Tuesday, December 14, 2010

When will the Morong 43 get out of jail?

The president of the Republic of the Philippines has supposedly ordered the withdrawal of charges against the Morong 43.

So when will the Morong 43 get out of jail? Will the governement pay for their illegal detention?
Will the government pay of the health expenses of the new mothers ? and the medicines of the elder prisoners? How long shall the detainees endure the waiting for their ACTUAL PHYSICAL release?

This is just a show! The world wonders if the Philippines is run by statesmen, and not by greedy tailless, and spineless monkeys. President Aquino of course is NOT a monkey.

Dec. 18, 2010
The Morong RTC (Regional Trial Court) ordered the immediate release of the following:

  1. Romeo de la Cruz
  2. Rogelio Villarisi
  3. Valentino Paulino
  4. Alexis Montes
  5. Aldrin Garcia
  6. Linda Racel Otanes
  7. Janice Javier
  8. Edwin Dematera
  9. Jhon Mark Barrientos
  10. Antonio de Dios
  11. Marvin Ortiz
  12. Mark Escartins
  13. Ramon de la Cruz
  14. Renz Capillo
  15. Franco Romeroso
  16. Mario de los Santos
  17. Yolanda Yaun
  18. Angela Loricon
  19. Ria de Luna
  20. Ma. Mercedes Castro
  21. Jennylyn Vatar
  22. Jane Balleta
  23. Cherrylyn Rico
  24. Teresa Quinadayan
  25. Miann Oeso
  26. Janna Mendoza
  27. Delia Ocasla; Glenda Murillo
  28. Pearl Irene Martinez
  29. Judilyn Oliveros
  30. Lilibeth Donasco
  31. Christine Ann Evangelista
  32. Claire de la Cruz
  33. Sylvia Labrador
  34. Jeans Trinidad
  35. Helen Carandang
  36. Ma. Elena Serato
  37. Mary Clamor
  38. Emelia Marquez
  39. Reynaldo Macabenta
  40. Samson Castillo
  41. Gary Liberal Del Ayo Avera

Who are the missing two? Should not their names be included? Even if they are new mothers who were confined to the PGH?

Source: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=640271&publicationSubCategoryId=63

So who did the rape-murders of the Viscondes?

Is this the quality of our police, NBI and even justice system?

A cop who confessed to washing off bloody evidence, a son of a senator at that time who village guards and main witness fingered as present in the village at the time of the rape-murders?

Tell me, via your comments, who did it! Damnation!

I am somewhat of an emotional guy when it comes to victims of violent crime. Here is the cool-headed level reply of a dear friend:

Exactly the inevitable question: who did it then? the same question posed to the jury when o.j. simpson was acquitted in the murder of his wife nicole. but the court doesn't bother any more with the question. an acquittal goes only to the e...xtent of saying that the accused cannot be held guilty based on the evidence presented. it goes without saying that State failed to give sufficient evidence of moral certainty or proof beyond reasonable doubt. it further goes without saying that the law enforcer the police the NBI bungled the case for they failed to gather and put up evidence strong enough to warrant a conviction, which is one way of saying that they were not able to solve the case, so they have to investigate again look for the bastards who did the dastardly crime, or perhaps webb et al could possibly be guilty but the evidence is weak. all told the buck stops at the desk of the law enforcer who in this country investigates crime using poor police methods and primitive forensic skills dating back to dark ages. remember the bungled hostage taking of the tourist bus? the police exercise became the laughing stock of the entire world. blame the supreme court? no. the court doesn't investigate and solve crimes. blame the prosecutor? possibly. if the evidence was weak, at the outset they should have thrown out the case earlier, instead of being pressured to issue indictments and ask the law enforcer to go deeper in its investigation. the court alone is not the entire justice system. courts are impervious to popular public opinion for public opinion has never been the basis of court decisions.

I need more comments to this current event for a holistic view.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The world is not afraid of the superpower U.S. of A. anymore

The wikileaks revelation should be an eye-opener not only for America's predident Obama but also for all Americans. The aura of America's dominant status is now being shred to pieces by terrorists, its enemies, critics and even from its own misguided leaders.

Revealing sensitive diplomatic cables should be treated as an act of war and the people behind Wikileaks should be put to jail, haunded for their responsibilty in contributing to nihilism and descent into lawlessness. The U.S. Constitution has been hijacked as a legal cloak for the wikileaks all in the name of freedom of information.

What do the people behind wikileaks want? They want to show the world that they are more powerful than their own or other governments, that the Internet age has bestowed the ordinary "helpless" person powers unimagined in the past.

This shows that the NSA(National Security Agency) is not doing its job! Rather than ensuring security, the wikileaks episode has shown that people is the weakest link in the diplomatic communications chain.

We hope that Americans wake up to the fact that their country is now more vulnerable and should not be surprised if it capitulates to a foreign milirary invasion not only from imagined enemies but also from imagined friends.

Friday, November 12, 2010

An Open Letter from the U.P. Law School regarding the SC plagiarism case.

I am republishing this open letter for all visitors of our blog to be informed on the ongoing case
of the SC show cause order to the U.P. Law School.

An Open Appeal to fellow International Legal Scholars

by Diane Desierto on Friday, October 22, 2010 at 7:18am

Dear friends and fellow legal scholars,

I apologize for this long note, but I thought I should set the record straight on the maelstrom of ongoing institutional persecution against the UP Law Faculty, where I serve as a faculty member. Several hours ago, a majority at the Philippine Supreme Court issued an unprecedented contempt order for the “Statement of the Faculty of the UP College of Law”, naming 37 out of 81 faculty members (including five present and former deans, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court now back in the faculty, among other senior academics and junior faculty members) whose physical signatures appeared in the Statement. Many faculty members support this Statement, but, as is customary, did not need to physically sign the Statement so long as we signified our support over email. For this reason, many of us understand the contempt order to eventually extend to all 81 members of the UP College of Law. All our bar licenses, without which we cannot teach, work, or practice as lawyers, are now at stake.
Let me narrate the brief factual background of this case:
On April 28, 2010, the Philippine Supreme Court issued its decision in Isabelita Vinuya et al. v. Executive Secretary et al. (full text of this decision available at:http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2010/april2010/162230.htm ). This case involved a certiorari petition of most remaining Filipina survivors of the “comfort women system” during World War II, asking the Court to compel the Executive Branch to exercise its constitutional duties and international obligations, in order to ensure these Filipina survivors’ their rights to redress. I wrote this petition as a law student of UP Law in 2004 along with UP Law Professor Harry Roque, theorizing then that our broadly universalist 1987 Philippine Constitution imposed unique constitutional duties on the Philippine President to observe our international legal obligations, including the right to redress for war crimes, mass rapes, and sexual slavery. Professor Roque and I published our analysis and theory of the petition in 2006, in the Journal of International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict. (full text of this available at:http://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/ifhv/documents/huvi/huv_2006/3_2006.pdfRelevant pages are pp. 91-98).
2. The Vinuya decision denied the petition. Professor Roque filed an initial Motion for Reconsideration, subject to the submission of a more extended Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration (Supplemental MR) under the Philippine Rules of Court. Professor Roque and his colleague, Attorney Romel Bagares, closely coordinated with me in the preparation of the Supplemental MR . After we discussed the legal arguments, I requested Attorney Bagares to recheck all sources cited in the Vinuya decision, as is customary for us in preparing appellate pleadings. Several days later, Attorney Bagares and Professor Roque discovered that many significant portions of the Vinuyadecision appeared to have been lifted without attribution from the works of International Law authors (Professor Evan Criddle and Professor Evan Fox-descent’s 2009 Article in the Yale Journal of International Law, titled “A Fiduciary Theory of Jus Cogens”; the book of Dr. Christian Tams, titled Enforcing Erga Omnes Obligations in International Law, published by Cambridge University Press; and an article by Mark Ellis, Executive Director of the International Bar Association, in the 2006 volume of Case Western Journal of International Law, entitled “Breaking the Silence: On Rape as an International Crime”). What was worse than the lifting without attribution of these sources was that the Vinuya Decision completely twisted what the authors said in their works. Professor Roque and Attorney Bagares decided to file the Supplemental MR inviting the Philippine Supreme Court’s attention to this grave matter, showing that the misrepresentation of these works erroneously laid the foundation for the Court’s decision to deny the petition. The Supplemental MR also included the rest of the arguments of the petition. The full text of the Supplemental MR can be found here:


3. All International Law professors/authors came forward with their separate complaints to the Philippine Supreme Court regarding the misuse of their works. The letter of Dr. Christian Tams can be found here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/39856262/Tams-Letter-to-Supreme-Court while the letter of Dr. Mark Ellis can be found here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/39856111/Letter-to-Republic-of-the-Philippines-Supreme-Court-Ellis . Professor Evan Criddle posted his complaint on Opinio Juris at this link: http://opiniojuris.org/2010/07/19/international-law-plagiarism-charge-bedevils-philippines-supreme-court-justice/

a) Professor Criddle told Opinio Juris: “Speaking for myself, the most troubling aspect of the court’s jus cogens discussion is that it implies that the prohibitions against crimes against humanity, sexual slavery, and torture are not jus cogens norms. Our article emphatically asserts the opposite.”

b) Dr. Tams’ letter said: “The relevant passage of the judgment is to be found on p. 30 of your Court’s Judgment, in the section addressing the concept of obligations erga omnes. As the table annexed to this letter shows, the relevant sentences were taken almost word by word from the introductory chapter of my book Enforcing Obligations Erga Omnes in International Law (Cambridge University Press 2005). I note that there is a generic reference to my work in footnote 69 of the Judgment, but as this is in relation to a citation from another author (Bruno Simma) rather than with respect to the substantive passages reproduced in the Judgment, I do not think it can be considered an appropriate form of referencing. I am particularly concerned that my work should have been used to support the Judgment’s cautious approach to the erga omnes concept. In fact, a most cursory reading shows that my book’s central thesis is precisely the opposite: namely that the erga omnes concept has been widely accepted and has a firm place in contemporary international law….With due respect to your Honourable Court, I am at a loss to see how my work should have been cited to support – as it seemingly has – the opposite approach. More generally, I am concerned at the way in which your Honourable Court’s judgment has drawn on scholarly work without properly acknowledging it.”

c) Dr. Ellis’ letter said: “My attention was called to the Judgment and the issue of possible plagiarism by the Philippine Chapter of the Southeast Asia Media Legal Defence Initiative (SEAMLDI), an affiliate of the London based Media Legal Defence Initiative (MLDI) where I sit as a trustee. In particular, I am concerned about a large part of the extensive discussion in footnote 65, pp. 27-28, of the Judgment of your esteemed Court. I am also concerned that your esteemed Court may have misread the arguments I made in the article and employed them for cross purposes. This would be ironic since the article was written precisely to argue for the appropriate legal remedy for victims of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity.”

