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Archive for October, 2009

I know I once said that the 2010 elections is going to be a circus in the making but I really did not think it’s going to be so cheesy! Sobra na!

By now, everybody is probably aware of Sen. Chiz Escudero’s resignation from the Nationalist People’s Coalition. Formerly a congressman of Sorsogon, Chiz joined NPC in 1998. He made this announcement at the Club Filipino a few days after the other contender for the party’s presidential bid for 2010 – Sen. Loren Legarda – declared that she is instead running for vice president.

Part of his speech is as follows:

Isang maganda at pinagpalang umaga at maraming salamat po sa pagdalo niyo sa umagang ito.

Madalas ko pong sinasabi na ang desisyon, o pagkakaugnay sa pagtakbo o di pagtakbo, o pagtakbo sa partikular o ano mang posisyon dapat personal sa isang tao at hindi dapat pinapasa o inaasa kanino man.

Let that be the first test of leadership of any putative candidate –for that person to decide on his own whether or not he will run, and what position he will run for.

Hayaan niyo pong patunayan ko yan sa araw na ito. Nais ko pong ipabatid na ako po ay nagpaalam na at nagresign na bilang miyembro ng Nationalist People’s Coalition o NPC.

Una, sino man po ang nagpapaplanong tumakbo bilang pangulo, dapat wala pong partidong kinabibilangan –NPC, LP , NP, Lakas o ano pa man. Ang dapat na partidong kinabibilangan ng sino mang nagpaplanong tumakbo, dapat po Pilipinas.

Pangalawang rason, sino mang tumatakbo, o tatakbo o magiging pangulo ng ating bansa, hindi po pwedeng nakakadena ang kamay at paa sa partido.

Pangatlo po at higit sa lahat, ako’y lumilisan sa aking partido dahil naniniwala po ako na mas matatanaw ko ang dapat kong gawin at papel na dapat kong gampanan kaugnay sa darating na halalan.

http://www.chizescudero.com/story/464/escudero-announces-decision-to-leave-npc/

What was he thinking?! Is he saying any person who is a part of any organization cannot think independently? Because only an irrational people can say that. Also, if that is the case, then, he has just admitted that he has not been thinking on his own since he became a member of the party. Poor Chiz.

The decision to resign is just so untimely. If this is really a matter of principle, why did he join the party in the first place? In an interview with Tonying in Umagang Kay Ganda, he was asked why he resigned only now if it is really a matter of principle. He says it’s because he never considered running for the presidency before. Poor Chiz… Is he saying the presidency has a different set of principles that he or she has to adhere to than other public post? I thought public officials have the “public” as its boss? Is his principles tied with the party when he was still a congressman? And now as a senator? Because that is the implication that I can get based from his reasoning.

There is more to this than just his nonsense speech about his resignation.

In my opinion, something went wrong. He always say it is not about the money; he says the funds have never been an issue. Yeah right. No one can run with only a hundred million in his pocket if he or she does not have an Obama-like following. (In our case, Noynoy might be able to pull out his campaign with the help of those who are blindly – BLINDLY!!! – supporting him.) But Chiz is far from having that charisma or circumstances. He cannot make it without enough funds for the campaign. So, I think what really happened is either if the two:

  1. Cojuangco does not want to support Chiz’s campaign. And without that support, we know Chiz is going nowhere.
  2. Cojuangco wants to support someone else and wants Chiz to be a VP to whoever he is supporting. And Chiz is not about to be another clown who will just gove up his political ambitions.

This resignation is not about principles. If this is about principles, then, Chiz should have been an independent politician since the start of his political career.

I wonder if there would be more intermission numbers before the main event in 2010. This is getting so exciting every passing moment!

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Yesterday (21 October), Joseph “Erap” Estrada finally declared/proclaimed his intention to run for the presidency. Well, of course, he has always hinted this possibility — he even has his Arthro commercial before the most recent one. Anyone who is surprised to hear this proclamation is probably living inside a cave for years already.

But the question is:

Is he eligible to run for President? Or any other public office for that matter?

