2012 Postscripts

December 2012

ZARZUELA: It is comical that both camps in the fight for control of vote-rich Cebu province are sanctimoniously invoking the rule of law, when in fact the spectacle is nothing but the usual political zarzuela. [ Read More ]

CONGRESS SUPPORT: Both chambers of the Congress have approved resolutions supporting the Framework Agreement that Malacañang signed Oct. 15 with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front for the creation of a new political entity in Muslim Mindanao called Bangsamoro. [ Read More ]

BUY BUY BUY!: To all those who survived the End of the World last Friday, Merry Christmas today! Isn’t it wonderful having been given a reprieve? Bounce back with a vengeance! [ Read More ]

PICKING ON LPs?: We learned early on in California that when caught speeding on Interstate-280 connecting San Francisco and San Jose we should not play oppressed and ask the highway patrol officer, “Why pick on me?” and point to the other speedsters zipping by. [ Read More ]

SEEKING LIGHT: Many Catholics have not read the Pastoral Letter issued last Sunday by their bishops on RA 4244, the so-called Reproductive Health bill that senators and congressmen are called upon by President Noynoy Aquino to approve. [ Read More ]

CONSCIENCE: What could defeat the so-called Reproductive Health bill on third reading in the House tomorrow is not a non-existent Catholic Vote, but the Conscience Vote. [ Read More ]

BROADWAY: Three days before the Dec. 8 Pacquiao-Marquez fight in Las Vegas, I happened to be in New York watching Broadway’s revival of the 1937 play “Golden Boy” of Clifford Odets (1906-1963). As the title may suggest, “Golden Boy” is about a boxer. [ Read More ]
FOCUS: For a long time now, some of us fans have been looking for the Big Reason why Manny Pacquiao should retire, decide once and for all what he wants to be in life — and focus on it. [ Read More ]
FASTER!: The rescue, relief and rehabilitation operations in the area devastated by typhoon “Pablo” have to be sped up for those who may have survived the initial impact but later lose their lives if assistance is delayed. [ Read More ]
READ IT!: Those clamoring for the speedy approval of the Freedom of Information bill better read first the text of the consolidation of 15 House measures, and Malacañang insertions, on the subject. [ Read More ]
NEW YORK – The Philippines was walking a diplomatic tightrope when it voted in the United Nations General Assembly last Thursday for granting Palestine the status of a non-member state observer. [ Read More ]
ABU DHABI – It is not talked about openly that only one out of every five persons (or 20 percent) in the United Arab Emirates’ population of some 8.5 million is a native Emirati. [ Read More ]

November 2012

ABU DHABI— The United Arab Emirates, a federal monarchy that is home and work place of some 500,000 overseas Filipinos is, literally, “progress in progress.” [ Read More ]
RUSH JOB: We are now witnessing how the rush job that was the signing of the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement last Oct. 15 could trigger dissension among Muslim Filipinos that reverberates in the wider Islamic world. [ Read More ]

A PUZZLEMENT: Still on the mistreating of our elders, figure out this predicament of reader Rod Fermin who reports that Baliwag Lechon Manok gives a discount to one senior citizen on one-fourth of the chicken, because a senior daw can only eat one-fourth of a chicken! [ Read More ]

ERAP PUEDE PA!: It is too late for sympathizers of Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim to question before the Sandiganbayan former President Erap Estrada’s running for city mayor in 2013 against the incumbent. [ Read More ]
TOTAL REVIEW: It is becoming increasingly clear that a total review and audit should be made of the ambitious Gambling City that the Arroyo administration had planned to develop at the sprawling reclaimed area of Manila Bay. [ Read More ]

JOINT RESO: A joint congressional resolution is set to be filed tomorrow calling for the termination of the 14-year-old Visiting Forces Agreement between the Philippines and the United States. [ Read More ]

SENIORS, TAKE HEART: Visiting the Viva Gli Anziani retirement home for the elderly in Rome last Monday, Pope Benedict XVI told the seniors: [ Read More ]

