Wednesday, May 21, 2014

China the bully

(As a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, China has the responsibility to promote, not to endanger, international peace and security.)
China-bullyingThe sooner China realizes that the international community no longer looks kindly at bully countries, the better for her image and stature as the second biggest world economy.
What she is doing right now – claiming virtually the whole of South China Sea that includes the West Philippine Sea sans basis in international law – only makes her appear like a person whose success has gone to her head and thinks that she can now throw her weight around like a… well, a bully.
I’m sure she knows that bullies get their comeuppance sooner or later. The United States may appear to be reticent at this time to have a direct military confrontation with China but should push comes to shove, she is still far more superior militarily than China. That’s the reality that China should ponder.
As a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, she also has the primary responsibility, together with France, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States, to promote, not to endanger, international peace and security.
Pork barrel queen Janet Napoles says she has no money to pay for hospital bills amounting to some P90,000 and has sought help from the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. The nerve! To begin with, has she ever contributed to Philhealth prior to her incarceration? Maybe she has, what with all those dummy companies she had put up to pursue the evil scheme she and greedy politicians and individuals had concocted to bilk President Noynoy Aquino’s bosses of billions of pesos.
After Napoles gave Justice Secretary Leila de Lima her “tell all” affidavit, copies of which former Senator Ping Lacson and whistleblower Sandra Cam purportedly also have, why does Napoles suddenly appear to be treated with kid gloves? And now, she wants to stay in the hospital for another three months even after doctors have certified that she is well enough to be released?
To begin with, nobody has really bought the story that she is confined at Fort Sto. Domingo for security reasons. Word is that it was a deal she struck with Malacanang in exchange for not implicating administration stalwarts in the pork barrel scam. People have not really gotten over the fact that Noynoy himself accompanied her to Camp Crame after reportedly having lunch and spending hours in the palace on the day she surrendered. She was picked up from the Heritage Park by presidential mouthpiece and her designated boy pick-up Edwin Lacierda.
The delay in the release of Napoles’ affidavit which Malacanang says is De Lima’s call (come on, Noynoy’s bosses are not that gullible!), gives credence to critics’ suspicion that the list of other senators and congressmen and Noynoy’s allies allegedly involved in the pork barrel scam is being sanitized. No amount of denial on the part of de Lima will wash with Noynoy’s bosses.
Which takes me to rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson (czar means emperor, usually with absolute power which Ping does not have) who promises to reveal the names in his list should De Lima sanitize hers. What could be his agenda? Why doesn’t he just reveal the names in his list? Surely, he must know that De Lima takes orders from Noynoy. So, what he says would be going against Noynoy. What does he want from Noynoy? Of course, he has made public his desire to have the Executive Order creating his position amended to give him more powers. Is that it? Or is there anything more?
Lacson knew that he would be rendered inutile with the kind of EO that created his position. Yet, he still accepted it. Maybe he just didn’t want to be out of the limelight for so long before the 2016 elections for a possible run for senator or whatever again. But with the EO he’s got now, it can’t possibly make him. It will break him. With Noynoy beginning to steadily lose his popularity, it may be that two years from now, his endorsement will no longer be potent. Better dissociate from Noynoy now than get dragged down with him two years from today?
The latest is that Lacson said he would bare his list, if invited to an executive session of the Senate. He said making the list public has national security implications because it would damage the Senate. But it is already a “total wreck”. So why worry. He’d be doing Noynoy’s bosses a good service by revealing the names in Napoles’ list forthwith.
Another former senator whose fame he owes to his singer-actress wife, Sharon Cuneta, and his role as “Mr. Noted” during the Arroyo regime, has accepted the job of presidential assistant on agriculture. Kiko Pangilinan has vowed to clean up what appears to be the bedrock of corruption in the Aquino administration, the Department of Agriculture (DA) under Proceso Alcala who is now facing charges of plunder.
Will he be able to do it? Naaah! The first thing he should do is to ask Noynoy to get rid of Alcala. Otherwise, his would be wishful thinking.
