Sunday, July 18, 2004

The right thing to do

Well, GMA did the right thing in pulling out of Iraq, didn't she? But why is she still getting flak from some Filipinos? Never mind Leno and the American bullies, they need to put up a brave front in the groundswell of public opinion. But why from Filipinos? Because it appears that GMA made a halfhearted decision, that it was almost too little too late. She didn't want to pull out, but realizing her shaky mandate, she finally relented. Even the ambiguously worded statement smacks of deceit. She passes off the members of the Filipino contingent on leave/R&R as the start of the pull-out process. But they're on leave/R&R even before the kidnap. Sus, gustong manggulang, pero 'di nagpagulang ang kidnappers. They'd release Angelo when the last Filipino troop leaves. Maybe GMA wanted first an arm of Angelo to be released. Paunti-unti, hulugan, kaya konti munang Angelo ang i-rerelease.

But these are not kidding times. GMA deserves support on this one. She should start making decisive moves and not be reactionary. Tirang takot, ang nangyayari sa atin. But this is a start. As we said before, others are bound to follow and abandon GW on this one. He's about to lose in November, anyway. Look, Thailand followed our trail. Marami pa yan.

There is reason to believe that the Americans themselves 'support' the kidnappers, if not outright behind them. They need the sympathy of the public. They martyred some Americans, but nothing happened in the homefront. Now they martyr other nationals, hoping to get the international sympathy, still no dice. Maybe in time, Oliver Stone and the director of F9/11 can collaborate to uncover the truth.

Thursday, July 8, 2004

Angelo bound to happen

It was bound to happen, the Filipino OFW captured in Iraq set to be beheaded by Iraqi dissidents. With GMA’s blind adherence to Bush’s unjustified war, I am mildly surprised it took this long for Iraqis to nab one Pinoy. In fact, GMA might be annoyed that a Korean was beheaded first before a Pinoy because GMA is second to none in licking GW’s ass.

This is got to be a tough one for GMA. But this may yet become her chance to finally be the hero that will unite the Filipino nation. This may be her last chance to finally win the hearts and minds of every Filipino. She should order the withdrawal of all Filipino troops in Iraq as demanded and denounce the war as not for the Filipinos to fight. That should be enough to merit the hostage’s release and earn for her the gratitude of the entire nation. She shall also be a hero to 75% of the world; she shall start an avalanche of public opinion against Bush. The rest of the world will follow and soon enough the Nobel Peace prize will be hers. That is something even Cory wasn’t able to do. With that singular achievement, I see the world at our feet and our internal problems will be easily solved. All that may be just wishful thinking if GMA runs true to form and be GMA.

Wednesday, July 7, 2004

Not a fan but glad they won

I am not a Ginebra fan, but I am happy the Gins and not the Thunders won last night. Yeng is a bad coach (Chua comes a close second). He has all the material and he wastes it. What makes him (and Alfrancis) even worse is that he doesn’t realize his shortcomings and instead blames the referees. Yeng says they’re a come-from-behind team. With the talents he has, they should not be left behind. Even without Miller, they’re the best team, with much to spare in every position.

Red Bull wins big games not because of their talent but because of the failings of their opponents. Art Long’s recent mysterious drop in game form easily comes to mind. Asi also had a dip in game when they met once. The Thunders should start asking what happened to Harp’s game. But they don’t ask, as in Miller’s case. They let go.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Still on the elections

Still on the elections...It's been a month since we trooped to the polling precincts and still we don't know the winner. It's a sad testament to our ability to conduct honest elections, a gauge of mature democracy. The on-going COngressional canvass can be facilitated by the opposition stipulating to the authencity of all the COCs, except the 25 or so that they will contest. The majority should in turn allow the minority to open the 25 COCs' ERs and SOVs as they wish. This is all possible within the law and the adopted rules. If the majority is sure that they didn't manipulate the COCs then a respectable accounting firm can easily tally the ERs and the results should match the COCs. This is still doable within the June 30 deadline. The minority then should accept the results and life goes on. The majority's reluctance to even summon the SOVs and ERs, which should be there in the ballot boxes in the first place, gives the opposition a chance to cast doubts on the whole process. In the silly proceedings, it indeed seems that GMA and her lackeys are hiding something.

