Saturday, March 7, 2015

MILF’s blackmail

By Emil Jurado
The Palace and its yellow propagandists are saying that President Aquino will be remembered in history as the “most honest president the Philippines ever had.”  This is supposedly because he has never been accused of stealing from government.
If we believe that baloney, other presidents before Mr. Aquino who have at one time or another been accused of some kind of misdemeanor is dishonest.
Webster’s Dictionary describes being honest as “free from fraud or deception.” It can be equated with good, worthy or praiseworthy, marked with integrity, frank, sincere and upright among other things. Honesty, on the other hand means adherence to the facts, integrity and probity, which means uprightness of character. Honesty means refusal to lie.
In short, being honest doesn’t mean not stealing. It is adherence to facts and refusal to deceive in any way. Integrity implies truthworthiness and incorruptibility. Honor suggests high regard for the standards of one’s profession or calling.
Thus, can we now say that President Aquino is truly honest?
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We see over media images of thousands of displaced Muslim families in evacuation centers in Maguindanao. They are caught in the crossfire between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the terror group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the breakaway Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter.
But, Santa Banana, we have not seen nor heard of any agency of government -- like the Department of Social Welfare and Development or the Department of the Interior and Local Government -- sending help to these displaced families. And yet we stumble over one another to provide assistance, monetary and otherwise, for the families of the Fallen 44.
Moros or not, the displaced and innocent families caught in the crossfire in the all-out offensive of the AFP against the BIFF are still Filipinos, aren’t they? It would seem that the Aquino administration is discriminating against the Moros. This can explain why there are so many factions in Moroland seeking independence or forming “revolutionary organizations” like the MILF.
In fact, during my stint, in the early ‘50s, as an editor of The Mindanao Cross, my Muslim friends said that root cause of all the problems in Central Mindanao is not only extreme poverty, but discrimination by a Christian government.
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It is now becoming clear that the reason President Aquino wants the Bangsamoro Basic Law rushed for approval by June 11, before the adjournment of Congress, is that he wants to include the BBL’s enactment among his so-called accomplishments in his last State of the Nation Address.
This, or he wants to get nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Mr. Aquino’s lackeys and lapdogs in Congress like Senate President Frank Drilon and Speaker Sonny Belmonte are just too willing to accommodate the President by also rushing the BBL enactment with all its legal and constitutional warts and infirmities.
I wonder though if the majority of congressmen and senators would accommodate the President’s wish. Are they that stupid and malleable?
In any case, the MILF has already made it very clear that they will not accept a diluted BBL, much less a mangled law. In other words, to the MILF, pass the BBL as is, or we go back to war. It’s pure and simple blackmail.
These are the Moro rebels that government peace negotiators Miriam Ferrer and peace adviser Teresita Deles are lawyering for and compromising with. That’s why the sincerity of Deles and Ferrer are now being doubted. And I though the Makapilis existed only during the Japanese occupation.
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I read about the 11 Filipinos in Forbes Magazine’s list of multi-billionaires. I am fortunate to know how these billionaires began. 
I first met Henry Sy Sr. when he was selling export surplus and factory rejects shoes he imported from Boston, USA in 1946 along Carriedo Street, Quiapo.
I also knew John Gokongwei as a trader from Cebu.
Ricky Razon, now no. 3, was my former boss at the Manila Standard Today. He is the son of my late good friend, Enrique “Pocholo” Razon who started the ICTSI.
Lucio Tan started as a chemist in the tobacco company of the late Henry S. Stonehill.
I also know David Consunji, a UP graduate in engineering, also made his fortune in property development and infrastructure. And of course, I know Lucio and Susan Co, when they first started their Puregold. Lucio Co has also gone into banking.
And I know former Senator Manny Villar, who through “Sipag at Tiyaga” with his wife, now Senator Cynthia Villar, made their fortune. Villar is now the 11th richest Filipino.
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My wife and I are saddened at the demise of our good friend, Patricio Luis Lim, known to everybody else as PL Lim. He was generous to a fault to all his friends and ever loyal. He knew almost everybody in the higher echelons of government, being a businessman of repute and integrity.
I first met PL at his small office in the Trade and Commerce Building along Juan Luna Street in Binondo. He was a trader then. Subsequently, PL and some Chinese businessmen put up the Universal Textile Mills and became a leader of the Textile Association of the Philippines. He was also a good friend of media icons like the late Doroy Valencia and Joe Guevarra.

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