2009 Postscripts

December 2009

CLARK FIELD: After CNN picked as its Hero of the Year our Efren Penaflorida, whose group taught street children from pushcart mini-libraries, everybody began entertaining ideas of switching to “kariton” mode. [ Read More ]

PHONE MILEAGE: You just received a cellphone for Christmas or you gifted yourself with the latest model — and you want to make sure it is really new? [ Read More ]

‘TEKA MUNA’: From my corner, I see the escalating blood test issue between our Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. as a pretty, but pardonable, promotional ploy for their big-bucks showdown in Las Vegas on March 13. [ Read More ]

SANTO NINO: A warm Happy Christmas! to all of you dropping in on this page. Postscript reaches out to you in fraternal spirit, whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever your views or political color may be. [ Read More ]

ULAT NG BAYAN: Sen. Noynoy Aquino (Liberal) continues to enjoy a big lead among presidential candidates with less than five months before the May 2010 national elections, according to the latest Pulse Asia survey. [ Read More ]

SHIFTING BLAME: It was silly of Akbayan Representatives Risa Hontiveros and Walden Bello to file charges against four Cabinet members who they said recommended the proclamation of martial law in certain areas of Maguindanao. [ Read More ]

DOUBLE TAXATION: Imagine a number of gasoline pumps running dry at a time when people are scurrying to meet Christmas with hope and cheer.  [ Read More ]

HUMAN RIGHTS: Have officials of the Commission on Human Rights and their foreign guests gone on vacation after that tiring trip to Maguindanao to register their concern for the massacre victims in Ampatuan country?  [ Read More ]

SELF-DEFENSE: Maybe I do not hate President Arroyo enough, so I do not see anything seriously wrong with her proclaiming martial law in sections of Maguindanao wracked by a rebellion led by some warlords.  [ Read More ]

ENDANGERED SPECIES: These may just be mere coincidences, but three high-profile governors belonging to the Liberal Party appear likely to lose their posts to their protesting rivals from the administration Lakas-Kampi-CMD coalition.  [ Read More ]

REVIEW SET: The Congress in joint session is set to review today the legal and factual basis of Proclamation No. 1959 issued by President Gloria Arroyo last Dec. 4 “proclaiming a state of martial law and suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the province of Maguindanao, except for certain areas.”  [ Read More ]

EXPLOSIVE BREW: The lawlessness in Maguindanao that could spill over its borders springs from the explosive brew of political dynasties and warlordism that has been tolerated despite the Constitution’s decade-old command to control it.  [ Read More ]

CHANGE NA!: Filipinos desperately looking for authentic agents of change cannot ignore the bursting upon the scene of the TRANSFORMERS.  [ Read More ]

TULOY NA: President Gloria Arroyo confirmed yesterday her plan — reported last Sunday in Postscript — to run for the congressional seat in the second district of Pampanga now held by her son Juan Miguel (Mikey).  [ Read More ]

November 2009

CLARK FIELD – Barring any last-minute change of mind, President Gloria Arroyo is going to run for the congressional seat of the second district of Pampanga now held by her son Juan Miguel (Mikey). [ Read More ]

FAMOUS FURY: What we have in Maguindanao is an alarming case of “Failure of Government.”

Last Monday in Ampatuan town in that province, around 100 armed men waylaid a group on its way to an election office to file required paperwork, herded them to a pre-dug burial site, and executed most of them after satanic torture. [ Read More ]

‘KARITON KLASS’: A week after boxer Manny Pacquiao won universal acclaim by punching his way to his seventh straight world title, another Filipino — Efren Peñaflorida — gained international recognition for his unique project educating poor street children. [ Read More ]

CLARK FIELD: We add our voice to the entreaty of many concerned kababayan for our Pambansang Kamao Manny Pacquiao to hang his gloves now and retire as undefeated world multi-champion. [ Read More ]

WE’RE HELPLESS?: When we small, nervous owners of shares in publicly listed corporations see wanton dissipation of the assets of the firms that we co-own, what do we do? [ Read More ]

INFO WAVE: Perception is the name of the game in the campaign leading to the May 2010 national elections. And the vehicle on which perceived images are delivered is mass media, particularly television. [ Read More ]

GAME NA: Is this all — a Gibo-Edu tandem — that the administration can offer to a nation searching desperately for a political Moses to lead them out of the desert of corruption and inept governance? [ Read More ]

SUE THEM ALL: The Senate Blue Ribbon committee did right in recommending the filing of charges against First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo and other big shots, including the alleged whistle blowers, involved in the $329-million broadband network contract with China’s ZTE Corp. [ Read More ]

CLARK FIELD: The government should stop that crap of threatening to hunt down Abu Sayyaf kidnappers who beheaded a schoolteacher in Sulu after his family failed to raise the P1-million ransom demanded for his release. [ Read More ]

UNRELIABLE LIST: The biggest challenge to holding honest national elections in 2010 is not in the counting and transmission of the results, as critics of these automated stages warn, but the use of the still corrupted registry of some 46 million voters. [ Read More ]

FOLLOWUP: Our Postscript last Tuesday (“Pinoys abroad treated to distorted TV news”) elicited spirited discussion among readers, so I decided to pursue the subject with this borrowed piece on Filipinos being rated in a survey as the world’s 14th happiest people. [ Read More ]

NEGATIVE FARE: Many Balikbayan friends and relatives coming home from the United States for All Saints Day surprise us with questions that seldom occur to us natives who are too close to the trees to see the forest. [ Read More ]

SHACKLED: When Sen. Chiz Escudero explained last Wednesday his leaving the Nationalist People’s Coalition, his political home of 11 years, he kept saying he did not want to be shackled to the party. [ Read More ]

October 2009

WHERE IS IT?: As the country reels from an emergency compounded by the manipulation of fuel prices, we ask what ever happened to the P300 million that was supposed to help small retailers entering the deregulated oil industry. [ Read More ]

WEDDING BELLS: We join friends in wishing only the best for Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II and TV journalist Korina Sanchez, who will exchange marriage vows at 3 p.m. today at the Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City. [ Read More ]

AWKWARD: Public Works Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane’s resigning to seek the presidency on his own makes it awkward for other Cabinet members who are planning to run for office to hold on to their positions of power and influence while campaigning. [ Read More ]

EQUILIBRIUM: The climate change and geologic shifting we are witnessing around us are mere manifestations of Nature moving to restore the balance that has been disturbed. [ Read More ]

SURVEILLANCE: Some media friends and I got to talking last week about the high-tech RFID (radio frequency identification) tags that must be installed on motor vehicles upon registration starting January 2010. [ Read More ]

OVERLAPPING SIGNS: Leptospirosis is the subject of one of those enduring urban legends, unsubstantiated tales spread via email recklessly forwarded in the Internet. [ Read More ]

MANAGER NEEDED: Since we started saying in this space that what this country needs in this time of despair and devastation is a Good Manager, we have been waiting for this somebody to appear in our midst and start the arduous task of reconstruction. [ Read More ]

ATTITUDE: Aside from housing and feeding displaced squatters, the government may have to also educate them. Wherever they happen to be — in the province, urban slums or evacuation centers – some characters seem to carry their anti-social attitudes. [ Read More ]

BLAMING GOD: If you happened to park under a coconut tree by the beach while unloading some picnic gear and a falling coconut smashed your windshield, was that an act of God? [ Read More ]

CLEAN SLATE: In a negative way, storm Ondoy actually prepared the ground for Metro Manila to rise again with less urban blight, minus the squatter colonies that have made a joke of our Torrens title system and concepts of public order and sanitation. [ Read More ]

HIDDEN SAVINGS: Instead of the P10-billion supplemental calamity budget that the Congress wants to pass, President Gloria Arroyo should just use the P140 billion in savings accumulated from programs that were phased down in 2008. [ Read More ]

HELP WANTED: Seeing the continuing confusion in the rescue, relief and rehabilitation after the “Onyong” deluge, we can only conclude that what we urgently need is a Good Manager, not politicians eyeing public approval, on top of the gigantic effort. [ Read More ]

KAWAWA NAMAN: All you flood victims contemplating our wretched lives, read this report on the curtailed lifestyle of Tim Garcia, 25-year-old son of Maj. Gen. Carlos F. Garcia who is facing charges arising from his alleged amassing of illegal wealth. [ Read More ]

September 2009

ODD ACRONYM: Listening to officials of PAGASA — the weather bureau — explain the extremely heavy rains dumped by tropical storm “Ondoy” on Metro Manila and nearby provinces last Saturday, we think the agency should change its name and transfer its forecasters. [ Read More ]

RAISE YOUR HANDS: Who are afraid of the RFID (radio frequency identification) stickers that the Land Transportation Office will mount soon on motor vehicles’ windshields upon registration? [ Read More ]

RFID SYSTEM: High-tech is finally catching up on the motorized monsters crawling in the asphalt jungle. And that’s good.

