Thursday, November 26, 2009


So many of our women have been subjected to extreme cruelty in the Middle East, and a majority of them have been sexually molested and raped. Quite a few have even died under mysterious circumstances.

The trouble is that even our diplomatic officers in those countries have been coerced and terrorized into refusing to help Pinay OFWs, and the different labor attaches are simply just useless.

One depressing report is that quite a number of our diplomatic and labor people in these countries have even victimized the OFWs, demanding money for the services that Filipino taxpayers already pay them to do. Many of these people are protected by their political patrons and there is not much that can be done to discipline them. Most of these patrons come from Congress.

What is it with many Arabs that make them cruel and depraved masters? Even their diplomatic people assigned here shrug off protests from Filipinos.

Is this the price we have to pay for being a poor Third World country? Is it because the bulk of oil comes from the Middle East? Is it because we have weaklings in government who dare not face up to the mighty oil sheiks from the desert nations?

We have talked to some domestic helpers from the Middle East who told us blood-curdling tales of cruelty and viciousness and sexual debauchery at the hands of their Arab employers. Those stories have made even hard-boiled police reporters cringe.

Not one of these Pinays who were able to escape and return home would dare go back there for all the money in the world. It's desert hell, they say. And maybe even Allah would be displeased.

(Image from

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Popcorn is big business in the Philippines. But do you know that most of the corn used in this lucrative business come from Thailand? While in the past we exported corn, now there is practically no Philippine corn industry to speak of. This is because corn farmers do not get adequate government help in the form of farm technology, loans, sound advice and protection.

One person has practically cornered the popcorn industry in the country and has concessions in all movie houses, shopping malls and public parks. Talk about a popcorn cartel.

But what hurts most really is that the Thai corn industry was developed by Thai scholars sent by their government to UP Los Banos. The same story holds true with our so-called rice industry. Those behind the successful rice programs of other Asian countries all studied and learned their expertise at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and at UP Los Banos (UPLB).


Despite denials by top government officials, many people feel that the Arroyo regime will impose martial law soon.

These people see unfolding the same events that preceded President Marcos' declaration of martial law. Political observers say "the stage is set" for the military to seize power from civilian authority which had proven to be unable to cope with the country's many problems.

The perplexing part of the situation is that people appear resigned, if not actually receptive to a new authoritarianism of which the present regime has failed to improve their lives as promised at EDSA. They say life now is worse than it was under the Marcos administration, where at least the crime rate was relatively lower, basic commodities were affordable, and delivery of public services did not fail.

To the horror of some present government officials, some citizens are actually yearning for the old Marcos years. When things have reached such desperate proportions, the time may be ripe for either martial law - or a violent change of government.

Anarchy has become the order of the day. With frequent kidnappings in Mindanao, and now the massacre of innocent civilians, being on the streets even in broad daylight has become hazardous for the ordinary citizen.
The impending increase of gasoline prices and other prime commodities which could drive almost everyone to the streets to protest, have sped up the rush towards violent solutions.

As things stand, civilian authority has faltered before the onslaught of national emergencies and calamities. Incompetent and impotent civilian leaders have only the military to turn to to hold the nation together.

How ironic it is that the present government, brought to power because it abhorred military rule, must now call on the barracks to keep it in power to avoid a Jacobin solution which would have an oppressive and useless ruling class violently destroyed to save the general welfare.

The situation here is under serious study in Washington, where deep worries have now been expressed over the Arroyo government whose corruption it had been tolerating.

A conservative Washington think-tank has compared the current regime to the French nobility of the 18th century which had to be overthrown by a revolution. Since before, the think-tank had urged Washington to distance itself from the Arroyo government.

Because of the current scary conditions, many plan to migrate, savings and current assets are flying to foreign banks and many people are shutting down their businesses to be liquid just in case.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


One of the principal brokers of the controversial PEA-Amari land reclamation transaction along Roxas Boulevard must be enjoying all his wealth overseas. Now hiding in the US, I would think that he still monitors developments in the country for future possible probes of the billion-peso scam said to involve very prominent government officials and businessmen. As the saying goes, "behind every great wealth is a great crime." And here, nobody really goes to jail for that. Many are in fact lawbreakers in disguise as lawmakers.

This broker is said to have withdrawn in the past something close to PhP400 million he had earned - for closing a deal that probably cost the government up to PhP200 billion in losses - from a well-known bank with a branch located at an Ermita hotel. In other words, he's a take-the-money-and-run type of fellow.

This same wheeler-dealer was also involved in a controversial transaction for a luxury plane which had government probers looking into activities of certain PCGG officials who were then administering properties sequestered from Ambassador Eduardo 'Danding' Cojuangco.

Curiously enough, the transactions were reportedly consumated withthe participation of Hillary Rodham Clinton when she was still a practicing lawyer in Arkansas.