4. When Philippine national media carried these complaints, the Philippine Supreme Court did not appear disposed to take them seriously. The Court Spokesperson/Court Administrator, Midas Marquez, stated that the “You can’t expect all justices of the Supreme Court to be familiar with these law journals.”http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20100721-282283/High-court-not-probing-plagiarism

5. In light of the apparent plagiarism and twisting of the works in the text of the VinuyaDecision and the Court’s predispositions, the UP Law Faculty issued a Statement asking the Court to take responsibility and to provide guidance to the Philippine bench and bar. The UP Law Faculty, headed by the present Dean Marvic M.V.F. Leonen and other law deans, expressed alarm at how the works were misused to deny a key petition of comfort women survivors, and asked the ponente of the Vinuya Decision, Justice Mariano del Castillo to voluntarily resign from the Court. The full text of the UP Law Faculty Statement can be found here: http://harryroque.com/2010/08/09/restoring-integritya-statement-by-the-faculty-of/

6. On Friday, October 15, 2010, a majority of ten members of the Philippine Supreme Court issued a resolution denying that Justice del Castillo had committed plagiarism and misuse of plagiarized works, holding that Justice del Castillo’s clerk/court researcher accidentally deleted the attributions, which could not have been detected since “the Microsoft word program does not have a function that raises an alarm when original materials are cut up or pruned.” The full text of the decision can be found here: http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2010/october2010/10-7-17-SC.htm

7. The newest member of the Court, Justice Lourdes Aranal-Sereno, strongly dissented along with (Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales) from the Court’s findings and showed why plagiarism and misrepresentation was committed not just through deletions of attributions, but due to the deliberate inclusion of phrases that tried to convey the opposite of what the authors’ works said. Saying that the court will be remembered for saying Del Castillo did not commit plagiarism because there was “no malicious intent” to pass off someone else’s works as his own, Justice Sereno added that the ruling of the court’s majority has caused “unimaginable problems” for the Philippine academe. She explained decisions on future cases of plagiarism committed by students will be based on the court’s ruling that malicious intent must be present to constitute plagiarism. ”Unless reconsidered, this Court would unfortunately be remembered as the Court that made ‘malicious intent’ an indispensable element of plagiarism and that made computer-keying errors an exculpatory fact in charges of plagiarism, without clarifying whether its ruling applies only to situations of judicial decision-making or to other written intellectual activity,” said Sereno. “It will also weaken this Court’s disciplinary authority ─ the essence of which proceeds from its moral authority ─ over the bench and bar. In a real sense, this Court has rendered tenuous its ability to positively educate and influence the future of intellectual and academic discourse,” she added. The full text of the Sereno dissent can be found here:
8. On Monday, October 18, 2010, various Philippine national media carried the news that the Philippine Supreme Court had deliberated and decided to hold the UP Law Faculty in contempt for its Statement. Seehttp://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20101020-298693/UP-Law-faces-sanction-over-SC-plagiarism-case andhttp://www.gmanews.tv/story/203873/up-law-risks-sanctions-for-statements-on-plagiarism-mess , among others.
9. Copies of the Court’s seven-page Order were finally seen several hours ago. As will be seen from the full text of the Order and the dissenting opinions (the PDF of which can be read here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/39855898/Order-and-Dissenting-Opinions-re-UP-Law-Faculty ), the Court majority made the unprecedented move of holding the UP Law Faculty in contempt, until they can show why they do not merit contempt. The dissenting justices of the Court noted this prejudgment in their dissenting opinions:

CARPIO-MORALES, j., dissenting:
“The Resolution demonstrates nothing but an abrasive flexing of the judicial muscle that could hardly be characterized as judicious. This knee-jerk response from the Court stares back at its own face, since this judicial act is one that is “totally unnecessary, uncalled for and a rash act of misplaced vigilance.
The adverse declarations describing the written work of the UP law faculty operate to their prejudice since that would render any subsequent proceeding illusory, because the Court, which would ultimately decide the administrative case, has already made up its mind before hearing the parties.
Worse, the Resolution is not what it purports to be. Ostensibly, the Resolution is a show cause order that initiates what would merely become a newly docketed regular administrative matter. There is more than meets the eye, however. When stripped of its apparent complexion, the Resolution shows its true colors and presents itself as a pronouncement of guilt of indirect contempt, without proper recourse left to the parties.
Unless the Court intends to busy itself into consistently engaging in a judicial witch hunt against its detractors, it is more in keeping with the Court’s dignity not to dignify each and every write-up that is taken to vilify it, and console itself with the number of testimonials, written or living that vilify the judiciary.
Although as a human being, a person naturally gets pissed off by hurtful words, it would not hurt the Court as an institution and the law as a profession if it passes off the statement of the UP law faculty at this time.”

SERENO, j., dissenting.
“Ordering the 37 respondent members of the UP law faculty to “show cause” in this indirect contempt case is like ordering the little boy who exclaimed that “the emperor has no clothes” to explain why he should be crucified for his public observation. It is true that the little boy may have aggravated the situation by adding that the unclothed emperor did not present a flattering figure in his natural state, but the analogy remains true — that the subject UP law faculty members have been prematurely adjudged guilty and asked to explain why such prejudgment should be reversed simply for expressing what they believed was the truth.

What is so grievous about this whole contempt proceeding is that it comes in the wake of the gross injury that the Court has inflicted upon the virtue of honesty in learned discourses by labeling plagiarism as not plagiarism in the related case involving one of its members.
With all due respect to my colleagues, it is not the place of the Court to seek revenge against those who, in their wish to see reform in the judiciary, have the courage to say what is wrong with it. The Court finds its legitimacy in demonstrating its moral vein case after case, not in flaunting its judicial brawn. There is nothing to be gained for the administration of justice in not letting his one instance pass just because feelings have been hurt and the urge to retaliate must be satisfied.
If the 37 members of the UP law faculty are wrong, there will be recompense in their loss of esteem among the academic community and the legal profession. But if they are right, then the Court will have made martyrs out of those who — in their temporary passion — may have acted recklessly, but truthfully and sincerely. Indeed, should they be proven right they may even rise in the esteem in the eyes of the international academic and legal circles, for being the object of prosecution by one’s Supreme Court for bold but intelligent reformist language can be deemed a badge of honor similar to that bequeathed by history to the great thinkers who were persecuted by society’s forces.”
In view of the blatant institutional persecution now being committed against the UP Law Faculty — who discharged their duties in good faith as public servants, law professors, and officers of the Court in asking the Court to take responsibility for the apparent plagiarism and misrepresentation that tainted the Vinuya decision — I urgently pleadfor the help of fellow legal scholars and academics to write — either public statements, or letters to their embassies in Manila regarding this matter. As the dissenting Justices have disclosed, the Supreme Court majority has already prejudged this matter, and that same majority will prevail in imposing sanctions (from disbarment, to suspension of bar licenses, fines, imprisonment) on the UP Law Faculty. We cannot realistically expect a fair hearing anymore when the majority acts as both the supposed “injured” party and our judge at the same time. We acted in good faith, conscious of our duties as lawyers and legal scholars, to ensure the preservation of integrity in our jurisprudence —- we could not anticipate then, nor would we have accepted now as law professors and members of the Philippine legal academia, the Supreme Court majority’s defense that Microsoft Word was responsible for failing to detect the plagiarism and misrepresentation. The objective facts of plagiarism and misrepresentation are glaring from the text of Vinuya, as confirmed by the international law professors whose works were used, and as confirmed by the extensive dissent of Justice Sereno. Most importantly, we acted from our sense of justice and duty as lawyers to promote the rule of law, on behalf of those comfort women survivors whose petition was denied through a decision-making process that apparently relied on plagiarized and misrepresented works of international law authors.
Our only hope now is for reason from the rest of the world to prevail against this institutional persecution — the glaring and ongoing threats to our constitutional and international rights to freedom of expression and academic freedom. While it appears that only 37 of the 81 faculty members signed the UP Law Faculty Statement, the Court majority overlooked all the names sent in the original list by Dean Marvic Leonen. It has been our practice to signify support for statements electronically through email or discussions in our faculty egroup, and for many of us abroad it was not necessary to physically sign so long as we expressed our support for the statement to the faculty egroup. We expect, therefore, that it will only be a matter of time before the contempt order is extended to all of us. We will not shirk from our part in having supported the UP Law Faculty Statement.
We fervently hope for your help in this fight against institutional persecution. We have no recourse left.

Very truly yours,

Professor Diane A. Desierto,
University of the Philippines College of Law
Law Reform Specialist,
Institute of International Legal Studies, University of the Philippines
JSD candidate (2014),
LLM (2009), Yale Law School

* IMPORTANT: This NOTE in NO WAY represents the views of the International Court of Justice or any of its staff. This Note was written in my private capacity, SOLELY as a member of the UP Law Faculty.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Why Noynoy will not be a great president.

While Pnoy calls on Myanmar's ruling generals to release the long imprisoned elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, he has turned a political expedient eye to the case of the Morong 43 political prisoners: GMANEWS .

It seems incredible that the US still has not ruled the American Communist Party to be illegal.Even European countries have tolerated communists among their citizens. Yet the Philippines leadership still cling to an outmoded view that communists be destroyed from the face of the Earth especially in the Philippines.

We add our voice to the clamour for the immediatel release of the Morong 43 from continued detention. The president is now showing that he is just an ordinary landed lord. We fear that his popularity which should have catalyze him to act bravely for the benefit of the majority of the Philippine population will plummet quickly and will isolate him further from the stark realities of poverty and lack of basic human rights and decency.

Our armed forces, which should be prepared to defend the country from external aggression including ordinary excursions to outlying areas where the Philippines have a strong claim, is just uused for local ïnsurgency which should be the job of the local and national police!

Friday, October 8, 2010

An anachronism: presidential decrees still in effect

What's with Congress? It is now only two months left for the year 2010 to end and still there are presidential decrees designed by UP and other lawyers which was passed but not reviewed thoroughly by a subservient parliament in the martial law era in the record books!

We humbly propose:

All presidential decrees will be null and void starting in June 2011. Either Congress pass equivalent laws to supplant or replace the decrees or eliminate those without equivalent enabling laws in Tongress, oops, Tongress.

Wake me up when that Happens.- Rip Vanong Winkler.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Morong 43 case again. When will the president act?

What's with the justice system in the Philippines?

Let us take for example, the case of the Morong 43 detainees, who have already endured 8 months of detention after being suspected and searched for illegal possession of grenades and other explosives.

