Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Healthy Fisheries Production 
And Conservation


Mrs. Luz C. Naigan, Elementary School Teacher of Bakhao Norte in a science subject asked, “what can you find in a large body of water like the Sibuyan Sea?” Prompt responses were plastic bags, glass bottles, tin cans, sandals, bags, rugs and last of all fishes. At least the consensus is that Aklan fishery resources mainly living in Sibuyan Sea covering 8,127.0 sq kms. is practically devoid of its once precious commodity. Is this the price we pay for the neglect of our environment and illegal fishing activities? Kids are keenly aware of the impending disaster with dwindling fish catch and worsening poverty.

Aklan has 128 kms. of rugged coastline where commercial, municipal and aquaculture fisheries posted 15,45.93 metric tons in 2008; 15,710.15 metric tons in 2009; and 17,362.01 metric tons in 2010. There is annual increase in volume of fish catch of 2.9 percent . However sectoral data on commercial fisheries show slight increase in the volume of fish catch of 2.5 percent per year, modest increase of 5.5 percent for municipal fisheries and negligible increase of 1.0 percent in aquaculture over the 3-year consolidated report of the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics. 

It is underscored, data included the period when Typhoon Frank devastated Aklan on June 21, 2008. Worse hit were aquaculture projects (busted pond dikes and loss of culture fish stock) and marine fisheries (damaged fishing gears, fishing boats and equipment). Nevert-heless the annual increase in fisheries production could hardly cope up with the population demand. The cheapest animal protein source of Filipino diet is invariably fish, yet the lowly galunggong costs P110 – P120.00 per kilogram in the local market. 

Sharp annual decline for the above period in commercial fisheries are Big-eyed tuna (tambakol/bariles) – 33.4 percent, Eastern Little tuna (kutchorita) – 22.0 percent, Round herring (tulis) – 16.1 percent, Blue crab (alimasag) – 13.2 percent and Frinbriated sardines (tunsoy) – 6.7 percent. The shortage of fish supply in local markets lead to spike in consumer prices and importation from neighboring provinces like Capiz, Iloilo, and Antique. The other enterprising fisherfolks venture far off near Sibuyan Island targeting the highly prized yellow fin tuna. The catch however is far short in between the long fishing sorties.

On the other hand, moderate annual increase is noted in Indian sardines (tamban) – 19.7 percent; Cavalla (talakitok) – 10.3 percent; Big-eyed scad (matambaka) – 5.2 percent; Indian mackerel (alumahan) 5.1 percent; Goatfish (saramulyete) – 5.1 percent; and Casio (dalagang bukid) – 4.9 percent. 

Plausible explanation for falling production of fish catch is attributed to climate change (El Niño and La Niña phenomenon) and occurrence of typhoons and floods. In addition, rehabilitation of fishing fleet, motorized bancas and fishing gears take at least a year to recover. Favorable fishing months only occur during southwest moonson (Habagat) which starts in May and ends in October. 

It appears that at 2.9 percent growth of fisheries per year against population increase of 2.0 percent is not sustainable. This calls for drastic measures like passing statutes  declaring off-season harvesting of certain fish species like those previously listed as declining in volume of catch, creation of more municipal marine sanctuaries and artificial coral reefs, mangrove reforestation and strict enforcement of fishery laws. Creating healthy marine environment basically considers continuous linkage in the food chain from plankton to top predators. 

Legal sanctions against dumping of solid and liquid wastes into bodies of water will undoubtedly rid the environment of pollution and unnecessary health risk to people and wildlife. It should be underscored, the rise in utilization of plastic materials in commerce and industry for the last 40 years coincided with sharp decline of fishery catches not only in Aklan but in the entire country. Data show that 70 percent of 1,445 municipalities are classified as coastal and dependent party if not wholly on fishing as source of livelihood. 

Off-season prohibition against certain fish species like herring was successfully done recently in Zamboanga Peninsula for the canning industry, sinarapan in Lake Buhi, Camarines Sur; and Diwae or angel wing clam in Capiz is nothing new. Seasonal fishing is extensively practiced in the US, Japan, Norway, UK, Australia, Canada. State proclamation covers only certain period where fish specie breeds and spawns hence able to recover. Inland freshwater of Lake Buhi with 1,800 hectares for example is well conserved thus assuring constant supply of the delectable sinarapan, a gourmet food of Bicol. 

The affected sustenance fisherfolks with their average monthly income of less than P2,000 are qualified under the Conditional Cash Transfer program of DSWD. Otherwise, they can be conscripted under the Food for Work of the Agency planting mangrove propagules in coordination with DENR and other NGO’s thus bolster P-Noy’s re-greening of the countryside.  

An old Chinese proverb says, “one generation plants the trees and another gets the shade”. Indeed our generation lives in the shade of many trees that were planted by our ancestors. The same principle holds true with our water ecosystem. As an archipelago part of the nation’s wealth is dependent upon the health of our seas, ocean, swamps, marshes, rivers, and lakes. We can only build and insure our very own future if everyone cares to become involve.  /MP   

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente

Redistricting Aklan

On Thursday, May 24, the Senate Committee on Local Government approved a bill making the Province of Aklan into two (2) congressional districts. A similar bill Cong. Florencio T. Miraflores authored and filed in the House of Representatives was approved by that chamber several months ago. 

