Monday, August 31, 2009

Jose Rizal flips the bird on Gloria et al

Just a few minutes ago, I found myself wondering what Jose Rizal would think about President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, her husband, and children.

Then while browsing through Facebook, I found the answer.

Here's an article from the Philippine Daily Inquirer regarding Mikey Arroyo's undeclared wealth.

(Dick Gordon's father told him something that he took to heart and passed this on to his own children, the dictum goes: "Ang paglilingkod sa bayan ay BIGAY BUHAY, hindi HANAPBUHAY." That's one smart American there!)
I declare everything I own—Mikey Arroyo
By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez
First Posted 11:58:00 08/31/2009

MANILA, Philippines — Pampanga Representative Juan Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo on Monday refuted reports of irregularities in his statement of assets liabilities and net worth (SALN), calling them "malicious" and waste of his time.

“I have always been transparent with my SALN ever since I entered public office. I have declared everything I own there. It is self-explanatory,” said Arroyo, eldest son of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, in a statement. and other media organizations carried the report of Vera Files exposing that Arroyo failed to declare in his 2007 and 2008 SALN a $1.32-million or P63.7-million beachfront property in the San Francisco Bay Area in California which he bought and then transferred to his wife Angela in 2005.

The house is located at 1655 Beach Park Blvd in Foster City in San Mateo County.

Vera Files said that while the congressman-son of the President declared a residential house in the United States in his SALN for 2005 and 2006, he did not mention it in his SALN for the two succeeding years.

Vera Files also reported that the young Arroyo is indeed a shareholder in Beach Way Park LLC which is located on Beach Park Blvd California, the same street where the Foster City property is located.

“With regards to the San Francisco Bay house, it is registered under beach Way Park LLC in which I am a shareholder and which I declared in my SALN. And this fact was even attested to by the writer or the writers of the story," he added.

The congressman said the report was misleading either due to the writers’ malicious intent or lack of knowledge on the matter.

“Unfortunately, either the writer or writers deliberately imposed a malicious twist on the story or they lack knowledge on the legal aspects regarding corporations," he said.

Arroyo said those who have questions on his SALN can talk to his lawyer or those who do not believe him can sue him.

“As much as possible, I don’t want to waste my time dealing with issues like this,” said Arroyo. “There are far more important things to do especially in helping the government find ways to lessen the effects if not bail us out of the impact of the global financial crisis.”

Arroyo also denied that he snubbed the writers' request for an interview to get his reaction, stressing that the news agency did not attempt to reach him.

Tatakbo ako: Gimmick

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Franco's Friends for Safe Travel in the Philippines

(Travelling is best on long weekends and most families make the best of travelling to resorts. But travel safety in the Philippines has its downside. Read on.)

This is going to be another long weekend for most Filipinos in the Philippines with Monday next week being a non-working holiday. Certainly, we can expect resorts and hotels in the Philippines to be packed solid with people trying to make the most out of the long weekend.

At the beginning of this week, I had been discussing plans for this weekend with a couple of friends at work and then, for some reason, talk turned to a cause on Facebook called Franco's Friends for Safe Travel in the Philippines.

For the most part, I have learned to take the dangers of travelling in the Philippines for granted. I've gotten used to all the road hazards in Metro Manila and I generally don't think twice about taking my family on a boat ride on a Roro (roll-on, roll-off vessel) to Marinduque.

I have been going by the assumption that an ordinary level of careful driving will get me from point A to point B safely -- though sometimes, this assumption gets severely tested by bus drivers, jeepneys and careless car drivers.

Last year, I was fortunate enough to take a long break with my wife and son (who was just barely one year old at that time), and we took a long drive to Lucena, after which, we boarded a Roro to Marinduque. The ship, which must have been around twenty years old, was listing a bit on one side and I asked the crew members of the boat if it was still safe. I was assured it was and was told that the ship could handle heavier loads. I still had my doubts, but then, it dawned on me that I either could just take his word for it or wait for a couple of hours for the next Roro.

Being already tired from driving for three hours straight, I decided to chance the sea crossing and just pray that the boat doesn't sink. Thankfully, it didn't and we arrived safely in one of Marinduque's ports.

Yesterday, I had lunch with another family who made a sea crossing to Tamaraw beach in Mindoro three months ago and their story is one of a continuing tragedy which began when the outrigger pump-boat they rode capsized. Their story made me realize that my assumptions about safely travelling around thePhilippines have to be revised.

The picture that you see at the beginning of this post is Franco and the picture of the kid in the pink sando is my kid, Zac -- who just turned two. When I saw Franco's picture, my heart lurched and it was then that I decided to take up Franco's cause for safe travel.

Mon, Monique, and Franco Eugenio were off to Tamarraw beach for a family outing.

Mon recounts that on the morning that they were preparing to travel to Mindoro, Franco kept asking his yaya for reassurance that she was his hero. Mon said he passed it off as one of the usual exchanges Franco had with his yaya, but he also noticed that his three year old son was a bit hesitant for some reason. Normally, Mon said, Franco would be excited at the prospect of travelling and the prospect of going to a beach was something that would have him thrilled.
Here is an account of what happened to the Eugenio family three months ago:
This is the story of the Eugenio and Cruz family that decided to go on holiday to White Beach in Puerto Galera that fateful day. As any holidaymaker to Puerto Galera going by public transport, they drove to Batangas Pier that morning and took the next boat, a 50-foot outrigger banca, leaving for their destination. This was the Commando 7. Its sister ship, Commando 6 was berthed nearby. Commando 7 had 42 passengers while Commando 6 had 8. Some member of the crew or the crew as a collective then made the decision to move 42 passengers from Commando 7 to Commando 6 which meant at least 48 people to start with were in one boat (this is the recollection of Ramon Eugenio, survivor, but bereaved of a son, a nephew and a mother on that day). Add the crew and other passengers who subsequently came in at the last minute and there were about 60 people on board, gross overloading for a boat licensed to carry 42.

Passengers usually do not see the capacity of the boat, which has to be printed on its slde. On a banca with outriggers, the side of the hull slopes down to the water and the bamboo outriggers probably obscure the markings. Meanwhile, the captain of Commando 6 fraudulently submitted a manifest listing 42 passengers, and the Coast Guard did not check it.

Weather was seemingly fine as they set off. Under fair weather conditions, boats to Puerto Galera sail almost due south from 190 to 200 degrees. Commando 6 took instead a 170-degree course to better face the waves, which brought it near Balahibong Manok, an islet just before the Verde Island Passage.

This point is where the strong current of the generally choppy Verde Island Passage meets the habagat (Southwest monsoon wind). The current, meanwhile, goes South or East. As the current meets the habagat head on, there ensues the rough ride that Verde Island Passage is known for.

Crews on these boats are generally competent and caring but they act otherwise when obeying orders of land-based operators who want to save fuel and make a bigger buck from one trip. They are also at the mercy of wooden-hulled motorized bancas that are made of light materials but travel at speeds 2 or 3 times beyond what these materials are made for—the outrigger banca is an ancient sailboat design that was never meant to be propelled beyond sail speeds.

Eugenio estimates the waves in the passage were 1 to l.5 meters high. The peculiarity of the waves in the Verde Island Passage is that they are closely spaced, which causes a lot of splashing. The crew pulled down plastic blinds on each side of the boat to protect against the splashes, completely enclosing the passengers. No lifevests were distributed. They were somewhere on the shelves above.

The moment of peril came after three or four strong successive waves hit the banca causing its right outrigger to break which in turn created a fatal drag, causing the banca to broach (flip over diagonally), trapping the passengers within the plastic sheeting. Mon Eugenio was somehow thrown outside the boat into the sea, stunned by a hit on the head. When he came too he could not find anyone. His mother, 3-year-old son, 2-year-old nephew and their nanny were unseen. They and many of the passengers were trapped inside by the plastic blinds. His older son, also trapped, was somehow saved. In the end, 12 were killed out of the 60 aboard.

