Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bishop urges Aquino: Look beyond friends in strengthening Cabinet

Happy New Year 2011!!!

As I start writing again in this blog, I can't help it but blame nyself for not posting important issues affecting our country since President Nonoy Aquino took over the helms of the government last year. I repeatedly tell my colleagues and friends here in Hong Kong and in the Philippines that not much will happen or change in the country even if Mr. Aquino will sit as our new leader since he himself is a product of the old padrino politics, meaning he himself benefited from the old systems since he was a member of congress and a senator. He cannot abolish pork barrel since he himself has benefited from this annual "doleout" and knows the power it can give to an individual. He cannot abolish it since many of his colleagues in the government know how to corrupt it and hide the corruption from the taxpayers. The hostage embarrassment is another proof that he cannot, as leader, imprison government officials who were once allies to her dad and mom who were responsible for shaming the country all over the world. Much to my dismay (since I am based in Hong Kong and felt the embarrassment myself with our innocent kababayans here), President Aquino did nothing much to appease the hate and anger of Hong Kongers, while 120,000 of our working and resident kababayans are not given importance and left hanging by his government on any backlash which until now is still being felt by our communtiy --- the recent being the Hong Kong government's alleged sudden change in strategy from banning maniland Chinese domestic helpers to now " opening its doors" to Mandarin-speaking domestic helpers -- endangering the hanap-buhay of the hundred thousand Filipinos here. Truly, my predictions of President Aquino's government one by one, are beginning to come. I mentioned this in this blog even before the election. More will be happening this year as I mentioned last year. Cheers to everyone this 2011!
Watch and read more in this blog and you be the judge.

By Jocelyn R. Uy
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—A Catholic bishop has called on President Aquino to replace the officials in his Cabinet with “very capable people” in order to effect real reforms in the country.

Butuan Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos said on Monday Mr. Aquino’s plans for the country remained unclear because of the existing patronage system in the government.
“I am actually hoping and praying that he will actually exercise his presidency because right now it’s unclear where we are going,” said Pueblos over Church-run Radyo Veritas.
The prelate proposed that Mr. Aquino reshuffle his Cabinet and appoint members because of their skills, not because “they are his barkada (buddies) or they were loyal to his mother or father.”

The President is the son of the martyred opposition leader Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. and the late icon of democracy and former President Corazon C. Aquino.
“I think everybody would like to support him because there is such an aspect for change… but he should let the government be run by very capable people,” said Pueblos.
Other Church officials previously aired the same sentiments after Malacañang suffered setbacks with several executive orders it had issued, including one that created a truth commission to investigate anomalies in the administration of former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz pointed out that all the mistakes and glitches in the new administration were the fault of the “very incompetent” advisers in his Cabinet.
“He better reshuffle his Cabinet and get able ones,” Cruz had said.

But Pueblos said the creation of a truth commission would only be a waste of time and public funds as the job of investigating the corruption cases in the Arroyo administration could be conducted by the Department of Justice and the Office of the Ombudsman.

“There are a lot of other problems that the President must attend to, particularly the flooding that some parts of the country, including Mindanao, is experiencing,” he said.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

RP polls bring feast then famine - Washington Post

By Jose Katigbak, STAR Washington bureau (The Philippine Star) Updated April 29, 2010 12:00 AM

WASHINGTON – Filipino politicians have one of the worst records in Southeast Asia for stiffing the poor, coddling the rich and indulging themselves, The Washington Post said.

A Post report from Manila by Blaine Harden said in an election season in the Philippines, the poor are inundated with “goodies” but the pre-election good times are almost always followed by post-election betrayal.

The need to do much for the poor is the primary talking point of 85,000 candidates running for 17,000 elective positions in the May 10 general elections, the newspaper said, and “it’s hard to keep track of all the incoming goodies.”

Traditionally, aid to the poor drops off after the vote.
The campaign slogan of presidential frontrunner Sen. Benigno Aquino is “without corrupt officials, there are no poor people,“ the report said, “but after 12 years in public office, he has little record of introducing legislation aimed at poverty reduction.”

As for Sen. Manuel Villar, Aquino’s main challenger, his slogan is: “End poverty once and for all.“

Villar says he understands poverty like no other candidate because he grew up in the slums and knows how to alleviate it, but his critics claim he became rich in part by using his political influence, the newspaper report said.

Many of the candidates employ the services of entertainment and sports celebrities to boost their chances at the polls. In the United States, Hollywood fame brings candidates no political fortune, The Washington Times reported.

It said a study by researchers at North Carolina State University found that celebrity endorsements by stars such as Madonna and George Clooney do not help political candidates and, in fact, can hurt them.

The Times said public annoyance with celebrities who leave the sound stage for the campaign trail has been detected elsewhere in the United States. The Philippine election campaign has attracted little attention in the US media primarily because the leading candidates in the presidential stakes are pro-American (hay nakuuu).

There doesn’t seem to be anything interesting about the election unless of course it doesn’t happen, said Walter Lohman of the Heritage Foundation.
“Now that would be a problem because the US definitely wants to see the elections proceeding and the results being honored,” he said.

Ernest Bower of the Center for Strategic & International Studies said the election was an important opportunity for the Philippines to emphasize one of its key competitive advantages – a democratic government.

“Let’s hope the race is well fought and won by the candidate receiving the most votes. The candidates who lose should support the new president and move on to support the country’s national interest,” he said.

(COMMENT: Need I say more?!? THIS IS PRECISELY ONE OF THE REASONS why I decided to run. But the COMELEC didn't like my application. So now, I'm boycotting this election... and so with the thousands more OFWs around the world. Here in Hong Kong, with about 100,000 workers, not even 10% had casted their votes. Matalino talaga ang mga OFWs. In Europe and U.S.? The same. Ganun din sa Asia-PAcific region. 'Di talaga paloloko ang OFWs!) 'Di na natoto ang Pilipino.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Audience wanted answers to questions but not asked

By Minerva Generalao, Cyril Bonabente, Eliza Victoria
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—Some 80 questions were asked in the first-ever Philippine Daily Inquirer Presidential Debate held Monday at the University of the Philippines (UP) Theater in Diliman, Quezon City, but those who came wanted to ask more.

Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III should have been asked about Hacienda Luisita, “and why he has not done much as a senator,” said C, 54, a businesswoman.

Another, who decided to be anonymous, said: “Noynoy should have been asked about Hacienda Luisita. Up to now, no forum had personally asked him about this issue.”

But Elizabeth San Diego of Quezon City disagreed. “I have already read and heard a lot about the case of Hacienda Luisita so I did not want to hear more about it anymore,” she said.

Amer Amor, a professor at UP Baguio, said, “I expected that someone would ask former Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro about his links to President Arroyo.”

A 20-year-old student leader said he would have wanted to ask Sen. Manuel “Manny” Villar: “How much money does a candidate have to spend on political ads?”

NBN-ZTE, other issues

“There was no question about NBN/ZTE,” said Noel, 18, a student. “I wanted to know if the candidates were still for wiring schools and other institutions, with the scrapped contract being so controversial.”

Tino Borja, a physics major, lamented the lack of questions about “research and development and on science and technology.” He said: “I would have liked to hear their views, and learn how they will give attention and provide investments for these fields.”
A graduate student, Aisa Manlosa, 24, said she “did not learn about the candidates’ stand on the government’s fight against terrorism, and on the Philippines’ alliance with the US in this regard.”

“For the Social Issues panel, discussions were focused primarily on reproductive health,” said Clara Buenconsejo, 19, a student. “Nothing wrong with that, but I wanted to hear also about agrarian reform and other issues such as education.”

Other issues that attendees wished were raised and tackled during the debate were on political and human rights, particularly for women, the communist insurgency, and labor issues like unemployment and labor contractualization.

More time for responses

Many in the audience wished more time was allotted for the candidates’ responses.

“We would like it if the candidate was able to at least finish a statement he had begun instead of being cut halfway through when the microphone was turned off,” a 19-year-old female student said.

A number of attendees were disappointed that deposed President Joseph Estrada did not show up.

“We’re all questioning why he was allowed to run—and why he’s running again in the first place—and I would have liked to hear his reasons and reactions to the criticisms against him,” said Christina, a law student.

Some commented that the forum seemed like an “elite affair.”

