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Saturday, March 31, 2012

President: Recto Bank Explorations Continue


March 19, 2012


BY GENALYN D. KABILING
MANILA BULLETIN
BAGUIO CITY — The government will still pursue oil and gas exploration in the Recto Bank, also known as the Reed Bank, because it is still within its territory, according to President Aquino.
The President has downplayed the protest of Taiwan against the country’s plans to search for oil and gas in Recto Bank, insisting the area is not part of the Spratlys Island disputed by claimant countries.
Aquino pointed out that Recto Bank was mentioned by Taiwan only in 2009 when it followed China’s nine-dash territorial claim over the South China Sea.
“The exploration has been ongoing even before I assumed office. I assume yung Taiwan is adopting the People’s Republic’s nine-dash policy. The nine-dash theory just got broadcasted in 2009. The dispute in Spratlys for instance, of which Recto Bank is not part of, was in the 70s,” Aquino said in an interview with reporters late Sunday night at the Mansion, the official summer residence of the President here.
“Recto became a point of controversy only after 2009′s publication of the nine dash theory,” he said.
The Philippines has protested against China’s 9-dash line forming a ring around the South China Sea which it claims is part of its territory. China has been using the map in asserting its territorial claim over the south sea, including Spratlys group.
Meanwhile, the President said government has no plans to ban mining operations except in 78 new ecotourism sites in the country.
The President also declared the government would also press for a higher tax on the booming mining industry, insisting the nation deserves a “fair share” from the projects.
The proposed mining ban in 78 sites and new tax formula on mining profits will be part of the executive order being drafted by the Cabinet on the new mining policy in the country, according to the President.
The President, during an interview with reporters last Sunday night at the Mansion here, said the Department of Tourism (DoT) has identified the new ecotourism sites “where we will not allow, in all probability, mining.”
“It will be too much of risk especially given the fact that they just reported that we’re on track to surpass the growth in tourism arrivals,” he said. The government is targeting 10 million tourist arrivals by 2016.
“We don’t think banning altogether is the solution. We will have small scale unregulated mining. We want to ensure that we get a fair share. We want to be able to also be part of the processing and we want to maximize the utility of the resource for our people,” he added.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Comelec finally admitted PCOS defective


