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Posts Tagged ‘Philippine Politics’


“The Filipino is worth dying for.”

Proclamation 1081 (Martial Law) was signed by then Pres. Marcos on September 21, 972. I was in high school.  Ninoy Aquino was assassinated on August 21, 1983 (31 years ago today), I was a young mother then with an eleven-month old daughter.  February 25, 1986 was the highlight of the return to democracy when Marcos and his family left Malacanang Palace for good after more than two decades of governing the land.

Watching the two-hour documentary today on the assassination of Ninoy  and the presidency of Cory Aquino made me remember the dark days of Philippine history. I remember the  bloody student demonstrations and rallies  before martial law was declared. I remember the day when we could not even listen to news because radio and television channels were closed. The glorious days of a dictator just started, the ambitious dream of a man to rule by military power. He incarcerated his enemies including Ninoy Aquino, the man who could have been the greatest president of the Republic of the Philippines, the only powerful enemy that Marcos had. I watched the documentary with my son who kept asking questions what life was like during the martial law years and how the Filipino people were affected by Ninoy’s death. I wrote a blog about this before.

Prior to what we know now in history as the People Power Revolution, I was part of the crowd at Ayala Avenue throwing confetti and yellow flowers made of crepe paper every time there was a rally scheduled in Makati. Bank of PI  (located at Ayala Avenue corner Paseo de Roxas) was at the center of those rallies and demonstration since the stage’s set-up was always facing our office building.  Now, that area is occupied by a statue of Ninoy Aquino, a tribute to a hero.Photo courtesy of ayalatriangle.comI remember collecting issues of the tabloid Malaya which was the only newspaper having regular reports of the assassination and how people reacted to it. I remember keeping a copy of a newspaper when the Marcos family left Malacanang to be exiled later in Hawaii. It was the day that ended a dictatorship.

Ah, those moments of happy celebration when all Ayala employees and their subsidiaries joined the merry dance at Ayala Avenue led by our big boss, Don Jaime Zobel de Ayala. You can just imagine people in corporate attires  dancing to the tune of Tie a Yellow Ribbon and laughing  out loud – the days when democracy was truly restored in our land.

He said, ” I believe that the Filipino will respond to the call to greatness not by coercion but by persuasion, not by intimidation but through the ways of freedom”. May his  legacy lives on and may the youth of today appreciates and remember what he did for our country.

Ninoy Aquino, my own personal hero.

 

 

Photo courtesy of ayalatriangle.com

 

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I am not a political analyst, neither am I into politics but I appreciate President Obama’s visit here in our country. They say he is the most powerful man in the world on account of the USA being the most powerful country. I won’t delve into the nitty-gritty of the whys and the hows of his visit here because I am not qualified to do so. What I saw of the warm welcome, the warm smiles, the wonderful speeches that both leaders delivered yesterday are enough to gladden the hearts of the Filipino people who believe that peace could only be achieved not by arms and golds but through  a sincere dialogue and communication.

It was the second straight two days that I allowed myself to stay in front of the television to watch the canonization of  Saints John Paul II and Saint John XXIII in Rome the other day and the arrival of President Obama yesterday.  I enjoyed watching both. I found some pictures posted by the Gazette of the Republic of the Phils. on Facebook which I follow.

I love this.  he took his time shaking hands with the ordinary Malacanang employees, smiling and looks truly glad to step foot in the Philippines.

I love this. He took his time shaking hands with the ordinary Malacanan employees, smiling and looks truly glad to step foot in the Philippines.

 

U.S. President Barack Obama's inscription in the official guestbook of Malacañan Palace: "I thank President Aquino and the people of the Philippines welcoming me. May America's oldest alliance in Asia always be renewed by our friendship and mutual respect."

U.S. President Barack Obama’s inscription in the official guest book of Malacañan Palace: “I thank President Aquino and the people of the Philippines welcoming me. May America’s oldest alliance in Asia always be renewed by our friendship and mutual respect.”

 

The welcome ceremony at the Malacanan Palace grounds.

The welcome ceremony at the Palace grounds.

 

It was short (not even a twenty-four hour visit) but I saw a glimpse of the man who is so polite  and knows what he is talking about.  Report says this is the eight visit of a President of the United States to the Philippines.

 

(photo credits: Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines)

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Everyone of us has followed the development of Napoles’ pork barrel scam.  The Million People March in Luneta last Monday showed everyone that the people mean business, that is, to get to the truth behind this scam that involves P10B siphoned off from the coffers of the  Philippine government which, technically translated, belongs to  all Filipinos who are diligently paying their taxes no matter how miniscule their income is.