But that redistricting bill for Aklan before it becomes a law will still be approved by the Senators during their plenary session. After the Senate has stamped its approval, there maybe a bicameral conference committee to finalize the two versions (House and Senate) of the bill. The final version is then sent to the office of the President of the Philippines for his approval. For that bill to become a law, the President may sign it or he just allows it to lapse into law by not acting on it. 

For its proper implementation, there must be Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) to be approved. The law and its IRR must be published in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper. If it is required, the people of Aklan will be asked to vote in a plebiscite to obtain agreement to make Aklan into two congressional districts.

The Aklan redis-tricting bill after its approval will make Aklan into two congressional districts and therefore two congressmen in the House of Representatives. This will double the voices of the Aklanons in congress to articulate their aspirations, their dreams, their problems and their ideals.

When today, Aklan has only one congressman, by 2013, Aklan will have two. In terms of projects, this will double the quantity and quality they may get of goods and services  from the national government. In return, Aklan will also double its contribution to the national government efforts in legislation, national planning and projects implementation.

How will Aklan be divided into two congressional districts? What municipalities constitute the First District? the Second District? Where are the boundaries? Questions like these may be answered after a copy of the said redistricting law is made available. 


In order to participate and to benefit in our booming tourism industry, a person must produce product or services and sell it to the tourists. If he does not produce either goods or services for the tourists, then he becomes a willing victim of the tourist industry in Aklan. 

Think of these. For 24 hours daily, an average of 32 airplanes land and take off in Kalibo International Airport, Pook, Kalibo. Maybe, only 100 passenger are Aklanons, the rest in those planes are visitors. Or out of the 32 airplanes landing in KIA, maybe only one plane is enough for Aklanon passengers daily.
We can just imagine the volume of pollutants those planes bring to Aklan. We can just imagine the distraction these airplanes bring to the people during its arrival and take off especially in the middle of the night.

The million of tourist arrivals annually worsen traffic. Vehicular accidents increased, food items prices  increased, real estate cost and room rentals had increased. These price increases, pollution, traffic congestion and other disturbances had adversely affected the living condition of the people of Aklan.

The only way to participate and benefit from tourist industry is to produce either goods or services for sale to the visitors. Any Aklanon who has nothing to sell is a willing victim of tourism.

There is a need to produce something salable to the visitors to make tourism in Aklanon meaningful and profitable to Aklanons. /MP  

Corona Is Guilty

Chief Justice Renato C. Corona is guilty as charged meted out by the 23 senator judges, 20 found Corona guilty while three found Corona innocent.

Those who found Corona guilty are Senators Edgardo Angara, Alan Peter Cayetano, Pia Cayetano, Franklin Drilon, Francis Escudero, Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, Teofisto Guingona III, Gregorio Honasan II, Panfilo Lacson, Lito Lapid, Loren Legarda, Sergio Osmeña III, Francis Pangilinan, Aquilino Pimentel III, Ralph Recto, Ramon Revilla, Jr., Vicente Sotto III, Antonio Trillanes IV, Manuel Villar, and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.

Those who found Corona innocent of the charge are Senators Joker Arroyo, Miriam Defensor Santiago, and Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.

The senator judges found Corona guilty for “culpable violation of the Constitution”. They found Corona guilty under Article II of the Article of Impeachment. 

The 20 senators found him to have violated the SALN law for his non disclosure of his dollar and peso bank deposits in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth.  

Angara voted guilty for Corona’s failure to “complete disclosure of his assets, liabilities, and net worth in order to suppress questionable accumulation of wealth”.

Alan Peter Cayetano did not agree with the Chief Justice’s interpretation of the law as explained why the US$ 2.4 million and P80 million bank deposits are not included in Corona’s SALN.

Pia Cayetano did not agree and did not accept the defense’s reasons on Commingled funds. According to Drilon, Corona concealed his luxurious condominiums and the P180 million by not including it in his SALN.

Francis Escudero did not agree with the defense reasoning why Chief Justice Corona did not disclose his US dollar and peso deposits in his SALN.  Jinggoy E. Estrada supported the views of Escudero. Estrada voted guilty.

Guingona believes strongly the prosecution presented indisputable facts which the defense failed to present convincing evidence to support Corona’s omissions. 

Honasan said, the trial was not about personalities, emotions, or partisan politics but about judging whether a magistrate is fit for his job. He asked “did he speak out against injustice and uphold the law?” Honasan voted “guilty”.

Lacson concluded “I therefore find the respondent guilty as charged under Article 2 of the articles of impeachment.

Lapid spoke in Pilipino who strongly believed “malinaw na malinaw na si Chief Justice ay lumabag sa batas”.

Legarda said, “it was not easy, it is painful but we must do it” and voted “I convict”.

Osmeña admitted, Corona violated the Philippine Constitution for he “did not disclose in his yearly statement of SALN his bank deposits”.

Pangilinan declared, “sa kanyang mga labi na mismo nanggaling na nararapat siyang ma convict at masibak sa pwesto”.

Pimentel pointed out, “there is no law exempting commingled funds from disclosure in the SALN”.

Recto declared, “Mr. Corona knows (the SALN) this because in cases brought to the Supreme Court he had punished his fellow government workers for failing to disclose far lesser amounts”. Corona must be punished too”.

Revilla arrived that, “through his (Corona) own direct admission, the chief justice failed to properly disclose all his assets in his SALN”. Sotto followed his conscience and voted guilty. Trillanes believed Corona’s interpretation of RA 6426 is erroneous and self serving. Villar spoke in Pilipino and voted Corona guilty. 

