Category Archives: Philippine government

In Aid of Grandstanding?

It’s unfornate that it took the life of a General (a resource person in Senate?) for the public to realize that there’s a need now for our lawmakers in both houses of Philippine Congress to be more considerate and kinder in the manner they ask questions to whoever is invited to attend hearing in aid of legislation.

Our good congressmen and senators should realize that they are not in court or police stations interrogating an ordinary suspect while conducting committee hearings in aid of legislations. These are people with honor and dignity to protect no matter how they have been linked to various corruptions and irregularities in the government. They are visitors, are they not supposed to be treated well? Of course we want to know the truth, but there are better ways to cull out information apart from intimidating and shaming them before the public. In addition, we need statesmen rather than vindictive solons and congressmen.

Of course every lawmaker knows the bound and limits of his authority; and at all time should observe proper decorum while perfoming his task as a congressman or a senator. Setting this aside will lead us to the question; what are these congressional investigations all about? In aid of legislation or in aid of grandstanding?

Kabayan Noli de Castro (former senator and Vice President) and Ted Failon (former congressman) shared their observation in a morning radio program about senators and congressmen who are media conscious. They tend to outdo one another everytime they learn they are on live TV coverage. According to Kabayan and Ted Failon some lawmakers suddenly turned “split personality” everytime they see cameras focused on them while on the floor. Before the TV camera has taken footages on them they speak mildly, but all of the sudden they become bombastic to make an impression as the camera already grinds in front of them. Media conscious? In aid of publicity?

The least we want our congressmen and senators do is to remiss with their duties and responsibilities as people representatives in the Philippine Congress. We don’t even want them to be permanent members of the “silent majority.”
But to be noisy and grandstanding all the time that’s unacceptable.

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Filed under Noynoy Aquino, Philippine government, politics

No Take Home Assignment on Fridays-DepEd

I know there is a reason for everything, even the most stupid decision a person may have done in his life is still governed by reason. Much more with the Department of Education, they must have a reason for ordering all public school teachers to be considerate on giving their students take-home assignments on Fridays to work at it on weekends.

DepEd Memorandum No. 392, signed by Education Secretary Armin Luistro last September 16, mandates all teachers to minimize the giving of homework/assignments (at least) “to a reasonable quantity to give their pupils ample time to rest and relax at home for the rest of the day.”

There is no quarrel about the good intention of the education department. At least it gives time for the entire family to stay together, relax and enjoy each other’s company. At this point in time when the Filipino family is being threatened by all forms of problems such as “parental separations, neglect and abandonment of children, child abuse in various forms, juvenile delinquency, etc. this memo-circular of the department is in order; granting the children have a good week-end full of fun with their families.

I disagree however on the grounds that school children will become less serious with their studies. And all they have in mind is fun at the expense of forgetting all about their academic obligations.

But this is not all, in the provinces as well in the cities, most of the children from poor families are given special tasks to do at home during weekend. There is no parent-children bonding. Parents are too busy working or attending to their businesses to earn a living and support their families. To many families a week-end full of fun with children and parents is just impractical at this time when everybody is affected by the on-going world economic crisis. No homework to do on week end for most children does not matter– are many of them are still asked by their parents to help them in the farm to to attend to their sources of livelihood.

What is the fear of most of the teachers anyway? Right now that children are given that much assignment to do at home during weekend–many can not still comply. And the worse, many are still slow to learn and pass their subjects. So the teacher laments, how much more if they are not allowed to bring home assignment on Fridays? But that practice/scheme does not also work in some instances with children from very poor families. The question who will help them do their assignments if parents are too busy earning a living? Giving too much assignments to school children may also work against the learning capacity. On the other hand if we deal lightly with their academic workload and tasks they also become mediocre learners. So, they will question again the quality of education we have.

