Friday, December 28, 2012

We kill and make fun of our topnotch scientists, don't we?

I am just one of the hard-working taxpayers in the Philippines and I am disappointed that our national departments can make light of giving a post humus award to the late respected biologist, Leonard Co.

Leonard Co expertise was in plant taxonomy and we are amazed at the many NEW flora species the biologist has uncovered mainly in the remaining forests of the Philippines.

A new rafflesia discovered in Northern Luzun was named in his honor.

Today, December 29, 2012 happens to be Dr. Leonardo Co's birthday!He would have been 58 years old today.

Dr. Co was reportedly killed on the Monday of November 8, 2010 in a crossfire between Army elements and NPA rebels while collecting plant specimens in an Leyte forest.

Further reading explorations:
[1] wikipilipinas

[2] Facebook pages: PNPSCI,Memoriam page for Leonardo Co

[3] Top botanist killed in crossfire

Links to images posted in the public interest.

Never accept a culture of violence against women and children!

Our hearts go out to the victim of a very violent gang rape in India. The latest news was that the 23 years old young woman died in a Singaporean hospital. The girl was assaulted in a bus and thrown out by the sidewalk by more than five drunk young men.

India is actually advanced economically and technologically. But the national outrage over the sensational crime, with Indian government policemen against protesters should now bring focus to this aspect of Indian culture of degrading treatment of women.

Women's rights and safety is a universal concern! Let us learn from this sad event.

For more details, see reports of her death[1] and more gruesome details in [2].
Being a woman or a girl in India carries with it a heavy yoke! See [3].

[1] Retuers: India gang-rape victim dies in Singapore hospital

[2]Foxnews, january 4, 2013

[3] Why dont you kill her?

You'd think tap water is dirtier than bottled water?

The water distribution systems in Manila are serviced by the regulated utility companies Maynilad and Manila Water.
The Metro Manila Drinking Water Quality Monitoring Committee(MMDWQMC) in public ads has declared that based on analysis
of water samples at various regulatory sampling points in the respective areas of said water distribution companies.

Based on the results from 541 samples from Manila Water East Zone and 823 samples from West Zone (Maynilad), the following
results show the state of drinking tap water

  • 100 % free from disease causing coliforms
  • 100 % compliance with physical and chemical standards based on examination

Both water utility firms surpassed the minimum sampling frequency requirement of the 2007 PNSDW (Philippine National Standards for Drinking Water?) for both microbiological and physico-chemical quality. In comparison, the MMDWQCMC divulged that out of 1053 water refilling stations monitored in Metro Manila for the month of November 2012, only 1036 passed the potability standards set by PNSDW. The above information was gleaned from page 15 of yesterday's December 28 issue of Philstar newspaper.

We would like to suggest that water quality should be INDEPENDENTLY and RANDOMLY confirmed by chemical analytical laboratories of schools or specialized water analysis firms, not only from designated sampling points but from the taps of randomly selected households and commercial food establishments.

Metro Manila residents should breath a sigh of relief that they should not be addicted to buying bottle water for that unfounded "psychological" edge that it is clean and potable.

Help save the environment, tap water is more than clean enough, more than safe enough! We hope it will stay that way, for many years to come. Let us not overfill the planet with plastic bottles.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Philippine Lower House approves RH BILL, the ball is in the SENATE now!

It is good that the lower house or the house of representatives by majority vote approve the House version of the Reproductive Health Bill. But the timing cannot be propitious when this bill comes up to the Senate. Remember this is Christmas Season and the Senate might go in recess into the immediate near future. This is a sad history of the RH bill which has been in gestation for more than ten years!

You can see the names of the 113 congressmen who voted yes or 104 who voted no and three who abstained. It is reported that three congressmen from Cebu were absent during the voting.See 12/12/2012 issue.

It is a little amusing how the NO votes justified their stand. This graphic by John Dy, shared in fAcebook shows it all(copy and paste on the url bar to view):

Monday, December 10, 2012

Why Pacquiao lost.

All of the following reasons are just plain hypothetical reasons. We have no proofs to back up most of them.

1. Dirty foot trick of Marquez. Did he or did he not intentionally step on Pacquiao's foot five times to make his foe off-balance? Please watch the video below.

2. Conversion of Pacquiao from a Roman Catholic to a born-again Christian. Even his mother claims that this is the best reason why his son lost!

3. Marquez bulking up using performance enhancement drugs - incredible muscle buildup in one year with the assistance of a tainted conditioning coach.

To be updated.... until this message is removed.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

USA: Sign of the Times: Freedom of Religion has gone awry.

What does this portend for America? On the other hand, I dont mind if they banned religious graven images (it is part of the Ten commandments!!) but Obama portrayed as a Roman ruler? ..., that smacks of something else, or is someone fawning to get into the graces of Obama?

Friday, November 23, 2012

We fear the Philippines has no bright future, her bright, young professionals are killed

We ask the presidency of our beloved president Pnoy to think of the people who loved their country to the point of death! Here is one bright light who life was snuffed out by professional assasins for exposing the fertilizer scam during the term of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

She is Marlene Garcia, a BS Chemistry graduate of a university based in Iloilo and who later shifted to hard hitting and biting journalism field. Rest in peace, Ms. Marlene.You will not be forgotten!

Acknowledgement: Photo uploaded by her classmate to Facebook from Batch 1980 of University of St. Agustin school yearbook.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Noynoy gets his wish in appointing Marvic Leonen as SC justice

After masterminding the successful procsecution of the former Chief Justice Renato Corona, President Noy is lucky to appoint not one but two of his personal choices to the Supreme Court! The new chief Justice is Ma. Lourdes Sereno, who does NOT crave the limelight, she is averse to media scrutiny.

Now Noy has the enviable choice of appointing today, November 21, relatively young at 49 years, chief government negotiator Marvic Leonen as Supreme Court (SC) associate justice, in place of the position vacated by Supreme Court Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno.

Leonen will forever be tainted as Aquino's YES man in the Supreme Court, though that remains to be seen. Now Aquino may quietly stop the SC in putting a final decision about the distribution of the vast sprawling Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac.

And yet we are aware that Pres. Noy Aquino promised to have a single term, that only means in 3 years he will step down. But history has always been farcical towards pronouncements on retirement on political ambitions. Perhaps Noy will get infected with hunger for power when his term is nearly up. But we are willing to wait and will continue to monitor this sad development, the SC DOES NOT look independent to the public! Now we have two appointees who may think of Utang na Loob when they decide cases involving the actions of President Noy and the interests of the Aquino-Cojuangco family.

We offer our congratulations to the Honorable Marvic Leonen, but we also send him a message that us political bloggers will be alert to follow his decisions on cases under consideration of the Supreme Court.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Should not Pres. Noy be more discreet in his personal choice for SC justice?

This does not look presidential at all. President Noy should have kept his mouth shut about his presonal choice for filling in the vacancy in the Supreme Court due to the elebation of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

It besmirches the reputation of the Supreme Court as a whole since the open endorsement of President Noy for Marvic Leonen gives the idea that there is one justice who owes his appointment personally to President Noy! Although it remains to be seen, his candidate will be judge preliminary as the President's man in the supreme court!

Pres. Noy! Will you please keep your mouth shut and let the JBC do its work ?!!

Further reading:, 11/12/2012: Noy wants Leonen for SC

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Negros Occidental Governor pushes for Coal fired power plant in Cadiz City

The governor of Negros Occidental, the Honorable Alfredo Marañon Jr. has given advise to the local officials of Cadiz City to go on with the proposed coal-fired power plant to be sited in the City.

Yet, this is the same power plant proposed in Pulupandan and Bago but which did not push through due to the organized opposition of environmentalists some of whom are residents of the area and have experience living besides a coal fired power plant of the Asian Alcohol Corporation when it was still operational.

The governor claims that power plants in Iloilo and Cebu have environmental controls explaining why people in those places have not voiced any complaint regarding health and pollution issues. He further added that oppositors to the project were talking without any facts or basis. See [Ref 3].

Yet it has been observed that the number of dolphins have decreased in the Tañon strait near the coal fired plant in Toledo, Cebu. [Ref. 2]

The governor emphasized the importance of stable power.

It is to be noted that the project for the coal fired power plant has been approved by Pres. Benigno Aquino III and Vice president Jejomar Binay.
Target date for completion is year 2014!

No one can argue against the fact that burning coal is the dirtiest, most carbon intensive of all fossil fuels one of the leading contributors to climate change.


  1. Sunstar, 10/31/2012: Governor bats for coal fired power plant
  2. Sunstar, 9/2/2012; Groups oppose to build more power plants in Cebu
  3., 10/22/2010: Probe sought on Iloilo coal fired power plant

Sunday, October 21, 2012

When will the Philippine allow divorce?

Till death do as part, two people in love promise each other during their marriage. Yet time may find one or both parties unhappy with each other, or one of the parties may descend into alcoholism, workholicism, gambling, spousal abuse, kids abuse and other signs of unhappy marriage.

The Philippines has the singular[1] distinction of being the only country left of honor of not allowing divorce although its Muslim citizens are allowed divorce!. It is surprising that France, Italy, Spain and Ireland, predominantly Catholic countries do allow divorce. What prevents the Philippines from having a law to allow divorce? Why, in the Philippines, rich husbands have mistressees! and wives are known to have paramours or lovers.

Married couples do have the remedy of annulment if their marriage is falling apart, i.e., they fell out of love, but it would be much better if divorce is allowed.

There is no reason to continue without a divorce bill, let us give couples with failing marriages an escape clause to start their lives all over again. It is not only the poor citizens but even Senators![3].

Reference 2 gives a good overview on divorce.


[1] The Vatican is considered a sovereign city-state inside Italy!

[2] Wikipedia article on divoce.

[3] Philipine senators with marriage on the rocks.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Time to do away with the partylist system!

At this point in time, we can say that not only is the party list system proven unnecessary, but is an added public expense with non-zero accounting. Some of the sitting representatives of partylists are confirmed millionaires and do not even belong to the party list they represent like security guards. Worse, there are cases of OVER REPRESENTATION like the Ako Bicol case. From our reference 1(Inquirer):

The Comelec pointed out Ako Bicol’s expressed objective was to uplift and represent Bicolanos, who already are well represented in Congress.

“If this commission were to allow Ako Bicol’s continued participation in the party-list system, this commission is condoning the continued and blatant violation of the proportional representation of ‘provinces, cities and Metropolitan Manila in accordance with the number of their inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform ad progressive ratio,’” the Comelec said.

Let us stop making Congress a monster. The party list system, which was enacted in 1995 under RA 7941 must go!

Further reading:

  1. Ako Bicol, 12 other part list groups axed

Monday, October 8, 2012

Supreme Court regains our trust!?

We are glad that Pres. Noy's chosen one for the Supreme Court has proven that the SC is an indpendent body that is NOT beholden to anyone.Just now, the Supreme Court has issued a TRO (temporary restraining order) for the implementation of the Cybercrime Prevention Law after accepting 15 petitions for its decision on the constitutionality of the law after the law was passed by the Senate/Congress and put into law by President Nonoy Aquino last September 12, 2012.

Noy should not get mad over this virtual slap on his palms, nor think of retaliation against the SC. By the constitution, the SC is the mandated LONE supreme power to determine the constitutionality of any acts, ordinances or laws. Noy should be happy that he was not allowed to sink deeper into the quagmire of foolishness or an accomplice party to some sleight of hand int the Senate proceedings, especially the surreptitious entry of Libel provisions in the RA 10175.

The ambiguous and dangerous law must now be resubmitted to both Congress and Senate.
and hopefully any provisions which infringe on the inalienable rights and civil liberties, or are not in consonance with constitution or current International legal oblications must not even see the light of day!

We hope that the SC will be consistent in its decisions, and not wait too long for anger of the people to boil over!

Further reading: issues a TRO on new Cyberlaw!

UST Varsitariian does not speak for ALL UST students regarding RH bill

Please refer to the current editorial in Varsitarian,net: RH bill, Ateneo, and La Salle: Of lemons and cowards., which purports to display the official stand of the UST student and administration of UST regarding the Reproductive Health Act.

Who says religious fanaticism can be found in Muslim counties only? The Varsitarian, the official organ of the student body or the University of the Philippines, has lambasted professors of Lasalle and Ateneo for not kowtowing or blindly follwing the official stand of the Catholic bishops on the RH bill.

We are simply amazed and shocked at the stand of UST's official paper. We suspect that the editorial piece was written not by a student but by someone from the administration of UST. Regardsless who the suthor is, the piece smacks of mindless devotion and intolerance.

We call on the Varsitarian to offer a public apology.

