Friday, February 29, 2008

Editorial MARCH 1, 2008 issue

Greed: Lesson From The Past

By Ernesto t. solidum

After listening of Jun Lozada’s testimony during the joint Senate investigation (February 11) into the ZTE-NBN deal, one can’t help but be agitated on the extent of corruption in the government service. It is extremely pathetic that one whistleblower could be ganged upon by “hoodlums” out to silence him. Cash given by former Secretary Mike Defensor was P50,000 while Deputy Executive Secretary Manuel Gaite was P500,000. Their gestures were ostensibly to bail out the star witness from the mess of facing a Senate inquiry. Out of self pity, he promptly submitted the money in exact amounts to the Blue Ribbon Committee during the hearing.

Greed is to covet things not your own. It is cancerous disease that saps our moral existence. Desire is never satisfied. Moderation of greed cannot even be qualified statement since it is detestable and incompatible with expectation of society. Public office is a public trust, therefore officials must be accountable to the people according to the Civil Service law and the Philippine Constitution.

Psychological findings reveal that man’s dream centers on five things namely: wealth, power, fame, sex and recreational pleasure. Evidently, these are necessary for self-esteem and acceptance but when carried to excess can be disastrous to his well being. World empires set by Genghis Khan, Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor Nero and King Nebuchadnezzar, among others, crumbled from within because of greed or avarice.

The poignant story in the bible about Achan coveting the beautiful linen mantle from Shinar, treasure chest of gold and silver from among the ruins of battle at Ai brought destruction not only on himself, his family but the entire struggling people of Israel (Joshua 7:1-26). His sin was merely salvaging a few earthly items and hiding them under the floor of his tent. Judgment of the Lord in this incident was swift and fiery-stoning to death and burning of all Achans’ possessions.

Another incident is King Ahabs’ coveting the vineyard of Naboth (1 Kings 21:1-28). Its location was adjacent to the palatial ground but considering that land was inherited from his ancestors, Naboth could not part away his property even if given a generous offer by the King. Ahab together with his scheming wife Jezebel succeeded in acquiring the property by murdering the helpless vinedresser. The Lord was angered and this dastardly act resulted in ultimate death of the royal couple and a curse on the Hebrew nation.

A compelling drama on greed has been documented by Dr. Jose Rizal in his novel, “El Filibusterismo” citing systematic plunder of wealth, dehumanization, injustice and betrayal all done in the guise of religion. Let the darkest side of Philippine history be laid to rest but we treasure the heroic stand of our propagandist and katipuneros who laid their lives in defense of the Motherland.

Greed of corruption is mainly responsible for our basket case economy. At least a third of the P1.2 trillion national budget is channeled to the wrong hands. Malefactors thrive because it is very rare that they are charged and convicted in court. Public perception is that investigation into alleged anomalies in government is one big moro-moro and all noise. Perhaps congressional and senate investigations should instead be shifted into productive pursuits like enactment of laws that generate employment opportunities and modernizing education.

Under closed societies like China, corruption is never handled with kid gloves but an iron fist. A Time Magazine report in the 1990’s mentioned that 200 convicts per month are executed by firing squad in the public square. Main reason is that corruption in China is so pervasive that officials whether high or low are not spared of this organizational dysfunction. Sen. Miriam D. Santiago must have familiar knowledge about sleaze in China’s bureaucracy. During a privilege speech, a few weeks ago, she alluded to China as originator of corruption in the country. It was after angry protests from the local Chinese community that she retracted and apologized for her nasty remarks.

This policy of China can be considered archaic or extreme by Western standards but who can be the best judge anyway? If a bridge collapse as a busload of passengers traversed and several passengers get killed or maimed because of shoddy workmanship is disaster. Naturally the guilt lies not on the bus driver but on the construction crew, the engineer, business contractor and/or bureaucrats who may have taken a lion share of the budget appropriation.

P249,739 Cost of DepEd Computer

Corruption has surfaced recently on theft of two computer sets at Makato Integrated School in the evening of February 17. Record shows that one was donated by Vice Mayor Nelson Tapuz, Jr. of Makato in 2003. Its purchased price was P34,300. The other unit was owned by DepEd, actually received from DepEd Region 6 on June 15, 2007. Acquisition cost was P249,730. Closer investigation revealed that there was no significant difference between the two sets of stolen computers in terms of quality standards. Those in the computer business know that the latest brand could be priced at less than P50,000.

Who benefited from the DepEd scam? Are the suspects prosecuted in court? If not, it is the job of DepEd Regional office to shed light on this highly anomalous business transaction. And why did DepEd Aklan received these computers with exorbitant cost? Are they accessory to the crime?

Putting more teeth on our criminal justice system pursuing corruption cases lie not only on the Ombudsman and Commission on Audit, but NGO’s PO’s and people like Jun Lozada. People empowerment can be instrumental in putting the bad eggs behind bars. Perhaps with greater zeal, we can toss into oblivion a chapter in Philippine history that Magellan called one of the far flung islands in Leyte as Isla de Ladrones. Convincing proof is EDSA People Power I and II. Through peaceful street revolutions two maverick presidents were ousted from office. Moral lesson from the past: Take heed and beware of covetousness for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses. (Luke 12:15) Message is simple yet profound in achieving transformation for self, family and society. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente

Water In NWD

A representative of the Numancia Water District goes to the radio stations in Kalibo to announce to the public whenever there is any scheduled water interruption.