Senate President Enrile voted last. In his talk, he summarized the processes followed in the impeachment trial. He concluded that Corona’s “deliberate act of excluding substantial assets from his sworn statement of assets, liabilities and net worth constitutes a culpable violation of the constitution”. He voted guilty.

Sen. Arroyo believes Corona’s action was “omission in good faith not impeachable”. Sen. Miriam did not only vote “acquitted”, she gave lecture. Bongbong Marcos agreed Corona “violated the SALN law, (but) this certainly does not rise to the level of an impeachment offense”.  

Carpio Is Acting CJ

Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio will be the acting Chief Justice of the Supreme Court after the removal of CJ Renato C. Corona from office following his conviction by the Senate impeachment court. He was found guilty of non-disclosure of some of his assets in his statements of SALN by a 20 – 3 votes.

Carpio’s takeover in acting capacity is in accordance with Rule 2, Section 2 of Administrative Matter No. 10 – 120 – SC. /MP

Rainy Season Is Yet To Come

Manila, Philippines - Even after days of grey skies and sudden rains, the onset of the rainy season has yet to officially come, state weathermen said last week.

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical,and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) forecaster Aldczar Aurelio said the onset of the southwest monsoon season locally called ‘’Habagat’’ will likely commence between the last week of May and the first week of June.

This will be manifested by wide spread rainy condition, particularly on the western side of the country.

It will also be characterized by a noticeable consecutive number of rainy days, and winds from the southwest direction. 
Aurelio said there are three requirements to be met for the announcement of the onset of the rainy season.

These are: ‘’Five-day period with three consecutive days of at least one millimeter (mm) of rainfall each day with a total of 25 mm or more;

‘’Five of the 10 Type I stations have satisfied the rainfall criteria, i.e. Metro Manila must at least have two of the three stations met the first criterion; and

‘’Prevailing winds over the western Philippines must have southwesterly component that comes from the West Philippine Sea.’’

Field synaptic stations are located in Laoag, Ilocos Norte; Vigan, Ilocos Sur; Iba, Zambales; Dagupan City; San Jose, and Ambulong, Occidental Mindoro; Baguio City; Cabanatuan City; and Metro Manila.

The peak of dry season and high air temperatures are still expected in the coming days due to the prevalence of the ridge of high pressure area (HPA), Aurelio added.

As of Sunday last week, the ridge of HPA has extended over Bicol Region and Eastern Visayas.

The recent La Niña event may still have adverse effect on the rainfall pattern this May and June, with one to two tropical cyclones that will likely develop this May, he added. /MP

Merchant, Mayweather Bury Hatchet Before Pacquiao Fight


HOLLYWOOD, California – Now that they have buried their hatchet, WBA junior middle weight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. and HBO senior commentator Larry Merchant are expected to step into the ring together again in the future for a post-fight interview in Mayweather’s next fight as they used to do prior to their verbal joust that grabbed headlines last year.

If Mayweather (43-0, 26 KOs) would fight again after completing his jail sentence which commences on June 1, it could be against Manny Pacquiao (54-3, 38 KOs), who is favored to put away Timothy Ray Bradley Jr. (28-0, 11 KOs) on June 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Mayweather, 35, had called for Merchant to be fired due to Merchant declaring that Mayweather cheated in his WBC welterweight fourth round KO win against Victor Ortiz (29-3, 22 KOs) on September 17, 2011. Mayweather then offered “free advice” to HBO that it should fire Merchant. The unbeaten boxer told the analyst, “You don’t know shit about boxing.”


Mayweather grew irritated by Merchant’s questioning and interrupted Merchant by saying “You never give me a fair shake...They can put somebody else up here to give me an interview. HBO need(s) to fire you. You don’t know shit about boxing. You ain’t shit...All of these boxing experts - how can you be a boxing expert if you never had a fight before?” Floyd Mayweather, Jr.’s outburst led to Merchant responding: “I wish I was 50 years younger and I would kick your ass.” Later Mayweather defended his outburst by saying that “Everybody is tired of Larry Merchant.”

After Mayweather whipped Cotto for the WBA diadem on May 5, 2012, Merchant, 81, admitted that Mayweather had apologized the night before the bout and accepted the apology.
Merchant has told USA TODAY Sports he didn’t think the brouhaha was hype. “His September thing was spontaneous. And I just responded spontaneously because I wasn’t smart to think that up,” he said. “If I was smart enough to figure out something that would go around the world three times before I left the ring, I’d be doing something else. … He’s the star. He made a big gesture. We’ll move on.”


But Mayweather was all smiles on-air with Merchant and told HBO’s Jim Lampley that he was wrong about Merchant.

“His September thing was spontaneous. And I just responded spontaneously because I wasn’t smart to think that up,” Merchant said. “If I was smart enough to figure out something that would go around the world three times before I left the ring, I’d be doing something else. … He’s the star. He made a big gesture. We’ll move on.”

An Army radio operator, Merchant said the Mayweather flap was sort of an old story. “Athletes, like all of us, want love,” he said. “They think you’re great and know everything when you give them love. Once you don’t, they’re not so enamored.”

Famous boxers who have clashed with Merchant include Mike Tyson, Oscar de la Hoya. The De La Hoya incident came during his fight with Pernell Whitaker. When De la Hoya entered the ring to Mariachi music, Merchant stated that while he loved Mariachi music, he felt that it “stunk” in this particular situation. Merchant would later apologize on the air after De La Hoya tried to have him removed from HBO.


