2010 Postscripts

December 2010

DANGEROUS DRIFT: In this country, it is normal for anybody, or his lawyer, who loses a court case to complain that he was singled out or that the judge was bought by the other party. [ Read More ]

NASUGBU, Batangas — Malacanang must not waver in its move to have the Malaysian chief of intelligence replaced as facilitator in the government’s peace negotiations with the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front. [ Read More ]

CLARK FIELD — The stories of the wife and sons of former military comptroller Carlos F. Garcia being caught at a US airport carrying $100,000 each without the required declaration reminds me of my own brush with American customs. [ Read More ]

ON JUNE 8 (last year), Tim Garcia was released from prison on a million-dollar bail. He was despondent and in shock. Then, in a strange twist of fate, he was offered the coveted job as a publicist for Marc Jacobs. He didn’t dare tell the fashion house about his court ordeal, but then Page Six broke the news for him. His bosses at Marc Jacobs didn’t blink. [ 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 (now 26) son of Maj. Gen. Carlos F. Garcia who is facing charges arising from his alleged amassing of illegal wealth in office. [ Read More ]

TRANSACTIONAL: High crime does pay in the Philippines, and pays handsomely, doesn’t it?

The release by the Sandiganbayan of former military comptroller Carlos Garcia for the price of P60,000 ($1,500) despite very strong evidence of plunder, a non-bailable crime, means to many shocked onlookers that justice in the Philippines is for sale. [ Read More ]

JUST FILE IT!: Malacañang and its Yellow Army deployed in media, the blogsphere, the kaffee klatches and the opinion poll business are confusing the population. I must complain because the incessant mind-bending is giving us a king-size headache. [ Read More ]

SAN FERNANDO CITY – The cabalens just had a whirlwind week commemorating the 439th year of the founding of the province of Pampanga. This capital city was the center of the province-wide celebration. [ Read More ]

HAVE PITY!: The government probably thinks the motoring public is so gullible that it would rejoice with its plan to rush the repair of rutted streets in Metro Manila before the Yule holidays. [ Read More ]

BAGAC, Bataan – Tucked into this rustic village on the west side of this historic peninsula is Montemar Beach Club, a plush resort quickly making up for the years of neglect that saw an erosion of its facilities and clientele. [ Read More ]

PIPELINE LEAK: Stories of oil leaks all over the world have always put companies responsible for it in a bad light. But the difference between those who recovered from it and those who sank into deeper morass lay in how they responded to the crisis. [ Read More ]

VOW OF POVERTY: Having witnessed the ostentatious display of overflowing wealth among officials in the past, I was appalled by reports that many members of the Official Family of President Noynoy Aquino are poor by today’s standards. [ Read More ]

LOTTO CRAZE: When I wrote last Sunday about the Grand 6/55Lotto whose jackpot had soared to P741 million and the bettors were going crazy, my email feedback also climbed 10 times and my Yahoo inbox groaned. [ Read More ]

November 2010

CLARK FIELD — The Big Powers would just ignore it, I am sure, but this tired kibitzer still insists on musing about the prospects of war and peace in the Korean peninsula. [ Read More ]

CHARITY: I beg to disagree a bit – without meaning to be disagreeable — with Margie Juico, the charming chair of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. [ Read More ]

FEAR NOT: The forced closure of the leaking 117-kilometer pipeline through which fuel is moved in big volumes from Batangas to Manila is not likely to cause a gas shortage or an abnormal price increase in the national capital, industry sources say. [ Read More ]

CRUEL MEDIUM: The question of whether or not to allow live radio-television coverage of the Ampatuan massacre trial should not be resolved on the basis alone of that gruesome case that has wounded Maguindanao and the rest of the watching world. [ Read More ]

CLARK FIELD – It looks final: President Aquino has cancelled the P18-billion deal with the Belgian firm Baggerwerken Decloedt En Zoon for the dredging and rehabilitation of the 950-square-kilometer Laguna de Bay. [ Read More ]

WHO MUST PAY?: Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone is right. Why should we captive electricity consumers be made to suffer and pay for the mismanagement and anomalies in the National Power Corp.? [ Read More ]

WHO’S TO BLAME?: The gas leak from a 117-kilometer Batangas-Manila supply pipeline that forced the evacuation of some 80 tenants of a 22-storey condominium building in Makati was an accident waiting to happen. [ Read More ]