Our leaders love to play blind on the constitutionality of the RA 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act!

Now we have two leaders who are playing blind to the fact that some provisions are obviously unconstitutional. The first one is incredibly, will you please stop laughing, is Justice Secretary Leila de Lima!

She claims that any legal questions can be addressed in the IRR or the implementent rules and regulation to be crafted with stakeholders (dont you just love to use the word "stakeholders?") We are glad she was not chosen as the Supreme Court Chief Justice.

The next leader is Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, who blamed Senator Santiago for failing to look into the constitutionality of the Cybercrime Prevention Act when the bill was still being deliberated in Congress early this year. Of course he failed to mention that the worrisome provisions about libel were SNEAKED in, or inserted by his good ally Senator Vicente Sotto. He added that he was ABSENT at the time the RA 10175 was passed by the Senate. He passed the buck to his fellow senators who failed to QUESTION or check the constitutionality of the cybercrime law during the discussion stage. Enrile now cries out about the inhouse expert, Sen. Miriam Santiago, on the Constitution:

“She could have seen it. She was the expert in constitutional law, I am not saying that I am expert on that but the point is, she could have raised that question when it was being crafted into a law,

He also added the lame excuse "NO LAW IS PERFECT!", and there is NOTHING WRONG if any law is declared unconstitutional. A law is not a perfect document, it is done by human beings! Thus we are heartened that Enrile is not claiming to be a God! when it comes to crafting laws as their mandated job require.

Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño made the following cogent remarks on the Cybercrime Law:

It is to be remembered for posterity that the House bill APPROVED by the HOUSE, did not contain the questionable provisions found in the Senate version and the passed law. The House version did not contain the ‘electronic libel’ provision found in Section 4 (c) 4... There was no mention at all of the DOJ’s (Department of Justice) ‘blocking access’ power found in Section 19 of the law,” Teddy Casino added.

“Section 4 (b) 4 (cc) of the House bill did not contain the phrase ‘provided that the penalty to be imposed shall be one degree higher than that provided by the Revised Penal Code, and Special Laws.’ “While Section 9 of the House version allowed ‘real time collection of computer data,’ it requires the need to ‘secure a court warrant.’ The Senate version, found in Section 12 of the law, deleted this very important warrant requirement”

Meanwhile the bounds of credulity has been bent so much by the news item[See 2nd reference] that the President may be impeached due to the cybercrime law! We just laugh at this item, and we only surmise that this is only for PUBLICITY purposes!

Further reading:
  1. Cybercrime law constitutional - Enrile, De Lima

  2. Kabataan partylist: Aquino may be impeached for cybercrime law

  3. Colmenares asks SC to nullify Cybercrime Law

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Unwanted influence in the Padaca case: Did Noy forget he is president of the Philippines?

I am still a fan of Grace Padaca, and I believed she won fair and square in the past elections for congressman.

Still I am flummoxed by Noy Aquino's gesture of paying the P70,000 bail on graft charges against Padaca who was recently installed as a Comelec commisioner. Noy Aquino is not just an ordinary citizen, he is the president of the Philippines. He should have let the courts decide on the merits of the case against Grace. Ah, did the successful impeachment drive against former Chief Justice Corona gone to the Predident's head?

The charges against Grace Padaca stemmed from an alleged granting of a P25-million hybrid rice project to a non-government organization without public bidding.See Ref. 1.

I don not feel good about this. Something does not smell good. It is not a fishy smell however. And we cannot suggest an alternative course of action. Shall we just let His Exellency go unscath on this matter?

Did the successful impeachment of former Supreme Court justice Corona gone to the President's head?

Further reading.

  1. Philstar: Padaca not guilty of graft, says Noy

  2. wikipedia article on Grace Padaca

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Internal dissent may lead to Iranian leaders downfall

The harsh economic sanctions may have a telling effect on Iran after all, with the Iranian rial losing 40 % of its value recently, but we know that totalitarian states may live long. Consider North Korea.But unlike North Korea, Iran is a not an atheist state. Iran traded with the rest of the world unlike North Korea which was virtually hermetically sealed against outside forces.

Signs of panic buying are around in Iran, with some people buying rice for a WHOLE year! Iran depended so much on oil exports that it failed to strengthen its domestic economy.

This might force leaders to change their hardline stance regarding nuclear power development. On the other hand, it is a distant possibility that this will force the leaders to intstitute illogivcal draconian measures to the extent of impoverishing or bringing famime to the Iranian people.

We hope not, and Israel can breath a sigh of relief that Irans main enemy is itself and does not have to strike deep into Tehran to destroy nuclear reactors.

Further reading:

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Turkey retaliates against Syria shelling across borders!

Syrian government forces might be foolish to shell refugees across Turkey. Such acts can be a valid license for Turkey to shell back government forces fighting refugees who regularly cross the borders.

See Turkish artillery targets Syria

This is a worrisome development but if it hastens a change in government in Syria, with Bashar Assad stepping down, this might be more "acceptable" than having more thousands of dead Sytians and a few Turks.

We call on Bashar to affect a peaceful transition. Am sure that other countries would offer him exile, like the USSR and China. He has crossed the line and his options are shrinking. He needs to think of his future in Syrian history, as right now, he might find it difficult to remove the the man who destroyed Syria. Such dishonor will live longer when the younger Assad is long dead.

Now all three branches are acting stupidly on the cybercrime law!

I thought the Supreme Court will issue a TRO on the implementation of the Cybercrime law. Instead of rising to the occasion by doing its mandated function of determining the constitutionality of the recently passed law, the noble Supreme Court choose to delay deliberations on seven petitions questioning the constitutionality of certain provisions of the Cybercrime law.

Specifically, the SC refused to take a stand on the following sections:

  • Sec 4. which includes cyber defamation, cyber threats and Internet libel in the list of cybercrimes subject to prosecution by the Department of Justice.

  • Sec. 6. which hands down a higher degree of punishment for people found guilty of libel and allows them to be charged separately under the Revised Penal Code for the same offense.

  • Sec 19. which gives the secretary of justice the power to block or restrict access to any content upon prima facie finding of violation of the law even without trial.
The law was passed Sep 14. Thats too long a time for them justices to discuss the merits of the petitions to nullify parts of the Cybercrime Law. Score a -1 for the Concepcion-Morales Ma. Lourdes Sereno led Supreme Court.

Further reading:

Musings from a respected judge on Cybercrime Prevention Law

I am honored to present in this blog a cogent critical analysis of the Cybercrime Prevention Law from a respected friend who is in the legal profession.

Critics of the Cybercrime Prevention Law, mostly from the many users of the popular Internet Social Media Sites, like Facebook and Twitter, are up in arms against this most recent piece of legislation, passed by Philippine Congress.

The Cyber age has brought considerable changes in our way of life as we employ web based technologies in human communication, information dissemination and sharing, instant messaging, and social networking. This medium has opened up vast array of applications that could link communities, organizations, and individuals. Social media is now one of the most powerful source of news, information, opinion, and entertainment. What is amazing is the medium allows for user generated content. There is more unilateral freedom of expression.

The guarantees of free expression, is sacrosanct. The principle remains unchanged, with or without the Internet. The impact of the Social Media, in the protection of this freedom, as well as State restriction from abuse of this freedom, are likely to be debatable issues.

Hackers are now on the rampage cracking government websites as if taunting the government, and show them how vulnerable they could be.

There is no question that censorship in whatever form is repugnant to free speech and press. As the most complex vehicle, in this age, for the expression of ideas, or even of art or entertainment, the Social Media should not be excluded from the protection of this freedom.

I agree with the observation that this law might infringe on free speech, because it seems to impose prior restraint, and subsequent punishment. This is not the same as saying that there should be absolute and unbridled freedom in the internet, which could also be destructive and injurious. We need good law to balance these interests.

Published with permission from the true author who has to remain anonymous.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Campaigns against the cybercrime law heating up in Facebook?

Here is one campaign pooter from "We support Anonymous Philippines"

From Philippine Internet Freedom Alliance:

By approving this law, President Aquino's luster may dim:

A blackout call to protest the Cybercrime Prevention Law:

All copyrights remain with the original owners. Published in the public interest,

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Are our lawmakers, president stupid in respectively crafting and passing into law R.A. 10175 Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012?

Section 4 of the 1987 Constitution states that

No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression or of the press, or of the right of the people to peacably assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.

Yet our lawmakers are wasting our time and taxpayers money in crafting the Republic Act 10175 Cybercrime prevention Act of 2012. The bill was approved as law by Pres. Aquino, showing that his advisers are non wiser than the people of the legislative branch who crafted such law.

Yet we know from reputable sources, that the rider on libel was surreptitiously inserted by senator Sotto, he of plagiarism fame!

let us see if the Supreme Court is stupid also if it rule the Cybercrime law as constirutional . Thiw event will add more credence that the Philippines is run by fools in stateman clothing.

We would not resort to hacking government sites as we do not know how to and dont want to know. Nor shall we resort to physical harm on our esteemed lawmakers (and lawbreakers!) as such things can backfire on us. Love your enemies even if they dont love you back.

Further reading:

Friday, September 28, 2012

A dangerous generalization from the author of "A Law each day column"

I still read his column though I may agree with his views. I am writing this to stimulate discussion on a law which still has to see the light of day in this country, the reproductive health bill. In one of his recent columns A dangerous tendency, the author of that article made the following atrocious generalization of the reproductive health bill:

This MVP-ADMU parting of ways highlights once more the growing discord and confounding confusion brought about by this RH bill being imposed upon us by foreign lobbyists and governments out to enforce their agenda of population control through abortion by the use of contraceptives.

Aw shucks. There goes my ounce of respect through the window.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Obama's complete speech to the United Nations, Sep. 25, 2012

Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentleman: I would like to begin today by telling you about an American named Chris Stevens. Chris was born in a town called Grass Valley, California, the son of a lawyer and a musician. As a young man, Chris joined the Peace Corps, and taught English in Morocco. And he came to love and respect the people of North Africa and the Middle East. He would carry that commitment throughout his life. As a diplomat, he worked from Egypt to Syria, from Saudi Arabia to Libya.

He was known for walking the streets of the cities where he worked -- tasting the local food, meeting as many people as he could, speaking Arabic, listening with a broad smile. Chris went to Benghazi in the early days of the Libyan revolution, arriving on a cargo ship. As America’s representative, he helped the Libyan people as they coped with violent conflict, cared for the wounded, and crafted a vision for the future in which the rights of all Libyans would be respected. And after the revolution, he supported the birth of a new democracy, as Libyans held elections, and built new institutions, and began to move forward after decades of dictatorship. Chris Stevens loved his work. He took pride in the country he served, and he saw dignity in the people that he met.

And two weeks ago, he traveled to Benghazi to review plans to establish a new cultural center and modernize a hospital. That’s when America’s compound came under attack. Along with three of his colleagues, Chris was killed in the city that he helped to save. He was 52 years old. I tell you this story because Chris Stevens embodied the best of America. Like his fellow Foreign Service officers, he built bridges across oceans and cultures, and was deeply invested in the international cooperation that the United Nations represents. He acted with humility, but he also stood up for a set of principles -- a belief that individuals should be free to determine their own destiny, and live with liberty, dignity, justice, and opportunity.

The attacks on the civilians in Benghazi were attacks on America. We are grateful for the assistance we received from the Libyan government and from the Libyan people. There should be no doubt that we will be relentless in tracking down the killers and bringing them to justice. And I also appreciate that in recent days, the leaders of other countries in the region -- including Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen -- have taken steps to secure our diplomatic facilities, and called for calm. And so have religious authorities around the globe. But understand, the attacks of the last two weeks are not simply an assault on America.

They are also an assault on the very ideals upon which the United Nations was founded -- the notion that people can resolve their differences peacefully; that diplomacy can take the place of war; that in an interdependent world, all of us have a stake in working towards greater opportunity and security for our citizens. If we are serious about upholding these ideals, it will not be enough to put more guards in front of an embassy, or to put out statements of regret and wait for the outrage to pass. If we are serious about these ideals, we must speak honestly about the deeper causes of the crisis -- because we face a choice between the forces that would drive us apart and the hopes that we hold in common.

Today, we must reaffirm that our future will be determined by people like Chris Stevens -- and not by his killers. Today, we must declare that this violence and intolerance has no place among our United Nations. It has been less than two years since a vendor in Tunisia set himself on fire to protest the oppressive corruption in his country, and sparked what became known as the Arab Spring. And since then, the world has been captivated by the transformation that’s taken place, and the United States has supported the forces of change. We were inspired by the Tunisian protests that toppled a dictator, because we recognized our own beliefs in the aspiration of men and women who took to the streets.