As a teacher myself I know the significance of giving week-end assignments to our student; to ensure that will come back to school well prepared for the following week. Other teachers give extra-assignments to their students to help them catch up with their deficiencies (particularly slow learners) in the class. Another reason for week-end assignments is to fill-up the gaps (of instruction) attributed by lack of school facilities and learning materials. Other reason, siguro dahil na rin sa katamaran ng ibang teachers (believe it or not).

Aminin na natin na maraming kakulangan ang DepEd (budgetary constraints), ganon din ang mga magaaral dahil na rin sa kakulangan ng kita ng mga magulang. Pinagkakasya lang ang mayroon tayo. Ika nga, what you see is what you get. Kung ano ang mayroon sa mga paaralan natin, iyon din ang kakayahan nakukuha ng ating mga magaaral sa mga pampublikong paaralan. But this is not a deterrent to excel academically. If there is a will there is a way.

May punto and DepEd, may punto rin ang mga guro. Mga magulang na lang at mga magaaral ang nakakaalam kung ano ang nakakabuti sa kanila. After all sila naman ang mga tunay na apektado dito.

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Filed under education, government, Human Rights, Individual Rights, Philippine government, politics

GLORIA’S GRACEFUL EXIT

Many people are already itching to see Gloria get out of the Malacanang premises. After the May 10 election they have started counting already. They could hardly wait for another day, not even June 30 when she is supposed to have vacated Malacanang which served as her home for nine long years.

“I have no regrets. (No regrets at all?) I don’t want to focus on negatives, so, in fact, rather than talking about regrets, I like to give thanks for the opportunity to serve the Philippines,” that’s what president Gloria Arroyo said in an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN News.

Further in the interview she said: “I’m the same person, just older, a little wiser. I have a strong belief in the Filipino people, strong faith in God, and I believe the economy is the most important that we have to attend to as leader of Philippines.”

And on being a president Gloria commented; “It’s a sacrifice, but it’s the right thing to do for the people. As president, my father tells me: you do not become a president to enjoy, you become president to make sacrifices for people and to suffer it may be, and I did for the people.”

In a few days we shall have a new president, the winner of the first automated election in the country, Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino lll whose large margin against his closest rival on the race, Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada could be attributed to the over 4 million votes of the INC to him.

Gloria insures that her transition team should work hard enough to make Noynoy Aquino’s (or P-Noy) assumption to power will be smooth enough as he begins assuming responsibility as the new Chief Executive of the country.

Just a day after Congress proclaimed Aquino and Binay as the president and vice-president elect, Gloria made a phone call to Senator Aquino to congratulate him. Although Aquino felt a little bit uncomfortable with the president’s call, nevertheless he also thanked the president for doing so.

No matter what her critics say, still the president did the right thing. This is Gloria being in her true self. She is no longer that “mataray” (arrogant?) that she used to be when she did nothing but to parry left and right all the accusations of corruption, abuse of power, incompetence, and illegitimacy of office they hurled against her. As a human being (that others refuse to recognize she is capable of) there is a lot of goodness in Gloria. She has a very loving and compassionate heart if others can only see it through the so many programs and services her administration had accomplished during her term of office. Again, as others refuse to recognized, she’s the only president who had built more infra-structure projects such as roads, bridges, airports, seaports, etc., for the entire country. As a result economic productivity increases and so with job opportunities. Critics can belie all these claims, but Gloria despite all the scandals linked to her administration had a long list of accomplishments which many of us are not aware of.

Nobody likes Gloria as the president, the media made it a point it should be like that till her last day in her office. Gloria may leave Malacanang without regret, she just did her part. Just like the Marcoses, only history could judged her if she did the right thing as our president.

Although her critics are unhappy about the P10 million pesos she will be spending for the Independence Day Celebration on June 12, for that it is even extended up to Monday (June 14) so that it would give an opportunity for all to attend and enjoy reminiscing our past at it relates to our present development for the sake of unity and reconciliation, the good president still insisted to proceed with the celebration if only to lay the foundation for unity and healing of this highly divided nation. Unfortunately the president elect already declared he is not attending any Independence Day celebration set on another date. Well that’s his prerogative as a free person but sure he will be missing an opportunity for reconciliation offered by once a political friend but later turned out a bitter foe.