The Land Transportation Office will soon launch what DOTC Asst. Secretary Art Lomibao, LTO chief, called the “radio frequency ID (identification)” mode of identifying and tracking down motor vehicles and their owners. [ Read More ]

AVARICE: The way the association of private hospitals has been insisting on raising their already exorbitant fees, one shudders at the thought that it seems even the government cannot stop the gouging of the sick and the dying. [ Read More ]

CHEATING: It is best that the possibility of automated cheating and of failure of elections in May 2010 is discussed this early, so the weaknesses of the computerized system are exposed and corrected. [ Read More ]

BANKRUPT?: It is good that Health Secretary Francisco Duque rapped private hospitals increasing fees to recoup losses from widely used essential medicines whose prices were cut in half under the government’s drug price regulation scheme starting Sept. 15. [ Read More ]

NIGHTMARE: Those having nightmares about possible automated cheating and failure of election in May 2010 may want to pore over our technical information on the matter. [ Read More ]

PASS-ON TAX: There is no air-tight assurance that the proposed five-centavo tax on cell phone text messages will not be passed on by telecommunications companies to the users, even if the law will order the telcos to absorb the 45.5-percent additional imposition. [ Read More ]

ANTICLIMACTIC: After a dramatic pause, Sen. Noynoy Aquino emerged from retreat in a Zamboanga monastery to announce what everybody expected — that, yes, he is going to run for president under the Liberal Party. [ Read More ]

Q&A: My nephew who goes to a Catholic school was on a holiday mood yesterday. But before he skipped to the mall with his cousins, he peppered me with questions. [ Read More ]

SAVING FACE: Some of the pretenders to the presidency who actually never had a chance saw a face-saving excuse to quit the race by aping the withdrawal of Sen. Mar Roxas in favor of Sen. Noynoy Aquino. [ Read More ]

LOVE YOU…: For starters today, here is an old item from the Internet worth retelling:

While a man was polishing his new car one weekend, his five-year-old son picked up a stone and scratched some lines on the side of the vehicle. [ Read More ]

PORT UPGRADE: The modernization of the decrepit North Harbor in Manila, now a mere shadow of the crown jewel of the transport industry that it used to be, is long overdue. [ Read More ]

August 2009

CONSUELOPress Secretary Cerge Remonde said Malacanang would listen to all arguments for and against the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement, which is being reexamined amid reports that Americans see military action in Mindanao. [ Read More ]

WHAT IF?: Now suppose deep into the presidential campaign next year the Supreme Court disqualified former President Erap Estrada for being ineligible to run for reelection, what happens? [ Read More ]

SURE BET: The wise strategist should assume at this point that Erap Estrada is sure to run in the May 2010 elections and that only the Supreme Court or Divine Providence stands in the way of his victorious comeback. [ Read More ]

Our Father in Heaven, has promised:

If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land.” (2Chronicles 7:14) [ Read More ]

TRANSPARENCY: After more than eight years in power, President Gloria Arroyo should acknowledge the fact that she has only nine months left till her successor is sworn in at noon of June 30, 2010. [ Read More ]

PALACE PET: The Moro Islamic Liberation Front said it ambushed government troops, killing 23 soldiers in the carnage, because they intruded into MILF territory as they rushed to reinforce their comrades fighting Abu Sayyaf bandits on Basilan. [ Read More ]

AT WHAT PRICE?: President Gloria Arroyo wanted very badly to report in her valedictory State of the Nation Address last July 27 a break in the Muslim rebellion in Mindanao, so the Moro Islamic Liberation Front humored her and agreed to talk. [ Read More ]