There are only three concerns that keep on lingering in my head with regard to this proclamation.
First: The constitutional prohibition against reelection. Now, I am not a lawyer and definitely not a constitutionalist. But I had the chance to read that part of the Constitution which says the president is banned for any reelection. (Don’t know if that is the exact construction of words but I think it is basically like that.) Erap has been elected once already (AND IT’S A MISTAKE, FOR GOD’S SAKE!), and any reelection is already unconstitutional. Now, some Erap supporters are saying the intent of that provision is not applicable to Erap. Wow! Now, I am not about to argue about whether it is applicable to Erpa or not because I am not an expert. I’d leave that to the experts.
Second: The executive clemency provided by GMA after Erap was convicted of Plunder. Somewhere there is stated: Erap won’r run or pursue any public post or office ever again. Or something like that. I thought this is actually the ultimate safeguard for the deposed president to run again, but to my surprise, two lawyers with oppposing views in the constitutionality of Erap’s bid for presidency actually both agree that such condition in the clemency is not THAT binding at all. Darn! They were saying that the dispositive clause where Erap was given back his political and civil rights is the one that will take more weight over the condition that he should not run for any public office! (We’re screwed, people.) What else is left to bar the ex-President from running again? (Arthritis?)
And finally: The actual fear that Erap will run again. This concern haunts me whenever the Erap for President (again) discussion surfaces. Why are we even having this discussion? Why are we afraid that he is actually legally allowed to run? It is because we are afraid he might win. That possibility is the most fearful of all. No, not the actual winning, the possibility he wins. Why? Because we have already thrown him out of office. He was already convicted of a crime. We have already decided once that he cannot lead this country. The possibility that Erap might win this 2010 is like eating your own vomit… your own sh#t.
Erap being allowed to run again will make us Filipinos the ultimate laughing-stock in the whole world. And Erap winning this election will be the end of the Filipino nation.
Erap, Joseph Estrada, reelection, constitutionality, legality.

There are only three concerns that keep on lingering in my head with regard to this proclamation.

erap-mugshot

First: The constitutional prohibition against reelection. Now, I am not a lawyer and definitely not a constitutionalist. But I had the chance to read that part of the Constitution which says the president is banned for any reelection. (Don’t know if that is the exact construction of words but I think it is basically like that.) Erap has been elected once already (AND IT’S A MISTAKE, FOR GOD’S SAKE!), and any reelection is already unconstitutional. Now, some Erap supporters are saying the intent of that provision is not applicable to Erap. Wow! Now, I am not about to argue about whether it is applicable to Erap or not because I am not an expert. I’d leave that to the experts.

Second: The executive clemency provided by GMA after Erap was convicted of Plunder. Somewhere there is stated: Erap won’r run or pursue any public post or office ever again. Or something like that. I thought this is actually the ultimate safeguard for the deposed president to run again, but to my surprise, two lawyers with oppposing views in the constitutionality of Erap’s bid for presidency actually both agree that such condition in the clemency is not THAT binding at all. Darn! They were saying that the dispositive clause where Erap was given back his political and civil rights is the one that will take more weight over the condition that he should not run for any public office! (We’re screwed, people.) What else is left to bar the ex-President from running again? (Arthritis?)

And finally: The actual fear that Erap will run again. This concern haunts me whenever the Erap for President (again) discussion surfaces. Why are we even having this discussion? Why are we afraid that he is actually legally allowed to run? It is because we are afraid he might win. That possibility is the most fearful of all. No, not the actual winning, the possibility he wins. Why? Because we have already thrown him out of office. He was already convicted of a crime. We have already decided once that he cannot lead this country. The possibility that Erap might win this 2010 is like eating your own vomit… your own sh#t.

Erap being allowed to run again will make us Filipinos the ultimate laughing-stock in the whole world. And Erap winning this election will be the end of the Filipino nation.

A related reading: Absolute versus conditional pardon

This is what Erap should be doing instead:

erap-relax

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At long last! I’ve long been searching for a reliable transcript of the recently concluded forum between the 4 presidentiables (Manny Villar, Noynoy Aquino, Gilbert Teodoro, and Chiz Escudero) and local government champions. And finally, I found them. For those who might want to download copies of th transcript (in PDF format, by the way), please visit the site of the Institute for Popular Democracy. Or if you want to go directly to the download site, here it is:

http://ipd.org.ph/main/index.php?option=com_remository&Itemid=46&func=select&id=2

Huli man daw at magaling, naihahahabol pa rin.

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Or at least this is what I think the people who manage Legaspi Active Park in Legaspi Village, Makati is trying to say. Below is a picture taken from the entrance of the park (entrance is located along Legazpi St., near the Union Church of Manila):

legaspi park

This is where you can find the park.

legazpi park

And this is the sign.

How can you be more discriminating than that? There is a building being constructed near the area and I can only guess that the workers there are probably staying in the park to rest during their breaktime. But hey, why would you single out this group of workers? Legaspi Active PARK is a PARK! It is possible (let me reiterate this: POSSIBLE) that the workers might be leaving their trash or whatever after they ate in the park. But if that is the case, then, emphasize to the park goers that cleanliness should be observed!