SWERVING: A favorite trick of extortionist Kotong Kops is to accost drivers for “swerving.” When asked what “swerving” is, these hoodlums in uniform say the driver had changed lanes suddenly. [ Read More ]
WE’RE STILL AROUND: We ask for the patience of readers who cannot access our most recent Postscripts at the PhilSTAR site. The technical team refining the site’s redesign/upgrade has assured us, however, that all the files are intact and will soon be accessible like before. [ Read More ]
SIMPLE: The complicated process of electing the United States president using popular and electoral votes suddenly looked simple — after the millions of electronic ballots were cast, a verdict had emerged within one day and the loser conceded like a true gentleman. [ Read More ]
PLASTIC OR PAPER?: There is a minor debate over using either plastic bags in shopping malls and public markets OR paper bags and other non-plastic containers. [ Read More ]
BAYANIHAN: Even in far-off United States, particularly in the eastern seaboard devastated by hurricane Sandy, the spirit of bayanihan among Filipinos is still alive. [ Read More ]
BE POSITIVE: Chinese Ambassador Ma Keqing stressed in a conversation at the Edsa Shangri-La hotel last Tuesday that at this stage of Philippines-China relations, it is mutually beneficial to focus on areas of agreement rather than on disagreement. [ Read More ]

October 2012

CHINA ISSUES: Bilateral issues with the Philippines, including conflicting territorial claims, are likely to be brought up today when China Ambassador Ma Keqing speaks as guest of the Tuesday Club forum at the Edsa Shangri-La hotel. [ Read More ]
REAL TARGETS: A big problem of Sen. Sergio Osmeña III is how to link former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her husband Jose Miguel to the alleged criminal misuse of some P111 billion for the 18-year-old Presidential Bridges Program for countryside development. [ Read More ]
GOVERNMENT?: Now and then we still come across statements of Malacañang referring to an Aquino “government” when obviously what is meant is “administration.” [ Read More ]
MISSING ITEM: Some environmentalist groups and readers have complained that my Oct. 14 Postscript  titled  “Environment lovers, visit Clark and weep” is missing from the PhilSTAR  archive. Maybe it is just a technical glitch or housekeeping oversight. [ Read More ]
AKBAYAN: After three terms, or a total of nine years, of holding a seat in the House of Representatives and gorging on pork (barrel), a Party-list group should have no more reason to claim being marginalized. [ Read More ]
ABSENT LAW: People empowerment does not spring from social legislation. Power is not accorded on citizens on the say-so of a leader putting on a benevolent posture. [ Read More ]
ROUGH ROAD AHEAD: Everybody must be reminded that the Framework Agreement signed yesterday between Malacañang and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front is NOT yet the formula that will bring just and lasting peace to Mindanao. [ Read More ]
CLARK FIELD – The first things that greet a visitor of this Freeport zone in Pampanga are the SM shopping mall to the right, the faithful acacias all over, and the Zambales mountains looming in the distance. [ Read More ]

NO ANNEXES YET: With the debate and the writing of annexes still ongoing, why is Malacañang rushing the signing on Monday of the government’s transition agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front for the creation of an enlarged autonomous Bangsamoro in Mindanao? [ Read More ]

PEACE AT LAST?: The government is taking another bold step toward a just and enduring peace in Mindanao by forging an agreement embracing rebellious Muslim elements into the political mainstream and granting them autonomy. [ Read More ]

FOLLOW US: Mga taghoy sa Twitter:

Why resist the inevitable? Why don’t we just cancel the elections and turn over the government to movie stars, TV celebrities and members of political dynasties? Bahala na! [ Read More ]

VALUELESS TAGS: It has become clear to most thinking Filipinos that, unlike in the free market teeming with competing goods, there is no more product differentiation among the politicians offering themselves to the electorate. [ Read More ]
USELESS I.R.R.: Considering that the two-week-old Cybercrime Prevention Act is shot through with questionable provisions and that human rights advocates and a wide sector of media are opposing it, the Supreme Court is likely to strike it down. [ Read More ]