Merchant is well known for his postfight interviews which feature his hard hitting, blunt questions and confrontational interview style. These have drawn both praise and ire in the past. Fans have claimed them to be candid and honest while detractors consider them to be purposely agitational and insensitive at times. An example of this occurred when Vernon Forrest won a controversial decision in 2006 over Ike Quartey. When Forrest thanked those close to him, Merchant quipped, “Would you also like to thank the judges?”

In 1985, Merchant received the Sam Taub Award for Boxing Broadcast Journalism presented by the Boxing Writers Association of America. He is also the author of three books. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. In October 2002, he was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in Los Angeles. /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro

Panyo Ni Catalina

Sa isaeang ka lugar, may sangka bulag. Sambilog eonlang ro makakita ko anang mata. Si Catalina ro anang ngaean. Naga pakalimos imaw sa Poblacion. May naghueog kana it panyo nga puti samtang naga pakalimos imaw ko agahon ngaron. May masakit abi ro anang ina busa patay huya nga nagapakalimos imaw agod ibakae nana it bueong ag pagkaon sa anang ina. 

Guin poeot nana ro panyo ag guin hugom. Mahumot nga mayad ro panyo. Anang guin singhot. Nakabatyag imaw it pagkabusog bisan owa pa imaw naka pamahaw ko agahon ngaron. Nag uli imaw ag guin pakaon ro anang ina sa anang guin bakae nga noodles sa tindahan.

Pagkaaga, nag pakalimos eon man imaw. Maeapit sa anang naka-hamtangan, hakita nana nga may natumbang babaye. Guin daeagan nana ag guin pa hugom ro panyo. Nagmayad eagi-eagi ro babaye. Madasig nga tumindog ag pumanaw nga mingko owa it natabo. Hangawa si Catalina. 

Pag uli nana ko hapon ngaron, anang guin samitan nga ipahugom man ratong panyo sa anang ina. Mingko pinahid ro masakit ko anang ina. Nagbaskog ag nakabalik sa pag-eaba ro anang ina.

Pagkaaga, may umagi man kana nga isaeang ka eaeaki nga may mabug-at nga guina pas-an. Pumundo, naglingkod ag nag pahuway. Guin buligan nana ro magueang nga makatindog. Guin pangutanan nana ro magueang kon nano ro anang guina pas-an. Nagsabat ro eaeaki. “Rondaya ro mga kasae-anan it mga tawo. Bu-ot ko nga tubson ro mga tawo agod indi mapabilin sa kuko it diyablo ag maka agom it kabuhi nga owa it katapusan”. 

Dayon mabakas nga naduea ro eaeaki. Nagpaeanindog ro baeahibo ni Catalina. Nagminatu-od ro anang habati-an nga sermon it pare. Guin tan-aw nana ro anang panyo ag may naka marka it oyahon ko atong Gino-o nga nakahurma kat anang guinpahid sa uyahon it eaeaki. Halin kato, guina gamit nana rondayang panyo sa mga masakiton, sa mga tawong naga problema ag sa mga pobreng maka eoeo-oy. 

Nagpabilin nga daeaga si Catalina hasta imaw namatay. Parabil imaw mabugto-an it guinhawa, guin hinyo nana nga buytan ro panyo, agod sa pagkita nana sa atong Gino-o, imaw ro maga uli ag magpasaeamat sa guin ta-o kana nga kahigayunan nga makabulig sa anang isigkatawo paagi sa panyo. /MP

Operation Taghoy Team Arranges Medical Mission In Surigao


The Taghoy Group

The Advance team of Uplift Internationale (UI) was in Surigao City and Siargao Island on May 17-20. Its founder/president Dr. Jaime Alonso Yrastorza headed the team with Dr. Gerald Capoot, UI Board member -Dr. Jack Dahl, Executive Coordinator Taghoy Phils. – Ms.  Megs Lunn and volunteer Dr. Mirko Harasym. 

The Rotary Club of Metro Surigao led by its Pres. Edgar Guerra welcomed the team. He brought them around the Caraga Regional Hospital, Governor’s guest house and Siargao island. San Isidro Mayor Lamberto B. Dominos, Sr. and Dr. Dennise A. Vasquez, OIC of Dapa District Hospital welcomed the team.

The UI Operation Taghoy forged an agreement to conduct medical mission in cooperation with the LGU Surigao tentatively scheduled in February of 2013. The Rotary Club of Metro Surigao assured its support to the medical mission team from the USA, Europe and the Philippines. 

UI Operation Taghoy will perform the needed surgery to the children with cleft lip palate without cost. 

The target is 120 patients with cleft and lip palate to be operated within a 6-day period at Dapa District Hospital, Siargao Island. /MP

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Corona Confident of Acquittal 
Congressmen Expect Conviction

“See you next year”, said Chief Justice Renato Corona to his critics as he expressed confidence last week that he would be acquitted in the Senate impeachment trial.

Corona took the witness stand on Tuesday, May 22. He talked for 3 hours, left the witness table without being discharged.

The chief magistrate believes he will be able to hurdle his ordeal and, in the end, be cleared by the Senate sitting as an impeachment court.

But Corona said he also would have to brace for another impeachment, as revealed by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales during the hearing last week.

Corona attended a special Mass at the Supreme Court for his second anniversary as Chief Justice.

His lawyers were as optimistic as their client.