Everyone who could clung to the overturned hull of the boat for two hours. That is how long it took for the Coast Guard to come. The Commando 6 had no working radio after the accident; like many of the other boats, the crew depends on cell phones or passing boats whose people might see what is happening and set off the alarm. At least two boats passed by, but did not help the survivors. Some of their passengers even took pictures or videos as they sailed by.

And that is how two families lost loved ones, imperiled their lives and experienced the indifference of fellow mortals as they had to fight for survival on a designated holiday.
Three months after the incident, the Board of Marine Inquiry as well as the Marina (which is in charge of ensuring the safety of all those who travel by sea in the Philippines) has done nothing.

Here is a note on Facebook written by Mon:

9th Day Remarks

Good evening

Tonight marks, in our Catholic tradition, the 9th day of prayers. Thank you all for being here, dear family and friends.

As many of you know, both my sons were both born prematurely. When Paolo was born 9 years ago, he was six and a half months and is one of the youngest survivors of Makati Med. It took us another 6 years before Franco was born. In his case, Monique was advised bed rest as soon as she was discovered pregnant, however, for some reason, her water disappeared and only 1/3 was left. Again, he was delivered by emergency CS.

Because of these circumstances, I always believed that my sons were born for some great purpose, as fathers are wont to believe about their children.

I always wondered how Franco might have turned out: I monitored his growth charts as Dr Pia, our pediatrician, will tell you. He was robust: his height at 70 percentile, his weight around 90. He was intelligent as Teachers Ciara and Triccie will tell you: He thinks before he acts, always observing and acting accordingly.

He was bubbly, often barging into the room with “Good Morning, Mama and Dada!” and flashing his usual biggest, warmest smile. He had a fantastic sense of humor and his timing was impeccable.

He could tell you the storylines of his favorite Disney movies, for example Cars, and then line up the characters in a single line, pulling out Lightning or Mater or Doc if they were in the scene, then returning them when they were not. He was very loving: “Kuya Pao, I need a hug”, or “Yaya Bambi, don’t worry, I’ll buy that pink phone for you”. He loved to clutch at your elbow, and while in an embrace, give you a tap-tap on the back. Strangely, I would look at his face and think to myself “God, I hope it is my fortune to see this face while I live”.

I miss Franco’s face. We have received messages from some of you, who have said things like ‘I marvel at your strength’ or about being examples of faith, hope and courage. I want you to know that we still grieve, and we grieve deeply. When we are alone, we view all his pictures and videos, and a simple glimpse of these brings heartbreak. We are wrecks when we are alone, that’s why I thank you all for your love and prayers. They have helped us go through this trying time. Many of you have said that God has given you an angel. That is true, and the truth is also that the angels that God sent are the very people that stand before me tonight. Sinners we all are, but when our common good come together, I can only see pure, selfless love from all of you. And this, against a backdrop of what happened that Black Saturday, gives us Hope.

It would be a tragedy if we all went home tonight content with the nine-day prayers we have just finished. It would be unacceptable to me if their deaths were in vain, so it behooves us to do something about what government or private enterprise cannot prevent by themselves. I am guilty. I read the papers all the time, and think to myself, this could never happen to me. Not to me, I thought. But because it happened to me, it could happen to you, God forbid. Or it could happen to me again.

So my friend Roby Alampay created a Cause on Facebook called Franco’s Friends for Safe Travel in the Philippines and already, lawyers, boat builders, government officials, civil society, and even moms and dads are getting together to tackle the problems we face. We love to travel, and we must find ways to make getting from point A to point B as safe as possible. As of 12:20pm today, he has amassed 1,249 friends in much less than 72 hours. It took me a good year and a half to get to this number.

This is a good first sign that people are outraged, that people care, that people want to make a difference where they are. Monique and I are determined that this will be our advocacy, just as cousin Bobbit has done with his Carewell Foundation.

So perhaps this is Franco’s legacy on earth, the great purpose he was meant to do. To make this world where we live a little better, a little safer. We can’t do it alone, but as you have already shown, we can achieve great things together. Of him, I am already proud.
We have to junk our assumptions that we can travel safely around the country or even in Metro Manila.

If we want to tell ourselves that Philippine tourism will grow or keep on growing, or pat ourselves on the back for passing the Tourism Act, perhaps we should also give a higher priority to ensuring safe travel.


As citizens, who do we go to in order to get this done?

Friday, August 28, 2009

TV Commercial Plez (Anti-thesis to Platform Plez)

Platform Plez is a good but rather tedious exercise which I don't think anybody with a life will bother to put up with till election day next year.

So, instead of putting whatever it is that so-called Presidential Candidates will claim to their Platform of Governance, I'll just make my decision on who to vote for by making a mark beside the name of the candidate I remember the most.

Right now, the first name that comes to mind is Manny Villar and if elections were held tomorrow, I'll probably vote of Villar -- not unless I hear Mar Roxas' radio commercial on my way to the polling precinct.


Because, while our more intelligent TV shows, newspaper columnists, and radio commentators mouth paeans to choosing candidates wisely, their media companies continue to accept money to air the commercials of these Presidential candidates.

It is exactly just like the Catholic Church here in the Philippines saying that they don't care who gives them money or where the money came from -- not even when the money given to them comes from gambling which they are opposed to.

So, why bother with platforms, let's just vote for the person whose TV or radio commercial we remember last.

Ombudsman clears President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and First Genetleman in NBN ZTE deal

Joey De Venecia III was barking up the wrong tree by alleging that Senator Richard Gordon had delayed the release of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee report on the NBN ZTE probe because it was being watered down.

But, pare, this bit of news may have him saying... Wow pare, anlabo naman ng Ombudsman! 


See this bit of news from Philippine Star:

The Office of the Ombudsman has cleared President Arroyo and First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo of graft in connection with the botched $329-million national broadband network (NBN) deal with ZTE Corp. of China, but indicted former elections chief Benjamin Abalos and Social Security System president Romulo Neri.
The ruling came two years after businessman Jose de Venecia III, son and namesake of the former House speaker, exposed the alleged anomalies in the deal and implicated the First Gentleman and Abalos.
Details of alleged wheeling and dealing, multimillion-dollar bribes, and even a murder attempt surfaced during several tension-filled Senate hearings.
Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, a law school classmate of Mr. Arroyo, inhibited from the case. She is facing impeachment raps for allegedly dragging her feet on the case and on other high-level corruption cases involving ranking administration officials.
The 144-page resolution was signed by Emilio Gonzales III, deputy ombudsman for the military and other law enforcement offices; Robert Kallos, deputy special prosecutor; Rodolfo Elman, assistant ombudsman; Cesar Asuncion, director; and Jesus Micael, special prosecutor.
The joint resolution was dated April 21, 2009 but was approved only on Aug. 27 by overall deputy ombudsman Orlando Casimiro.

But consider the implications of this resolution on the Senate Blue Ribbon's report.

Because its release has already been overtaken by Malacanang's minions, even if it were to make scathing accusations against the First Gentleman and President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, wouldn't its recommendations be moot?

The saving grace would be if it recommends the filing of cases against Abalos and Neri, but that would be like playing second voices -- choo wari-wari wap!

Also, we haven't forgotten the possible culpability of Jun Lozada and Joey De Venecia III in whole mess that is NBN ZTE.