March 19, 2012


SHOOTING STRAIGHT 
By Bobit S. Avila 
The Philippine Star
Last Friday, I was in the midst of a very important meeting when a friend interrupted our meeting to show us a texted report that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) finally approved the purchase of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines. My meeting had nothing to do with politics, yet a report like that was shocking enough for us in Cebu because of the incident that happened in the town of Compostela, 25 kilometers North of Cebu City where they didn’t have any town officials for 22 months, thanks to the PCOS machines that doesn’t know now to count!
But in truth, the Comelec decided to re-proclaim Mayor Joel Quiño despite the request of complainant Richie Wagas to open the ballot boxes to prevent more embarrassment. Opening the ballot boxes would have revealed that what’s inside the ballot boxes would not match with what the PCOS machines reported. This is the same in all the electoral protests in the 2010 polls.
If indeed our Comelec officials want to ferret out the truth… they should have agreed to open the ballot boxes… but they did not because it would prove what we’ve been saying all along… that the PCOS machine doesn’t know how to count and worse as I mentioned the other week, the group called Tanggulang Demokrasya has already collated more than enough evidence all over the country on how the use of Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines operated by Smartmatic has resulted in a massive electoral failure for the 2010 elections. We told you so, but you didn’t listen!
But our self-righteous Comelec officials are focusing on the 2004 and 2007 electoral fraud and are in complete denial that fraud also marred the 2010 elections because the Smartmatic machines were compromised and the digital signature removed which was one of the safeguards that our lawmakers put in place. But Comelec arrogantly removed these safeguards and ended up with so many electoral disputes all over the country.
Didn’t we say that the biggest problem in this sick country of ours is that we don’t fix our problems? Our best proof is this decision by the Comelec to purchase those defective PCOS machines despite its numerous problems. Mind you, nations like Germany, France and India have already come up with laws banning the use of digital counting machines because they have been burned already. But we Filipinos are so stupid… we’re doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past because we do not remember our history. Meanwhile despite public denials from Malacanang, the rumors that President Aquino visited Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) spiritual leader Eduardo V. Manalo with his sisters continue to persist. As we all heard, the inveterate liars in Malacañang would “neither confirm, nor deny” that this really happened. When Malacañang spokespersons say something, you bet that the opposite is true. Well, I have a very impeccable source that the meeting really materialized and apparently the President tried to convince the INC spiritual leader why CJ Corona has to be impeached.
Undoubtedly, it was P-Noy’s “last ditch” effort to get back the INC to support him again. Pundits believe that the meeting between the President and the INC was triggered by the massive nationwide INC rally held last Feb. 28. Although it was only a prayer rally, there was no question that it had very strong political undertones, which in a way sent a message not only to P-Noy but to those Senator Judges seeking re-election that if they convict CJ Corona, they shouldn’t even dare ask the INC for their votes in the 2013 elections. That’s 3 million votes from the INC.
History has shown that the mid-term elections would be disastrous for any unpopular President and his allies in the Senate. With P-Noy getting out of that meeting empty-handed… I have a hunch that the next thing he did was call upon Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes to get those Smartmatic PCOS machines right away. They know that these machines are defective and can be “tweaked” to favor their candidates.
If we don’t stop the Comelec from using the PCOS machines, its first victim will be the INC because their block votes would now become irrelevant. Everyone knows that Comelec Chairman Brillantes is a P-Noy appointee who was lawyering for the Liberal Party… so it is almost a guarantee that if you’re not with the LP slate in the 2013 polls, you might as well not run for any position… or perhaps do the better thing boycott the coming 2013 elections because you already know it’s not going to be an honest race.
By his own admission, Brillantes pointed out that Smartmatic was in the process of correcting the deficiencies of the PCOS machines. This is the first public admission by a Comelec official that indeed the PCOS machines could not count. Therefore may we ask the Comelec chairman what deficiencies were being fixed by Smartmatic and more importantly, why purchase those defective machines in the first place? It’s getting curiouser everyday!
* * *
For e-mail responses to this article, write to vsbobita@mo-pzcom.comor vsbobita@gmail.com. His columns can be accessed through http://www.philstar.com.
Shooting Straight By BOBIT S. AVILA
Last Friday, I was in the midst of a very important meeting when a friend interrupted our meeting to show us a texted report that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) finally approved the purchase of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines. My meeting had nothing to do with politics, yet a report like that was shocking enough for us in Cebu because of the incident that happened in the town of Compostela, 25 kilometers North of Cebu City where they didn’t have any town officials for 22 months, thanks to the PCOS machines that doesn’t know now to count!
But in truth, the Comelec decided to re-proclaim Mayor Joel Quiño despite the request of complainant Richie Wagas to open the ballot boxes to prevent more embarrassment. Opening the ballot boxes would have revealed that what’s inside the ballot boxes would not match with what the PCOS machines reported. This is the same in all the electoral protests in the 2010 polls.
If indeed our Comelec officials want to ferret out the truth… they should have agreed to open the ballot boxes… but they did not because it would prove what we’ve been saying all along… that the PCOS machine doesn’t know how to count and worse as I mentioned the other week, the group called Tanggulang Demokrasya has already collated more than enough evidence all over the country on how the use of Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines operated by Smartmatic has resulted in a massive electoral failure for the 2010 elections. We told you so, but you didn’t listen!
But our self-righteous Comelec officials are focusing on the 2004 and 2007 electoral fraud and are in complete denial that fraud also marred the 2010 elections because the Smartmatic machines were compromised and the digital signature removed which was one of the safeguards that our lawmakers put in place. But Comelec arrogantly removed these safeguards and ended up with so many electoral disputes all over the country.
Didn’t we say that the biggest problem in this sick country of ours is that we don’t fix our problems? Our best proof is this decision by the Comelec to purchase those defective PCOS machines despite its numerous problems. Mind you, nations like Germany, France and India have already come up with laws banning the use of digital counting machines because they have been burned already. But we Filipinos are so stupid… we’re doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past because we do not remember our history. Meanwhile despite public denials from Malacanang, the rumors that President Aquino visited Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) spiritual leader Eduardo V. Manalo with his sisters continue to persist. As we all heard, the inveterate liars in Malacañang would “neither confirm, nor deny” that this really happened. When Malacañang spokespersons say something, you bet that the opposite is true. Well, I have a very impeccable source that the meeting really materialized and apparently the President tried to convince the INC spiritual leader why CJ Corona has to be impeached.
Undoubtedly, it was P-Noy’s “last ditch” effort to get back the INC to support him again. Pundits believe that the meeting between the President and the INC was triggered by the massive nationwide INC rally held last Feb. 28. Although it was only a prayer rally, there was no question that it had very strong political undertones, which in a way sent a message not only to P-Noy but to those Senator Judges seeking re-election that if they convict CJ Corona, they shouldn’t even dare ask the INC for their votes in the 2013 elections. That’s 3 million votes from the INC.
History has shown that the mid-term elections would be disastrous for any unpopular President and his allies in the Senate. With P-Noy getting out of that meeting empty-handed… I have a hunch that the next thing he did was call upon Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes to get those Smartmatic PCOS machines right away. They know that these machines are defective and can be “tweaked” to favor their candidates.
If we don’t stop the Comelec from using the PCOS machines, its first victim will be the INC because their block votes would now become irrelevant. Everyone knows that Comelec Chairman Brillantes is a P-Noy appointee who was lawyering for the Liberal Party… so it is almost a guarantee that if you’re not with the LP slate in the 2013 polls, you might as well not run for any position… or perhaps do the better thing boycott the coming 2013 elections because you already know it’s not going to be an honest race.
By his own admission, Brillantes pointed out that Smartmatic was in the process of correcting the deficiencies of the PCOS machines. This is the first public admission by a Comelec official that indeed the PCOS machines could not count. Therefore may we ask the Comelec chairman what deficiencies were being fixed by Smartmatic and more importantly, why purchase those defective machines in the first place? It’s getting curiouser everyday!
* * *
For e-mail responses to this article, write to vsbobita@mo-pzcom.comor vsbobita@gmail.com. His columns can be accessed through http://www.philstar.com.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Enrile: All assets should be in SALN


March 20, 2012


By Ira Pedrasa
ABS-CBN News 
MANILA, Philippines – Senator President Juan Ponce Enrile said an asset, whether concrete or not, should be disclosed in a public official’s statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).
During day 32 of the trial, the defense presented anew Benz Lim, the property manager of The Columns in Ayala to show that there was delay in the delivery of a condominium unit to the Coronas.
The deed of sale for the more than P3-million one-bedroom unit was drafted in 2004, but the asset was only disclosed in Chief Justice Renato Corona’s SALN in 2010.
The defense said it was only “accepted” in 2009 because the wife of Corona had reservations regarding the unit’s condition.
Enrile said: “There was still an asset, even if it passes from cash to concrete which we now know as the condominium unit. It came to existence then as an asset, and which should have been reflected in the SALN.”
Both the prosecution and the defense are still trying to sway the senator-judges on when a property is accepted by a buyer and when it should be reflected in an official’s SALN.
‘Symbolic transfer’
Senator-judge Miriam Defensor Santiago cited a Supreme Court decision which it described a symbolic transfer of property when there is already an acceptance by the buyer.
She said, however, that this can be negated by the failure of the vendee to take it in actual possession.
Defense lawyer Judd Roy also said acceptance is “just a declaration of the seller, and not perforce a voluntary recognition of the buyer.”
For the prosecution, however, the act of acceptance is of not important because the property was already acquired as provided under the contract to sell.
Senator-judge Serge Osmeña also stressed the condominium, whether accepted or not, is already irrelevant. He said the value must appear in the SALN.
“Otherwise we have a case here [like magician] David Copperfield, now you see it, now you don’t,” he said.
‘Deemed accepted’
The defense also presented the customers relation head of Alveo Land, Carmina Cruz, who said that the property was “deemed accepted” by Corona’s wife on June 7, 2008.
Cruz said she sent a letter to Cristina days prior to that informing her of the need to accept the property.
Cristina replied back, asking about the originals of their tax declarations and real property taxes in connection with the unit “so I can settle my payables and accept my unit.”
Cruz added it was usual practice that the developer comes in to pay in advance the taxes for the unit. On September 3 that same year, she said the Coronas were again informed that the unit was already available and that a key can thus be claimed.
Enrile then asked Cruz when Cristina finally accepted the unit. She said: “From my recollection, the last letter was on September 3 [where it was stated] that it was deemed accepted on June 7.”
She said the “deemed accepted” is an act done by the developer if the buyer fails to do it on his own.
Enrile asked her: “So when was the actual acceptance?” She said: “There was no actual, there was just deemed acceptance.”