Many believes such announcement of the Numancia Water District (NWD) of its water interruptions is not necessary. What it should announce is “when is water available”. Water concessionaires in Numancia know there is no water drops in their respective faucets everyday. It is now known there is no water drops in the faucets. But they do not know when water will come again. To open the faucets is to get hissing sound of air, therefore you pay for it. Better not open to avoid paying for the air.

In my last water bill (January – February), I paid P298.00 for 13 cubic meters of water or P22.15 per cubic meter. Add P5 for water meter service and make it P303.00. Perhaps P22.15 is moderate price if water is available when needed. But water comes at its pleasure. Moreover, NWD water is highly recommended to use it to wash rugs. To wash your clothes especially the white clothes with NWD water will transform it into the color of the “dog’s gum” (ngilo it ayam).

For years, the quality of water NWD in Numancia, Aklan is producing has been maintained, never improved. Thanks to the two (2) general managers, one of whom came from the Local Water Utilities Administration and the other as organic manager. Maybe, they have rich ideas but have no way how to improve both the quality and quantity of water they are producing. What A Shame!

The GMA Lies

In December 2003, Ms. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo announced in Baguio City she will not run for President in the May 2004 presidential election. But she forgot, for when the election season came, she filed her candidacy for President of the Philippines.

After the election, she was proclaimed winner by the canvassers in the House of Representatives inspite of several objections of the canvass. These protests were just marked “noted” and nothing was done.

In 2005, the “Hello Garci Tape” surfaced related to the conversation between GMA and Commissioner Garcillano on election cheating. Sec. Bunye showed the Hello Garci Tape to the Malacañang Press Corps. GMA said in the radio and television, “I’m Sorry”. A way of acceptance that indeed she talked with Garcillano “to protect her votes”.

But immediately, the apostles around her denied the voice in the Hello Garci Tape is not of GMA. Sec. Mike Defensor said, “the voice in the tape is of GMA but she isn’t the one talking”. This is an insult to the intelligence of the Filipinos.

Lately, in her interview over the radio, she admitted that she knew as early as April 2007 that the NBN ZTE deal was anomalous and disclosed “she moved swiftly to scrap the deal”. But the deal was cancelled in October 2007, or seven (7) months after she was informed. Is the action swift? This is twisting the necks of the Filipinos. She admitted the NBN deal was anomalous last week after all his apostles said the deal is “above board”. DOTC Secretary Leandro Mendoza said the NBN – ZTE deal is above board and seconded by his Asst. Sec. Formoso the deal is above board. GMA abandoned her apostles.

But her apostles are quick to really tell the public GMA did not admit corruption in the NBN – ZTE deal. They have a very nice and clever way to make the truth a lie and the lie a truth. Anybody who wishes to specialize in lying, consult some of the members of the GMA cabinet.

Dysfunctional Nation

In a one page ad in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Foundation, Inc. announced “we have become a nation marked with a:

1. Dysfunctional Economy;

2. Dysfunctional Educational System;

3. Dysfunctional Judiciary, Ombudsman, Sandiganbayan;

4. Dysfunctional Legislative;

5. Dysfunctional Executive;

6. Dysfunctional Military and Police;

7. Dysfunctional Church;

8. Dysfunctional Elite, the Educated, the Rich and the Business Class;

9. Dysfunctional Electoral and Political System; and

10. Dysfunctional Citizenry.

All these dysfunctions have relegated the Philippines from a progressive nation, second only to Japan in Asia to the bottom of the pit. It is now among the most corrupt of the third world countries.

Shall we continue like this? If no, then let us act. And act hardly and strong. /MP

The Russians Are Coming

By ambrosio R. villorente

Yes, the Russians are coming to Aklan. Their Ambassador, His Excellency Vitaly Vorobiev of the Russian Federation was in Aklan this week to pave the way for trade and tourism prospects between the Philippines and Russian Federation specifically in Aklan. Vorobiev was accompanied in his visit by Ms. Armi Garcia, honorary consul of Russian Federation based in Cebu City.

Vorobiev was in Aklan on February 25 – 27. He met with the resort stakeholders in Boracay, went around the Aklan countryside, met the tri-media members and the businessmen in Kalibo.

Vice Governor Billie V. Calizo served as the host in behalf of Gov. Carlito S. Marquez.

In a dialogue held in the guest house, Kalibo, with the members of the Aklan media while partaking lunch, Ambassador Vorobiev expressed his sincere admiration of what he saw in Aklan. He said, Russians are lovers of beaches, the beautiful sceneries and the environment. “The things I saw in Aklan are matters Russians love to see and enjoy”. Vorobiev assured more of his people will visit Aklan in the coming years to enjoy your beaches, mountains, the sceneries and the hospitality of the people.

He suggested however, to improve the tourist facilities. He admitted the problem of culture like language. He suggested resort receptionists to study and learn some Russian expressions to welcome Russian visitors. “Your chefs may also learn to prepare some Russian foods”, he added. /MP


At least 11 new services aim to increase business performance to promote higher profitability of the small and medium enterprises (SME) in Aklan’s top sectors – agriculture, aquaculture, processed foods, loom weaving, GTH (gifts, toys and housewares), and tourism was launched in Kalibo, Aklan on Wednesday, February 27. It was held at Hernanis, Kalibo where entrepreneurs from Aklan attended.

The new business development services (BDS), to be offered with very reasonable price tags, are on basic livelihood skills training, bookkeeping and accounting, business planning, cooperatives development, culinary arts and food service, financial statement preparation, food safety, motivational training and team building, organic agriculture, processed food product development, and solid waste management, among others.