Hating the Filipino in you

Better Philippines ought to be proud of me, I actually visited and -- two blogs which are currently his favorite.
While I think I understand where these two blogs are coming from, I am a bit uncomfortable with espousing hate or derision for the negative traits that Filipinos have.  Not because I believe that the opposite ought to be done, but that we already live in a world where hate is the status quo.  Maybe I'm being too literal about this but I think, hate and fear are two stupid modes that overrides critical thinking -- if critical thinking is what you are really after.
I don't think these blogs espouse hate or derision for the Pinoy in us, but people can be easily misled or it can attract a following which it does not intend to attract.  That's just my take, if it is worth anything.
I think the blogging community in the Philippines is still a potent force, not because of our numbers -- although there are already around 30 million internet users in the Philippines -- but because of our capacity to put out thoughts that influence other thinkers in our society.
Did the Filipino blogging community put a huge dent in Willie Revillame's career? I hope so.  Did Terry Hatcher, Chip Tsao, and BBC's Harry and Paul feel the Filipino community's presence? I hope so too.
But outside of these blinding examples of the power of the Filipino internet community, have we made a dent in other areas that matter? Like say, corruption? Education? Conflict?
We engage in petty arguments, hopefully as a way of sharpening our intellects.  But the exercise is, at its very end, fruitless if we do not take into the realm of action.
Katie Roda mentioned my favorite President candidate's name and one thing that Gordon has been saying for the longest time is that Filipino culture is a broken culture.  Then again, that's an American in him speaking.
(More later.)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Top 7 Words you can't tell your boss

Duh?! Where is the traffic?

Can anyone tell me why there seems to be absolutely no traffic?  It seems everybody's stats are dropping.  Is this still related to the disruption of the APCN2 cable?

Dang!  Did somebody give our tons of happy pills?  Doesn't anybody read anymore? Eh!  Will someone do something atrocious, please!

Atty. Harry Roque's fight against Automated Elections

Automated polls may be on the brink as Attorney Harry Roque continues to plant doubt in the country's first automated elections. Politics in the Philippines may never be the same once we have automated polls, but being riddled with doubt because of Roque's petition at the Supreme Court, we may be seeing mixed results as far as having elections free of allegations of poll fraud and interminable political courtroom contests.

I met Attorney Roque a couple of times when I was still a news writer at RPN9 and I can say that he is a swell chap. Portly, good natured, and soft spoken, Harry Roque seems to be the kind of person you can approach for help any time and help people is what he does. Which probably explains why he is on television a lot, lawyering for one case or another.

Being the Director of the Institute of International Legal Studies and Assistant Professor at the College of Law, University of the Philippines, Roque may also be regarded as a heavy weight in the legal profession -- perhaps, as far as teaching is concerned.

But I am saying this because I don't know exactly how many cases he has won, then again, does it matter? Fighting a good fight doesn't necessarily entail winning, although losing can be a real bitch.

In his latest jaunt, activist lawyer Harry Roque has decided to take on the case of the Concerned Citizen's Movement against Smartmatic-TIM. He has asked the Supreme Court to declare null and void the P7.2 billion contract it signed with Smartmatic TIM Corp. (STC) on July 10, 2009 for the automation of the May 10, 2010 presidential, congressional, local and party-list polls.

Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera on behalf of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) claims that she had soundly refuted the points raised by Roque in his petition.

In Manila Bulletin, Devanadera was reported as saying:

On the point raised in the petition that Comelec violated Republic Act 9369 or the Election Automation Law for failing to conduct any pilot testing of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines covered by the contract, the Solicitor General’s memoranda said neither RA 8434 nor RA 9369 uses the term “Pilot Test” or “Pilot Testing” but “Pilot Exercise.”

The machine, technology and system have been previously tested during the bidding and during the preparation in the run-up to the election, the memorandum pointed out.

“On election days, the Comelec will not test anymore but will simply use the previously tested machine, technology and system. Smartmatic TIM machines have demonstrated capability and been successfully used in prior elections abroad, specifically in United States, Canada, and Venezuela.’’

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile led the senate in backing the government's P7.2 Billion deal with Smartmatic for poll automation in 2010:
In a 13-page comment-in-intervention, the Senate, through Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, supported the arguments of the Commission on Elections and Smartmatic-TIM that the contract complied with the poll automation law.

It said the law’s provision for pilot-testing should be interpreted in conjunction with another provision that the automated election system in 2010 and subsequent elections should have demonstrated capability and success in either local or foreign elections.

“Demonstration of the success and capability of the precinct count optical scan machines (or any AES chosen) may be in an electoral exercise in a foreign jurisdiction. This is a clear indication that pilot testing… is not a mandatory requirement for the choice of system in the May 2010 elections,” the Senate said.

“Nor is a pilot testing in the May 2007 elections a prerequisite for the full automation of the May 2010 elections, since the system’s capability may have been successfully demonstrated in other electoral exercises abroad,” it added.

The Senate also said that Congress had shown its clear intention to fully automate the 2010 elections when it passed a supplemental budget of more than P11 billion to have automated national and local elections next year.

“Pilot testing was not a precedent-condition to full automation,” it said, citing the Senate’s deliberations on the automation law authored by Sen. Richard Gordon.
Perhaps, now being outgunned and without a place to go, Roque has begun clutching at straws. Just this week, Roque told the Supreme Court that Mr. Edgar Zorilla, vice president for special operations of Smartmatic International Corp., sits as consultant to the National Computer Center (NCC).

The NCC is a member of the technical evaluation group that advises Comelec on automation matters. Its mother agency, the Commission on Information Technology and Communication (CICT), heads the Comelec Advisory Council (CAC) on automation, which is tasked to recommend to the Comelec the most appropriate, secure, applicable and cost-effective technology to be used in the automated election system.

Smartmatic International Sales Director Cesar Flores has responded to this allegation:
Smartmatic-Tim would like to stress that none of our officials and employees have any working relationship with the National Computer Center, or any other governmental institution in the Philippines. Mr.Harry Roque’s latest accusation is totally untrue and baseless. We feel it is another attempt by the good attorney to influence the public, and the magistrates of the Supreme Court in their upcoming ruling on the 2010 Automated Elections.

Mr. Edgar Zorrilla is an adviser to the CEO of Smartmatic. He has no working relationship whatsoever with the NCC.
And why would Atty. Roque make such a WILD accusation?
Mr.Roque’s objective is clear: have the SC magistrates disqualify the latest Memorandum directed by the NCC to the Supreme Court. Mr. Roque feels this memorandum is non solicited, omitting the fact that the NCC has been legitimately summoned as amicus curiae; and the Supreme Court requested its written comments during the Oral Arguments presented last xxxx of August.

Please be informed as well that Mr. Roque’s above accusation have already been refuted by the another credible institution, the Philippine Senate.

We feel it it is irresponsible for Mr. Roque to spread disinformation.

At the very least, he should present proof of his allegations. In the future, Smartmatic will have to resort to legal means in order to respond some of his more unethical acts.
One question that lingers in my mind is why Atty. Roque has taken on this case against Smartmatic?

I really don't know but for sure, seeding the legal community with doubts on the legitimacy of the 2010 automated elections may lay the predicate for electoral protests in 2010.

You see, every time an election comes, thousands of lawyers either get hired or volunteer to help in electoral campaigns. Sometimes the big bucks come in when electoral protests are filed and this can mean a steady flow of fees for a couple of months, perhaps even years.

If the automated elections works perfectly and people do not doubt its results, lawyers will probably have to shift specializations -- from filing electoral protests stemming from disputes arising from the count of votes to relatively less crucial issues, such as violations of campaign guidelines.

Will there be less business for ambulance chasers after automated elections in 2010? We'll see.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Running for President? What would Cory Aquino do? WWCAD?

Over the past few months we've become accustomed to news of one person declaring that he or she would be running for President in 2010.