September 2012

ARAY!: After I said here that as we in print and broadcast media are covered by the strictures of the libel law, the same limitations should apply to bloggers and netizens of cyberspace, some readers asked why I was in favor of the new Cybercrime Prevention Act. [ Read More ]
SACRED CYBERSPACE: It will not be fair if print and broadcast media are subject – as they are now — to the libel sanctions of the Revised Penal Code while others who maliciously malign persons in the Internet are exempted from similar prosecution. [ Read More ]
INSIGHTS: As followup to our Postscript on the Enrile-Trillanes clash In the Senate last week, we are sharing below insights from a piece titled “Responsible Leadership” by Fr. Ranhilio Callangan Aquino, dean of the Graduate School of Law of San Beda College. [ Read More ]
IT’S NORMAL, BUT…: Back channeling is normal practice, usually resorted to when the usual channels of communication do not seem to work as desired. But not just any amateur is sent to do it. [ Read More ]

WIDENED COVERAGE: Advocates of press freedom were asking for the decriminalizing of libel to promote free expression. Instead, President Noynoy Aquino and the Congress (1) widened the scope of the libel law to cover the borderless cyberspace and (2) sat on the long-languishing Freedom of Information bill. [ Read More ]

COMING TESTS: We now have a law intended to punish online libel and other Internet-related crimes, but the one-week-old Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (RA 10175) still has to pass the test of live-fire enforcement. [ Read More ]

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – There was relief among Capampangans who resent political meddling by outsiders to learn from Gov. Lilia G. Pineda herself that no pressure could make her run in 2013 against Rep. Gloria M. Arroyo of the second district. [ Read More ]

WHAT TO DO?: The controversy hounding Rico Puno, arguably the closest buddy of President Noynoy Aquino, appears to be compromising the credibility of the straight and narrow daang matuwid of the administration. These options suggest themselves: [ Read More ]
NO TIME FOR P-NOY: Despite the hype whipped up by Malacañang before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting last week in Vladivostok, the hoped-for one-on-one between President Noynoy Aquino and China President Hu Jintao on the side was tentative at best. [ Read More ]

RH BILL UPDATE: Cracks are showing in the seemingly impregnable wall that Reproductive Health advocates had thrown around the RH bill being shepherded for approval by a well-funded lobby in the Congress. [ Read More ]

S.C. MEMBERS: President Noynoy Aquino has appointed Ma. Lourdes P. A. Sereno as Chief Justice. But it is still valid to ask if the correct procedure calls for the members of the Supreme Court to elect their own Chief from among themselves. [ Read More ]

MOBILE!: If you have not noticed yet, when you type www.philstar.com on your mobile device (smartphone, iPad, minitablet, and the like) to access our online edition, the address automatically changes to m.philstar.com, “m” standing for mobile. [ Read More ]
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — Some of those running for public office in May next year will have to shuffle their campaign budget as a result of the advancing to Oct. 1-5 of the filing of certificates of candidacy. [ Read More ]

August 2012

CLARK FIELD – Instead of a tug-of-war between Clark International Airport here and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City, the two aviation complexes can work in tandem. One need not operate to the exclusion of the other. [ Read More ]

GOING BACK: I am reminded of police lore that a criminal usually wants to go back to the scene of the crime. After pulling out from the Philippine Overseas Telecommunications Corp. and turning over to the finance department the government’s minority shares in the firm, the Presidential Commission on Good Government now wants to return to POTC and its subsidiary the Philippine Communications Satellite Corp. (Philcomsat). [ Read More ]

PRECEDENT: The late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo deserves much of the belated honors that the administration has been heaping on him in death. [ Read More ]

SECOND CLASS: It is a pity that Jesse Robredo had to meet violent death to be recognized by people who hold the reins of political power in this confused country. [ Read More ]

YELLOW RIBBONS: Where were you when opposition leader Ninoy Aquino was murdered 29 years ago today while in the custody of uniformed agents of the Marcos military apparatus upon his arrival at the Manila international airport? [ Read More ]

POLITICAL vs MEDICAL OPINON: Between President Noynoy Aquino sitting in Malacañang and a medical doctor directly examining former President Gloria Arroyo, who knows better her state of health? Who is more credible? [ Read More ]

PUEDE PA: All is not yet lost for Justice Secretary Leila de Lima making it to the Supreme Court and gaining a measure of protection from the consequences of her taking controversial actions for her boss the President. [ Read More ]

CHOKING: Balikbayan friends tell me that, unless you are an ambulance case, the fastest way to get instant attention in a hospital in the United States is to stagger in gasping “I can’t breathe!” Hospitals everywhere do not want a patient dying in the premises. [ Read More ]

While the debate rages over the Reproductive Health bill (RA 4244), the country’s population growth has been going down without the benefit of government-funded contraceptives. [ Read More ].

