Saturday, October 17, 2009


SLEEPLESS IN MY SHUTTLE. The decision by shipowners of ill-fated vessels to pay insurance only to the families of victims whose bodies can be accounted for must be immediately jettisoned.

In the case of Filipino boy scouts who all perished in a plane crash many years ago on their way to a jamboree and whose bodies were never found, insurance payments were issued to their respective families.

All those who had perished in past ship tragedies at sea, regardless of whether their bodies were found or not, should be paid insurance in full as this is an obligation of shipowners.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


SLEEPLESS IN MY SHUTTLE. Whenever people discuss how Mrs. Imelda Marcos was convicted of graft for the "illegal transfer of funds" from one government project to another, we should be reminded that the same yardstick be applied to the Aquino regime for the construction of the infamous Borloloy Building in Malacanang.

Imelda used funds of the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) to rehabilitate the Philippine General Hospital (PGH). The Sandiganbayan ruled that she had broken the law. The money used to erect the Borloloy Building came from calamity funds. Release of these funds were approved by President Corazon Aquino.

Many persons are believed to have made dirty money from the overpricing of materials for that building.

Now, shouldn't the courts run after these people - just as it went after Imelda Marcos for her LRT-PGH project?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Chavit Singson is alive and well as he is - like a cat, or more specifically like his giant feline, a Bengal Tiger deemed to have nine lives. He has cheated death many times, the not so recent of which was when he escaped with non-life threatening injuries from a helicopter crash while campaigning in the Mountain Province. Before that, he defied death when he courageously plucked out a pin-less, live grenade from the trembling hands of a hostage-taker in a gripping drama right in the heart of Manila just a spit away from Fred Lim's City Hall. Before that, he survived an aneurysm attack. Still further back, he had bucked ambuscades, sustaining wounds in different parts of his body. The former governor-turned-deputy-national-security-adviser walked out unscathed some years back from would-be assassins masquerading as checkpoint personnel in the dead of night. As Manong Chavit approached the purported checkpoint-botched ambush, cat-like instincts told him here was danger waiting for him. He was to expose jueteng anomalies the very next day. Killers could be out to get him to prevent him from blowing his rusty whistle. As if on cue, Chavit stopped his convoy and sounded out authorities of a road accident. The timely arrival of the police and several town mayors from his Republic of Ilocos Sur aborted what could have been a bloody encounter between Chavit's boys and heavily-armed "checkpoint" men that night. Chavit went on to say his jueteng piece in the Senate against President Joseph Estrada who was kicked out of Malacanang - and is contemplating a grand comeback. Well, Chavit is alive and kicking, eight years now since being instrumental in instigating Erap's banishment from the Palace by the Pasig, and was the man who would usher Gloria Arroyo to an insatiable greed for power. Many say that this was his biggest disservice to the Filipino nation, and I agree. And oh, did I mention he had a heart bypass?


There seems to be a deliberate attempt by the Catholic Church in the Philippines to ignore year after year the important role played by the Philippine Independent Church of the late great General Gregorio Aglipay, who helped spark the revolt agaist "Madre Espana." The Independent Church, more popularly known as the Aglipay Church, was referred to in historical reports, including those in foreign documents as "the church of the Philippine revolution," and praised for playing a major role in the Philippine Revolution against the Spaniards, which had been described as "the first revolt against colonialism in Asia," and was a model for other revolutions in other Asian countries.

Some blamed the "distortion" of Philippine history on the "continuing meddling" by the Catholic Church in government affairs in the Philippines and on a systematic campaign to hide the truth about the revolution against Spanish Rule and the friars, especially in history books taught in Philippine schools, particularly those colleges run by the church.

Some historians have reportedly brought up this perversion of the role of the Aglipay church in the revolution, to make the necessary corrections to the continuing mammoth historical injustice.

Many leaders of the revolution were given protection and sanctuary in Aglipayan churches and safehouses, which contributed greatly to the success of the uprising against the colonialists. To ignore such a role, and even to ridicule them, as sought by those out to blot their heroic efforts is an unforgivable crime against our heroes who shed their blood and laid down their lives for our beloved country.


SLEEPLESS IN MY SHUTTLE. At a chance encounter some years ago, former Customs Commissioner Rolando Geotina congratulated former Senator Ramon Revilla Sr., who had been keeping watch over the Bureau of Customs.

"Who are you?" Revilla shot back at Geotina. Obviously, the senator had forgotten he was once a Customs policeman under Geotina. The former commissioner could only manage a forced smile.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


During one of the many ribbon-cutting ceremonies attended by former President Fidel Valdez Ramos where he happened to be a guest of honor at an inauguration of a toothpaste factory, the owners proudly proclaimed to the media that their product assures strong and pearly-white teeth.

When FVR was at the ground-breaking rites, he noticed that his porcelain front tooth was missing, but he gamely said that the proceedings must go through. He even flashed a wide grin for the photographers to record for posterity a presidential smile with one tooth missing.

And that's the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth.