they established the public school system,” Santos narrated.
“Practically every government ministry was eventually turned over to a Filipino–except the Department of Education. With a condescending smile and a great deal of false charm, the Americans taught English and Math and the Boogie, but left critical thinking out on purpose.”
The Americans reportedly were afraid that if anyone actually started thinking, “we would realize that it was just a little bit weird that the United States, itself a former colony that had to wage a bloody revolution to win its freedom, was now taking the rights to self-determination away from another people.”
After World War II, the Americans left when they reportedly realized it was too expensive to fix a war-torn country and kept Guam for posterity sake.
In the history of Western thought, according to Dr. Mortimer Adler, freedom has a number of distinct meanings:
A man is said to be free when external circumstances permit him to act as he wishes for his own good.
A man is said to be free when he has acquired enough virtue or wisdom to be able willingly to do as he ought, to comply with the moral law, or to live in accordance with an ideal befitting human nature.
All men are said to be free because they are endowed by nature with power of free choice–the power to decide for themselves what they shall do or become.
Meanwhile, Santos said the Philippines’ new leaders retained the NIQRC and is now “a major albeit invisible force.”
“They had to find another way of keeping us stupid thought. Sunday Mass was no longer effective since no one went to church anymore and those who did invariably fell asleep after the entrance hymn.
“The public school system, on the other hand, was too expensive. If the government had to build schools, pay teachers and buy books, there would be hardly enough funds to set aside for graft and corruption which eats up 50 percent of the budget.
“So under the auspices of the elected officials of the newly independent Philippine Republic, the folks over at the NIQRC received a new mandate: set up a cost-effective IQ reduction program. They, of course, outdid themselves and cooked up the best scheme yet: the soap opera.”
Santos said, “it is a scientifically proven fact that soap opera decrease an average human’s IQ by half a point per episode. The characters and story lines are so flat and utterly lacking in depth that the viewer’s IQ almost invariably drops.”
It’s never too late actually to unshackle our minds from the bondage of this age-old system. We all watch TV and today’s sophisticated cable network offers a smorgasbord of programs. The choice is ours.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Del Rosario goes to Washington

‘He will only accentuate the world’s perception of the Philippines as nothing more than a client-state of the US, especially at this time.’
THERE has been a cacophony of voices coming from all sides on the Spratlys issue in the last week or so, but none of them belong to Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario.
As Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Senators Franklin Drilon and Joker Arroyo and Speaker Sonny Belmonte, among others, said, it should be the DFA which should be talking about the controversy in public. Aside from a speech he made a while back, nothing has been heard from Del Rosario on the matter.
Maybe he is not consulted often enough by President Noynoy Aquino and/or he does not take the initiative to advise Noynoy on what to do or say about the controversy as the situation evolves.
Otherwise, why would Noynoy himself or his coterie of spokesmen, uninitiated as they are on foreign affairs, be making all the noises and committing bloopers in the process?
So now, what does Del Rosario do? He goes to Washington, ostensibly on invitation of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. For what? To seek a reassurance of the undying commitment of the US to stand by us in case of Chinese aggression? He will only be wasting his time and the much-depleted DFA budget on a useless trip. (This will be his fifteenth foreign trip since he assumed office less than four months ago.) He will also unnecessarily accentuate the world’s perception of the Philippines as nothing more than a client-state of the US, especially at this time. Of course, he is only being true to form, being an Amboy (American Boy).
The official reasons given for the trip are to shop for military hardware under the US Foreign Military Sales program, talk to legislators about some save industries bill and to get the Philippines off the list of countries involved in human trafficking. Hey, he doesn’t have to go there to do all of that. We have an ambassador who is there for that purpose.
The US Embassy spokesperson’s recent statement on the Spratlys issue – “that the US does not take sides in territorial disputes” – elicited so much negative reaction against the US from the uninitiated among us that US Ambassador Harry Thomas found it necessary to issue his own statement:
“I want to assure you – on all subjects, we in the United States are with the Philippines. The Philippines and the United States are strategic treaty allies. We are partners. We will continue to consult and work with each other on all issues, including the South China Sea and Spratly Islands. We will do whatever we’re asked. What we want to say is right now we believe consistently that is not something for us to do. We have not been asked to do that. And we can’t deal with hypotheticals.”
