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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

July 31st, 2018 – God’s Final Harvest

July 31st, 2018 – God’s Final Harvest

Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest
[Matthew 13: 36-43]
Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the Kingdom. The weeds are the children of the Evil One, and the enemy who sows them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his Kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
Introductory Prayer: Lord, thank you for this new day. I believe that you are present in my heart. I believe that you want to give me your wisdom to live this life fruitfully. I trust that your mercy will protect me as I struggle against evil. I love you because you have overcome evil by your cross and resurrection. I want to live this moment of prayer as an intense moment to be transformed by you.
Petition: Lord, help me to look forward to your triumph with hope.
  1. He is Watching Us: The difference between good and evil is not lost for God. He knows the struggles we have to live goodness in this world that is often so impregnated with evil. He assures us that he sees the good that is done and will give recompense for it. I should strive to live each day knowing that I am seen by God and consistently try to sow goodness in my life.
  1. The Limit of Evil: When sometimes it seems like evil can triumph in the world, we need to recognize that God has the last say over evil. He mysteriously allows evil to exist so that good can become purified. There will be a moment when evil will be judged and will no longer have power over our lives. If we have sowed goodness with our lives and if we are living in God’s grace, he will free us from the domain of evil forever. Let us build up our confidence in the coming of his kingdom. Let us use the struggle against evil as a way to show the sincerity of our love.
  1. We Reap What We Sow: The assurance of Christ that there will be a final judgment gives Christians both soberness and joy in living their lives. We know our efforts are not in vain. We realize that this life is the short opportunity the Father gives us to do good and prepare for our great destiny with him. When I am tempted to lose patience in the fight, I must remember that the struggles will soon be over, and God will more than recompense for the sacrifices I have made in following his will and promoting goodness in the world.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, I believe that you are in charge of my life. I renew my trust in the triumph of your holiness in my life. When I feel the pull of evil in my heart, I will remember that this life is short and that my struggle is precious in your eyes. Help me to keep my eyes on the happiness you are preparing for me.
Resolution: I will speak about the joy of receiving the sacrament of reconciliation with someone I meet today, planting in that person’s heart the seed of the desire to receive this sacrament.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Do the Yellows now control Rappler?

WITH the Aquinos’ Yellow Cultists losing control of media that was their biggest strength in the past regime, they have turned to the financially troubled, foreign-funded news website Rappler as their main propaganda venue. If Rappler would be true to itself, it should change the orange color of its logo to yellow.
Sources in the business community claim that at least two old oligarchic clans that were close to former President Benigno Aquino 3rd are now either the biggest funder, or in fact the largest stockholders, of Rappler.
Its original biggest shareholder, property tycoon Benjamin Bitanga, gave up on the controversial media firm in in 2016, exasperated over the reckless anti-Duterte reportage of the media outfit he couldn’t control.
On the other hand, Rappler’s two American funders, North Base Media and Omidyar Network, which had put in P150 million from 2015 to 2016, won’t touch the firm now with a ten-foot pole, as they are irate that they were misinformed on the legal issues their funding would encounter, which involves the constitutional ban on foreign participation in any form in Philippine media.
Rappler’s financial requirements since its start in 2012 have gone way beyond those needed by an ordinary news outfit, as it has relied on expensive technology and internet experts, rather than solid reportage (its staff is composed mostly of straight-from-college reporters supervised by Yellow editors), to carve out a presence in the world wide web. It has for example been able to use expensive internet software so that its articles would be ranked high in Google search listings—even if these posts aren’t really viewed much—and for the website to appear to have a bigger viewership.

New stockholders’ board directors: Monsod and Factoran
Two Coryistas
The allegation that the Yellows have moved into Rappler is bolstered by the fact that last March, Bitanga’s representatives in the board were removed. Among the new board members are two who are not only of the Yellow Cult but are staunch “Coryistas”:
Solita Monsod, the late former President Corazon Aquino’s economic planning secretary (who writes a vociferous anti-Duterte column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer). Monsod’s husband Christian has been a director of several companies controlled by the Eugenio Lopez elite clan;
Fulgencio Factoran, Jr., who served as Cory’s environment and natural resources secretary, was for nearly a decade a director of the Cojuangco-Aquino clan’s Central Azucarera de Tarlac. A human-rights lawyer during the late stages of the Marcos era , “Jun” Factoran appears to have successfully parlayed his experience as environment secretary into directorships in mining firms such as Atlas Consolidated Mining and Nickel Asia for many years now. His curriculum vitae posted at Rappler’s website, however, reports him as director of firms controlled by the country’s richest billionaire Henry Sy—Belle Corp. and Banco de Oro Leasing & Finance. While Factoran has become rich, reported among the top 500 taxpayers for 2013, I don’t think he has the kind of money to burn as an investment in Rappler.
Another new board member is lawyer Federico Prieto. I was told however that is not related to the Prieto clan that controls the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
What is strange about Rappler’s new board is the appointment of one Carlo Almendral, a technology entrepreneur whose work has been entirely in San Francisco. Almendral should disclose if he is a Filipino citizen, as no foreigner is allowed by the Constitution to be in the board of a media firm. He should also disclose if he has been close to the Lopez clan, which spent most of the martial law years in San Francisco.
Media firms have a higher standard of disclosure since, unlike ordinary firms, they disseminate information and are therefore in a strategic position to affect public opinion. The very false notion in the US and in the world that because of Duterte’s anti-drug war, “tens of thousands have been murdered” was started way back by Rappler in a September 2016 report, which cleverly distorted government data to claim that that at the time there were already 7,000 “extrajudicial killings. (See my 2017 column, “How Rappler misled EU, Human Rights Watch, CNN, Time, BBC—the world”.)
Who nominated them?
Rappler hasn’t disclosed which of its new stockholders had nominated Monsod and Factoran, as well as the other new board members. Rappler must disclose this. Its readers are entitled to information that would enable them to judge whether its reports are biased or not, whether it is a Yellow propaganda machine or not.
Rappler’s Yellow investors, and especially Factoran’s law firm, would have their work cut out for them not just in terms of funding in order to keep it afloat but more importantly to solve its problems with the law.
The Securities and Exchange Commission early this year ruled that Omidyar Network’s P100 million funding of Rappler violated the constitutional ban on foreign participation in Philippine media, a decision the Court of Appeals affirmed on July 26.
Rappler has tried to wriggle out of this violation by claiming that the Omidyar Network would give up its money anyway and instead donate its shares (disguised as Philippine Depositary Receipts, or PDRs)—valued at $1 million (P80 million)—to its 14 managers.
Rappler thinks the Court of Appeals, the SEC, and us are all stupid.
No matter how well-funded it is by eBay founder Pierre Omdiyar, Omidyar Network is corporation with a board of directors. Will that board simply agree that it’s $1 million investment goes down the drain? Strangely there is posted in Omidyar’s website a reference to an announcement entitled “Omidyar Network Donates Philippine Depositary Receipts to Rappler Staff.” There’s no such announcement though that could be accessed. Or did a Yellow funder simply reimburse Omidyar’s $1 million investment?
Rappler hasn’t presented the actual documents attesting to Omidyar’s donation of its shares, nor how exactly this will be done. Omidyar probably thinks the Philippines is some backward country, whose legal system can be skirted with a mere press announcement. The Court of Appeals directed the SEC to investigate whether Omidyar Network in fact donated its shares to Rappler’s managers.
Huge headache
Instead of a boon, Rappler would be giving its 14 managers who would receive Omidyar’s donation a huge headache.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue in March already charged the firm with a tax evasion charge, claiming that it issued and sold P181.67 million worth of Philippine Depositary Receipts to the American firms but failed to pay income and value-added taxes for the transaction. The BIR claimed that Rappler’s tax liability amounted to P134 million, which the media outfit had not paid, and had not even reported.
On top of that tax case would be that to be slapped on the 14 managers who would receive the “donation.” Whatever Omidyar calls it, the “donation” would be treated as extraordinary income of the 14 managers under Philippine tax laws, and would each have a revenue —even a paper one—for the year it is made, of P4 million.
Would the managers be willing to pay the P1 million in taxes due on that income, especially as they would really be receiving not a single centavo as the proceeds of those PDRs has already been used up for Rappler’s operations in the past two years?
The Yellows’ move into Rappler and consequently into cyber media is strategic. Traditional media has fast been losing ground in terms of influencing public opinion to internet-based media and social media, especially since these are accessible almost freely, compared for example to the P600 monthly subscription for just a single newspaper. One factor for the defeat of the Yellows’ presidential candidate Mar Roxas to Duterte in the 2016 elections was the latter’s focus on social media, as the Yellows had a tight control of newspapers and broadcast media. Apparently the Yellows’ war cry now is, as Rappler’s editor in chief arrogantly put it two years ago, “Time to take back the internet.”
Email: tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
Facebook: Rigoberto Tiglao
Twitter: @bobitiglao
Archives at: www.rigobertotiglao.com


July 30th, 2018 – Quiet but Steady Growth

July 30th, 2018 – Quiet but Steady Growth

Monday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
[Matthew 13:31-35]
Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds. “The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.” He spoke to them another parable. “The Kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened.” All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables. He spoke to them only in parables, to fulfill what had been said through the prophet: I will open my mouth in parables, I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I come into your presence seeking to know you better. I believe that you take the lead in seeking me. You want me to find you. I trust that in your mercy you will bring me to intimacy with you. I open my heart today to receive your friendship.
Petition: Lord, teach me to long for your Kingdom and your holiness. 
  1. Quietly Becoming Strong: The Kingdom of Christ is not a very visible and flashy organization in the world. It is above all a spiritual force. It works quietly yet powerfully in the hearts of those who receive it. By living faith, hope and charity, Christians discover that the generous response to the voice of Christ in their consciences builds a life that has strength and substance. Living the Christian faith makes a person strong in the midst of difficulties and even able to sustain others in their life’s journey. Am I allowing the Kingdom to grow in my heart in such a way that I can quietly sustain others by my values and my charity?
  1. Hidden Expansion: As we allow Christ to reign in our hearts more each day, we find that his influence affects not only our internal attitudes but also the people around us. This world becomes more of a caring, compassionate place. Truth is sown. People are reminded of God’s presence and love. This world becomes more a place where others can find God. It is a quiet transformation of the world, but relentless, like the rising of the dough through the action of yeast. Am I constant in allowing the values of the Kingdom to transform the way I deal with others? Do I have confidence in the transforming power of the Gospel?
  1. Revealing Secrets: By speaking in in parables Christ helps us understand that God’s kingdom is real and accessible. God has a plan to reign in our hearts, and the fulfillment of this plan is within our reach through his grace. The secret to fruitfulness in our lives lies in our openness and cooperation with God’s grace. It is within our grasp if we would exercise our faith. Christ has come to open our horizons to God’s grace. Are we showing our thankfulness by doing his will?
Conversation with Christ: Lord, I believe in your kingdom. I know that it continues to grow by the power of your grace. Help me to work with confidence today, knowing that by sowing with faith, hope and love, I am allowing you to do great things in the world around me.
Resolution: Today I will speak of God’s goodness explicitly with someone whom I meet.

Sunday, July 29, 2018


July 29th, 2018 – A Miracle that kept on Giving

July 29th, 2018 – A Miracle that kept on Giving

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
[John 6:1-15]
Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little bit.” One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” So, they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.” Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe that you, the Holy Trinity, dwell in my soul. Thank you for the joy of your friendship and love. I hope in you; I hope that you will guide me and my loved ones home to heaven, where we can delight in your presence forever. I love you and long to be a better instrument of your love.
Petition: Lord, help me to achieve an unconditional trust in you.
  1. A Test to Get Us to Grow in Trust: It was clear that Jesus’ disciples did not have the means to help these people out of their predicament — neither in ready available cash nor in locating a nearby market large enough to feed the overburdening crowd. Yet Scripture says, “He said this to test him.” Let this passage remind us that God can allow our problems to become so big and desperate as to show forth his power. God wants us to trust in him and to purify our intentions along our journey of faith. How great our Lord is in solving the unsolvable and making possible the impossible. He cures the incurable, raises people from the dead, and, most importantly, converts the erring sinner. “Nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:38). Do I easily give up hope when I don’t see a human solution to a situation? Blessed is he who believes that what the Lord promises will be fulfilled (Cf. Luke 1:46).
  1. Our Lord Wants Us to Play a Part in His Miracle: God has the power of creating something out of nothing, but he asks for human collaboration, even if it is minimal. Here it is no different. The apostles are utterly poor: they can bring to Our Lord only five loaves and two fish from a boy they find in the crowd. Jesus asks us to contribute because he wants to teach us to be generous, even when we think we have nothing to give. Actually, it is when we give from our want that we most please Our Lord (Cf. Luke 21:1-4). Poverty is never an excuse for a lack of generosity in serving and working for Our Lord. This miracle proves to us that Our Lord can never be outdone in generosity. 
  1. Don’t Miss the Point: In this scene Our Lord slowly prepared his apostles and disciples for his teaching on the Real Presence in the Eucharist. He had to purify their hearts and prune out attachment to the things of this world in order for them to accept the difficult teaching about his self-giving love found in the Eucharist. Even so, when he saw that the people were about to miss the point of his miracle, Our Lord “withdrew again to the mountain alone” (John 6:15). Sometimes Our Lord withdraws the comfort and consolation of his presence in our lives because we wrongly interpret their meaning and purpose. Do I properly discern the spirit in my heart when I pray? Am I happy only for things that gives me comfort, or am I truly coming closer to Christ because I recognize who he is and return to him the same authentic love he gives me and wants from me?
Conversation with Christ: Thank you, Lord, for this meditation and the lessons I learned from it. Keep me generous so I may never lose my trust in you. When the situations of my life seem unsolvable, help me to trust that in your time, you will work your wonders in my life, bringing glory to your name.
Resolution: I will make a visit to the Eucharist or a spiritual communion each day this week, offering this sacrifice of time for the conversion of the hearts of those who do not believe, do not adore, do not trust, or do not love you, Lord, in the Eucharist.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

BBM VP RECOUNT UPDATE 'COMELEC kumakampi kay LENI sa 25% pero wala silang jurisdiction' - Contreras

July 28th, 2018 – Rolling up the Sleeves and Gathering the Sheaves

July 28th, 2018 – Rolling up the Sleeves and Gathering the Sheaves

Saturday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Father Robert DeCesare, LC [Matthew 13: 24-30]
Jesus proposed another parable to them. “The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.”‘
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in your Church. I believe that it is the sacrament of salvation, and that you have chosen to lead me to heaven. Lord, I hope in you. I hope in you because you have gone to prepare a place for me in heaven. Lord, I love you because you loved me first. I love you for giving yourself up for me on the cross.
Petition: Forgive me, Lord, for offending you, and help me to make reparation.
  1. Verdant Farm or Barren Wasteland? Lord, you have given me the gift of Baptism and of being your child. “Baptism is God’s most beautiful and magnificent gift” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1216). This gift you have given me is something that I do not deserve. I was born with original sin, and yet, out of your infinite goodness and mercy, you have chosen to nourish my barren field and offer me the Kingdom of heaven. Through the life-giving waters of the sacrament of Baptism, you have taken my field that used to be wasteland and desert and have made it flourish. You have sown wheat in my field so that it may yield abundant fruit.
  1. A Tainted Field? Lord, even though you have grafted me into your family through Baptism, there are times when I forget the goal of my life, which is heaven. I am weak, and because of my weakness, at times I taint my field with weeds. “Certain temporal consequences of sin remain in the baptized, such as suffering, illness, death, and such frailties inherent in life as weaknesses of character, and so on, as well as an inclination to sin that Tradition calls concupiscence, or metaphorically, ‘the tinder for sin’ (fomes peccati); since concupiscence ‘is left for us to wrestle with, it cannot harm those who do not consent but manfully resist it by the grace of Jesus Christ.’ Indeed, ‘an athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1264).
  1. God Never Gives Up On Me: Lord, even though I have let weeds grow in my field where there was once only wheat, you have given me time to let the good grain grow. You know that all is not lost. There is still hope, and there is still time. Even though I have offended you because of my sins, and even though I have not conquered myself and my tendency to sin, I still experience your love and your mercy. You have not given up on me, although it seems to me that I have often given up on myself. You have given me the gift of time for me to weed my field and to increase the good wheat that is within it, so that the harvest I bear may be fruitful and rich.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, thank you for the gift of your mercy. Thank you for being patient with me, for loving me for who I am, and for encouraging me to continue to grow as I should. 
Resolution: I shall take some time to prepare to make a good confession.

Friday, July 27, 2018

July 27th, 2018- Gardening with Gusto

July 27th, 2018- Gardening with Gusto

Friday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
[Matthew 13:18-23]
Jesus said to his disciples: “Hear then the parable of the sower. The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the Kingdom without understanding it, and the Evil One comes and steals away what was sown in his heart. The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away. The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit. But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirty-fold.”
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in your Incarnation. You became flesh for love of us. You were not forced to leave the bliss and glory of heaven. You chose to leave in order to save us. I believe in you. I hope in you. I love you. You took the first step of love toward me. I want to respond in kind.
Petition: Grant me the grace to follow you with conviction and willpower.
  1. Sheltering the Word in My Heart: Our Lord often speaks of the enemy of God, the devil, as a real being, who has real influence over our lives. When we hear the Word of God, good intentions grow within us. The Evil One attempts to “steal” these intentions away from our heart. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that the devil and demons made a radical and irrevocable free choice to reject God and his reign (no. 392). The devil tries to uproot our good resolutions with the same goal in mind. We must make a firm commitment to allow God’s word to take root and grow in our lives.
  2. Convictions over Emotions: The seed sown on rocky ground represents those who receive the word with joy at first, in other words, those easily governed by emotions and sentiments. When they feel joy, they respond to God positively. When they receive comforts from Christ, they are ready to follow him. But when their moods are bad or gloomy, they leave aside their previous resolutions and abandon the Lord for the wide and spacious road of ease and comforts. They are not seeking Christ but rather their own consolation. Above all they want warm, cozy feelings. Christ shows us the way of true loyalty and love by his crucifixion and death on the cross for love of his Father and souls.
  3. Oxygen for the Soul: One of the saddest categories of people in the Parable of the Sower are those who receive the word but allow “worldly anxiety and the lure of riches” to “choke the word” so that it “bears no fruit” in their lives. Materialism is an all-pervasive temptation in our world today. The only way to conquer this assault on our faith is to make the firm resolution to make time for God. We must make the proactive decision to insert moments for him in our day. Prayer, the sacraments (Mass, confession), spiritual reading and the Rosary are examples of ways to do this.
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, in my mind you are my first priority. In reality, though, I allow other priorities to topple your rightful position in my life. I allow my feelings to govern my actions instead of my faith and convictions. Strengthen my resolve to make you the True King of my heart in my concrete choices and decisions.
Resolution: I will go over my daily and weekly schedule and, if necessary, make more quality time for the Lord.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

SWS poll shows substantial support for revolutionary government

WHILE the Social Weather Stations downplayed this particular survey’s results, and didn’t even issue its usual press release on it, its December 2017 poll found substantial support for a revolutionary government, if ever President Duterte were to declare one.
Asked whether they would “agree or “disagree” in case Duterte proclaims a revolutionary government, 31 percent of the SWS respondents replied in the affirmative, while 39 percent disagreed. Significant is the fact that 30 percent responded that they were undecided.
The 8 percentage points difference is small, and could be easily closed, if one considers that in a revolutionary government, the state would monopolize media, so that it would likely be able to convince much of that 30 percent undecided to support the revolutionary government.
In Mindanao, the SWS poll showed, more respondents — 38 percent — would support a revolutionary government, compared to the 21 percent who wouldn’t. Is that because Mindanao has been under martial law for a year, with almost no one protesting against it, and with peace and order there improving?
More Filipinos in fact, based on the SWS poll, would support a revolutionary government rather than a move to amend the Constitution. The June survey of Pulse Asia showed that only 18 percent of respondents think that the Constitution should be amended.
This mirrors the SWS findings in several polls since 1997 that there has been little support for changing the Charter. This is probably because it had been exposed in 1997 as a scheme of President Fidel Ramos — Cory Aquino’s anointed — to run for a second term.
Opposition to changing the Charter has also been recently strengthened because the Yellows have been actively campaigning against it, feeling paranoid that Duterte like Ramos would amend it so he could run for another term.
The 18 percent of respondents supporting Charter change is nearly half of the 31 percent supporting the establishment of a revolutionary government.
That most Filipinos support Duterte’s establishment of a revolutionary government is indicated by the results of two questions the SWS posed in its December 2017 survey.
First, it asked respondents “if it is possible to have a revolutionary government under the current Constitution.” The SWS question was strange, since a “revolutionary government” by definition junks the existing Constitution, which is why it is called “revolutionary.”
Still, what the SWS in effect asked its respondents is whether Duterte’s declaration of a revolutionary government is constitutional or not. Nearly half — 48 percent — replied that it is “possible to have a revolutionary government under the present Philippine Constitution.” Only 27 percent said it is not possible.
The implication is that nearly half of all Filipinos (i.e., assuming SWS sampling is scientific) think there would be nothing wrong with Duterte/s declaring a revolutionary government since it is constitutional.
Second, the SWS asked respondents “whether President Duterte has a plan to change the present government into a new government that he likes.” An overwhelming 63 percent replied that he does have such a plan and only 18 percent think he doesn’t
Couple that with finding the recent poll results that 65 percent of Filipinos (SWS, June 2018) are satisfied with his performance and 87 percent (Pulse Asia) have a “big trust” in him, and a logical conclusion is that most Filipinos trust his plan to change government to one he likes.
Duterte won’t have to look far for a model for a revolutionary government. The Thai military in May 2014 ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and set up a revolutionary government it called the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO). This military junta was chaired by the Royal Thai Army’s commander in chief Prayut Chan-o-cha, appointed Prime Minister by the council, to give it a semblance of normalcy. The NCPO drafted a new constitution and promulgated it in 2017, which called for a transition to electoral democracy.
Prayut announced in March that elections would be held in February next year, the sixth-promised polling date. The US and the West of course condemned the 2014coup and demanded that the junta immediately restore electoral democracy. President Trump in October 2017 warmly welcomed Prime Minister Prayut to the White House in his official visit there.
I bet very few people here know that Thailand has been under a revolutionary government since 2014. Thailand’s GDP per capita has continued to grow since 2014, and stands at $6,126, measured in in 2010 US dollars. Ours is about half of that, $2,891.
Email: tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
Facebook: Rigoberto Tiglao
Twitter: @bobitiglao
Archives at: www.rigobertotiglao.com

SARAH DUTERTE, IMEE MARCOS, ARROYO ALLIANCE 'Very strong willed women. Masaya ito' - Prof Contreras

July 26th, 2018 – Fighting the Good Fight of Faith

July 26th, 2018 – Fighting the Good Fight of Faith

Memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary
[Matthew 13:10-17]
The disciples approached Jesus and said, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” He said to them in reply, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand. Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says: You shall indeed hear but not understand you shall indeed look but never see. Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and be converted, and I heal them. “But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
Introductory Prayer: Lord, my prayer will “work” only if I have humility in your presence. So, I am approaching you with meekness and humility of heart. I have an infinite need for you and your grace. Thinking about this helps me grow in humility. I trust in you and your grace. Thank you for the unfathomable gift of your love.
Petition: Increase my faith, hope and love, Lord.
  1. Faith, Hope and Love Remain: What does the Lord mean when he says that “to anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich” or that “from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away”? He is referring to spiritual goods rather than material ones. Grace, faith, hope and love are all spiritual goods. To anyone who has them, more will be given. When you exercise your faith, your hope and your love, they increase in your soul. The result? You grow rich in grace. When you do not exercise your faith, hope and love, you lose all because the material world is passing away. As St Paul teaches us, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption” (1 Corinthians 15:80). And in another passage: “So faith, hope and love remain” (1 Corinthians 13:13).
  1. Seeing with New Eyes: “You shall indeed hear but not understand; you shall indeed look but never see.” We can view the world in a natural way or in a supernatural way. Faith, hope and love allow us to view the world supernaturally. A natural way of seeing things limits us in a thousand ways, because the natural universe is limited, passing and temporary. The supernatural world seen through faith is unlimited, coming to fulfillment and lasting forever. Without faith we will hear but not understand, look intently but never see.
  1. A Fighting Heart: Only when we fight to imitate Christ do we truly understand these words: “Blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear.” This may be hard to understand, but it is so. To know Jesus, it is necessary to be like him. The moment we begin to fight for love of him we begin to be like him, and thus we begin to know him. To have a heart like Jesus’ it is necessary to fight and suffer – to fight and suffer without cowardice, without taking time out and without discouragement.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, grant me the grace to fight with a spirit of faith, hope and love. I want to increase in these virtues and begin to see the world with your eyes – the eyes of the new man or woman in Christ. With you my future is always brighter than my past, filled with more hope and greater promise. 
Resolution: Today, I will strive to see persons, actions and events from the viewpoint of faith.

GMA’s Political Comeback as Speaker; A bold pole-vaulting move towards Federalism

GMA’s Political Comeback as Speaker; A bold pole-vaulting move towards FederalismThe election of GMA as the new Speaker of the House of Representatives the other day snatched the headlines which the Anti Duterte groups were prepared to plaster on TVs and mainstream broadsheets with their anti-government attacks and sentiments post the 3rd SONA of the President. To the yellows and the reds as well as their minions, particularly those coming from the church, this is one scary development which should have not happened and they readily blamed Duterte for causing this to transpire. Of course, out of desperation, Digong’s detractors always put the blame on him on anything detrimental to their own interests, with this one particularly threatening to strike right through their heart like a dagger coming from a person crying for vengeance with gnashing teeth.

GMA’s ascension to the Speakership was met with almost no resistance at all with a few no- votes from the Makabayan block whose explanations on their position were even declared out of order. Ouch! And where were the noisy Magnificent 7 of the Liberal Party? We saw them being shoved aside like hopeless idiots crying in the corner of the session hall being treated by the majority as “The Insignificant Hobbits” waiting to be noticed and laughed at. So if there is anyone to blame why GMA became the Speaker, it is not Duterte but his detractors, the yellows, the reds and all anti Dutertards for that matter, who can only blame themselves. We all know that the politics in Congress is being played with numbers. Obviously, GMA had the overwhelming number (nearly 200) of congressmen supporting her bid for the Speakership. The yellows and the reds barely have a dozen. In politics, if you don’t have the number, the implication is, nobody believes in you and ergo, you are not in the position to dictate how powers in congress are supposed to be used. The most that you can do is bark! bark! bark! And that’s what the yellows and the reds are doing now. But why are they in such miserable political quagmire?

When the yellows were in power, they connived with the reds in slaying GMAs political career to the extent of desecrating her human rights. They filed plunder cases against her, had her barred from traveling abroad for medical reasons in grave violation of her constitutional right, placed her in hospital and then house arrest for 5 years and denied her access of anything notwithstanding her election as congresswoman and most of all, she was ridiculed and pilloried before the public, painted her image as the epitome of corruption in the government service during her stint as President of the Republic based on their own propaganda narratives. And worst, they even ignored the call issued by the UN to release her as her human rights were gravely violated and they instead continued bludgeoning here mercilessly like a sadist whose maniacal thirst for her blood is unquenchable. All these pain she endured under the yellow’s hands and stood up to it and eventually emerged victorious. Recently, the Sandiganbayan acquitted her from all her plunder cases and no less than the Supreme Court declared that what then Sec. De Lima did to her (arresting her at the airport without a warrant and barring her from leaving for medical reasons sans any court order) was unconstitutional.

Ironically, those responsible in maligning her are now accused of the same abuses, corruption and plunder, and in fact, double the level than those they once threw at GMA’s face. De Lima is now in jail on drug related cases. PNoy and his former Cabinet members will soon face plunder cases aside from the ones (corruption) currently they are already facing once Ombudsman Morales steps down today. And seeing them all languish in jail is now everyone’s prayer especially those they have unjustly and inhumanely treated while in power. But the difference between the narratives on GMA and the yellows is that the former’s political destruction was done through deceit, fabrication, and a yellow-instigated hyped public clamor in condemning her. In the case of the yellows, it’s the people’s miserable situation, discontent and feeling of disgust at how the yellows scandalously run the government while systematically plundering the coffers of the country and sadistically persecuting their political opponents which prompted them to motu propio end their sufferings by unceremoniously ousting the yellows from power via a deafening voice of condemnation as manifested on the election results in 2016 which annihilated the yellows and their minions politically. Indeed, what goes around comes around. Yes folks, Karma is a bitch and we now have a “hobbit butcher” in the House of Representatives in possession of a huge axe specifically designed to whack the yellow asses in the guillotine of political oblivion.

Exacting revenge is GMA’s business and for the yellows to deal and contend with. And this explains why they are dismayed at her political come back. They are afraid that henceforth, series of house committee hearings investigating corruptions during the previous administration will be done using the once much abused phrase during the Aquino regime “in aid of legislation”, a euphemism of political persecution. But I trust that if the yellows did it savagely to her, GMA will never stoop down to that level. She will do it of course, “with finesse”. Sanamagan!

But more than the vengeance issue, GMA’s leadership in the house can be seen as one bold move in paving the way for the country’s smooth journey towards federalism, thus shoving aside Alvarez, the loose cannon threatening to mess up that journey. We now have the Senate under the leadership of Senator Sotto who is from Manila supporting the legislative agenda of Duterte and the Speaker of the house coming from the balance Luzon areas who is a PDP Laban member. This now precludes speculation that Federalism is only designed to serve the interest of Mindanao. With the draft federal constitution now in the hands of congress, the debate on the matter will now shift to more substantives issues, e.g. the number of federal states which we hope to be reduced to only five states or even the form of government to be adopted, be it parliamentary or Presidential federal form. We trust our representatives to craft something which would serve best the country’s interest and the well-being of the Filipino people.

As expected, Anti Dutertards have positioned themselves against the shift to Federalism for the sheer reason that it is being pushed by Duterte. So anything Duterte does, they are against regardless of the benefits it may generate to the people. These are pure Anti Dutertards by reason of either stupidity or idiocy nothing less than either of the words. How can they convince people on their position if they advance arguments like that of VP Robredo’s “if Federalism is the answer, what is the question (with smile and blinking eye); or the senile argument of Ex CJ Davide’s “Federalism is anti-poor” just because he said so without presenting any argument to support his idiotic declaration; or that of Ex CJ Sereno’s “Federalism is a prelude to martial law” perhaps as she can see in her “bolang kristal” or on her voodoo magic; or that of Trillanes’ argument against 2 taxes under Federalism which shows his ignorance of the fact that even under the current unitary system, the same is already done as both LGU and National government have already imposed taxes. I do not wish to include more preposterous arguments particularly those coming from the reds as this piece might smell filthy as everything they throw to the public are purely rubbish propaganda.

