Life So Mundane in Batangas
Showing posts with label PhilGov. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PhilGov. Show all posts

03 November 2015

The Laglag Bala Scam: the Alternate Story

Image credit:  Rappler.com.

I am just as mortified as everyone else at the level to which some of our fellow citizens will descend to earn a few bucks in what the media has labelled the “laglag-bala” or bullet drop scam. The airport is supposed to be a place for fond farewells, where citizens leaving will already be dreaming of when they will be coming back home and where foreign visitors start to think of what they will say of the Philippines when they arrive in their respective countries.

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29 October 2015

The Marcoses, the Elections and Being Judged by History

How History will judge Ferdinand Marcos is not something anyone in the present can say.

Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., now a declared Vice-Presidential Candidate, was a guest of the late night news show Bandilâ the other night; and inevitably, the line of questions fired at him had a lot to do with his father, the late dictator Ferdinand Senior, and the Martial Law years.

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15 October 2015

Crackpot Candidates Illustrate Fundamental Flaw in Democracy


And so, daily in the evening news this past week, as happens each time Certificates of Candidacies are due at the Commission on Elections prior to election year, we were all shown the usual plethora of crackpot nuisance candidates to either be amused or mortified at.

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31 July 2015

Mar Roxas Needs to Leave Out the MMK Stuff to Become President

Image from http://www.mb.com.ph/.

So after months of the moro-moro that is Philippine politics, President Benigno Aquino III finally gave his endorsement yesterday for the Presidential elections of 2016 to DILG Secretary Mar Roxas. As everyone expected him to anyway, if I might add, despite the smokescreen of behind closed doors interviews with other presidentiables.

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11 March 2015

Pnoy, Mamasapano, Accountability, Deniability


I so do not buy into the notion that President Pnoy ought to be held accountable for the Mamasapano massacre simply on the oft-quoted principles of ‘chain of command’ and ‘command responsibility.’

Whilst technically, Pnoy is indeed the superior of everyone in government, most people in the organisation that is government will neither have direct access to him nor take direct instructions from him as well.

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03 November 2014

Government Should Heed the Warning of 3 Category 5 Typhoons That Just Missed Us

Image credit:  http://inhabitat.com/
In this evening’s edition, TV Patrol started airing special reports on what has transpired in areas most severely affected by last year’s phenomenal Super-Typhoon Haiyan, a.k.a. Yolanda.

The most powerful typhoon to ever have made landfall crossed the Philippines on the 8th of November last year; and the special reports, I suppose, are ABS-CBN’s way of commemorating the event.

First of all, the areas in Samar which were being shown on television are probably all a long way from being what they used to be. What concerns me about the video clips that were being shown by TV Patrol was that efforts to rebuild seemed to have been aimed simply at restoring what used to be.

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26 April 2014

The Less de Lima Talks about the Vhong Navarro Case…

DoJ Secretary Leila de Lima is probably one person we all wish we see less of; and mostly for her own good. She is a fine woman, to be fair; intelligent, eloquent and works hard.

She does seem to love the news cameras; and on more than a few occasions, I had felt that specific cases her department was handling would have been better served had she not talked about these publicly.

The ongoing Vhong Navarro saga is one of these. In a recent news report, de Lima revealed that one of the seven persons accused of criminal charges in the Navarro case had applied to become a state witness.

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20 November 2013

PDAF Was Always Functionally Anomalous

Well there you have it! Now that the Supreme Court has finally spoken on the Priority Assistance Development Fund, a.k.a. the much-maligned PDAF or the even more maligned ‘pork barrel,’ the anomaly has finally been made ‘official.’ Unconstitutional, the Supreme Court has branded the PDAF; past, present and – let us all hope – for good.

In so doing, the Supreme Court has made unlawful a practice that has always been functionally anomalous. The allocation and disbursement of funds has always been a function of the executive branch; i.e. through its various agencies.

To simplify, let us liken government to a household where the father is the breadwinner who lays down the rules but at the end of each payday turns over his entire salary to the wife for the management of the household.

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14 May 2013

Elections 2013: Hardware Upgrade Needed!

If you were one of those who woke up this morning – the 14th of May and, therefore, the day after the elections – and anxiously tried to log onto the COMELEC web site to see how your favourite Senatorial, Party List and LGU candidates fared in the national and local elections, chances are that your browser yielded a time out error message.

You probably refreshed your browser, luckily got a page or two; but each time the page either failed to load completely or took an eternity to do so. Or timed out again.

This was morning, mind; and, therefore, that time of the day when Internet traffic wasn’t so congested. The timeout, needless to say, could not have been caused by your own Internet service.

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02 January 2013

Time for Decisive Legislation on Firecrackers

And as was bound to happen because it does every year, the first evening news show of the New Year began with a report straight from the emergency rooms of hospitals in the metropolis... The carnage, they said, was less than last year’s; but who really wants to know?

So, just as the news shows do each and every New Year’s Day for more years than I care to remember, the array of firecracker victims was flashed into television sets across the nation, exposed flesh considerately airbrushed away out of respect for people’s sensitivities.

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09 October 2012

The Federal Republic of the Philippines?