Wow, such a long and convoluted way of saying the same thing – “US does not take sides in territorial disputes”. Neat.
Ah, but it had its intended effect. The uninitiated all heaved a sigh of relief, including Noynoy who said:
“We are grateful to the (US), especially when they reiterated that we are strategic partners, we have a treaty between us.”
Grateful?! For what?! Geez!
Next time, perhaps he should risk consulting with his foreign secretary first before uttering such knee jerk reaction – when the latter is around, of course.
I believe it is time for our so-called leaders, particularly those in government, to understand and bear in mind one thing and one thing only:
With or without a Mutual Defense Treaty or a VFA or what-have-you, the US will only act in our defense or that of a third country when their vital national interest is threatened. Human rights, freedom, democracy? They have set those aside when it served their national interest. Witness their actions on Vietnam, Iraq, the Philippines during Marcos. History is replete with their duplicity when it comes to promoting and protecting their national interest. I hasten to add, however, that the US is not the only one which has done that or will do that. That’s just the way of nations, as it should be ours!
So, if the US feels it will be in her interest to side with the Philippines in a confrontation with China over the Spratlys, she will. And my take is that she can ill afford to leave the South China Sea area dominated by a single power and will do everything in her power to prevent that from happening. On the other hand, I do not believe China would want to risk possible confrontation with the US at this time over the Spratlys.
In any case, at the end of the day, we can only rely on ourselves. Ironically, our so-called leaders, both in the public and private sectors, know that! And they know how we can do that. Sadly, however, they are blinded and overcome by self-interest and greed. Others, by plain ignorance and ineptitude.
What to do then? Noynoy’s bosses, the people, should tell him to shape up or ship out. Don’t waste any more time going about what he set out to do – make this country worthy of its name again!
Recently, I wrote about the DFA renting a property for an embassy in Baghdad reportedly at a cost of US$70,000 annually. That’s fine, except for the fact that we have not had a diplomatic mission in that capital for the last seven-odd years. That’s more than P21 million of people’s money gone to waste!
To make things worse, Gloria Arroyo, upon the recommendation of Del Rosario’s predecessor, appointed an ambassador to Iraq, Bayani Mangibin. He left in April of last year but never went to Baghdad. Instead, he set up office in Amman, Jordan, where we have a resident ambassador.
Mangibin and his staff of five are still ensconced in Amman as of now. In the meantime, the Jordanian Government had already indicated they are no longer welcome there. Nakakahiya!
So, what did Del Rosario do? Instead of having the anomaly of the embassy premises in Baghdad investigated, he reportedly instructed his future ex-undersecretary for administration Rafael Seguis (who should have done something about the Baghdad premises when he assumed office in July last year but did not) to go to Baghdad with two others in tow ostensibly to assess the political and security situation there.
To assess the political and security situation there? After seven years? Geez, just read the CNN and other wire services reports. They are replete with information that Seguis’ team cannot possibly gather in a few days. And isn’t that what Mangibin was supposed to be doing in the first place?
If someone has to go, it should be Mangibin. Why does it have to be Seguis? Why unnecessarily spend scarce resources again when Mangibin is there precisely to do those things?
(Incidentally, many believe it is about time Seguis accounted for the expenses he incurred in securing the release of Angelo dela Cruz and Roberto Tarongoy by Iraqi abductors sometime in mid-2000. It has been alleged that millions of dollars was paid as ransom, euphemistically called “board and lodging”, for the two.)
If Del Rosario insists on sending Seguis to Baghdad, he should not assign Mangibin elsewhere yet, which is what he reportedly intends to do. Instead, he should wait for Seguis’ report. Then decide on what to do with Mangibin. If the report says we should re-establish our embassy in Baghdad, then Mangibin and his staff should be instructed to finally move there. They have had more than a year of paid vacation doing virtually nothing in Amman. They should serve some time at least in Baghdad.
There are reports that the situation in Tripoli, Libya, is getting dire. Shortages of vital commodities, including food are reported. There are also reports that NATO aerial bombings have hit civilian areas where people have been killed.