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ask $3 billion a year for ‘light footprint’


March 20, 2012 


BY REY O. ARCILLA
MALAYA
‘Giving up once again sovereignty over parts of our national territory seems almost certain.’
THE United States’ expressed wish “to maintain a light footprint,” a euphemism for maintaining “small” military and naval bases in the Philippines, is beginning to look inevitable.
In an obvious attempt to cushion or soften its impact on the national psyche, there has been a spate of pronouncements coming from both the governments of the PH and the US.
For instance, Foreign Secretary Albert “Amboy” del Rosario said we received $123 million in US defense aid last year (to be increased by $21 million this year, according to him).
On the other hand, the US said we were provided $193 million in grant funds last year.
The two figures combined ($316 million) is a pittance compared to what other allies of the US reportedly get – not less than $3 billion a year (that’s $3,000 million) each for Egypt and Israel and $1.5 billion ($1,500 million) a year for five years for Pakistan! And as far as is known, they don’t even host US military bases or troops!
Are we any less important and strategic to the Americans than these countries? Certainly not, especially with the emergence of China as the predominant power in our region where more than one-third of world commerce passes through its sea lanes! With a combined population of 600 million, the countries in the region are also a large market for American and Western goods.
This is in addition to the strategic importance of the Philippines in the ongoing fight against terrorism. US troops can never hope to set foot on Indonesian and Malaysian soil. And that is why the US has had her sights on Mindanao for years now. Remember the aborted Bangsamoro Juridical Entity which the US tried to sneak in on us with the connivance of Gloria Arroyo and her cabal? Now, the US is reportedly eyeing Palawan as the place for her “light footprint.”
***
The irony of it all is the fact that while Japan has decided to kick them out, we are inviting them in. Australia and Singapore too, reportedly.
But forget about the Australians. For reasons only they know, they consider themselves part of North America or Europe and are therefore, natural allies of the West. Australia, in fact, belongs to the Western European and Others (WEO) group in the United Nations. She is one of the “Others”, together with the US, Canada and New Zealand.
Singapore? She doesn’t even have enough space to allow her people to have single occupancy houses.
The point is, the Americans are expanding their presence in these parts simply to promote and protect their own national interests. They are not doing it for love of us. They are doing it for themselves. We should never lose sight of that inconvenient truth.
So, what to do? Given the seeming inevitability of “going to bed” with the Americans once again, unless President Noynoy Aquino “sees the light” and defies his cabal of pro-American advisers led by his “Amboy” foreign secretary and the Makati Business Club, I guess the best thing to do under the circumstances would be to make the best out of a bad situation – cut the best deal we can.
Seeing as how badly they want and need to establish a greater presence in the region, it is up to our leaders to gauge for themselves (and for the Filipino people) the price the Americans should pay for giving up once more our sovereignty over parts of our national territory and the concomitant assault on our social and cultural interests.
I submit it should be no less than $3 billion a year. We should also do it on a “take it or leave it” basis. If they don’t take it, then we strike a modus vivendi with the Chinese whose blood, after all, runs through the veins of a large number of our people and leaders in both the public and private sectors. Cojuangco, Sy, Ty, Tan, Ang, to name a few. Blood is thicker than water, remember?
***
In my view, Del Rosario provided the clue as to how we should deal with the Chinese when he justified China’s increasing her military spending as a “sovereign right” of a nation with a thriving economy.
He also applauded China’s tremendous economic growth and conceded that “this growth is no doubt benefiting the Philippines as well”.
He then went on to say that with her present economic and military might, “we are relying on China to fully utilize its vast global influence in a more responsible way, especially in terms of promoting peace, prosperity and stability in the region”.
That’s the line we should pursue in dealing with China. I do not believe the Chinese have designs on the region that is different from the US. Both are simply promoting and protecting their respective national interests. Sadly, our interests do not really figure in both their equations.
That said, it would therefore be foolhardy to play the game of pitting the US and China against each other with the mistaken notion that it will serve our interest. That would be disastrous. Remember the story about two elephants fighting and the grass getting crushed under?
In any case, I never believed for one moment that either one will risk armed confrontation with the other for the sake of the Philippines or any other, unless their respective interests are inexorably threatened and they are unable to sort out their differences peacefully.
Meanwhile and at the risk of stating the obvious, the government should continue with the self-reliance program and modernization of the armed forces started in earnest by Noynoy. Without corruption, we can do it in a relatively short period.
***
Reminders (for Noynoy’s action):
1) Filing of charges against officials of the National Food Administration during Arroyo’s illegitimate regime. Noynoy himself said on several occasions that there is documentary evidence to prove the venalities in the past in that agency; 2) investigation of reported anomalies in the GSIS during the watch of Winston Garcia; 3) facilitating the investigation of rampant corruption in the military and police establishments; and 4) expeditious action by the AFP on the case of Jonas Burgos.
***
From an internet friend:
Russ and Sam, two friends, meet in the park every day to feed the pigeons, watch the squirrels and discuss world problems.
One day Russ didn’t show up. Sam didn’t think much about it and figured maybe he had a cold or something. But after Russ hadn’t shown up for a week or so, Sam really got worried. However, since the only time they ever got together was at the park, Sam didn’t know where Russ lived, so he was unable to find out what had happened to him.
A month had passed, and Sam figured he had seen the last of Russ, but one day, Sam approached the park and – lo and behold! – there sat Russ! Sam was very excited and happy to see him and told him so.
Then he said, ‘For crying out loud Russ, what in the world happened to you?’
Russ replied, ‘I have been in jail.’
‘Jail!’ cried Sam. What in the world for?’
‘Well,’ Russ said, ‘you know Sue, that cute little blonde waitress at the coffee shop where I sometimes go?’
‘Yeah,’ said Sam, ‘I remember her. What about her?
‘Well, one day she filed rape charges against me; and, at 89 years old, I was so proud that when I got into court, I pled guilty.
‘The judge gave me 30 days for perjury.’
***
Today is the 320th day of the fifth year of Jonas Burgos’ disappearance.
***
Email: roacrosshairs@yahoo.com