WARNING: To northbound motorists on the North Luzon Expressway — Do not exit at Sta. Ines in Mabalacat. You will just get caught in horrendous traffic. Actually it is not traffic (which implies movement), but standing still while valuable time ticks by. [ Read More ]

MAC IS OUT: Pity Pampanga Gov. Eddie Panlilio, who seems to have lost his capacity to say no to people who have wormed their way deep into his system. [ Read More ]

LEST WE FORGET: Ang talagang nakakaiyak sa Cory Aquino phenomenon is that after all the outpouring of love and grief, we start to forget as we drift away from the magical moment. After a time, parang walang nangyari. [ Read More ]

FEEDBACK: Our beloved Cory Aquino has been laid to rest.

But not a few political issues magnified by Malacanang’s hesitant (read as calculating) handling of the funeral of a former President and the indelicate reactions of some members of the bereaved Aquino family. [ Read More ]

STATE HONORS: It is really none of my business, but the question over state honors for the late Cory Aquino and Gloria Arroyo’s plan pay her respect at the wake have become public issues open to fair comment. [ Read More ]

SHE’S OURS, TOO: The children of Cory Aquino will have to learn to live with the fact that they now have to share their mom with the rest of us Filipinos – also with the rest of the world where freedom and selflessness are valued. [ Read More ]

July 2009

CEASEFIRE MUNA: Without missing a step in her hectic 24/7 schedule, President Gloria Arroyo flew yesterday on another working visit to the United States, this time on invitation of US President Barack Obama. [ Read More ]

VARYING VIEWS: The true state of the nation may not be all in the address yesterday of President Gloria Arroyo before the Congress. But neither is it in the critical remarks of the opposition and the usual hecklers. [ Read More ]

HULING HIRITOne thing we would be watching for in the State of the Nation Address tomorrow of President Gloria Arroyo is the Laiban dam project among the major infrastructure she has lined up in the remaining 10 months of her term. [ Read More ]

THE RESURRECTION: “It’s gone with the wind,” Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile told PhilSTAR editors last Monday. “It” referred to the relentless attempt to convene congressmen as a Constituent Assembly (Con-ass) to propose Charter changes (Cha-cha). [ Read More ]

GLOBOCOP: The scheduled US visit of President Gloria Arroyo in the last week of July, possibly with her husband, has stirred speculations on what US President Barack Obama might take up with her aside from common concerns on security. [ Read More ]

RECOUNT: Instead of wasting precious time and resources counting again the disputed votes in the 2007 gubernatorial elections in Pampanga, why not a return bout between Gov. Eddie Panlilio and protesting loser Ms Lilia Pineda? [ Read More ]

THE PHILIPPINES faces another political crisis. It seems like EDSA People Power of 1986 never happened more than 23 years ago. Emergency rule or civil strife looms once again on the horizon. [ Read More ]

FALSE REPORT: The lean season for rice (July to September) has set in, and with it a heightened interest in the cereal and its retail price. [ Read More ]

LAIBAN LEAKS: Like water trickling out of an old pipe, details of a gigantic contract to be awarded without competitive bidding have started to leak from the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System in what looks like another unfolding scandal. [ Read More ]

BOMBING SPATE: The military needs a more credible script in explaining the spate of bombings in the South that have claimed about a dozen lives and alarmed both the natives and foreigners. [ Read More ]

CLARK FIELD: Last time, I was saying the obvious that in the ballyhooed David vs Gloriath showdown — meaning UP professor Randy David running against President Gloria Arroyo — Randy does not stand a chance. [ Read More ]

ANGELES CITY — The state of health of the President is of public concern. It is not a state secret, and should never be. The people are entitled to know fully her physical condition, and she is duty-bound to let them know. [ Read More ]

PURE FANTASY: No, President Gloria Arroyo will not run for a congressional seat in the second district of Pampanga in 2010. Talk of her planning to join Congress in anticipation of becoming Prime Minster in a parliamentary setup is pure fantasy. [ Read More ]

June 2009

NO TO COMPUTERS: Just as we are poised to plunge into full automation for the 2010 national elections, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany ruled last March 3 that the use of voting computers is unconstitutional (to them). [ Read More ]

FOOTLOOSE: If you think President Gloria Arroyo is travelling too often, look at her subordinates.