LISTEN: I did not see yesterday the promised biblical rainbow, supposedly a token of a no-more-flood Covenant with God. But the sun finally broke, although briefly, through the rain clouds hanging over us. [ Read More ]

EARLY VOTE: Emerging from a meeting yesterday with President Noynoy Aquino, congressmen decided to put to a vote immediately upon their return to the House of Representatives the question of ending the debate on the Reproductive Health bill (RA 4244). [ Read More ]

<bSIMPLIFY: No less than President Noynoy Aquino has complained that some of the weather advisories of the PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration) cannot be understood by the average Filipino. [ Read More ]

LECTURE: The debate is still raging over the journalism lecture delivered by President Noynoy Aquino at the 25th anniversary celebration last July 27 of the “TV Patrol” news program of the ABS-CBN network. [ Read More ]

July 2012

CATEGORY 2: It is ironic that Philippine Airlines already has three gleaming Boeing 777-300ER and awaiting delivery of three more of this aircraft of choice for long-haul flights, yet is barred from using them in the United States and Europe. [ Read More ]

SOUR NOTE: The 25th anniversary party last Friday of award-winning TV Patrol news program of the ABS-CBN network turned sour when President Noynoy Aquino attacked its top anchor in his congratulatory speech. [ Read More ]
MABALACAT CITY — Whenever I bump into Mayor Marino “Boking” Morales, I compliment the 62-year-old executive of this brand-new city for his “staying power” (wink). [ Read More ]

MABALACAT CITY – This 300-year-old town in the northern edge of Pampanga is now a proud city, becoming the province’s third after San Fernando (the capital) and Angeles. [ Read More ]

CONSENSUS: For the first time in its 45-year existence, why was there no joint communiqué capping the last ASEAN ministerial meeting when it closed last week in Phnom Penh? [ Read More ]
RUSSIAN ACTION: Dismayed by the Philippines’ timid handling of foreign intrusions into our resource-rich waters, we lap up reports of how Russian authorities collared Chinese poachers days ago. [ Read More ]
ELEMENTS: Let us add a fourth element to the Three E’s discussed in our July 12 Postscript on restoring order and sanity to the 23.8-kilometer Epifanio delos Santos Avenue. [ Read More ]

NO CONSENSUS: The mighty United States failed Friday in its bid to have the Association of Southeast Asian Nations announce a consensus that some of its members’ territorial disputes with China be resolved by having Beijing talk with them as a group. [ Read More ]

BRUISED VETERAN: As a taxpayer who drives on EDSA daily – and has been bumped and bruised a number of times — I claim vested rights to comment on how this 23.8-kilometer highway arching around the megacity is being mismanaged.  [ Read More ]

GEOGRAPHY: Our priorities and alliances as a nation may change now and then, but we cannot change the fact of geography.

For better or for worse, the Philippines has to live with its neighbor China, the world’s most populous nation, the second largest national economy, the third mightiest military power on earth, and lately a pain in the regional neck.  [ Read More ]

TOUGH TALK: Since President Noynoy Aquino did not deny or “clarify” the PhilSTAR banner story the other day saying “P-Noy to China: Pull out ships from shoal” we presume that the item correctly reported what he said or implied.  [ Read More ]

CLARK FIELD — It is premature, and a bit unfair, to accuse the military of the gunning down Tuesday noon in Angeles City of a Dutch missionary who had been supporting Hacienda Luisita worker-tenants.  [ Read More ]

FADING WINNINGS: The Australian firm supplying those poor-quality Lotto tickets that fade before the winner can claim his prize is angry with the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office for terminating its 50-year contract. [ Read More ]

FINE-TUNING: The Freedom of Information bill in the House of Representatives, which is the consolidation of 12 versions and the Malacañang edition, looks comprehensive enough — but still needs fine tuning on some delicate points.  [ Read More ]