And so, the list of Presidential candidates has grown to include not only old names in Philippine politics but names you have never even heard before. Like, for instance, who's Nick Perlas and who's JC delos Reyes?

I know Eddie Gil and Mike Velarde are running, but why? No, don't tell me... God told them to.

The thing is, we are confronted with candidates left and right who are running for all sorts of reasons including, my favorite, CHANGE.

But what is the difference between the change that Mar Roxas can give us and the change that Manny Villar can give us?

What is the difference between a Chiz Escudero Presidency and a Loren Legarda Presidency?

What is the difference between Dick Gordon, Bayani Fernando, and Jejomar Binay?

What is the difference between Gloria Arroyo and Erap Estrada?

Do we really have choices?!?

Anyway, I remember that before Cory Aquino decided to run for President, Chino Roces had to collect 1 million signatures for her.

Oh, I am sure, the candidates mentioned above can probably gather as many signatures (even if they and their staff have to sign a couple hundred thousand themselves).

But, really, if you are confronted with the opportunity to run for President would you? And would you ask, WWCAD? (What would Cory Aquino do?)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cerge Remonde racks up P5 Million cellphone bill

Apparently, it's quite costly to defend President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Here's video from GMA7.

For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV

ABS-CBN backs Willie Revillame as he faces MTRCB and KBP complaints

On August 20, members of the MTRCB attending the hearing on the case of Willie Revillame in connection with the host's alleged unethical conduct in Wowowee on August 3 where he rather ungraciously asked that the video insite of Corazon Aquino's cortege be removed from his show.

Atty. Armando Marcelo, Willie's lawyer, said that they had submitted their counter affidavits and they body hearing their case has conducted clarificatory proceedings.

Atty. Zosimo Alegre, MTRCB legal counsel, said that the clarificatory proceedings did not involve the submission of evidence.

The KBP hearing is another story all together as it will most likely just slap Willie on the wrist.

Joey De Venecia III: So, pareng Gordon, where's is na the NBN ZTE report?

Joey de Venecia III is asking, "Pare, where is the NBN ZTE report? It's so tagal naman, baka naman someone is making duktor the report ni pareng Senator Alan Peter Cayetano. Labo naman, pare."

In his blog, where he refers to himself in the third person, de Venecia III writes:

“Senator Gordon has been sitting on it for too long,” he said, “This raises suspicions that the results of the original report that the committee formerly chaired by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano will be changed.”

Dude, is the guy writing your blog high? Senator Alan Peter Cayetano didn't come out with a report after holding 12 hearings on the NBN ZTE deal. There was not even a draft of the report.

The thing is, Senator Gordon had to basically start from scratch in DRAFTING the never before DRAFTED report. Do you know what the transcripts of 12 hearings look like? Do you know how many documents had to be pored over?

In anycase, I know the NBN ZTE report will come out.

The only thing I would regret about it is that if it doesn't recommend filing charges against you, MR. JOEY DE VENECIA and your friend, MR. JUN LOZADA.

INTEGRITY, Mr. Joey de Venecia, isn't squealing like stuck pigs over not getting a big cut in a government deal and getting scott free for your involvement in a corrupt act.

INTEGRITY is when you submit yourself to the mercy of the court for your crimes and admit to all wrong doings while helping law enforcers and the court to pin down the culprits.

Remember the cellphone conversation you had with Mr. Benjamin Abalos? Like, this one here or this one

Anyway, I'm sure the press will pick this up and you'll get the publicity you need to boost your bid for a seat in the Senate.

But I am thinking, are you really worthy of anyone's vote?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cory Aquino statue to be built in Rizal Park, NHI gives nod

I wonder what Bambee Harper or Ambeth Ocampo would now say to the construction of a Cory Aquino statue in Rizal Park?

They raised a hissy fit over the construction of the Lapu-Lapu Monument in 2003 on the grounds that only those who were killed in Luneta were supposed to have a statue or monument there. Which is odd, because Lorenzo Ruiz has a statue there and he was killed in JAPAN.

Here's the article from Philippine Daily Inquirer

Enshrined in the hearts of Filipinos, Corazon Aquino will also soon be immortalized in concrete and steel.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has ordered the immediate construction of a monument in honor of the late President’s contributions to Philippine democracy, MalacaƱang said Thursday.

The statue of Aquino will be erected at Rizal Park in Manila where the monument to national hero Jose Rizal also stands.

“With this monument, our nation will honor for posterity the memory of an extraordinary woman who united our people for one shining week in February 1986 and presided over the rebirth of democracy,” deputy presidential spokesperson Anthony Golez said, reading from a statement.

“We have long honored Tita Cory in our hearts, and now we will celebrate in deathless lineaments of concrete and steel the life and passage of a national heroine for the constant reminder of future generations.”

Golez said the construction would be completed in six months and would be facilitated by the National Historical Institute (NHI).

Mar Roxas Noynoy Aquino: A political marriage between men

Mar Roxas and Noynoy Aquino are getting married. It's not a gay union but people are asking, "So who's going to wear the veil?"

Oops! Hehehe!

Of course, I am not talking about gay marriage and gay bashing seems to be the order of the day as DJ MOJO JOJO's poster got pulled down for apparently being too gay.

I am talking about a political marriage of two great names in Filipino politics. Roxas is an illustrious name of vintage quality, dating back to the days when the Philippines was still officially under American rule. Aquino is of more recent vintage, it was made famous by Senator Benigno Aquino who is said to be the arch-rival of then President Ferdinand Marcos.

Weighing the two, Mar has the advantage of being already one of the most marketed names in
Philippine politics -- second only to Manny Villar, who spent more on advertising. He also has Korina Sanchez, who, although not as highly esteemed as Vice President Noli De Castro among media circles, is still quite popular among the more intelligent Filipino masses.

However, Noynoy Aquino looks like a sure winner to me. Being the son of the recently deceased President Cory Aquino and the brother of Kris Aquino is a sure fire formula for inducing a massive outpouring -- a tsunami of sympathy votes!

Heck! It worked for Pia Cayetano when her father Senator Rene "Companyero" Cayetano died in 2003 and when she ran in 2004, her sobbing got a fairly large number of votes. The elder Cayetano wasn't even that much of a TV personality before he became senator and his career had infact suffered some damage after it was dragged into the BW stock scam during Estrada's term as President.

But, Noynoy is going to get my vote because his alleged girlfriend
is Shalani Soledad -- a city councilour of Valenzuela with a shining political career.

I met her when she visited Marinduque for a fiesta and she was so fun to be with. Despite her awesome achievements as a political leader, she is still very much a kid at heart -- I found this out when we parked the bangka we were riding on a submerged sandbar just off the port of Santa Cruz. The girl just jumped into the water and her mother, who was with us for the trip, could only shrug her shoulders.

Anyway, going back to the Roxas-Aquino union, I think Noynoy will get more votes next year than Mar.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Why did Congressman Danilo Suarez payfor President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's $15,000 Bobby Vans dinner

Quezon Province Congressman Danilo Suarez paid for President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's $15,000 dinner at Bobby Vans in New York and people are trying to understand why would someone pick up such a huge tab, even granting that the congressman is a close friend of the President's.

It can be said that there is no such thing as a free meal and there are always strings attached when favors are given.

In a transactional society, favors are traded over an expensive meals that is paid for by the blood, sweat and tears of 90 million starving Filipinos.

A friend sent me this bit of information and I am reposting it here.
He tried to bribe then Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Chairman Richard Gordon years ago (around 1995) to get the radar contract for Subic International Airport.

When he lost the bid to American suppliers (Westinghouse) and the Germans(Alcatel) he hauled Gordon to Congress for an investigation.