At the Presidential Commission on Good Government, for instance, it seems that when not dissipating assets that they are supposed to conserve, footloose officials are busy seeing the world before they are kicked out of office. [ Read More ]

PORKY PEN: It was bound to happen. With the Congress drowning in pork, it was inevitable that a swine-like Influenza (A[H1N1]) virus would hit the House of Representatives. [ Read More ]

RELAX A BIT: If President Gloria Arroyo wants to run for a congressional seat next year, let her. There is nothing illegal or immoral about that. Let the electorate decide her fate. [ Read More ]

COMING CLEAN: Former President Fidel V. Ramos is right, assuming he was quoted correctly, that President Gloria Arroyo must come clean and immediately tell the nation her political agenda, at least for the rest of her term. [ Read More ]

NOT OVER YET: After the battle royal for control of the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) resulted in what looked like a mutual admiration club of a triumvirate of business titans, the question lingers if indeed the war is over. [ Read More ]

FLU BREAKOUT!: The opening of classes yesterday that saw millions of students trooping back to school has exposed the high incidence of Influenza A(H1N1) cases in the countryside. [ Read More ]

CLARK FIELD: Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman sounded authoritative when he said last Friday that President Arroyo would run in 2010 for a congressional seat in Pampanga. [ Read More ]

SELF-CURE: The Department of Health reports that the number of Influenza A(H1N1) cases in the country has climbed to 77, the highest in Southeast Asia. [ Read More ]

WHO VOTED: Did your congressman vote for House Resolution 1109 calling a Constituent Assembly to propose amendments to the Constitution? Check the list below. [ Read More ]

NET WORTH: I asked Makati Mayor Jojo Binay in a forum yesterday his net worth and his prompt reply was P12 million. What was your net worth when you were appointed officer-in-charge by President Cory Aquino in 1986, I followed up, and he said P2 million. [ Read More ]

PULL THE PLUG: Our grapevine at the Presidential Commission on Good Government says that one commissioner got scarce recently for about a month, reportedly held by gambling financiers to whom he owed some P20 million. [ Read More ]

LEAD PACK: It is too early to credit the Korina Sanchez factor, but her prospective bridegroom Mar Roxas has just vaulted five percentage points from way behind to join the lead pack in the May 2010 presidential race. [ Read More ]

May 2009

CLARK FIELD — There is something worrisome about the grand presentation yesterday of a kind of communal title to balugas (aka aetas) over their ancestral lands in the hills north of here. [ Read More ]

FAILURE OF COMELEC: There is talk of a Failure of Election scenario amid fears that the Commission on Elections may be unable (1) to produce on time an incontestable winner in the bidding for hardware, software and services for full poll automation in 2010, or (2) to conduct a credible computerized national election. [ Read More ]

MOTIVES: The question of whether or not Sen. Manny Villar proposed a second P200 million for the 2008 budget of the C5 Road just to benefit himself is a speculative political question. [ Read More ]

(THIS transcript of a press interview with Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile on Sept. 15, 2008, can help clarify issues on the “double insertion” of P200 million for the C5 road in the 2008 budget. Enrile, now Senate president, was then chairman of the finance committee that worked on the budget, while Sen. Manuel Villar was the Senate President.) [ Read More ]

PUNY PITCH: Days ago, a gaggle of beautiful people were at Malacañang to witness the signing by President Gloria Arroyo of a law that, it was claimed, will unlock the treasure chest of Philippine tourism. [ Read More ]

WHAT PEERS?: It looks hypocritical for the entire Senate, with its present membership, to sit as a committee of alleged peers and try Sen. Manny Villar on the complaint of a fellow senator with an axe to grind. [ Read More ]

ANGELES CITY — It surprises many to learn that Bulacan, a bustling province adjacent to Manila, was once a part of Pampanga, its neighbor to the north. [ Read More ]

CHECHE CASE: The suit filed by a GSIS official against broadcast journalist Cheche Lazaro for airing parts of their telephone conversation on public school teachers’ welfare has serious implications on the state of press freedom in the country. [ Read More ]