“After CJ’s testimony on Tuesday, he will come out clean. We hope that the truth would be enough to set him free,” lawyer Dennis Manalo announced to reporters during the event at the SC Centennial Building, Manila.

Defense counsel Jose Roy III said that they would not coach Corona in preparing for his testimony.

“We want him to prepare in isolation,” Roy explained.

The lawyers did not give any hint as to how Corona would address the allegations against him, particularly the charges of Morales that the Chief Justice had 82 dollar accounts in several banks with a “transactional balance” amounting to $10 million, spread out over five banks as of last year based on records from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).

Corona vowed to continue his fight for the sake of the farmers of Hacienda Luisita.

“I already put my entire life on the line for all of you. I put everything on the line for you,” he told farmers who trooped to the SC to support him.

Corona has insisted that his impeachment was a result of the SC ruling for the total distribution of the sugarland estate owned by President Aquino’s family in Tarlac, with a lower value set for just compensation.

Original farmer-beneficiaries of Hacienda Luisita cheered the Chief Justice.

Noel Mallari, one of the leaders of the 6,296 original farmers, said they went to the SC to personally thank Corona for fighting for their rights.

“We are grateful but we are also scared because the DAR (Department of Agrarian Reform) has not given a specific date yet for the distribution of titles. This is why we are supporting the Chief Justice in his fight,” he said.

Corona’s family members also vowed to stand by him.

“This storm will end soon and the truth shall prevail. You shall be vindicated, dad,” said Corona’s son Francis.

Corona’s wife Cristina said she wished and prayed for the acquittal of her husband after the Holy Mass.

She also hopes there would be “peace and unity for the country” after the impeachment trial.

Various associations of judges and court employees and civil society groups, including Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees, also attended the Mass.

The Chief Justice also denied reports that his wife Cristina is set to fly to Spain this Saturday, a few days before he testified at the impeachment court on Tuesday. Corona dismissed the report as “pure intrigue.”

Text messages circulated saying Mrs. Corona was booked on a Qatar Airways flight to Barcelona at 6:20 p.m. on May 19.

Corona’s lawyers also disputed claims that the “game is over” for their client, saying the Chief Justice should be allowed to speak first before making such claim. If we lose, we will lose fighting,” said lead defense counsel retired associate justice Serafin Cuevas who admitted that Corona owns 82 dollar accounts could be the biggest issue that they need to counter.

“The claim about deposits could be the biggest aspect because with regard to the properties, I think the impeachment court is already convinced that (the Chief Justice) only owns five instead of 45,” he said.

The prosecution initially accused Corona of owning 45 properties but took it back and claimed instead that the magistrate has 21. They claimed that majority of the 21 properties were not reflected in his statements of assets liabilities and net worth (SALN).

Corona, however, admitted to owning only five properties.

These are the Bellagio Tower penthouse in Global City, Taguig, another condo unit at Bonifacio Ridge, also in Taguig, a third condo at The Columns on Ayala Avenue, Makati, a fourth condo in Quezon City, and his house in Xavierville, Quezon City.

Cuevas said the accusation that Corona owns numerous bank accounts was the turning point that convinced Corona to take the witness stand.

Expect Conviction

On the other hand, lawmakers who signed the Articles of Impeachment against Corona said the testimony of Ombudsman Morales was the “tipping point” that would ensure his conviction for betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution.

Members of the Movement 188 – the 188 congressmen who signed the impeachment complaint – were referring to Morales’ testimony that Corona has undeclared 82 foreign currency deposits that are believed to hold some $12 million.

“We believe it (Morales’ testimony) was the tipping point of the impeachment trial,” said Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, one of the convenors of the group. No amount of legal maneuvers would be enough to contradict the testimony of the Ombudsman.

“We don’t know how the Chief Justice can successfully debunk the Ombudsman’s testimony,” he said.

“No amount of smoke and screen tricks can mislead the public and the senator-judges on the real issue,” he added. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente

China Bans RP Products

Due to the dispute of ownership over the Scarborough Shoal, the Chinese banned the entry of Philippines export to China. Chinese  quarantine authorities had prevented the entry of Philippine Cavendish banana to China. The reason according to the Chinese is the presence of plant pest with the bananas inside the container vans.

There are some 1,000 bananas container vans in some piers in China which are rotten considering the short keeping quality of bananas. If the ban will continue some 15,000 hectares of banana crops will not be marketed. China ranks fourth  banana importer from the Philippines.

Moreover, beside banana, other fruits like mangoes and pineapples are not accepted entrance to China now. Pnoy has suggested to fruit businessmen to expand their markets for bananas to other countries. 

However, plant pathologists and entomologists from the Bureau of Plant Industry, after their own examination,  found no pest of bananas. What they found was the pest which attacks coconuts. 

Filipino authorities on plant pests and diseases cannot also believe banana exported to China is pests infested as it passes through rigid quarantine treatment such as fumigation, and hot water treatment. Moreover, until today, no country which import Philippine bananas has complained of any pests in bananas. 

Not only that, China has prevented the enrollment of thousands of Chinese students in the Philippines. It also prevented their Chinese tourists from visiting the Philippines. Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines had suspended their flights to Beijing, Shanghai and other Chinese destinations. 

With these actions, China is becoming a bad neighbor, unfriendly, pushing the Filipinos to a very tight situation. 