They were also conveniently charged with possession of guns during an election period.

Let us emphasize the obvious

  1. The raid was illegal since the search warrant was for some person NOT with the group.

  2. The search was conducted with out a witness from the group to the search process. For all we know, it is quite easy to plant evidence under the beds or any other hiding places.

  3. It smacks of a plan by some military groups to get a "promotion" and that has happened already.

A nation which cannot protect the rights of persons of due process cannot be expected to be a good place to live in. Such considerations, aside from economic factors, may be strong motivating force for some families to emigrate to other countries.

Based on technicalities of the search procedure and illegal detention alone, the Morong 43 should be released immediately.

Let us see if the country can solve the case of the tortured and missing and presumably dead Karen Empeno and her companions.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Better late than never: President orders review of Morong 43 case

I was expecting the Morong 43 to be released as soon as possible after NoyNoy ascended in the presidential office. But it is only yesterday that he has ordered after a state and working visit to the U.S. that he has formally instructed a review of the Morong 43 case.

Click on Inquirer.net for the latest news.

The current head of the DOJ is herself a former human rights worker, but once you are in office reality has to give way to the demands and needs of other government offices. We hope that the sufferings of the Morong 43 will end in a month.

There is no justification for continued detention of the Morong 43 which include mothers, nurses and other rural health workers.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Nonchalance at the extreme. Getting a photo at the tourists hostage taking tragedy site

Well, what can you say about this photo?

Insensitive Students. />

I am wondering what school these students come from, hopefully they will get a lecture on culutural sensitivities if they don't have any.

Worse are some clueless policemen! We Pinoys have that insane survival instinct to laugh at immediate environment no matter how much deep feelings and emotion are attached to a site. In other countries they would be expelled or worse shot for desecration.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Noy blinks on midnight low level judiciary appointments! Won't gloria be pleased!!

Call it security from prosecution by buying the midnight lawyers, but Gloria might escaped unscathed from charges of corruption in the NBN ZTE, fertilizer scam, payola during a Malacanang party.

As the bombastic Quezon once said, he will do the country a favor by closing all the law schools.
No, those lawyers have no conscience at all. As long as they maintain their fiesta atmosphere nothing good will come out of this. Let he generous Americans pay for the fight against corruption.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Was Pres. Aquino right in sacking NIlo Prisco?

The way I see it, Nilo Prisco's sacking as PAGASA director due to wrong weather forecasts smells like Mr. Prisco is being a fall guy for the general unpreparedness of the government in dealing with typhoons.

Even if forecasts are accurate, do you think the government wil do better? Does it mean that if a typhoon is to strike North Luzun, Metro Manila will just lay back and continue its own carefreee way?

Typhoon Basyang was fast moving, catching weather forecasters by surprise. Even the JWTC eariler forecasts which we sustpect is also used by PAGASA was wrong. To remind the reader here is are pictures of track forecasts in July 12 and July 13.

and our blog post on Basyang: . Did the U.S. Military in the Pacific sack their meteorologists? Hell no!

We hope that this sacking of the poor Nilo Prisco is not a harbinger of a dark side Noy's presidency. We are glad though that Prisco was not fired from the government but transferred to DOST to become a director of Special Studies.

If Noy is sincere, he should also fire Engineers from DPWH for the instant flooding of Metro Manila when ordinary (not typhoons) rain is dumped in sudden downpours due to the moonson. This wil be more deserved.

Monday, July 26, 2010

SONA July 26

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte; Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile; Vice President Jejomar Binay; Chief Justice Renato Corona; Former Presidents Fidel Valdez Ramos and Joseph Ejercito Estrada; members of the House of Representatives and the Senate; distinguished members of the diplomatic corps; my fellow workers in government;

Mga minamahal kong kababayan:

Sa bawat sandali po ng pamamahala ay nahaharap tayo sa isang sangandaan.

Sa isang banda po ay ang pagpili para sa ikabubuti ng taumbayan. Ang pagtanaw sa interes ng nakakarami; ang pagkapit sa prinsipyo; at ang pagiging tapat sa sinumpaan nating tungkulin bilang lingkod-bayan. Ito po ang tuwid na daan.

Sa kabilang banda ay ang pag-una sa pansariling interes. Ang pagpapaalipin sa pulitikal na konsiderasyon, at pagsasakripisyo ng kapakanan ng taumbayan. Ito po ang baluktot na daan.

Matagal pong naligaw ang pamahalaan sa daang baluktot. Araw-araw po, lalong lumilinaw sa akin ang lawak ng problemang ating namana. Damang-dama ko ang bigat ng aking responsibilidad.

Sa unang tatlong linggo ng aming panunungkulan, marami po kaming natuklasan. Nais ko pong ipahayag sa inyo ang iilan lamang sa mga namana nating suliranin at ang ginagawa naming hakbang para lutasin ang mga ito.

Sulyap lamang po ito; hindi pa ito ang lahat ng problemang haharapin natin. Inilihim at sadyang iniligaw ang sambayanan sa totoong kalagayan ng ating bansa.

Sa unang anim na buwan ng taon, mas malaki ang ginastos ng gobyerno kaysa sa pumasok na kita. Lalong lumaki ang deficit natin, na umakyat na sa 196.7 billion pesos. Sa target na kuleksyon, kinapos tayo ng 23.8 billion pesos; ang tinataya namang gastos, nalagpasan natin ng 45.1 billion pesos.

Ang budget po sa 2010 ay 1.54 trillion pesos.

Nasa isandaang bilyong piso o anim at kalahating porsyento na lang ng kabuuan ang malaya nating magagamit para sa nalalabing anim na buwan ng taong ito.

Halos isang porsyento na lang po ng kabuuang budget ang natitira para sa bawat buwan.

Saan naman po dinala ang pera?

Naglaan ng dalawang bilyong piso na Calamity Fund bilang paghahanda para sa mga kalamidad na hindi pa nangyayari. Napakaliit na nga po ng pondong ito, ngunit kapapasok pa lang natin sa panahon ng baha at bagyo, 1.4 billion pesos o sitenta porsyento na ang nagastos.

Sa kabuuan ng 108 million pesos para sa lalawigan ng Pampanga, 105 million pesos nito ay napunta sa iisang distrito lamang. Samantala, ang lalawigan ng Pangasinan na sinalanta ng Pepeng ay nakatanggap ng limang milyong piso lamang para sa pinsalang idinulot ng bagyong Cosme, na nangyari noong 2008 pa.

Ibinigay po ang pondo ng Pampanga sa buwan ng eleksyon, pitong buwan pagkatapos ng Ondoy at Pepeng. Paano kung bumagyo bukas? Inubos na ang pondo nito para sa bagyong nangyari noong isang taon pa. Pagbabayaran ng kinabukasan ang kasakiman ng nakaraan.

Ganyan din po ang nangyari sa pondo ng MWSS. Kamakailan lamang, pumipila ang mga tao para lang makakuha ng tubig. Sa kabila nito, minabuti pa ng liderato ng MWSS na magbigay ng gantimpala sa sarili kahit hindi pa nababayaran ang pensyon ng mga retiradong empleyado.

Noong 2009, ang buong payroll ng MWSS ay 51.4 million pesos. Pero hindi lang naman po ito ang sahod nila; may mga additional allowances at benefits pa sila na aabot sa 160.1 million pesos. Sa madaling sabi, nakatanggap sila ng 211.5 million pesos noong nakaraang taon. Beinte-kuwatro porsyento lang nito ang normal na sahod, at sitenta’y sais porsyento ang dagdag.

Ang karaniwang manggagawa hanggang 13th month pay plus cash gift lang ang nakukuha. Sa MWSS, aabot sa katumbas ng mahigit sa tatlumpung buwan ang sahod kasama na ang lahat ng mga bonuses at allowances na nakuha nila.

Mas matindi po ang natuklasan natin sa pasahod ng kanilang Board of Trustees. Tingnan po natin ang mga allowances na tinatanggap nila:

Umupo ka lang sa Board of Trustees at Board Committee meeting, katorse mil na. Aabot ng nobenta’y otso mil ito kada buwan. May grocery incentive pa sila na otsenta mil kada taon.

Hindi lang iyon: may mid-year bonus, productivity bonus, anniversary bonus, year-end bonus, at Financial Assistance. May Christmas bonus na, may Additional Christmas Package pa. Kada isa sa mga ito, nobenta’y otso mil.

Sa sumatotal po, aabot ang lahat ng dalawa’t kalahating milyong piso kada taon sa bawat miyembro ng Board maliban sa pakotse, technical assistance, at pautang. Uulitin ko po. Lahat ng ito ay ibinibigay nila sa kanilang mga sarili habang hindi pa nababayaran ang mga pensyon ng kanilang mga retirees.

Pati po ang La Mesa Watershed ay hindi nila pinatawad. Para magkaroon ng tamang supply ng tubig, kailangang alagaan ang mga watershed. Sa watershed, puno ang kailangan. Pati po iyon na dapat puno ang nakatayo, tinayuan nila ng bahay para sa matataas na opisyal ng MWSS.

Hindi naman sila agad maaalis sa puwesto dahil kabilang sila sa mga Midnight Appointees ni dating Pangulong Arroyo. Iniimbestigahan na natin ang lahat nang ito. Kung mayroon pa silang kahit kaunting hiya na natitira – sana kusa na lang silang magbitiw sa puwesto.

Pag-usapan naman po natin ang pondo para sa imprastruktura. Tumukoy ang DPWH ng dalawandaan apatnapu’t anim na priority safety projects na popondohan ng Motor Vehicle Users Charge. Mangangailangan po ito ng budget na 425 million pesos.

Ang pinondohan po, dalawampu’t walong proyekto lang. Kinalimutan po ang dalawandaan at labing walong proyekto at pinalitan ng pitumpung proyekto na wala naman sa plano. Ang hininging 425 million pesos, naging 480 million pesos pa, lumaki lalo dahil sa mga proyektong sa piling-piling mga benepisyaryo lang napunta.

Mga proyekto po itong walang saysay, hindi pinag-aralan at hindi pinaghandaan, kaya parang kabuteng sumusulpot.

Tapos na po ang panahon para dito. Sa administrasyon po natin, walang kota-kota, walang tongpats, ang pera ng taumbayan ay gagastusin para sa taumbayan lamang.

Meron pa po tayong natuklasan. Limang araw bago matapos ang termino ng nakaraang administrasyon, nagpautos silang maglabas ng 3.5 billion pesos para sa rehabilitasyon ng mga nasalanta nina Ondoy at Pepeng.

