Featured Post


Friday, April 30, 2010



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Angela del Rosario <adelrosario2008@ gmail.com>
Date: Apr 26, 2010 4:55 AM
To: JOSE ERANA <joserana@gmail.com>

I will not vote for any party list and we should pass on that Filipinos should not vote for any partylist unless they themselves are a member of the group.

There is room for 50 party list members in Congress. Assume they each get P100 million a month in pork barrel. Can you imagine how much our country would save if none of those50 seats are unoccupied????


Remember, each party must garner a certain number of votes in order to be able to get one of their nominees seated in Congress. If NO ONE votes for party list, then NO ONE will sit in Congress and we will save that much more money.

Please encourage your friends NOT to vote for party list. Please pass.

Thanks and regards, Angela

On Mon, Apr 26, 2010 at 2:44 AM, JOSE ERANA <joserana@gmail. com> wrote:

From: Valerie Erana

To: Joselito Erana <joserana@gmail.com>

Dear all,

This is only an initial study done by Kontra Daya. We're still looking at another 20 partylist gorups with questionable goals and nominees.

The most notorious and questionable are Ang Galing Pinoy, 1-utak, Ang Kasangga, PACYAW and BIDA.





1. Ang Galing Pinoy

A national party claiming to represent security guards, tricylce drivers and vendors. Formerly known as Guardians Anti-Crime Pro-People Organization, a political arm of the Guardians group .
First nominee is Pampanga congressman and presidential son Mikey Arroyo. Second nominee is Lubao Mayor Dennis Pineda and third nominee is Bacolor Mayor Romeo “Buddy” Dungca. All three are elected officials from Pampanga and members of the ruling coalition Lakas-Kampi.

2. 1-Utak
Partylist of the transport sector
First nominee is former Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes. Reyes has defended the oil deregulation law and the oil companies on many occasions. These issues pit Reyes against the very sector he now claims to represent.

Second nominee is former LTFRB official, lawyer Vigor Mendoza who is also their current representative in Congress.

3. Ang Kasangga
Partylist claims to represent small entrepreneurs. Its current representative is Ma. Lourdes Arroyo, sister of First Gentleman Mike Arroyo.
Ang Kasangga’s new first nominee is businessman Teodorico T. Haresco who, as one website says, “is primarily known for his involvement in the President’s Bridge Program, a sustained infrastructure and fast-track rural development project spanning over 14 years.” Haresco also sits on the Board of Directors of the PNOC and heads various corporations with partnerships with foreign businesses.

In December 2005, British newspaper The Guardian ran an article about a British firm “accused of making excessive profits in an aid project, by building what their critics call bridges to nowhere”. The Guardian cited Haresco, of the President’s Bridges Program, as the Philippine contact of the British firm.

Second nominee is Eugenio Jose V. Lacson, three term mayor of San Carlos City, Negros Occidental and a member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) – United Negros Alliance. Last Jan.21, he endorsed the candidacy of admin bet Gilbert Teodoro. Lacson is also a major stockholder of Fidelity Stock Transfers, Inc. ATR Kim Eng Financial Corp according to a March 31, 2007 stockholders report.

Third nominee is Anna Maria Nava , the wife of current Guimaras Gov. Felipe Nava.

Fourth nominee is Enrique V. Martin a Board Member of the Capiz provincial government.

Fifth nominee Segundo M. Gaston is the Senior Vice President for support and subsidiaries of the Philippine National Construction Corp. (PNCC)

4. Batang Iwas Droga (BIDA)
BIDA was earlier assailed by watchdog Kontra Daya for being ineligible for partylist accreditation because it is a government funded and initiated entity. In its website, BIDA says it is the brainchild of PAGCOR chair Efraim Genuino.

Batang Iwas Droga has Sheryl Genuino-See, daughter of PAGCOR chairman Efraim Genuino, as its first nominee. Sheryl See was also a previous nominee of Bigkis Pinoy, a partylist also affiliated with PAGCOR’s Genuino.
The second nominee of BIDA, businessman Johhny Tan, was also a previous nominees of the partylist group Bigkis Pinoy.

It is not clear when See and Tan resigned from Bigkis Pinoy to become nominees of BIDA.

BIDA’s fifth nominee appears to be Special Prosecutor Dennis Villa-Ignacio, who is presently a nominee for the Chief Justice’s position.

The group claims to represent transport workers, farmers and fisherfolk, persons with disabilities, senior citizens, anti-crime crusaders, overseas Filipino workers, government workers, industrial workers, urban and rural poor, migrant workers and seafarers, and students, youth and professionals.

KABAYAN has Palace exec Ron Salo as first nominee. Salo was undersecretary under the Office of the Executive Secretary of Eduardo Ermita in 2009 Salo was with the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office before moving to the OES.

