Posts Tagged ‘P-Noy

13
Sep
10

Hail to Executive Order Number 7

Finally, on September 8, P-Noy put a temporary halt to what have been the simplest form of social injustice and typical display of the absence of integrity on the part of GOCC and GFI officials who have, for many years, enriched themselves with fat bonuses and excessive perks. Millions of government funds are spent each year to pay these shameless conscienseless officials whose primary qualification to get the job is to be an ally of the President – the appointing authority. Of course at the expense of the Filipino people, who else? While an ordinary government employee, who goes to work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, gets an average pay of say PHP 150,000 per year, these officials, who only attend board meetings twice a month, get as much as PHP 6 million a year. Isn’t it shameful? This is on top of having to belong to a country where 4 million Filipinos barely eat 3 times a day and 3,000 others go out of the country everyday due to poverty.

All in all, more than a hundred GOCC’s were found to be enjoying these fat bonuses including 14 losing government corporations. All it takes, is a board resolution granting themselves such bonuses and whola! It’s in the pocket. Worse, in the case of SSS, their own board members are sent to represent SSS to other boards where SSS have an investment like the Union Bank, in no time, they found themselves swimming in cash from the perks and other hefty compensations including profit sharing and other benefits.

President Benigno S.C. Aquino, III

No matter how these officials try to justify these pays using different excuses and alibis, no amount of explanation will elucidate the act. It is clearly a manifestation of abuse of power, selfishness and corrupt practice. This should be prohibited and if possible brought to court to make these officials answerable for their deeds.

This just got to stop, the Filipino people can no longer stand to tolerate such abuses, not now, not later, not ever again. Despite, the president’s shortcomings on the recent hostage crisis, which I truly believe to have affected our trust ratings on him, including mine, Im still glad we have one Noynoy Aquino, leading us and doing this. I still trust he will continue to do what is right and what is just for every Filipino.

Malacanan Palace by the Pasig River

The suspension until December 31, 2010, per Executive Order #7, of the granting of allowances, bonuses, incentives, and other perks to members of the board of directors/trustees of GOCCs and GFIs, except for reasonable per diems, pending the issuance of new policies and guidelines on the compensation of these board members is a good start. Their benefits need to be regulated accordingly. While it is true that they protect billions worth of assets of these GOCC’s, the many millions they ask these corporations to pay them is quite too much, exorbitant and way overboard. And eventually resulted into a selfish act of corruption in its own way- mindless of the general welfare. A lot of sweeping needs to be done. Before these parasites take over our coffers.

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28
Aug
10

One incident, many results

Police and SWAT members assault a tourist bus to rescue hostages at Manila's Rizal Park Monday Aug.23, 2010 in Manila

The neverending debates go on and on over the tragic incident of the Manila Bus Hostage Crisis that happend last August 23. After dismissed Chief Inspector Captain Rolando Mendoza started it all, 8 foreign nationals were dead. The entire Filipino nation is put in an unprecedented situation of shame, disgracefulness, grief, blames, and fear of losing economic promise. There is suddenly a great threat for tourism, export and service industry and investment oppurtunities with China and Hong Kong. In only one day, many things have changed.

Let’s start with our sentiments toward the 26 victims who, while touring our beautiful country, suddenly found themselves as hostages. When one dismissed policeman wanted his position back, held them, using his M16 rifle and a pistol. 8 innocent people causelessly lost their lives, while most of the rest were seriuosly injured. Captain Mendoza himself died of a sniper’s bullet. This is very unfortunate and horrific incident for our country and people. The stains left will forever stay in the minds of many.

A horrified victim being dragged by Hostage Taker Capt. Rolando Mendoza inside the bus

My heartfelt condolences to the victims.

The outrage of Hong Kong People is understandable. And we honor and respect their feelings. While we are humbling ourselves before our chinese brethren, we ask them to find in their hearts to understand us, for we too are in pain and saddend by this unfortunate event.