Last night, Napoles finally surrendered to no less than the President himself.  And everyone following the news of her surrender rejoiced at least for a while. She was then transferred to Camp Crame. What I can’t understand is why are they giving her preferential treatment and even considering her to be a state’s witness?  It’s appalling to even think of her as a state’s witness, don’t you think?  Justice Secretary de Lima said that as far as the evidence shows, she is the central figure in this scam. Gosh, what is happening to our country? What’s the hidden agenda?   We can’t help but think that there is something fishy going on here.  I would not be surprised if we will see her in one of the hospitals here also on a wheelchair. The latest news says that she might remain at Camp Crame  or be transferred to Camp Bagong Diwa  and not at Makati City jail  as previously planned because she must be protected at all cost. What about those whistleblowers who also risked their lives to tell the truth so the people may know? Eh bakit ang isang magnanakaw, na nang snatch lang ng cellphone, derecho sa kulungan?

I am an ordinary citizen religiously paying taxes and I demand to know the truth and nothing but. As I have said in my earlier blog, I hope they are not just paying lip service to us all. And I can’t help but think that this is just the tip of the iceberg.  There are bigger fish involved and Napoles is now scared stiff for her life. I’m sharing a picture posted by one of my friends at Facebook and it clearly shows the”true picture”. Thank you to whoever made this cartoon,  the message is clear.

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And here’s one more picture I found on Butch Abella’s timeline.   Such is what some of our politicians have become.  Greed for money and lust for power.

evolution

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I am not sure if that word porky is appropriate here but this is just to show you how tiring it is to see and read news on the pork barrel every day. All of a sudden, I am tired of seeing Napoles’ face everywhere on the net, I am tired of reading her daughter’s blog freely flaunting her signature shoes, bags, and everything else she wears from head to foot, an ostentatious display of wealth while majority of the Filipino people are  living below the poverty line. I am tired of those shameless politicians denying that they didn’t get anything from their share of the “drums” and “barrels” of  people’s money  and those who entered politics just because they want to get their share too.  One  senator even said that it is not their responsibility where their pork barrel goes, if I may say, what an irresponsible and irrelevant statement coming from someone who was supposed to be intelligent enough to understand that it is not their money but hard-earned by Juan dela Cruz.  As they say in Tagalog, dugo’t pawis ang puhunan. Or are they swimming in the quagmire of their deceit, lies  and more lies?  Do they still have conscience ?  Don’t they possess any shame? Where did the P10B go, in the pockets of a few?

Today, finally, Pres. Aquino issued a statement on the abolition of PDAF  (Priority Development Assistance Fund).  Some senators have filed resolutions too  (or at least around 15 of them)  believe that it should be abolished.  I hope it is not just mere lip service since the Filipino people are getting  angry and we have the right to be.  Let  justice prevail and punish those who are guilty of this sabotage.  Corona’s impeachment is nothing compared to this.

I am just tired of it all.

So I’ll spend a little of my time getting acquainted with new authors and new books. Sometimes, you’ll get a nice surprise. I have just  watched the trailer of the movie adaptation of The Book Thief,  one of the best books I encountered a few years ago.  (A favorite read, obviously but I don’t have my copy yet).  Just can’t wait.  And here’s something from Roger Housden  which might inspire you too.

When I write I fall by the wayside and pick myself up and stumble and bumble along the line hoping that any moment, this moment, I’ll find my way home and there is a moment and then another moment when I almost catch the inexpressible by the tail and it slips away again just out of reach but I’m on the scent now and I can see the letters almost forming into words and the words into sentences but then I see a cup of tea floating between me and the screen and my body is already half out of the chair when I remember again what I’m sitting here in search of and I fall in, I fall in and the words come bubbling up from below onto the line and I can’t stop now nothing can stop what wants to take shape and all this despite myself.

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I love to address the first few lines to those Filipinos who have nothing in mind but to badmouth everything that is happening in our present government. It’s as if they are all perfect and they exactly know how to run our country  and offer viable solutions and make the Philippines  a country we could all be proud of. If you are so smart enough, why don’t you  offer solutions to the problems besetting every one of us, why do you just stay in the sidelines and let yourself rant and whine or is that your way of pulling down the rest of us who still feel optimistic that there is a great chance for us to achieve our goals as one collective voice? Such a pathetic attitude. I didn’t vote for PNoy but I believe that he has that sincere desire to make it work. At saan ba nag-uumpisa kundi  dapat sa malinis at hindi corrupt na gobyerno?

It was delivered in Tagalog  which is more easily understood by Juan dela Cruz.  It took all of an hour  and a half, with around 115  applause in between, not that the applause matters much but  there are highlights in his speech that  are really worth-admiring for want of a better word. Walang hindi makakaya ang nagkakaisang Pilipino, he said. Nothing is impossible to a united Filipino nation. How true, we dreamed of a change, we dreamed of a corrupt-free government run by honest people we elected in office. He mentioned about responsible parenthood in relation to the shortages of classrooms, school chairs and books and it was the most applauded highlight of his speech. I wonder though if it equates to the controversial RH Bill which I hope will never be passed into law. There is a continuing opposition on the part of the Catholic Church. But I guess, responsible parenthood does not necessarily mean that you have to use  contraceptives, I take it to mean that you can plan your family the natural way so you can give them a good future in the end. It’s up to individual couple to observe the natural means (without using drastic measures to prevent conception) of family planning – that’s responsible parenthood for me. You can’t measure a progress of one nation by curtailing  a younger  generation which is the hope of a country’s future. And here’s Pres. Aquino’s stand on responsible parenthood.