Partylist claims to represent urban poor youth. PACYAW is advocating sports development among the youth.

The partylist group Pilipino Association for Country / Urban Poor Youth Advancement and Welfare (PACYAW) has as its first nominee Department of Tourism Asst. Secretary Janet Rita B. Lazatin. She is a member of the Lakas-CMD party and hails from the first district of Pampanga.

Its second nominee is businessman and former Los Angeles Consul Reynaldo Pineda, who is also based in Pampanga.

7. Association of Labor and Employees (ALE)
Partylist claims to represent workers.
Association of Labor and Employees (ALE) has Pampanga provincial board member, businesswoman and known Arroyo ally Catalina Bagasina as its first nominee. Bagasina owns a cargo forwarding company.

Erlinda M.B. De Leon, Ms Arroyo's first cousin, is its second nominee. De Leon, according to the Office of the President's website, served as a special assistant to the President.

8. Abot Tanaw

Gerwyn See is the first nominee of partylist group Abot Tanaw. Gerwyn is the husband of Sheryl G. See (BIDA nominee) and son-in-law of PAGCOR chair Efraim Genuino. Its second nominee is Mario Cornista who also happens to be the chair of the board of directors of BIDA, according to their SEC regsitration submittedin 2003.

Both BIDA and Abot Tanaw are associated with PAGCOR’s Genuino.

9. APOI Partylist
Claims to support the cause of overseas Filipino workers. Describes itself in its website as “an accredited organization of the Department of Labor and Employment.. .via a linkage with the Sentro ng Manggagawang Pinoy for a program organized by the POEA and OWWA.”
APOI Partylist first nominee is Maj. Gen. Melchor Rosales, the administrator of the Office of Civil Defense and also a DILG undersecretary.

10. BANTAY True Marcos Loyalists
Claims to represent security guards, barangay tanods etc. Current representative is Gen. Jovito Palparan who has been linked to many human rights abuses under the Arroyo administration.

First nominee is Evangeline Palparan, wife of Gen. Jovito Palparan. Mrs. Palparan is a dentist in the AFP Dental Service. While Gen. Palparan may be running for a Senate seat, we can safely say that he will retain influence over BANTAY partylist.

11. Aangat Tayo
Partylist group led by Teddie Elson Rivera, an official of the state-owned Philippine International Trading Corporation. Claims to represent labor, urban poor, elderly, women, youth, and the overseas workers

Aangat Tayo’s nominee, Rep. Daryl Grace Abayon is the wife of Rep. Harlin Castillo Abayon (Lakas) of Northern Samar

12. Abono Partylist
Partylist group claiming to represent the agricultural sector
The Abono partylist has Robert Raymund Estrella and Franciso Ortega III, who hail from the prominent Estrella and Ortega political clans allied with the administration.

13. Abante Tribung Makabansa (ATM)
Claims to represent indigenous peoples. Katribu has said that ATM has links with presidential adviser for Mindanao Jesus Dureza
First nominee is former Army Col. Allen A. Capuyan. Capuyan was among those implicated by former T/Sgt. Vidal Doble in the “Hello Garci” controversy. According to Doble, Capuyan was among those who implemented “Project Lighthouse” or the wiretapping of personalities during his stint as head of the Intelligence Service of the AFP’s ‘special operations group’.

14. Alliance of People’s Organizations (APO)
Its Facebook fan page reads “APO of Salacnib Baterina”. Its advocacy is the “scrapping of the oil deregulation law”.
First nominee is businessman, Arroyo ally and former Ilocos representative Salacnib Baterina. Third nominee is Anna Marie Ablan, daughter of Ilocos Norte Rep. Roque Ablan Jr.

15. ANAD
Anti-communist group believed to be supported by the AFP.
Nominees include farther and son tandem of Pastor Alcover, Jr. and Pastor Alcover II. The elder Alcover has described himself as an “anti-communist vigilante”.


Peng Shuilin of China defines courage and hope – a man among men!


Half Man’s recovery stuns surgeons

November 16th, 2009


A Chinese man, who had half of his body amputated after being run over by a truck, has amazed surgeons with his recovery.

Peng Shuilin, 37, spent nearly two years in hospital in Shenzhen, southern China, undergoing a series of operations to re-route nearly every major organ or system inside his body.


Now Peng – who opened his own cut-price supermarket called the Half Man-Half Price Store – has survived so well he’s being used as a role model for other amputees.

At just 2ft 7ins tall, he gets around in a wheelchair and gives lectures on recovering from disability.

“We’ve just given him a check up and he is fitter than most men his age.

He is amazing and the only person in the world to survive having so much of his body amputated,” said Bujie Hospital vice president Lin Liu.

“He had good care but his secret is his cheerfulness – nothing ever gets him down,” he added.