June 2012

B.S.P. INDEPENDENCE: From her sickbed, Rep. Gloria Arroyo harked back yesterday to her presidency that, she said, “always respected the independence, wisdom and direction of the Central Bank in managing the country’s monetary affairs, including our international reserves.” [ Read More ]

GMA PRE-PAID IT: The Aquino administration must tell the people that it is able to lend $1 billion to the International Monetary Fund, because then President Gloria Arroyo pre-paid in full in 2006 the country’s debt with the IMF. [ Read More ]

SONA SEASON: We are now into the SONA season, when government focuses on drawing up an impressive State of the Nation Address by the President before the Congress next month. [ Read More ]

SHORT & SWIFT: Like many others, I have given up on Facebook – mainly on privacy and verbosity issues – and settled for Twitter where one delivers his message in not more than 140 characters as in cellphone texting. [ Read More ]

IT DEPENDS: The defense department says that the pullout of Philippine ships from the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoals would not weaken the country’s claim over the disputed area 124 nautical miles off Zambales. [ Read More ]

HANG THE GLOVES: We join his millions of admirers in welcoming home boxing legend Manny Pacquiao — forever champion in our hearts — on his return from that controversial fight last June 9 in Las Vegas. [ Read More ]

LOS ANGELES — President Noynoy Aquino and his hosts in his last visit to the American seat of power went overboard toasting each other in pursuit of their respective national agenda. [ Read More ]

LOS ANGELES — A visitor to California’s city of angels is likely to get the feeling that every other person he meets is a Mexican and that Spanish is on its way to outtalking English in these parts. [ Read More ]

NEW YORK – They are still talking here of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to ban the sale of soda and other sweetened drinks in containers over 16 ounces. [ Read More ]

NEW YORK: While Britons feted their 86-year-old Queen with a fluvial pageant on the Thames and the New York Yankees dealt the Detroit Tigers a 5-1 defeat last Sunday, Filipinos spilled out on midtown Manhattan for an advance “Araw ng Kalayaan” parade. [ Read More ]
PARTY-LIST REVIEW: There are reports that the criteria for Party-List (PL) members of the House of Representatives are again being reviewed by the Commission on Elections in preparation for the 2013 polls. [ Read More ]

May 2012

SELF-INFLICTED: Listening to the senator-judges explain their votes at the conclusion Tuesday of the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, one gets the feeling it was the accused who convicted himself. [ Read More ]

CALL FOR WAIVER: The impeachment case of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona has grown bigger than the accused in the dock and his accusers in the Palace and the House of Representatives. [ Read More ]

TURNING POINT: I emerged from last Friday’s finale of the four-month-old impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato C . Corona feeling light and happy. I sensed change in the air. [ Read More ]

GOOD SHOW: Impeached Chief Justice Renato C. Corona had a good show going – its high point being his signing a waiver — until he rose from the witness stand and walked out of the Senate hall without so much as a by-your-leave. [ Read More ]

RECALL MODE: It used to be that elective executives could be removed under the old Local Government Code for “loss of confidence” by a majority vote of lower-echelon officials acting as a recall assembly. [ Read More ]

IDENTITY: While we sometimes disagree with opinion surveys, Filipinos following the “American Idol” singing contest on TV cheered the selection by viewers of Filipino-Mexican Jessica Sanchez as one the two finalists last Wednesday. [ Read More ]

INTERSEX: Taking as a cue Bible-toting boxing champ Manny Pacquiao’s jabbing President Barack Obama for favoring same-sex marriage and the flap over a transgender candidate in a recent beauty contest, we share this piece on the male-female question. [ Read More ]

SHORT WAIT: Instead of allowing ourselves to be carried away by the propaganda of both sides in the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, why don’t we just wait for the moment of truth in the Senate trial? [ Read More ]

GO GET ‘EM!: The word is out that there are instructions from the top to carry out long-standing arrest warrants against prominent people to show that the Aquino administration is serious in enforcing the law. [ Read More ]

PRECEDENT: Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales may have set an interesting, not necessarily dangerous, precedent when she directed Chief Justice Renato C. Corona to explain his alleged $10-million hoard in the bank(s). [ Read More ]