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The mangos that saved a village


March 20, 2012


By Fr. Shay Cullen
(His columns are published in The Manila Times,
in publications in Ireland, the UK, Hong Kong, and on-line)
As I walked the last few meters with a medical team organized by the Preda Fair Trade Development Foundation to the hillside village, high in the Zambales Mountains, I was not greeted with the usual rush of excited smiling children curious at the arrival of visitors from the lowland. The Preda team entered a village of Indigenous People, known as the Aeta and we were greeted by the village chieftain and the elders who smiled a greeting as best they could. It was a village gripped by sadness at the death of several children caused by malnutrition. When they sent us a message asking for help we responded.
The medical team set up their portable clinic in a grass roofed hut and began to meet the villagers and weigh the children, take sputum tests and blood pressure and check the vital signs. I met a mother holding Epang, a small child seemingly five years old but in fact was ten. Her physical growth and brain development were severely impaired by that hidden killer – malnutrition.
As many as 7.6 million children die needlessly every year as a result of the lack of nutritious food and access to clean drinking water. There has been progress in the past ten years, it was as high as 12 million child deaths each year. But it is still a terrible problem. Every hour of every day 300 children die because they are not getting enough healthy nutritious food.
In developing countries like the Philippines malnutrition is the secret crises. There is an abundant food available but the poor and isolated communities are to poor to buy it or do not have the fertile land or fertilizer to produce enough.
In the Philippines a survey showed that one in every four people say they experienced hunger, that is 4.5 million people going hungry during the last quarter of 2011. This is the result of twenty years of corruption and neglect of the poor.
The new Aquino Government is boosting the economy by its anti-corruption campaign. And is reducing hunger in areas of greatest poverty through the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT). Small monthly payments are given to mothers provided their children go to school, get vaccinated and health checks and the money is used for nutritional food.
It is not a tax on the rich given to the poor. It is the poor and middle class who pay through a 12% Value Added Tax(VAT) levied on very product and service. The middle class pay the most income tax .
The prices of basic food commodities are rising on the world markets like corn. Since the production of ethanol from corn on a huge scale led to a shortage of corn for food and price increases. Rising oil prices and typhoons and climate change are contributing to famines and rising prices.
The corrupt global financial industry and the over spending and borrowing non-stop by many developed nations has caused a world-wide recession. Most people have little money to buy imported products from developing countries. Economic stagnation and unemployment is the result and malnutrition the immediate outcome for millions of children. As I said 300 die every hour every day.
What is needed is for a more just society and implementation of just laws that give the poor opportunities for fair wages and good working conditions and quality education that leads directly to employment.
In the Aeta village the Preda medical team quickly discovered that the malnutrition was causing Tuberculosis, a painful killer. A treatment plan would now be implemented, medicines provided. The hillside land needed to be fertilized and planted with nutritious vegetables and root crops, they needed goats and chickens to up the protein intake. Plans were made to do it. They also had many mango trees that were never harvested since the price was so low and they had to carry them ten kilometers. The Preda Fair Trade team responded and promised to buy and transport the harvested mangos at a Fair Trade price and turn them into dried mangos for export to Fair trade shops in Europe. That would be a big income for the village. That village is being saved by medicine and mangos but there are many more villages needing help. We all need to help and buying Preda dried mangos and doing our share to end malnutrition.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mga bilyonaryong Pinoy