Since there is nothing more that Ambassador Alejandrino Vicente and his staff can usefully do there to protect OFWs who have chosen to remain in the country, it behooves Del Rosario to heed the recommendation of the Middle East Affairs office in his Department to allow Vicente and his staff to move, for the time being at least, to the Tunisian border.
God forbid a NATO bomb going astray and hitting Vicente or his staff there. It will be Del Rosario’s fault and his conscience will suffer for it. In the meantime, one can only imagine the anxiety that their family members are going through. That’s cruelty on the part of Del Rosario.
There is a proposed bill that would prohibit the appointment of retired military and police officers to sensitive civilian positions. Appointment to the foreign service should be included.
In this regard, Noynoy would do well to reconsider the appointment of Domingo Lee as ambassador to China. A more experienced person should be appointed at this most critical period of PH-China relations.
Reminders (for Noynoy’s action):
1) Filing of charges against the previous administration’s National Food Administration officials for the anomalous importation of rice. (Noynoy himself said there is documentary evidence to prove the anomaly.)
The report that the NFA lost a mind-boggling P100 billion in the last 10 years should spur Noynoy to go after those responsible for that grievous crime against his bosses, the people.
Noynoy referred again to this anomaly in his June 12 address. So how come no case has been filed against the alleged perpetrators one year later?
2) Facilitating the investigation of the rampant corruption in the military, including the recently uncovered anomaly in gas allowances.
3) Expeditious action by the AFP on the case of Jonas Burgos.
4) Preliminary investigation by the Department of Justice of the graft complaint filed late last year by Bayan Muna against Gloria Arroyo in connection with the aborted $329 million ZTE-NBN deal.
5) Investigation of the reported anomalies in the GSIS during the watch of Winston Garcia and the scandalous allowances and excessive benefits the members of the Board of Trustees allotted themselves (P11 million each) in 2009 alone.
Reports that the GSIS has stopped giving housing loans to members due to lack of funds gives urgency to Noynoy ordering the new GSIS management to act expeditiously on cases to be lodged against Garcia.
People are anxiously waiting for cases to be filed against Winston Garcia by the new GSIS management. Naunahan pa sila ng PAGCOR.
From an internet friend:
A pirate walked into a bar, and the bartender said, “Hey, I haven’t seen you in awhile. What happened? You look terrible”. “What do you mean?” said the pirate, “I feel fine.”
“What about the wooden leg? You didn’t have that before.”
“Well”, said the pirate, “We were in a battle, and I got hit with a cannon ball, but I’m fine now.”
The bartender replied, “Well, OK, but what about that hook? What happened to your hand?”
The pirate explained, “We were in another battle. I boarded a ship and got into a sword fight. My hand was cut off. I got fitted with a hook, but I’m fine, really.”
“What about that eye patch?”
“Oh,” said the pirate. One day we were at sea, and a flock of birds flew over. I looked up, and one of them shit in my eye.”
“You’re kidding,” said the bartender. “You couldn’t lose an eye just from bird shit.”
“It was my first day with the hook…”
Today is the 54th day of the fifth year of Jonas Burgos’ disappearance.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

GMA and JDV should answer for China deals

You just have to give credit to former House Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr for never giving up on an idea which he thinks is bright, no matter how disadvantageous it is to the Filipino people.
In the midst of rising tension between the Philippines and China over the former’s series of armed intrusions on West Philippine Sea the past five months, he urged President Aquino Wednesday to revive, the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking.
The brainchild of De Venecia, the JMSU which was signed in March 2005, opened the exploration of large portion of West Philippine Sea jointly with initially China and later on, with Vietnam. The first phase which ended in 2007 was to find out the amount of oil and other mineral resources in that area. The second phase didn’t push through because of questions of the constitutionality of the tripartite agreement.
The Philippine Constitution provides that”The exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources shall be under the full control and supervision of the State.”
To make his proposal for the revival of the JMSU more palatable, De Venecia said the agreement may be modified to exclude Reed Bank /Recto Bank from the coverage of the agreement.