No, sirs/mesdames, you don’t just say “BAWAL DITO ANG MGA CONSTRUCTION WORKERS” because that’s just too rude and too discriminatory.

Whoever posted this sign should apologize to the construction workers. Probably give them free lunch or something.

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Last Monday, a forum attended by the four leading presidential aspirants, around 100 local government champions, and some more was held in Asian Institute of Management, Makati City. I was just a few blocks away from that place and had I known this in advance, I am sure I’ll do my best to find my way there (although the event was probably by invitation only). Well, short story is I wasn’t able to watch it at AIM nor at ANC. But the good things is, it was replayed last night.

The presidential aspirants who attended the forum were Noynoy Aquino, Chiz Escudero, Manuel Villar, and Gibo Teodoro. They were asked about the following issues (I copied this from http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/anc/10/05/09/local-execs-grill-noynoy-chiz-gibo-manny):
changing the sharing scheme between the national and local governments in the internal revenue allotment (IRA), from 60-40 to 50-50, and changing the current formula of computing the share of each level of local government unit (LGU);
changing the rules in utilizing the calamity funds of LGUs which, at present, limits it to relief and rescue, and prohibits allocating the fund for disaster preparedness activities;
changes in the pork barrel system, which currently leads to duplication in the programs of the local governments and the congressmen;
handling the Mindanao peace process; and
addressing the reproductive health issue.
If I were to make a ranking on how they answered the questions posted, I’d say Gibo is number 1, then, Escudero, Noynoy, and finally, Villar. IF they will perform based on how they answered, I’d probably campaign for Gibo. Thing is, knowing something has to be done and actually implementing it through political will are two different things. Gibo is specific about what he wants, why he believes in it, and how he plans to do it. Chiz is a classic “man of a few words” — he says something in Filipino, then, translates it in English. (Why would he do that?) Noynoy only shows his lack of experience and knowledge on most questions thrown to him — pag-aaralan pa daw niya ang mga bagay-bagay. And Villar is not fit for such public forum (I can only imagine how he would fare in a presidential debate).
I hope this kind of event becomes a regular thing in Philippine politics. In fact, I hope a presidential debate weeks before the 2010 election will be conducted. This blog (http://idioticfilipinos.wordpress.com/2009/09/17/a-debaters-wet-dream/) has summarized what I want to happen:
all the candidates running for the office of the President of the Republic;
on air over free TV and major AM radio stations;
live, with no assistants;
for three hours and with no commercial breaks;
each candidate will have 8-10 minutes to introduce his/her platform;
then be interpellated by one randomly picked co-candidate for three minutes on the speech for the platform; and
once all candidates have spoken about their platform, an impartial moderator will then ask pertinent questions about the Presidency, and shall give five minutes for each candidate to formulate a response to each question.
Wow. Imagine if this happens next year.

(My apologies for this late post.)

Last Monday (05-Oct), a forum attended by the four leading presidential aspirants, around 100 local government champions, and some more was held in Asian Institute of Management, Makati City. I was just a few blocks away from that place and had I known this in advance, I am sure I’ll do my best to find my way there (although the event was probably by invitation only). Well, short story is I wasn’t able to watch it at AIM nor at ANC. I was in front of my PC trying to catchup with whatever is happening via TweetDeck.

But the good things is, it was replayed last Wednesday — but unfortunately, I was only able to draft this a while ago.

The presidential aspirants who attended the forum were Noynoy Aquino, Chiz Escudero, Manuel Villar, and Gibo Teodoro. They were asked about the following issues (I copied this from http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/anc/10/05/09/local-execs-grill-noynoy-chiz-gibo-manny):

  1. changing the sharing scheme between the national and local governments in the internal revenue allotment (IRA), from 60-40 to 50-50, and changing the current formula of computing the share of each level of local government unit (LGU);
  2. changing the rules in utilizing the calamity funds of LGUs which, at present, limits it to relief and rescue, and prohibits allocating the fund for disaster preparedness activities;
  3. changes in the pork barrel system, which currently leads to duplication in the programs of the local governments and the congressmen;
  4. handling the Mindanao peace process; and
  5. addressing the reproductive health issue.

If I were to make a ranking on how they answered the questions posted, I’d say Gibo is number 1, then, Escudero, Noynoy, and finally, Villar. IF they will perform based on how they answered, I’d probably campaign for Gibo. Thing is, knowing something has to be done and actually implementing it through political will are two different things.