CONSUELO: When President Gloria Arroyo flew to Cairo so as not to be around for Labor Day last May 1, Malacanang justified the trip by saying that Egypt would facilitate the Philippine admission as observer in the Organization of Islamic Conference. [ Read More ]

COMMITMENT: People are asking where they can get that “Ako Mismo” (I Myself) pendant/dog tag featured in the Smart Foundation ad splashed on TV screens after Manny Pacquiao beat the daylight out of Ricky Hatton last Sunday. They want to wear it, too. [ Read More ]

VIRULENT VIRUS: Boxing fans of Manny Pacquiao want the dirty politicians to leave their hero alone and not contaminate him with their virulent strain of political swine virus. [ Read More ]

EXEMPTIONS: The usual partisans, some of them close friends, will not like this.

Some of us watching from a distance are not comfortable seeing somebody who “blew the whistle” on a controversial government transaction being exempted from arrest and detention while facing criminal charges. [ Read More ]

April 2009

CONFUSION: That the April 21 decision of the Supreme Court on the Party-List system of congressional representation sowed confusion is an understatement. [ Read More ]

EQUALIZER: It is clear from the confusion that followed the Supreme Court decision allowing 32 more Party-List groups to send congressmen to the House of Representatives that the PL system needs revisiting. [ Read More ]

TRO & TOR: In this land of dime-a-dozen TROs and failed biddings, do not be surprised if after great exertion, the Commission on Elections would just end up with a frustrated attempt to automate the 2010 polls at a stiff bill of P11.3 billion. [ Read More ]

JUDGMENT DAY: We are inexorably moving toward the May 2010 judgment day, when the national elections will put to an acid test the maturity of our people and the integrity of our democratic institutions. [ Read More ]

CHA-CHA PLOY: The House of Representatives has opened formal discussion of a resolution to amend the Constitution to allow the acquisition by foreign corporations and associations of alienable public lands and private lands. [ Read More ]

CLARK ROW: Officials of the Clark Development Corp. are smarting from accusations of an investor that its board refuses to honor the lease agreement signed in July 2008 with the previous board for the development of an area near the Friendship Highway gate. [ Read More ]

I TOLD YOU SO:. Finally, the operators pushing Charter Change are telling us now what Postscript has been saying since last year — that there will not be any Cha-cha before 2010 and that elections will be held next year as ordained by the Constitution. [ Read More ]

TATAKBO SIYA: Don’t look now, but former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada might just be around in the 2010 presidential race longer than some elitist clique or moral force may want — if not as candidate himself, probably as a king-maker of sort. [ Read More ]

THE GOOD NEWS!: Christ is risen! This joyous message echoes around the world today, proclaiming the triumph of life and love over death and hate. [ Read More ]

SI JOCAP!: Rescuers found yesterday in Tinoc, Ifugao, the wreckage of the backup presidential helicopter that crashed Tuesday while flying in foul weather from Baguio to Lagawe to prepare for a visit there today (cancelled) of President Gloria Arroyo. [ Read More ]

CHILDISH SNUB: It is bad form for Pampanga Gov. Ed Panlilio to snub official functions in his province where the main guest or prime mover is President Gloria Arroyo. What is he trying to prove or say by keeping away? [ Read More ]

MACAU– One of the top drawers of this tourism-gambling mecca is the Venetian Macau, which recreates in faithful detail Venice, the storied city of canals and gondolas in northern Italy. [ Read More ]

MAKE-OR-BREAK: As I write this, the Sulu situation is still fluid. But the sight of a tearful Sen. Dick Gordon, who is also chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross, has conjured up a bizarre scene now playing in my mind. [ Read More ]

March 2009

ANGELES CITY: If Pampanga Gov. Eddie “Among Ed” Panlilio — a novice politician — does not watch out, he might just end up being shuffled out of the fast-moving picture in 2010.

Like the devil tempting Jesus in the desert, master manipulators seem to be succeeding in feeding the priest-turned-politician the grand illusion that he could be the next president of the Philippines. Mukha namang kumakagat si Among! (He’s biting!) [ Read More ]

BLACK EYE: Who in the Department of Public Works and Highways has been trying hard to give President Gloria Arroyo a black eye?