(Last of a series that ran Nov. 7-14, 2010)

ARMED OPTION: The meeting with a Kuomintang group from Taiwan offering aid to Filipino patriots willing to rise against the Marcos dictatorship left Ninoy Aquino in deep thought as we drove back to their house in Newton. [ Read More ]

(Third of a series, continued from Nov. 7 & 9, 2010)

BOSTON MEETING: There was no more time to curl up in bed or gaze out the window to savor an early autumn morning in Boston. I had just wakened up when Ninoy walked in to tell me we were going to a breakfast meeting. [ Read More ]

(Continued from last Sunday’s Postscript)

NO SEATBELT: As Ninoy drove us from Logan airport, I noted that he did not bother to wear his seat belt. I asked why and he explained that, on his doctor’s advice, he was not to have a restraining strap run across his chest. [ Read More ]

MUST READ: Young journalists and those who want to peek into the Malacañang menagerie must read the book “From Macapagal to Macapagal-Arroyo” written by Carmen “Ching” Suva after she retired as Press Undersecretary in 2004. [ Read More ]

OBAMA SLIDES: Just two years after Barack Obama swept into the White House on the wings of his rhetoric of change, it appears from the just-concluded midterm US elections that Americans are having second thoughts about his claimed reformist agenda. [ Read More ]

CLARK FIELD — While the neighbors are busy erecting nuclear power plants to meet the heightened demand for power in a competitive investment market, Filipinos sit in a dark corner still burning coal to produce steam for generating electricity. [ Read More ]

October 2010

SUBIC BAY — Much of the prognosis in the air point to a possible return of crippling power blackouts early next year, more markedly in summer. [ Read More ]

CLARK FIELD – There are no clear signs that the Aquino administration will suggest abrogation of the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement in the coming review of the 12-year-old pact. [ Read More ]

BAD TRAINING: Now that the barangay elections are over, and with ample time for electoral reforms, the Aquino administration can proceed to (1) revamp the system of choosing barangay leaders and (2) completely scrap the Sangguniang Kabataan polls. [ Read More ]

SUBIC BAY – Rows upon rows of used trucks, vans and heavy equipment sit under the sun in several yards in this former American naval base seemingly waiting for an uncertain death. [ Read More ]

BATTLE ROYAL: Is the ground shaking under our feet already? Giant Filipinas Shell and a reformist administration are locked in a new battle royal over the oil firm’s non-payment of billions in duties and excise taxes on allegedly smuggled petroleum products. [ Read More ]

YUMUL IS SECURE: It appears that Director Graciano Yumul of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (or simply the weather bureau) will stay at his post. [ Read More ]

CLARK FIELD — Killer typhoon “Juan” had not landed yet last Friday, but Metro Manila and other areas were already being battered blind by rotating power blackouts lasting hours. [ Read More ]

WHAT IF?: If a cabal of military officers and men mutinied in a failed bid to overthrow HIS administration, willPresident Noynoy Aquino grant them amnesty like he did some 300 soldiers who had staged armed revolts again his predecessor? [ Read More ]

CLARK FIELD — Some people have asked what I think of the funding versus the functions of the two departments – one for creating and another for distributing presidential messages — that emerged out of the reorganized Office of the Press Secretary. [ Read More ]

EMPTY SEATS: Maybe it did not matter if the plenary hall of the United Nations was half-empty as long as it was half-full when President Noynoy Aquino read the Philippine statement to what was supposed to be the General Assembly last month. [ Read More ]

NOT NEEDED: For the record, I am for personal and public health in general, for Reproductive Health in particular.

But I am alarmed by the over-reaching scope of the proposed RH bill(s), and by the attempt to use the debate to cover up the mismanagement of our rich human and natural resources. [ Read More ]

DEBATE RAGES: We have not seen the final text — because there is none yet — of the Reproductive Health bill that the Congress is being asked to pass and which the Catholic Church and proponents of the measure are passionately debating. [ Read More ]

YOUR SEX?: You have heard of the story of Miriam, Bong and Erap on a fam trip to a balmy Caribbean isle and, before the plane landed, being asked to fill out an immigration arrival card. [ Read More ]

September 2010

NO FREE RIDE: Travel, they say, is broadening. To put it in one word, it is educational. We learn lessons.