But what went wrong? There are so many questions that need to be answered but there is no single absolute rightful answer to all the questions. There are so many dimensions that need to be considered. The President of the Philippines is facing what is said to be the government’s failure on its first major crisis, from having been unsuccessfully reached by phone,  to the conflicting stories of his communications group, to smiling, to allegedly having weak control over police and security matters, to not intervening during the operation, to his Tourism Secretary’s non immediate action to help the victims, to his DILG Secretary’s lack of leadership to the PNP and the Manila City Government. Also, the camp of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is grabbing the oppurtunity to slash back at the Aquino Administration, not recognizing the fact that the new administration had only been in office for 55 days and 9 years before that, they were the ones responsible for preparing the police force for this kind of crisis.

President Benigno S.C. Aquino, III

For the part of the PNP, there was an admission of failed leadership of the crisis committee under Supt. Magtibay, who with 4 others were relieved a day after, and whose successor had been relieved after a day’s appointment. The negotiators also aired out admission of failure. Evidently, the PNP was not prepared to counteract such serious threats to citizen security. From lack of confident judgement, to lack of necessary equipment, to lack of sufficient combat operation tactics, to lack of full control over media, by standers, the hostage taker and the situation as a whole. All of these, unfolded before the international sight.

I still strongly believe, that indeed, the presence of the brother of Mendoza, Gregorio, did not help and infact just worsened the situation. Gregorio, who is also a policeman himself, added insult to injury to the already struggling image of the Philippine Police force. His childish actuations during his arrest did not help at all. Not knowing his real intentions for coming up armed and telling his brother not to give in until he gets back his pistol, was a very unnecessary call. It was just right that he was removed from the scene. Unfortunately, the incident was seen by his brother which resulted to his aggravation. This is were the blame for the media comes in. But so far no media have admitted fault for their free blow by blow footage of the whole saga.

Captain Rolando Mendoza

The draping of the Philippine flag on Mendoza’s coffin was a “major major insult”, not only to the victims but to the dignity of the country as well. Fortunately, they took away the flag after the Chinese embassy reacted. It said, only those who died with heroism, decency and integrity deserve the flag but not those who took advantage of innocent souls and used them to pursue their own personal grievances, like Mendoza. Allegedly, the Mayor of that town in Batangas, sent the flag to be displayed at the casket.

Today, the Chinese government will not accept our RP delegation to China, until we are able to submit a full investigation report of the whole incident. 

Police Force

Instead of blaming and pin pointing at each other, this whole situation suggests that a whole lot of study and improvements need to be done. Crisis awareness should not be taken for granted, along with others. The Philippne National Police needs to be resystematized and fully equipped and prepared for all threats of disastrous crisis.

Lastly, we need a genuine brave leadership in our government.

23
Aug
10

Bus Hostage Crisis:Why Rolando Mendoza had to resort to this?

It is always easy to say that former Chief Inspector Mendoza had lost his sanity when he resorted into a Bus Hostage Saga yesterday. Losing his own life and 8 others in a bloody shootout is indeed horrible. Surely, this incident will create a new picture of the Philippines in the international view.  It is very unfortunate that this had to happen when our country is in the verge of reaching out for the best that is said to yet to come. When a new hope is brightly shinning in every Filipino faces. When the government is in the course of transforming itself into what P-noy says, “Tayo na sa tuwid na daan tungo sa kaunlaran”. Yet, this incident poses a great challenge not just for the government of the Philippines, but for every Filipino.

August 23, 2010, the crisis began when former Police Senior Inspector, a 55 year old Rolando Mendoza, seized a tourist bus on its stop at Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Manila, hijacking 26 of its passengers mostly Chinese nationals from Hong Kong. In the course of the drama at the famous Quirino grandstand, Mendoza released nine hostages, leaving behind at least 16 others. He later succumbed to a sniper’s bullet in his temporal lobe. His demands? Give him back the job.

Former Police Inspector Rolando Mendoza inside his hijacked bus

I feel terribly sorry, for the innocent victims. I cannot imagine myself being inside of that bus, in this very horrifying situation with an uncertain result where death is very vividly possible any moment. My heart goes to those who perished from this insensible death. This is indeed a very sad moment for the Philippines. This is very consequential in as much as international relations, investments, security and tourism factors are concerned.