Thursday, April 29, 2010


Belgium - April 26, 2010
Source: http://www.mnnetherlands.com/categories/articles

Dr. Sir Emmanuel Calairo, Phd, (KCR) and Dean College of Liberal Arts - De La Salle University is on a professional/personal tour in Europe .

El Filibusterismo Chapter of the Knights of Rizal organized his visit in Belgium from 14-16 April 2010.

On 13 April Sir Emmanuel Calairo was picked up at La Salle, Polytechnic Institute in Beauvais, France from where he and Sir Lucien Spittael drove to the Philippine Embassy in Paris.

He delivered a paper on:
“Towards the Formation of the first Philippine Republic: retrospect of 19th Century Campaign for Independence.” And Sir Lucien Spittael presented a lecture on the Rizal/Blumentritt documents in the Czech Republic. Both lecturers were congratulated on their respective lectures by Sir Bernard Pot, KCR, Sir Carlos Arnaldo, KGOR and H.E. Ambassador Rora Navarro Tolentino.

Click to enlarge image.Philippine Embassy Paris.
Sir Bernard Pot KCR; Sir Lucien Spittael KGOR; H.E. Ambassador Rora Navarro Tolentino; Dr. Sir Emmanuel Calairo KCR; Sir Choy Arnaldo KGOR; Dr. Magannon

On 14 April Sir Dominiek Segaert, KCR, Chapter Commander Diamond Chapter had invited Dr. Calairo in Knokke to deliver the same presentation as in Paris. After the lecture the members of El Filibusterismo Chapter and Diamond Chapter invited Sir Calairo for lunch in a Chinese restaurant.

Click to enlarge image.Restaurant Knokke
Dr. Emmanuel Calairo with members El Filibusterismo and Diamond Chapter and family.
After lunch Sir Dominique Segaert gave Sir Calairo a guided tour in Bruges.

Click to enlarge image.
City Hall Bruges
Click to enlarge image.
Rizal marker Ghent
Click to enlarge image.
Rizal marker Brussels
In the afternoon of April 15, Sir Calairo was received at the Philippine Embassy by Minister and Consul General Marichu Mauro in Brussels.

Click to enlarge image.Philippine Embassy Brussels, Dr. Sir Emmanuel Calairo, Minister and Consul General Marichu Mauro, Sir Lucien Spittael.
Click to enlarge image.
Brussels, Atomium

Dr. Calairo left Belgium last April 16 to deliver a lecture at the Heidelberg University.

Chocolate Calculator - This Is Amazing!!

Don't tell me your age; you'd
probably lie anyway-but the Hershey Man will know!


This is pretty

It takes less than a minute

Work this out as you read

Be sure you don't read the
bottom until you've worked it out!

This is not one of those
waste of time things, it's fun.

1. First of all, pick the number
of times a week that you would like to have chocolate (more than once but
less than 10)

2. Multiply this number by 2 (just
to be bold)

3. Add 5

4. Multiply it by 50 -- I'll wait

while you get the calculator

5. If you have already had your
birthday this year add 1760 ..

If you haven't, add

6... Now subtract the four digit

year that you were born.

You should have a three digit

The first digit of this was your
original number

(i.e., how many times you
want to have chocolate each week).

The next two numbers



Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Do Pinoys Understand What It Means to be a Citizen?

Just so as not to be eaten up by this fixation that elections are the silver bullets that will render all of the Philippines debacles dead, we need to ask the question – after the elections, what next?

The need for transformation in the Philippines goes on whether one’s candidate for president and the entire elective government positions wins or loses. If one’s candidate does not win, there is a possibility that the issues of charter change for example will be placed in the back burner.

And, if one’s candidate wins, there is still a possibility that charter change or the issues that were in the forefront of the electoral campaign can take a backseat because of the urgent matters of administrative governance. It is at this stage when “change” tends to get lost in the shuffle. This is where the former candidate-turned incumbent either drops the ball (as in Cory Aquino and Erap Estrada), or runs away with it (like FVR).

Post Election Aftermath

The electorate therefore has to deal with the former candidate-turned incumbent to ensure that the momentum which the campaign has generated is sustained.

For example, BenK distills the array of proposed principles to the Philippines woes into four action items:

  1. Develop and enforce a meaningful labor code.
  2. Put an end to tenant farming.
  3. Nationalization of, or at a minimum, providing strong, non-political, public oversight for critical infrastructure businesses.
  4. Allowing foreign ownership of businesses and property, and liberalizing the restrictions on investment outflows.