Walumpu’t anim na proyekto ang paglalaanan dapat nito na hindi na sana idadaan sa public bidding. Labingsiyam sa mga ito na nagkakahalaga ng 981 million pesos ang muntik nang makalusot. Hindi pa nailalabas ang Special Allotment Release Order ay pirmado na ang mga kontrata.

Buti na lang po ay natuklasan at pinigilan ito ni Secretary Rogelio Singson ng DPWH. Ngayon po ay dadaan na ang kabuuan ng 3.5 billion pesos sa tapat na bidding, at magagamit na ang pondo na ito sa pagbibigay ng lingap sa mga nawalan ng tahanan dahil kina Ondoy at Pepeng.

Pag-usapan naman natin ang nangyari sa NAPOCOR. Noong 2001 hanggang 2004, pinilit ng gobyerno ang NAPOCOR na magbenta ng kuryente nang palugi para hindi tumaas ang presyo. Tila ang dahilan: pinaghahandaan na nila ang eleksyon.

Dahil dito, noong 2004, sumagad ang pagkakabaon sa utang ng NAPOCOR. Napilitan ang pambansang gobyerno na sagutin ang dalawandaang bilyong pisong utang nito.

Ang inakala ng taumbayan na natipid nila sa kuryente ay binabayaran din natin mula sa kaban ng bayan. May gastos na tayo sa kuryente, binabayaran pa natin ang dagdag na pagkakautang ng gobyerno.

Kung naging matino ang pag-utang, sana’y nadagdagan ang ating kasiguruhan sa supply ng kuryente. Pero ang desisyon ay ibinatay sa maling pulitika, at hindi sa pangangailangan ng taumbayan. Ang taumbayan, matapos pinagsakripisyo ay lalo pang pinahirapan.

Ganito rin po ang nangyari sa MRT. Sinubukan na namang bilhin ang ating pagmamahal. Pinilit ang operator na panatilihing mababa ang pamasahe.

Hindi tuloy nagampanan ang garantiyang ibinigay sa operator na mababawi nila ang kanilang puhunan. Dahil dito, inutusan ang Landbank at Development Bank of the Philippines na bilhin ang MRT.

Ang pera ng taumbayan, ipinagpalit sa isang naluluging operasyon.

Dumako naman po tayo sa pondo ng NFA.

Noong 2004: 117,000 metric tons ang pagkukulang ng supply ng Pilipinas. Ang binili nila, 900,000 metric tons. Kahit ulitin mo pa ng mahigit pitong beses ang pagkukulang, sobra pa rin ang binili nila.

Noong 2007: 589,000 metric tons ang pagkukulang ng supply sa Pilipinas. Ang binili nila, 1.827 million metric tons. Kahit ulitin mo pa ng mahigit tatlong beses ang pagkukulang, sobra na naman ang binili nila.

Ang masakit nito, dahil sobra-sobra ang binibili nila taun-taon, nabubulok lang pala sa mga kamalig ang bigas, kagaya ng nangyari noong 2008.

Hindi po ba krimen ito, na hinahayaan nilang mabulok ang bigas, sa kabila ng apat na milyong Pilipinong hindi kumakain ng tatlong beses sa isang araw?

Ang resulta nito, umabot na sa 171.6 billion pesos ang utang ng NFA noong Mayo ng taong ito.

Ang tinapon na ito, halos puwede na sanang pondohan ang mga sumusunod:

Ang budget ng buong Hudikatura, na 12.7 billion pesos sa taong ito.

Ang Conditional Cash Transfers para sa susunod na taon, na nagkakahalaga ng 29.6 billion pesos.

Ang lahat ng classroom na kailangan ng ating bansa, na nagkakahalaga ng 130 billion pesos.

Kasuklam-suklam ang kalakarang ito. Pera na, naging bato pa.

Narinig po ninyo kung paano nilustay ang kaban ng bayan. Ang malinaw po sa ngayon: ang anumang pagbabago ay magmumula sa pagsiguro natin na magwawakas na ang pagiging maluho at pagwawaldas.

Kaya nga po mula ngayon: ititigil na natin ang paglulustay sa salapi ng bayan. Tatanggalin natin ang mga proyektong mali.

Ito po ang punto ng tinatawag nating zero-based approach sa ating budget. Ang naging kalakaran po, taun-taon ay inuulit lamang ang budget na puno ng tagas. Dadagdagan lang nang konti, puwede na.

Sa susunod na buwan ay maghahain tayo ng budget na kumikilala nang tama sa mga problema, at magtutuon din ng pansin sa tamang solusyon.

Ilan lang ito sa mga natuklasan nating problema. Heto naman po ang ilang halimbawa ng mga hakbang na ginagawa natin.

Nandiyan po ang kaso ng isang may-ari ng sanglaan. Bumili siya ng sasakyang tinatayang nasa dalawampu’t anim na milyong piso ang halaga.

Kung kaya mong bumili ng Lamborghini, bakit hindi mo kayang magbayad ng buwis?

Nasampahan na po ito ng kaso. Sa pangunguna nina Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, BIR Commissioner Kim Henares at Customs Commissioner Lito Alvarez, bawat linggo po ay may bago tayong kasong isinasampa kontra sa mga smuggler at sa mga hindi nagbabayad ng tamang buwis.

Natukoy na rin po ang salarin sa mga kaso nina Francisco Baldomero, Jose Daguio at Miguel Belen, tatlo sa anim na insidente ng extralegal killings mula nang umupo tayo.

Singkuwenta porsyento po ng mga insidente ng extralegal killings ang patungo na sa kanilang resolusyon.

Ang natitira pong kalahati ay hindi natin tatantanan ang pag-usig hanggang makamit ang katarungan.

Pananagutin natin ang mga mamamatay-tao. Pananagutin din natin ang mga corrupt sa gobyerno.

Nagsimula nang mabuo ang ating Truth Commission, sa pangunguna ni dating Chief Justice Hilario Davide. Hahanapin natin ang katotohanan sa mga nangyari diumanong katiwalian noong nakaraang siyam na taon.

Sa loob ng linggong ito, pipirmahan ko ang kauna-unahang Executive Order na nagtatalaga sa pagbuo nitong Truth Commission.

Kung ang sagot sa kawalan ng katarungan ay pananagutan, ang sagot naman sa kakulangan natin sa pondo ay mga makabago at malikhaing paraan para tugunan ang mga pagkatagal-tagal nang problema.

Napakarami po ng ating pangangailangan: mula sa edukasyon, imprastruktura, pangkalusugan, pangangailangan ng militar at kapulisan, at marami pang iba. Hindi kakasya ang pondo para mapunan ang lahat ng ito.

Kahit gaano po kalaki ang kakulangan para mapunan ang mga listahan ng ating pangangailangan, ganado pa rin ako dahil marami nang nagpakita ng panibagong interes at kumpyansa sa Pilipinas.

Ito ang magiging solusyon: mga Public-Private Partnerships. Kahit wala pa pong pirmahang nangyayari dito, masasabi kong maganda ang magiging bunga ng maraming usapin ukol dito.

May mga nagpakita na po ng interes, gustong magtayo ng expressway na mula Maynila, tatahak ng Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, hanggang sa dulo ng Cagayan Valley nang hindi gugugol ang estado kahit na po piso.

Sa larangan ng ating Sandatahang Lakas:

Mayroon po tayong 36,000 nautical miles ng baybayin. Ang mayroon lamang tayo: tatlumpu’t dalawang barko. Itong mga barkong ito, panahon pa ni MacArthur.

May nagmungkahi sa atin, ito ang proposisyon: uupahan po nila ang headquarters ng Navy sa Roxas Boulevard at ang Naval Station sa Fort Bonifacio.

Sagot po nila ang paglipat ng Navy Headquarters sa Camp Aguinaldo. Agaran, bibigyan tayo ng isandaang milyong dolyar. At dagdag pa sa lahat nang iyan, magsusubi pa sila sa atin ng kita mula sa mga negosyong itatayo nila sa uupahan nilang lupa.

Sa madali pong sabi: Makukuha natin ang kailangan natin, hindi tatayo gagastos, kikita pa tayo.

Marami na pong nag-alok at nagmungkahi sa atin, mula lokal hanggang dayuhang negosyante, na magpuno ng iba’t ibang pangangailangan.

Mula sa mga public-private partnerships na ito, lalago ang ating ekonomiya, at bawat Pilipino makikinabang. Napakaraming sektor na matutulungan nito.

Maipapatayo na po ang imprastrukturang kailangan natin para palaguin ang turismo.

Sa agrikultura, makapagtatayo na tayo ng mga grains terminals, refrigeration facilities, maayos na road networks at post-harvest facilities.

Kung maisasaayos natin ang ating food supply chain sa tulong ng pribadong sektor, sa halip na mag-angkat tayo ay maari na sana tayong mangarap na mag-supply sa pandaigdigang merkado.

Kung maitatayo ang minumungkahi sa ating railway system, bababa ang presyo ng bilihin. Mas mura, mas mabilis, mas maginhawa, at makakaiwas pa sa kotong cops at mga kumokotong na rebelde ang mga bumibiyahe.

Paalala lang po: una sa ating plataporma ang paglikha ng mga trabaho, at nanggagaling ang trabaho sa paglago ng industriya. Lalago lamang ang industriya kung gagawin nating mas malinis, mas mabilis, at mas maginhawa ang proseso para sa mga gustong magnegosyo.

Pabibilisin natin ang proseso ng mga proyektong sumasailalim sa Build-Operate-Transfer. Sa tulong ng lahat ng sangay ng gobyerno at ng mga mamamayan, pabababain natin sa anim na buwan ang proseso na noon ay inaabot ng taon kung hindi dekada.

May mga hakbang na rin pong sinisimulan ang DTI, sa pamumuno ni Secretary Gregory Domingo:

Ang walang-katapusang pabalik-balik sa proseso ng pagrehistro ng pangalan ng kumpanya, na kada dalaw ay umaabot ng apat hanggang walong oras, ibababa na natin sa labinlimang minuto.

Ang dating listahan ng tatlumpu’t anim na dokumento, ibababa natin sa anim. Ang dating walong pahinang application form, ibababa natin sa isang pahina.

Nananawagan ako sa ating mga LGUs. Habang naghahanap tayo ng paraan para gawing mas mabilis ang pagbubukas ng mga negosyo, pag-aralan din sana nila ang kanilang mga proseso. Kailangan itong gawing mas mabilis, at kailangan itong itugma sa mga sinisumulan nating reporma.

Negosyante, sundalo, rebelde, at karaniwang Pilipino, lahat po makikinabang dito. Basta po hindi dehado ang Pilipino, papasukin po natin lahat iyan. Kailangan na po nating simulan ang pagtutulungan para makamit ito. Huwag nating pahirapan ang isa’t isa.