We insisted on change in Egypt, because our support for democracy ultimately put us on the side of the people. We supported a transition of leadership in Yemen, because the interests of the people were no longer being served by a corrupt status quo. We intervened in Libya alongside a broad coalition, and with the mandate of the United Nations Security Council, because we had the ability to stop the slaughter of innocents, and because we believed that the aspirations of the people were more powerful than a tyrant. And as we meet here, we again declare that the regime of Bashar al-Assad must come to an end so that the suffering of the Syrian people can stop and a new dawn can begin. We have taken these positions because we believe that freedom and self-determination are not unique to one culture. These are not simply American values or Western values -- they are universal values. And even as there will be huge challenges to come with a transition to democracy, I am convinced that ultimately government of the people, by the people, and for the people is more likely to bring about the stability, prosperity, and individual opportunity that serve as a basis for peace in our world. So let us remember that this is a season of progress.

For the first time in decades, Tunisians, Egyptians and Libyans voted for new leaders in elections that were credible, competitive, and fair. This democratic spirit has not been restricted to the Arab world. Over the past year, we’ve seen peaceful transitions of power in Malawi and Senegal, and a new President in Somalia. In Burma, a President has freed political prisoners and opened a closed society, a courageous dissident has been elected to parliament, and people look forward to further reform. Around the globe, people are making their voices heard, insisting on their innate dignity, and the right to determine their future.

And yet the turmoil of recent weeks reminds us that the path to democracy does not end with the casting of a ballot. Nelson Mandela once said: “To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” True democracy demands that citizens cannot be thrown in jail because of what they believe, and that businesses can be opened without paying a bribe. It depends on the freedom of citizens to speak their minds and assemble without fear, and on the rule of law and due process that guarantees the rights of all people. In other words, true democracy -- real freedom -- is hard work.

Those in power have to resist the temptation to crack down on dissidents. In hard economic times, countries must be tempted -- may be tempted to rally the people around perceived enemies, at home and abroad, rather than focusing on the painstaking work of reform. Moreover, there will always be those that reject human progress -- dictators who cling to power, corrupt interests that depend on the status quo, and extremists who fan the flames of hate and division. From Northern Ireland to South Asia, from Africa to the Americas, from the Balkans to the Pacific Rim, we’ve witnessed convulsions that can accompany transitions to a new political order. At time, the conflicts arise along the fault lines of race or tribe. And often they arise from the difficulties of reconciling tradition and faith with the diversity and interdependence of the modern world. In every country, there are those who find different religious beliefs threatening; in every culture, those who love freedom for themselves must ask themselves how much they’re willing to tolerate freedom for others.

That is what we saw play out in the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. Now, I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity. It is an insult not only to Muslims, but to America as well -- for as the city outside these walls makes clear, we are a country that has welcomed people of every race and every faith. We are home to Muslims who worship across our country. We not only respect the freedom of religion, we have laws that protect individuals from being harmed because of how they look or what they believe.

We understand why people take offense to this video because millions of our citizens are among them. I know there are some who ask why we don’t just ban such a video. And the answer is enshrined in our laws: Our Constitution protects the right to practice free speech. Here in the United States, countless publications provoke offense. Like me, the majority of Americans are Christian, and yet we do not ban blasphemy against our most sacred beliefs. As President of our country and Commander-in-Chief of our military, I accept that people are going to call me awful things every day -- (laughter) -- and I will always defend their right to do so. Americans have fought and died around the globe to protect the right of all people to express their views, even views that we profoundly disagree with. We do not do so because we support hateful speech, but because our founders understood that without such protections, the capacity of each individual to express their own views and practice their own faith may be threatened. We do so because in a diverse society, efforts to restrict speech can quickly become a tool to silence critics and oppress minorities. We do so because given the power of faith in our lives, and the passion that religious differences can inflame, the strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression; it is more speech -- the voices of tolerance that rally against bigotry and blasphemy, and lift up the values of understanding and mutual respect. Now, I know that not all countries in this body share this particular understanding of the protection of free speech. We recognize that.

But in 2012, at a time when anyone with a cell phone can spread offensive views around the world with the click of a button, the notion that we can control the flow of information is obsolete. The question, then, is how do we respond? And on this we must agree: There is no speech that justifies mindless violence. There are no words that excuse the killing of innocents. There’s no video that justifies an attack on an embassy. There’s no slander that provides an excuse for people to burn a restaurant in Lebanon, or destroy a school in Tunis, or cause death and destruction in Pakistan. In this modern world with modern technologies, for us to respond in that way to hateful speech empowers any individual who engages in such speech to create chaos around the world. We empower the worst of us if that’s how we respond. More broadly, the events of the last two weeks also speak to the need for all of us to honestly address the tensions between the West and the Arab world that is moving towards democracy. Now, let me be clear: Just as we cannot solve every problem in the world, the United States has not and will not seek to dictate the outcome of democratic transitions abroad. We do not expect other nations to agree with us on every issue, nor do we assume that the violence of the past weeks or the hateful speech by some individuals represent the views of the overwhelming majority of Muslims, any more than the views of the people who produced this video represents those of Americans. However, I do believe that it is the obligation of all leaders in all countries to speak out forcefully against violence and extremism. It is time to marginalize those who -- even when not directly resorting to violence -- use hatred of America, or the West, or Israel, as the central organizing principle of politics. For that only gives cover, and sometimes makes an excuse, for those who do resort to violence. T

That brand of politics -- one that pits East against West, and South against North, Muslims against Christians and Hindu and Jews -- can’t deliver on the promise of freedom. To the youth, it offers only false hope. Burning an American flag does nothing to provide a child an education. Smashing apart a restaurant does not fill an empty stomach. Attacking an embassy won’t create a single job. That brand of politics only makes it harder to achieve what we must do together: educating our children, and creating the opportunities that they deserve; protecting human rights, and extending democracy’s promise. Understand America will never retreat from the world. We will bring justice to those who harm our citizens and our friends, and we will stand with our allies. We are willing to partner with countries around the world to deepen ties of trade and investment, and science and technology, energy and development -- all efforts that can spark economic growth for all our people and stabilize democratic change. But such efforts depend on a spirit of mutual interest and mutual respect. No government or company, no school or NGO will be confident working in a country where its people are endangered. For partnerships to be effective our citizens must be secure and our efforts must be welcomed. A politics based only on anger -- one based on dividing the world between “us” and “them” -- not only sets back international cooperation, it ultimately undermines those who tolerate it. All of us have an interest in standing up to these forces.

Let us remember that Muslims have suffered the most at the hands of extremism. On the same day our civilians were killed in Benghazi, a Turkish police officer was murdered in Istanbul only days before his wedding; more than 10 Yemenis were killed in a car bomb in Sana’a; several Afghan children were mourned by their parents just days after they were killed by a suicide bomber in Kabul. The impulse towards intolerance and violence may initially be focused on the West, but over time it cannot be contained.

The same impulses toward extremism are used to justify war between Sunni and Shia, between tribes and clans. It leads not to strength and prosperity but to chaos. In less than two years, we have seen largely peaceful protests bring more change to Muslim-majority countries than a decade of violence. And extremists understand this. Because they have nothing to offer to improve the lives of people, violence is their only way to stay relevant. They don’t build; they only destroy. It is time to leave the call of violence and the politics of division behind. On so many issues, we face a choice between the promise of the future, or the prisons of the past. And we cannot afford to get it wrong. We must seize this moment. And America stands ready to work with all who are willing to embrace a better future. The future must not belong to those who target Coptic Christians in Egypt -- it must be claimed by those in Tahrir Square who chanted, “Muslims, Christians, we are one.”

The future must not belong to those who bully women -- it must be shaped by girls who go to school, and those who stand for a world where our daughters can live their dreams just like our sons. The future must not belong to those corrupt few who steal a country’s resources -- it must be won by the students and entrepreneurs, the workers and business owners who seek a broader prosperity for all people. Those are the women and men that America stands with; theirs is the vision we will support. The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. But to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see in the images of Jesus Christ that are desecrated, or churches that are destroyed, or the Holocaust that is denied. Let us condemn incitement against Sufi Muslims and Shiite pilgrims. It’s time to heed the words of Gandhi: “Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.”

Together, we must work towards a world where we are strengthened by our differences, and not defined by them. That is what America embodies, that’s the vision we will support. Among Israelis and Palestinians, the future must not belong to those who turn their backs on a prospect of peace. Let us leave behind those who thrive on conflict, those who reject the right of Israel to exist.

The road is hard, but the destination is clear -- a secure, Jewish state of Israel and an independent, prosperous Palestine. Understanding that such a peace must come through a just agreement between the parties, America will walk alongside all who are prepared to make that journey. In Syria, the future must not belong to a dictator who massacres his people. If there is a cause that cries out for protest in the world today, peaceful protest, it is a regime that tortures children and shoots rockets at apartment buildings. And we must remain engaged to assure that what began with citizens demanding their rights does not end in a cycle of sectarian violence.

Together, we must stand with those Syrians who believe in a different vision -- a Syria that is united and inclusive, where children don’t need to fear their own government, and all Syrians have a say in how they are governed -- Sunnis and Alawites, Kurds and Christians. That’s what America stands for. That is the outcome that we will work for -- with sanctions and consequences for those who persecute, and assistance and support for those who work for this common good. Because we believe that the Syrians who embrace this vision will have the strength and the legitimacy to lead. In Iran, we see where the path of a violent and unaccountable ideology leads.

The Iranian people have a remarkable and ancient history, and many Iranians wish to enjoy peace and prosperity alongside their neighbors. But just as it restricts the rights of its own people, the Iranian government continues to prop up a dictator in Damascus and supports terrorist groups abroad. Time and again, it has failed to take the opportunity to demonstrate that its nuclear program is peaceful, and to meet its obligations to the United Nations.

So let me be clear. America wants to resolve this issue through diplomacy, and we believe that there is still time and space to do so. But that time is not unlimited. We respect the right of nations to access peaceful nuclear power, but one of the purposes of the United Nations is to see that we harness that power for peace. And make no mistake, a nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained. It would threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations, and the stability of the global economy. It risks triggering a nuclear-arms race in the region, and the unraveling of the non-proliferation treaty.

That’s why a coalition of countries is holding the Iranian government accountable. And that’s why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. We know from painful experience that the path to security and prosperity does not lie outside the boundaries of international law and respect for human rights. That’s why this institution was established from the rubble of conflict.

That is why liberty triumphed over tyranny in the Cold War. And that is the lesson of the last two decades as well. History shows that peace and progress come to those who make the right choices. Nations in every part of the world have traveled this difficult path. Europe, the bloodiest battlefield of the 20th century, is united, free and at peace. From Brazil to South Africa, from Turkey to South Korea, from India to Indonesia, people of different races, religions, and traditions have lifted millions out of poverty, while respecting the rights of their citizens and meeting their responsibilities as nations. And it is because of the progress that I’ve witnessed in my own lifetime, the progress that I’ve witnessed after nearly four years as President, that I remain ever hopeful about the world that we live in.

The war in Iraq is over. American troops have come home. We’ve begun a transition in Afghanistan, and America and our allies will end our war on schedule in 2014. Al Qaeda has been weakened, and Osama bin Laden is no more. Nations have come together to lock down nuclear materials, and America and Russia are reducing our arsenals.

We have seen hard choices made -- from Naypyidaw to Cairo to Abidjan -- to put more power in the hands of citizens. At a time of economic challenge, the world has come together to broaden prosperity. Through the G20, we have partnered with emerging countries to keep the world on the path of recovery. America has pursued a development agenda that fuels growth and breaks dependency, and worked with African leaders to help them feed their nations.

New partnerships have been forged to combat corruption and promote government that is open and transparent, and new commitments have been made through the Equal Futures Partnership to ensure that women and girls can fully participate in politics and pursue opportunity. And later today, I will discuss our efforts to combat the scourge of human trafficking. All these things give me hope. But what gives me the most hope is not the actions of us, not the actions of leaders -- it is the people that I’ve seen.

The American troops who have risked their lives and sacrificed their limbs for strangers half a world away; the students in Jakarta or Seoul who are eager to use their knowledge to benefit mankind; the faces in a square in Prague or a parliament in Ghana who see democracy giving voice to their aspirations; the young people in the favelas of Rio and the schools of Mumbai whose eyes shine with promise. These men, women, and children of every race and every faith remind me that for every angry mob that gets shown on television, there are billions around the world who share similar hopes and dreams.

