Saturday, December 08, 2007


Our Ship of State is the only ship in the world that leaks from the top.

Enough said.

Friday, December 07, 2007


I had a rare privilege to be part of a momentous occasion last night as we celebrated 100 years of Philippine football. A gala dinner sponsored by the Philippine Football Federation (PFF), was held at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel and our very special guest was no less than 'Federation de Football Internationale Association' or FIFA's Joseph 'Sepp' Blatter, together with 'Asian Football Confederation' or AFC's Mohammad bin Hammam, and my friend, newly-elected 'Philippine Football Federation' (PFF) president Jose Mari Martinez. I also met an old-timer in Philippine football - the great Coach Juan Cutillas, who at 84 still has his heart on the sport. Mr. Blatter rallied the organizers, players and the officials to focus on the development of the sport because he believes that the Philppines has what it takes to be a football giant, just like Filipino-Spaniard Paulino Alcantara, a world-renowned footballer, who to this day holds the all-time record of scoring 356 goals in 357 games played! It was a memorable night as Mr. Blatter went on in infusing new enthusiasm and lifeblood to a sport that has taken a back seat to give way to other less-exciting sports. The next day found ourselves at the Don Bosco Orphanage in Alabang again with Mr. Blatter, Mr. bin Hammam and Mr. Martinez as we witnessed a football game by the kids in attendance. My gratitude goes also to my colleagues at FUTBOL FILIPINO - Aldrick Diaz and Marilyn Diaz for the support, for Dr. Rafael 'Doc Rafa' Rodriguez for the same, and to a great athlete, Mr. Ayi Nii Aryee, a top junior footballer from the Republic of Ghana, who I now consider a Filipino by heart as well, as he is now doing excellent coaching work for kids in football, to the Union FC in particular, contrary to what some other individuals may think. I was privileged further to have presented Mr. Blatter a trophy and a #18 footbal jersey, on behalf of the Union Football Club. Why the #18? Because it is our collective hope and dream that by the year 2018, the Philippines would finally be sending a team to the 2018 World Cup! If we train our sights on that, we could very well make it a dream come true. But, it is also a reminder though, that when the One Great Scorer finally comes to write against our names, He marks - not that we won or lost - but how we played the game.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


(UNDERTOW - The Philippine Chronicle, May 19, 2007)

Biofuel technology seems to be gaining momentum here in the Philippines. Congressman Juan Miguel Zubiri (possibly senator), who fancies himself as the 'green candidate' is pushing biofuels as an environmentally friendly solution to the Philippines' perennial oil supply and price problems. Zubiri claims that biofuels are the answer to persistent energy and environmental problems, and that their development and production will lead to countryside development and decongestion of our cities and municipalities, and would eventually eliminate the need for Filipino engineers and scientists to seek employment overseas as OFWs "since they can work on biofuel plants right here in Batangas." All these because the 'Biofuels Act of 2006' provides for a mandatory blend of at least 5% Bio-Ethanol into vehicle fuel by 2008 and 10% by 2010? Well, before we start planting sugarcane in our own backyards and before we jump into the biofuels bandwagon, let's first take a little reality check here. The total land area of the Philippines is approximately 300,000 square kilometers, 19% of it being 'arable land,' or 60,000 square kilometers. In a sense, this already represents the maximum biofuels potential of the country for a specific thing like Ethanol from sugarcane. So, if one plants every square inch of land to sugarcane, one can actally calculate how much Ethanol can be produced, assuming of course we are willing to give up growing our own rice, corn and other important crops for our food. Researchers at the Polytechnic University of New York claim that "considering projected population growth in the world, the humanitarian policy is to maintain croplands for growing food, and not fuel. Everyday, more than 16,000 kids die from hunger-related causes. One child every five seconds. The situation will only get worse. Thus, it would be morally wrong to divert cropland needed for human food supply to powering automobiles instead. It would also deplete soil fertility and the long-term capability to maintain food production. We would destroy the farmlands that our children and grandchildren will need to live and survive." Well, this is another clear example of how some 'environmental ideologists' ignore simple science and bring about unforseeable consequences! The illusion that we can maintain our present levels of consumption with biofuels may very well be plain and simple hogwash. So now, we have a new snake oil being peddled by Zubiri in biofuels. You're full of biogas Migz!