One would think Alcala should have resigned after Pangilinan’s appointment but being close to Noynoy, the latter just didn’t have the heart to tell him to resign as is his wont. Perhaps that was his way of asking Alcala to go but he had no such luck. Alcala is determined to stick to his job like a leech. Who wouldn’t if the plunder charge against him is true? Hay naku!
Noynoy should know that he really did not accomplish anything with his move. Pangilinan will not succeed while Alcala remains in his post. Nagdagdag lang ng gastos. He should have just fired Alcala, let Pangilinan take over and hopefully not make a further mess of the department. What does he know about agriculture?
Of course, the idea is to keep Pangilinan visible until 2016. For what? Noynoy wants many of his friends to get elected to both the Senate and the House to ensure that he does not end up like Erap Estrada and Gloria Arroyo. He ought to know by now that whoever becomes president gets the majority in both chambers on his side. Nonetheless, if what happened to Estrada and Arroyo should happen to him, it wouldn’t be so bad for him to be alone in a jail or hospital cell. He is used to being alone. Kaya lang, he cannot be tooling around in his Porsche or whatever sports car he has by then.
No matter how much she protests, resigned PCSO head Margarita Juico will not be able to quash all the speculations surrounding her resignation. There are the persistent rumors that she incurred Noynoy’s ire when she once turned down Mar Roxas’ request for some documents; that Roxas (and Noynoy) did not like being suspended by the board of Wack Wack headed by Philip, Margarita’s husband, for unbecoming behavior; that even before she thought about resigning, former Cavite governor Ayong Malicsi had already been bandying about that he will be replacing her. Malicsi is a close ally of Noynoy and member of the Liberal Party.
Some people also think that Juico had to go because she has made it clear she will not be a party to possible use of PCSO money for election purposes in 2016. Why would she? Her predecessor is now facing corruption charges.
Excuse me, could you tell me where “daang matuwid” is?
DOTC secretary Emilio Abaya said he will face graft charges filed against him and others for the anomalous award of a P1.1 billion train system ticketing project.
Does he have a choice?
His predecessor’s (Mar Roxas) protégé, Al Vitangcol, head of MRT said he will file several charges against Czech ambassador Josef Rychtar in court. The man obviously does not know that the ambassador is cloaked with diplomatic immunity and could not, therefore, be sued.
Incidentally, what’s happening to the investigation of Vitangcol for allegedly demanding a bribe from Czech firm Inekon which wanted to supply train coaches to MRT? Nagkalimutan na naman yata.
Reminders (for Noynoy):
1) Filing of charges against officials of the National Food Authority (NFA) 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 and order his successor, Robert “Pretty Boy” Vergara, to file the proper charges, if warranted, against the former;
Noynoy should also order Vergara to report to him on COA’s findings that:
(a) He received the obscenely excessive compensation of P16.36 million in 2012 making him the highest paid government servant then, as well as how much he received in 2013; and
(b) That, as of almost a year ago, at least P4.13 billion in contributions and loan payments made by 12 government offices to the GSIS had not been credited to the offices as of Dec. 31, 2011.
COA also said at the time that the amount of unrecorded remittances could go much higher because only 36 agencies have so far responded out of the 186 that were sent confirmation requests by government auditors. Of the 36, 27 confirmed “discrepancies” in their premium and loan payments ledgers when compared with those of the GSIS.
There are three questions being raised when remittances, or parts thereof, of government agencies are not recorded by the GSIS on time: a) Where are these huge sums “parked” in the meantime?; b) Do they earn interest?; and c) To where (whom?) does the interest, if any, go?
Pray tell, Mr. Vergara, what is the present status of these funds, including those that may have been remitted since and not yet recorded by the GSIS?
I believe it is time for COA to follow up on what Vergara has done on the above findings so that affected GSIS members would know the status of their contributions!
Today is the 16th day of the eighth year of Jonas Burgos’ disappearance.
Two weeks ago, Jonas’ mother, Edita, reminded Noynoy in a letter of his promise to conduct a “dedicated and exhaustive investigation” on her son’s enforced disappearance.
“Our hope was anchored on your promise to do what you could ‘on the basis of evidence’ when I personally pleaded for your help. This was almost four years ago, May 2010,” she wrote.
Mr. President, Sir?
From an internet friend:
Smith goes to see his supervisor in the front office.
“Boss,” he says, “we’re doing some heavy house-cleaning at home tomorrow, and my wife needs me to help with the attic and the garage, moving and hauling stuff.”
“We’re short-handed, Smith.” the boss replies. “I can’t give you the day off.”
“Thanks, boss.” says Smith “I knew I could count on you.”
13 May 2014

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