Parating na po ang panahon na hindi na natin kailangang mamili sa pagitan ng seguridad ng ating mamamayan o sa kinabukasan ng inyong mga anak.

Oras na maipatupad ang public-private partnerships na ito, mapopondohan ang mga serbisyong panlipunan, alinsunod sa ating plataporma.

Magkakapondo na po para maipatupad ang mga plano natin sa edukasyon.

Mapapalawak natin ang basic education cycle mula sa napakaikling sampung taon tungo sa global standard na labindalawang taon.

Madadagdagan natin ang mga classroom. Mapopondohan natin ang service contracting sa ilalim ng GASTPE.

Pati ang conditional cash transfers, na magbabawas ng pabigat sa bulsa ng mga pamilya, madadagdan na rin ng pondo.

Maipapatupad ang plano natin sa PhilHealth.

Una, tutukuyin natin ang tunay na bilang ng mga nangangailangan nito. Sa ngayon, hindi magkakatugma ang datos. Sabi ng PhilHealth sa isang bibig, walumpu’t pitong porsyento na raw ang merong coverage. Sa kabilang bibig naman, singkuwenta’y tres porsyento naman. Ayon naman sa National Statistics Office, tatlumpu’t walong porsyento ang may coverage.

Ngayon pa lang, kumikilos na si Secretary Dinky Soliman at ang DSWD upang ipatupad ang National Household Targetting System, na magtutukoy sa mga pamilyang higit na nagangailangan ng tulong. Tinatayang siyam na bilyon ang kailangan para mabigyan ng PhilHealth ang limang milyong pinakamaralitang pamilyang Pilipino.

Napakaganda po ng hinaharap natin. Kasama na po natin ang pribadong sektor, at kasama na rin natin ang League of Provinces, sa pangunguna nina Governor Alfonso Umali kasama sina Governor L-Ray Villafuerte at Governor Icot Petilla. Handa na pong makipagtulungan para makibahagi sa pagtustos ng mga gastusin. Alam ko rin pong hindi magpapahuli ang League of Cities sa pangunguna ni Mayor Oscar Rodriguez.

Kung ang mga gobyernong lokal ay nakikiramay na sa ating mga adhikain, ang Kongreso namang pinanggalingan ko, siguro naman maasahan ko din.

Nagpakitang-gilas na po ang gabinete sa pagtukoy ng ating mga problema at sa paglulunsad ng mga solusyon sa loob lamang ng tatlong linggo.

Nang bagyo pong Basyang, ang sabi sa atin ng mga may prangkisa sa kuryente, apat na araw na walang kuryente. Dahil sa mabilis na pagkilos ni Secretary Rene Almendras at ng Department of Energy, naibalik ang kuryente sa halos lahat sa loob lamang ng beinte-kwatro oras.

Ito pong sinasabing kakulangan sa tubig sa Metro Manila, kinilusan agad ni Secretary Rogelio Singson at ng DPWH. Hindi na siya naghintay ng utos, kaya nabawasan ang perwisyo.

Nakita na rin natin ang gilas ng mga hinirang nating makatulong sa Gabinete. Makatuwiran naman po sigurong umasa na hindi na sila padadaanin sa butas ng karayom para makumpirma ng Commission on Appointments. Kung mangyayari po ito, marami pa sa mga mahuhusay na Pilipino ang maeengganyong magsilbi sa gobyerno.

Sa lalong madaling panahon po, uupo na tayo sa LEDAC at pag-uusapan ang mga mahahalagang batas na kailangan nating ipasa. Makakaasa kayo na mananatiling bukas ang aking isipan, at ang ating ugnayan ay mananatiling tapat.

Isinusulong po natin ang Fiscal Responsibility Bill, kung saan hindi tayo magpapasa ng batas na mangangailangan ng pondo kung hindi pa natukoy ang panggagalingan nito. May 104.1 billion pesos tayong kailangan para pondohan ang mga batas na naipasa na, ngunit hindi maipatupad.

Kailangan din nating isaayos ang mga insentibong piskal na ibinigay noong nakaraan. Ngayong naghihigpit tayo ng sinturon, kailangang balikan kung alin sa mga ito ang dapat manatili at kung ano ang dapat nang itigil.

Huwag po tayong pumayag na magkaroon ng isa pang NBN-ZTE. Sa lokal man o dayuhan manggagaling ang pondo, dapat dumaan ito sa tamang proseso. Hinihingi ko po ang tulong ninyo upang amiyendahan ang ating Procurement Law.

Ayon po sa Saligang Batas, tungkulin ng estado ang siguruhing walang lamangan sa merkado. Bawal ang monopolya, bawal ang mga cartel na sasakal sa kumpetisyon. Kailangan po natin ng isang Anti-Trust Law na magbibigay-buhay sa mga prinsipyong ito. Ito ang magbibigay ng pagkakataon sa mga Small- at Medium-scale Enterprises na makilahok at tumulong sa paglago ng ating ekonomiya.

Ipasa na po natin ang National Land Use Bill.

Una rin pong naging batas ng Commonwealth ang National Defense Act, na ipinasa noon pang 1935. Kailangan nang palitan ito ng batas na tutugon sa pangangailangan ng pambansang seguridad sa kasalukuyan.

Nakikiusap po akong isulong ang Whistleblower’s Bill upang patuloy nang iwaksi ang kultura ng takot at pananahimik.

Palalakasin pa lalo ang Witness Protection Program. Alalahanin po natin na noong taong 2009 hanggang 2010, may nahatulan sa 95% ng mga kaso kung saan may witness na sumailalim sa programang ito.

Kailangang repasuhin ang ating mga batas. Nanawagan po akong umpisahan na ang rekodipikasyon ng ating mga batas, upang siguruhing magkakatugma sila at hindi salu-salungat.

Ito pong mga batas na ito ang batayan ng kaayusan, ngunit ang pundasyon ng lahat ng ginagawa natin ay ang prinsipyong wala tayong mararating kung walang kapayapaan at katahimikan.

Dalawa ang hinaharap nating suliranin sa usapin ng kapayapaan: ang situwasyon sa Mindanao, at ang patuloy na pag-aaklas ng CPP-NPA-NDF.

Tungkol sa situwasyon sa Mindanao: Hindi po nagbabago ang ating pananaw. Mararating lamang ang kapayapaan at katahimikan kung mag-uusap ang lahat ng apektado: Moro, Lumad, at Kristiyano. Inatasan na natin si Dean Marvic Leonen na mangasiwa sa ginagawa nating pakikipag-usap sa MILF.

Iiwasan natin ang mga pagkakamaling nangyari sa nakaraang administrasyon, kung saan binulaga na lang ang mga mamamayan ng Mindanao. Hindi tayo puwedeng magbulag-bulagan sa mga dudang may kulay ng pulitika ang proseso, at hindi ang kapakanan ng taumbayan ang tanging interes.

Kinikilala natin ang mga hakbang na ginagawa ng MILF sa pamamagitan ng pagdidisplina sa kanilang hanay. Inaasahan natin na muling magsisimula ang negosasyon pagkatapos ng Ramadan.

Tungkol naman po sa CPP-NPA-NDF: handa na ba kayong maglaan ng kongkretong mungkahi, sa halip na pawang batikos lamang?

Kung kapayapaan din ang hangad ninyo, handa po kami sa malawakang tigil-putukan. Mag-usap tayo.

Mahirap magsimula ang usapan habang mayroon pang amoy ng pulbura sa hangin. Nananawagan ako: huwag po natin hayaang masayang ang napakagandang pagkakataong ito upang magtipon sa ilalim ng iisang adhikain.

Kapayapaan at katahimikan po ang pundasyon ng kaunlaran. Habang nagpapatuloy ang barilan, patuloy din ang pagkakagapos natin sa kahirapan.

Dapat din po nating mabatid: ito ay panahon ng sakripisyo. At ang sakripisyong ito ay magiging puhunan para sa ating kinabukasan. Kaakibat ng ating mga karapatan at kalayaan ay ang tungkulin natin sa kapwa at sa bayan.

Inaasahan ko po ang ating mga kaibigan sa media, lalo na sa radyo at sa print, sa mga nagbablock-time, at sa community newspapers, kayo na po mismo ang magbantay sa inyong hanay.

Mabigyang-buhay sana ang mga batayang prinsipyo ng inyong bokasyon: ang magbigay-linaw sa mahahalagang isyu; ang maging patas at makatotohanan, at ang itaas ang antas ng pampublikong diskurso.

Tungkulin po ng bawat Pilipino na tutukan ang mga pinunong tayo rin naman ang nagluklok sa puwesto. Humakbang mula sa pakikialam tungo sa pakikilahok. Dahil ang nakikialam, walang-hanggan ang reklamo. Ang nakikilahok, nakikibahagi sa solusyon.

Napakatagal na pong namamayani ang pananaw na ang susi sa asenso ay ang intindihin ang sarili kaysa intindihin ang kapwa. Malinaw po sa akin: paano tayo aasenso habang nilalamangan ang kapwa?

Ang hindi nabigyan ng pagkakataong mag-aral, paanong makakakuha ng trabaho? Kung walang trabaho, paanong magiging konsumer? Paanong mag-iimpok sa bangko?

Ngunit kung babaliktarin natin ang pananaw—kung iisipin nating “Dadagdagan ko ang kakayahan ng aking kapwa”—magbubunga po ito, at ang lahat ay magkakaroon ng pagkakataon.

Maganda na po ang nasimulan natin. At mas lalong maganda po ang mararating natin. Ngunit huwag nating kalimutan na mayroong mga nagnanasang hindi tayo magtagumpay. Dahil kapag hindi tayo nagtagumpay, makakabalik na naman sila sa kapangyarihan, at sa pagsasamantala sa taumbayan.

Akin pong paniwala na Diyos at taumbayan ang nagdala sa ating kinalalagyan ngayon. Habang nakatutok tayo sa kapakanan ng ating kapwa, bendisyon at patnubay ay tiyak na maaasahan natin sa Poong Maykapal. At kapag nanalig tayo na ang kasangga natin ay ang Diyos, mayroon ba tayong hindi kakayanin?

Ang mandato nating nakuha sa huling eleksyon ay patunay na umaasa pa rin ang Pilipino sa pagbabago. Iba na talaga ang situwasyon. Puwede na muling mangarap. Tayo nang tumungo sa katuparan ng ating mga pinangarap.

Maraming salamat po.


Speaker Feliciano Belmonte; Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile; Vice President Jejomar Binay, Chief Justice Renato Corona, Former Presidents Fidel Valdez Ramos and Joseph Ejercito Estrada; Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate; distinguished members of the diplomatic corps;

My beloved countrymen:

Our administration is facing a forked road. On one direction, decisions are made to protect the welfare of our people; to look after the interest of the majority; to have a firm grip on principles; and to be faithful to the public servant’s sworn oath to serve the country honestly.