They tell us that there is a common heartbeat to humanity. So much attention in our world turns to what divides us. That’s what we see on the news. That’s what consumes our political debates. But when you strip it all away, people everywhere long for the freedom to determine their destiny; the dignity that comes with work; the comfort that comes with faith; and the justice that exists when governments serve their people -- and not the other way around.

The United States of America will always stand up for these aspirations, for our own people and for people all across the world. That was our founding purpose. That is what our history shows. That is what Chris Stevens worked for throughout his life. And I promise you this: Long after the killers are brought to justice, Chris Stevens’s legacy will live on in the lives that he touched -- in the tens of thousands who marched against violence through the streets of Benghazi; in the Libyans who changed their Facebook photo to one of Chris; in the signs that read, simply, “Chris Stevens was a friend to all Libyans.” They should give us hope. They should remind us that so long as we work for it, justice will be done, that history is on our side, and that a rising tide of liberty will never be reversed. Thank you very much.


Did Obama say that?

In a speech addressed to the United Nations,

The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. Yet to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see when the image of Jesus Christ is desecrated, churches are destroyed, or the Holocaust is denied. Let us condemn incitement against Sufi Muslims, and Shiite pilgrims. It is time to heed the words of Gandhi: “Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.” Together, we must work towards a world where we are strengthened by our differences, and not defined by them. That is what America embodies, and that is the vision we will support

Only a few will read the full text of this first black American President. Yet his speech is in effect telling fanatics, who will not read Obama's full text around the world, that it is ALL RIGHT to kill American Ambassadors, tourists or visitors since they represent a few extremist among the American people who slander the founder of Islam! Of course, his speech, does not say the future DOES NOT belong to CHRISTIANS or JEWS. But offhand by the first line, he may be saying the future belong only to the MUSLIMS!

A stupid speech, if not read in full, but then he is President of the United States. I am now concerned about the repercussions.

Obama believes that people around the world are sane as Americans back home. Do you frankly believe that countries which approve or turn aside the following:

  • forced women circumcisions!!
  • honor killings
  • kidnappings and beheadings of victims
  • attack embassies and murdering foreign ambassadors?
  • putting to death those who converted to Christianity
  • making humans and children carry bombs to detonate them

will READ his COMPLETE speech on TOLERANCE?

This illustrates the danger of Power Point type of analysis. By extracting only the "relevant part" the import of the whole message is LOST!

I have reposted also the complete speech of Obama, in a new posting. Here is the source:

More reading:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Iran: Nothing will remain of Israel if it attacks.

The Washington Post has quoted the Commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard that his

country’s missiles will ensure “nothing will remain” of Israel if it takes military action against Tehran over its controversial nuclear program.

He added that

Iran might close the vita Straits of Hormuz if it is attacked, withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and hit U.S. bases in the Middle East!"

Such threats are nothing new, and it reflects the deep hatred of the theocractic leadership towards Israel.With that clear cut warning of annihilation, Iran is confirming its past stand that Israel has no right to EXIST!

We are a little apprehensive that we might also have a big problem in out hands as the Philippines has a significant number of citizen Muslims . Yet Iran is not held high with regards by the moderate Arab world and in fact other countries in the Persian are strengthening their defenses and improving their counter offensive capabilities towards Iran.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Is Obama weak towards Muslims? While Muslims are openly hating the USA, and just killed the US ambassador to Libya!

This is an unfortunate turn of events, which hopefully will jolt the occupant of the White House to action! The American Ambassador to Libya was just killed by a Muslim mob, enraged by a movie purporting to scandalize their Allah.

Is it not amazing that civilized Western Christian nations are tolerant towards Mulstims while Muslims openly hate and persecute Christians? For example, any muslim who convert to christianity is charged with apostasy and earn a usual death sentence for the conversion.

A mob has attacked the Benghazi compound of the US Embassy and has killed the US Ambassador and three other Americans!See Washington Post: US Ambassador killed.

Obama should now give a warning to the enemies of the USA that its patience has been tested severely. But will he do it? For example, he has done nothing forcefully towards Iran while restraining Israel. The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel may attack Iran by its lonesome, without the support of its ally to prevent the Iranians from developing nuclear weapons. He even suggested that the Obama administration does not possess the "moral right" to forestall military action by Israel towards Iran.

The Secretary of state, Hillary Cinton, has made a public announcement that the United States will not impose or set a deadline for Iran to drop its nuclear program!!! Naturally, the Israel prime minister correctly replied that absence of a red line, the Iranians will surely develop a nuclear bomb.

A troubling question: Is Obama a closet Muslim?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Getting mad over Obama on the nuclear plans of Iran

It will take a year for the United States to respond to Iran leaders to go ahead with developing nuclear weapons. This is from US secretary of defense Leon Panetta [Iran independent News Service,Israeli International News].

The unfortunate thing for the US is that Iran does not have to publicly declare it is developing nuclear weapons, it might have already done so quietly while Obama tries to exhaust all means by diplomacy to encourage Iranian leaders to drop its world order shattering plans! Every day that Obama delays sending a strong signal to Iran that the US does not want a nuclear powered Iran is a blessing to the intrasigent Iranian leaders! It buys time for them to go about its secretive way to be a nuclear powered nation in the league of Pakistan and India.

By not drawing a red line, and in spite of a United Nations report that Iran is progressing in its nuclear goals in terms of nuclear fuel enrichment, Obama risks and has already riled up Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel. Israel is being left alone to fend off for itself and may have to strike deep in Iran as it did in Iraq. But the theocratic Iranians have dug in, putting their nuclear processing plants very deep into the bowels of the earth, making them difficult to be damaged by ordinary ordnance bombs. It may require a MOAB ground busting type bombs and/or nuclear weapons to destroy these installations.

Netanyahu has said dangerously:

"The world tells Israel to wait because there is still time," he said. "And I ask: Wait for what? Until when? Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don't have a moral right to place a red light before Israel."

The current state of Iran nuclear work is reported in [United Nations receives new intelligence on Iran Nuke work], its damming conclusion: Iran has made significant gains in building a nuclear weapon, and in fact has performed computer modeling on calculating the destructive power of an atomic warhead within the past three years.

Obama will go down in history as the president of the United States, who facilitated Iran to become a regional nuclear power. Once Iran attains its goals, the Middle East will be a powder keg drawing in the start of Armageddon.

The dangers of a unilateral attack by Israel on Iran nuclear sites is such that the head of UK M16 intelligence has made a personal visit to the prime minister [M16 boss met Netanyahu]

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Senator Sotto caught lying about the birth-control pill Diane-35?!

In a dramatic priveleged Senate speech, Sen. Tito Sotto mentioned that he and his wife lost a child due to a birth-control pill Diane. The Senator said that his wife Diane started taking Diane in 1974. Yet the pill was only made available in 1978.

The good Senator was caught lying! His story of losing a baby now tugs at our incredulity of disbelief.

Conclusion: The Senator is delaying voting on the RH Bill. He should be reprimanded for lying under oath! Much better, he should resign and go back to showbiz.

Visit the link,

Leloy Claudio challenges Sen. Sotto to a debate

The birth control pill Diane-35 is manufactured by Bayer Schering Pharma in Germany. Here is an article showing its side effects, published in 2011: Joseph Pritchard: The pill costs 1.19USD for a 21-pill pack. See Swiss pharmacy: Diane-35

Friday, August 24, 2012

At last, we have a new Supreme Court Chief Justice: Ma. Lourdes P.A. Sereno

President Ninoy Aquino, in spite of his critics disdain has appointed Ma.Lourdes Punzalan Aranal-Sereno as the next Chief Justice to replace the previous Chief Justice Corona who has the dubious honor of being the first one to be impeached for false declaration in his SALN! We will be watching if Sereno will be a rubber stamp of the president or be an upright independent , moral and ethical chief justice. Congratulations are in order to both Sereno and the president on this hopeful development.!

We welcome CJ Sereno and give her a one week grace period of one week, seven days starting tomorrow, with absolutely NO negative comments in our blog. So help us. August 24.

Here is her info at a glance obtained from the supreme court writeup on her. We would like to fill in the dates for veracity of her record, but we cannot find other sources aside from our references!

  • Date of Birth - July 2, 1960
  • earned a BS Economics degree at the Ateneo de Manila University
  • 1984: BAchelor of Laws (now called a JD, juris doctor), graduating with valecdictorian honors.
  • Master of Laws, Michigan Law School.
  • legal counselor of the WTO Appellate Body Secretariat in Geneva.
  • chosen as chair of the steering committee of the Preparatory Commission on the Constitutional Reform.
  • taught at UP College of Las for 19 years.
  • August 2010, appointed to the Court as associate justice by Pres. Aquino
  • August 24, 2012: Appointed as the as the 24th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.", replacing then acting chief justice Antonio Carpio.

  2. Wikipedia

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Diplomacy is what Iran needs to continue developing their nuclear capability

we are alarmed by Iran's continuing nuclear development program. The latest (unconfirmed) news is that it has deployed more than a hundred centrifuges to purify uranium to 20%, deeply in a covered Fordow mountain. The output purity is dangerously close for creating atomic nuclear weapons.

The myopic view of Obama and his defense, intelligence advisers, not to confront Iran directly, will redound to the USA with serious consequencies. Iran thrives on sowing false hopes and discord between the Jewish state and its backer nation of the USA.
The window of opportunity to strike fear into the heart of intrasigent non-Arab Iran, an avosed anti-Semitic state may have been closed, and may call for disparate measures from the small state of Israel.

Expect worse developments in the muddled Middle East, where the state of Israel may have to commit to a most dangerous action to preserve itself. Iran may have to be nuclear bombed to bring senses to its leaderss who may or may not be survivors of a holocauset caused by its stupidity.

It is unbelievable that Pres. Obama of the US is playing deaf and dumb on the so called "Peaceful" nuclear program of Iran. Perhaps a Sum of All Fears situation may not be even enough to jolt the USA to action, it has already whittled away any surprise on retaliatory measures against Iran.

We dont believe Iran needs a nuclear program, it is awash in oil. But let it continue its ways and suffer the consequencies too. This call for continued diplomacy will only strengthen Iran's hand and provides a false cover of peaceful piety.

Further reading:

Jerusalem Post: Sources- Iran expands nuclear capacity underground

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The country may have lost a good man from government service.

I do not know personally the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jess Robredo but I was shocked at the news yesterday Saturday that his plane he was riding to Naga City from Cebu City crashed in the water just short of the airport of Masbate. He was supposed to take a commercial flight to Manila and make a connecting flight to Naga. The impact of the water landing threw out his aide who survived with a broken arm. Two pilots and Sec. Robredo were reportedly strapped to the doomed plane.

Sec. Robredo epitomizes a breed of young politicians who are really dedicated to serve their constituency. He has served six mayoral terms in Naga City, his first was when he was only 29 years old!

I believe no one can survive a chilly more than 24 hours exposure to water without air, but we still hope that he has survived somehow like the miraculous escape of his aide. Already parts of the Piper Seneca turboprop plane were retrieved (a part of the right wing).

The latest update is that surface search will continue while diving and aerial rescue operations will be resumed on Monday [See the reference below]. Dead or alive, we want his body found and bring finality to this horrible incident on a Saturday afternoon.

Further reading:

Friday, August 17, 2012

Senator Sotto is a god who is not subject to copyright laws and is always free to plagiarize!

Sotto immune from plagiarism raps, top aide says!

What kind of leaders run the Philippines? Well senators are above copyright laws, says an aide to Senator Sotto who was caught plagiarizing parts of a blog article.

It is not a crime to plagiarize portions from a blog article in crafting Senator Sotto's Anti reproductive-health bill speech in the Senate, asserts Atty. Hector Villacorta. The aide also feels that Senator Sotto does not have to apologize to blogger Sarah Pope of, the author of the article from which Sotto copied portions, for offending the blogger's sensibilities.

Villacorta, in proclaiming his genius about copyrights, claimed that the (Internet) WWW is public domain, and that governments are exempted form copyright rules, while Sotto himself enjoys parliamentary immunity as a legislator.

Villacorta again is showing his extreme genius, about Copyrights and Public Domain:
We quote here from the

Copyrightable works include but are not limited to literary works such as articles, blog posts, stories, journals, or computer programs, pictures and graphics, as well as audio and video recordings. Copyrights do not need not be applied for as they are vested in the creators of intellectual property. When we create something — we own the copyright, which is our exclusive right as the creator to control who else can use our work and in what manner.

Villacorta claims the blogsite [theehealthyhomeeconomist] is public domain and Senator Sotto is free to plagiarize said portions of the article. Since Sotto is a member of government, it is not a crime for him to palagiarize! Understand??

Was the blogger commercially injured? She was not! No law was violate since there is no crime!