Work gangs have dug up scattered sections of EDSA with abandon, trapping thousands of motorists in horrendous traffic every day since last week. [ Read More ]

TAWA NAMAN!: The police seem to be losing their sense of humor, and that’s bad.

Spotting former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada making like a returning General MacArthur on a restored World War-II jeep in Cebu with a mockup .30 cal. machinegun, the cops screamed about filing gun-toting charges against the retired movie actor. [ Read More ]

CLARK FIELD — Maybe I haven’t been talking to the right people, but eight out of every 10 cabalen I have asked what they think of Gov. Eddie “Among Ed” Panlilio running for president respond with a big laugh. [ Read More ]

POINTLESS: Justice Lucas Bersamin of the Court of Appeals spent 1,100 words in last Friday’s issue replying to my 210-word passing comment in Postscript about an unnamed justice who is on the short list of nominees for a Supreme Court vacancy — and who I still believe should NOT be elevated to the High Court. [ Read More ]

QUESTIONS: Somebody just gave “rape” a bad name. And that has raised some questions in some people’s minds, viz:

Next time a Filipina claims to have been raped by a visiting foreign soldier, will anybody rally behind her? [ Read More ]

FRIENDLY WARNING: US President Barack Obama had to talk to President Gloria Arroyo and remind her of the value of the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement because the case of the US Marine convicted of raping a Filipina might get out of hand. [ Read More ]

ANGELES CITY — A proud province embraced last Friday one of its favorite sons in a homecoming that saw him — Manuel V. Pangilinan — being conferred a Doctor of Humanities degree, honoris causa, by the Holy Angel University here. [ Read More ]

CLARK FIELD — When asked what I think would happen to Legacy empire builder Celso de los Angeles, if he would be convicted of syndicated estafa, I invariably answer, “No, nothing of that sort will happen, not here in the Philippines.” [ Read More ]

PAY DIRT: If this were the Wild Wild West, there would have been a lynching yesterday at the Senate as estafa victims crying for justice came face to face with a cocky Celso de los Angeles, head of the Legacy group that allegedly had swindled them. [ Read More ]

THREE ELEMENTS: In evaluating the approval of the P11.3-billion outlay for the “full automation” (actually a misnomer) of the 2010 elections, we must consider three elements in the coming polls: Hardware, Software and Peopleware. [ Read More ]

CLARK FIELD — This article by noted writer Robby Tantingco came out last Tuesday in the SunStar-Pampanga. I am reprinting it, with permission, for its timeliness and historical value. Although I’m one of those who insist on spelling “Capampangan” with a “C,” I won’t touch Robby’s “Kapam-pangan” in this borrowed piece. [ Read More ]

HITTING BACK: Still on the “Right to Reply” bill that would force media to publish or broadcast with equal prominence the reaction of all persons claiming to have been slighted by media reports and commentaries: [ Read More ]

RIGHT TO/OF…: Still on the bill forcing media to publish or broadcast with equal prominence the reactions of all persons claiming to have been slighted by reports and comments in the newspapers, over the radio and television: [ Read More ]

February 2009

HEROINE: Wittingly or unwittingly, the senators and congressmen pushing the “Right-to-Reply” bills could be setting the stage for President Gloria Arroyo to play hero by vetoing the ridiculous measure when passed by Congress. [ Read More ]

AMOK BILL: A monster bill that is close to final approval in the House and the Senate seeks to force print and broadcast media to always publish or broadcast the side of anybody who feels slighted by a media report. [ Read More ]

CLARK FIELD — The Department of Foreign Affairs is conniving with the United States embassy in flouting the Supreme Court order to “forthwith negotiate” — meaning immediately — the transfer to a local prison of a US Marine convicted of rape. [ Read More ]

REFLEX RETORT: Malacanang spokesmen better shut up and not expose their ignorance on the prevalence of the illegal numbers game of jueteng in Pampanga, President Gloria Arroyo’s home province. [ Read More ]

EDSA MADNESS: Everyday, motorists and commuters passing that busy stretch of EDSA between Monumento in Caloocan and North Ave. in Quezon City are incensed by the heavy, bruising traffic, especially during rush hours. [ Read More ]

FEAR NOT: President Gloria Arroyo must show to the watching world that she does not tolerate venalities in government, especially when there are insinuations that her husband Mike may be involved in rigging biddings for World Bank-assisted projects. [ Read More ]