With what China is doing to the Philippines, Filipinos might as well return the compliment. Anyway, their goods exported to the Philippines are of very inferior quality. Last week, I bought a “Made in China” ballpen at P5.00 a piece. After one minute writing, it runs out of ink. What a waste!

On the other hand, the Chinese bullying in the Scarborough Shoal has awaken our Filipino leaders. Now we are seriously arming ourselves to protect Philippines territory. There are pledges of military assistance from Japan, South Korea and Australia.

The United States of America will provide navy vessels, fighter jet planes and other war hardwares. Top US officials are also assuring the Filipinos of their compliance to the provisions of the more than 60 years old Mutual Defense Treaty between the Philippines and the United States of America. 

ASEAN, US Talk Security

The US and Southeast Asian nations embarked on three days of talks Sunday that would include security cooperation shortly after a Pentagon report raised concerns about China’s military build-up. The Philippines hosted the discussions.  

“Eminent persons” and senior officials from the United States and ASEAN met from May 20 to 22 in Manila, US embassy and Philippine Foreign Affairs department statements said.

Deepening security cooperation, climate change, trade and investment were discussed over the three days talks. They also “reviewed key elements of the US-ASEAN partnership”, the US embassy said.  /MP

Thais Host 103rd Rotary International Convention


Her Royal Highness, Princess Chulabron Walailak Akra Rajakumari of Thailand as she greets all the delegates of the 103rd RI Annual Convention in Bangkok, Thailand, picture above.  Picture below (l to r) Pres. Patana Sittisombat of RC Thailand, Pres-Nominee Rolando Navarra of RC Metro Kalibo, Aklan, PP Megs Lunn of RC Roxas, and Pres. William Greene of RC Myrtle Beach, South Coast,  USA.

The 103rd Rotary International (RI) convention was held in Bangkok, Thailand with hosts RI President Kaylan Banerjee and the RI Board of Directors from May 6 to 10, 2012 at the biggest Compact Exhibition and Convention Center, Bangkok, Thailand. Together with the host partners are The Rotary Foundation Trustees, the 2012 Bangkok Convention Committee, the 2012 Host Organization Committee and host districts 3330, 3340, 3350 and 3360 of Thailand welcomed the delegates from 200 countries all over the world. 

At the plenary sessions, simultaneous translations were made in French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thais. The convention opens on May 6 with Her Royal Highness, Princess Chulabron Walailak Akra Rajakumari of Thailand graced the opening program and welcomed the delegates.

The Convention Chair, O.P. Vaish, Rotary Club of Delhi Mid-Town, India said, “We have come from more than 200 countries, with different culture but united in one purpose, to make a difference. The flag of each country, each is representing the truth, courage, peace and unity in diversity.”

RI Pres. Kaylan Banerjee in his speech reminded the delegates why they are brought together by Rotary in the theme, “Reaching within to Embrace Humanity.” Rotary’s public image is one of the thrusts of the Rotary’s program.  

Thousands of Rotary link social media as a way to strengthen its network, to improve and develop more the Rotary’s profile to show the world what they do and connect themselves with others, too. This way, they put value to what they do and inspire people even more, Pres. Kaylan reiterated that social media is a good way to inform the public what is Rotary. Rotary End Polio now is a landmark of success in creating major Rotary thrusts in public image. 

Kaylan ended his speech thus: “We can’t enjoy the warmth of a good heart when others are cold. The reason we gather in Bangkok, is part of something greater than ourselves. Everyone of us has given the resources to recognize it, appreciate it and share to others, so you know how much you can give”. 

The Rotary Club of Kalibo was represented to the 103rd RI Convention by some 12 Rotarians, some with their spouses led by their president, Bing Santamaria. /MP 

“Bugna It Tangalan” Festival

Queen Weraly Señeris, “Miss Bugna It Tangalan 2012” with princess Jenny Gloriane,  Maan Francisco, Nicole Andrea Rubias, and Geam Mangilog. (Ms. Myla Clavel photo)

Ro banwa it Tangalan, Aklan hay nag saueog it kapiestahan nga ginhiwat ko Mayo 15 – 16, 2012. Guin pakita it mga taga Tangalan ro andang mga gina pabugae nga produkto, ro andang systema it pagpangabuhi, ag ro pagpakilaea sa kinaiya it mga pamoeoyo sa banwa it Tangalan.

Raya hay sang dominggo nga selebrasyon nga guin umpisahan pa ko Mayo 10, do unang adlaw it pagbukas ko “food festival” o kaon-kaon sa plasa. Sinundan it “Talent Mo, Show Mo” ko Mayo 12 nga kun siin bukon eamang it mga Akeanon ro nag partisipar sa rondayang paindis-indis kundi, pati man ro mga kaeapit nga probinsiya kapareho it Capiz.

Si Miss Weraly Señeris do hapili-an nga “Miss Bugna It Tangalan 2012”. Gin koronahan imaw kaibahan sanday Jenny Gloriane, 1st runner up; Maan Francisco, 2nd runner up; Nicole Andrea Rubias, 3rd runner up; and Geam Mangilog, 4th runner up. Gin pasa ni Miss Anna Marie P. Gonzales, Bugna It Tangalan 2011 ro anang korona ko gabi-e sa koronasyon, Mayo 15, 2012. 

Una man sa rondayang selebrasyon do Tangalan Mayor Gene Fuentes. Nag pasaeamat gid imaw sa tanan nga nag impon sa rondayang okasyon. 