Government and Senator Sotto in particular is exempted from the copyright rule.
Bloggers, beware what you put out on the web. You should not cry if used by the web," the genius Atty. Villacorta claimed.

We are agrieved that we have genius lawyers like Atty. Villacorta. For one, works in the public domain are those for which copyright has expired! From what I read, blog contents are copyrightable, and the copyright extends while the author is alive and 70 years after his/her death! More, the Berne copyright convention says that as a blog article is automatically copyrighted as soon as an author publishes in the web, with the copyright owned or held by the blog author.

Atty. Villacorta should be debarred if he continues to show his genius to the World!
This only shows that our Senators are generally unethical creatures.

We expect the good Senator Sotto to publicly apologize not only to the blogger(s), but also to the Filipino nation for his stupid transgression, and if he is man enough, to think about leaving or resigning his office.

As for Atty. Villacorta, he should know that the Philippine is a signee of the Berne copyright convention, on August 1, 1951!

Filipinos deserve leaders who they voted for, and senators deserve aides who they employ. Straighten up people! Apologize! Is that too little to ask of you?


Thursday, August 16, 2012

What the healthyhomeeconomist blogger say about Sen. Sotto copying parts of her article without attribution.

She was not pleased about Senator Sotto lifting part of her article about how the pill can harm you future child's health.

She said, and I quote liberally due to its public importance in the Philippines:

Nice try, Senator. You had me almost convinced you were a nice guy with the tears and all.Many of your citizenry have emailed me assuring me that was a put on, and I am starting to think that they are right.

A thief is a thief, Mr. Senator.Denying it does not get you off the hook,it just makes you a lying thief.

Further reading:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

No respect for law enforcers? MMDA enforcer life is no fun.

I need the full story before I make a commentary on the following attack on an MMDA(Metro Manila Development Authority) traffic enforcer.

More info on the guy attacking the enforcer Caviteno Filipino blog

The enforcer name is in the comments section of the youtube blog.

Assaulting an officer may be a major offense in the USA. We can see that the enforcer did NOT carry a gun in the embedded video.

Remarks: I was shocked when the original blogger link led to an insecure site, now corrected. This is just a reminder that current events are mined for commercial and attack purposes.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) speaks out on the RH Bill.

The Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches, a network of more than 30,000 evangelical congregations in the Philippines, reiterates its call for the immediate consolidation and passing of the House Bill 4244, more commonly known as the Reproductive Health Bill. We call on our legislators to end the debates and to vote for its approval. We wholeheartedly support Pres. Aquino’s statement that “Perhaps the debates should end and Congress can decide, once and for all, on the responsible parenthood bill,”

We believe that the RH Bill is pro-life. Life begins at fertilization, and the promotion of the use of artificial forms of contraception does not take away life, for life begins at the union of the sperm and the egg cells.

We believe the RH Bill promotes a responsible lifestyle. As we have stated in our previous statements, God had created man in His own image (Genesis 1:26-27). When He commanded Adam and Eve to “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it,” He gave it to a world population of two. Now that the world population has escalated to seven billion, all the more, we are to fulfill the second part of the mandate, which is to subdue the earth. Responsible parenthood should be one of our responses to this call, and this would entail determining the number of children that we would raise in decent standards.

We believe that the purpose of marriage is not procreation alone, but also to enjoy the divinely instituted intimacy between husband and wife.

We believe abortion is a sin and should not in any way be tolerated. We support the RH Bill because it recognizes such reality, and does not promote nor legalize abortion.

We believe that the RH Bill fulfils the responsibilities of the Government in its duties to promote good and restrain evil. The Bill is one of the ways in which the government aids in the development of our countrymen by helping them actualize their duties in the family. People have the right to be educated and it is unconscionable to keep the people in ignorance.

We restate: the RH Bill is pro-life, pro-development and pro-poor.

For the Board of Directors:
Bishop Efraim Tendero,
National Director
Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches

August 5, 2012

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Pope has SPOKEN: Using condoms can be morally justified!

We hope that the legislative houses of Congress and Senate gather together now and vote for the passage, of the Reproductive Health Bill or RH Bill.

We are happy that Father Niebres has spoken his stand on RH bill, and now no less than the Pope has now spoken: Using condoms can be morally justified!.

For more information, pleas visit Pope drops Catholic ban on condoms.

This hopefully will help in the slowdown and even stoppage of the spread of AIDS, a curse going through AFRICA, and will help mothers and fathers in the practice of responsible parenthood, by giving each child the best environment and support to grow!

Photo courtesy of The, published under Fair Use.

Will replace the above image with free version very soon!

This photo is in wikicommons.

RH Bill: A canard exposed : Contraception is Corruption!

Come now Bishop Villegas who said the Contraception is Corruption. Nothing is further than the truth!

Here is a graph from Oscar Picazo, published in his Facebook wall:

The graph shows the contraceptive prevalence rate and corruption perception.
I tend to agree with the interpretation of the graph, although how the acceptance or availability of inexpensive (or even free) contraceptives can lead to less corruption is still a mystery. Perhaps other factors come into play.

The very fact that the Philippines already has a low corruption perception is in itself interesting. It shows the perversion of Catholic upbringing or tradition!

Incredible that the Roman Catholic Church is raising its voice of opposition to the RH Bill, which does not ocndone abortion at all. I mean were they that vociferous in Italy, France and Ireland? These foreign perdominantly Catholic countries even have divorce laws!

One thing we can be alarmed over the opposition of the church to the RH Bill, Their stand can lead to unnecessary polarization and divisions. As the constitution respects the separation of Church and state, the Catholic church may soon find itself the focus of criticisms. For instance, the Church accepted money from the Philippine Charity Sweeptakes to buy SUVs for their superiors.

Graphic published with permission from the copyright ownder Oscar Picazo.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

World, Syria: Does Assad understand history?

The spanish philosopher George Santayana once said : Those who refuse to learn history are doomed to repeat it!

Has Syria’s Bashar Al Assad forgotten what happened to Muammar Khadaffy of Libya last October 20, 2011 ? How the Libyan leader was surrounded by his enemies, shot at and his body paraded for all to see? How his body was stored in a freezer for some days (Muslims bury their dead in 24 hours) in some abandoned food store?

Assad, with the backing of Russia and China, two nations which humstrung the United Nations actions and plans to end the violence in Syria, continues to give pain, sorrow and death to his own countrymen! His generals and ambassadors are desserting him and his regime. Even Kofi Amman has given up on diplomacy to end the bloodletting.

But read the news on Aleppo, Hama and Damascus. Assad;s formidable armed forces are using tanks, planes, and mortars on the rebels, whose ranks continue to swell as the days and months wore on. We give Assad, despite his training as a doctor of medicine, high marks for bloodthirsty and heavy handed responses in the cities of Aleppo and in Damascus, where executions are done almost every day!

yrian leader Assad's planes pound vital prize of Aleppo

Dozens reported killed in Damascus as Syria rebels try to halt advance on Aleppo

Assad has closed the door to a decent exit in Syrian history. Instead, if the rebels ever capture Damascus, we are sure to witness again the lessons of history on tyrants and dictators, with Assad, his family, and his tribe, possbily experiencing a gruesome retaliation.

Assad should go now! to the safety of his benefactors and supporters, to Russia or China. and let Syria rebuild without him. Thats is what wrong with dictators. They have a warped sense of their importance in thier country’s history.

We hope this will be over by October, the month when Khdaffy of Libya died, resisting the roaring call for change.

Further reading:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chick-fil-A, when sounding out your Christian principles labels you an IMMORAL.

The news are full of criticisms of the president of Chick-fil-A , Dan Cathy, who stated that his company believes in the biblical definition of the family unit. Basically, Mr. Dan Cathy believes that traditional marriage is between a man and a woman, not between a man and man or between a woman and a woman. Yet, the media grabbed another "event" considered news worthy, any "anti-gay" movement should be suppressed. Even the mayor of Boston chimed in that his city will not allow a branch of chick-fil-A to be set up in that location.

What does the Lord say about homosexuality?

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 - "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." (NIV).

Consider the next verse:

1 Corinthians 6:11 - "And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." (NIV)

Again, if homosexuality is a sin, it behooves upon those who believed in the Christ as their savior to STOP SINNING. Just a mere profession that they accepted Christ as savior will not do! They should change their behavior.

And let us not forget the passages focusing on Sodm and Gommorah!Cities which were destroyed due to their transgressions!

Unfortunate that the great country of USA is now sliding towards blind immorality, blind in the sense, that they still consider themselves MORAL.

It is now fantastic that we may live to see the day when nations consider good as evil and evil as good. The world is upside down!


chicago leaders roasts Rham Emmanuel over Chick-a-fil stance

to understand better why Chick-fil-A supports Christian values,
click on Wikipedia .

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fact or fiction? Were Iranian reactors compromised again by a sophisticated worm/virus?

I was amused when I read this item from gawker.

The new worm is not shy in making its presence felt. In fact it is loud! It plays "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC at full volume at any time of the day. How effective is it?
It is said that an Iranian nuclear scientist wrote a Finnish computer security export that their nuclear program has been compromised and that it has shutdown down their automation network at Natanz and another nuclear research facility Fordo near Qom.

It sounds crazy and we hope it is just that or the cyber warfare may escalate into a real war between Iran and it avowed enemy state of Israel. We are curious how a virus which play back loud rock music can immobilize a sophisticated nuclear reactors. Something deeper is happening and we are out of the loop, we cannot know what the virus is really doing.

Hope this attack will make both Iranians and Israelis rock together for PEACE!

Monday, July 23, 2012

State of the Nation Address (Official English Translation)

State of the Nation Address
His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III
President of the Philippines
To the Congress of the Philippines

[English translation of the speech delivered at the Session Hall of the House of Representatives, Batasan Pambansa Complex, Quezon City, on July 23, 2012]

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile; Speaker Feliciano Belmonte; Vice President Jejomar Binay; former Presidents Fidel Valdez Ramos and Joseph Ejercito Estrada; eminent Justices of the Supreme Court; distinguished members of the diplomatic corps; honorable members of the House of Representatives and of the Senate; our leaders in local government; members of our Cabinet; uniformed officers of the military and of the police; my fellow public servants;

And to my Bosses, the Filipino people: a pleasant afternoon to all.

This is my third SONA. It wasn’t too long ago when we began to dream again; when, united, we chose the straight and righteous path; when we began to cast aside the culture of wang-wang, not only in our streets, but in every sector of society.

It has been two years since you said: We are tired of corruption and of poverty; it is time to restore a government that is truly on the side the people.

Like many of you, I have been a victim of the abuse of power. I was only 12 years old when Martial Law was declared. For seven years and seven months, my father was incarcerated; we lived in forced exile for three years. I saw for myself how many others also suffered.

These experiences forged the principles I now live by: Where a citizen is oppressed, he will find me as an ally; where there is an oppressor, I will be there to fight; where I find something wrong in the system, I will consider it my duty to right it.

Martial Law ended long ago and when it did, we were asked: “If not us, then who?” and “If not now, then when?” Our united response: let it be us, and let it be now. The democracy that was taken from us by force was reclaimed peacefully. And in so doing, we brought light to a dark chapter in our history.

Let it not be forgotten: Martial Law was borne because a dictator manipulated the Constitution to remain in power. And to this day, the battle rages: between those who seek a more equitable system, and those who seek to preserve their priveleges at the expense of others.

The specters of a lost decade haunted us from our first day in office.

There was the North Rail contract—an expensive project that became even more expensive after renegotiation. Ironically, the higher cost came with fewer public benefits; a fleet of 19 trainsets was reduced to three, and the number of stations, from five to two. To make matters worse, the debts incurred from the project are now being called in.

We had GOCCs handing out unwarranted bonuses, despite the losses already suffered by their agencies. We had the billions wasted by PAGCOR on—of all things—coffee. We had the suspect management practices of the PNP, which involved ignoring the need to arm the remaining 45 percent of our police force, just to collect kickbacks on rundown helicopters purchased at brand-new prices.

We were left with little fiscal space even as debts had bunched up and were maturing. We were also left a long list of obligations to fulfill: A backlog of 66,800 classrooms, which would cost us about 53.44 billion pesos; a backlog of 2,573,212 classroom chairs, amounting to 2.31 billion pesos. In 2010, an estimated 36 million Filipinos were still not members of PhilHealth. Forty-two billion pesos was needed to enroll them. Add to all this the 103 billion pesos needed for the modernization of our armed forces.

To fulfill all these obligations and address all our needs, we were bequeathed, at the start of our term, 6.5 percent of the entire budget for the remaining six months of 2010. We were like boxers, sent into the ring blindfolded, with our hands and feet bound, and the referee and the judges paid off.