Now that an agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has been forged to establish the Bangsamoro, the question now shifts to the method with which the ‘political entity,’ as PNoy refers to the Bangsamoro, is to be established. As I stated in a previous article, my gut feel is that it will take a constitutional amendment to make this possible because the concessions to be made to the Bangsamoro as they have been initially made public do not fall in line with the country’s unitary form of government.

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08 October 2012

How Did the Anti-Cybercrime Law Get Out of Congress?

When I was in management, I strictly observed a simple personal and professional rule: I never affixed my signature to anything that I did not fully understand. Being a corporate signatory meant that I along with another colleague were the end of the line for usually an Accounting procedure.

This procedure usually culminated in disbursement; and the assumption was that, since the paper trail included stops at several desks up the corporate ladder, any document or check that reached my level had been carefully scrutinised for weaknesses, errors or inconsistencies with policies.

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07 October 2012

Aquino Government, MILF Agree on Bangsamoro

I cannot say that I agree all the time with the Aquino government; but the announcement by the President earlier today in a speech that government has forged an agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front for the creation of what will be known as the Bangsamoro is something that I not only agree with but wholeheartedly applaud. This has been a long time coming! For all the pettiness that this government sometimes can be guilty of, this agreement can be counted among the feathers in its cap because of the clarity of its vision.

I can still recall hearing the unmistakable roar of the C-130 Hercules planes as they flew low ever so often behind my house on their way to land at Fernando Air Base at the height of the insurgency during the Martial Law years. It was whispered quietly among Air Force families that the planes were laden with sealed coffins of fallen soldiers from the ongoing war in Mindanao.

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19 September 2012

Trillanes, Enrile Spat Distasteful but Entertaining

Somehow, this very public spat between Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV leaves a very bad taste in the mouth. Do not, they do say, wash your dirty linens in public.

Whether or not Trillanes’ claim that Enrile is former President GMA’s lackey – which the latter categorically denied in a live interview on TV Patrol – is valid is beside the point. It was the sort of thing best discussed in the privacy of the caucus room.

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30 July 2012

PNoy, Noli de Castro and Dignity

True, Noli de Castro as anchor of TV Patrol does once in a while let fly an unscripted side comment that is undeniably a barb planted on side of the Aquino administration. Yes, there were occasions when I myself had wondered at the wisdom of such ad libs given that de Castro himself used to be very highly placed in government.

For the President to criticize the anchor – albeit no names were mentioned, but duh – on the occasion of TV Patrol’s silver jubilee celebrations last Friday at the Manila Hotel was, however, probably the height of poor taste.

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01 June 2012

Of SALNs and Waivers: Pilipinas Expects!

In fairness, it was not PNoy himself who categorically stated that he shall not be waiving his right under law to keep his dollar accounts confidential. Instead, it was Malacañang spokesperson Abigail Valte who did so during a news conference held at the palace yesterday.

When quizzed by the media, Valte confirmed that indeed, the President had said while still on the campaign trail that if elected, for the sake of transparency he would waive his right to secrecy as far as his bank accounts were concerned. However, Valte went on, the President would not be doing so “at this time.”

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29 May 2012

Concluding Thoughts on the Corona Trial and Verdict

Well, there you have it. The Impeachment Court has passed its verdict on Chief Justice Renato Corona; so that is really the cue for the rest of us to get on with our lives. In the end, the 20-3 vote to convict was emphatic; and probably reflected, anyway, the overriding sentiment outside the walls of the Philippine Senate.

For the same reason that I always say that a decision by the Supreme Court is incontestable if for no other reason than that any argument has to end somewhere, then this decision by the Impeachment Court has to be seen as the end of the matter.

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28 May 2012

CJ Corona Verdict: How the Senators Voted

Almost half a year of a sometimes intriguing, sometimes fascinating and sometimes downright monotonous impeachment trial ended this afternoon with the Philippine Senate voting to impeach or acquit Chief Justice Renato Corona of charges filed against him in the House of Representatives last December.

It had been generally believed as the impeachment trial went along that the impeachment vote would subsequently come down to a crucial vote on Article II, which focused on his alleged failure to accurately disclose his assets, liabilities and net worth in the SALN.

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25 May 2012

CJ Corona’s Waiver: Too Little Too Late or a Brilliant Ploy?

It is so easy to brand CJ Corona’s act of finally submitting his waiver this afternoon – having ditched his precondition – to the Presiding Judge and granting the Impeachment Court access to his dollar accounts as too little too late. I, for one, certainly did.

Think of all the trouble that could have been spared – for one, a lengthy caucus to decide whether to abide by or disregard a TRO preventing the opening of said accounts – had Corona produced the goods when there was such a big to-do about these.

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22 May 2012

Thoughts on CJ Corona’s ‘Walkout’ from the Impeachment Court

My immediate thoughts as Chief Justice Renato Corona excused himself yesterday from the impeachment court and got up to leave with alacrity was that he sounded a lot like the head of a co-equal branch of government saying what was the equivalent of “I’m done with all of you, now I take my leave, ta-ta, thank you very much!”

And off he sped to everyone’s consternation; yes, even his own defence counsels. Lead counsel Cuevas’ demeanour, for once, was simply priceless! Excusing his client’s actions before the court and without bothering to turn off the microphone pleading with somebody in the defence panel ‘habulin mo’ (run after him) was almost comical.

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