Friday, August 28, 2009


Some people are agitated with certain government officials (you know who they are) who have newspaper columns or radio-TV talk shows, and members of media who have accepted juicy government sinecures (such as board directorships and consultancies on sequestered firms and GOCCs) without giving up their media jobs.

The popular demand is that there should be action to prevent such an anomalous situation because it is the public interest which suffers therefrom. Especially in the case of media where even top editors and columnists flaunt their open acceptance of dishonest money from the government, thus making a mockery of the independence and integrity of the press.

As to the case of government officials in media (pseudo-press), people say they don't read or listen to these officials anymore who should have the decency to quit their jobs in government and stick to media if that is where they find more satisfaction. Owners of publications and electronic outfits will have to crack down on erring personnel who compromise the integrity of the newspapers and broadcast firms they utilize as vehicles to propagate their vanity. Can you guess who they are?

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Monday, August 24, 2009


Has Malacanang already forgotten a past brouhaha over the full military honors given by the elite Presidential Security Group (PSG) for a dead sniffer dog? The public was even stunned to read in the papers and view on TV about the lucky K-9's burial, complete with the playing of taps, the sprinkling of holy water by a Palace chaplain, a rolley of rifle fire from an honor guard platoon, a Philippine flag draped over its coffin, and a strictly subdued atmosphere by the presidential guards. Has our country gone to the dogs? Never!

That Palace K-9 who received military honors not given to soldiers killed in Mindanao in the long war against insurgents joined famous dogs like President Franklin Roosevelt's Fala and President Richard Nixon's Checkers.
Well, another dog always gets us the headlines around the world albeit in ridicule - the common askal. A few years back, Filipinos got worldwide shellacking for reports in London newspapers that Pinoys were dog-eaters. Bad.

But strangely so, to this day, Malacanang is still undecided about giving the same honors to a former head of state, President Ferdinand Marcos. A little plot behind the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Libingan ng mga Bayani is where Marcos chose as his final resting place. It is where Imelda is determined to bury him someday. It was his dying wish, she said, and she will respect it, even in defiance of the late former President Corazon Aquino, who insisted that he be buried instead in Laoag, Ilocos Norte - but didn't find it odd to bury a dog with all the necessary honors befitting a hero. Blas Ople, who was very close to the late Marcos, confirmed that in his intimate moments of conversations with him, Marcos often stated that he wanted to be buried behind the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier because he saw himself as a simple soldier who served his country in war and in peace.

It would do well for this government to bury this issue (pun unintended) once and for all, and give honor where honor is due.

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Wouldn't it be a treat to see for a change President Arroyo defend her own self in public, not so much relying on her spokespersons who are paid to confuse and fib the people with rough rhetoric? In doing so, the citizenry will have a clearer view of the sincerity or insincerity of Arroyo although it is common knowledge how comfortable she feels when surrounded by anything but the truth. As it is, take the case of Press Secretary Cerge Remonde. Long before he opens his mouth, he is already branded as a twister of fabulous facts and a juggler of weak words. Gone are the days when a press secretary spoke impeccable English and communicated with clarity and logic. Today, we have a bunch of apologists in the Palace who really are the only ones left believing their own spin. Does Gloria still believe in herself?

In the US, some American presidents who have had it with the media took matters in their own hands. They didn't hesitate at all to write nasty letters to their critics in this sector. The most famous letter written by a US president against media was that made by President Harry Truman addressed to a Washington Post music critic who had hit his daughter Margaret's singing in her recital in Washington. Truman wrote: "I have just read your lousy review. If I ever meet you, you will need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes and perhaps a supporter below." And only a few years ago, President Bill Clinton got so sore against New York Times columnist William Safire for calling Mrs. Clinton a "congenital liar." Clinton was quoted by his spokesman as saying if he were not president, he would have delivered "a forceful response on the bridge of Safire's nose."

GMA may have to emulate these US presidents to let off some steam and fire off some angry letters and issue angry statements against her critics in the fourth estate. We're simply tired of her spokespersons' litany of lies, making them like wind-up dolls that say the same stuff over and over again. It's time we hear Gloria speak for herself. She need not worry. If these fellows can dish it out, they can surely take it.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Do you remember that plan by a previous administration to sell a government-owned property in Fujumi, Tokyo (Japan), and how it could not be sold because it was donated to the Philippine government by former wartime President Jose P. Laurel? The condition was that it should never be sold to any party, and therefore must only be for the sole use by the government diplomatic mission in Japan. The property was purchased by Mrs. Pacencia H. Laurel with her personal funds and donated to the government during the Japanese occupation years. Remarkable and admirable.

Today, we have a government that landgrabs property and pockets the money it earns from overpricing its sale. Other than that, we too have a regime that buys land for a song and then twists the arms of reluctant buyers under pain of harassment, in order to sell it at astronomical figures. Our government officials have been buying properties left and right as if they were being sold during 'midnight madness' sales. It seems that they are in a frenzied rush to purchase prime property. Do they know something we don't? Unbelievable and abominable.


What will they think of next just to become a congressman? We have more than enough useless members in Congress. Now, they want a representative for "marginalized sabungeros." Say what? Methinks this is unecessary because many congressmen are already sabungeros. It's simply an abuse of the sectoral representation, which really is an easy way to land in the House. A useless bunch just took their respective oaths of office. We should be cutting down the number of congressmen instead of adding more of them in Congress. There are only a handful of excellent sectoral representatives today, like Akbayan's Etta Rosales, surpassing even the 'traditional congressman.' Enough.

Sectoral representation was first devised during the martial law years as a means to ensure the late President Ferdinand Marcos' control of the Batasan Pambansa and to send court favorites, who cannot win any elections, to Congress. Actually, this whole matter of sectoral representation was a brainchild of the late brilliant politician and tactician, Local Government Minister/Rep. Jose 'Peping' Rono. He hatched the plan to ensure his control of the local legislative body and his own political supremacy as well. He was one of Marcos' and the KBL's most brilliant political strategist. As political adviser to the power-packed ruling party, he presented his plan which worked so well for him in the local levels. President Marcos was totally sold on the idea, and he ordered it incorporated on a national level.