Before and during election day, I sent several text messages (9 to be exact) to the Comelec hotline, as they have been advertising on TV if one needs a quick info on his/her exact precinct location. As expected, after texting 'comelectxt precinct' my full name and birthdate to 2898, I got this repeated reply: 'Comelec servers are currently updating its files. Please try again later. This is a free msg." So, if the Comelec can't even fix a small problem lke this one, what's the whole point in adverstising a free service when all it gives you is proof of its incompetence? And should they still continue to exist for the 2010 presidential elections and beyond? You be the judge.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


"Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties, (1) act with justice, (2) give everyone his due, and (3) observe honesty and good faith." - (Jorge C. Bocobo, Article 19, Civil Code of the Philippines) Note: This is the golden rule of Philippine laws.


In a previous post, I had made mention of a case involving Attorney Alan Paguia and the Supreme Court wherein the former asked a set of questions to the SC which to this day have not been satisfactorily answered. Instead, a continuing indefinite suspension for Paguia was rendered and is still in effect. Both teachers and students of the law may relate well to these questions and then say that indeed the Supreme Court should have come up with a better and acceptable response. It sets a bad precedent to future queries on the matter.

A re-print of the whole letter is as follows:

By Alan F. Paguia
Professorial Lecturer
Colleges of Law
Ateneo de Manila University
Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila

June 30, 2003

To: Chief Justice Hlario G. Davide Jr. and Associate Justice Artemio Panganiban
Supreme Court, Manila

Dear Sirs:

I humbly write this letter as a citizen to public officers. I understand that under the law, public officers are mandated to answer queries from the public within 15 working days. My queries are:

1. Is it true that the law strictly prohibits judges or justices from participating in partisan political activities?

2. Is it true that your honors participated in a partisan political activity during Vice-President Gloria Arroyo's oath-taking at EDSA on January 20, 2001?

3. Is it true that your honors attended and authorized the Arroyo oath-taking in your honors' official capacity as judicial officers?

4. Is it true that the basic law involved in the Estrada Vs. Arroyo controversy is Article Vll, Section 8 of the Constitution ("In case of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation of the President, the Vice-President shall become the President to serve the unexpired term.")?

5. Is it true that the sole constitutional ground invoked by Vice-President Arroyo for her oath-taking as President was 'Permanent Disabilty'?

6. Is it true that your honors authorized the oath-taking by Vice-President Arroyo at EDSA on that same ground of 'Permanent Disability'?

7. Is it true that Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide Jr. administered the said oath-taking at EDSA on that same ground of 'Permanent Disability'?

8. Is it true that your honors unquestioningly accepted Vice-President Arroyo's allegation of 'Permanent Disability' on the part of President Joseph Estrada?

9. Is it true that the administrative matter of administering the oath-taking at EDSA by the Chief Justice involved the performance of an official duty which ought to be consistent with the Constitution?

10. Is it true that there was never any proof of compliance with the constitutional requirements regarding the said 'Permanent Disability'? ("Written Declaration" by the President or majority of his Cabinet members.)

11. Is it true that your honors, as well as the other justices, later rejected that ground of 'Permanent Disability' and replaced it with a 'Resignation,' even as President Estrada never wrote any resignation letter?

12. Is it true that due process of law absolutely requires the 'Cold Neutrality' of an 'Impartial Judge' both in appearance and in substance, without which the proceedings are rendered 'void' or 'without effect' from the beginning?

Most respectfully,

Alan F. Paguia

Monday, December 03, 2007


Hours after announcing his resignation on October 1, 2007, Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos returned to his office at the eight floor of the Palacio del Gobernador in Intramuros to say his farewells and wrap up some unfinished business. Among those pending matters was a Supreme Court resolution dated August 28, 2007 asking the Comelec if they already proclaimed any nominee of Buhay Party-List.

Also brought to Abalos' attention was the criminal case filed against Rene Velarde, son of El Shaddai leader Bro. Mariano "Mike" Velarde, as well as Carissa Coscolluela and Irwin Tieng for attending the sessions of the House of Representatives without having been proclaimed as party-list congressmen (See Art. 177 of the Revised Penal Code, Usurpation of Public Authority).