BDS comprises all non-financial services that improve the performance of enterprises, their access to markets and their ability to compete. Traditionally, many of these services are offered by government agencies, for example the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The BDS component of the Private Sector promotion (SMEDSEP) program tries to develop fee based BDS offered by private institutions in order to meet the demand for BDS in a more adequate and sustainable way. During the process, the DTI shifts its role from being a service provider to facilitator of the private market development for BDS.

SMEDSEP is a development cooperation project between the Philippines and Germany. It aims to improve the business and investment climate for SME in the Philippines, especially in the Visayas. SMEDSEP contributes to the efforts of the Philippine government to improve the framework conditions for private sector development in the country. SMEDSEP is implemented in partnership by DTI at national, regional and provincial levels in behalf of the Philippine government and the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) in behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The BDS providers in Aklan are Athena Business Solutions and Management Services and Skill Share Plus Consultancy. These two private BDS service providers in Aklan formally sealed their partnership with SMEDSEP during the provincial services launching and signing of Memorandum of Agreement with DTI and GTZ on Wednesday, February 27.

GTZ is an international cooperation enterprise for sustainable development with worldwide operations owned by the German Government. For 30 years, it has been providing forward looking contributions to political, economic, ecological and social development in partner countries. GTZ supports reform and change processes in an increasingly globalize world, often working under difficult conditions. GTZ’s major approach to facilitate change is promoting capacity development of people and partner organizations as well as improving institutions and frame conditions in partner countries. The joint projects and programs are outcome and impact oriented and contributes towards socioeconomic progress. /MP



PhilEXIM director files criminal complaint vs Chinese engineer.

The director of the Philippine Export-Import Credit Agency (PhilEXIM) based in Makati City, has filed a criminal complaint for grave threat, grave coercion, grave oral defamation and unjust vexation against a Chinese national who is site engineer of a government project in Brgy. Cubay, Jaro district, Iloilo City.

In a complaint filed before the city prosecutors office on February 8, Quirino “Quin” B. Baterna alleged that in the afternoon of February 4, 2008, Lao Chou of China Water, contractor of the Iloilo flood control project in the boundary of Brgy. Cubay and Brgy. Balabago in Jaro, shouted at him and badmouthed him while he was taking pictures on the heavy trucks and heavy equipment owned by China Water on the project site.

The incident happened after Baterna went to the barangay hall to complain regarding the heavy trucks and heavy equipment going in and out of Brookside Subdivision and Datu Puti Subdivision, both located inside Brgy. Cubay.

Village chief Quirico R. Catamin and his two councilors Ernie Cayanan and John Beloria then accompanied Baterna to the project site.


In his affidavit, Baterna, who is also president of Quin Baterna Realty Corp., said that “while I was taking pictures on the heavy trucks and heavy equipment on the site, a Chinese man, a site engineer whom I later identified as Mr. Lao Chou hurriedly ran towards and shouted at me: “stop taking pictures and go away”.

Baterna said Chou “uttered invective words in Chinese language, in my interpretation, ‘you SOB, you have no business here, this is a government project. If you will insist, I will arrest you or shoot you.”

Baterna said he answered Chou “in a mild manner” by saying “I am only getting pictures of the heavy equipment and heavy trucks that entered our subdivisions without our permission and consent and in fact the barangay officials are here.”


He alleged that Chou “got wild and again uttered invective words against me”; this time, Baterna said, Chou threatened to kick him “while at the same time pointed his fingers on my face and attempted to do a kung fu thrust unto my eyes but I just kept calm and prepared to defend myself. Mr. Chou continued with his threatening words by saying in a Chinese language which in my interpretation, ‘get out, get out from this place, you SOB who are you? If you will not stop taking picture I will kill you, who are you in this place? I do not know you, we have authority from our boss”.

After a few arguments, Baterna said the barangay officials “refrained Chou from attacking me.”

Meanwhile, Catamin, in his affidavit, confirmed that 16-wheeler heavy trucks and equipment and ten-wheeler trucks, heavy equipment mixer, and others, including some service vehicles owned by China Water “had been entering the said subdivisions and using roads without permission and consent of the homeowners and the subdivision owners.”

Catamin confirmed Baterna’s allegations and admitted having pacified Chou and Baterna.

For his part, Chou, who does not speak clear English, refused to comment. He is willing to ask forgiveness to Baterna, according to his superiors who also refused to give statements.

Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Raul Gonzalez, Sr. who was in the city prosecutors office when Baterna’s lawyer Janne B. Baterna filed the complaint, vowed to investigate the matter.

The multi-billion flood control project was conceptualized when Gonzalez was still congressman representing the lone district of Iloilo City. /MP

Budget Increase For ASU As One of the Outstanding SUCs

The Aklan State University (ASU) received an additional allocation of P5 million because of its innovations in Research, Development, Extension and Information and Communication Technology.

The ASU, being one of the Outstanding State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), was given additional allocation, for its notable R&D, international linkages and commercialization of inventions. The other SUCs include the Mariano Marcos State University, Central Luzon State University, Leyte State University and University of Southern Mindanao.

The citation was given by Senator Edgardo J. Angara during his lecture on “Education Is Our Future” at the 6th Jaime V. Ongpin Annual Memorial Lecture last month. The event is a yearly ritual that asks men of big ideas to deliver a lecture on an important national issue, the latest was attended by Dr. Benny A. Palma and Dr. Elsa I. Abayon, ASU President and Director for Research and Development Services, respectively.

Among the R&D projects of the University mentioned by the Senator during his lecture are the seedless rambutan and pomelo, high quality piña fiber, tissue-culture of Aklan piña, Mayon Turbo Stove or the Poor Man’s Gas Stove which uses rice hull, breeding and commercialization of native darag chicken, biodiesel additive from waste fats and oils, and mangrove reforestation and aquaculture.

Other projects are the Extension and Community Services through Farmer-Teachers, Community Radio for Agri-Development and the Integrated Crop Management for Rice.

Its ICT Initiatives are the internet library and its automation system, Korean Internet Volunteer Computer Literacy, digitization of commercial viable research output, and digitization of the English Proficiency Module. (SRVillasis, ASU-ECS.) /MP

Reason and Concern

By Ronquillo C. Tolentino

Of Martyrs And Patriots

The English poet, William Cowper, said that to die for the truth is not to die merely for one’s faith, or one’s country; it is to die for the world. Cowper had considered that the blood of martyrs is shed in confirmation of the noblest claim – the claim to feed upon immortal truth, to walk with God, and be divinely free.

My mind races to that statement of Harriet Beecher Stowe who observed that even in this world, martyrs shall have their judgment –day; And their names which went down in the dust, like a gallant banner trodden in the mire, shall rise again all glorious in the sight of nations.

The Kalibo Sang-guniang Bayan deliberated last week, (Tuesday, February 21) a proposed ordinance introduced by Sangguniang Bayan member Emmanuel Soviet Russia Dela Cruz to declare the month of March as the month of remembering Aklanon martyrs and patriots. Soviet Dela Cruz, a second generation of the Aklan poets, authors, journalists—the brothers Beato, Leopoldo, Roman, Manuel.

A perusal of the proposed ordinance shows and prides Kalibo to be the center of numerous historical and cultural evolutions that contributed to the rich cultural heritage of Aklan. It acknowledges the lives and ultimate sacrifices made by Aklan martyrs and patriots who greatly contributed to the richness and splendor of Kalibo’s cultural heritage.

The proposed ordinance intends to develop awareness, understanding and comprehension by the younger generation of Aklanons of the significance of the contribution of the l9 martyrs of Aklan to the Philippine Revolution as well as the lives of the great patriots of the Philippine Revolution against Spain and those who participated in the upheavals of World War I and World War II. The ordinance seeks the maximization of the extension of the Department of Education and the inclusion and incorporation in its curriculum the lives and sacrifices of Aklan martyrs and patriots. Verily, it shall imbibe fervent honor and pride to the Aklan youth, the proposed ordinance added.

On patriotism, I remember the American statesman-orator Daniel Webster when he said: “Let our object be our country, our whole country, and nothing but our country. And, by the blessing of God, may that country itself become a vast and splendid monument, not of oppression and terror, but of wisdom, of peace, and of liberty, upon which the world may, gaze with admiration forever.” /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro

Ro Maaeam Nga Usa

Isaeang mainit nga hapon, may isaeang ka usa ro naga inom sa isaeang ka matin-aw nga tubi it sapa. Umagi ro isaeang ka tigre. Pumundo imaw pagkakita nana sa usa. Pasalbaheng huma-eakhak ro tigre.

“Aha, maisot nga usa, manamit ka guid nga obrahong ihapon. Dali-an mo ag ipahaum nimo ro imong kaugalingon tongod kaina pa ako gina gutom nga gutom”, hambae nga may pagpamahog ko tigre.

“Sang adlaw ka nga owa kakaon, makaeo-eo-oy ka man” medyo may pagka eo-oy nga sabat ko usa. Sa minatuod, naga kurog eon ro anang tuhod sa kahadluk.

“Ham-an it naga mantener ka sa isaeang ka maniwang nga hayop kapares ko? Kon bu-ot mo, usoyan ko ikaw it mas matambok pa ag mabahoe nga pagkaon. Ro imong kina-hangean hay ro manami nga unod it tawo,” hambae ko usa.

“Ano ro tawo?” pangutana it tigre. “Ro tawo hay isaeang ka klase it hayop nga may daywang ka siki. Imaw ro pinakapuerteng hayop sa bilog nga kalibutan,” pahayag it usa. “Ogaling basi mas mabaskog ag maisog pa kakon?” paniguro nga pangutana ko tigre.

“Kon maabtik ka man, sarang mo imaw nga sagpangon”, sabat man ko usa. “Kon imaw ron daeha kakon ro tawo ag kon indi kita makakita, ikaw ro akong kan-on,” sugo it tigre.

Nagbantay ro daywa sa guinaagyan it mga tawo. May umagi nga isaeang ka escuela halin sa escuelahan.

“Royon baea ro tawo?” pangutana it tigre. “Bukon, naga-paadto paeang sa pagiging tawo”, pahayag it usa. Umagi man ro isaeang ka magueang. “Royon eon baea ro tawo? Pangutana eon man ko tigre. “Bukon, nabilin eon lang ron it isaeang ka tawo. Owa ka man siguro naila magkaon it salin.”

Maangan-angan, umagi ro isaeang ka mangangayam nga may baril. “Hayron ro tawo nga guina usoy mo, matambok ag mamuea-muea ro oyahon nga bastante sa dugo. Ano pa ro imong guina hueat?” sudyot ko usa. Golpeng linumpatan ko tigre ro tawo ogaling mas maabtik ro tawo ag inasinta nana ro tigre ag binaril.

Umuli ro usa nga naga kanta-kanta. Bumalik imaw sa sapa agod padayunon ro anang pag-inom. /MP

Kung Pinoy Si Noah…

Forwarded e-mail by PP Raphy Tayco

Taong 2005 at isang ordinaryong middle class pinoy si Noah. Nagpakita sa kanya ang Diyos at sinabing “Pagkatapos ng isang taon ay bubuhos ang ulan at babahain ang buong kapuluan ng Pilipinas. Gusto kong gumawa ka ng isang malaking arko at isakay mo rito ang pares-pares na mga hayop at mga mag-asawang Pilipino sa iba’t ibang kapuluan.”

Ibinigay kay Noah ang specs ng Arko at taos puso nitong tinanggap ang respon-sibilidad na sagipin ang sambayanang Pilipino sa napipintong pagbaha.

Lumipas ang taon. Muling nagpakita ang Diyos kay Noah. Walang arkong nagawa si Noah at galit na galit siyang tinanong ng Diyos, “Nasaan ang arko na ipinagawa ko sa iyo?” Tumugon si Noah, “Patawarin po Ninyo ako kung hindi po natupad ang utos Ninyo! Nagkaroon po ng malaking problema sa plano po Ninyo.”

At inilahad ni Noah ang mga sagabal na nakaharap niya sa pag-gawa ng arko.

Humingi siya ng Mayor’s permit ngunit papayag lang daw si Mayor kung ang gagawa ng arko ay ang construction firm ng kanyang pamangkin. Tumungo siya sa Congressman subalit papayag lang daw si Cong. kung may matatanggap siyang 30 percent commission. Nagtayo ng unyon ang mga kinuha niyang manggagawa at nag-strike.

Natunugan ng mga left-leaning groups ang kanyang balak at ang mga ito ay nag-rally dahil daw sa hindi makatarungang pagpili ng mga taong sasakay sa arko (mga taong naniniwala lang sa Diyos ang pwedeng sumakay). Nakisali sa rally ang mga bakla at tomboy dahil bias daw na normal na mag-asawa lang ang maaring sumakay.

Ang civil society group ay nakisali na rin sa gulo dahil napag-alaman daw nila na ang pondong gagamitin sa paggawa ng arko ay galing sa donasyon ng mga gambling lords at katas ng weteng.

Sa kaguluhang ito ay napilitang magpatawag ng hearing ang senado “in aid of legislation”. Sinubukan ni Noah na gamitin ang EO 464 para makaiwas sa hearing subalit dahil hindi siya executive official, napilitan siyang tumistigo.

Nang malaman ng senado na utos ng Diyos ang pagpa-pagawa ng arko, dineklara nila itong unconstitutional dahil hindi raw nito iginalang ang separation ng sim-bahan at ng estado.

Nakialam na rin ang NBI at PNP at sinabi nilang meron silang impormasyon na ang barko raw na ito ay gagamitin ni Erap sa kanyang pagtakas. Sinabi naman ng ISAFP at DOJ na ito raw ay gagamitin ng grupong Magdalo sa binabalak nilang coup laban kay Arroyo. Nilapitan ni Noah si Mike Defensor para makipag-usap kay GMA. Payag daw si GMA na ituloy ang arko kung ipapaskil daw sa arko ang malaking mukha ni Arroyo na may slogan “Towards a Strong Republic”. “Hindi po ako pumayag kaya hanggang ngayon po ay may TRO ang pag-gawa ng arko.

Sa palagay ko po kailangan ko pa ng 10 taon para matapos ang Inyong proyekto.” Ang huling wika ni Noah. Napa-iling ang Diyos at sinabing, “Di ko na kailangang wasakin pa ang bansang ito. Hayaan Ko na lang na kayo na ang sumira nito.” /MP


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post “Editorial - January 5, 2008 Issue”:

If you want to expose ILLEGAL construction in Boracay, you should check Boracay West Cove in Diniwid Beach. The building was built on the shore, 5 stories high, NO BUILDING PERMIT of course and backup by politicians.

JensVoight has left a new comment on your post “US Lottery Jackpot Winner Fired A Gun”:

I know this guy Mike personally… No wonder he never came back here in the U.S. He must be in deep shit in PI. (Philippines) /MP

SMART Gets 9 Anvil Awards

Leading wireless services provider Smart Communications, Inc. bagged the most number of awards – with nine citations – at the recent 43rd Anvil Awards, dubbed the “Oscar” of Public Relations. The awarding program was held last Feb. 15, at the Grand Ballroom, Hotel Intercontinental, Manila. Parent firm Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) likewise received the Excellence Award for the PLDT Annual Report, themed Enabling the Nation.

SMART garnered six (6) Excellence Awards and three (3) Merit. Awards of Excellence given to Ahoy Pinoy, the Global Access Group’s magazine for seafarers; the Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program (SWEEP), SMART’s CSR program for ECE students; Project Nakar Phase II, the housing and livelihood program for residents of Brgy. Banglos in General Nakar, Quezon; SMART Cares, an environmental awareness campaign for employees; and two audio visual presentations, Dap-ayan sa Banglos; and SMART is SERVICE an internal employee volunteerism campaign.

Awards of Merit were given to the new SMART website; Broadbanding Education: SWEEP and Smart Schools Program; and to the Smart Communities Program, the umbrella community service and employee volunteerism program of SMART. Established in 1963, the Anvil Awards is organized annually by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP).

Awards are given to PR groups that demonstrated integrity, excellence, and concern for the public interest in their programs and tools. The 43nd Anvil Awards committee received over 200 entries. The distinguished board of jurors was chaired by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III. Judges included PR practitioners across industries, corporate executives and academicians. /MP

What An Eye Opener!