In our first three months in office, I would look forward to Sundays when I could ask God for His help. We expected that it would take no less than two years before our reforms took hold. Would our countrymen be willing to wait that long?

But what we know about our people, and what we had proven time and again to the world was this: Nothing is impossible to a united Filipino nation. It was change we dreamed of, and change we achieved; the benefits of change are now par for the course.

Roads are straight and level, and properly paved; this is now par for the course.

Relief goods are ready even before a storm arrives. Rescue services are always on standby, and the people are no longer left to fend for themselves. This is now par for the course.

Sirens only blare from the police cars, from ambulances, and from fire trucks—not from government officials. This is now par for the course. The government that once abused its power is finally using that power for their benefit.

Reforms were established as we cut wasteful spending, held offenders accountable for their actions, and showed the world that the Philippines is now open for business under new management.

What was once the sick man of Asia now brims with vitality. When we secured our first positive credit rating action, some said it was pure luck. Now that we have had eight, can it still just be luck? When the Philippine Stock Exchange Index first broke 4,000, many wondered if that was sustainable. But now, with so many record highs, we are having trouble keeping score: For the record, we have had 44, and the index hovers near or above 5,000. In the first quarter of 2012, our GDP grew by 6.4 percent, much higher than projected, the highest growth in the Southeast Asian region, and the second only to China in the whole of Asia. Once, we were the debtors; now, we are the creditors, clearly no laughing matter. Until recently, we had to beg for investments; now, investors flock to us. Some Japanese companies have said to us, “Maybe you’d like to take a look at us. We’re not the cheapest but we’re number one in technology.” A British banker recently came loooking for opportunities.

Commentators the world over voice their admiration. According to Bloomberg Business Week, “Keep an eye on the Philippines.” Foreign Policy magazine, and even one of the leaders of ASEAN 100, said that we may even become “Asia’s Next Tiger.” Ruchir Sharma, head of Morgan Stanley’s Emerging Market Equities said, “The Philippines is no longer a joke.” And it doesn’t look like he’s pulling our leg, because their company has invested approximately a billion dollars in our markets. I only wish that the optimism of foreign media would be shared by their local counterparts more often.

And we are building an environment where progress can be felt by the majority. When we began office, there were 760,357 household-beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. Our target: 3.1 million within two years. By February of this year, the three millionth household-beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilya had been registered. Next year, we will enroll 3.8 million—five times what we had at the beginning of our term.

This is a long-term project, with far-reaching impact. The research is in its initial stages, but already the figures show promise. Based on data from the DSWD: 1,672,977 mothers now get regular checkups; 1,672,814 children have been vaccinated against diarrhea, polio, measles, and various other diseases; 4.57 million students no longer need to miss school because of poverty.

When we first took office, only 62 percent of Filipinos were enrolled in PhilHealth. Enrollment was not necessarily based on need but on being in the good graces of politicians. Now, 85 percent of our citizens are members. This means that since we received our mandate, 23.31 million more Filipinos have access to PhilHealth’s array of benefits and services.

And here’s even better news: the 5.2 million poorest households identified by our National Household Targeting System will now fully benefit from PhilHealth’s programs, free of charge. Because of the Department of Health’s No Balance Billing Policy, treatment for dengue, pneumonia, asthma, cataracts—as well as treatments for catastrophic diseases like breast cancer, prostate cancer, and acute leukemia—can be availed of for free by our poorest countrymen.

The process for our poorest PhilHealth members: Enter any government hospital. Show you PhilHealth card. Get treatment. And they return to their homes without having to shell out a single centavo.

One of the briefings I attended noted that four out of ten Filipinos have never seen a health professional in their entire lifetime. Other figures are more dire: Six out of ten Filipinos die without being attended to by health professionals.

But whatever the basis, the number of Filipinos with no access to government health services remains a concern. And we are acting on this: In 2010, ten thousand nurses and midwives were deployed under the RNHeals Program; to date, we have deployed 30,801. Add to this over 11,000 Community Health Teams tasked to strengthen the links between doctors and nurses, and the communities they serve.

And today, because of efficient targeting, they are deployed to where they are most needed: to areas that have been for so long left in the margins of society. We have sent our health professionals to 1,021 localities covered by the Pantawid Pamilya, and to the 609 poorest cities and municipalities, as identified by the National Anti-Poverty Commission.

This new system addresses two issues: thousands of nurses and midwives now have jobs and an opportunity to gain valuable work experience; at the same time, millions of our countrymen now have increased access to quality health care.

But we are not satisfied with this. What we want: True, universal, and holistic health care. This begins not in our hospitals, but within each and every household: Increased consciousness, routine inoculation, and regular checkups are necessary to keep sickness at bay. Add to this our efforts to ensure that we prevent the illnesses that are in our power to prevent.

For example: Last year, I told you about our anti-dengue mosquito traps. It is too early to claim total victory, but the initial results have been very encouraging.

We tested the efficacy of those mosquito traps in areas with the highest reported incidence of dengue. In 2011, traps were distributed in Bukidnon—which had recorded 1,216 cases of dengue in 2010. After distribution, the number of cases decreased to 37—that is a 97 percent reduction rate. In the towns of Ballesteros and Claveria in Cagayan, there were 228 cases of dengue in 2010; in 2011, a mere eight cases were recorded. In Catarman, Northern Samar: 434 cases of dengue were reported in 2010. There were a mere four cases in 2011.

This project is in its initial stages. But even this early on, we must thank Secretaries Ike Ona of DOH and Mario Montejo of DOST; may our gratitude spur them into even more intensive research and collaboration.

Challenges remain. The high maternal mortality ratio in our country continues to alarm us. Which is why we have undertaken measures to address the health-care needs of women. We, too, want Universal Health Care; we want our medical institutions to have enough equipment, facilities, and manpower.

We can easier fulfill all these goals, if the Sin Tax Bill—which rationalizes taxes on alcohol and tobacco products—can be passed. This bill makes vice more expensive while at the same time raising more money for health.

And what of our students—what welcomes them in the schools? Will they still first learn the alphabet beneath the shade of a tree? Will they still be squatting on the floor, tussling with classmates over a single textbook?

I have great faith in Secretary Luistro: Before the next year ends, we will have built the 66,800 classrooms needed to fill up the shortage we inherited. The 2,573,212 backlog in chairs that we were bequeathed will be addressed before 2012 ends. This year, too, will see the eradication of the backlog of 61.7 million textbooks—and we will finally achieve the one-to-one ratio of books to students.

We are ending the backlogs in the education sector, but the potential for shortages remains as our student population continues to increase. Perhaps Responsible Parenthood can help address this.

For our State Universities and Colleges: we have proposed a 43.61 percent increase in their budget next year. A reminder, though, that everything we do is in accordance to a plan: There are corresponding conditions to this budget increase. The SUC Reform Roadmap of CHED, which has been deliberated and agreed upon, must be enacted to ensure that the students sponsored by the state are of top caliber. Expect that if you work to get high marks in this assignment, we will be striving just as hard to address the rest of your needs.

Year after year, our budget for education has increased. The budget we inherited for DepEd last 2010 was 177 billion pesos. Our proposal for 2013: 292.7 billion pesos. In 2010, our SUCs were allocated a budget of 21.03 billion pesos. Since then, we have annually raised this allocation; for next year, we have proposed to set aside 34.99 billion pesos of our budget for SUCs. Despite this, some militant groups are still cutting classes to protest what they claim is a cut in SUC budgets. It’s this simple: 292.7 is higher than 177, and 34.99 is higher than 21.03. Should anyone again claim that we cut the education budget, we’ll urge your schools to hold remedial math classes. Please attend.

When we assumed office and began establishing much-needed reform, there were those who belittled our government’s performance. They claimed our achievements were mere luck, and what impact they may have as short-lived. There are still those who refuse to cease spreading negativity; they who keep their mouths pursed to good news, and have created an industry out of criticism.

If you have a problem with the fact that before the year ends every child will have their own chairs and own set of books, then look them straight in the eye and tell them, “I do not want you to go to school.”

If you take issue with the fact that 5.2 million of the country’s poorest households can now avail of quality health-care services without worrying about the cost, then look them straight in the eye and tell them, “I do not want you to get better.”

If it angers you that three million Filipino families have been empowered to fulfill their dreams because of Pantawid Pamilya, then look them straight in the eye and tell them, “I will take away the hope you now have for your future.”

The era where policy was based on the whims of the powerful has truly come to an end. For example, the previous leadership of TESDA generously distributed scholarship vouchers—but neglected to fund them. Naturally, the vouchers bounced. The result: over a thousand schools are charging the government 2.4 billion pesos for the vouchers. One person and one administration wanted to show off; the Filipino people are paying for that now.

When Secretary Joel Villanueva assumed the post, he was not daunted by the seemingly impossible reforms that his agency needed to enact. Despite the staggering debt inherited by TESDA, it still trained 434,676 individuals under the Training for Work Scholarship Program. The TESDA Specialists Technopreneurship Program likewise delivered concrete victories—imagine: each of the 5,240 certified Specialistas are earning 562 pesos a day, or 11,240 pesos a month. This is higher than the minimum wage.

From infancy, to adolescence, to adulthood, the system is working for our citizens. And we are ensuring that our economy’s newfound vitality generates jobs.

Let us keep in mind: there are about a million new entrants to the job market every year. The jobs we have produced within the past two years total almost 3.1 million.

As a result, our unemployment rate is declining steadily. In 2010, the unemployment rate was at 8 percent. In April 2011, it dropped to 7.2, and dropped further to 6.9 this year. Is it not an apt time for us to dream of a day where any Filipino who wishes to work can find a job?

Look at the BPO sector. Back in the year 2000, only five thousand people were employed in this industry. Fast forward to 2011: 638,000 people are employed by BPOs, and the industry has contributed 11 billion dollars to our economy. It has been projected that come 2016, it will be bringing in 25 billion dollars and will be employing 1.3 million Filipinos. And this does not include the estimated 3.2 million taxi drivers, baristas, corner stores, canteens, and many others that will benefit from the indirect jobs that the BPO industry will create.

A large portion of our job generation strategy is building sufficient infrastructure. For those who have gone to Boracay on vacation, you have probably seen our newly christened terminal in Caticlan. The plan to expand its runway has also been laid out.

And we will not stop there. Before the end of my term, the New Bohol Airport in Panglao, New Legaspi Airport in Daraga, and Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental will have been built. We will also upgrade our international airports in Mactan, Cebu; Tacloban; and Puerto Princesa Airport, so they can receive more passengers; in addition to remodeling the airports in Butuan, Cotabato, Dipolog, Pagadian, Tawi-Tawi, Southern Leyte, and San Vicente in Palawan.

I am the fourth president to deal with the problems of NAIA Terminal 3. Airplanes are not all that take off and land here; so did problems and anomalies. Secretary Mar Roxas has already said: Before we convene at the next SONA, the structural defects we inherited in NAIA 3 will have been fully repaired.

This June, the LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension project began to move forward. When completed, it will alleviate traffic in Las Piñas, Parañaque, and Cavite. In addition to this, in order to further improve traffic in Metro Manila, there will be two elevated roads directly connecting the North Luzon and South Luzon Expressways. These will be completed in 2015 and will reduce travel time between Clark and Calamba to 1 hour and 40 minutes. Before I leave office, there will be high-quality terminals in Taguig, Quezon City, and Parañaque, so that provincial buses will no longer have to add to the traffic on EDSA.

Perceptions have also changed about a department formerly notorious for its inadequacies. I still remember the days when, during the rainy season, the Tarlac River would overflow and submerge the MacArthur Highway. The asphalt would melt away; the road would be riddled with potholes, until it ended up impassable.

As the representative of my district, I registered my complaints about this. The Department of Public Works and Highways’ reply: we know about the problem, we know how to solve it, but we have no money. I had to appeal to my barangays: “If we don’t prioritize and spend for this ourselves, no one will fix it, and we will be the ones who suffer.” Back in those days, everyone called upon the government to wake up and start working. The complaints today are different: traffic is terrible, but that’s because there’s so much roadwork being done. May I remind everyone: we have done all this without raising taxes.

We will not build our road network based on kickbacks or favoritism. We will build them according to a clear system. Now that resources for these projects are no longer allocated haphazardly, our plans will no longer end up unfulfilled—they will become tangible roads that benefit the Filipino people. When we assumed office, 7,239 kilometers of our national roads were not yet fixed. Right now, 1,569 kilometers of this has been fixed under the leadership of Secretary Babes Singson. In 2012, an additional 2,275 kilometers will be finished. We are even identifying and fixing dangerous roads with the use of modern technology. These are challenges we will continue to address every year, so that, before end of my term, every inch of our national road network will be fixed.

