Thursday, April 9, 2015

Steep drop

Social Weather Station (SWS) reports, conducted from March 20 to 23, that the net satisfaction rating of President Aquino has plunged to a big 28-point drop. This confirms the earlier drop reported by Pulse Asia.
The +11 net satisfaction gave Aquino a “moderate” rating, a steep downgrade from the “good” +39 rating he received in December 2014.
Public satisfaction with Aquino plunged 16 points to 47 percent in the same period.
On the other hand, dissatisfaction with Aquino’s performance went up 12 points from December to 36 percent.
Aquino’s satisfaction ratings also dropped across all geographical areas, SWS said.

Ease prison congestion

Five hundred forty-two members of the New  Bilibid Prison (NBP) graduated from Alternative Learning System (ALS) offered by the NBP.
This raises the question of how successful our prison system is in reforming our criminals.
In the United States where there are two million in their prisons, the effectivity of their prison rehabilitation systems in reforming criminals is being debated.
One other question is the congestion in our prisons. Muntinlupa, which was built to accommodate 14,000 prisoners, has more than 30,000 inmates.
Let’s hope the P50-billion modern prison facility in Fort Magsaysay in Laur, Nueva Ecija will be implemented soon enough.
In the meantime, about 7,000 elderly inmates, most of whom have served their sentences or enough years to qualify for parole, should be released to ease the congestion in the NBP.

Best homily speaker

One of the best homily Catholic speakers is Fr. Jerry Orbos, SVD.
In his Easter Sunday column, he wrote:
“Today is Easter Sunday. The Lord is risen, alleluia! Praise the Lord! Life does not end in death. The Lord is risen! There is life beyond the tomb. The central message of our faith is that God loved us so much that He sent His only Son to save us by His life, passion, death and resurrection. It’s all about a God who loves us tremendously, and whose love goes beyond our earthly life,  forevermore!
In today’s Gospel (Jn. 20, 1-9), we hear how Mary of Magdala discovered an empty tomb on that first Easter morning. The word “tomb” was mentioned seven times in today’s gospel by St. John. It  is because John, and many other believers like him at that time,  could not go beyond the tomb and accept the resurrection. It took some time for them to realize what had happened, but soon after, by God’s grace, they understood, and they proclaimed the Risen Lord far and wide.
Are we too focused on the “tombs” of our lives? Do we keep going back, do we keep mourning, and do we keep bewailing our miseries and misfortunes? Can we not let go of our “tombs” and rise up, and become better persons? Do we accept without question that we are a nation that is hopelessly buried in graft, greed and corruption? We must believe, and keep on believing, that there is hope for a fresh start, new beginnings — and new directions.”

Don’t steal

Another excellent speaker, Archbishop Antonio Luis Cardinal  Tagle, who delivered a beautiful message for Pope Francis at the Luneta, delivered a meaningful Easter message to all public servants saying “be faithful to your duties, don’t steal.”
In his Easter vigil service at the newly renovated Manila Cathedral on Saturday night, Tagle said: “We are calling on the public servants: Be honest. Don’t steal. Don’t betray the nation.”
The homilies of Fr. Orbos and Archbishop Tagle confirm the fact that corruption has flourished under the Aquino administration.
Earlier, Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, an Aquino administration critic, once said:  “You try to have a clean government. Not a corrupt one. Because corruption will only lead to poverty.”
Even Pope Francis, who was keenly aware of the corruption scandals in Asia’s mostly Catholic nation,  told President Aquino to end corruption in his government and to hear the cries of the poor suffering from “scandalous social inequalities.”
President Aquino claims he has undertaken measures to fight corruption, but, up to now, he has not filed a corruption case against  over 100 lawmakers, who are mostly his allies, involved in the alleged misuse of public funds that were channeled to bogus non-government organizations of Janet Lim-Napoles.

Chedeng loses steam

Fr. Israel Gabriel, a parish priest of San Luis, Aurora, believes that the “oratio imperata” (obligatory prayer) recited in the nine parishes of Aurora province worked to dissipate Typhoon Chedeng, for which typhoon signal no. 3 was raised over Aurora and Isabela provinces.
 However, Typhoon Chedeng further weakened into a low-pressure area after crossing parts of Northern Luzon Sunday afternoon, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said.
Local officials in Isabela and Nueva Ecija were thankful there was no damage to crops in their provinces.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said there was no recorded casualty from Chedeng.
PAGASA did a good job in issuing early typhoon warnings.

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