This is the straight path.

On the other side, personal interest is the priority, and where one becomes a slave to political considerations to the detriment of our nation.

This is the crooked path.

For a long time, our country lost its way in the crooked path. As days go by (since I became President), the massive scope of the problems we have inherited becomes much clearer. I could almost feel the weight of my responsibilities.

In the first three weeks of our administration, we discovered many things, and I will report to you some of the problems we have uncovered, and the steps we are taking to solve them.

This report is merely a glimpse of our situation. It is not the entire picture of the crises we are facing. The reality was hidden from our people, who seem to have been deliberately obfuscated on the real state of our nation.

In the first six years of this year, government expenditure exceeded our revenues. Our deficit further increased to PhP196.7 billion. Our collection targets, which lack PhP23.8 billion, were not fully met, while we went beyond our spending by PhP45.1 billion.

Our budget for 2010 is PhP1.54 trillion. Of this, only PhP100 billion - or 6.5% of the total budget – can be used for the remaining six months of the current year. Roughly 1% of the total budget is left for each of the remaining month.

Where did the funds go?

A calamity fund worth PhP2 billion was reserved in preparation for anticipated calamities. Of this already miniscule amount, at a time when the rainy season has yet to set in, PhP1.4 billion or 70% was already spent.

The entire province of Pampanga received PhP108 million. Of this, PhP105 million went to only one district. On the other hand, the province of Pangasinan, which was severely affected by Typhoon Pepeng, received a mere PhP5 million, which had to be used to fix damages inflicted not even by Pepeng, but by a previous typhoon, Cosme.

The funds were released on election month, which was seven months after the typhoon. What will happen if a typhoon arrives tomorrow? The fund has been used up to repair damage from typhoons that hit us last year. Our future will pay for the greed of yesterday.

This is also what happened to the funds of the MWSS. Just recently, people lined up for water while the leadership of the MWSS rewarded itself even though the pensions of retired employees remain unpaid.

The entire payroll of the MWSS amounts to 51.4 million pesos annually. But this isn’t the full extent of what they receive: they receive additional allowances and benefits amounting to 81.1 million pesos. In short, they receive 211.5 million pesos annually. Twenty four percent of this is for normal salaries, and sixty six percent is added on.

The average worker receives up to 13th month pay plus a cash gift. In the MWSS, they receive the equivalent of over thirty months pay if you include all their additional bonuses and allowances.

What we discovered in the case of the salaries of their board of trustees is even more shocking. Let’s take a look at the allowances they receive:

Attending board of trustees and board committee meetings, and you get fourteen thousands pesos. This totals ninety eight thousand pesos a month. They also get an annual grocery incentive of eighty thousand pesos.

And that’s not all. They get a mid-year bonus, productivity bonus, anniversary bonus, year-end bonus, and financial assistance. They not only get a Christmas bonus, but an additional Christmas package as well. Each of these amounts to eighty thousand pesos. All in all, each member of the board receives two and a half million pesos a year exclusive of car service, technical assistance, and loans. Let me repeat. They award themselves all of these while being in arrears for the pensions of their retired employees.

Even the La Mesa watershed wasn’t spared. In order to ensure an adequate supply of water, we need to protect our watersheds. In watersheds, trees are needed. Where there should be trees, they built homes for the top officials of the MWSS.

We cannot remove them from their positions quickly because they are among the midnight appointees of former president Arroyo. We are investigating all of these things. But if they have any shame left, they should voluntarily relinquish their positions.

Now let’s discuss funds for infrastructure. The DPWH identified two hundred forty six priority safety projects to be funded by the motor vehicle user’s charge. This needs a budget of 425 million pesos. What they ended up funding were only 28 projects. They disregarded 218 projects and replaced these with seventy projects that weren’t in the plans. The 425 million pesos originally asked for became 480 million pesos, increasing because of projects allocated for a favored few.

These projects make no sense: unstudied and unprepared for, sprouting like mushrooms.

The era of such projects is at an end. Under our administration, there will be no quotas, there will be no overpricing, the funds of the people will be spent for the people.

There’s more. Five days before the term of the previous administration ended, they ordered 3.5 billion pesos to be released for the rehabilitation of those affected by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng. This was supposed to fund eighty-nine projects. But nineteen of these projects amounting to 981 million pesos didn’t go through public bidding. Special Allotment Release Orders hadn’t even been released and yet the contracts were already signed. It’s a good thing Secretary Rogelio Singson spotted and stopped them. Instead, they will all go through the proper bidding, and the funds will be used to provide relief to those who lost their homes due to typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.

Let’s discuss what happened in Napocor. From 2001 to 2004, the government forced Napocor to sell electricity at a loss to prevent increases in electricity rates. The real motivation for this is that they were preparing for the election.

As a result, in 2004, NAPOCOR slumped deeply in debt. The government was obligated to shoulder the 200 billion pesos it owed.

What the public thought they saved from electricity, we are now paying for using public coffers. Not only are we paying for the cost of electricity; we are also paying for the interest arising from the debt.

If the money we borrowed was used properly, then there would be added assurance that constant supply of electricity is available. However, this decision was based on bad politics, not on the true needs of the people. The people, after having to sacrifice, suffered even more.

This is also what happened to the MRT. The government tried again to buy the people’s love. The operator was forced to keep the rates low.

In effect, the guarantee given to the operator that he will still be able to recoup his investment was not fulfilled. Because of this, Landbank and the Development Bank of the Philippines were ordered to purchase the MRT.

The money of the people was used in exchange for an operation that was losing money.

Let us now move on to the funds of the National Food Authority (NFA).

In 2004: 117,000 metric tons (of rice) was the shortage in the supply of the Philippines. What they (the government) bought were 900,000 metric tons. Even if you multiply for more than seven times the amount of shortage, they still bought more than what was needed.

In 2007: 589,000 metric tons was the shortage in the supply of the Philippines. What they bought were 1.827 million metric tons. Even if you multiply for more than three times the amount of shortage, they again bought more than what was needed.

What hurts is, because they keep purchasing more than what they need year after year, the excess rice that had to be stored in warehouses ended up rotting, just like what happened in 2008.

Is this not a crime, letting rice rot, despite the fact that there are 4 million Filipinos who do not eat three times a day?

The result is NFA’s current debt of 177 billion pesos.

This money that was wasted could have funded the following:

- The budget of the entire judiciary, which is at 12.7 billion pesos this year.

- The Conditional Cash Transfers for the following year, which cost 29.6 billion pesos.

- All the classrooms that our country needs, which cost 130 billion pesos.

This way of doing things is revolting. Money was there only to be wasted.

You have heard how the public coffers were squandered. This is what is clear to me now: change can only come from our determination to stamp out this extravagance and profligacy.

That is why starting now: we will stop the wasteful use of government funds. We will eradicate projects that are wrong.

This is the point of what we call the zero-based approach in our budget. What used to be the norm was every year, the budget merely gets re-enacted without plugging the holes.

Next month we will be submitting a budget that accurately identifies the problem and gives much attention on the right solution.

Those that I have mentioned were only some of the problems we have discovered. Here now are examples of the steps we are undertaking to solve them.

There is a case of one pawnshop owner. He purchased a vehicle at an estimated cost of 26 million pesos.

If he can afford to buy a Lamborghini, why can’t he pay his taxes?

A case has already been filed against him. Through the leadership of Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, BIR Commissioner Kim Henares, Customs Commissioner Lito Alvarez, and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, every week we have new cases filed against smugglers and against those who do not pay the right taxes.

We have also already identified the suspects of the cases of Francisco Baldomero, Jose Daguio and Miguel Belen, 3 of the 6 incidents of extralegal killings since we assumed the Presidency.

Fifty percent (50%) of these incidents of extralegal killings are now on their way to being resolved.

We will not stop the pursuit of the remaining half of these killings until justice has been achieved.

We will hold murderers accountable. We will also hold those who are corrupt that work in government accountable for their actions.

We have begun forming our Truth Commission, through the leadership of former Chief Justice Hilario Davide. We will search for the truth on the alleged wrongdoing committed in the last nine years.

This week, I will sign the first ever Executive Order on the formation of this Truth Commission.

If the answer to justice is accountability, the answer to the dearth in funds is a new and creative approach to our long-standing problems.

We have so many needs: from education, infrastructure, health, military, police and more. Our funds will not be enough to meet them.

No matter how massive the deficit is that may keep us from paying for this list of needs, I am heartened because many have already expressed renewed interest and confidence in the Philippines.

Our solution: public-private partnerships. Although no contract has been signed yet, I can say that ongoing talks with interested investors will yield fruitful outcomes.

There are some who have already shown interest and want to build an expressway from Manila that will pass through Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, until the end of Cagayan Valley, without the government having to spend a single peso.

On national defense:

We have 36,000 nautical miles of shoreline, but we only have 32 boats. These boats are as old as the time of (US General Douglas) MacArthur.

Some had this proposition: they will rent the Navy headquarters on Roxas Boulevard and the Naval Station in Fort Bonifacio.

They will take care of the funding necessary to transfer the Navy Headquarters to Camp Aguinaldo. Immediately, we will be given 100 million dollars. Furthermore, they will give us a portion of their profits from their businesses that would occupy the land they will rent.

In short, we will meet our needs without spending, and we will also earn.

There have already been many proposals from local to foreign investors to provide for our various needs.

From these public-private partnerships, our economy will grow and every Filipino will be the beneficiary. There are so many sectors that could benefit from this.

We will be able to construct the needed infrastructure in order to help tourism grow.

In agriculture, we will be able to have access to grains terminals, refrigeration facilities, orderly road networks and post-harvest facilities.

If we can fix out food supply chain with the help of the private sector, instead of importing, we will hopefully be able to supply for the needs of the global market.

The prices of commodities will go down if we are able to make this efficient railway system a reality. It will be cheaper and faster, and it will be easier for travelers to avoid crooked cops and rebels.

A reminder to all: creating jobs is foremost on our agenda, and the creation of jobs will come from the growth of our industries. Growth will only be possible if we streamline processes to make them predictable, reliable and efficient for those who want to invest.

We make sure that the Build-Operate-and-Transfer projects will undergo quick and efficient processes. With the help of all government agencies concerned and the people, a process that used to take as short as a year and as long as a decade will now only take six months.

The Department of Trade and Industry has already taken steps to effect this change, under the leadership of Secretary Gregory Domingo:

The never-ending horror story of registering business names, which used to take a minimum of four to eight hours depending on the day, will be cut down drastically to fifteen minutes.