Sure Gloria has a lot of misgivings to the Filipinos as the media try to project, but Gloria will soon step down from Malacanang to give way to her predecessor to also prove his worth too to the same people she served. Gloria is not off the hook yet, she will be facing a lot of criminal cases her enemies shall file against her. But Gloria is not running away with it, like Erap she will always be ready and willing to face her accusers in court.

Tags: congress, Corruption, court, Gloria Arroyo, governance, Graceful Exit, Independence Day Celebration, law and justice, Malacanang, Noynoy Aquino, people, Philippines, plunder, politics, power

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Filed under democracy, ethical standard, government, Inauguration, Philippine government, politics

Condoms and the Presidential Election

This is the news, “Women activists present condoms to Philippine bishops.” What’s new? The Philippine Catholic bishops have been waging a bitter war with the government against the use of contraceptives. The Catholic church has never been weakened with its stiff stand against Family Planning and the use of artificial methods of birth control.

The Philippine Catholic Bishops have always been critical of any administration or political parties that support birth control and family planning. In fact presidential aspirants in the like of Senator Noynoy Aquino have been very careful with their stand with regards to population issues. The Bishop can always call on the Catholic faithful some 75 millions out of the 90 to 100 million Filipinos not to vote for any candidate who supports the family planning program of the government. One of the important criteria the good Bishops are looking to any politician vying for an elective position in the government is his policies and stand on the issues of family planning and birth control.

Even if President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo knows the significance of high birth rate in combating poverty problems in the Philippines, having been once a DSWD secretary, she tends to be careful with its population management program so as not to provoke the ire of the already critical Clergies to her administration. The bishops also took advantage of the government soft stand on Family Planning and birth control by calling for a ban on the advertisement of condom however the Arroyo’s administration only shrugged off their demands.

As if trying to maim the bishops stiff opposition on birth control and contraceptives, here comes Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral (former DSWD Secretary) “handing out condoms on February 13 as part of an information campaign on HIV-AIDS.” Her action may not necessarily be the collective stand of the government but nobody in the bureaucracy stood up to sanction her. She had not violated any law, she just exercised her political independence to promote actions responsive for the health and general welfare of the entire population. Yet the Bishops angrily called for her to resign.

But Health Secretary Cabral found allies on women’s health and rights advocate groups like the Party of the Workers who picketed and presented two baskest full of condoms at the headquarters of the Catholic Bishops Conference.

Judy Ann Miranda, the party’s secretary-general asked the bishops to “bless the condoms as a conciliatory gesture to unite for reproductive health and women’s rights” but unfortunately no bishop was around to receive/bless it.

As a response to the women activists action the bishops said, through spokesman Monsignor Pedro Quitorio, that they could not compromise on the church’s opposition to birth control devices. Again, a manifestation of the unwavering Catholic dogma on contraceptive devices which are perceived to tamper with the flow of nature and life. They the bishops however have no specific response on how to promote women’s reproductive health and quality of life.

“If contraceptives are immoral, nothing can change that… not even the vote of the whole country can change that,” Quitorio said. But should he not consider also immoral to see the health of women deteriorate just because couples are denied on the used of contraceptive devices. I think there is nothing more immoral than allowing spread of diseases and overpopulating the limited space we have in this country just because we can not control our rapid population growth.

And going back to politics, is the issue on contraceptives a leverage for a politician to improve his chances of winning in the presidential race? Will the good bishops support senator Manny Villar if he makes a covenant with the Catholic Church in the Philippines never to support legislative measures that advocate the use of contraceptives and other birth control devices? What will happen to the leading presidential candidate on surveys now should he decide to go against the bishops on their resistance to contraceptives and population control programs of the government?

So there we go, peace on earth and condom to all!