Coscolluela served as the chief of staff of Sen. Richard Gordon. Irwin is the son of businessman William Tieng who had come under fire for allegedly supplying Duty-Free Philippines with chocolates that were either expired or banned in other countries for containing cancer-causing substances. Gordon and the elder Tieng are secret business partners of Lourdes "Beng" Velarde, Deputy Director-General of Duty-Free Philippines and wife of Rene Velarde.

The three accused were in the second and illegal list of Buhay nominees that was submitted by Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) Administrator Mel Robles who himself is facing graft charges against the Ombudsman. The Comelec, in a resolution dated July 19, 2007, allowed Robles to continue as chairman of the Buhay party despite the constitutional ban on civil servants from being members of political parties. This decision is presently being challenged in the Supreme Court by Christian Seneres who served as Buhay congressman for two terms and as Secretary-General of Buhay, submitted the original list of nominees on behalf of the party-list organization.

Amidst the commotion that surrounded Abalos' surprise resignation, and aware that the Supreme Court had taken notice of the Velarde group's attendance of congressional sessions, despite the pendency of the case and the non-proclamation of any Buhay nominee, Comelec Director Alioden Dalaig hastily prepared a certificate antedating the proclamation of Velarde, Coscolluela and Tieng to September 3, 2007 and routed it among the Comelec commissioners, including Abalos.

However, this contradicts Robles' arguments in the Supreme Court that the Comelec resolution allowing him to continue as Buhay chairman had the effect of proclaiming Velarde and his co-defendants. All three of Robles' nominees took their oaths of office before Chief Justice Reynato Puno on July 20, 2007 in the presence of Mike Velarde who personally assured the Chief Justice that they were already proclaimed by Comelec as of that date.

Robles' lawyer, Romulo Macalintal reiterated this claim in a comment that he submitted to the Supreme Court on September 17, 2007. In that comment, Macalintal made no mention whatsoever about any proclamation taking place on September 3, 2007. Velarde, Coscolluela and Tieng also made no references to any such proclamation in the sworn statements that they had made in the office of the Quezon City prosecutor on September 6 and September 13, 2007.

So, how could this be a valid proclamation when the individuals supposedly proclaimed were not even aware of it? Furthermore, the Supreme Court asked the Comelec on August 28, 2007 whether they already proclaimed any Buhay nominee, but instead of answering that very simple question, the Comelec asked for a 60-day extension within which to prepare a reply, and then on October 1, 2007, the Comelec informed the Supreme Court that they had "proclaimed" the Robles nominees on September 3, 2007 (five days after they were asked by the SC if there had been a proclamation).

This is a blatant act of 'kabastusan' by the Comelec and obviously shows a collusion with the Robles faction.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


"Aristocracy of the intellect is the true aristocracy and is worthy of honor and respect. It should measure success not in terms of lands, houses, automobiles and a large bank account, but by helpfulness to others, by having rendered service to the poor, by having stood for righteousness at any cost. It fights wrong and oppression in every form." - Jorge C. Bocobo (Commencement address, U.P., June 13, 1948)

(L.B. - June 13, 2007)


(On the Pres. Estrada conviction) Plunder involves enrichment from government coffers that may result in "material damage to the economy." So, how then is receiving Jueteng money and commissions from Belle Corporation related to government funds?

(L.B. - November 20, 2007)


Yesterday: "I have sat at the sumptuous tables of power, but I have not run away with the silverware." - Pres. Diosdado Macapagal

Today: "I have dined with the wealthy and the powerful, but the silverware was just too big to fit inside my tiny Prada bag!" - Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

(L.B. - December 3, 2007)
(Image from


(Still on the Manila Pen incident) The police must obey the law while enforcing the law.
Enough said.

(L.B. - December 3, 2007)

(Sing to the tune of "Santa Claus is coming to town")

"She cheats when you are sleeping, she lies when you're awake;
we know that she's been bad not good,
so be gone! for country's sake!"

(L.B. - December 10, 2006)