What used to be a check list of thirty-six documents will be shortened to a list of six, and the old eight-page application form will be whittled down to one page.

I call on our local government units to review its own procedures. While we look for more ways to streamline our processes to make business start-ups easier, I hope the LGUs can also find ways to implement reforms that will be consistent with the ones we have already started.

All will certainly benefit from this streamlining -- be it businessmen, soldiers, rebels and ordinary Filipinos. As long as the interests of Filipinos will not be jeopardized, we will explore all available avenues to make this a reality. We must start now, and we should all help achieve this and not stand in each other’s way.

The time when we will no longer be made to choose between our people’s security and the future of our children is upon us now.

Once we implement these public-private partnerships, we will be able to fund public service in accordance with our platform.

This will enable us to fund our plans for education.

We will be able to expand our basic education cycle from seven years to the global standard of twelve years.

We can build more classrooms, and we will fund service contracting under the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education Program (GASTPE).

Conditional cash transfers that aim to lessen the burden of education on parents will also be funded if this partnership becomes a reality.

Our plans for improving PhilHealth can now be within reach.

First, we will identify the correct number of Filipinos who sorely need PhilHealth coverage, as current data is conflicting on this matter. On one hand, PhilHealth says that eighty-seven percent (87%) of Filipinos are covered, then lowers the number to only fifty-three percent (53%). On the other hand, the National Statistics Office says that only thirty-eight percent (38%) of Filipinos are covered by Philhealth.

Even as we speak, Secretary Dinky Soliman and the Department of Social Welfare and Development are moving to implement the National Household Targeting System that will identify the families that most urgently need assistance. An estimated 9 billion pesos is needed in order to provide coverage for five million poor Filipinos.

Our country is beginning to see better days ahead. The private sector, the League of Provinces headed by Governor Alfonso Umali, together with Governors L-Ray Villafuerte and Icot Petilla, are now ready to do their share when it comes to shouldering the financial burden. I know that the League of Cities under the leadership of Mayor Oscar Rodriguez will not be far behind.

If the local governments share in our goals, I know that I can surely count on Congress, the institution where I began public service, to push for our agenda for change.

Our Cabinet has already showed it skill by identifying not just problems but also proposing solutions in a matter of three weeks.

In the aftermath of Typhoon Basyang, we were told by those in the power sector that we would be without electricity for four days. The quick action of Secretary Rene Almendras and the Department of Energy resulted in the restoration of power to almost all those affected within twenty-four hours.

The so-called water shortage in Metro Manila was quickly attended to by Secretary Rogelio Singson and the Department of Public Works and Highways. Secretary Singson did it without prodding, which alleviated the suffering of those affected.

We also witnessed the competence and initiative of those we appointed to be part of our Cabinet. It is but just that they not be forced to go through the eye of a needle to be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. Should this happen, competent Filipinos will be encouraged to help our country by becoming public servants.

In the soonest possible time, we will convene the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) to discuss the important bills that need to be addressed. Rest assured that I will keep an open mind and treat you honorably.

We will push for the Fiscal Responsibility Bill, which will limit spending bills only for appropriations that have identified a source of funding. We need 104.1 billion pesos to fund those laws already passed but whose implementation remains pending because of lack of funds.

We will re-evaluate fiscal incentives given in the past. Now that we are tightening our purse strings, we need to identify those incentives that will remain and those that need to be done away with.

We will not allow another NBN-ZTE scandal to happen again. Whether from local or foreign sources, all proposed contracts must undergo the scrutiny of correct procedures. I now ask for your help with amending our Procurement Law.

According to our Constitution, it is the government’s duty to ensure that the market is fair for all. No monopolies, no cartels that kill competition. We need an Anti-Trust Law that will give life to these principles, to afford Small- and Medium-Scale Enterprises the opportunity to participate in the growth of our economy.

Let us pass into law the National Land Use Bill.

It was in 1935, during the Commonwealth, that the National Defense Act was passed. There is a need to amend for a new law that is more responsive to the current needs of national security.

I appeal to our legislators to pass the Whistleblower’s Bill to eradicate the prevalent culture of fear and silence that has hounded our system.

We will strengthen the Witness Protection Program. We must remember that from 2009 to 2010 alone, cases which involved the participation of witnesses under the program resulted in a ninety-five percent conviction.

There is a need to review our laws. I call on our lawmakers to begin a re-codification of our laws to ensure harmony in legislation and eliminate contradictions.

These laws serve as the basis of order in our land, but the foundation of all rests on the principle that we cannot grow without peace and order.

We face two obstacles on our road to peace: the situation in Mindanao and the continued revolt of the CPP-NPA-NDF.

Our view has not changed when it comes to the situation in Mindanao. We will only achieve lasting peace if all stakeholders engage in an honest dialogue: may they be Moro, Lumad, or Christian. We have asked Dean Marvic Leonen to head our efforts to talk to the MILF.

We will learn from the mistakes of the past administration, that suddenly announced an agreement reached without consultations from all concerned. We are not blind to the fact that it was done with political motivation, and that the interest behind it was not that of the people.

We recognize the efforts of the MILF to discipline those within its ranks. We are hopeful that the negotiations will begin after Ramadan.

To the CPP-NPA-NDF: are you prepared to put forth concrete solutions rather than pure criticism and finger-pointing?

If it is peace you truly desire, then we are ready for an immediate cease-fire. Let us go back to the table and begin talking again.

It is difficult to begin discussions in earnest if the smell of gun powder still hangs in the air. I call on everyone concerned not to waste a good opportunity to rally behind our common aspiration for peace.

Our foundation for growth is peace. We will continue to be shackled by poverty if the crossfire persists.

We must understand that now is a time for sacrifice. It is this sacrifice that will pave the way for a better future. With our freedom comes our responsibility to do good unto our fellows and to our country.

To our friends in media, especially those in radio and print, to the block-timers and those in our community newspapers, I trust that you will take up the cudgels to police your own ranks.

May you give new meaning to the principles of your vocation: to provide clarity to pressing issues; to be fair and truthful in your reporting, and to raise the level of public discourse.

It is every Filipino’s duty to closely watch the leaders that you have elected. I encourage everyone to take a step towards participation rather than fault-finding. The former takes part in finding a solution; from the latter, never-ending complaints.

We have always known that the key to growth is putting the interest of others beyond one’s own. One thing is clear: how do we move forward if we keep putting others down?

How will those without education secure quality jobs? How will the unemployed become consumers? How will they save money for their future needs?

If we change all this, if we prioritize enabling others, we will open a world of opportunities not just for ourselves but for those who direly need it.

We have already begun the process of change, and we are now able to dream of better things for our country. Let us not forget that there are those who wish us to fail, so that they will once again reclaim power to do as they please at the expense of our people.

My firm belief is that our fate is in the hands of God and our people. While we focus on uplifting the lives of our fellow men, I have an unshakeable faith that Almighty God will give us His blessings and support. If we remain firm in our belief that God is on our side, is there anything impossible for us to achieve?

The mandate we received last May 10 is testament to the fact that the Filipino continues to hope for true change. The situation is not what it was before; we can all dream again. Let us all become one in achieving a fulfilment of our hopes and aspirations for our country.

Maraming Salamat Po!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Justice for Navy man Pestano.

In this country, good men gets killed and corrupt men rewarded with lucre and filth from smuggling, and illegal use of government and military transport.
Worse, the military branch concerned does not give a damn looking seeking those known suspects involved in the murder of Pestano.

If (Noy)^2 does not act sternly against such 'cold' crimes, he should not someday wonder how everything turned out bad in the quest for justice. Let this Pestano case be a test case for (Noy)^2. If within a year the suspect and guilty superiors are not arrested, then our enthusiasm for (Noy)^2 administration is sadly misplaced. No honeymoon for crimes!

President (Noy)^2 should not be so predictable!

Even before he will deliver his first SONA (State of the Nation Address), (Noy)^2 gave hints that he will divulge the fact that the budget for 2010 has almost been spent away by the previous Gloria administration. This is so sad, by becoming predictable, he gave people who has done some petty, large or astounding corruption misdeeds a good reason to plan how to evade, prepare for any potential charges! (Noy)^2 should not be predictable! He should not give any people against him the Damocles sword hanging precariously on his own administration.

Worse, the overall effect is to become a bore, and a do-nothing, since energy for constructive punishement is just dissipated.

As is, Gloria, now a congressperson, will jet to Hongkong to be at his husband's side for checkup in Hongkong. Maybe the doctors there are much cheaper, but the reason we think she is just escaping the expected scathing condemnation in the SONA.

Again we gave a concerned warning to (Noy)^2. Do not be so predictable, including his daily entourage trip from his home to Malacanang.

(Noy)^2, beware, avoid giving hints about what you will say or describe your routine.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tax Evaders in our midst: The Villarica case.

It is incredible that in a poor country (as in poorly managed) as ours. some people elect to display indecent behavior (not the flash your private parts) but flash the latest sports cars on the high ways.

In the news is that the owner of Villarica pawnshop has not paid a centavo in taxes over the past EIGHT years. This the fact that he drives around in showy and flashy Lamborghini and a Ferrari cars.
He should instead be put to jail immediately. Instead, he will be charged for tax evasion by the DOJ with the possbility that he can escape to other countries.

The complaint sheet file by the BIR charged Villarica of

“attempting to evade and willful failure to file income tax returns from 2002 to 2009, except for 2007 when he filed a return of zero tax payment.”

He has paid a miserly total of only 25,607 pesos from 1998 to 2009! Yet the price of the Lamborghini sports car was P26 million pesos! as shown by a deed of sale from the Land Transportation Office(LTO). This alone renders a tax deficiency of P16.2 million plus P6.3 million in value-added tax against Villarica, said the BIR. His pawnshops has not paid for any taxes on profits of the pawnshop branches that could reach P1 billion per year. According to Villarica's claims, his pawnshops already stopped operations, but the BIR found that all five branches registered under Villarica’s name are still operating.

Will these evaders be shot in public. Hell NO! This is not China or Vietnam where crooks are dispatched with a bullet to the head.

Take a lessons from the recent case of Wesley Snipes. In the U.S. , the IRS and the prosecutors are very much dedicated to their jobs seeing that tax-evaders have their due in prison!
Wesley Snipes Appeal Sentence.

Incredible. Suwapang! Terrible.
Source: Philstar.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Does her honor Merceditas Gutierrez have any decency to retire early?

YOu can be sure that the former president and now congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo made her decision smartly in choosing Merceditas Gutierez as head of the Ombudsman. Merceditas, supposedly a classmate of the FG (First Gentleman) never included in the charge sheet in the fertilizer scam(728 Million pesos! Sus!), the president of course. After all during her term, the president enjoyed immunity.

