Saturday, November 14, 2009


The Associated Press reports that when Mayon Volcano spewed flaming boulders and sent a river of lava flowing down its slopes, a crowd of Bicolanos cheered the pyrotechnic (pyroclastic) display.

Well, we Filipinos are a nation of rubber-necking curiosity seekers. We like to be on the scene of the action even if our very own lives are endangered.

Remember the various coup attempts against the Aquino administration? There were more uziseros than there were government troops and rebels combined. These by-standers cheered the soldiers on either side to shoot one another. Others grabbed as souvenirs ammo shells just as they were ejected from the hi-powered rifles.

The combatants had the problem of having these curiosity seekers under control. Many of these rubbernecks did not leave their vantage points even if it meant getting caught in the crossfire. A few of them were run over by military vehicles.

In hindsight, many of the participants in the EDSA 1 and 2 revolts were most probably uziseros - not the highly-motivated civilians that the Aquino and Arroyo supporters love to brag about.

Friday, November 13, 2009


There is an ugly practice committed by several members of the cabinet, senators, congressmen and top members of the judiciary which needs to be stopped immediately. It is the misuse and abuse of Philippine Air Force (PAF) planes and choppers. These government officials have been guilty of this practice for quite some time now. Many of their out-of-town trips are simply just for the purpose of cutting ribbons and inaugurations for completed public works projects, or even crowning some barrio beauty queens.

Why can't officials take commercial flights? After all, they are entitled to transportation allowance. Or do they take the PAF aircrafts and divert their travel money to their personal use?

Many legislators have complimentary passes from Philippine Air Lines (PAL). And so, it is difficult to understand why they insist on using military aircraft - unless they bring along family members and office staffers when they travel to the provinces.

The PAF should bill these officials for the use of their planes and choppers, not to mention the enormous aviation fuel they have used up to cover their "sightseeing" and pleasure trips. After all, their Countryside Development Fund (CDF) can easily shoulder the costs of their vanity trips. This will be a common scene especially by government-sponsored candidates for the 2010 elections. Watch out for the official offenders again soon.

(Image from

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


The plight of underprivileged children roaming our streets trying to eke out a living is something we should all be concerned about. Every single day, we see them on the streets, in market places, in parking lots, on jeepneys and any other place they can be just to survive another day.

Under the Constitution, these children have the right to assistance which includes proper care and nutrition, and a guaranteed special protection against all forms of neglect, abuse, cruelty, exploitation and other conditions prejudicial to their interests. The embattled Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) needs all the help as this is the agency that can really do something about our kids before paedophile vultures feast on them.

In addititon:

1) The number of street-children should call us all to a sympathetic alarm. As Christmas draws near, many more of them will surface on the streets;

2) The risk and extent of damage brought about by street life to the child's total development is too serious to be ignored;

3) In a developing society, it is very apparent that unsupportive conditions surround the child's home and life environment;

4) Metro Manila street-children are compelled to work and learn survival skills at an early age as they are deprived of their basic needs for normal physical development, proper nourishment, adequate sleep, clothing and shelter;

5) These street-children are deprived of the needed amount of proper social, intellectual and psychological stimulation, and thus experience feelings of betrayal, abandonment, rejection, helplessness and other insecurities at various degrees; and,

6) Their places of work, the streets, are hazardous and the nature of their work and life make them easily vulnerable to pseuso-rewards, habit-forming vices such as the sniffing of rugby, which are associated with dubious and exploitative characters of the underworld.

Calling the attention of our presidentiables. Please prioritize this social ill.


Before selective amnesia kicks in for good to the many yellow fever-inflicted Pinoys who now have blindly shifted their support to Noynoy Aquino and party saying that their candidate comes from an untainted (presidential) legacy some of his ancestors have left the country, perhaps it would be apropos to draw attention to a book on the late former President Corazon Aquino by Lewis Gleeck Jr., a former US embassy official who has lived in the Philippines since his retirement from the US foreign service, and is considered one of the foremost experts on the Philippines and frequently consulted by US officials on Asian and Philippine affairs.

Entitled "President Aquino: Sainthood Postponed," the book is a sequel to his first book "President Marcos and the Philippine Political Culture." It pulls no punches and carries withering criticisms about what he calls "Aquino's failed presidency."

In his preface, Gleeck admits he has written what some may find as too critical of Aquino for which he says he makes no apologies. He further writes in the preface:

"Finally, I am firmly convinced that a government cannot perform adequately if its basic raison d'etre is revenge. I am not so Christian to believe that such sentiment is never justified, but revenge, as a basis of government covers up flaws in both the policies and performance of government. Hatred can so deform thinking that what the dethroned monster has done must be seen to be evil and its opposite, good. This was the rationale of Palace policies for the entire six years of the Aquino government."

