Saturday, December 19, 2009


A new church-backed "people's movement" is urging morality and scruples in government. Incidentally though, many leaders of this new group are identified with the regime of the late former President Corazon Aquino, and are now hovering around heir-apparent Noynoy Aquino and runningmate Mar Roxas.

Several of them are said not to be qualified to talk about morality because they themselves are open to attacks for hidden skeletons in their closets. Political motives have also been ascribed to the group. It was said the leaders are working for a return to power by appointive positions once Noynoy makes president. As it is, these people salivate and drool over their imaginations each time their man tops any given survey there is.

I had coffee recently with a relative of subject presidentiable and inevitably, our small talk drifted to the thorny issue of these relatives' supposed involvement in numerous cases of graft and corruption in government. And for the other side of the question, I got a brutal explanation.

He said they had suffered for 20 years under the Marcos regime. They had been persecuted and hounded and had their businesses and properties grabbed away from them by Marcos' henchmen. When President Cory took over, it was time for them to recover what had been stolen from them and rehabilitated themselves. And what was wrong with our trying to make a living under Cory? Are we going to be denied this just because we are her relatives?

And then it was time for some straight-shooting and honesty. He told me in a whisper that they knew Cory wouldn't be around long enough and that they had to feather their nests and prepare for the inevitable post-Cory era when they might again be subjected to persecution, and that is where money, lots of it, will come in handy to protect themselves. Look at some of the moneyed Marcos cronies, he said, many of them have escaped prosecution and even managed to worm their way into the inner circles of succeeding administrations because they knew how to buy off the right people in government and among close relatives.

I walked away from that coffee session in a daze, but properly given the low-down on the case of presidential relatives and their headaches.

And so, it does fall into place. They could be staging a comeback once Noynoy Aquino makes it to Malacanang. I guess some things never change. And among those that will always remain in the Filipino way of life is the "utang na loob" system and the meddling of relatives and cronies with the one who succeeds his way most to a high position. In this case the presidency. Brace yourselves, for the "holier than thou" para-clergy are back with a vengeance. This time more vicious and with a bigger appetite for power, backed by a younger generation of the Kamaganak II Inc.

Friday, December 18, 2009


There are reports that a confidential list of illegal loggers is being "doctored" in Malacanang to remove the names of some government officials and other persons close to the Arroyo government. This could be the reason the list has not been released to the public.

DENR Secretary Lito Atienza could, for some time now, be between the devil and the deep blue sea, and perhaps was experiencing "heavy pressure" to sanitize the list. Doing so could affect his mayoralty candidacy when charges of coddling illegal loggers intensify.

National outrage for illegal logging is mounting, but still on a slow pace. Stop illegal logging? Puro pangako lang.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


The media bureau of presidential bet Noynoy Aquino should blue-pencil a pertinent portion in an article in the Los Angeles Times written during President Corazon Aquino's term. I believe there are certain quarters out there who will be coming out with this article next year. The article by John Cavanagh and Robin Broad should also be of great interest to both supporters and critics of Noynoy. The Hacienda Luisita issue will always be around to haunt him.

The particular item in the article bluntly states:

"Corazon Aquino's promise of land to the tiller has degenerated into a program of almost comical scandals in which wealthy landlords sell their worst parcels of land to the government at ridiculously inflated prices which peasants-turned-landowners must repay in full. This may be the first land reform in history in which the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer."

As it is, a Noynoy Aquino administration may only continue this practice and attitude which he will inherit from his mother Cory. And what about the issue on his father Ninoy and the case of another "killing" inside the hacienda? I think it's time we unearth (pun unintended) this matter so the public may know what also happened there once upon a time way before the Hacienda Luisita massacre took place 5 years ago.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


The Liberal Party will soon be holding a shindig to honor outstanding past and present LP leaders as part of a national effort to revitalize the party in preparation for the coming polls, not to mention that both of their candidates Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas maintain the lead in current surveys.

In listing the LP greats to be honored, the organizers should not omit the late President Ferdinand Marcos who was president of the Liberal Party (LP) for many years until he bolted to the Nacionalista Party (NP) to become their presidential candidate. He probably flashed the 'L' before flashing the 'V.' Well, I suppose even the late Marcos was bitten by the balimbing bug at some point in his political career. Twice, I believe.

But even after he had joined the NP and then became Philippine president, Marcos maintained good relations with the LP. He helped many Liberals during his presidency even to the consternation of the Nacionalistas.

With Noynoy at the forefront of the Liberal Party, he may prevent the inclusion of Marcos from the roster of LP leaders, and this will surely be received with anger in the Ilocos regions where Marcos is still regarded as their true leader and benefactor.

Surely, LP leaders are aware that former First lady Imelda Marcos and her children - and especially now Bongbong Marcos, who is running for senator, are regularly consulted by many Ilocano leaders seeking political advice, especially with the coming May 2010 polls.

Many houses in the Ilocos provinces still display old and dilapidated "Marcos pa rin" posters. Many people still follow orders from Marcos leaders in the region.

A few Ilocano politicians like Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, former President Fidel Ramos and former Senator Ernesto Maceda have failed to get the Marcos mantle in the north. Senator Aquilino 'Nene' Q. Pimentel who hails from Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao, claims to be an Ilocano since his mother Petra Quilingquing comes from Marcos' hometown of Batac, Ilocos Norte. Pimentel is a cousin of General Fabian Ver. In fact, Pimentel had a local bill passed changing the name of a Batac barangay to Quilingquing.


The Japanese really know how to deal with Filipinos. They know that most of our leaders and officials are scammers, free-loaders and, in the words of the late Chino Roces, "highwaymen."

I remember when a Japanese cigaret manufacturer contributed some 250,000 packs of cigarets - or 5 million sticks for distribution to a rally on EDSA (Quezon City side) many years ago. And to think that the same city was supposed to be under a smoking ban then. So how come those EDSA organizers accepted the donation?

Recently, another "donation" to Quezon City was consumated, perhaps coinciding with its honorable mayor's "balimbing act." This pertains to Mayor Sonny Belmonte's pledge of allegiance to the Liberal Party, announcing to the whole city his undying support for Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas. Of course, Vice-Mayor Herbert Bautista wasn't far behind. He was on a yellow leash as well. And what better way to reinforce this partisan commitment than to erect yet another statue of Ninoy Aquino right in the heart of Quezon City. The structure now stands on the corner of sleazy Quezon Avenue and Timog. That corner happens to be a bottleneck too because unruly jeepney drivers load and unload their passengers right there causing traffic.

And perhaps, many still remember a donation to the province of Tarlac of a statue of Ninoy Aquino during President Cory's regime. This donation was made by one of the bidders of the Philippines Roppongi property in Japan - whose sale was (and still is) the object of question and controversy, not to mention the all-expenses paid junkets national and local officials then have made several times to Tokyo. Many of these Aquino officials even had the shamelessness to ask their hosts for "pocket money" to finance their spending sprees.

Do you still wonder why our former enemies still regard us as trash, abuse our women, and dump their toxic garbage on our piers, even to the extent of having our senators kiss the wooden sandals of the Yakuza in the country?