We have fixed more than roads; our DPWH has fixed its system. Just by following the right process of bidding and procurement, their agency saved a total of 10.6 billion pesos from 2011 to June of this year. Even our contractors are feeling the positive effects of our reforms in DPWH. According to the DPWH, “the top 40 contractors are now fully booked.” I am hopeful that the development of our infrastructure continues unimpeded to facilitate the growth of our other industries.

The improvement of our infrastructure is intertwined with the growth of our tourism industry. Consider this: In 2001, the Philippines recorded 1.8 million tourist arrivals. When we assumed office in 2010, this figure had grown to only around 3.1 million. Take note: despite the length of their time in office, the previous administration only managed to add a mere 1.3 million tourist arrivals—and we contributed half a year to that number. Under our administration, we welcomed 2.1 million tourist arrivals by June 2012. More will arrive during peak season, before the end of the year, so I have no doubt that we will meet our quota of 4.6 million tourist arrivals for 2012. This means that we will have a year-on-year increase of 1.5 million tourists. The bottom line: In two years, we would have had a bigger growth in tourist arrivals, compared to the increase charted by the previous administration in their nine years. We are not singing our own praises; we are merely stating the truth.

But Secretary Mon Jimenez is still not satisfied. He says: if 24.7 million tourists came to Malaysia in 2011, and around 17 million visited Thailand, would it be too far-fetched to have ten million tourists visiting the Philippines annually by 2016? And if the Filipino people continue to embody the same solidarity that allowed the Puerto Princesa Underground River to become one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, there is no doubt that we will be able to achieve this. As we have already announced to the entire world: “It’s more fun in the Philippines.” Secretary Mon Jimenez has been at his post for less than a year, but we are already reaping the fruits of the reforms we have laid down. So, when it comes to tourism, we are confident in saying, “It’s really more fun—to have Secretary Mon Jimenez with us.”

When it comes to growth and development, agriculture is at the top of our priorities. Secretary Alcala has been working nonstop to deliver us good news. Before, it seemed as though the officials of DA cultivated nothing but NFA’s debts. The NFA that our predecessors took over had a 12-billion peso debt; when they left office, they then bequeathed to us a debt of 177 billion pesos.

For so long in the past, we were led to believe that we were short 1.3 million metric tons of rice, and that we needed to import 2 million metric tons to address this shortage. They ordered rice as like it was unlimited—but because we had exceeded far more than what we needed, imported rice went to rot in the warehouses.

In just our first year, we redcued the annual shortage of 1.3 million metric tons to just 860,000 metric tons. This year, it is down to 500,000—including a buffer stock to dip into in times of calamity. And, if the weather cooperates, we’ll be able to export rice next year.

Secretary Alcala has said that key to our success is a feasible irrigation program and the assiduous implementation of the certified seeds program. What is galling is that this knowledge is not new—it simply wasn’t applied. If they had only done their jobs right, where could we have been by now?

Look at our coconut industry: Coconut water, once treated as a waste product, is now being utilized by our farmers. From 483,862 liters exported in 2009, to 1,807,583 liters in 2010, to a staggering 16,756,498 liters of cocowater exported in 2011. And where no one previously paid heed to coconut coir, we are now experiencing a shortage due to the high demand of exporters. We are not wasting this opportunity: we are buying the machines that will process the coco fibers. We have allocated 1.75 billion pesos to invest in, and develop, this sector.

My mother initiated the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. It is only just that this program sees its conclusion during my term.

We are improving the system, so that we can more swiftly and more efficiently realize agrarian reform. The government is doing everything in its power to ensure that our farmers can claim as their own the land they have tilled and nurtured with their sweat.

There are those, however, who wish to obstruct us. I say to them: We will obey the law. The law says, the nation says, and I say: Before I step down, all the land covered by CARP will have been distributed.

Let me shed some light on our advances in the energy sector. In the past, an electrical wire needed only to reach the barangay hall for an entire barangay to be deemed energized. This was the pretext for the claim that 99.98 percent of the country’s barangays had electricity. Even the delivery of so basic a service was a deception?

We challenged DOE and NEA, allocating 1.3 billion pesos to light up an initial target of 1,300 sitios, at the cost of one million pesos per sitio. And the agencies met the challenge—they lit up 1,520 sitios, at a total cost of 814 million pesos. They accomplished this in three months, instead of the two years it took the people that preceded them. Secretary Rene Almendras, I give you credit; you never seem to run out of energy. With public service, you are not only ever-ready, but like an energizer bunny too—you keep on going, and going, and going.

We have suffused the nation with light—and it is this light, too, that has exposed the crimes that occur in the shadowed corners of society. What the Filipino works so hard for can no longer be pilfered. Crime volume continues to decline across the country. In 2009, over 500,000 crimes were recorded—this year, we have cut that number by more than half, to 246,958. Moreover, 2010’s recorded 2,200 cases of carnapping has likewise been reduced by half—to 966 cases this 2011.

It is these facts that, we hope, will be bannered in headlines. We do not claim that we have ended criminality, but I’m sure no one would complain that it has been reduced. In the span of just a little more than a year, haven’t we finally put Raymond Dominguez in jail, after years of being in and out of prison? Charges have been filed against two of his brothers as well, and they are now serving time, too. Of the two suspects in the Makati bus bombing of the past year—one is dead, and the other is living in a jail cell. He shares the same fate as the more than ten thousand individuals arrested by PDEA in 2011 for charges relating to illegal drugs.

Pacquiao does not fight every day, and so we can’t rely on him to bring down the crime rate. Which is why we’re strengthening our police force. When this administration began, 45 percent of our police carried no guns and probably relied on magic charms as they chased criminals. But now we have completed the bidding—and we are now testing the quality—for an order of 74,600 guns, which we will provide our police, so that they may better serve and protect the nation, our communities, and themselves.

Let us now talk about national defense. Some have described our Air Force as all air and no force. Lacking the proper equipment, our troops remain vulnerable even as they are expected to be put in harm’s way. We cannot allow things to remain this way.

After only one year and seven months, we have been able to allocate over 28 billion pesos for the AFP Modernization Program. This will soon match the 33 billion pesos set aside for the program in the past 15 years. And we’re only getting started: if our proposed AFP modernization bill is passed in Congress, we will be able to allocate 75 billion pesos for defense within the next five years.

The 30-million dollar fund entrusted to us by the United States for the Defense Capability Upgrade and Sustainment of Equipment Program of the AFP is now ready as well. This is in addition to their assistance in improving the way we patrol our shores under the Coast Watch Center of the Philippines, which will soon be established.

At this moment, the Armed Forces is likewise canvassing equipment such as cannons, personnel carriers, and frigates. Before long, the BRP Ramon Alcaraz, our second Hamilton class cutter, will drop anchor, to partner with the BRP Gregorio del Pilar. We are not sending paper boats out to sea. Now, our 36,000 kilometers of coastline will be patrolled by more modern ships.

And perhaps it is an apt time for our Armed Forces to clean up their hangars, because we will be having equipment arriving soon to further fortify our defenses. Finally, our one and only C-130 that has been roaming our skies for the past 36 years will have partners: two more C-130s will once again be operational. Before this year ends, we are hopeful that the twenty-one refurbished UH-1H Helicopters, the four combat utility helicopters, the radios and other communication equipment, the rifles, the mortars, the mobile diagnostic laboratories, and even the station bullet assemblies we have purchased will be delivered. Come 2013, ten attack helicopters, two naval helicopters, two light aircraft, one frigate, and air force protection equipment will also be arriving.

And it is not only through better equipment that we demonstrate our commitment to help our police and our soldiers. We have eased their financial burdens through the 22,000 houses that have been built under the AFP–PNP housing program.

We are not doing this because we want to be an aggressor, we are not doing this because we want escalation. This is about keeping the peace. This is about protecting ourselves—something that we have long thought impossible. This is about the life of a soldier who risks his life every day; this is about his family, who awaits his safe return, despite the challenges that confront him.

Let’s listen to some of the beneficiaries of these programs tell us in their own words how their lives have been changed.


Now that the people care for them, the more impassioned our soldiers are in winning the peace. We consider the 1,772 outlaws whose violence has come to an end a great triumph. One example is the infamous terrorist, Doctor Abu, who will never again strike fear in the hearts of our countrymen. We also celebrate the peace and quiet that has returned to places where our countrymen were once deafened by gunfire. As a result of our solidarity: 365 barangays have been liberated from the enemy, 270 buildings and schools have been repaired, and 74 health centers have been built.

While we are on the subject of peace, let us talk about a place that has long stood as a symbol of frustrated hopes. Before our reforms in the ARMM began, what we had were ghost students walking to ghost schools on ghost roads, to learn from ghost teachers. Some of the apparitions that haunted OIC Governor Mujiv Hataman: Four schools found with ghost students; we are also investigating the teachers whose names do not appear in the list of the Professional Regulation Commission, as well as the government workers not listed in the plantilla. Fifty-five ghost entries have been taken off the payroll. The previous scheme of regraveling roads again and again just to earn money has been outlawed. To avoid abuse, we have ended cash advances for agencies. Now, the souls of the ghosts in voters lists can rest in peace. This is why, to OIC Governor Mujiv Hataman, we can say to you: you are indeed a certified ghost buster.

What we have replaced these phantoms with: real housing, bridges, and learning centers for Badjaos in Basilan. Community-based hatcheries, nets, materials to grow seaweeds, and seedlings that have benefited 2,588 fishermen. Certified seeds, gabi seedlings, cassava, rubber, and trees that are bearing fruit for 145,121 farmers. And this is only the beginning. 183 million pesos has been set aside for the fire stations; 515 million pesos for clean drinking water; 551.9 million pesos for health-care equipment; 691.9 million pesos for daycare centers; and 2.85 billion pesos for the roads and bridges across the region. These are just some of the things that will be afforded by the aggregate 8.59 billion pesos the national government has granted the ARMM. Also, allow me to clarify: this does not include the yearly support that they receive, which in 2012 reached 11.7 billion pesos.

Even those who previously wanted to break away are seeing the effects of reform. Over the past seven months, not even a single encounter has been recorded between the military and the MILF. We recognize this as a sign of their trust. With regard to the peace process: talks have been very open; both sides have shown trust and faith in one another. There may be times when the process can get a little complicated, but these are merely signs that we are steadily moving closer to our shared goal: Peace.

We likewise engaged stakeholders in a level-headed discussion in crafting our Executive Order on mining. The idea behind our consensus we reached: that we be able to utilize our natural resources to uplift the living conditions of the Filipinos not just of today, also of the following generations. We will not reap the rewards of this industry if the cost is the destruction of nature.

But this Executive Order is only the first step. Think about it: In 2010, 145 billion pesos was the total value derived from mining, but only 13.4 billion or 9 percent went to the national treasury. These natural resources are yours; it shouldn’t happen that all that’s left to you is a tip after they’re extracted. We are hoping that Congress will work with us and pass a law that will ensure that the environment is cared for, and that the public and private sectors will receive just benefits from this industry.

Let us talk about the situation in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management. Once, the government, which is supposed to give aid, was the one asking for aid. Today, even when the storm is still brewing, we already know how to craft clear plans to avoid catastrophe.

Talking about disasters reminds me of the time when a typhoon struck Tarlac. The dike collapsed due to the rains; when one of the barangay captains awoke, the floods had already taken his family, as well as his farming equipment. Fortunately, the entire family survived. But the carabao they had left tied to a tree wasn’t as lucky; it was strangled to death from the force of the flood.

Many of those affected by typhoons Ondoy, Pepeng, and Sendong were just as defenseless. We lost so many lives to these natural disasters. And now, through Project NOAH, all our anti-disaster initiatives have been brought inside one boat, and we no longer leave the evacuation of families up to mere luck. We now have the technology to give fair warning to Filipinos in order to prepare for and avoid the worst.

Our 86 automated rain gauges and 28 water level monitoring sensors in various regions now benefit us directly and in real time. Our target before the end of 2013: 600 automated rain gauges and 422 water level sensors. We will have them installed in 80 primary river basins around the country.

Yet another change: Before, agencies with shared responsibilities would work separately, with little coordination or cooperation. Now, the culture of government is bayanihan—a coming together for the sake of the people. This is what we call Convergence.

There have always been tree planting programs in government—but after the trees have been planted, they were left alone. Communities that needed livelihood would cut these down and turn them into charcoal.

We have the solution for this. 128,558 hectares of forest have been planted across the country; this is only a fraction of the 1.5 million-hectare farmlands to be laid out before we step down. This covers the communities under the National Convergence Initiative. The process: When a tree is planted, the DWSD will coordinate with communities. In exchange for a conditional cash transfer, communities would take care of the trees; some would help nurture seeds in a nursery. 335,078 individuals now earn their livelihood from these activities.

The private sector has likewise taken part in a program that hands out special coffee and cacao beans to communities, and trains the townsfolk, too, to nurture those seeds into a bountiful harvest. The coffee is planted in the shade of the trees that in turn help prevent flooding and protect the people. The company that hands out the seeds are sure buyers of the yield. It’s a win-win situation—for the private sector, the communities with their extra income, and the succeeding generations that will benefit from the trees.

Illegal logging has long been a problem. From the time we signed Executive Order No. 23, Mayor Jun Amante has confiscated lumber amounting to more than six million pesos. He has our gratitude. This is just in Butuan; what more if all our LGUs demonstrated the same kind of political will?

The timber confiscated by DENR are handed over to TESDA, which then gives the timber to communities they train in carpentry. From this, DepEd gets chairs for our public schools. Consider this: What was once the product of destruction has been crafted into an instrument for the realization of a better future. This was impossible then—impossible so long as the government turned a blind eye to illegal activities.

To those of you without a conscience; those of you who repeatedly gamble the lives of your fellow Filipinos—your days are numbered. We’ve already sanctioned thirty-four DENR officials, one PNP provincial director, and seven chiefs of police. We are asking a regional director of the PNP to explain why he seemed deaf to our directives and blind to the colossal logs that were being transported before his very eyes. If you do not shape up, you will be next. Even if you tremble beneath the skirts of your patrons, we will find you. I suggest that you start doing your jobs, before it’s too late.

From the womb, to school, to work, change has touched the Filipino. And should a life of government service be chosen, our people can expect the same level of care from the state, until retirement. Our administration will recognize their contributions to our society as public servants, and will not withhold from them the pensions they themselves contributed to.

Consider: some retirees receive less than 500 pesos a month. How does one pay for water, power, and food, daily? Our response: With the New Year comes our resolution that all old-age and disability pensioners will receive no less than five thousand pesos monthly. We are heartened that we can meet their needs now, without jeopardizing their future benefits.

The face of government has truly changed. Our compensation levels are at par with the private sector’s at the entry level. But as you rise through the ranks, private-sector pay overtakes the government.

We will close that gap in time; for now, we have good news for government employees: Performance-Based Incentives. In the past, even poorly performing agencies would not have any employees with ratings lower than “very satisfactory.” To maintain smooth interpersonal relations, supervisors would have a hard time giving appropriate ratings. Exceptional employees are not recognized: their excellence is de-incentivized, and receive the same rewards as laziness and indolence.

Here is one of our steps to respond to this. Starting this year, we will implement a system in which bonuses are based on their agency’s abilities to meet their annual targets. Employees now hold the keys to their own advancement. Incentives may reach up to 35,000 pesos, depending on how well you do your jobs. This is in addition to your across-the-board Christmas bonus.

We are doing this not only to boost morale and to show due appreciation of our public servants. This is, above all, for the Filipino people, who expect sincere and efficient service—who expect that they will continue to be the sole Bosses of our workers in government.

There have always been people who have questioned our guiding principle, “If there is no corruption, there is no poverty.” They ask if good governance can put food on the table. Quite simply: Yes.

Think about it: Doing business in the Philippines was once considered too risky—the rules were too opaque and they were constantly changing. A person shaking your hand one day may pick your pocket the next.

Now, with a level playing field, and clear and consistent rules, confidence in our economy is growing. Investments are pouring in, jobs are being created, and a virtuous cycle has begun—where empowered consumers buy more products, and businesses hire more people so they can expand to keep up with the growing demand.

Prudent spending has allowed us to plug the leaks in the system, and improved tax collection has increased revenues. Every peso collected is properly spent on roads, on vaccines, on classrooms and chairs—spent on our future.

We have fixed the system by which we build roads, bridges, and buildings—they now go where they are truly needed. Our roads are properly paved; products, services, and people reach their destination quickly and with greater ease.

Because of good governance in agriculture, food production has increased, prices don’t fluctuate, wages are stable, and our economy is stronger.

It is true: A resilient and dynamic economy resting on the foundations of good governance is the best defense against global uncertainty. We have been dismantling the obstacles to progress for two years, and now, our success can only be limited by how hard we are willing to work for it.

We achieved all these things even as countries around the world were surmounting their own challenges.

We exist in this world with others. And so it is only appropriate that even as we attend to our own problems, we remain vigilant about some events that affect us.

The situation in Bajo de Masinloc has been the source of much discussion. Chinese fishermen entered out territory. Our patrol boats intercepted some of their ships, which contain endangered species. As your leader, it is my duty to uphold the laws of our country. And as I did, tension ensued: on one hand, the Chinese had their Nine-Dash Line Theory laying claim to almost the entire West Philippine Sea; on the other, there was the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea, which recognized the rights of many countries, including that of China itself.

We demonstrated utmost forbearance in dealing with this issue. As a sign of our goodwill, we replaced our navy cutter with a civilian boat as soon as we could. We chose not to respond to their media’s harangues. I do not think it excessive to ask that our rights be respected, just as we respect their rights as a fellow nation in a world we need to share.

There are those who say that we should let Bajo de Masinloc go; we should avoid the trouble. But if someone entered your yard and told you he owned it, would you agree? Would it be right to give away that which is rightfully ours?

And so I ask for solidarity from our people regarding this issue. Let us speak with one voice. Help me relay to the other side the logic of our stand.

This is not a simple situation, and there can be no simple solutions. Rest assured: we are consulting experts, every leader of our nation, our allies—even those on the other side—to find a resolution that is acceptable to all.

With every step on the straight and righteous path, we plant the seeds of change. But there are still some who are commited to uprooting our work. Even as I speak, there are those who have gathered in a room, whispering to each other, dissecting each word I utter, looking for any pretext to attack me with tomorrow. These are also the ones who say, “Let go of the past. Unite. Forgive and forget so we can move forward as a people.”

I find this unacceptable. Shall we simply forgive and forget the ten years that were taken from us? Do we simply forgive and forget the farmers who piled up massive debts because of a government that insisted on importing rice, while we could have reinvested in them and their farmlands instead? Shall we forgive and forget the family of the police officer who died while trying to defend himself against guns with nothing but a nightstick?

Shall we forgive and forget the orphans of the 57 victims of the massacre in Maguindanao? Will their loved ones be brought back to life by forgiving and forgetting? Do we forgive and forget everything that was ever done to us, to sink us into a rotten state? Do we forgive and forget to return to the former status quo? My response: Forgiveness is possible; forgetting is not. If offenders go unpunished, society’s future suffering is guaranteed.

True unity and reconciliation can only emanate from genuine justice. Justice is the plunder case leveled against our former president; justice that she receives her day in court and can defend herself against the accusations leveled against her. Justice is what we witnessed on the 29th of May. On that day, we proved that justice can prevail, even when confronted with an opponent in a position of power. On that day, a woman named Delsa Flores, in Panabo, Davao del Norte, said “It is actually possible: a single law governing both a simple court reporter like me, and the Chief Justice.” It is possible for the scales to be set right, and for even the rich and powerful to be held accountable.

This is why, to the next Chief Justice, much will be demanded of you by our people. We have proven the impossible possible; now, our task is reform towards true justice that continues even after our administration. There are still many flaws in the system, and repairing these will not be easy. I am aware of the weight of your mandate. But this is what our people tasked us to do; this is the duty we have sworn to do; and this what we must do.

Our objectives are simple: If you are innocent, you will appear in court with confidence, because you will be found not guilty. But if you are guilty, you will be made to pay for your sins, no matter who you are.

I would also like to thank Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, for accepting the challenges that came with the position. She could have turned down the responsibility, citing her retirement and volunteering others for the job—but her desire to serve the nation won out. This generosity was met with a grenade in her home. Ma’am, more challenges will come; in time, perhaps, they’ll give you the same monikers they’ve given me—a greedy capitalist who is also a communist headed towards dictatorship because of the reforms we have been working so hard to achieve.

I thank you for your work, and I thank you for being an instrument of true justice—especially at the height of the impeachment trial. I thank, too, the two institutions that form our Congress—the Senate and the House of Representatives—which were weighed and measured by the Filipino people, and were not found wanting.

To everyone that ensured that our justice system worked well: You weathered many challenges and criticism, and even misgivings; couple that with the anxiety over possible failure, of having to face the ire of those you went up against, after a mission lost. But you did not falter. The Filipino people were relying on you, and you proved that their faith was rightly placed. You did not fail the nation; you further brightened our futures.

Let me remind you that our fight does not end with the ousting of one corrupt official, with the suspension of an anomalous contract, or the systemic overhauling of a government office. I call upon Congress to pass our amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Act, that we may strengthen our measures to hold the corrupt accountable.

Every town that has and will be lighted; the highways, bridges, airports, trains, and ports we have built; fair contracts; the peace in our cities and our rural areas; every classroom, desk, and book assigned to a child; every Filipino granted a future—all of these, we have achieved in just two years. We have advanced an agenda of reform in these last two years, a marked contrast to our suffering in the decade that came before.

If we share the same ideals and work for the same goals, then we are bound by a shared agenda. But if you are against us, it only follows that you are against what we are doing. Whoever stands against the agenda for genuine change—can the people really count them as being on their side?

Elections are fast approaching. You, our Bosses, will be our compass. I ask you, “Boss, what direction will we take? Do we continue treading the straight and righteous path, or do we double-back—towards the crooked road that leads to a dead end?”

I remember well those early days when we first started working. I was keenly aware of the heavy burdens we would face. And I was among those who wondered: Is it possible to fix a system this broken?

This is what I have learned in the 25 months I have served as your president: nothing is impossible. Nothing is impossible because if the Filipino people see that they are the only Bosses of their government, they will carry you, they will guide you, they themselves will lead you towards meaningful change. It isn’t impossible for the Philippines to become the first country in Southeast Asia to provide free vaccines for the rotavirus. It isn’t impossible for the Philippines to stand strong and say, “The Philippines is for Filipinos—and we are ready to defend it.” It is not impossible for the Filipino who for so long had kept his head bowed upon meeting a foreigner—it is not impossible for the Filipino, today, to stand with his head held high and bask in the admiration of the world. In these times—is it not great to be a Filipino?

Last year, I asked the Filipino people: Thank those who have done their share in bringing about positive change in society. The obstacles we encountered were no laughing matter, and I believe it is only right that we thank those who shouldered the burdens with us, in righting the wrongs brought about by bad governance.

To all the members of my Cabinet: my sincerest thanks. The Filipino people are lucky that there are those of you ready to sacrifice your private and much quieter lives in order to serve the public, even if you know that you will receive smaller salaries, dangers, and constant criticism in return.

And I hope that they will not mind if I take this opportunity to thank them today: to Father Catalino Arevalo and Sister Agnes Guillen, who have nurtured and allowed my spiritual life to flourish, especially in times of greatest difficulty: my deepest gratitude.

This is my third SONA; only three remain. We are entering the midpoint of our administration. Last year, I challenged you to fully turn your back on the culture of negativism; to take every chance to uplift your fellow Filipinos.

From what we are experiencing today, it is clear: you succeeded. You are the wellspring of change. You said: it is possible.

I stand before you today as the face of a government that knows you as its Boss and draws its strength from you. I am only here to narrate the changes that you yourselves have made possible.

This is why, to all the nurses, midwives, or doctors who chose to serve in the barrios; to each new graduate who has chosen to work for the government; to each Filipino athlete who proudly carries the flag in any corner of the globe, to each government official who renders true and honest service: You made this change possible.

So whenever I come face to face with a mother who tells me, “Thank you, my child has been vaccinated,” I respond: You made this happen.

Whenever I come face to face with a child who tells me, “Thank you for the paper, for the pencils, for the chance to study,” I respond: You made this happen.

Whenever I come face to face with an OFW who tells me, “Thank you, because I can once again dream of growing old in the Philippines,” I respond: You made this happen.

Whenever I come face to face with a Filipino who says, “Thank you, I thought that we would never have electricity in our sitio. I never imagined living to see the light,” I respond: You made this happen.

Whenever I come face to face with any farmer, teacher, pilot, engineer, driver, call center agent, or any normal Filipino; to every Juan and Juana dela Cruz who says, ”Thank you for this change,” I respond: You made this happen.

I repeat: what was once impossible is now possible. I stand before you today and tell you: this is not my SONA. You made this happen. This is the SONA of the Filipino nation.
Thank you.