Gordon exposed him as a loosing supplier during the hearings and demanded that the ethics committee investigate Suarez.

The House majority killed the motion.

Below is a PCIJ brief account.

ABS-CBN and GMA have footages of the comedic encounter during the hearing held at Rembrandt Hotel which is also owned by a Congressman.

Sheila Coronel

"XXXX....OF COURSE, other legislative prerogatives, such as the power to initiate investigations, have been used to further the business interests of some congressmen. One of the most memorable examples was three-term Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez, a defense contractor and entrepreneur who also has considerable interests in trading and agribusiness. Suarez stirred a hornet's nest in the 10th and 11th House when his colleagues accused him of using his position to wangle contracts for his firms.

In the 10th House, Suarez called for an investigation of the purchase of radar systems by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA). Suarez's company supplies radar systems, and during the investigation, the irked SBMA chief, Richard Gordon, pointed out that this could be the reason the inquiry was taking place at all. Congressmen also accused him of requesting the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) to reopen the bidding for the P600-million Nationwide Airport Navigation Facilities Modernization program so that his company could make a bid for airport radar.

Another Suarez company has the contract to operating three parking lots at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). The congressman also owns the Kayumanggi Restaurant at the airport. In 1998, he filed a resolution asking the House to investigate the awarding of a contract to a single corporation to run all the concession areas at the NAIA Terminal II, allegedly because his company was eying some of the concession areas at the terminal.

Suarez was banned from running for a fourth term in 2001 so his wife Aleta took his place in the House. Meanwhile, the former congressman, who was a staunch supporter of ousted President Joseph Estrada, was named by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as the vice chair of the National Road Board, which looks into how the tax imposed on motor vehicles is spent.

As chair of the ways and means committee in the 11th Congress, Suarez was instrumental in the drafting of a law, passed in 2000, that imposed the same tax. It is not surprising that he has interests in road construction and road-safety businesses as well...XXX"
A friend has kept on defending President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's New York dinners which cost a total of $35,000. His main argument is that the amount of money spent was only fitting for a head of state that who was also celebrating her wedding anniversary. Moreover, he pointed out that one female blogger, who has been stinging the President on the issue of extravagant spending amidst the poverty of her country, had in fact received lavish treatment from some politician which included a foreign trip, shopping money, and gambling money.

I've already said my peace on this topic, I guess. But I would really like to know what you think and perhaps, if we all take time thinking together, we can come up with a way to express that thought in a way that will forever change our country

Monday, August 17, 2009

Conrado De Quiros, jologs na din.

Pasintabi na muna mga pare at mare kung matawag ko kayong jologs at hindi naman kayo jologs. May malalim na dahilan para dito.

May nakapansin sa pagka-jologs ng aking blog. Bukod sa jologs na mga entry (o pasok), marami ding jologs na comment na naglipana.

Wala namang masama sa pagiging jologs at sa katunayan, ang jologs ang dahilan kung bakit mayroon tayong mga malalaking negosyo. Kung walang jologs, walang bibili ng mga produktong nilalako araw-araw sa telebisyon, radyo at dyaryo.

Sa kasamaang palad, ang mga jologs din ang dahilan kung bakit mayroon tayong Presidenteng hindi jologs. Nuong minsan, bago itong Presidenteng hindi jologs, si Erap ang presidente at natuwa ang mga jologs kasi jologs ang namuno ng bansa. Pero, dahil nga jologs si Erap, pinagkaisahan ng mga non-jologs para patalsikin.

Hayun! Matapos lisanin ang Malakanyang at nanumpa si Gloria, nagtangkang magrebolusyon ang mga jologs. EDSA tres daw ito, pero, dahil nga jologs ang mga gumawa -- madali itong naitaboy ng pwersa ng mga non-jologs.

Nuong nagkaroon ng eleksyon nuong 2004, pagkakataon na sana ng mga jologs na magluklok ng pinuno na talagang tutulong na umangat ang buhay ng mga jologs. Ang taong pinambato nila kay Gloria ay si FPJ... Okey na rin sana, kaso... hehe! Nadaya eh. Kaya, hayun, patuloy ang ligaya ni Gloria...

At ang ginawa ng mga jologs... wala.

Heto ngayon, gumastos ng $20,000 lang naman para sa isang hapunan sa Le Cirque at $15,000 sa Bobby Vans. Kulang-kulang na P1,000,000 -- alam nyo ba kung ilang instant noodles at itlog ang mabibili nuon?

Anyway, sa pagkabagot siguro, ang idolo kong si Conrado de Quiros ay nagtagalog na at heto ang kanyang sinabi.

May araw din kayo
By Conrado de Quiros
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:04:00 08/17/2009

Tatagalugin ko na nang makuha n’yo. Kahit na lingwaheng kanto lang ang alam kong Tagalog.

Tutal Buwan ng Wika naman ang Agosto. Baka sakali ’yung paboritong wika ni Balagtas ay makatulong sa pag-unawa n’yo dahil mukhang ’yung paboritong wika ni Shakespeare ay lampas sa IQ n’yo. Kung sa bagay, ang pinakamahirap gisingin ay ’yung nagtutulug-tulugan. Ang pinakamahirap padinggin ay ’yung nagbibingi-bingihan. Ang pinakamahirap paintindihin ay ’yung nagmamaangmaangan. Bueno, mahirap din paintindihin ’yung likas na tanga. Pero bahala na.

Sabi mo, Cerge Remonde, alangan naman pakanin ng hotdog ang amo mo. Bakit alangan? Hindi naman vegetarian ’yon. At public service nga ’yon, makakatulong dagdagan ng cholesterol at salitre ang dugong dumadaloy papuntang puso n’ya. Kung meron man s’yang dugo, kung meron man s’yang puso.

Bakit alangan? Malamang di ka nagbabasa ng balita, o di lang talaga nagbabasa, kung hindi ay nalaman mo ’yung ginawa ni Barack Obama at Joe Biden nitong nakaraang Mayo. Galing silang White House patungong Virginia nang magtakam sila pareho ng hamburger. Pina detour nila ang motorcade at tumuloy sa unang hamburgerang nakita nila. Ito ang Ray’s Hell Burger, isang maliit at independienteng hamburger joint.

Tumungo ang dalawa sa counter at sila mismo ang nag-order, hindi mga aides. Nagbayad sila ng cash na galing sa sariling bulsa at kagaya ng ibang customers ay pumila para sa turno nila.

Ito ay presidente at bise presidente ng pinakamakapangyarihang bansa sa buong mundo. Kung sa bagay, ’yung amo n’yo ay hindi naman talaga presidente. Di lang makita ang pagkakaiba ni Garci kay God kaya nasabing “God put me here.” Pekeng presidente, pekeng asal presidente.

Sabi mo, Anthony Golez, maliit lang ang P1 million dinner kumpara sa bilyon-bilyong pisong dinala ng amo mo sa bansa.

Ay kayo lang naman ang nagsasabing may inambag ang amo n’yo na bilyong-bilyong piso sa kaban ng bayan. Ni anino noon wala kaming nakita. Ang nakita lang namin ay yung bilyon-bilyong piso—o borjer, ayon nga sa inyong dating kakosa na si Benjamin Abalos—na inaswang ng amo n’yo sa kaban ng bayan. Executive privilege daw ang hindi n’ya sagutin ito. Kailan pa naging pribilehiyo ng isang opisyal ang di managot sa taumbayan? Kailan pa naging pribilehiyo ng isang opisyal ang magnakaw?