March 20, 2012


Pagtanaw at Pananaw 
Ni Bert de Guzman
Mahigit sa 6 bilyon ang populasyon ng mundo sa ngayon. Sa bilang na ito, may 1,226 bilyonaryo (sa dolyar), at ang anim dito ay mga Pilipino. Sila ay sina Henry Sy, Lucio Tan, Andrew Tan, Enrique Razon, Eduardo Cojuangco at Roberto Ongpin.
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Samantala, milyun-milyong Pinoy ang nagdidildil ng asin, nagtitiyaga sa kaning tutong at sangbasong tubig para mapawi ang gutom.
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Sa ilang estado ng United States at maging sa ilang bansa sa Europe, pinapayagan na ang tinatawag na “same sex marriage.” Sana naman ay huwag mangyari ito sa sawi at nagdurusang Pilipinas dahil nakakikilabot malamang dalawang lalaki ang “nag-aarnisan” at dalawang anak ni Eba naman “nagpopompyangan.” Ano ang say ninyo mga kababayan?
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May plano pala ang Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) na ang chairman ay si Ex-Rep. Felicito “Tong” Payumo na magtayo ng isang monorail project na ang nasa likod ay mga higanteng kompanya sa Japan na Mitsubishi Corp. at Hitachi. Ito ay mag-uugnay sa NAIA Terminal III hanggang Makati at Bonifacio Global City (BGC) central business districts. Inihayag ni Payumo na ang Japanese consortium ay tumitingin sa Japan International Corporation Agency (Jica) para sa pagpppondo ng feasibility study para sa planong Makati-Taguig-Pasay Monorail project. Tiyak bibilis ang biyahe pag natupad ito!
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Noong Marso 10, naging UNDER DE SAYA ang mga lalaking mambabatas sa Kamara dahil sa selebrasyon ng Women’s Month. Umaktong Speaker si Rep. Gina de Venecia, ginang ni ex-Speaker Joe de Venecia.  Si Manang Gina ang pangulo ng 65-strong Association of Women Legislators Foundation Inc. (AWLFI) na binubuo ng mga babaing kongresista kabilang sina dating Frst Lady at Rep. Imelda R. Marcos at ex-Pres. Gloria Arroyo na Kinatawan ng Pampanga.
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Isang 21-anyos na Batangueno na anak ng karpintero at market vendor mula sa Lipa city ang Number One sa mga nagtapos na kadete ng Philippine Military Academy nitong Marso 18, 2012. Siya ay si Tom Puertollano na nanguna sa 186 PMA graduates ng Bagwis (Bagong Kawal ng Nag-iisang Lakas) Class 2012. Talaga ang kahirapan ay hindi sagwil sa tagumpay.
Sa pagtestigo ni Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco kamakailan sa Senado, lumalabas na kaya hindi niya pinirmahan ang impeachment complaint ay hindi pa niya ito nababasa at delayed pa yata ang kanyang PDAF o pork barrel. Lintik na pork barrel ito, nag-aaway sa Kamara, sa Senado dahil sa P70 milyon sa bawat congressman at P200 milyon bawat senador.
Samantala, nakatunganga si Juan dela Cruz sa pakikinig o panonood sa Paglilitis kahit kumakalam ang sikmura. Bert de Guzman