He touched on economic reforms, agriculture, flood control, health care and the stable rise of the price index in  the stock market, tourism,  rehabilitation of NAIA 3, infrastructures, agrarian reform, criminality and strengthening the Armed Forces.  He has  a good vision for the Philippines which he wants in place before he leaves by 2016. They are doable as long as he stay focused and put it all into action. For now, the challenge remains but I am sure that if he has our support, everything is possible. It would have been more significant if he touched on the plight of our OFWs who for the past several years were  helping the government through their dollar remittances. Rising cost of commodities, fuel and electricity should also be given importance because they are everyday necessities for Juan  dela Cruz to survive.

Overall, the SONA was  very good, may he continue his unblemished records  for the past two years as far as corruption is concerned. We really need a president who is clean, honest and not corrupt. Ituloy ang matuwid na daan, we are following you.

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Caught the Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile  this morning being interviewed by Karen Davila on Headstart at ANC. And I can’t resist quoting his words:

“I stretched the rules of evidence in favor of the Defense, so they would not complain of  grave abuse of discretion on our part.”

“In the beginning I was trying to give the Chief Justice the benefit of the doubt.”

“I don’t understand why the Defense called the Ombudsman and they could not even qualify if she is a hostile witness.”

“No legal or financial mind can invent the content of the AMLC document.”

“I will not accuse him of lying but they were not ready to bring the quantum of evidence needed to explain Corona’s assets.”

“There was some degree of inconsistency in the totality of Corona’s defense.”

“He was measured and I think he failed.”

“He was appointed at Chief Justice, I would presume he was fit as a lawyer to hold the position.”

“I based my decision on evidence. I studied the Corona case more than the Prosecutors and Defense.”

Oh, and I just love it when he said that he made a listing of the Senators who will vote during the judgment then he pulled out the list  from  his wallet and showed it to Karen Davila. It’s a list of the committed, the uncommitted (his name was included here) and the three names for acquittal. He was right on target, the three names appeared to be Arroyo, Marcos and Santiago.

Nice penmanship Manong.  Let me continue:

“Supreme Court cannot review our decision. The Senate Impeachment Court is outside the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.”

He said further that the president cannot appoint an outsider. They should come from the remaining fourteen members of the Supreme Court. He was asked whose speech he liked the most when the senators explained their votes and he said: “Lito Lapid”. He will support VP Binay for president in 2016 but unsure of who will be his VP, saying that either Escudero or Estrada would be okay. He loves reading and memorizing poems and watching old films on TV.  He’s 88 years old  but his mind is so sharp. Nice job Manong Johnny!

(thanks again ANC for the grabbed pic and to Phil. Inquirer for JPE’s photo)

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Would it be proper now if we just call him plain “Attorney”?

For the past five months, I’ve been so focused on  the impeachment trial  that I forgot the weeds growing in my  garden and they look so ugly interspersed with my blooming and healthy peanut grass.  Judgment has been rendered and the Filipino people are happy that democracy still works in our country.  The telenovela is over, not all are satisfied though with the ending because they are talking about the possibility of  filing a petition for review before the Supreme Court. We’ve heard before the rendering of the verdict that both Prosecution and Defense would abide by the outcome of the voting.  And one election lawyer even said that the verdict was incomplete because Senator Enrile, the  presiding officer of the IC did not read in his closing speech the penalty for an impeached chief justice.  As far as I know, “it shall not go farther than removal from public office and perpetual disqualification from public office”. He won’t be imprisoned but he could kiss public office goodbye.

Had he just resigned from office, he could have saved himself and his family the humiliation and the ordeal of leaving the Supreme Court in shame.  It could  have been a graceful exit and  he could have endeared himself more to the people who still believe that he is innocent . But he chose to stay, holding on to the last minute. In his dramatic walkout from the Impeachment Court last Tuesday, May 22 he said in arrogance, “And now the Chief Justice of the Republic of the Philippines wishes to be excused”. He is now excused forever. Quo vadis CJ?

Let us move on and let us move forward. If there is one positive thing that we learned from all this, at least now, transparency in a public office is a must and I’d like to thank him for initiating the signing of a waiver (unconditionally this time although a bit too late to save him) but at least it triggered something that all government employees from the highest officer of the land down to the lowest  barangay councilor must be compelled to sign a waiver too in case their personal assets would be questioned in the future. If you have nothing to hide, why be afraid?

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