Maliit lang pala ang P1 million, ay bakit hindi n’yo na lang ibigay sa nagugutom? O doon sa mga sundalo sa Mindanao? Tama si Archbishop Oscar Cruz. Isipin n’yo kung gaano karaming botas man lang ang mabibili ng P1 million at karagdagang P750,000 na nilamon ng amo n’yo at mga taga bitbit ng kanyang maleta sa isa pang restawran sa New York.

Maliit lang pala ang P1 million (at P750,000), bakit hindi n’yo na lang ibigay doon sa pamilya ng mga sundalong namatay sa Mindanao? Magkano ’yung gusto n’yong ibigay sa bawat isa? P20,000? Sa halagang iyan 50 sundalo na ang maaabuluyan n’yo sa $20,000. Pasalu-saludo pa ’yang amo n’yo sa mga namatay na kala mo ay talagang may malasakit. Bumenta na ’yang dramang ’yan. At pasabi-sabi pa ng “Annihilate the Abus!” Di ba noon pa n’ya ’yan pinangako? Mahilig lang talagang mangako ’yang amo n’yo.

Bukod pa d’yan, saan ba nanggaling ’yung limpak-limpak na salapi ng mga kongresista na pinansisindi nila ng tabako? Di ba sa amin din? Tanong n’yo muna kung ayos lang na i-blowout namin ng wine at caviar ang amo n’yo habang kami ay nagdidildil ng asin—’yung magaspang na klase ha, ’di yung iodized. Ang tindi n’yo, mga p’re.

At ikaw naman, Romulo Macalintal, tapang ng apog mo. Maiisip mo tuloy na sundin na lang ang mungkahi ni Dick the Butcher sa “Henry VI” ni Shakespeare: “First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” Pa ethics-ethics ka pa, pasalamat ka di nasunog ang bibig mo sa pagbigkas ng katagang ’yon.

Marami mang sugapa rin sa aming mga taga media, di naman kasing sugapa n’yo. At di naman kami sineswelduhan ng taumbayan. Wala naman kaming problemang sumakay sa PAL at kailangan pang bumili ng P1.2 billion jet. Anong sabi n’yo, kailangan ng amo n’yo sa pabyahe-byahe? E sino naman ang may sabing magbabyahe s’ya? Ngayon pang paalis na s’ya—malinaw na ayaw n’yang umalis. Bakit hindi na lang s’ya bumili ng Matchbox na eroplano? Kasya naman s’ya ro’n.

Lalo kayong nagpupumiglas, lalo lang kayong lumulubog sa kumunoy. Di n’yo malulusutan ang bulilyasong ginawa n’yo. Para n’yo na ring inagaw ang isinusubong kanin ng isang batang nagugutom. Tama si Obama at Biden: Sa panahon ng recession, kung saan nakalugmok ang mga Amerikano sa hirap, dapat makiramay ang mga pinuno sa taumbayan, di nagpapakapariwara. Sa panahon ng kagutuman, na matagal nang kalagayan ng Pinoy, at lalo pang tumindi sa paghagupit ng Typhoon Gloria, dapat siguro uminom na lang kayo ng insecticide. Gawin n’yo ’yan at mapapawi kaagad ang kagutuman ng bayan.

Sa bandang huli, buti na rin lang at ginawa n’yo ’yung magpasasa sa P1 million dinner habang lupaypay ang bayan sa kagutuman—di lang sa kawalan ng pagkain kundi sa iba pang bagay—at pagdadalamhati sa yumaong Ina ng Bayan. Binigyan n’yo ng mukha ang katakawan. Katakawang walang kabusugan. Mukhang di nakita ng masa sa usaping NBN, mukhang di nakikita ng masa sa usaping SAL. Mukhang nakita lang ng masa dito sa ginawa n’yong ito. Sa pagpapabondat sa New York habang naghihinagpis ang bayan.

At buti na rin lang mayroon tayong sariling wika. Di sapat ang Inggles para iparamdam sa inyo ang suklam na nararamdaman namin sa inyo. Di sapat ang Inggles para ipakita sa inyo ang pagkamuhi na nararamdaman namin sa inyo. Di maarok ng Inggles ang lalim ng poot na nararamdaman namin sa inyo.

Isinusuka na kayo ng taumbayan, mahirap man sumuka ang gutom.

May araw din kayo.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

You would vote for Willie Revillame as Senator?!

You would think that the latest news on Wowowee host Willie Revillame would be his three week suspension. You would think that after his rather uncouth and uncalled for remark on the live coverage of Cory Aquino's funeral, he'd probably lie low and let this latest tide of controversy ebb before figuring in another controversy. YOU WOULD... but apparently, not Willie Revillame and not Senator Manny Villar.

In ABS-CBN's early evening news last night, Senator Villar broke news that he willing to reserve a slot in his senatorial line up for Wowowee host Willie Revillame.

You would probably think that canned laughter would follow after the Senator made the announcement in a press conference.

Here's an excerpt from that news:
In a press conference on Friday, Senator Manuel Villar, president of the NP, said that if Revillame is willing to run for the Senate, he will reserve a slot for him.

"Oo, naman, very qualified naman si Willie, wala naman akong nakikitang problema kay Willie," Villar said. "Yun ay isang bagay na dapat niyang pagisipan."

Villar visited Revillame in Tagaytay after he found out about the controversy involving Revillame's move to cut the live streaming of the late President Corazon Aquino's August 3 procession which was being shown simultaneously on Wowowee through an inset video.
At this point, you would probably tell Villar that if he doesn't see a problem in Willie Revillame running for Senator, he ought to stop running for President himself.

First off, Willie Revillame doesn't know anything about the laws that govern this land, much less the laws that govern television. Second, he doesn't know anything about making laws and even if he were to attempt to make one, I doubt if he'd make one that would matter or make it pass.

But there's one thing about Willie Revillame that may actually be a saving grace, he's too dumb to steal money from his pork barrel or PDAF.

Who'd vote for Willie Revillame? Well, if you are one of the millions that watch him everyday, you would.

Friday, August 14, 2009

What would Cory Aquino do?

There are a lot of things you can ascribe to President Corazon Aquino.

Better Philippines said that some have proposed to make her a saint and while the idea may seem way out there, it does have some merit. But only if we consider that she is a saint when compared to the other politicians that

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo et al won't puke up NY dinner

Another news article on President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's expensive dinner in New York which will probably get a bashing in the blogosphere is Deputy Presidential Spokesman Anthony Golez' rebuttal.

Essentially, he says that the cost of President Macapagal Arroyo's dinner is chump change compared to the billions of dollars of investments generated by the visit.

To avoid the alleged Karen Davila effect, let me cite that the excerpt below is from the Inquirer story written by Christian Esguerra. Golez said:

“Whatever monies may have been spent for the appropriately ceremonious conduct of her official trip abroad are but a tiny fraction of the billions of pesos she has committed, and will continue to commit, to the alleviation of hunger and the amelioration of poverty in our country."

I think this is probably among the worst arguments that have been brought up to defend President Macapagal Arroyo's dining expenses which some news reports say comes to a total of P1.7 million after conversion.

First, let's think of the opposite situation, what if President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her entourage ate at McDonald's, Papaya King or even a decent restaurant not known for its fine dining? Would that have caused an uproar? Perhaps not.

Second, while the government is supposed to foot the travel expenses of its officials, it goes without saying that the expenses should not be exorbitant. In fact, to ensure that this doesn't happen, the government prescribes the amount of money that a government official or employee may be given for travel in a foreign country. When I was a government employee, that amounted to around $100 for hotel accomodations and $100 for food and other expenses. I'd expect that depending on your rank and where it is you are going, the allowances for travel would be higher if you were a secretary or an elected official.

Third, I think Golez' argument is a non-sequitur -- in the sense that one particular category of expense doesn't have anything to do with the other. Do state visits have anything to do with providing funds for the government's feeding program? Does the money come from the states being visited?