WORLD OPINION: The way Malacañang and its operators talk about marshalling world opinion against China, they seem to think that brainwashing the watching world is as easy as a media-aided demolition job against Chief Justice Renato C. Corona. [ Read More ]

LANDLORD: When I was in self-exile in San Francisco in the martial rule years, long-time resident friends told me to be extra nice to Chinese, to stop for them when they seemed to be about to cross the street and always to smile at them at close quarters. [ Read More ]

LABOR UNREST: Despite a promised May 1 package of benefits, President Noynoy Aquino failed to calm the unrest gripping the labor front. [ Read More ]

MISIMPRESSION: One gets the impression from criticisms of SM City Baguio that hundreds of trees will be cut down just to make room for a pay parking building beside the SM mall in the Pines City. As can be expected, tree lovers revolted against the idea. [ Read More ]

April 2012

BINAY DENIAL: Finally, weeks after text messages extolling Vice President Jojo Binay rained on media and other opinion sectors, the early presidential bird from Makati flew in to disown the info blitz that apparently had burned him. [ Read More ]

HELP WANTED: From my Yahoo inbox —  “Seeking Filipino caregiver for my elderly parents. They resided at one time in the Holy Land where all our relatives and friends have only Filipinos caring for them in their old age. We are located in the suburb of Baltimore, Maryland. – Ali Weinberg” [ Read More ]

TALKING HEADS: Sometimes a foreign office spokesman tells the media something newsy about the Chinese intrusion into Scarborough Shoals off Zambales. On other days, a presidential spokesman also has something else to say. [ Read More ]

EMBRACE:< Intended or not, China is pushing the Philippines into the protective embrace of Uncle Sam.

The former American colony does not have the military muscle needed to block or discourage Chinese intrusions into its sovereign territory such as the Panatag shallows off Zambales that international maps refer to as Scarborough Shoals. [ Read More ]

WORD WAR: So far, it is still just a word war. But with both China and the Philippines demanding that the other side pull out from the disputed Scarborough Shoal west of Zambales, no one knows where the debate could lead to. [ Read More ]

CRY ‘WOLF’ LOUDER: What will the administration do now in the face of reports that North Korea has paraded a ballistic missile bigger than its earlier model that had plunked into the sea a minute after its launching last Friday? [ Read More ]

READY REMEDY: It appears that when President Noynoy Aquino flew to Davao this week ostensibly to draw up through dialogue a solution to Mindanao’s electricity crisis, he was already bringing with him a ready-made remedy. [ Read More ]

LOS ANGELES — Why is our friend Vice President Jojo Binay in such a hurry to become president — and crudely showing it this early? [ Read More ]

BAGUIO CITY – This Pines City was again beautiful over the Holy Week. Give or take a few rainshowers, the weather was as cool as spring and the sun was friendly enough that you could walk around. [ Read More ]

DEFINING LINE: There is this short podcast “The Vortex” hosted by Michael Voris that you might want to watch this Easter Sunday. [ Read More ]

RITE REVISIONS: Some of the more imaginative matrons in the parish refer to the Washing of the Feet in today’s Lenten rites as “Holy Spa.” No irreverence meant, I am sure, but it just goes to show that there has been an evolving of attitudes in the externals of our religion. [ Read More ]

CLARK FIELD – Many Capampangans were surprised yesterday by news that adopted cabalen Felipe Antonio B. Remollo was being replaced as president and chief executive officer of Clark Development Corp. [ Read More ]
PAUSE AND PRAY: Reiterating our earnest suggestion to President Noynoy Aquino to find time this week to go on a deep Holy Retreat. Without his tight coterie of hangers-on. [ Read More ]

March 2012

IMPROVISATION: The Chief Executive of this benighted country should drop the old habit of improvising from one crisis to another. Never mind vision, a rare commodity, but whoever rules from Malacañang should show a little foresight and a semblance of planning. [ Read More ]

VIA CRUCIS: At the rate the fishing fleets are scouring real estate records with a dragnet, many VIPs, including ex-presidents, senators, congressmen, justices and generals will be shown to own valuable assets abroad, especially the United States. [ Read More ]