It is great to travel, especially if one does not spend for it. That is the first lesson, especially for high government officials bitten by the travel bug. [ Read More ]

WOW!: We are happy that President Noynoy Aquino was able to talk to his US counterpart Barack Obama for a record seven minutes about some explosives left by American forces on an island near Corregidor in the last war. [ Read More ]

CLARK FIELD – The proud Capampagans will turn festive on Tuesday, Sept. 28, to mark the 100th year of the birth of Pampanga’s most illustrious son, Diosdado Pangan Macapagal, the republic’s ninth president (1961-1965). [ Read More ]

BOMBA: That was some bombshell dropped on the Senate floor yesterday by Sen. Miriam Santiago, who identified top officials allegedly receiving jueteng payola and gave a breakdown of the millions collected by vice lords in the provinces. [ Read More ]

INTIMIDATED: I don’t like it that my President has been so scared by a Hong Kong regional executive that he now tiptoes when the Chinese make noise about not being happy with the way things go in this country. [ Read More ]

BLEEDING: After I wrote last Tuesday that some dengue patients who find it hard sourcing blood platelets for intravenous intervention resort to drinking a tawa-tawa herbal brew, I was swamped with queries. [ Read More ]

CLARK FIELD — When one of several Malacañang spokesmen said that the government and the news media have agreed on coverage guidelines, it was a good thing another spokesman jumped in to say that it was not so. [ Read More ]

ACTION NEEDED: Many of us would like to see decisive government action in stemming the spread of dengue fever. I am not comforted by press releases of the Department of Health that the incidence nationwide will soon taper off. [ Read More ]

SILVER LINING: A silver lining has appeared over the dark clouds that have covered the country since the Aug. 23 Luneta hostage tragedy. Positive economic big news finally broke through this week. [ Read More ]

PICKING CUFFS: Now you know why many policemen carry nail clippers with files. It is not to keep their manicured nails trim, but to open handcuffs when the keys go missing. Using a can-opener or a stick of dynamite may not be advisable. [ Read More ]

TIRED BUZZWORD: The overworked exhortation for this battered country to “Move on!” is starting to lose its ring. That slogan is obviously overused. [ Read More ]

UPSIDE-DOWN: The announcement of President Aquino that he was taking direct control of the Philippine National Police means that the Chief finally decided to make it clear that whatever was the previous or the current situation the buck stops at his desk. [ Read More ]

OVERSTEPPING: The media were among the victims of the hostage-taking fiasco at the Luneta last Aug. 23 – mainly with respect to news coverage allegedly interfering in, or even obstructing, negotiations and rescue operations. [ Read More ]

August 2010

WHY THE RUSH?: Why is the Philippine National Police in a hurry to report that all the eight hostages killed on a tour bus at the Luneta last Aug. 23 were shot only by dismissed senior police inspector Rolando Mendoza? [ Read More ]

CORDOBA: Americans, especially New Yorkers, are grappling with the highly emotional question of whether or not to allow near Ground Zero the building of a mega-mosque packaged with an Islamic center originally called House. [ Read More ]

HEADLESS CHICKEN: By now, you would have heard everything that must be said of that bloody Keystone Kop show last Monday at the Quirino grandstand where 57 days ago somebody pep-talked the crowd with a catchy “Kayo ang Boss ko!” [ Read More ]

WORSE MESS: After claiming to have driven away colorum (illegal) buses from Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) to ease traffic, sadistic authorities unleashed behemoth trucks on this eternally clogged artery of Metro Manila. [ Read More ]

NICHE IN HISTORY: President Noynoy Aquino is standing on a stage of history where he could be projected as the nation’s most socially enlightened president ever. [ Read More ]

WE WON?: The government has announced with glee that it won the arbitration case filed by the builders of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal III (Naia-3) against the Philippines before the International Chamber of Commerce in Singapore. [ Read More ]

BAD FORM: It was bad form for Rear Admiral Feliciano Angue to have complained to the media in front of his men about his relief, transfer and what he thought was his demotion. He is now being investigated for possible violations of the military code. [ Read More ]