Benign0 adds to the material by identifying the cultural challenges that need to be surmounted in order for these four action items to take place. He does so by asking the following key questions:

  1. One’s true character shows in the way one treats people who they have power over. Do we regard, relate with, and treat such people the way we can or the way we should?
  2. Do we strive to equip our kids with the ability to think for themselves, make sound judgments, and go out there and make it on their own in their way?
  3. Filipino logic seems to make sense at small scales, but then starts to break down when we begin to apply it at larger scales.
  4. Do we deserve to be the sole exclusive owners of our physical assets and resources? If we have so far shown such a sorry track record of sweating our assets optimally, then it’s high time we re-consider the flawed concept of “protecting the national patrimony” that politicians have been shoving down our throats for decades.

To be able to ask, evaluate, and follow through on such issues is an act of citizenship. These are actions of responsible proactive citizens.

Which leads me to ask the question – do, we Filipinos even understand what it means to be a citizen? The reason being that if we don’t even know what a citizen or what citizenship means, we still have a long way to go in getting our sh*t together.

Revisiting the Fundamentals of Citizenship

If I ask the typical Juan de la Cruz, what does it mean to be a Philippine citizen your most common reaction will probably be a scratch in the head, or a one liner – e di yung Pilipino.

According to wikipedia – A citizen is

a person with citizenship – membership in a political community such as a country or city.

The online dictionary defines citizen as:

  1. A person owing loyalty to and entitled by birth or naturalization to the protection of a state or nation.
  2. A resident of a city or town, especially one entitled to vote and enjoy other privileges there.
  3. A civilian.
  4. A native, inhabitant, or denizen of a particular place: “We have learned to be citizens of the world, members of the human community” (Franklin D. Roosevelt).
The political dictionary defines citizen as:

The status of being a citizen, usually determined by law. In the republican tradition, qualifications for citizenship are associated with particular rights and duties of citizens, and a commitment to equality between citizens is compatible with considerable exclusivity in the qualifying conditions. For example, classical republics excluded slaves, women, and certain classes of workmen from citizenship.

In general, qualifications for citizenship reflect a conception of the purposes of the political community and a view about which persons are able to contribute to, or enjoy the benefits of, the common good, or the freedom of the city. Although the concept of citizenship may refer to a status conferred by law, it may also be deployed to argue that persons have entitlements as a consequence of their position within a community or polity.

This approach suggests that since individuals, as a matter of fact, participate in a common life, they have rights and duties as a consequence. Hence, it has been argued, we have moral obligations to one another because of that shared existence, whether what is shared be characterized as economic activity, culture, or political obligation. There may, then, be an uncertain connection between the ideas of membership of a community and citizenship of a polity.

Both membership and citizenship may be construed as conferred statuses or as empirically determined positions; membership of a community may be asserted as a qualification for citizenship; the common good may be seen as what gives value to both community and political organization. And both membership and citizenship may be valued partly because they are not universally available.

— Andrew Reeve

Citizenship is defined as

“the state of being a citizen of a particular social, political, or national community. Citizenship status, under social contract theory, carries with it both rights and responsibilities. “Active citizenship” is the philosophy that citizens should work towards the betterment of their community through economic participation, public service, volunteer work, and other such efforts to improve life for all citizens. In this vein, schools in some countries provide citizenship education. The group of all citizens is the Citizenry.

History of Modern Citizenship

In the modern world, citizenship is a legal status that bestows uniform rights and duties upon all members of a state. Modern citizenship is associated with equality before the law, freedom from arbitrary rule, and a basic sense of human dignity bound up with the idea of human rights. It is a powerful term that evokes not only the rights that citizens may claim, but also the duties to which they are called, including dying for one’s country.

In early modern Europe, the status of citizen was far feebler and more varied in nature. At the dawn of this period, there were no centralized national states, and the vast majority of the population were servile peasants who lived under the rule of a local lord. The idea of citizenship, that is, a body of free people bound by a common law, was restricted to those who enjoyed full rights of membership in privileged towns, the burghers or bourgeois.

There was no concept of universal rights of citizens. Rights took the form of privileges that were legitimated by tradition and distributed inequitably according to place, rank, and membership in other corporate bodies—guilds, parliaments, universities, and the like. Urban citizenship was thus just one form of juridical status that coexisted alongside a wide array of corporate groups entitling members to rights and privileges

The Social Contract

By the end of the eighteenth century, then, two visions of republican citizenship had emerged. One, often labeled “liberal,” was derived from a natural law tradition and emphasized the rights of individuals, representation, and material progress. It was concerned with checking arbitrary power and securing the conditions that would allow men and women to enjoy the fruits of their labor in peace. A second, more activist and communal strand inspired by classical republicanism appealed to civic virtues of self-sacrifice, public-spiritedness, and the constant vigilance of citizens against enemies of freedom.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau brought elements of both traditions together in The Social Contract, a treatise meant to serve as an ideal, not an actual blueprint, for society.