RATIONALIZATION: Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. Since decades ago, I have stopped obeying the Church rule to abstain from meat on Fridays of Lent. (I’m not even sure now if I got the rule right. Did I?) [ Read More ]

DIAZ RAPPED: Land Registration Authority Administrator Eulalio Diaz III continued yesterday to reap the ire of senator-judges for giving the prosecution in the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona a faulty list of 45 realty assets allegedly owned by the magistrate. [ Read More ]

CLERICAL CHORE: The filing of Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth may look like a clerical chore, but the questions of how to properly do it threatens to quash the charge that impeached Chief Justice Renato C. Corona did not file his SALN and must therefore be removed. [ Read More ]

PALACE STUMPED: Malacañang has shot down the idea of suspending, or reducing, the 12-percent Value-Added Tax on oil-based fuel, explaining that the VAT collections were needed for government “social” programs. [ Read More ]

DEFENSE SCORES: After being set back by the Senate impeachment court’s refusal to review the integrity of the charges filed by the House of Representatives against Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, the defense bounced back Tuesday with the 1-2-3 blows of its witnesses. [ Read More ]

SHOW MUST GO ON: Halfway through the Senate impeachment ballgame with the prosecution leading – because the defense is not yet allowed to shoot — it might be too late to call off the fight as the team of impeached Chief Justice Renato C. Corona wants. [ Read More ]

GRAND DEBATE: With so many talking heads and ventriloquists butting in and muddling the discussion, it might be best for President Noynoy Aquino and Chief Justice Renato C. Corona themselves to do all the talking in a Grand Debate on the latter’s impeachment and related issues. [ Read More ]

OPENING SALVO: Speaking out of the formal confines of the Senate impeachment court hearing charges that he had committed high crimes to merit dismissal, Chief Justice Renato C. Corona fired yesterday the opening salvo of his upcoming defense. [ Read More ]

40 KPH TOO SLOW?: It is odd that bus operators plying the Epifanio delos Santos Ave. route complain that the bus speed limit of 40 kilometers per hour is too slow. [ Read More ]

AUGEAN STABLES: President Noynoy Aquino, I concede, has good reasons taking on the Herculean challenge of cleaning the stinking Augean stables of the Supreme Court even at the risk of being accused of meddling in a co-equal branch. [ Read More ]

SHOW OF FORCE: Despite efforts of the Iglesia ni Cristo to show that politics had nothing to do with its prayer rally at the Luneta, the gathering of close to a million followers delivered a message so loud and clear that any politician would be deaf and blind not to have caught it. [ Read More ]

February 2012

ONE LAW: For his own sake, President Noynoy Aquino should refrain from making instant judgments on the (mis)conduct of his fellow workers in government until he is able to make up his mind as to what practice in the service is acceptable and what is not. [ Read More ]

WHY FIGHT?: “The Fight Is Not Yet Over,” said President Noynoy Aquino the other day on the eve of the 26th anniversary of that historic day in 1986 when the people massed on EDSA to show their resolve to get rid of then President Ferdinand Marcos and his repressive martial rule. [ Read More ]

CLARK FIELD – The plan to remove the name of the late President Diosdado Macapagal, an illustrious son of Pampanga, from the international airport here and replace it with that of an American aviation officer is unfortunate. And petty. [ Read More ]

CANCER: The impeachment trial in the Senate has exposed the advanced stage of the cancer eating away at the three branches of government: the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. [ Read More ]

NOTHING TO HIDE?: The nation is awaiting President Noynoy Aquino’s disclosure of his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth, bank account balances and psychological report as suggested by Chief Justice Renato C. Corona. [ Read More ]

KEEP DISTANCE: Impeachment is a recall-like process assigned by the Constitution to the Congress. It is initiated in the House of Representatives and decided or disposed of by the Senate. [ Read More ]

SENATE HONORS TRO: The Senate meeting in caucus decided yesterday by a vote of 13-10 to honor the Supreme Court’s temporary restraining order against the opening of the reported dollar bank deposit of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona. [ Read More ]

TALE OF 2 TROs: The Supreme Court handed down last Friday what can be called a split decision.