In this first place, why did he include Reed Bank, which is only 85 nautical miles from Palawan, in the JMSU. That is Philippine territory and is not part of the disputed areas in the Spratlys.
Parañaque Rep. Roilo Golez,formerly a Philippine Navy officer and had been closely following the issue on the South China Sea said he is against the revival of the JMSU “because it is disadvantageous to the Philippines.”
Golez said, “Most of the JMSU area (more than 75%) is located within our Exclusive Economic Zone. Per UNCLOS, the Philippines has sovereign rights over the exploitation of natural resources within the EEZ, including marine scientific research. ”
“The JMSU as signed pertains mostly to Philippine EEZ and not the EEZ of the two other signatory countries: China and Vietnam. What is potentially being partitioned for joint development is our EEZ and not the two other signatories’ EEZ. Any JMSU should cover the entire West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) to be equitable to the Philippines,” he said.
Gloria Arroyo, now representing the second district of Pampanga in Congress, added her voice to the noise saying “talks and rhetorics won’t solve the Spratlys issue.”
Now that Arroyo and De Venecia are talking about the Spratlys, they should be compelled to account to the Filipino the compromised Philippine sovereignty on large portion of the country’s undisputed territory.
On March 10, 2008, I wrote a column titled, “A stinking deal” referring to the JMSU. Here’s a portion of the column that are useful background to the current issue:
“How important is the JMSU (Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking) in the Spratly islands to China can be seen by how the Asia-Pacific superpower broke its traditional practice of spacing state visits to accommodate Gloria Arroyo in September 2004.
“Diplomatic sources said the September 2004 visit to China was a “JDV initiative”. The occasion was “The Third International Conference of Asian Political Parties.”
“On the sidelines, but a very important sideline, was the signing of a number of projects including the $400 million North rail project that will connect Manila to Clark and the JMSU.
“The source said DFA was feeling uncomfortable being left out in many of the pre-visit talks, particularly the ones related to the JMSU.
“They advised Arroyo that the ICAPP was too minor an event for her to go to China. ‘It should be a state visit,’ they said thinking that it would not be possible that year because the Malaysian had just made a state visit. Usually a host country limits the number of state visits in a year.
“Arroyo told JDV about DFA’s recommendation. Much to the surprise of the DFA people, JDV was able get an invitation from the Chinese government for Arroyo to make a state visit.
“The source said he had the sense that the Northrail project and the JMSU were tied. So when they brought up the problem that agreement is in violation of the constitutional prohibition of foreigners undertaking exploration of the country’s natural resources, as expressed by then Acting Secretary Merceditas Gutierrez, JDV snapped at them.
“But JDV’s group did something about Gutierrez concern because the word’exploration’ disappeared from the document and the agreement became for a ‘joint marines seismic undertaking’. Very smart.
“A DFA official, who asked not to be named, said the government may be able to get away with the JMSU because it can be argued that no exploration has taken place but if the survey’s results are positive, that would really be a problem. The Philippines has included some 284,000 square kilometers of undisputed Philippine territory in the agreement area and allowing China and Vietnam to explore the country’s natural resources is clearly a violation of the Constitution.
“At least six of the eight islands occupied by the Philippine military in the South China are included in the JMSU.
“JDV and Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo wax ecstatic about the JMSU saying ‘it manifests responsible diplomacy to ease tension and promote confidence-building in a region where, as noted in the article, the issue of sovereignty of the Spratly Islands remains a potential ‘flashpoint.’
“That applies to the disputed area. But how does the government justify the inclusion of 284,000 square kilometers of Philippine territory that are not disputed?
“In the agreement, ‘ll the data and information acquired fort he fulfillment of the Seismic work…and their interpretation shall be jointly owned by the Parties. In the event any Party wishes to sell or disclose the above-mentioned data and information after the expiration of the confidentiality term, prior written consent therefore shall be obtained from the other Party.’
“China and Vietnam become co-owners of data and information gathered from our own territory! This is not simply a commercial transaction as played down by Malacañang. These are matters involving patrimony and sovereignty. Of exercising supreme dominion over that have been handed to us by our forefathers.
“Retired Commodore Rex Robles is being diplomatic when he said,’ it has the flavor of treason.’ It stinks.”