According to Mendoza’s brother, another policeman Gregorio, his brother Rolando is very disappointed about his fate in his career after he was unjustly removed from service last January. Putting to waste all his 31 years of service and losing all his retirment benefits. Mendoza, a well decorated recipient of 17 awards and commendations whose house, according to son Police Officer Bismark, is full of laminated plaques, claimed he was not accorded due process.

One of the victims being transported by the Medics

In 2008, an administrative case was brought against Mendoza after he and 4 other policemen allegedly extorted PHP 20,000.00 from Christian Kalaw, a chef at Mandarin Hotel, who was also said to have been forced to swallow a sachet of “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride).

The police officers involved, reportedly cited Kalaw for illegal parking, driving without a license and use of illegal drugs on April 9, 2008, in Manila.

The brother said, Mendoza even contemplated on filing an impeachment proceedings against Ombudsman Merciditas Guttierez for failing to serve him justice. Mendoza, in a phone interview with ABS CBN’s Jorge Carino hours before he was gunned down, said he wrote an appeal to Guttierez three times but never got a response, not even a copy of the Ombudsman’s final decision of his case. In desperation, Mendoza said his life is senseless.

The dead body of Rolando Mendoza half hanging on the doors of the bus

Again, everything goes back to the system where we are all in right now. Whoever or whatever inflicted it on us, be it the government, judiciary, legislative, poverty or corruption, I hope this lesson is well learned and never forgotten.

09
Aug
10

Hell No to Pagcor Privatization

Selling Pagcor is definitely the biggest mistake this Administration could possibly commit. Why sell the hen that lays the golden eggs? Pagcor, according to its website is the second biggest revenue contributor. For 2009 alone, it recorded a total annual income of PHP29.78 Billion, which is almost 1% higher than its 2008’s PHP 29.61 Billion, inspite of the financial crisis accross the globe, during that period. The yearly increase in its revenue signals that Pagcor is a valuable asset that Philippines should keep. Selling it will device the future of the country, economically. What is the use of having PHP450B now, and lost PHP30B or more of annual income forever. Its like giving yourself a 15 year life term before you die.

After President Aquino announced in his first State of the Nation Address, his strategy of public-private partnerships and selling or leasing government assets to raise money for the government grappling with a deficit likely to hit P350 billion this year, many rich getting richer business personas in the country have started rolling their eyes on which one  from among the country’s potential businesses will they venture into.

President Benigno S.C. Aquino, III

Last month, Mr. Aquino announced that he was open to privatizing Pagcor after assessing its assets and existing contracts. Yesterday, Petron Chairman and San Miguel Corporation vice chair Ramon S. Ang, who said he’s acting on his own, proposed the privatization of Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation and promised to transform the country into a tiger economy + raise as much as $10 billion for the Philippines. Ang said, he himself plans to make a bid to acquire Pagcor, along with his Malaysian friends.

Im afraid, what the future of this country will become if we allow private business groups to handle our 33-year-old state-run gaming corporation? At present, Pagcor has 13 casinos in 10 major cities in the country with 28 satellite casinos, 24 VIP Clubs and four Pagcor Arcades.

While there are still occassional concerns from some sectors on the issue of gambling as immoral and causing people’s lives miserable as it erodes the moral fiber of our society, the privatization will surely pave the way towards a more diversed and systematic way of placing bets which could deal a whole cost of fortunes for the bettor.

Business Tycoon Ramon S. Ang

I believe more than the financial benefits that we can get from the sale of Pagcor, this government has to stand firm in its commitment to uphold its moral obligation to provide responsible gaming among Filipinos in as much as gaming is concerned. This can only be obtained by a state-run Pagcor and nothing else.

What pagcor needs to do now, is to resystemize its operation and eradicate all sorts of vulnerability to abuse and corruption, and now is the perfect time to do it. It should carefully streamline the outflows of funds. I dont think, the granting of financial and fuel subsidies amounting to millions of pesos to Manila police and barangay officials are necessary for pagcor. Also, paying for the water and electric bills of some barangay halls and health centers in Manila and other places hosting its gaming facilities. Too, the streetlights along the controversial Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard in Pasay City that the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority should shoulder. Last month, there was an attempt by a former Pagcor employee to cash a check worth over P21 million reportedly meant to pay for the hamburgers of policemen deployed in mass actions in Metro Manila.Last week, reports said, nearly 49 metric tons of rice donated to Pagcor were used for the candidacies of the sons of its former chair, Efraim Genuino who in turn denied the allegations saying it was donated to him personally by a Japanese friend who happens to be an investor in the proposed Pagcor Entertainment City. Pagcor paid for the duties and shipping costs of these rice. These are the things that pagcor should look into. It should introduce new reforms in order to save money, thus increase revenue.

In closing, selling Pagcor is no less than tantamount to placing the country’s economic future before vultures. And these vultures are just agents of Malaysian Tigers, waiting to attack.

30
Jul
10

Remembering Cory

President Corazon C. Aquino

18 years after stepping down as the 11th President of the Philippines, Cory Aquino is mostly remembered by the millions of first time voters as the President of the Philippines, Icon of Democracy and symbol of EDSA Revolution. But there is more than that to remember. Cory Aquino’s true essence, is indeed the person that she was. Cory is defined by her good heart. Accustomed to a life of wealth, privelege and power, Cory chose to live simple and unassuming. A trait most of those born under similar circumstances would not take. She is truly legendary. Very rare, and many believed to be handpicked by God, to lead and serve her country.
Patriotic and principled, a soft spoken, self declared housewife, rose to power as the country’s first woman president, following victory in a snap election in 1986, which toppled the dictatorship of then President Marcos. However, she ascended to the presidency perse, by virtue of the direct action by the people through EDSA Revolution, and thereby restored democracy. She eventually survived 7 coup attempts.
If she opted, since she was installed by people power revolution, she could have run for a second term in 1992. Because by technical reasons, she was not bound by the prohibition for reelection contained in the 1987 Constitution. While her running would not have violated the rule of law, she knew that it will be against the principle of democracy that she fought for, and the spirit of the essence of the document she had asked the people to ratify.

The casket bearing the remains of President cory is guarded by men of the AFP

Indeed, President Cory will be remembered best among presidents, not because of her economic wizardry, or legal mastery, or political brilliance, but because of the “beautiful person” that she was. She set an example to every Filipino, by the way she lived and survived every challenged. From giving up her wealth for Ninoy’s campaigns, to being a prisoner’s wife with 5 growing kids in their formative years, to getting exiled in Boston, to becoming the president and until the time she got sick, remained active to the cause of defending democracy and all threats against it. I see no time, when she gave herself a break and dedicated something for her own personal joy. If painting is what it was, then it took place after she was through with her public life. after she had given her best to serve the Filipino people.

Filipinos crowd a street to pay their last respects to the late Philippines President Corazon Aquino during her funeral march in Aug. 5, 2009

Following her death, the people suddenly realized the loss of an important icon and inspiration to the nation. A mother to every Filipino, Cory was honored by a grieving nation. Despite the absence of a state funeral, the Filipino people bestowed on her a salutation she was worthy of. Once more the power of yellow was all over. Her 5 children were joined by millions in prayers and mourning. On the other hand, her demise brought the spirit to life. The grieving nation turned itself into a nation ready to face the future. A nation inspired by a beloved icon of democracy. Soon later, the call for her son to run for presidency became inevitible.

Today, we have Cory’s only son Noy-noy as our President. A son of a family, who have sacrificed so much for this country, for the sake of the Filipino people. He is our hope, the hope that shines in everyone of us. The time has come for everyone to unite and give their best to rebuild this nation.

One of the last few pictures of Pres. Cory

Cory’s life and death is like a seed, dropped in the ground. It must now be planted and nurtured along with what she has stood for, and left behind.

Salamat Cory.




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