According to Rousseau, men in their natural state were free and equal, but they were also amoral and governed by instinct. Men reached their full human potential only through the exercise of citizenship. In the social contract, each individual gave up his powers from the state of nature to everyone else in order to form a state. The essence of citizenship, then, was participation in the social contract, which created a state of morality, civil freedom, equality, and democratic participation.

Citizens were bound by law, but remained free, because they imposed laws on themselves. Citizens were equal before the law, because everyone came into the social contract under the same terms. The public interest or “general will” served as the ultimate source of law, because all individuals had sacrificed their private interests to become part of the state.

For Rousseau, citizenship was a legal status, but not a passive one, as it implied moral duties and active participation.

- History 1450-1789
Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World, by the Gale Group, Inc.

The concept of citizenship was at the heart of the Constitution. When Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence in 1776, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” he drew upon the writings of the ancient Greeks Solon (circa 640–559 B.C.) and Pericles (490–429 B.C.) who had argued that the state has legitimacy only so far as it governs in the best interest of its citizens.

Jefferson argued that citizens were autonomous beings whose individual needs had value, and he said that governments that interfered with the fulfillment of those needs—”life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”—were tyrannical and unjust.

-Encyclopedia of American History

Principles Plus Surmounting Challenges = Active Citizenship

More often than not, we, Filipinos look at citizenship as an act of subservience to government. In exchange for this subservience, the government “takes care” of us – patronage on a societal scale. These view of course takes us on a self-defeating course, not only as shown by the history of other nations, but also by our own history. As Benjamin Franklin once quipt – “They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security”.

We need to remember that citizenship comes with rights AND RESPONSIBILITIES which include:

  • betterment of the community through economic participation
  • public service
  • volunteer work
  • follow rules and regulations
  • vote in elections and referendum
  • other such efforts to improve life for all citizens.

We, Filipinos have focused too much on our “rights” while neglecting our responsibilities.

We can do better as citizens. We can be active citizens instead of passive citizens. From citizens who exercise their rights only to react against unwanted policy, we can step up to the plate by becoming active citizens – someone who takes a role in the community.

The Council of Europe, Education for Democratic Citizenship in Dec 2004 provided the following description of Active Citizenship.

Active Citizenship is a form of literacy: coming to grips with what happens in public life, developing knowledge, understanding, critical thinking and independent judgment of local, national, regional, global levels. It implies action and empowerment, i.e. acquiring knowledge, skills and attitudes, being able and willing to use them, make decisions, take action individually and collectively.

We can identify some key characteristics of Active Citizenship:

  • Participation in the community (involvement in a voluntary activity or engaging with local government agencies)
  • People are empowered to play a part in the decisions and processes that affect them, particularly public policy and services
  • Knowledge and understanding of the political/social/economic context of their participation so that they can make informed decisions
  • Able to challenge policies or actions and existing structures on the basis of principles such as equality, inclusiveness, diversity and social justice.

The FACEIT Active Citizenship Project website further says:

There is no universally accepted definition of Active Citizenship and no standard model of what an active citizen is. But there is general agreement that it refers to the involvement of individuals in public life and affairs. This can take place at local, national and international levels.

The term is used especially at local level to refer to citizens who become actively involved in the life of their communities tackling problems or bringing about change or resisting unwanted change.

Active citizens are those who develop the skills, knowledge and understanding to be able to make informed decisions about their communities and workplaces with the aim of improving the quality of life in these. At national level it can move from voting to being involved in campaigning pressure groups to being a member of a political party.

At international level the global active citizen may be involved in movements to promote sustainability or fair trade, to reduce poverty or eliminate slavery.

An active citizen is not necessarily a ‘good citizen’ in the sense that they follow the rules or behave in a certain way.

An active citizen may challenge the rules and existing structures although they should generally stay within the bounds of democratic processes and not become involved in violent acts.

There is a general set of values and dispositions that can be associated with active democratic citizenship including respect for justice, democracy and the rule of law, openness, tolerance, courage to defend a point of view and a willingness to listen to, work with and stand up for others.

What next?

As the 2010 elections come to fruition, a few primary scenarios can take place:

  • The election will take place smoothly. (Best case)
  • The election will take place. It will have technical glitches. But the results are credible. (Good)
  • The election will take place. It will have technical and operational glitches. The results are credible in general. (Fair)
  • The election will take place. It will have technical and operational glitches. The results are highly contested. But power will be transferred constitutionally. (Satisfactory)
  • The election will not take place. Power will be transferred extra-constitutionally. (Fail)

Life will continue after the completion of any of the previously mentioned scenarios.There will be new faces, but it will still be governed under the same set of rules and laws that we all agreed to abide by.

We Filipinos can react to the agenda, or we can work together to set the agenda.