REST TIME: The President is the top civil servant, presumably at work 24/7. But though he is the No. 1 public official in the land, President Noynoy Aquino like everybody else is entitled to some private moments. [ Read More ]

BALANCING ACT: The plan to raise the fare in the light rail transit lines in Metro Manila is a tough balancing act for the Aquino administration seeking to cut losses without overburdening an estimated 750,000 daily commuters. [ Read More ]

SDO VOTE: The referendum on the status of workers in the 6,500-hectare Hacienda Luisita partly owned by President Noynoy Aquino’s family members will not resolve the basic question of whether the Stock Distribution Option offered to them is legal or not. [ Read More ]

CLARK FIELD  This newspaper published last Thursday an 885-word treatise of Pitero M. Reig, who claimed to be the lawyer for Luis K. Lokin Jr., reacting to my brief 280-word item of last July 11 on the Philcomsat Holdings Corp. [ Read More ]

RULING ELITE: When the Truth Commission was created with former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. as chairman, one of the boys at the Annabel’s kapihan on Morato St., QC, asked “Why Davide?”. [ Read More ]

CHALLENGES: With the many challenges to Executive Order No. 1 creating the Truth Commission last Friday, this first creation of President Noynoy Aquino will have to secure first the stamp of approval of the Supreme Court. [ Read More ]

CLOSURE: “The process of bringing a necessary closure to the allegations of official wrongdoing and impunity has begun,” President Nonoy Aquino said after signing the Executive Order creating the five-member Truth Commission. [ Read More ]

July 2010

WARNING SHOT: What, or who, prompted President Noynoy Aquino to fire a warning shot across the bow of media in his State of the Nation Address last Monday? [ Read More ]

IT’S SUBJECTIVE: As we have pointed out many times before, a phenomenon is perceived or recreated in the mind by the point of view taken. [ Read More ]

PRIVATIZATION: We hope lawyer Juan “Boy” Sta. Ana will not be inconvenienced by the heavy traffic of container vans on Bonifacio Drive when he heads over to his new office at the Philippine Ports Authority, because we know he will be a very busy man. [ Read More ]

COVERT PROP: In the light of day, it now turns out that broadcaster Ricky Carandang – and not me, the victim of his libelous TV report –was/is the political propagandist and an apologist of a presidential candidate. [ Read More ]

WELL-BEING: One of my favorite senators told voters in the last campaign: “Gusto ko happy ka!”  and they responded by placing him No. 5 in the winning lineup of 12 new/returning senators last May 10. [ Read More ]

DIRT CHEAP: My simple mind cannot grasp the logic of Malacanang’s plan to sell the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., which grosses at least P30 billion each year, for a measly P300 million in a one-time privatization transaction. [ Read More ]

PERSONALITIES: Pardon my intruding, but I will try guessing why President Noynoy Aquino is having a hard time reorganizing and staffing the Office of the Press Secretary. [ Read More ]

KOBE BEEF: So you are scandalized by the P22.3-billion pork barrel of congressmen and senators drawn each year from the Countryside Development Fund (CDF)? [ Read More ]

PHC NOTES: Re my Postscripts on the looting of the Philcomsat Holdings Corp. by carpetbaggers who had taken advantage of their Presidential Commission on Good Government connections, let me point out: [ Read More ]

TRANSPARENCY: What President Noynoy Aquino needs is not a 100-day honeymoon with media – because their adversarial role in our libertarian setting will not allow it — but some self-adjustments in his communication habits. [ Read More ]

CASH COW: How can anyone hide the fact that the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. under former chairman Efraim Genuino was one of the fattest cash cows in the Arroyo barn? [ Read More ]

MAKE WAY: That spectacle of the President of the Republic strapped to the front seat of his Land Cruiser being swallowed by the usual Friday afternoon traffic on EDSA despite his security escorts and the No. 1 license plate on his bumper is a wake-up call. [ Read More ]

POP CONCERT: Thank God, President Noynoy Aquino finally stood up to deliver his upbeat inaugural speech yesterday and saved the formal Luneta program from deteriorating into a pop concert at high noon. [ Read More ]

June 2010

NO CLASS: As one who breathes protocol, Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo should not have announced right after emerging from a weekend meeting with incoming President Noynoy Aquino that he would be retained in the Cabinet. [ Read More ]