Forwarded e-mail from Gary Vargas

Wondering how can we make a difference?

Take care and may God bless each of us...

My Fellow Filipinos, when I was small, the Philippine peso was P2 to the US dollar. The president was Diosdado Macapagal. Life was simple. Life was easy. My father was a farmer. My mother kept a small sari-sari store where our neighbors bought sang-perang asin, sang-perang bagoong, sang-perang suka, sang-perang toyo at pahinging isang butil na bawang.

Our backyard had kamatis, kalabasa, talong, ampalaya, upo, batao, and okra. Our silong had chicken. We had a pig, dog and cat. And of course, we lived on the farm. During rainy season, my father caught frogs at night which my mother made into batute (stuffed frog), or just plain fried. During the day, he caught hito and dalag from his rice paddies, which he would usually cooked it inihaw.
During dry season, we relied on the chicken, vegetables, bangus, tuyo, and tinapa.

Every now and then, there was pork and beef from the town market. Life was so peaceful, so quiet, no electricity, no TV. Just the radio for Tia Dely, Roman Rapido, Tawag ng Tanghalan and Tang-tarang- tang. And who can forget Leila Benitez and Eddie Ilarde on Darigold Jamboree? On weekends, I played with my neighbors (who were all my cousins). Tumbang-preso, taguan, piko, luksong lubid, patintero, at iba pa. I don’t know about you, but I miss those days.

These days, we face the TV, Internet, e-mail, newspaper, magazines, grocery catalog, or drive around. The peso is a staggering and incredible P40.50 to the US dollar. Most people can’t have fun anymore. Life has become a battle. We live to work. Work to live. Life is not easy. I was in Saudi Arabia in 1983. It was lonely, difficult, and scary. It didn’t matter if you were a man or a woman. You were a target for rape. The salary was cheap and the vacations far between. If the boss didn’t want you to go on holiday, you didn’t. They had your passport. Oh, and the agency charged you almost 4-months of your salary (which, if you had to borrow on a “20 percent per month arrangement” meant your first year’s pay is all gone before you even earned it).

The Philippines used to be one of the most important countries in Asia. Before and during my college days, many students from neighboring Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and China went to the Philippines to get their diplomas. Like Thailand, they went to study agriculture in UP Los Banos and earned their bachelor’s degree in the Philippines. Now, we import rice from them. It’s opposite now. Philippines used to be the exporter of any agriculture products but now it’s different. We import because not much land (farms) can be cultivated due to private sectors who focused on developing houses, buildings, supermarkets, malls and others. What happened? What’s the government doing? Checking their own pocket, their own personal interest and pork barrels. Wow!
Until 1972, like President Macapagal, President Marcos was one of the most admired presidents of the world. The Peso had kept its value of P7 to the US dollar until I finished college.

Today, the Philippines is famous as the “housemaid” capital of the world. It ranks very high as the “cheapest labor” capital of the world, too.

We have maids in Hong Kong , laborers in Saudi Arabia , dancers in Japan, migrants and TNTs in Australia and the US, and all sorts of other “tricky” jobs in other parts of the globe. So, it is globally competitive. Right?

Quo Vadis, Pinoy? Is that a wonder or a worry? Are you proud to be a Filipino, or does it even matter anymore? When you see the Filipino flag and hear the Pambansang Awit, do you feel a sense of pride or a sense of defeat and uncertainty? If only things could change for the better......Hang on for this is a job for Superman. Or whom do you call? Ghostbusters. Joke. Right? This is one of our problems. We say “I love the Philippines… I am proud to be a Filipino.” When I send you a joke, you send it to everyone in your address book even if it kills the Internet.

But when I send you a note on how to save our country and ask you to forward it, what do you do? You chuck it in the bin. I want to help the maids in Hong Kong .. I want to help the laborers in Saudi Arabia ..I want to help the dancers in Japan .. I want to help the TNTs in America
and Australia. I want to save the people of the Philippines .. But I cannot do it alone. I need your help and everyone else’s. So please forward this e-mail to your friends. If you say you love the Philippines, prove it. And if you don’t agree with me, say something anyway. Indifference is a crime on its own.


Iloilo, Negros Boxing Experts

Predict Knockout Win for Pacquiao


If the 12-round title fight between national ring idol Manny Pacquiao and world superfeatherweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez will be held anytime from now, the 29-year-old former two-division world champion from General Santos City will score a brutal knockout win before the 10th round.

This was the recent consensus of some boxing experts and analysts in Iloilo who regularly monitor the progress being made by both camps in preparation for their March 15 battle for the World Boxing Council (WBC) superfeatherweight title at the Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort Hotel in Las Vegas , Nevada .

“Pacquiao will score a knockout in the 8th round provided that he will make the weight easily and will not lose a pound,” said Marlon Lumacad.

Lumacad, son of veteran professional boxing trainer Mario, said nobody in the superfeatherweight division in the world today can defeat Pacquiao.”

“It will be a hard fight but Pacquiao will beat Marquez up,” said Bacolod city councilor Alex Paglumotan, who is a former commissioner of the Games and Amusement Board (GAB).

Leon town councilor Abe Beatingo, a former radioman and boxing analyst, said his mind is focused on the Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather, Jr. fight “before there is no way for Marquez to survive Pacman’s murderous fists.”

Long-time boxing commentator and journalist Rani Jangayo said the fight between Pacquiao and Marquez “will be over in the third round with Pacquiao snatching away Marquez’s crown.”

Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines (ABAP) regional vice president Roland Magahin of Sipalay, Negros Occidental said “if Pacquiao can not stop the Mexican champion, he will lose on points.

“But Pacquiao will win by knockout. He is the stronger fighter and he is consistent with his discipline in training,” said Magahin, foster father of former World Boxing Federation (WBF) welterweight champion William.

Magahin’s opinion was shared by column writer and insurance executive Peter Jimenea who believed that “Pacquiao is dangerous in the early rounds but can be defeated if the fight goes the distance.”

Lawyer Hansel Didulo, a boxing scholar and Rotary Club president who works for justice secretary Raul Gonzalez, Sr., however, sees Pacquiao winning over the 34-year-old Marquez on points.

“Styles make the fight,” Didulo sighed. “Marquez’s style is perfect to foil Pacman’s boxing aggressiveness and devil-may-care style. Also, consider Pacman’s weight problems.” /MP

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Editorial - February 23, 2008 ISSUE

Is Ms. Arroyo Evil?

By ambrosio R. villorente

lbay Governor Joey Salceda accepted there is the “slew of criticisms leveled at Ms. Arroyo” but “the numbers proved that her administration was working hard to improve the economy to uplift the lives of more Filipinos. She maybe a ‘bitch’ but she’s the luckiest bitch around”.

Bitch means “the female of the dog; a woman, a bad tempered, malicious, a promiscuous woman.

On the other hand, according to Rodolfo Lozada, Jr., CHED Commissioner Romulo Neri called Ms. Arroyo “evil” which means “anything morally bad or wrong, anything that causes harm, pain, misery, disaster and others.”

This is terrible imputation coming from Gov. Salceda, her economic adviser. It is hard to imagine for a provincial governor who serves as economic adviser to tell his advisee bad tempered, malicious and promiscuous woman. It is still difficult to understand why a former Director General of NEDA and a current member of the cabinet to call his boss “evil”. If indeed Neri said this of Ms. Arroyo and he really meant it, why continue serving the government as member of her cabinet?

But when asked if he really believes that Ms. Arroyo is evil and that if he really told Lozada that Ms. Arroyo is evil, Neri simply answered “I don’t remember saying it.” He did not categorically deny. This is one reason why DOJ Secretary Raul Gonzales is not satisfied of Neri’s answer. Moreover, Gonzales returned the compliment to the groups critical of the Arroyo administration. Gonzales called them the “evil-civil society.”

Ms. Arroyo is involved on the following: election cheating, Garci tape, JocJoc Bolante Fertilizer scandal and the scandalous NBN deal. What are the scandals Sec. Gonzales point to the civil society to make them evil?

Economic Growth Doesn’t Benefit The Poor

Gov. Salceda believes that even if Ms. Arroyo is a bitch, she is also lucky because her “administration is working hard to improve the economy to uplift the lives of more Filipinos.”

In a socio-economic forum held in the Ateneo de Manila University Campus in Makati City on Wednesday, February 20, the economists said “the benefits of improving economy have yet to trickle down to the poor as many Filipinos remain jobless. The drop of the Philippines’ unemployment rate is artificial in view of the influenced by people leaving the labor force. There is increasing number of Filipinos not interested to work due to the absence of high quality jobs and due to their dependence on remittances sent by family members working abroad.

According to Dr. Cielito Habito, former NEDA Secretary, the country’s labor force is dwindling, the jobs available are low quality and some wait for chance to work abroad. “The country’s surprising economic growth is not sustainable,” pointed out Leonardo Lanzona, economist.

Perhaps, high economic growth is being experience by Ms. Arroyo and her “barkada”. To readily provide Rodolfo Lozada, Jr. P50,000.00 for his “pang gastos-gastos” is a sign of high rapid economic growth. To send P500,000.00 to Rodolfo Lozada, Jr., to Hong Kong is a sterling indication of high economic growth in Malacañang, Manila.

How about the fisherfolks and farmers in the barangays? Well, they are still the “backbone” of the nation. Some have developed more flesh, but most have grown more bones and lesser flesh. They hope to grow more flesh but not deboned.

Snowballing Protest

In view of the disclosure of the scandalous NBN deal first by Mr. Joey de Venecia III and then by Rodolfo Lozada, Jr., protest is increasing everyday against the Arroyo government. The militant BAYAN has scheduled nationwide mass actions on February 25, the 22nd anniversary of the 1986 Edsa revolt which ousted the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos. These rallies, marches and other forms of mass actions will run from Baguio City to Davao City to build up for the interfaith rally on February 29 at Rizal Park, Manila announced Renato Reyes, Jr., Bayan secretary general to call for the resignation of Ms. Arroyo from the presidency.

The interfaith rally will demonstrate to the people how violence is not the answer in changing anything according to Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco. This interfaith rally is jointly planned by the CBCP, Makati Business Club, IBP, BAYAN, Gabriela, Black and White Movement, Concerned Citizens, Jesus Is Lord Movement, Bangon Filipinas, Solidarity Philippines, Muslim Legal Assistance Foundation, La Salle Brothers, United Church of Christ in the Philippines, National Council of Churches in the Philippines, Kubol Pag-asa and Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines.

In Aklan, the Diocese of Kalibo will discuss its action to follow during its meeting on Monday, February 25 as regards the scandalous NBN deal. The priests of the diocese will meet in the Sto. Niño Seminary, Numancia.

With the corruptions taking place everyday in the government allegedly being lead by the First Family, what shall the people do?