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

A pleasant surprise

It's a pleasant surprise that our economy grew more than expected. Analysts predicted a growth of above 4% but the economy actually grew by 6.2%. Government says the growth is fueled by increase in personal consumption expenditure brought by pre-election spending. Fine, understandable. Government-side spending for the election hasn't factored in yet in this growth. In fact, government spending growed slower in the first quarter. So it's not true that GMA spent a lot for the human billboards that disappeared right on the day after the election. The overly advertised government programs that GMA bandied about did not contribute significantly to this GDP growth, government says so. The government acknowledged, though, that the increase in government spending was for the printing of election paraphernalia and contractual services (and maybe the botched computerization). Moreover, centrifugal sugar exports grew by 60% this quarter. Last year, we actually filled our quota. With this growth in sugar export, we may have filled our quota this early. The traditional top export earners actually didn't post growth this time. Manufacturing is down. Our ability to sustain this growth(?) is doubtful.

The opposition says GMA spent a lot of government money for this election. The government, through its data, says it isn't so. Economic planners shoudn't be exactly happy with this growth. If government will not admit spending much during the first half of the year, it will be very hard to show that GDP will grow significantly by the 3rd quarter and by year-end. We have milked the data dry to show that GDP increased but not because of government spending.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004


Prof. Ben Lim wrote: "The SWS exit poll showed that 31.4% of NCR voters voted for GMA while only 22.9% voted for FPJ. GMA appears to be 4.4% ahead of FPJ. But NCR COCs showed that FPJ garnered 35.9% while GMA garnered only 27.3% or FPJ is 8.6% ahead of GMA. In Region XII the SWS exit poll showed that GMA garnered 45.8% while FPJ only 36.9%. But Region XII COCs showed GMA to have garnered only 25.4% while FPJ received a massive 44.7%. FPJ is 19.3 percent ahead."

Wow, does KNP's own quick count show the same pattern? Why does the press praise SWS quick count given these discrepancies?

The Today editorial hit it right again. The votes of those who conceded this early is prey for dagdag-bawas. It's Roco's right to concede, but he and everybody else should watch his votes and make sure it's not added to whom he has conceded.

Monday, May 3, 2004

My vote goes to ...

On Monday, we’ll have the chance to elect a new president. I’m sure most Filipinos are not satisfied with GMA. Who is, anyway? Jose Pidal fans and cohorts, maybe. But it may be that many Filipinos are afraid of change, preferring what they think is lesser evil. To them I say let’s not forget the time when we wanted the untested Cory over Marcos. We are in similar straits now. We have to change GMA. We must all vote solidly for her nearest rival. We should not split and waste our votes.

My senators are the following:
1. Heherson Alvarez. Tops the list because of his principled independent stand after being dumped by his party.
2. Bong Coo. On the list because of the maltreatment she got from the Comelec and the other Bong.
3. Nene Pimentel. This guy should always be on the Senate.
4. Enrile. Let him do his thing on the PPA.
5. Padilla. For sticking by Ping through thick and thin.
6. Jamby Madrigal. She spent a lot for 2 elections. Maybe she’s got what it takes to be a senator.
7. Gordon.
8. Chavez. We all could use his legal mind in the Senate
9. Yasay.
10. Flavier. He’s not a candidate now, but whenever I hear his pitch for Jawo, it’s Flavier's Senate record that I remember.

Friday, April 9, 2004

A welcome respite

The Holy Week is indeed a welcome respite. The air is less polluted and the surroundings is less noisy because of the less traffic. We have less bad news and that's good news. Even the criminals rest, I suppose. But I fear this rest only winds the spring. By Easter Sunday, the bad news would uncoil. We'd have the candidates again foisting themselves on us. GMA would be refreshed and be at it again. I expect her to proclaim the MRT-2 to be her gift to the Filipino people, ala Erap. I hope she realizes that the only gift that matters is if she's out of Malacanang by July. Can't we have a Holy Week at least every quarter?!

Wednesday, April 7, 2004

The Passion

I watched 'The Passion' today with Vito. I had to fork out Php192.00 for 2 tickets, another Php 115.00 for a bucket of popcorn and two glasses of iced tea. If the wife and my other son joined us, I would have spent more than Php600. No wonder people patronize film pirates.

I admit I watched the movie, despite the scandalous ticket prices, because of the hype. They said there's too much gore and blood that it's rated R (actually R-13 here. I think we're the only one with the R-13 rating. Can our kids take violence and gore more maturely than foreign kids?) Imagine an R rated scriptures-based film on Christ. It's not Scorsese (Last Temptation of Christ) and its R? This I have to see, and so we went.

This is not the typical religious movie. Old movies on Christ shown on TV have that serene, calming, almost boring quality. Sometimes Christ's face is not even shown, giving that undescribable effect, na pang-bibliya. Watching 'The Passion' is another experience. You know the story. You anticipate the subtitles. You listen to the dialogue even if its spoken in dead languages. You know what's going to happen. But still be enthralled and anxiously wait for the next scenes.

Real life, movie/TV, mass media violence, cenaculos, penitensiyas, and too much 'Faces of Death' have desensitized me. But the movie reinforces what has been force-fed us over the years, that Christ is the Savior. It should remind every Christian, especially the convenient Christians, that His death should not be for naught.

Monday, April 5, 2004

A world-class MRT

I took a free ride at the new MRT-2 plying the Santolan-Avenida route when they tested the system today (April 5). Wow! The trains are wide and long. The stations are big and clean. The ride is smooth. This is better than the MRT-3 (North Ave.-Baclaran). Definitely world class. This system promises a very good alternative to the jeepneys which are further slowed down along Aurora Blvd. by (ironies) the construction of the MRT.

Throngs availed of the test rides. When word leaked that the rides are free, many, even those in their house clothes trooped out to the stations. And all seemed satisfied with the quick ride. It took less than 15 minutes from Santolan to Legarda. Imagine doing that on the jeepney. It's not possible even on midnight of Good Friday.

The MRT-2 is slower but very similar to the MRT system in Malaysia. I wonder if its also driven by computers. Sana huwag ma-baboy ito kapag ginagamit na.

Thursday, April 1, 2004

Here's a suggestion to the opposition

All opposition presidential candidates run because they think that GMA should be replaced and that they will be better presidents and they can do much with the flowing campaign funds. All these reasons are true, but there will only be one winner. So i suggest that they pool all their resources and withdraw in favor of just one candidate. That candidate would be the one with the biggest chance to win, FPJ. It will then be just a one-on-one fight. The others who withdraw now will not be covered by the one year ban on appointments. They can be immediately appointed to cabinet positions in an FPJ presidency. Roco can retake his Education portfolio or the Justice department or the COA. Ping can return to the Senate or better still be a very effective DILG secretary. Eddie V. can work at the DSWD. We must remember that the whole point is we should not allow GMA to have another 6 years.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

They lied to us

In Max Soliven's show, GMA finally admitted that the Jose Pidal accounts had campaign contributions for vice presidential campaign in 1998. That it's all private contributions not government funds, and that it was all right to use aliases when the accounts were opened, and that they closed them when she came to power, these are not the issues. All she's saying now does not hide the fact that they lied to us before.

Then Ping was right all along. Will GMA now admit Vicky Toh, the US homes and accounts, etc?