A SIGNAL: It is a long shot, but even with the oath-taking of incoming President Noynoy Aquino being just three days away, many of us are still praying that a triumvirate of characters in the unfolding drama will make certain historic decisions: [ Read More ]

RECOVERY: The judiciary wins back lost luster when courts decide cases based on the facts and the law without being distracted by monetary and other extraneous considerations. [ Read More ]

GRAFT RAPS: We cannot blame Vice President Noli de Castro in lamenting his having become “collateral damage” in the campaign of business rivals to gain money-making opportunities near the Smokey Mountain in Tondo turned into a model human settlement. [ Read More ]

MIDNIGHT FEVER: Some people seem to think that anything about to be done these days by the government involving a big amount of public funds is “midnight’ and therefore should be stopped for being illegal. [ Read More ]

FIELD OPEN: After Vice President-elect Jojo Binay showed unusual interest in becoming secretary of the interior and local government, that post drew attention as a potential launching pad for somebody with an ulterior agenda. [ Read More ]

KUDOS TO MMDA: You may not believe it, but I do not know who has replaced Bayani Fernando as chairman of the Metro Manila Development Authority. [ Read More ]

HIRE & FIRE: The general rule is that if an executive can hire, he can also fire. That seems to be the simplistic approach of incoming President Noynoy Aquino in dealing with the “midnight” appointees of outgoing President Gloria Arroyo. [ Read More ]

EYE-OPENER: That press conference of Sen. Noynoy Aquino right after his proclamation as the president-elect was an eye-opener to most people who had failed to catch his mind in the hustle-bustle of the last election campaign. [ Read More ]

ERRATUM: Ricky Carandang of ABS-CBN apologized to me yesterday for his false report on “TV Patrol” last Friday that I – maliciously tagged as one of the media defenders of the Arroyo administration — had been given a midnight appointment as director of the Philippine National Oil Co. [ Read More ]

KURYENTE: After losing control of the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), is the Lopez family into another kind of “kuryente”? Or are the Lopezes just losing control of their spirited media personnel? [ Read More ]

CONTINUING POWER: A talking head in Malacanang says that President Arroyo’s last-minute appointments in the Executive Department can only be reviewed by incoming president Noynoy Aquino but cannot be revoked or overturned by him. [ Read More ]

TAMA NA!: After fattening themselves off the mountain of gold that is the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., PAGCOR chairman Efraim Genuino and his cronies refuse to leave. [ Read More ]

May 2010

INEVITABLE: The votes have been cast and counted, and the city and provincial certificates of canvass transmitted to the Congress for the final and official canvass for president and vice president. [ Read More ]

DISTRACTION: The Congress in joint public session should not attempt to do more than its constitutionally-mandated task of canvassing the votes in the last May 10 elections and proclaiming the president-elect and the vice president-elect. [ Read More ]

UNSOLICITED ADVICE: Here is hoping that incoming president Noynoy Aquino has not grown deaf with advice whipping him from all directions on how to manage himself and this country of more than 90 million hanging on the thread of rising expectations. [ Read More ]

CLARK FIELD — Pardon my intruding into the excitement of the ongoing transition to a new — and reformist — administration, but I am tempted to repeat some points for the benefit of all concerned: [ Read More ]

TEKA MUNA!: Social Security System president Romulo Neri is offering to the Commission on Elections the multipurpose ID cards that SSS has been sharing with three other agencies as voters’ identification cards. [ Read More ]

NOYNOY COUP: If he wants, Sen. Noynoy Aquino (Liberal Party) could pull a stunning coup by announcing after his proclamation as president-elect that he would follow tradition and take his oath before newly installed Chief Justice Renato Corona. [ Read More ]

RIGIDITY: President-in-waiting Noynoy Aquino should be advised by his layers of experts that when walking into a complicated situation it might be useful to make sure always that there is room behind him for possibly backpedalling when the unexpected happens. [ Read More ]

CORE ISSUE: Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was not a candidate for president, but the opposition succeeded in setting her up as the core issue in the bruising campaign that saw the drubbing of candidates perceived, rightly or wrongly, to be her chosen ones. [ Read More ]

CLARK FIELD — Despite our being a nation of procrastinators who dash to the finish line only at the last minute, it seems that by and large we have survived yesterday’s experience with a computerized gizmo touted to speed up the vote count a zillion times. [ Read More ]