Filipinos can continue being passive citizens or they can sustain the drive of becoming active citizens who demand and create change during and between election cycles. We Pinoys can step up to the cultural challenges and work on getting programs implemented based on the four recommendations.

Or we can just drop the ball, expect the trapos to do their thing. Then complain in midstream, take to the streets and dance to the tunes of another pied piper.

Ball is in Da Pinoy’s court – our court.

About Bong:
A self-described "mutt" having ancestors of diverse origins - Maranao, Ilonggo, Butuanon, and Ilocano. Born and raised in Southern Mindanao's Davao City, now living in the East Coast's Sunshine State.

Arroyo Scandal Enraged Pinoys in the Netherlands

An exclusive from LOUI GALICIA

Amsterdam, October 12 & 17

Pinoy migrant workers in the Netherlands are enraged by the issue of corruption and bribery involving President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and members of the Senate.

Most of them have read about these scandalous allegations from the Internet and watching ABS-CBN's news programs on The Filipino Channel or TFC.

Sen. Jamby Madrigal addresses the audience at the public forum at the University of Amsterdam, hours after signing the Madrigal-NDFP JOINT STATEMENT calling for Peace Talks.
Photo: Munting Nayon, Amsterdam-October 12, 2007

But none had convinced them more than the words directly coming from the lips of Sen. Jamby Madrigal and Bayan Muna party list Rep. Satur Ocampo, who separately held meetings with the Filipino communities during their recent visit here.

At two separate forums held in Amsterdam, Sen. Madrigal and Cong. Ocampo pounced on the issue of bribery involving President Arroyo.

"This came after the big brouhaha about ZTE and NBN contract in China, indicating that the president and her husband were directly involved. In April, when the ailing husband of Gloria was struggling for his life at the St. Luke's hospital, she flew to Hainan to witness the signing of a contract. What is her interest?" Cong. Ocampo told an audience that was intently listening at the ABC Treehut in Amsterdam on Oct. 17.

"But the matter will not die down easily when Congress resumes session in November. There will be continuing investigation and moreover, there's this new initiative to impeach the government [Pres. Arroyo]," Cong. Ocampo added.

He also used the occasion to call for "people pressure" to force President Arroyo to stop the gross human rights violations in the Philippines.

Cong. Ocampo wants the Filipino people to understand that their campaign and their assistance in order to expose these violations of human rights in the Philippines and the abuse of the government are very effective in showing to the world the anomalies of the Arroyo government.

He spoke to a group of one hundred of his die-hard supporters who came from the different parts of the Netherlands to hear him speak or to just see him.

Consie Lozano of Liga ng Kabataang Pilipino said that Cong. Ocampo has been expected to "drop by" the Netherlands every time he is in Europe, if only to give back the support of the Filipino community which voted for him under his Bayan Muna party list.

Cong. Ocampo told his supporters that "people pressure" is still a very effective tool. He said that pressure can be exerted on the government to prevent, reduce and ultimately to stop the killings and violations of human rights and stop the corruption of officials in the government.

Congressman Satur Ocampo updates the audience on the issue of corruption and bribery involving President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and members of the Senate.
Photo: Ruth de Leon, Amsterdam-October 17, 2007

"In any way, the decision is with the Filipino people," Cong. Ocampo said.

Sen. Madrigal also fearlessly spoke on the alleged involvement of Sen. Manny Villar and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano during a forum on Repression and Human Rights Violations Under the Pretext of Anti-Terrorism held on October 12 at the University of Amsterdam's Faculty of Law.

She was one of the panelists at the forum which included Jose Maria Sison and his two lawyers Jan Fermon and Michiel Pestman.

Mr. Sison's lawyers spoke on the continuous persecution of the Communist Party of the Philippines Founding Chair under the Arroyo regime.

Sen. Madrigal did not think twice on speaking ill of her two colleagues.

"It is a matter of record. I said it on the floor and it was on the front page for two days. I see no reason why I shouldn't talk about it. Because si Cayetano ginamit lang niya yung pagsisira ke first gentleman [Arroyo] so nung gusto niyang maging senador, vocal siya. Ngayong senador na siya, nagpepreno na siya. Nangangahulugan na hindi na din siya sincere sa taong bayan kasi nag-iba na siya," Madrigal said.

Senators Villar and Cayetano were respectively number five and number eight on the Magic 12 list of senators voted by the Overseas Absentee voters here in the Netherlands on May 14.

Sen. Madrigal dismissed allegations that she is vocal because she has the backing of the New People's Army.