If I remember correctly, President Fidel V. Ramos was also criticized for going on so many state visits but this was clearly at a time when the Philippine economy was soaring. He was also asked to account for the cost versus benefit of undertaking the trips and his administration tried its best to answer by pointing out the investments generated by each trip or the agreements forged with each trip -- Ramos, at least, tried to say that these trips accomplished something or other. As to whether they were real accomplishments or not is another matter, because some of the billion dollar investments supposed to be produced by the visits were merely commitments or agreements made -- actual cash wasn't given to anyone because of those visits.

The government feeding program, while costing billions a year, feeds millions of people. The government spending for the New York trip provided for the airfare, hotel accommodation, and food of a few hundred. With the exception of their staff, all those who went on that trip could have probably shouldered their own expenses and this wouldn't be objectionable -- in fact, it would have been seen as a real show of patriotism.

I am sure this post will not generate the number of visits I am hoping for, but I am taking this slump in my statistics for the country.

The next time Gloria Macapagal Arroyo eats out in some other country, it wouldn't her to ask herself... What would Cory Aquino do?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

News: Manny Villar denies new scam allegations by Jamby Madrigal

News about the Senate Ethics probe on Senator Manny Villar had Senator Jamby Madrigal firing away about a new “modus operandi” that allegedly multiplied the profits by companies owned by Villar and wife Las Pinas Representative Cynthia Villar.

In the latest development on the C-5 scam, Senator Madrigal revealed how the couple used their corporations to get a P3.5-billion loan from the Central Bank.

This has somewhat departed from where the Ethics probe started and Villar is, as expected, denying the allegations in the media.

This, it seems, is Villar's standard ploy these days and one wonders if this will be how he will deal with controversies if he is elected President come 2010.

Then again, as with all the news that comes from senate investigations, we can count on this investigation to be like a road going nowhere.

One of Madrigal's investigations that caught public attention but somehow faded away without any clear resolution is the Katrina Halili-Hayden Kho video scandal. Now that she has thrown her figurative hat in the ring and declared that she is running for President, her detractors are keen on pelting her with accusations of grandstanding in aid of election.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pinoy Buzz on TV

Pinoy Buzz appeared for a few seconds on ABS-CBN's early evening newscast on a report regarding the public outrage incited by Willie Revillame's remarks on the live coverage of Cory Aquino's funeral.

The only thing that has trumped this so far is Better Philippine's link from a PR5 news website, which is a better endorsement.

Oh and by the way, Mr. Revillame, I have nothing against you personally. I haven't met you in person and I don't know you well enough apart from what I see on TV.

However, I have a lot of friends who have at one time or another been on the set of your TV show and they don't have good things to say about your off-cam behavior.

I don't think you are completely aware of your impact on how people in other parts of the world see us. Are you giving us more reason to be proud or more reason to be ashamed?

For the meantime, welcome to the annex of jologs central.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Oust Willie Revillame movement: Proud and hopeful Pinoy's comment

A lot of people have been leaving their comments on the Willie Revillame entries on this blog. Among the better ones is from Proud and Hopeful Pinoy, because it resonates my own views on Willie Revillame.

Proud and Hopeful Pinoy's comment:
He is making money out of people's misery. ABS-CBN is keeping him because of all the money he is making. His show is one long commercial that runs for 4 hours. At what costs? He is banking on poverty and ignorance of our fellow Filipinos. He is espousing a culture of handouts. He is encouraging people to be poor because when the poorer you are more people would help you and give you money. Behind all these, he is making 1000x more money for himself because our poor brothers and sisters are crying on TV and dancing amidst humiliation.

The program itself lacks artistry and creativity. His songs are repetitive and poor in quality. The women are disrespected in so many ways in the show. the comedy is poor and offensive.

I can go on and on how the show corrupts many sectors in our society today and in the future.

The current incident is just one of the many faults and offenses by the show, all because of the host. Afterall he is the mastermind of it all proudly claiming he doesn't have a life anymore because of all the hardwork he puts into the show.

Sadly, just like corruption in our country, I am doubtful any action will be taken. I can only think of one reason: MONEY. We all know what's wrong with the show. We can feel how offensive and how it corrupts our society. Yet no one's taking action. ABS-CBN is not doing anything because of the money it generates. Mr.Revillame won't change his ways because of the money it generates. Politicians and government officials won't do anything because we have to admit many of those who support Wowowee constitute majority of our voters.

That's why action won't be taken.
ABS-CBN is money hungry. WILLIE REVILLAME is money hungry.
As a consequence of the greediness of these people, media will continually corrupt our society.

Lastly, when Chip Tsao called us servants we were all agitated. How come now that Wowowee is showing that we are our country of beggars instead of working in the middle of the day are lounging in the studio waiting for our chance to be winners, we seem to be apathetic.

I said "seem" because I'm sorry Mr. Revillame but there are Filipinos like me who see how hypocrite you are and we will sign that petition a million times to save our country from bad influences like you.

Oust Willie Revillame movement: Wowowee host to be suspended for 3 weeks

It may be too early to announce or celebrate it, but the movement to oust Wowowee host Willie Revillame on the internet may have gained ground.

In the past, the Management of ABS-CBN has acted swiftly and decisively on cases involving the misdemeanor of Willie Revillame. The corporate image of ABS-CBN, after all, is now global and a lot is at stake, particularly the number of TFC subscribers who may have been offended by Willie's actions.

In this case, it wouldn't be a remote possibility that ABS-CBN will suspend Wowowee for three weeks. If Willie Revillame earns P1 Million a day, that probably will mean a personal loss of P21 Million for Revillame. I don't know how much money ABS-CBN will lose from not showing Revillame but they may be thinking of the repercussions of not punishing Willie Revillame for his behaviour -- not the least of which may be a sudden drop in TFC subscribers or a pull-out of ads from Wowowee as well as other top rating shows.

The Lopezes have a debt of gratitude to pay to Cory Aquino and her family, not the least of which is their return to power or at least, their return to the realm of really big business.

Right now, the Oust Willie Revillame petition has reached 20,329 signatures and while I admire the effort that everyone has put in, I think it is the rightness of the cause rather than the numbers that have made an impact.

The movement to oust Willie Revillame, I think, goes beyond one man's petition or one blog. I think or at least hope that it is a sign that our people are coming to their senses, maybe Cory Aquino's death has shocked a lot of people back into life and put them back in touch with a collective conscience. Thank you Cory, if that is the case.

In an interview with GMA News:
MTRCB chair Consoliza Laguardia said Revillame also violated Sec. 3 of Presidential Decree 1986.

"Yung personal kong tingin objectionable ‘yung ginawa ni Willie kasi pwede niyang ginawa ung offcam. He violated the broadcast code of ethics of KBP (Kapisanan ng Brodkaster ng Pilipinas) and then sa part ng MTRCB, Sec. 3 of PD 1986 ‘yung being objectionable and contrary to good customs and tradition," Laguardia said.

Presidential Decree 1986 was issued on October 5, 1985 by President Marcos and it is little ironic this law crafted under an authoritarian regime should be used to chastise Revillame for disrespecting our icon of Democracy, Cory Aquino.

Section 3 decribes the powers and functions of the Mover and Television Review AND Classification Board.