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A hard-working president


March 20, 2012 


BY DUCKY PAREDES
MALAYA
‘(I)t looks as if the time has arrived when the regime of higher oil prices is here to stay.’
CLEARLY, President Aquino is not a do-nothing president as proclaimed by those who would annoy him by “noynoying” would have us believe. Would he have the kind of popularity ratings that he continues to have if he were actually doing “nothing”? The masses are smarter than those who see everything in a negative way, who criticize whatever a sitting government does or does not do.
Sure, oil prices are up and rising; but, where in the world is this not happening? Nowhere, except, perhaps, in the countries where the oil is found underground. Those countries can give away the oil to their citizens while selling it at top prices to those who have no oil, countries like the Philippines.
So, what can one really do about it? Shall we, as Marcos did, control the price by supporting the previous lower price, incurring debts with the oil companies so that our transportation costs do not go sky-high?
What happened during the Marcos years was that we ended up owing billions to the oil companies.
The Oil Price Stabilization Fund (OPSF) idea seemed like a good thing at the time; eventually, however, the time came when we had to pay and, really, we did not have the funds to pay the difference, especially as it looked as if the time had arrived when the regime of higher oil prices was developing into a permanent one.
President Aquino on Sunday night said he will just ignore the “noynoying” — a gesture symbolizing inaction which is characterized by blank staring, while lying on the ground, like some lazy señorito – by members of wastrels who style themselves as “militant groups,” who may well be regarded as “ne’er do wells.”
The evidence of this President’s accomplishments include the construction in Metro Manila of new buildings, commercial establishments, and condominiums, road repairs and widening, bridge constructions, highway pavements, and flood mitigation projects, while sticking to the straight and narrow path,
The malls are packed with people who do not just pass the time but actually shop and dine.
The stock market broke the record 21 times during his 21 months in office.
PNoy must be doing something right for these things to happen and for the masses to continue to support him by constantly giving him very high popularity ratings!
“Basta gagawin ko ang palagay ko ay tama at palagay ko may resulta na nangyayari,” says the President.
Those who would bring down this administration say that the rising prices of oil and commodities and the continued poverty of Filipinos is solid proof that our president has been doing nothing and has accomplished nothing. Hogwash!
What can anyone do about oil prices and the continuing poverty of a people in a country where the educated would rather bring people down than help the country to move forward, where anyone else’s success invites sour grapes instead of fulsome praise from most sectors.
This government has given subsidies to PUV drivers, and loans and discounts for spare parts and accessories to transport cooperatives.
This subsidy is better than reducing the value-added tax on oil to bring down prices. In fact, this regime of higher prices ought to help convince us to conserve fuel. Yet, no one seems to be thinking along that line. Our technical people ought to be coming up with ideas on how to conserve and even putting forward a few inventions or gadgets that would cut fuel consumption in vehicles. Lower prices, especially lower prices for all from subsidized gasoline prices will raise consumption and demand.
Where are the inventive Pinoys who will have ideas about what can be done under the current regime of higher fuel prices?
In the meantime, it may not be such a bad idea to increase bus and jeepney fares. This might convince commuters to walk part of the way instead of taking a jeepney ride over distances of a kilometer or less; or MRT and LRT rides rather than bringing our cars downtown.
There must be better ways to live with higher oil prices than paying for it with our future which is what doing things like not collecting VAT on oil will do to us. Doing it that way will only encourage us to continue to waste fuel. We would even increase our use of oil for useless things even as we would have pawned our country’s future for a mere indulgence.
The President is doing the right thing in rejecting what the “militants” want him to do — take the easier path and to hell with nation-building!
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It could have been better; still, getting the bronze at the AFC Challenge Cup in Katmandu was the best ever finish for Philippine Football in international competition. What would have made it even better was if Turkmenistan had not scored their second goal. This gave us the loss in our first match in the Semi-Final round, which meant that the best we could do, after that match, was bronze. We did that in style.
While the Azkals is at present mostly made up of Fil-Euros, clearly, there are enough Pinoy players in the team who are also improving from day to day so that we can probably look to the day when there will eventually be more home-grown talent in our national team. A football team must be grown day to day, year on year, before it will become a champion team. That day will eventually come, however, thanks to the Azkals of today.
I have no comment on the alleged sexual harassment but I do think that when women venture into a male locker room, they do so at some risk to themselves, which they ought to always be aware of.
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