The most ridiculous argument which the Anti Dutertards posited on federalism is the result of the surveys indicating the lukewarm support of the people on the shift to federal form of government, ergo, the government should stop from pursuing it. This is why I love laughing at the logic of these people. It’s defiant to any norms, level of intelligence and reason, simply put, engot! How can you use and indicative sentiment from a survey conducted to only 1,300 people as basis to decide on a matter that will affect the lives of more than 100 Million people? - Sanamagan! That is the very reason why the draft new federal constitution will be presented to the people on a plebiscite for them to decide by themselves and not through their representatives on whether or not the Filipino people will embrace a Federal system of government. This is one of the campaign promises of Duterte during the last Presidential election and the fact that the people voted for him simply presupposes that mandate for Digong to pursue with that promise otherwise, his inaction thereon will be deemed a betrayal of the people’s trust.

Of course, it is expected that at this juncture, the level of consciousness among the people is still very low insofar as federalism is concerned. But once the draft constitution is finally out after Congress convenes into a constituent assembly, the entire government machinery will swoop down to the level of the barangays to educate the people about the new constitution. This will be complemented by the efforts of the politicians under the leadership of GMA (which explains why she is now the Speaker for the influence she wields over politicians) to launch a vigorous campaign for yes vote in the plebiscite from congressmen all the way down to the municipal mayors and councilors. And more importantly, when Digong, with his trust and approval rating of 88 percent will start visiting the regions and the people in the countryside, wooing them for their support to the new constitution, only a miracle can prevent Federalism from happening in this country.

To the yellows and the reds, look at your strength. You only managed to muster a combined forces of 30K warm bodies (bloated number in fact) during the last SONA of PRRD which is supposed to be an opportune time to show your real number and strength. But what was supposed to be an explosive show of force turned out to be a dud. We saw a dwindling number of people supporting your cause against the government. Your two million computer generated trolls operating in the social media, sadly, cannot vote against federalism, but the warm bodies of DDS deployed in every corner of the world can. This should give you an indication on the futility of your destabilizing efforts.

But just to tickle your ass a bit so we can see an autistic smile (we haven’t seen for sometime now) on your idiotic face, what if by twist of luck, the plebiscite for Federalism does not push through in 2019 elections? Will it improve your lot? Well, Digong will still remain President until 2022 and with his continued soaring trust rating in contrast to your dwindling numbers and coupled by the persistent clamor of the public, it will surely be included in the elections in 2022. By then, he might change his mind and will agree to the call for him to become the Transition President. Isn’t this just prolonging your agony and double the level of pain you have to endure?

Or let’s say, he is generous enough to keep his word and will retire for good post 2022 elections. It is with certainty that with almost 90 percent of the people trusting him and looking up to him with respect, they will certainly support anyone he will anoint as his successor. What if he anoints BBM? Or GMA under the new constitution? Or the more feasible scenario which I love to imagine – Sarah Duterte as his successor? Will this not make you scream under an excruciating pain?

The point I am making here is that in the worst case scenario that one can think of, Anti Dutertards are still at the losing end. And the reason is simple – they don’t have the number needed to turn the tide against the administration, much less to grab power again. And at the rate things are going, they are gradually losing stream with their dwindling numbers and most likely, resources too. Of course, you can never get the support of the people by destabilizing the government they helped establish. The more you attack it, the more you alienate yourself from the people who support it. You can never convince them to believe you when you accuse this government of being corrupt, plunderer, much less murderer of its own people when you yourselves have been convicted of committing the same horrendous atrocities when you were in power. It is called moral ascendancy which, in this whole story, you obviously do not have.

So the yellows and the reds will have to go back to square 1 and come up with a strategy on how to improve your numbers to put up a good and decent fight. Or better yet, bury your colors and come up with a new one which doesn’t have the stigma of that filthy yellow and red which may not be forgotten in this generation. Go for the image of the real opposition and offer alternative programs for the people to appreciate better than what Duterte is doing. After all, we need the real opposition to thrive and hold this government in constant check for better governance in a democratic society such as ours. But oppositionists are not destabilizers. The former operates in parallel with the established government as a partner in nation building albeit critical in some respects while the latter is there as a destructive force motivated by greed and lust for power.

For the real oppositionists, it is high time to separate the wheat from the chaff. Cleanse your ranks and you might win some of us to your side. For the destabilizers, you have been launching your demonic machinations for the last 2 years with no success and there is no indication whatsoever that very soon, you will see even a ray of light at the end of the dungeon where you are in right now. Please stay where you are and keep safe bearing in mind that under the Duterte government, one’s right to be perpetually stupid and idiot is fully respected. – Jun Avelino

(Please share if you like – Jun Avelino)