Paagi kay Vice Mayor Jed A. Tirol, ginpakilaea nana ro dinapit nga bisita. Uwa it iba kundi ro representante it Probinsyang Akean, Cong. Florencio T. Miraflores. Nagtao si Cong. Miraflores it mensahe sa mga taga Tangalan ag nagpanguna man imaw sa pag korona sa Miss Bugna It Tangalan 2012.

Si Julfe T. Rabe, Ben Balasador it Love Radio Kalibo, Mark T. Daroy ag Joeby T. Barrientos ro nagtindog nga mga anchor/host it programa. 

Natapos ro mabinungahon nga koronasyon sa matawhay ag masinadyahon nga pag saueog ko mga taga Tangalan sa andang piesta. /MP

‘Pacquiao Fans Must Boycott Grove’


HOLLYWOOD, California – Even if the Grove, Jinky Pacquiao’s most favorite shopping center in Los Angeles, will lift the ban on Manny Pacquiao, the damage on the Filipino world champion’s name has been done.

The mall management issued a terse statement May 15 evening that the 33-year-old lawmaker from Saranggani, Philippines was persona non grata at the popular outdoor shopping center a day before Pacquiao’s scheduled interview with “Extra,” which regularly films at the mall next to the Original Farmer’s Market at Third Street and Fairfax Avenue.

The mall, the report said, was reacting to Pacquiao’s statement where he disagreed with President Obama’s stand in favor of gay marriage.

“Based on news reports of statements made by Mr. Pacquiao, we have made it be known that he is not welcome at the Grove and will not be interviewed here now or in the future,” said the mall management quoted by the Los Angeles Times. “The Grove is a gathering place for all Angelenos and not a place for intolerance.”


Quoting the same source, the LA Times reported that “Grove officials feared that allowing Pacquiao’s interview to go forward at the mall could have proved disruptive.”

The article, where the Grove management based its ban on Pacquiao, stated that “Pacquiao’s directive for Obama calls societies to fear God and not promote sin, inclusive of same-sex marriage and cohabitation.”

Stoking further controversy, the LA Times said, the story quoted Leviticus 20:13, saying: “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”

Pacquiao has denied quoting that biblical reference saying he had nothing against gay people and that hateful comments attributed to him were untrue. Writer Granville Ampong also confirmed he did not attribute the statement to the boxing champion saying the Leviticus verse was his own version. Some American newsmen who picked the story may have wrongly attributed the Leviticus statement on Pacquiao, it was reported.

“To the gay community, I apologize,” Pacquiao declared during the “Extra” taping held in his L.A. house as reported by L.A. Times. “I’m against same-sex marriage, but I’m not condemning you. My favorite verse is ‘Love one another as you love yourself. Love your neighbors. So I love everybody!”


Many boxing fans and shoppers have expressed displeasure that the reigning WBO welterweight titlist was barred from the mall saying the order was “divisive and discriminatory.”

“It (the mall) shot before asking a question,” lamented shopper Felipe Fontaine of Orange County. “Since Pacquiao has denied saying the harmful words against gays and most of his fans believe him, the fans should retaliate by boycotting the mall.”

During the Christmas shopping season, fake snow is produced periodically during the night in the mall. In mid-November, the Grove Christmas Tree goes up. At 110 feet, it is the tallest Christmas tree in the city of Los Angeles.

As this developed, Yahoo news reported that “hundreds of netizens have supported a petition asking sportswear company Nike to drop Pacquiao as an endorser, following his opposition against gay marriage.”

The petition, initiated by Gay Marriage USA via, asks Nike to “say ‘no’ to hate speech” by withdrawing its sponsorship of Pacquiao, a champion boxer whom the brand has supported since 2008, it was reported.

“Following (U.S. President Barack) Obama’s recent announcement of support for marriage equality, Pacquiao quoted Bible excerpts to state that homosexuals should be put to death: If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads,” the petition reads.  /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro

Punta It Tunnel

Halin sa pigadong pamilya si Nelly. Onga imaw it pobreng ginikanan. Owa eon ngani imaw maka padayon it pagtu-on pagkatapos it “High School” tongod namatay ro anang ama. Nangin madueom kana ro paeaabuton tongod sa kapobrehan.

Naga labada eamang ro anang ina ag imaw ro naga bulig una sa pamaeay bilang kamagueangan nga onga. Tag naga usoy it kabulig ro guina labadahan ko anang ina, guin sungbil nana si Nelly agod magmunot idto sa Manila nga mangin kabulig. Sa owa guina huna-hunaa, may mabahoe nga negosyo gali ro anang ha adtonang amo. 

Tongod maila-on sa negosyo ro dalagita, nag bolontad imaw nga mangin tindera. Guin butang imaw nga tindera ag guina saligan si Nelly ko anang amo. Guin turo kana ro mga paagi sa negosyo. Pagkataliwan it pilang buean, nakilaea nana ro isaeang ka eaeaking negosyante man, baeo ag owa man it onga. 

Nagkasugot sandang mag iba nga matsa mag asawa man. Manami ro andang pagsinaeayo busa nagdayon ro andang pag iba hasta nagpakasae. Nagpundar sandang mag asawa ko andang dogalingong negosyo hasta nag umwad ro andang pagpangabuhi. 

Nag uli si Nelly sa anang dating barangay agod boe-on ro anang pamilya. Owa haeos it nakakilaea eon kana. Halipat eon kana ro andang mga kahilapit. Ibang Nelly ro andang hakita. Bukon eon it mahuya-on ag pobreng daeaga nga puro kadueom kon anang tan-awon ro anang paeaabuton. 