FULL MOON: Watch for developments about a “Project Full Moon,” which might eclipse the results of the semi-automated elections tomorrow. This is the latest of cheating scenarios being reported by concerned groups in the military. [ Read More ]

SOLID PUNCH: Whatever most Catholics think, the public endorsement of Sen. Noynoy Aquino for president by the Iglesia ni Cristo may have sealed the victory of the 50-year-old son of democracy icon Cory Aquino whether the polls, set on Monday, are postponed or not. [ Read More ]

PREMATURE: It says here that President Arroyo could (and presumably might) appoint the next Chief Justice before the May 10 national elections. [ Read More ]

CLARK FIELD — Candidates who still love their country should downshift to sober, calmer tones, avoid personal attacks on their rivals and talk instead of their own qualifications and program of government. [ Read More ]

April 2010

SURE WINNER?: Concern was expressed by a number of readers reacting to our Postscript of April 25 calling attention to propaganda that the only way Candidate X, who thinks he is a sure winner, to lose is for him to be cheated. [ Read More ]

SIGE NA NGA: The Commission on Elections insists that it is ready to conduct credible national elections two short weeks from now.

Having grown tired, I am tempted to throw up my hands and say, “Sige na nga, ready and able na po kayo!” Yes, let us leave the Comelec alone so it can concentrate on its difficult task of managing the country’s first semi-automatic elections. [ Read More ]

ADVANCE EXCUSE: A recurring topic in media circles is the obvious attempt of some camps and candidates to condition the mind of the public that they are sure winners. [ Read More ]

TOUCHY ISSUES: The Supreme Court “final” ruling last Monday that affirmed President Arroyo’s constitutional power to appoint the successor of Chief Justice Reynato Puno when he retires on May 17 may not be the last word on the subject and related issues. [ Read More ]

CASE REVIEW: Like countless others enraged by the massacre last Nov. 23 of 57 individuals, 31 of them media workers, I was taken aback by news that two members of the Ampatuan clan blamed for the mass murder had been cleared by Justice Secretary Alberto Agra [ Read More ]

JBC IS RIGHT: Postscript applauds the Judicial and Bar Council for refusing to succumb to the implied pressure of the Supreme Court to draw up a list of qualified replacements for Chief Justice Reynato Puno when he retires on May 17. [ Read More ]

SQUATTERS & SURVEYS: Today, April 15, is the deadline for the filing of income tax returns for taxable year 2009. The date reminds us of two items long playing in our mind: [ Read More ]

EARLY CHECK: Voters who have not checked their precincts are advised to do a fast verification TODAY by logging on to www.comelec.gov.ph/precinctfinder/precinctfinder.aspx. Many readers have located their precincts, but a few discovered some problems. One reader found out that the Commission on Elections has invalidated his and his wife’s registration for no apparent reason. Having checked early, he now has the chance to solve the problem. The most common reason why some readers failed to access the Comelec site was their misspelling some words in the address. [ Read More ]

TO-DO TODAY: If you have Internet connection, check TODAY if you are registered and assigned to a specific polling precinct for the May 10 elections. If you cannot locate your precinct on-line, you may still have time to solve the problem – if you act NOW. [ Read More ]

HELP NEEDED?: If the Commission on Elections is starting to feel overwhelmed by the Herculean job of managing the national elections that are just a month away(!), it better say so this early so non-partisan citizens groups can help out in good faith in a systematic way. [ Read More ]

DIRTY TRICKS: Who is making sure that the dirty tricks being employed in the ongoing election campaign do not spin out of control and make it difficult for the winner to bind the wounds and pull back the nation to sanity after May 10? [ Read More ]

ETHICAL HEART: As one who jumped from campus writing to professional journalism, and stuck to its rules as best as I can for the past four decades, I am worried for this vocation that some say is older than the supposedly oldest profession. [ Read More ]

NEGATIVE VOTE: A politician friend offered what looks like a partial solution to our dilemma of boycotting party-lists with dubious nominees but, in so doing, merely improving their chances of winning seats in the House of Representatives. [ Read More ]