The tribunal issued a temporary restraining order on the Senate Impeachment Court’s subpoena on a dollar account of impeached Chief Justice Renato C. Corona while deferring action on the petition for another TRO on the trial itself. [ Read More ]

CRISIS?: We are being told that a constitutional crisis could arise with the filing with the Supreme Court of a petition to quash subpoenas to some banks to bring to the Senate certain documents on alleged accounts of impeached Chief Justice Renato C. Corona – and to suspend his trial altogether. [ Read More ]

OIL DRYINGUP?: We were merrily tweeting yesterday, and mostly damning the banks that were leaking out information on their clients when this 6.9-strong earthquake jolted the Visayas at 11:49 a.m. and grabbed our attention from the loose-lips banks. [ Read More ]

WHERE’S THE CASH?: How is the P30-billion pile in the administration’s Conditional Cash Transfer doleout program being used? Is it being spent to alleviate hunger, or poverty, or unrest, or grumbling, or what? [ Read More ]

BURNING QUESTION: Malacañang and the congressional prosecutors in the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona seem to be on the verge of burning down the house to rid it of what they think is a rat in the pantry. [ Read More ]

January 2012

CLEAN HANDS: Public pressure should be exerted on senator-jurors and congressman-prosecutors in the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona to publish their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth, as well as their Income Tax Returns, since they assumed office. [ Read More ]

BACOLOR, Pampanga – Last Friday we visited this town that we have always called by its old name Baculud, which means “level ground” referring to that time before geologic shifting and volcanic lahar flows raised it some 37 meters above sea level. [ Read More ]

MIRIAM ON THE JOB: If I may so, I voted for Miriam Defensor Santiago in the last senatorial elections, one of only eight senators on my ballot. (Although worthy, two of my choices lost). [ Read More ]

DAVIDE COURT: Impeached Chief Justice Renato C. Corona is luckier than then President Joseph Estrada who in 2001 faced trial in the first-ever impeachment of a Philippine president. [ Read More ]

NOW OFFICIAL: The Philippine National Police has disqualified the lowest bidder for the supply of 12,368 caliber 9mm pistols, leaving the door open for the next lowest bidders to take a crack at the P296-million purchase. [ Read More ]

DILEMMA: As in most cases where the giants battle, the ants get trampled.

The poor clerk of court of the Supreme Court, lawyer Enriqueta Vidal, is caught between her justices-bosses in the tribunal and the Senate impeachment court on the issue of her submitting subpoenaed SC documents to the latter. [ Read More ]

GOOD START: The opening statement of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, presiding over the impeachment court hearing the complaint against Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, is assuring enough for many of us that the trial will be just and fair. [ Read More ]

REBIDDING EYED: If he reinstates a bidder that has been disqualified, Interior Undersecretary Rico Puno might show unusual interest in the procurement of more than 12,300 pistols for the national police within a ceiling price of P280 million. [ Read More ]

GMA PAPER: Amid a widespread feeling of being caught in an ebbing economic tide, a paper of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, PhD, on the economy will be presented in a colloquium at 10 a.m. today at the Sampaguita Room of the Manila Hotel. [ Read More ]

ALARM: I sensed something unusual when President Noynoy Aquino himself went on nationwide TV to warn about supposed terrorist plans to bomb the procession yesterday of the Black Nazarene from the Luneta to its Quiapo shrine. [ Read More ]

GUN FAILURE: Back in training camp they drilled into our heads that we were married to our rifle, that our lives depended on it. We bought that, and passed on the till-death-do-us-part admonition to those who came after us. [ Read More ]

HATE TSUNAMI: An impeachment complaint is already filed in the Senate against Chief Justice Renato Corona. The Senate, which is to hear the case, has given it due course and Corona responded to it after announcing that he will face the charges. [ Read More ]

SUNDAY DEADLINE: The extra-long Yule season in this dominantly Christian country starts Dec. 16 with the first of the novena of dawn masses and ends with the Feast of the Three Kings, a movable holy day set on the first Sunday of January. [ Read More ]

SCARE ‘EM!: That was cute. I mean the display on TV of those cold but menacing surgical tools like saws, pliers, hammers, bolt cutters (!), etc., that doctors allegedly use to amputate or repair fingers, hands, arms and legs mangled by firecrackers exploded during the New Year revelry. [ Read More ]

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