But wait, can the honorable Gutierrez point out any big corrupt politician to his/her by the Ombudsman? Does not the Philippines suffer from high corruption index? I can't recall any jailed big fish , perhaps our readers can enlighten us. And this is the sad non-performance which may be galling to some.

Gutierrez was precisely put in the office of the Ombudsman to protect her bosses. Let's give her the benefit of this doubt. Let's leave it to her the decision to retire silently and give the position to more deserving ones.

Readers, your opinion please. And can you send us the names of big fishes associated with the Macapagal Boulevard scam, the Fertilizer scam and the NBN-ZTE scam? Successfully prosecuted and jailed by the Ombudsman? Most of these scams have the fingerprint of powerful persons!

And ye' know, thar's no need for the Truth Commision if the Ombudsman was doing its independent, constitutional mandated job. Damn!

Friday, July 9, 2010

It is not for employees to demand term extension!

Ambassador to Berlin Delia Albert wants to remain in Germany beyond the three-month extension of her tour of duty. Her reason? She is needed to resolve the Fraport problem.

We believe that no political appointee can demand any term extension. NO one is indispensable.
Amb. Albert should leave her fate to Pres. Aquino or indirectly to Romulo who can do recommendations.

And of course, it should be subject to CA (Commission on Applointments) approval.

The waiting is over. Jesse Robredo is now DILG secretary.

We don't know what took the new president too long(to some, it may be very short!) nine days, to have the top vacancy in the DILG filled.
But Friday, Jesse Robredo is the new Official Interior and and Local Government (DILG) secretary. Mr. Robredo is very qualified:

He was a former mayor of Naga city, showing his political skills by winning 6 three year terms.
and to top it all, he is a Ramon Magsaysay awardee for government service.
Robredo holds an MPA (Master's in Public Administration) from Harvard University.

Of course Robredo has some connections with Bicol's politics:

From the Inquirer

Robredo is nephew and protege of Luis Robredo Villafuerte, one of Bicol’s most influential political leaders and head of a team that reorganized government under the late President Corazon Aquino.

Jose Barrameda, second cousin of Villafuerte and local historian, said Robredo knew how to use power without offending his opponents.

“He has learned to use power but not nakedly,” said Barrameda. “He sets certain limits and would not go beyond them.”

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Release the sick and pregnant detainees out of the Morong 43 now!!

President Aquino may have more pressing problems at the moment, but past problems left uncorrected may blow up in his face if he does not move heaven and earth on the release of the Morong 43 detainees.

We don't like to dwell anymore on the details of grenades, rifles found in the Morong compound where the health workers were arrested, since they may be planted and there are no independent witnesses to corrobate the arresting soldiers claim of weapons found. After all, they ordered everyon to get out of the compound.

So we appeal to the president, release at least the pregnant and the sick among the Morong 43 TODAY! on humanitarian grounds, if the government has legal infirmities that prevents the release of the whole Morong 43.

Time is of the essence. President's Aquino honeymoon days may be over come August 30. And his stand on the Morong 43 will be closely watched.

New Presidential Appointments

The most recent appointments of the new President is tabulated below:

Ret. PNP Director Magtanggol GatdulaHead National Bureau of Investigation
Angelito BanayoAdministrator, National Food Authority
Ret. Gen. (Nica chief) Cesar Garcia National Security Adviser
Virginia TorresLTO (Land Transportation Office) chief
Jose Angel Honrado Gen. Manager, Maninal International Airport Authority(MIAA)
Jose Amor AmoradoSenior deputy executive secretary
Ericson AlcovendazAsst. Executive Secretary for Finance and Administration, Officer in Charge
Ronald GeronAssistant executive secretary for legal affairs and OIC
Teofilo Pilando JrAsst. Executive Secretary for Govt. Administration
Michael Frederick MusngiUndersecretary Office of the Executive Secretary.
Ma. Lourdes OngPres. Asst I , Office of the Spec. Assistant to the President
Susan ReyesAsst. Exec.Secretary,Socials Secretary Office
Rico Punolocal government undersecretary for peace and order
Eric GosengfiaoDeputy Director General, NICA

Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo announced that Pres. Aquino had reappointed Erlinda F. Basilio, Rafael E. Seguis and Esteban B. Conejos Jr. as undersecretaries of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

Sources: INquirer, Philstar.

It would be nice if there is useful table of all secretaries and officers of all government agencies and that they would still be subject to a type of Commission on Appointments. We want an honest background checks on these people.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Referendum on a new Constitution?

Filipinos are the poorest students and practitioners of democracy. Whereas advanced countries try not to tamper much with their written constitutions (with amendments),and with the U.K not even having a written constitution, Filipinos revel in wasteful exercise of changing the constitution as it suits them. And it suits them very BADLY.

If there is going to be a referendum, the best time to do it is NOW! so the legislators, voted by the people will have more time to face more pressing issues squarely, than having a new instrument of perpetuating or prologing themselves in power, which is of course the main reason of the Constitutional Convention in the first place!

We hope that we get this out of the system, The basic ten commandments never had an extreme changes as the Philippine 1935, 1987(did we miss a year?)Constitutions. Do we need another one to fill in the throats of the Filipino nation? SICK.

Roll your eyes? Same promises to eliminate insurgency from the newest AFP Chief of Staff

This post is mirrored in our other site at Life, Research and Education.

Visit Inquirer.net for the story New AFP chief vows end to insurgency in 3 years

Our newest 41st Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Ricardo David Jr. promised the following:

1. End to insurgency in “two to three years” time through efficient use of its resources and effective strategy.

David said that his strategy to end insurgency in the country was to increase the number of troops and to change focus on some areas where insurgency was prevalent.
However, they have yet to determine how many troops will be added to the military force.
You know, we should have spent more attention to foreign threats and bullying in our outlying islands. The AFP uses insurgency as a justification for a big chunk of the national budget.

Insurgency will continue as long as we don't have genuine land reform.

2. Uphold human rights and transparency in military operations.

“Our policy will be towards the judicious and prudent need of our resources and transparency in our operations. For as long as it will not compromise our national security, the AFP also in its operations will continue to be protector of human rights and will continue to respect human law and international humanitarian law,” David told
reporters in an interview.

“Our mission is clear: as an instrument of national policy we will be highly capable of professional military organization competent to address national security. Our priority is the decimation of insurgency in the country, which continues to derail our efforts to attain lasting peace and development,” he added.

We hope that the new AFP CS will realize that one test of his avowed plans is to see that he moves heaven and hell to release all political prisoners and "captured" health workers in Morong, Rizal. Can the new AFP bring back the body of Jonas Burgos, dead or alive to his grieving mother and family?
Can the new AFP bring a just closure to the case of the missing students Sherlyn Cadapan and her companions?

This is our armed forces and we are unhappy that it is being used for local counter insurgency. We suggest that the national leadership support our local leadership, especially in the early, timely and sufficient delivery of basic services like Health and infrastructure like better roads, and facilities for farmers. It is crazy that in these times, even national highways are used to dry palay!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Memorandum Circular #1

Amended CircularOriginal

“All presidential appointees under coterminous status and/or those occupying positions created in excess of the authorized staffing pattern in all departments, offices, agencies and bureaus in the executive branch, are deemed separated from the service as of noon of June 30.

“All non-career executive service officials (non-CESO) occupying career executive service (CES) positions in all agencies of the executive branch shall remain in office and continue to perform their duties and discharge their responsibilities until July 31, or until their resignations have been accepted and/or until their respective replacements have been appointed or designated, whichever comes first.

“In cases where the head of agency or office has resigned and whose resignation has been accepted or is deemed separated on June 30 and no replacement has been appointed or designated, the next-in-rank and most senior official shall take over as officer in charge, to perform the duties and discharge the responsibilities of the position until July 31 or until a replacement has been appointed or designated, whichever comes first.

“Contractual and/or casual employees whose contracts expire on June 30 shall continue their services up to July 31, unless otherwise earlier terminated or renewed by their heads of the hiring agencies in accordance with their specific needs and requirements and subject to pertinent administrative and auditing rules and regulations.

“Services rendered by all non-CESO occupying CES positions, those taking over from resigned officials shall be compensated in accordance with the existing civil service, budgeting accounting and auditing rules and regulations. These officials and personnel are directed to effect an orderly and complete turnover of records, documents, books, equipment and properties of their respective offices to their successors, after the latter shall have been appointed or designated.”

The Presidential spokesman yesterday may have commited a faux pass when he prioritized an ANC interview over a formal press conference with waiting Malacanang press corps.

Lacierda, the spokesman, said the revisions were made because there was a need to “improve the language” of the order.“There was uncertainty as to the status of a number of non-career personnel so that had to be clarified. Because you see in the bureaucracy, you’ve got a lot of people who have not complied with their lack in eligibility requirements—these are not political appointees, most of them are not political appointees, so we needed to clarify where they were situated, what would be the consequence of the Memorandum Circular.”

There will be bound to be errors in the issuance of circulars. It is the human manly thing to do to edit any official pronouncemennt, circular, or proclamation.

The amended memorandum still is numbered #1. Maybe it would be better if they labelled the latest as Revised Memorandum Circular #1, July 1, 2010.

Source: Inquirer.net

This early and the former president showing her true colors?

Of course we knew that the ex-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wanted a cha-cha but could not succeed via her allies in Congress and Senate. Now that she is Congress, though a lower level than the presidency, through her with or without her son Diosdado Arroyo(Dato), a congressman from Camarines Norte, have filed resolutions nine in all!

  1. House Resolution No. 8

    Call of a Constitutional Convention for the purpose of proposing amendments to or revision fo the 1987 Constitution.
  2. House Bill No. 172

    An act amending Republic Act 6734, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Act;

  3. House Bill No. 174

    Act banning the catching, sale, purchase, possession, transportation and exportation of all sharks and rays in the country and for other purposes.

  4. House Bill No. 175

    An act establishing lactation stations in workplaces and for other purposes.

  5. House Bill No. 176

    Act to amend Secs. 91 and 97 of RA 8550 (Fisheries Code) of the Philippines.

  6. DUI bill:

    A bill seeking to penalize persons driving under the influence of alcohol.

  7. Cybercrime:
    A bill seeking to define cybercrime,providing for the prevention suppression and imposition of penalties;

  8. Housing

    a bill seeking to create the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

We refrain from early commenting. Some of these bills may have already local goverment counterparts and some of these may have already been introduced in the past, but all we can say at this point in time is that exPresident and now-Congressperson Gloria has done her homework.

The American Pres. Howard Taft became a Supreme Court Chief Justice.