Gibo is specific about what he wants, why he believes in it, and how he plans to do it. He was clear on how he wants to solve the problem in Mindanao (focus on disarmament, then, multisectoral approach to development).  He is also very clear on his stand on Charter Change — the provisions needing amendment, when the amendment will be done, and how this amendment should be done.

Chiz is a classic “man of a few words” — he says something in Filipino, then, translates it in English. (Why would he do that?) He is very vague in most of his answers. I have to admit though that he is a good public speaker — but nothing more than that.

Noynoy only shows his lack of experience and knowledge on most questions thrown to him — pag-aaralan pa daw niya ang mga bagay-bagay. He also keeps on saying he is an economist (so?). I am really, really convinced that Noynoy’s time is not yet this 2010. (Don’t vote for Noynoy, please.) This is supposed to be Mar’s time…

And Villar is not fit for such public forum (I can only imagine how he would fare in a presidential debate). Oh, yeah, he is a textbook case of a trapo. Increasing revenue is not the answer; proper allocation is the answer!

I hope this kind of event becomes a regular thing in Philippine politics. In fact, I hope a presidential debate weeks before the 2010 election will be conducted. This blog (http://idioticfilipinos.wordpress.com/2009/09/17/a-debaters-wet-dream/) has summarized what I want to happen:

  • all the candidates running for the office of the President of the Republic;
  • on air over free TV and major AM radio stations;
  • live, with no assistants;
  • for three hours and with no commercial breaks;
  • each candidate will have 8-10 minutes to introduce his/her platform;
  • then be interpellated by one randomly picked co-candidate for three minutes on the speech for the platform; and
  • once all candidates have spoken about their platform, an impartial moderator will then ask pertinent questions about the Presidency, and shall give five minutes for each candidate to formulate a response to each question.

Wow. Imagine if this happens next year…

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Have you heard of this “feud” between the Philippine National Red Cross Chairman Sen. Dick Gordon and Ayala Land, Inc employee Martin Cervantes? I am not even sure if you can call that a feud, but here’s what I know based on emails and some research I got from the net:

  • Martin Cervantes wrote a blog about his experience during a volunteer work in Quezon City. Apparently, relief goods were not distributed on time because PNRC staff told the volunteers (Cervantes is one of them) that it is a protocol for any operations to wait for the Chairman because he still needs to deliver a speech or something.
  • Cervantes blogged about this saying Sen. Gordon is using the agency to further his political agenda even during a time like this (Ondoy). The news spread throughout the Internet through emails, Facebook, blogs, etc.
  • The blog of course reached Sen. Gordon, and while I cannot find an actual statement from Sen. Gordon’s office, I believe an explanation was made saying that Senator did not make any order to postpone the distribution, nor was there a protocol stopping them from distributing the goods.
  • A few days after that, Cervantes issued a public apology and many blogs, according to one of the forums I usually visit, were deleted. I can only guess this is due to a request from Cervantes.

Okay, those are what I know. And here’s what I think:

Cervantes made a blow-by-blow account of what happened, not of what he thought is happening. There were some emotional statements, but they are mostly statements of events, of facts. And according to his blog, PNRC staff said they have to wait before goods are distributed as the Senator is going to deliver a speech. Cervantes did not say, “I think the PNRC staff said something like this….” Cervantes said, and I quote here:

…we were informed by one of the PRC staff on site, we couldn’t give out the goods yet because “protocol” dictates that the PRC chair….Mr. Dick Gordon was going to visit and deliver some sort of speech or at least hand out the goods. We were infomed by a certain Ms. Torres that this was how it goes…

I think this is from Cervantes

I think this is from Cervantes

Now, after a couple of days, he apologized. When I read the apology, it did not contain any sincerity at all! He ended his apology saying:

I am sincerely sorry for the whole fiasco, it was not my intention to present it that way. (Got the whole text from here: http://www.juancountry.com/senator-dick-gordon-under-fire-on-facebook/)

Wow. How pretentious can you get?! This is what I think happened: He was pressured to issue an apology. Whether it is from his employer or Sen. Gordon, or both, I do not know. But in his apology, he did not say he was mistaken. And he says he is sincere? He should have said he is sorry because he is wrong, not because names were dragged, or some unnecessary fiasco was created by his blog.

Two things:

  1. Either his freedom of expression is being curtailed (courtesy of Ayala Land, Inc or Sen. Gordon), or
  2. He is really wrong but is so embarrassed to admit that he indeed is wrong.

Either way, something should be done here. I hope either he stands by his right to freedom of expression, or be courageous enough to accept the consequences of his irresponsibility, i.e., apologize because HE IS WRONG or HE LIED.

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