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

The pattern of deceit

I'm afraid the new round of jeepney fare adjustments (they prefer to call it that, instead of fare increase) will bring in more confusion than necessary. First, they say the base is shortened from 5 to 4 kilometers. I don't remember who made it 5 km again. Marcos (or Cory) brought the base down to 4 km years ago. So it's a trick. Then the LTFRB chief says the fare is only 63 centavos but won't mind if drivers round it up to 75 centavos as long as the passengers agree. Whaaat? That's allowing the jeepney operators to raise fare if we agree. If we don't then 'bahala kayo mag-away!' The new fare adjustment means that the minimum is still P4.00 for the first 4 kms. Pero dati na yun. Inuuto lang nila ang drivers. Pag-aawayin lang nila ang mga driver at pasajero

The government is buying time before it really acts on the fare issue. It does not want to allow any fare increase before the elections, but at the same time it does not want to antagonize the whole jeepney sector, knowing that it can only pay off some leaders but not the whole force. Again we see the pattern of deceit in its dealings.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Ping should give way

I am sure Ping Lacson would be a nice Philippine president. He's tough. And appears to have that single-minded, purposeful attitude. Among all the candidates, he offers doable, sensible, practical solutions. He even has a timetable to effect his programs. GMA cannot claim to be our best, last hope. She doesn't seem to realize that she got us into this. But poor Ping! He cannot win. Not yet at this time, anyway. He still has too much baggage dragging him down. His ratings indicate that his base has not increased over the past months.

Why Ping still clings to the hope that he'll pole-vault over Roco, GMA, and FPJ to win in May reflects again his single-minded, purposeful attitude. But will somebody knock some sense into the guy. He can use that spirit come 2010. Meanwhile, all efforts should be directed to unseating GMA. Perhaps Ping can be a very good DILG secretary in an FPJ presidency. That should be a good vehicle for his own presidency later.

In his dogged effort to win, Ping is torpedoing FPJ's campaign. He has stopped his attacks against Jose Pidal and instead renewed his war against FPJ's group. GMA should be smiling these days, maybe she and Ping know something that we don't.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Are the Ayalas better than the Lopezes?

This morning people from Manila Water (the Ayala-controlled water service company) came to my door offering free septic tank excavation. Sayang, I just had ours done last month by Malabanan to the tune of PhP5,000. This must be what's Bayani Fernando's been saying last year, that the water utility companies will do it for free as what the old NAWASA should have been doing. But I didn't believe BF on that until this morning.

This reinforced my thought the the Ayalas are better at business than the Lopezes. Or at least they provide better service. The Ayala utility companies that come to mind do well and provide good service. They have Globe telecoms and the Manila Water, both of which I am a fortunate client. I hear that both BayanTel and Maynilad have unsatisfactory service. And both incur heavy losses, too, along with Meralco. Maybe ABS-CBN earns, but many say that Channel 7 has better programming. The Lopezes should not be in the public utility business. In many instances they resort to the government to fix their quandary. And whoever wins the presidency this year, they will have a truly Lopez-controlled president by 2010 in either Loren or Kabayan. Kawawa na talaga tayo.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Why I am not voting for GMA part III.

I've been away for a while to help Vito review for his finals. Like I said in a previous post, FPJ should explain what he meant by his debt restructuring posturings. GMA pounced on this, but her plans are not any better. Which brings me to my earlier message - that we should not allow GMA to stay beyond May. We must remember that GMA did us in. She had the chance to turn things around but instead she brought us Jose Pidal, worsening conditions, and uneven governance. So, whom am I voting for? My premise is that Filipinos should elect anybody else but her. And the more candidates against her, the lesser the opposition's chances. That is why I am voting for the opposition candidate with the best chance of winning. FPJ is not necessarily the best candidate, but he has the best chance of beating GMA. So I am for FPJ.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Why we should not vote for GMA, part II

What she's been doing? GMA appointed to the Comelec 2 unknown/dubious characters. She put her law firm/lawyers to important offices. She reenacted the 2003 budget so she can freely use funds for the elections. She uses public officials (Manapat, Corpus, etc. come to mind) for political demolition and the government machinery for her campaign. The FPJ party may be composed Marcos-Erap cronies, but GMA is also wooing Marcos-Erap-Danding buddies. She's married to Jose Pidal and consorts with Nani Perez.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

It's time to look for her replacement

GMA promises 6 more years of the 3 years that she already imposed upon us. Kaya pa ba ng Pilipinas yon? It's time to look for her replacement. Let's look at the other candidates one by one.