"In summary, I regard the presidential term of Corazon Aquino as not only a failure, but at the end, a regression comparable to the worst days of the Marcos regime."

In a special message to American readers, he wrote:

"Cory Aquino, choreographed in 1986 by the world media and championed by the American government, flashed like a meteor through the heavens for two years, but failing to capture the coveted Nobel Prize, quickly sputtered to Earth."

"During the next four years, she was sustained in office largely through the efforts of the US which fell victim to its own delusion that it was supporting a saint who would lead the authoritarian-oppressed nations of the world to American-style democracy."

"Mrs. Aquino was not only inexperienced but untalented, a victim of grossly-simplified view of democracy, which in her mind seemed to consist of anything that ran counter to the acts of the Marcos government, some of whose policies were sound and effective."

"Since Marcos had been a strong leader, Cory abdicated leadership in favor of playing, first, chairman of a mediocre Board which could never agree, and then reached kaffeeklatsch decisions among her own cronies whose husbands occupied official positions which they constantly mismanaged. Mrs. Aquino tolerated total incompetence or corruption in her ministries and through repeatedly promising to correct anomalies, just as repeatedly reneged, blindly clinging to cronies and relatives."

So, if you believe "kung ano ang puno, siya ang bunga," well, here you have it.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


The toy sections in department stores are choked with mock weapons of destruction. These replicas of high-powered firearms like Uzis and Ghalils look so real it is so difficult to distinguish between the toy from the real McCoy.

Wasn't there a campaign to ban the sale of these items to discourage the violence that these toys encourage among the young kids? It looks as if toy manufacturers and dealers like the giant Toy Kingdom have shot down this drive.

The Catholic Church was among the major backers of this campaign. So how come church people and lay groups have suddenly become silent on the matter? Or have they simply given up their efforts because government officials don't give a hoot?

In the United States, government and private citizens have joined hands to crack down on the manufacture and sale of these toys. This is part of a national concern over the mounting crime rate in that country due to lack of gun control.

Remember how we were jolted by the rising number of killings in the US and when a bright young Filipino lawyer was killed on a New York commuter train when a crazed gun-wielder shot down several pasengers? That lawyer was the daughter of the secretary-general of the Philippine Senate, and no less than the US ambassador went to this official to offer the condolences of his government. Many nodded in silent agreement when the Philippine official stressed that the United States is not really a safe place to live in any longer.

Perhaps it would be wise for parents not to buy their children these toy guns this Christmas - or any other Christmas. Statistics show that more than 50,000 robberies over the past 5 years have been committed with the use of toy guns. It was stressed that "many times our children feel that real guns are just like toys." This same advice should be heeded by Pinoy parents. In recent years, quite a number of young kids had been involved in fatal accidents using real guns. One of the most noted was that of a 5-year-old kid who fatally shot a housemaid with his father's gun after an argument over TV shows.

Time magazine reports that in the US alone, handguns owned by private citizens are at a whopping 67 million, and violent crimes committed with handguns are at an annual 640,000 cases, including an estimated cost of the economy over firearm injuries at US$14 billion.

Even the once active Gunless Society group of Nandy Pacheco has suddenly become muzzled. Not a peep has been heard from them for quite some time now. Looks like the Pacheco advocacy group has been shot down by powerful persons behind the pro-gun group, which includes top government officials and the military brass.

For them, it will always be Gun the Ban.


'Tis the nippy month of November. It is also the season for some exotic fruits like the balimbing and the unique genus of the Lepidoptera species developed in the Philippines called political butterflies. I'd rather call them political flies, hopping from one dung to another.

Expect the mighty Lakas to semi-disintegrate with many of its officials preparing to make a mass migration to the opposition parties such as the Nacionalista Party and the Liberal Party whose members and their fantasizing fanatics believe that their bets Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas have already won even way before the 2010 elections. What arrogance. What buffoonery.

'Tis the merry month of November and 'tis also the season for cult members who worship Brutus, Quisling, Judas and Benedict Arnold and other assorted characters notorious for being opportunists, rats jumping from a sinking ship, and pettifoggers.

With such kind of politicians and leaders, no wonder this country is in such a mess. Even our church leaders, who are supposed to be our guides are equally guilty of such deception and deceit and should be lined up against a wall and whipped ahead of those dirty politicians.

If we stop voting, will they ever go away?

(image from