Here are the relevant sub-sections of section 3:
c) To approve or disapprove, delete objectionable portions from and/or prohibit the importation, exportation, production, copying, distribution, sale, lease, exhibition and/or television broadcast of the motion pictures, television programs and publicity materials subject of the preceding paragraph, which, in the judgment of the board applying contemporary Filipino cultural values as standard, are objectionable for being immoral, indecent, contrary to law and/or good customs, injurious to the prestige of the Republic of the Philippines or its people, or with a dangerous tendency to encourage the commission of violence or of wrong or crime, such as but not limited to:

i) Those which tend to incite subversion, insurrection, rebellion or sedition against the State, or otherwise threaten the economic and/or political stability of the State;

ii) Those which tend to undermine the faith and confidence of the people in their government and/or the duly constituted authorities;

iii) Those which glorify criminals or condone crimes;

iv) Those which serve no other purpose but to satisfy the market for violence or pornography;

v) Those which tend to abet the traffic in and use of prohibited drugs;

vi) Those which are libelous or defamatory to the good name and reputation of any person, whether living or dead; and

vii) Those which may constitute contempt of court or of any quasi-judicial tribunal, or pertain to matter which are sub-judice in nature.

h) To cause the prosecution, on behalf of the People of the Philippines, of violators of this Act, of anti-trust, obscenity, censorship and other laws pertinent to the movie and television industry;

Just now, I tried looking up the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas Broadcast Standards and here are some of the relevant provisions.

Sec.1. Contests and promotions shall be conducted with fairness and shall comply with all pertinent government laws, rules and regulations and the provisions of this Code. Contests and promotions shall not unduly exploit the audience or participants.(S)

Sec. 2. All contest details including rules, eligibility requirements, opening and termination dates shall be completely and clearly announced at least three (3) days before the contest. The winners' names shall be announced and the prizes awarded as soon as possible after the contest. (S)

Sec. 3. Public or audience participation programs shall not ridicule, diminish or demean the dignity of an individual participating in such programs. (G)

Sec. 4. Performers in programs shall always observe decency and proper decorum. (S)

Sec.1 . Traditional Filipino family values such as family unity, mutual respect, trust, helpfulness, and affection shall be upheld. ( A)

Sec.2. The mores, culture, traditions, and characteristics of people must be respected. Maliciously ridiculing, denigrating or disparaging culture, customs and traditions are prohibited.( G )

Sec. 1. Vulgar, obscene, or indecent language is prohibited.(G)
Sec. 2. Language tending to incite violence, sedition or rebellion is prohibited. (G)
Sec. 3. Name-calling and personal insults are prohibited.(G)
Article 28. ON-AIR DECORUM

Sec.1. Persons who appear in entertainment and varietyprograms (such as hosts, emcees, talents, guests, participants, and audiences), especially in live shows, shall be decently attired and behave in a way that is considered appropriate in public based on the standards of the community where the programs are aired. ( S )
Sec.2. Persons who appear in live programs, variety shows, game shows and other similar programs shall not be embarrassed, insulted, ridiculed, harassed or humiliated in whatever manner. (G)
Sec. 3. Camera and other production techniques should not be used to create indecent and inappropriate images. (G)
Violation of Article 28 Section 1 of the KBP standards code is described as a Serious Offense and the following penalties are prescribed.

Friday, August 07, 2009

OUST Willie Revillame petition: How many signatures will it take?

Wowowee has millions and millions of fans all over the world and the question now is whether a petition to oust Willie Revillame will be enough to get ABS-CBN to either reprimand or fire the show's host.

So far, the online petition put up by written by Roel C. Saguisag demanding the ouster of Wowowee host Willie Revillame has gathered 11,462 total signatures.

Doing some rough math, I'd say the numbers are going in Willie's favor.

Better Philippines will probably crack my nuts for crowing about this, but this blog was one of many blogs shown on tonight's early evening newscast of ABS-CBN. The reason why I mention this is because I think the blogosphere is a significant factor in getting even media giants like ABS-CBN to listen to a small number of its viewers who do not like what they see on their channel.

You see, if I were to write ABS-CBN and complain about one of their shows, the letter may be just read once and filed away -- in a trash can. But blog entries or blog posts are seen, not only by Filipino internet users, but by almost everybody with an internet connection around the world. Moreover, decision makers are most likely to make decisions not just based on what they read or watch in the news, but also on information presented in blogs -- because, after all, some blogs really do put out honest opinions that may be helpful to others.

I have to confess, I only watch the news programs of ABS-CBN. It's actually my kid's yaya and our cook-cum-cleaning lady that keeps ABS-CBN in business.

I only get to watch Wowowee when I do my writing assignments at home and I usually just tune out the racket that goes on in the show. When I do glimpse at the TV set while Wowowee is on, I usually catch Willie Revillame egging on contestants while his dancers rhytmically thrust their hips to the beat of whatever song is playing.

I can't say that I don't enjoy watching these women make overtly sexual movements on air. I went through a time (when I was younger and unmarried) when I'd spent half my month's salary just to watch such shows late at night over several rounds of beer. I am wired to respond to such visual cues and it really takes some effort to wean my eyes away such sights.

But I do -- somehow -- find the strength to turn my eyes away from the TV set and get back to writing whatever I was writing, if I can remember where my last train of thought was heading.

Right now, I am not too worried that my son will be affected by the sight of women gyrating their hips. Perhaps the sight of women shaking their boobies might get his attention, but that may be just because he wants milk. But perhaps, when he is old enough to make sense of things, I don't want him to get the idea that ALL women are supposed to behave the way they do on Willie Revillame's show.

Going back to my blog.

What really inspires me to write is the number of reactions I elicit from my readers. And the blog entries on Wowowee and Willie Revillame have either piqued the interests of a number of people so much that they can't help but leave their comment.

So far, a lot of people have commented on this blog. There are those who say that Willie was right in asking his station's traffic controller to stop showing live coverage video of Cory Aquino's funeral as a video insert on his how.

To be fair, Willie did ask the traffic controllers with polite words to stop airing the video of Cory Aquino's funeral. But, of course, the tone of his voice suggested that he was obviously upset or angry or annoyed.

I am of the opinion that Willie should have done so while his show was on commercial break. What Willie did, however, was to berate (however politely) his station's traffic controller on air, for everyone to see.

What Willie didn't realize was that as he was berating his station's traffic controller, people were seeing and hearing his tantrum inside the Manila Cathedral where the ABS-CBN's live coverage of the Cory Aquino funeral procession from Greenhills to Intramuros was being shown on a widescreen.

You can just imagine the number of relatives and supporters of Cory Aquino were offended by Willie's tactless and uncouth behaviour on air. You can just imagine how much it insulted an already grieving mass of people inside Manila Cathedral.

I am old enough to know that there was a time when proper ettiquette was required of TV anchors or TV hosts. I also remember a time when noon time TV was a good time to show people with real talent for singing, dancing, or whatever else. There was even a time when the contests included quizzes where people could really show how much they knew about many things, these highlighted the mental acuity (smartness) of our people.

I don't know if they still teach it in college, but I was told by a college professor that when one is hosting a TV show, you must consider that you are bringing yourself into their homes. So, like a good guest in the homes of millions of people, you should show exemplary behaviour.

I don't know exactly when it became acceptable for most Filipinos to eat their lunch in their homes or their offices with their TV sets on and tuned into a show that basically shows the following:
  1. Women gyrating their pelvises and making overt sexual gestures masked as a dance number of sorts.
  2. Old men and women being asked to gyrate their hips or act in a foolish manner.
  3. People being made to tell their sob stories to a room full of strangers in the hopes of being given a chance to win money.
  4. People being made to cavort and virtually make fools of themselves just to get a chance of winning money.
  5. People being given money for nothing.
  6. People being ASKED money for nothing.
Does this show Filipinos as being dignified? Worthy of respect?

If you are wondering if this and other shows similar to Willie Revillame's shows and the many other things other Filipinos did has any effect on our image around the world, just remember the following.
I don't believe in censorship, but I do believe that we ought to conform to some standard of decency... And if you have to ask me what that is, then all may already be lost.

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