March 2010

BE CHRISTLIKE: Yielding to the Lenten tide coming with the gathering darkness, we pick up this first part of the article “Angry, angry, angry” of Pastor Francis Frangipane — which is written for Americans, but rings relevant to us Filipinos: [ Read More ]

PREQUALIFIED: Commission on Elections Chairman Jose Melo was once an associate justice of the Supreme Court. We presume that the principle of never prejudging people must have been ingrained in him. [ Read More ]

IDENTIFY YOURSELVES: By tomorrow, we should know which of the Party-lists running in the May 10 elections are just being used as Trojan horses of politicians and operators who cannot win a congressional seat on their own. [ Read More ]

SKIP PARTY-LIST: Postscript presses its suggestion for voters to skip the Party-list part of the ballot on May 10 — if they are not sure FOR WHOM (referring to a person or nominee) they are voting. [ Read More ]

PREVIEW: One practical value of the Supreme Court ruling on the President’s power and duty to appoint the replacement of a retiring Chief Justice is in its giving a preview of the political lay of the land in the tribunal. [ Read More ]

GMA UPHELD: Although the Supreme Court has ruled with a 9-1-3 vote that President Arroyo may validly appoint the next Chief Justice, it seems that politics will not allow the question to be settled with finality until she leaves Malacanang on June 30. [ Read More ]

ENDANGERED MEDIA: The advent of alternative online news sources has not been kind to traditional mass media, particularly newspapers. [ Read More ]

IS IT A TIE?: Postscript has questioned some partisans’ calling a “statistical tie” the close ranking of presidential bets Noynoy Aquino (36 percent, Liberal) and Manny Villar (34 percent, Nacionalista) in the Feb. 24-28 nationwide survey of the Social Weather Stations. [ Read More ]

NOT A TIE: The media are again replete with reports that the two leading presidential candidates in the May elections are “statistically tied.” Some quarters do not see a tie. [ Read More ]

PENERA RULE: Conscientious objectors to the scandalous overspending of some presidential candidates can only blame the Supreme Court resolution that overturned its previous decision in the Penera vs Comelec case on campaign offenses. [ Read More ]

MARGINALIZED: The Commission on Elections has given some 185 Party-list groups until March 26 to submit their nominees for congressional seats. The nominees will be checked for qualification and their names published if they qualify. [ Read More ]

PROSPECTS DIM: At the reckless rate the Arroyo administration is racing toward a negotiated peace in Mindanao in the last four months of its term, the prospects of its achieving a constitutional settlement with secessionists are dim, if not nil. [ Read More ]

BIG GAMBLE: Since most Filipinos take elections as just another big gamble and vote for whoever looms like a winner regardless of merit, let us redesign the ballot to look like a Lotto betting card so voters/gamblers will feel at home filling it out. [ Read More ]

February 2010

CLARK FIELD – Ash Wednesday was just a week ago, but it already feels like Holy Week in this sprawling freeport dotted with tourism-sports amenities and factories quietly churning out export products. [ Read More ]

BLACKOUTS: Commenting on our Feb. 21 Postscript on how the delivery of substandard fuel to a major power plant had contributed to a widespread blackout last month in the Meralco franchise area, engineer Honorio M. Tanquintic emailed us this comment: [ Read More ]

MUTUAL ANNIHILATION: With the fight for the presidency becoming more vicious as Election Day draws near, the top two contenders might just mortally wound each other and create an opening for those trailing them. [ Read More ]

EL NINO: They tell us that the dams are drying up, yet El Nino is not even done with us yet. Looming before us is the specter of parched rice and corn fields, water rationing, rotating blackouts, and possible scattered power failures on Election Day. [ Read More ]

CLARK FIELD — What is the latest battle report in the capitolio after the Commission on Elections ruled that former provincial board member Lilia Pineda actually won over Gov. Eddie Panlilio by 2,011 votes in the 2007 election? [ Read More ]

VILLAR UP CLOSE: If you sit too close to senator Manny Villar explaining how he would manage this nation of 88 million if he wins the May 10 presidential elections, you could get convinced enough to vote for hm. [ Read More ]

S.C. NOD NEEDED?: It says here that the Philippine Constitution Association has asked the Supreme Court to allow President Arroyo to appoint the replacement of Chief Justice Reynato Puno when he retires on May 17. [ Read More ]

