Saturday, October 10, 2009


Perhaps Liberal Party presidential candidate Benigno 'Noynoy' Aquino III should initiate talks with the Cojuangco family to ask for the immediate opening of their sprawling 6,400 - hectare Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac City, Tarlac for the thousands of flood victims in neighboring Pangasinan province. After all, during President Corazon Aquino's term, much government funds were reported to have been utilized to build protective dikes and other forms of infrastructure to save the hacienda from being buried in lahar once upon a time right after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo.

The flood victims need not stay in the hacienda permanently. The place could serve as a temporary halfway house until the homeless folks from Pangasinan can return to their devastated areas or to some allocated government land.

This should be one of several true tests for Noynoy's sincerity in his desire to help his kababayans. This should prove to be a chance at greatness for Noynoy. Otherwise, it could be another campaign promise meant to be broken, just like an old promise to bring down the price of - galunggong.

Friday, October 09, 2009


With elections just a few months away, Congress must now repeal the authority conferred on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to grant exemptions from the gun ban provided by Republic Act 7165. In addition, the same Congress must also repeal another provision under that law authorizing Comelec to provide security to a candidate for public office who has a threat to his life for the duration of the elected period.

A total gun ban during the election period is a prerequisite to clean and honest elections. Exemptions will only create problems for everyone, and we should instead avoid creating situations that give rise to problems especially when granting exemptions to the gun ban.

Candidates who receive threats during the campaign period and thereafter must withdraw from the race since these candidates become security risks and a financial burden to the government which has to provide protection for him. The more bodyguards a candidate has doesn't necessarily mean the more important he is. It simply means the lesser he is loved by the people, otherwise he would not even fear for his life even when he is in the midst of them. A candidate who is afraid to die is not fit to serve.

Thursday, October 08, 2009


Education authorities should look closely (and perhaps padlock) schools and colleges which have not produced a single licensing examinee.

A shocking discovery here is from a report by the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) of a zero performance in the different licensure examinations covering 40 professions and disciplines. The PRC can make public the names of these schools and spare the parents who have been duped into sending their children there.

For example, there are 85 accountancy schools with 0.00 percent passing average. The same failures had been recorded in examinations for architecture, chemistry, nursing, medicine, medical technology, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy and civil engineering licences.

The public should be protected against such nuisance and sub-standard schools or departments of certain schools. Again, parents should be told the names of such schools. The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) should come out with a comprehensive list of non-performing educational institutions to abort speculations that a number of CHEd officials receive retainers from such schools.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


The cat is out of the bag. One of the suppliers of arms for local communists is North Korea. This country had not been mentioned among the insurgents' armorers until quite recently, with a disclosure from government authorities - that North Korea and mainland China had been pinpointed as among the main suppliers of arms of Philippine insurgents.

Pyongyang has become an international center for terrorist and guerilla training and there are hundreds of North Korean instructors in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

The North Korean intelligence center in this part of the globe is located in Macau where, behind the facade of various commercial covers, agents are engaged in arranging logistics and banking facilities for arms deals and intelligence-gathering functions. In the words of one international military observer: "The sale of terrorist and military training is one way Pyongyang can earn hard currencies to help offset the extravagance of spending 25 percent of its gross national product to maintain the 5th largest army in the world."

Monday, October 05, 2009


A ranking tourism official reminded us about a past circular which made the rounds of three departments. It called for the phase-out of foreign nationals in the hotel and resort industry.

The three offices concerned were the Department of Tourism (DoT), The Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) and the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID).

The circular contained guidelines on the entry and employment of foreigners in hotels and resorts. It sought to curb the unlimited employment of foreigners, promote the careers of Filipinos, and ensure the development and protection of local manpower.

Affected by this circular would be foreigners who have been hired as general managers, resident managers, food and beverage managers, chefs and butchers. The circular states that hotels may hire only two (2) foreigners for the post of general manager and food and beverage manager. The three departments supported the circular, but I think it still remains to be followed to the letter. Pretty hotel employees may not relish this circular. There will be less foreign hotel executives they can possibly tie the knot with. Competition will be keener for these Caucasians. Pinoy hotel executives don't have to contend with blonde and blue-eyed rivals any longer - which remains a favorite choice for Pinays looking for greener pastures elsewhere. Methinks that on this matter, the local variety carabao grass is still green enough to relish.


Leafing through some old files recently, I came across a copy of a personally-written letter by former (and late) President Marcos to the late Teodoro 'Ka Doroy' Valencia, the dean of Philippine journalists, who was then critically ill at a hospital in 1987. The copy was furnished by newsman Floro Mercene, who was then arranging a birthday celebration for Ka Doroy.

I quote the note verbatim by Marcos:

"To Doroy, intuitive social philosopher whose wisdom is equalled only by wit of his writings and observations, whose comments may keep the journalistic profession tolerable, if not credible, and whose patriotism has greatly helped the moulding of a militant, committed new breed of Filipinos who are like their forebears willing to offer not only health, blood and life as well as their sacred honor. Your memorials are in the hearts of the Filipino people."

The deposed President said, "We will meet again, friend and comrade, and God, I am confident, will bless that day. May God be with you always."

A few days later, on May 4, 1987, Ka Doroy slipped away into eternity.

Sunday, October 04, 2009


We are rankled by reports from the United Nations that the Philippines is now No. 2 in the world for child prostitution, coming second only to India. And, if things worsen, we may soon be No. 1.

Government efforts to remedy the situation are far from satisfactory which is the reason we continue to be the favorite destination of paedophiles and other forms of sex perverts from the US and Europe. Pictures of innocent young children from the Philippines are circulated all over Europe as come-ons for travel to the country for sexual pleasures. These periodicals point to the fact that Philippine authorities are lax and many may be easily bribed for sex perverts to escape being hauled before local courts. These periodicals also mention that parents here are lured with only a few dollars to consent to having their children go out with foreigners.

Pagsanjan, Laguna has been pictured as an example where parents welcome with open arms foreigners who arrive with gifts and who offer money to cavort with the young kids there. We know for a fact that quite a number of such foreigners in Pagsanjan live in homes they had built for the families of children who are objects of their desire.

The perplexing thing is that even town officials tolerate the presence of these vultures. Let's kick them out before they outnumber Koreans here 2-1.