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Filed under Community life, democracy, education, Philippine government, Religion, Religion and sexual behavior, Reproductive Health, social justice, Wealth, Poverty, women

Avoiding Another Maguindanao Massacre- The Role of the Family

The home plays a very important role in the development of and individual to become a functional and law abiding citizen of his country and community. If we have a weak family, we have weak individuals, weak leaders, and weak government.

As observed, the main problem the country is facing today is not due to weak economy but weak spirituality. If our leaders are spiritually strong then we shall have an honest and transparent system of government. The greed and lust of power that transpire in our social system is but a product of a morally corrupted environment where the home or family did not perform well its duties and functions. What the children see at home is a reflection of what they do in their very own society.

The politically motivated massacre that happened last week in Maguindano which caused the lives of some 64 people mostly women and journalists is but a by product of unhealthy home environment. Apparently there is something wrong with the kind of family or home environment those people involved the alleged rape and massacre of women have been raised. Did their parents teach them how to respect life, not to harm people particularly women and children? Where they raised as responsible individuals who abhor violence and respect existing laws of the land?

Unfortunately dereliction basic parental duties to your offspring is costly not only to your family but to the government and the society as a whole. You may not know it but you have just created a human monster or a beast that may harm people and rub our government treasury of capital resources, etc. Further aggravating the problem of corruption in the government and all forms violence and crime in the society is what people experience and observe in the environment where they live. All forms of learning is observed, transferred, and perfected. This may also apply to the proliferation of vices and crime.

Politics and “warlordism” have generated a culture of violence where the only thing that matters is money and the barrel of the guns in resolving any conflict, disputes and some other issues. If you have political connection then you have gold, guns, and goons. You become untouchable and you are in control of everything in your territory. In a system like this it is no longer the government and laws that control people and the society but people with power, money, arms, and connection to the highest echelon of the government. The thing is- they are tolerated for whatever reason.

So it is easy to kill, to rape women, and shoot them in their private parts. Horrendous, only the beasts not human could do such a satanic act and crime. This is supposed to be a civilized world. Don’t parents tell their children not to lie, to steal, cheat, and harm others? Did not their church tell them that only the devil could harm unarmed human beings? In the Muslim tradition women are respected and not harmed; journalists are supposed to be spared; but this had happened already.

The passion for violence starts from the family. What children see from the father or elders is what they are going to be when they become old. Political leaders who are supposed to correct and prevent these acts through law enforcement fail to perform their duties either by neglect or simply tolerating it. Where did your parent go wrong?

We become unnecessarily poor because of graft and corruption, criminality, vices, immorality, and indolence. What has our leaders who promised reforms and progress accomplished over the years to correct this problem? Nothing is done much because our family system has done nothing too to improve the upbringing and disciplining of children so that they become useful and responsible citizens.

The cycle of violence and corruption shall continue for as long as the family does not really perform well its basic obligation and role as one of the most important units of the society.

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Filed under democracy, education, government, Justice, Philippine government, Philosophical and psychological foundation of trust, politics, Population Control, rape, Salvation, Sex and Politics, women

Run after the killers… Maguindanao Massacre

I don’t know what kind of people are those who perpetrated the senseless killing of women and innocent victims. I don’t know if those people who killed journalists whose only reason to be there was to inform the public have hearts and soul? They could do things more than what the devil could do; rape and kill women just to sow fear and send a message to their political rivals–don’t go against us.

Politics, political rivalry nothing else is the reason behind the Maguindanao Massacre according to media practitioners, political analysts, law enforcers, and ordinary citizens. Why?

A portion from abs-cbnNEWS.com report yesterday has this to say:

Buluan vice mayor Ismael “Toto” Mangudadatu told ANC that his wife, Jenn, his sister, and some relatives were on their way to file a certificate of candidacy on his behalf when a group of about 100 armed men abducted them.

Mangudadatu, who is running for governor of Maguindanao, said some 15 media men who went to cover the event were also seized.