"I think nakakatawa yan kasi hindi ko maintindihan bakit ang isang tao eh kailangan magsinungaling. All I'm doing is I'm telling the truth. Wala akong preno kasi yung mga trapo politician na masyadong preno eh sila ang nagsisira sa ating bayan. It has nothing to do whether I have the backing of NPA, the church or other groups. I will tell the truth. It has nothing to do being backed by any group. It has all a matter to do with telling the truth," Sen. Madrigal reiterated.

The Pinoys who heard the actual scenarios surrounding the scandal from the speeches by these politicians couldn't help but be affected.

Jun Saturay of Rice & Rights was very angry and disgusted.

"Lalong nagiging litaw sa amin yung larawan ng nabubulok na gobyerno ni Arroyo," Saturay shouted.

They call on the overseas Pinoys to be vigilant.

"Kinakailangan talaga kahit kami wala sa bansa na kinakailangan maging vigilante. Maging mapagmasid sa mga nangyayari sa ating bansa," OFW Danny Evangelista told ABS-CBN.

The president of Migrante Netherlands is very furious because he says that the corruption and bribery scandal of the Arroyo government also affects the OFWs.

"Maraming mga OFWs dito ngayon kahit halos ganoon nalang ang tiwala ng aming mga amo eh nababawasan na dahil lang sa kanila. At ito ngayon, yung scandalo tungkol sa suhulan sa ating mga congressman eh matindi din yan. Di mo sukat akalain yung ibinoto namin na congressman eh yun pala ang unang-unang manghuhudas sa amin," Mr. Evangelista said.

"Talagang wala na. Wala na kaming nakikita kundi yung kinang ng pilak ang kanilang pinahahalagahan. Hindi yung pagtulong sa mahihirap na mamamayan," Evangelista complained.

Journalist Loui Galicia among the audience at the Forum with Cong. Satur Ocampo
Photo: Ruth De Leon, Amsterdam-October 17, 2007

Another OFW, Rami Compra also of Migrante is thankful that he attended the two forums with Madrigal and Ocampo.

"Napakalaki pala. Napakarami pala ang dapat matutunan ng mga Pilipino tungkol sa nangyayari sa Pilipinas. Mga grabeng corruption sa Pilipinas e di pa pala nawawala. Lalo na yung bribery," Mr. Compra said.

Mr. Compra thinks that the Philippines is hopeless because the problem of corruption has not been resolved even with the changes of government.

"Lalong naghihirap [the Philippines]. Sa aking pananaw sabi nila gaganda ang Pilipinas. Sa aking pananaw parang mas lalong maraming naghihirap sa panahon ngayon," Mr. Compra said.

He also condemns the Arroyo regime for its political persecution of Communist of the Philippines Founding Chair Jose Maria Sison.

"Pag sinasabi nila na ang isang tao eh nag-aklas isa na itong terorista. Pero sa palagay ko ang pag-aaklas hindi ito isang terorista. Dapat bang tawagin na terorista ang isang tao kagaya ni Jose Rizal at Andres Bonifacio? Sila ang naging unang-unang terorista na nag-aklas sa bansa para mapalaya ang bansang Pilipinas. Si Joma Sison lang naman siguro nagmahal sa bansa nya. Ganon ang pananaw ko para sa kanya at ganon ang natutunan ko para sa kanya at hindi siya terorista," he declared.

(related article...see Madrigal, NDFP sign JOINT STATEMENT)

Source: http://www.mnnetherlands.com/mn208/cp_arroyoscandal.php

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Filipinos divided over Noynoy Aquino: Why it’s so hard to get our act together

When Joseph “Erap” Estrada decided to run for the Philippine presidency in 1998, he had the majority of the Filipino masses behind him. He was the champion of the poor and poor people came out in droves to vote for him, resulting in him enjoying a wide margin of votes over his opponents. This was, to the dismay of the majority of the middle and upper class members of Philippine society. Never was Philippine society so divided as during Erap’s reign. I actually know of a few Filipinos belonging to the upper classes who left the country because they were so disillusioned by an Erap presidency. And that was even before he was sworn into office!

It is safe to assume that Erap’s supporters then were mostly coming from the lower classes, those who are less-educated and easily swayed by hollow slogans and empty promises to wipe out poverty. Fast forward to this year, 2010. Erap is running again for the presidency and he still has the same type of supporters he had twelve years ago. However, he won’t be getting the same wide margin of votes this time. This time around, he has Noynoy Aquino to contend with.

One would have thought that seeing Erap running again after spending some time behind bars for plunder would be the biggest joke of all this coming election. But Noynoy’s bid all but eclipses that. Noynoy’s presidency bid ranks right up there with the worst political jokes in Philippine history for the simple reason that Noynoy, despite being in the race only after forced to run by avid Aquino fans despite his lack of accomplishments in politics, is now leading in the supposedly “informative” polls.