WORLD BANK LINK: If you have Internet connection, go straight to the World Bank website and get first-hand information on the debarment (banning) of some public works firms and the alleged collusion with influence-peddlers expediting contracts. [ Read More ]

SILENT WORKER: President Gloria Arroyo has been overly tight-lipped on reports attributed to the World Bank that her husband Mike was supposed to receive commissions from rigged WB-assisted public works projects. [ Read More ]

OPPORTUNITY: President Gloria Arroyo is missing a rare chance to score a big blow against venalities in government and redeem some of the luster lost by her administration haunted by persistent talk of corruption in high places. [ Read More ]

SCREWED UP: Remember when Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said that then newly installed US President Barack Obama could learn from President Gloria Arroyo? Ermita was pelted with a hail of criticisms. [ Read More ]

ALARM & DISGUST: Oo nga naman, why should bigtime cockfights be held right at the provincial capitol grounds in Pasig City in utter disregard of the sensibilities of the more decent members of the community? [ Read More ]

GOODBYE, POVERTY: If former First Lady Imelda R. Marcos were to be given a chance to access her family’s wealth locked in various banks worldwide and pursue her dreams, there would be no more poor Filipino in about two years. [ Read More ]

January 2009

SPLURGE: Instead of buying expensive election equipment that will require costly maintenance and become obsolete during the three-year wait for the next polls, the Commission of Elections should just lease the machines each time they are needed. [ Read More ]

AT THE RISK of being accused of racism, I quote below excerpts from a speech at the Four Seasons, New York, of Geert Wilders, the controversial member of the Dutch parliament, on the proliferation of Muslim communities. His presentation was sponsored last September by the Hudson Institute. [ Read More ]

CLARK FIELD — The nocturnal bats in the capitolio in San Fernando City may start coming out soon, sensing a gathering darkness for its tenant Pampanga Gov. Eddie T. Panlilio. [ Read More ]

CLARK FIELD — When US President Barack Obama told his fellow Americans in his inaugural address “on this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord,” his words were met with thunderous applause. [ Read More ]

(I could not resist lifting this item from timesonline.co.uk to share it with PhilSTAR readers. Author is Tina Brown, founder and editor-in-chief of thedailybeast.com. — fdp)

PRESIDENT Barack Hussein Obama, as he will be tomorrow, has changed everything about America already — not just by being what he is but by being who he is. He is not just the first black president. He is the first BlackBerry president. [ Read More ]

BACK TO KL: The pressure from foreign meddlers for the Philippine government to resume talking peace with the rebel Moro National Liberation Front must be terrific. [ Read More ]

STABLE PRICES: Many housewives have noticed that while the demand for foodstuff traditionally goes up during the Yule season — with prices rising as a result — prices generally stood last December and in fact continue to be stable. [ Read More ]

CLARK FIELD — State prosecutors, plus one justice undersecretary, who had been told by President Gloria Arroyo to go on official leave should not feel bad stepping aside while the drugs mess in their offices is being sorted out. [ Read More ]

IT’S A TRAP: We should not allow ourselves to be distracted by the media emphasis on a supposed family feud among the Brodetts from the real issue in the “Alabang Boys (actually adult Men)” incident. [ Read More ]

DRUGS HEARING: As a parent, I commend the public hearing (and its radio coverage) by the House committee on dangerous drugs into the buy-bust operation against scions of families from Ayala Alabang Village. [ Read More ]

OTHER SIDE: Without passing judgment, Postscript ran last Jan. 1 the account of Bambee dela Paz of a brawl at a golf club in Antipolo where her family members fought with those of Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman. [ Read More ]

ABSENTEE OWNER: One of the best-kept tourism secrets is the Montemar Beach Club, a gem of a resort on a cove with a prime white-sand beach in the hills of Bagac, Bataan, some 150 km (two-hour drive) from Manila. [ Read More ]

FOREVER HOPING: Pollsters say that 92 percent of Filipinos, at least the few hundreds who were asked, claim to be optimistic about the incoming year. That is typically Pinoy, perpetually plodding on despite the lashing of cruel winds. [ Read More ]

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