With GMA supposedly gaining on his early lead, FPJ now turns to some populist campaign lines like anti-globalization and debt restructuring. Maybe his handlers realize that they can't solely rely on his popularity, and that they must bare a semblance of a platform. But what's this? With his new campaign tack, FPJ will further distance himself with the lending powers and their campaign contributions. But this is really the right track for us. The debt burden is almost 3/4 of the budget. To get the international lending institutions' support, FPJ must impress upon them that he is not at all repudiating the onerous loans GMA incurred (1/4 of our total debt is because of GMA). He should ask for a relief (1-2 years) until we are better off.

to be continued.

Tuesday, March 9, 2004

This is Fire Prevention Month

A fire (because this is Fire Prevention Month) razed 20 houses in my neighborhood yesterday. Again a disaster brings out a good trait of Filipinos, pagtutulungan. Neighbors immediately poured out to help their fellows in need. People unmindful of their own safety assisted in the spirit of the barangay. Unfortunately, it is not long before in same disaster that the Pinoy's bad traits surface. Some people pretending to help turn out to be looters. Firemen wanted grease money before they hose down the fire. A former barangay official wanted firemen to water his house first.

This morning, people started to blame each other for the tragedy. The barangay captain, long perceived to be inept if not corrupt, got the brunt of it when he was punched by an irate man who lost his house. Definitely no one wanted the fire. It was pure accident when a candle used during prayers over a comatose man tipped and burned the curtains. The people in the house first carried the patient outside the house before they put out the flame. When they got back inside, the fire was uncontrollable.

I am now waiting for that other good Filipino trait to manifest itself. That is hope. A hope that among the ashes shall rise a better neighborhood, still ready to help itself and each other, without the bickering and the sisihan.

Monday, March 8, 2004

Let's not fall for it

I cringe everytime I see GMA say she's still our best, last hope. Has our talent pool sunk this deep?, that she and her gang are still the best for us. Well, we can expect more of Jose Pidal, more of flip-flop management, broken promises, etc. Now she promises more jobs, more foreign investment, etc. Let's not fall for it. Remember, she's the one who promised lower power rates. She promised not to run in 2004. She promised to eradicate jueteng. To get rid of the Abu terror in 90 days, etc. Now, look at what happened to those promises. Maniniwala pa ba tayo sa kanya?

Sunday, March 7, 2004

Politics to my 7-yr old son

VitoThe highly political atmosphere has rubbed on to my 7 year old son, Vito. He is grade 2 in a catholic run school. Lately when he sees FPJ in the news, he blurts out - "Hindi naman Pilipino yan e, wala pang pinag-aralan." When he sees Ping Lacson, he comments "lagot tayo pag binoto yan, e lason yan e." Then I asked him, "e sino dapat ang iboboto natin". He replied "Si Roco". "Bakit yun", I prodded. "Kasi Roco-roco rin yun!". Then he sped off laughing.

Friday, March 5, 2004

Why I am not voting for GMA

Why I am not voting for GMA, or why I urge you to vote for anybody but her:
1) She is supposedly with a PhD from where I, too, studied Economics, but the peso is at its lowest while our Asean neighbors are now recovering; 2) We have the highest power rates because of her EPIRA law; 3) Fuel prices zoomed to their highest; 4) She did not stop Jueteng, it even expanded operations; 5) We have well-dressed GNP (?accuracy, hmm), but at what cost to the budget deficit; 6) We are constantly downgraded by international rating firms, we are the 4th most corrupt in Asia; 7) Hypocrisy prevails in this kapalmuks government, uneven application of standards in all aspects of governance.