While it is clear where Erap got most of his support, Noynoy Aquino’s supporters come from all different sectors of society. There are Noynoy supporters coming from the lower class (uneducated class), the middle class (the consumers), and the upper class (the elite). Noynoy’s appeal is said to be an emotional one, as oppose to that of Erap’s starstruck supporters. Thanks to the advent of internet campaigning, Noynoy supporters can be seen using bullying tactics by mentioning God’s name in the campaign, which cuts to the heart of every church-going Filipino.

Whereas Erap’s supporters saw in him hope in a government that might alleviate their poverty, a lot of Noynoy’s supporters just want to see the return of an Aquino to Malacanang for old time’s sake. This is evident in the way they keep saying “I haven’t seen anything like it since the days of Cory and People Power” and “all these point to another Heaven-made Aquino presidency”.

Noynoy supporters feel good about the comfy familiarity of having another Aquino in Malacanang – they feel safe. It is against Noynoy supporters’ principles to question why they feel that way though. They are simply adamant that it is safer than choosing someone who has been in politics longer or someone who has more accomplishments.

For most people, Noynoy Aquino’s ascent to cult leader status is a phenomenon that is hard to fathom. He was virtually unheard of and was under the radar before his mother’s death. In order to understand how and why Noynoy Aquino is receiving cult like adulation now from every sector of the Philippine society, we must delve into the mind of a typical Filipino who is a Noynoy supporter. I suppose we can use the analogy used in the field of advertising.

In advertising, the most important element in the message is not the information but the suggestion that appeals to people’s emotions. The best advertising agencies are the ones who can make consumers believe that they need a product to survive or make their lives worthwhile. They condition the mind into believing one needs to send a loved one flowers on Valentines Day, for example. Advertisers make advertisements that promise to make people feel good if they buy the products they pitch. The best commercials can push the right buttons in the deepest recesses of the human psyche – our fears, our needs, and our relationships with other people. The suggestions lay dormant in people’s sub-conscious until one gets triggered by an event like, say, someone’s death (i.e. Cory Aquino).

Let’s say that you manufacture Coca-Cola. Sales are down due to the economic crisis. You decide to hire the best advertising agency in town to help sell your products. The agency comes up with an ad that shows a young family who are sad and destitute as a result of the financial crisis. The young son opens the fridge and says, “Hey, we still have Coke!” and then everyone shouts in jubilation and then the director cuts to the scene where everyone is again, ecstatic. It may seem shallow at first but if that commercial is seen often enough; a person could start to believe that everything will be ok once he drinks Coca-Cola.

How do avid Noynoy supporters use advertising tactics to ensure Noynoy gets the most votes? It is very easy because Filipinos are God-fearing people. We are a prayerful lot and most of us believe in miracles and in leaving everything to fate. By mentioning the name of God and insisting that this election is a fight between good versus evil, Noynoy’s campaigners mess with the minds of Filipinos by inducing fear, fear of being ostracized by the supposedly “good” people. Those who use logic or those who go against what Noynoy supporters say are “Acts of God” are branded “evil” and are excommunicated not by the Catholic Church, but by their family and friends who are Noynoy supporters.

Since Philippine society is still stuck in a medieval mindset, most Filipinos defer to their emotional impulses rather than rely on their logical faculties. You can see it in the way Noynoy’s supporters keep chanting “Noynoy is the chosen one” over and over. In Medieval times, people were made to recite repetitive chants to clear the mind from what were perceived to be impure thoughts and pursuits that distract from piety. This kept people in check and helped the party in power keep a longer and stronger hold over the people.

The way Noynoy supporters feel about Noynoy can also be compared to the placebo effect. The placebo effect is a pharmaceutical term that refers to a pill that contains nothing more that sugar. It has no chemical of medicinal value in it but the way it works is that people who have chronic illnesses are made to believe that they are taking a genuine pill. Doctors use it to test if the illness is all in the mind of the patient. If the patient who takes the pill that contains nothing more than sugar feels better after, then the condition is deemed to be more psychological than physiological in nature. In the same manner, Noynoy supporters who swallow the Aquino pill may feel better psychologically even if the pill contains nothing more than the empty slogans of “Walang mahirap kung walang corrupt”. Isn’t that slogan so similar to “Erap para sa mahirap?” It’s a slogan that gives people a powerful “high” but will also see people crashing hard after the effects have worn off.

With Philippine society so divided again over Noynoy Aquino’s bid for the presidency, we’ll see another wave of Filipinos leaving the country because of disillusionment. We’ll never hear the end of the likes of Adam Carolla saying “Philippines, get your sh*t together!”

Do not waste your vote!

About ilda:
Ilda is agent provocateur. She wants to help people realise that things are not always what they seem.

Source: http://antipinoy.com/filipinos-divided-over-noynoy-aquino-why-its-so-hard-to-get-our-act-together/