According to Lozada, Romulo Neri called Ms. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo “evil”. Neri answered when asked, “did you ever say Ms. Arroyo is evil? He merely answered, “I don’t remember saying that.” He did not categorically deny.

What must the people do? “For evil to triumph, it only needs people to do nothing against it.” Let us do something, prevent corruption, oust evil and the bitch. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente

Congressional Financial Report

On February 6, Congressman Jose De Venecia (JDV) was voted out as Speaker of the House of Representatives. The removal of JDV happened very fast. Rep. Mitra of Palawan in the evening of February 5 moved that the position of the speaker in the House of Representatives be declared vacant. The motion was duly seconded. Several discussions took placed until the members of the House came to voting.

Some members explained their votes, some did not. They voted as soon as their names were called in alphabetical order. The voting was completed at about midnight with the result as follows: 174 yes; 35 no; and 15 abstain. The motion was approved. The position of Speaker of the House of Representative was declared vacant. Immediately, former speaker Jose De Venecia nominated Congressman Prospero Nograles of Davao City for speaker. The nomination was duly seconded. The nomination was closed. Nograles was proclaimed Speaker of the House of Representatives. He took his oath of office before Cong. Pablo Garcia of Cebu at about one o’clock dawn, February 6.

During the voting, Aklan Congressman Florencio T. Miraflores voted ‘yes’. That meant he agreed to declare the position of the Speaker vacant.

No Financial Report

In his radio interview with SM Butz Maquinto, “Ilitsahan,” RGMA, DYRU, Congressman Miraflores informed the radio audience why Cong. JDV was removed as Speaker of the House of Representatives. According to him, JDV was removed not because of the National Broadband network (NBN) alleged anomalous transactions, but mainly because of his treatment to the members of Congress. “The first termers felt they were not treated fairly”, Cong. Miraflores pointed out. “JDV gave more favors to the old timers in Congress,” Miraflores added.

Moreover, JDV has never submitted any financial report. There was no transparency as to how JDV disbursed the billions of pesos annually appropriated for the House of representatives, according to Cong. Miraflores. Most of them felt JDV gave more funds to some of his favorite congressmen and less fund to some. The first term Congressmen felt they were sort of lower class members of congress, Miraflores implied.

This is good lesson too. By the mere failure to prepare and release financial report, a speaker of the House of Representatives was removed from the speakership.

Do It In LGU

Governor Carlito S. Marquez releases financial report from time to time. He also gives his financial report as part of his State of the Province Address.

In the case of Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo, he may avoid some critics should he provide the public his financial report on the holding of the annual Sr. Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Festival. In addition to his report about the Ati-Atihan festival, it maybe better also for Mayor Rebaldo to inform Kalibonhons of the financial condition of Kalibo.

Cong. Joeben is a living witness on how JDV was dethroned from the speakership for not being transparent in the disbursement of funds in the House of Representatives. Of the 240 members, 174 voted for JDV’s ouster, only 35 voted to retain him, while 15 were neutral.

Like the congressmen, their respective constituents in various congressional districts will really feel happy to know the annual budget of a congressional district and the ways and where the funds are spent.

Likewise, the LGUs with the leadership of the mayors will make the budget and disbursement of funds be transparent.

PAFC Vice Chairman Resigns

In each province, a Provincial Agriculture and Fishery Council (PAFC) is organized with the assistance of the Department of Agriculture (DA). PAFC is mandated to assist the DA monitor its projects in the province.

In each municipality, the Municipal Agriculture and Fishery Council (MAFC) are organized. The chairman of the MAFC and the Municipal Agricultural Officer of each town of the province constitute themselves into PAFC. From among themselves, they elect their chairman and other officers. The Provincial Agriculturist is automatic vice chairman. In the case of Aklan, Mr. Delano T. Tefora who is the Provincial Agriculturist is the Vice Chairman.

But he has resigned as per his post dated resignation letter dated February 26, 2008. According to Mr. Tefora, he is “tendering my resignation as PAFC Vice Chairman due to Memo No. 2008–020 of Governor Carlito S. Marquez dated February 7, 2008; that Mr. William B. Castillo is the Officer In-charge of the office (Office of the Provincial Agriculturist), and that the undersigned was reassigned to the Office of the Governor…”

The reassignment of Mr. Tefora to the Office of the Provincial Governor is unexpected. What will he be doing in that office?

Perhaps Gov. Marquez has something for Mr. Tefora to do. Agriculture including fishery is a twin program of Aklan. This development is very important to watch. His expertise is perhaps urgently needed at anytime by the governor.

Mr. William B. Castillo will also be given his chance to prove he can manage and show result in agriculture development of Aklan as Officer In-charge of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, Aklan. Mr. Castillo has now all the chances to show to Governor Marquez and the people of Aklan his capabilities as Provincial Agriculturist. /MP

Tourism Secretary Assumes Boracay Administrative & Control

Effective immediately, January 18, 2008, Tourism Secretary Ace Durano shall exercise the functions of the Philippine Tourism Auhtority (PTA) to administer and control Boracay Island as tourist zone.

All Building Permits, under Letter of Instruction No. 1298, are suspended for any structure for any structure in Boracay. The Mayor of Malay, Aklan are instructed to suspend the issuance of Building Permits for any structure unless approved by the Philippine Tourism Authority and the Provincial Governor of Aklan as chairman of the Aklan Provincial Tourism Development Task Force.

These above instructions are mandated in Executive Order No. 706 issued by Malacañang, signed by Executive Secretary Eduardo R. Ermita and Ms. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The Executive Order is effective on January 18, 2008. /MP