FEEDBACK: Comes now reader Emmanuel Lj. Mapili saying that President Arroyo can appoint not only the successor of Chief Justice Reynato Puno when he retires on May 17 but also a new SC justice to complete the tribunal’s membership of 15 justices. [ Read More ]

BAD EXAMPLE: It was gross of Sen. Gringo Honasan to advise publicly his mistah, fugitive Sen. Ping Lacson, to resort to deception and disguise and use his military expertise in evading arrest on double murder charges. [ Read More ]

CASH COW: Among the measures shelved with the Senate’s failure to muster a quorum on its last session day last Wednesday was a bill giving security of tenure to Chairman Efraim Genuino of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. [ Read More ]

FUTILE FLOGGING: It is pointless for Sen. Manny Villar to stand on the Senate floor to try convincing his accusers and his presidential rivals in the chamber that he did not commit any censurable act in the budgetary deliberations on the C-5 road. [ Read More ]

PETTY, POPULIST: The title “Le coeur d’un homme, le cerveau d’un cochon of the CTalk column yesterday of Cito Beltran may have sounded Greek (it was French) to some readers, but I do agree with him when he said: [ Read More ]

January 2010

NO MARGIN FOR ERROR: The Commission on Elections must not take lightly the glitches experienced in the second field test of its precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines the other day. [ Read More ]

GOODBYE, STICKERS: The stickers blocking the view of windshields of motor vehicles will be scraped off when all conveyances are finally equipped with a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag by November. [ Read More ]

BROWNOUT: At 6:15 p.m. yesterday, a brownout hit the neighborhood, wiping out the column I was writing on my desktop computer. Problem was that I had not been saving my text as I normally did. And even if power returned in 30 minutes that would be too late. [ Read More ]
BINABATO: Just by the way the big boys on the other side of the fence have been ganging up on him, it is obvious that Sen. Manny Villar, Nacionalista Party presidential bet, is rising fast in the surveys and on the campaign trail. [ Read More ]

CLARK FIELD – Everybody here seems to know the results of the protest that former provincial board member Lilia “Baby” Pineda had filed against Gov. Eddie “Among Ed” Panlilio. The talk is that she has won by some 2,000 votes. [ Read More ]

MOVE EARLY: May the Judicial and Bar Council, whose members are appointees of the President, in effect nullify the appointing power of the same President by refusing to nominate candidates for the impending vacancy in the position of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court? [ Read More ]

RELIEF SNAFU: While thousands of dead or dying Haitians litter the streets of the Haitian capital city of Port-au-Prince and the rubble left by a magnitude-7 earthquake this week, mountains of food, medicines and other relief goods rushed by a commiserating world are held up at the ports and on the highways. [ Read More ]

PUBLIC TRIAL: Should live TV coverage continue to be disallowed in the murder trial of Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. and his cohorts who allegedly herded and executed in barbaric fashion 57 persons, most of them women and members of the press, in Maguindanao last Nov. 23? [ Read More ]

GUN BAN: I have no survey data to cite, but I dare say that many licensed gun owners themselves welcome the ban on the carrying by ALL CIVILIANS of firearms outside of residence during the election period from Jan. 10 to June 9, 2010. [ Read More ]

THE CHASE: It was bound to happen. Like runaway stock market prices, bouncing presidential survey figures appear to be settling, or correcting themselves, to more realistic and credible levels. [ Read More ]

FAITH, HOPE, CHARITY: When a buoyant majority of Filipinos polled recently said they awaited the New Year with optimism, I suspected that they were mostly expressing Hope. [ Read More ]

FREE TRADE: There is this old line that if we could convince the Chinese to drink their tea with sugar and if we could get even just one percent of the ensuing sugar needs, we would have to plant half of our arable land with sugarcane to meet the demand but would then be able to balance the national budget and pay off our foreign debt. [ Read More ]

CHANGE: You have sent text greetings to everybody who matter. You have delivered gifts to dear ones. You have been generous in giving tips and alms, and cheerful in your countenance despite the stress. You have rid the refrigerator of expired items and cleaned the closets. You have thrown out the garbage. Your mind, hopefully, has been cleared of the cobwebs of negative thoughts. You have armed yourself with iron-clad resolutions. [ Read More ]

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