Ha-eampasan eon nana ro madueom nga “tunnel”, hakita eon nana ro kahayag. Guin pamatod-an nana nga owa it guina ga-id sa kapobrehon sa tawong naga sukoe ag desidido. 

Nagpahaom si Nelly it abo, sari-sari ag manamit nga mga pagkaon. Anang guin kangay ro anang mga igbata ag nag “party” bilang pasaeamat sa Diyos sa mga grasyang nabaton. 

Makaron, abo kana nga nagakilaea eabi guid ro mga pulitiko. Kada piyesta sa andang baryo hay naga uli gid imaw agod maka-iba sa anang mga igbata, dating ka eskwela, ag mga amiga nga guina kahidlawan man nana. /MP

Remembering World War II Veterans*

* Short remark of Atty. Francisco M. Belongilot, District Commander, Aklan Veterans District delivered during the First Akeanon Veterans Week celebration held on April 10, 2012 at Kalibo Veterans Shrine, Poblacion, Kalibo, Aklan

First of all, allow me to express my deep and profound thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ for giving us this day to remember and honor the 584 Aklan Veterans of World War II. The 584 veterans were united in their commitment to fight and defend their country especially their province of Aklan and the whole Panay island. That commitment was sincere and by heart coupled with integrity. 

They in fact allowed themselves to be inducted into and included in the roster of troops organized by the late Gen. Macario Peralta, Jr. at Camp Tiring, Cabatuan, Iloilo. They later dispersed to Balete, Aklan, the others to Ibajay and Kalibo. The unit in Balete was directed to attack the Japanese Garrison in Libas, Banga, Aklan, while the unit at Kalibo and Ibajay were directed to attack the Japanese soldiers in Pandan, Antique to clear the area for the landing of an American submarine carrying firearms and ammunitions for dis-tribution to different military units in Panay Island which increased the fire power of the soldiers leading to the surrender of the Japanese forces in Panay.

Our soldiers were courageous to fight the enemy because of their newly acquired firearms and easily tracked down their enemies because they were knowledgeable of the terrain. It was really a sacrifice on their part in their quest for freedom, peace, and democracy. 

The above-mentioned sacrifices of our veterans during World War II, Panay Island was liberated by the people of Panay who composed the 6th Military District under the command of General Macario Peralta, Jr. the Americans came in only after the whole area was cleared by our own soldiers. This was confirmed and declared by the Undersecretary of National Defense and concurrent Director of Philippine Veterans Affair’s Office, Lt. Gen. Ernesto Carolina, my contemporary in GHQ in 1958.

In behalf of the World War II veterans, we sincerely give thanks to our governor, Engr. Carlito S. Marquez for sponsoring the cons-truction of the statue of Gen. Macario Peralta, Jr. as a token of gratitude to the late founder of the guerilla forces in Panay. The same is chargeable against our continuing appropriation of P100,000.00 for CY 2012. This continuing appropriation is started by Cong. Joeben T. Miraflores when he was the governor of Aklan which was sponsored by the former board member, Atty. Plaridel Morania and approved by the former vice governor, Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino.

Gov. Marquez, sir, please allow me to report to you our travel to Tigbauan, Iloilo last March 18, 2012 to answer the directive of our regional president of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines, Region 6. That affair was very significant. It was about the celebration of the liberation of Panay of which Aklan is a part.

For arriving first at the assembly area, we were commended by the regional president and other officers from the central office. We arrived at 5:30 o’clock in the morning, 30 minutes before the parade started at 6:00 o’clock in the morning from the boundary between Oton and Tigbauan, more than 5 kilometers away from the scene of the American landing. Our province of Aklan was properly represented as every van (vehicle) carried a banner: “Contingent from Aklan Province”.

Thank you and may the good Lord Jesus Christ bless us all.  /MP   

Mayors Top List of Officials Facing Corruption Cases

City and municipal mayors topped the list of government officials with the most number of cases filed against them before the Office of the Ombudsman in 2011. Are you one?

Records show that 3,852 cases were filed against mayors in 2011, of which 2,075 were lodged in the anti-graft agency’s central office in Metro Manila.

The Office of the Ombudsman’s finance and management information office (FMIO) said 633 cases were filed in the Luzon office, 600 in the Visayas, and 544 in Mindanao.

Members of the Philippine National Police are second on the list with 1,128 complaints against them. Members of the Department of Education is third with 562.

The Philippine Information Agency is fourth with 490 cases; followed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue, 416; Armed Forces of the Philippines, 304; Bureau of Customs, 177; Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 155; Department of Social Welfare and Development, 148; and Department of Justice, 98.

At least 92 cases were filed against personnel of the Department of Finance; Department of Health, 87; Department of Public Works and Highways, 86; Department of Agrarian Reform, 81; Commission on Higher Education, 57; Commission on Elections, 54; National Labor Relations Commission, 48; Bureau of Fire Protection, 47;  and the National Bureau of Investigation and National Economic and Development Authority,  with 45 cases each.

The FMIO report also listed 14 agencies with the least number of cases filed in 2011. The agencies include the Laguna Lake Development Authority, Local Civil Registrar, Philippine National Oil Co., Senate and the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority. Is there no case in the Department of Agriculture?

The Office of the Ombudsman did not provide information on the status of the complaints. - By Michael Punong-bayan (PNS) /MP