The Mangudadatus believe the abduction was politically motivated. Madaser “Toy” Mangudadato, a member of regional legislative assembly of ARMM, told ANC that they sent their female relatives to file the certificate of candidacy for “Toto” in the hope that their political rivals would not harm them.

Toy said they were warned that if Toto will personally file his candidacy, he will be hurt

Meanwhile president Arroyo declared a state of emergency in Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat to prevent further blood-shed. “There is an urgent need to prevent and suppress the occurrence of several other incidents of lawless violence,” according to Press Secretary Cerge Remonde. This (indefinite state of emergency) will give the military and police adequate powers of arrest and detention for peace and justice.

On the other hand senators who have been very critical to this administration expressed concern of possible whitewash on the massacre as those suspected to have to have masterminded the crime are closest allies of the president. So they dare the president to go after her political allies the Ampatuans. But Malacanang however assured the public that there’s going to be no sacred cow to be spared in the investigation. All of the suspected perpetrators will be brought to justice to answer for their crime.

As of this writing, 24 more bodies have been recovered by the authorities in the area and that the massacre toll already rose to 46.

The entire nation is watching, the world is observing us, the president has no other prerogative but to arrests the perpetrators including those political leaders suspected of masterminding it. At this time when president Arroyo’s acceptability rating is plunging down to the lowest, her resolve perhaps to run after these ruthless killers and lock them behind bars may help in any way reverse public’s negative perception of her administration.

Perhaps before her term ends, at least the public will be aware that the president has done one great thing in her country in the dispensation of justice for those senselessly killed.

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Filed under democracy, government, Justice, Muslim Religion, Philippine government, politics, rape, women

Women Who Are So Loved By Their People

Filipinos have Cory as their icon of democracy. Burmese on the other look at Suu Kyi as their inspiration in their struggle for freedom and democracy. But where Cory has already succeeded (restoring Phlippine democracy), Suu Kyi is still trying for over twenty years now. In fact she is under house arrest, as she has always been.

She has another 18 months again to serve having been found guilty of violating her house arrest by allowing an ill American, who swam his way to her home, to stay. Suu Kyi, a 64-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has already been in detention (house arrest) for 14 of the last 20 years.

Her detention under house arrest for another 18 months is crucial for the Junta organized-elections next year. At least she’ll be out of the political scene, a move which is perceive to undemine free and honest elections in Burma.

Of course the sentence drew outrage around the world specially from Western Government and international human rights groups. Members of the Association of South-east Asian Nations is also disappointed on the said action of one of their government member tagged as the Asean’s problem child. The European Union is now considering economic sanctions against this erring nation.

Suu Kyi has always been seeking for a peaceful means to change the nature of Burmese government into democracy. Though detained (in her own home) by Burmese authorities, she’s still a potent political power to reckon; feared most by the Military Junta. The kind of supports she gets from the people places is feared most by the Military Junta.

Burmese generals know pretty well that among their ranks are young and idealistic military men who are only waiting for the right time to topple this decades long military government. Suu Kyi provides the inspiration for the transfer of power in the hands of civilian authorities.

“I hope we can all work for peace and prosperity of the country,” Suu Kyi said in a soft voice to diplomats seated nearby who attended this 90-minute court session. She’s still composed and commands great respect and authority.

Cory is gone, mourned by millions of Filipinos who admire and revere her commitment to freedom and democracy; but Suu Kyi is still alive to continue with her struggle for her country’s freedom and democracy. As Cory had the backing of people behind her, Suu Kyi too has the support of millions of Burmese people in her ideals and quest for freedom and democracy.

It’s a matter of time, no guns and cannons can stifle the resilliency of people to fight for their freedom. Suu Kyi will always be there to give them that inspiration while the Military Junta trembles upon their destruction.

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Filed under democracy, Economic Survival, government, Heroism, Justice, Myanmar Struggle for Freedom, Philippine government, politics, UN Security Council, United Nations, Wealth, Poverty, women