“People’s organizations were conspicuously absent from among those who asked questions on the floor,” Julius Cainglet of the Federation of Free Workers said.

Allen de la Fuente, a UP psychology student, said business organizations were given “undue importance” in the forum.

Informed choice

But many said the presidential debate was successful in helping them make an informed choice for the coming elections.

“I guess I heard everything that I wanted to hear from the candidates because now I know whom not to vote for. Before I came here I was undecided on two candidates, but now I think I am 99 percent sure whom to vote for,” said a female UP graduate student.
Christina said: “Some of the candidates that I have completely stricken off my list surprised me with their answers. May potential naman pala sila. You couldn’t really get to know candidates simply through their advertisements.”

The forum even led some voters to change their minds about their first preferences.

Changing their minds

“I was disappointed with Noynoy. I was initially for him, but I saw that when he spoke, he lacked conviction. He gave answers that were too general, and he wasn’t direct to the point. Walang dating. Hindi ka makukumbinsi (No sizzle, he’s not convincing). Gibo was more specific,” said Hilda, 30, a businesswoman.

Grace, 52, a human resources officer, found some candidates’ answers too general. “I was impressed with [Sen. Richard Gordon] and Gibo [Gilbert Teodoro], though, because their answers were specific and you could see that they actually studied the issues raised, and they had concrete plans. From the others you simply heard more of the same: Blah, blah, blah.”

San Diego said she liked the forum very much. “The questions were varied … I hope there will be a follow-up.”

(Comments: PDI seems to be biased with Nonoy (though, again, I'm not voting for him or any of the presidentiables running. I prefer a boycott on this election and you know my reasons). The way PDI reporters and writers presented Nonoy's case was not balanced. I guess PDI is betting on Villar. Again, the PDI forum was a waste of time, money and effort since the more important issues like poverty, food supply, overseas workers, graft and corruption (and how to solve them), FSC (food, shelter, clothing) prices, employment, businesses, and various other issues were not properly addressed. So, there were more important questions that should be asked like the ones above. Why were not they asked? And why waste your TME (time, money and effort) for this forum when we very well know that the same things will happen in our country whoever wins in this race. It's like the COMELEC. Kunwari, nagtawag ng mga kakandidato para ipakita na patas ang darating na halalan. Then we knew what had happened after that. 99 presientiables, 91 got busted (including me haha). Then the forums came. Same things were said by the candidates. Nothing new. It was just a show and nothing more. PDI won because they became more popular after their sponsored debate. WHAT I was waiting were conrete answers from the candidates on what to do with the country's image now that we are into globalization (I did not signed up for this). What to do with our islands that are now "invaded" by China, Taiwan, and all the countries in Asia (who are pretending to be our allies via ASEAN), extreme poverty in the country, OFWs who are being jailed overseas, unemployment which is dragging our citizens into working overseas like slaves, human rights violations, extreme divide between the rich and poor, decaying infrstuctures, neglect of the countryside including abuse of our natural resources, health and hygiene, basic public infrastuctures, deteriorating jails, white washing of criminal cases, deteriorating professionalism and neglect of government support of our military, sagging quality of education, and many hundreds more problems that are basically taken for granted by the government (and millions of our people too) due to graft and corruption. The country has been in disarray since th Marcoses took over. Cory became president but did nothing to the Marcos cronies and friends and supporters who were guilty of plunder and other heinous crimes (because some were her friends and even relatives?). FVR took over for a short period but then he was a former Marcos general which complicated the system even more. Those who were not punished after Marcos came out winners and until now are holding government posts. Erap came and we knew the story. GMA took over and the country became more corrupt and unstable. GMA even wanted to create "super nannies" since she has no solution to the OFW problem. This is the reason why I am boycotting this coming election basing from the TRACK records of our former presidents and those who are now running. What else can we expect from these people? I was hoping for new faces, new names, and new blood in this race (kahit hindi na ako). What came out are old faces, old blood, old politicians. There is nothing more to hope for and expect from them. No matter what they say and plan for the country, this track record will speak for whoever will come out winner in May 2010. It will another 6 years of sufferings and difficulties in the Philippines. Itaga natin yan sa bato. Let us view our country and its problems in a macro level and we'll understand how little and absurd are the things happening in the minds of these presidentiables. They have no solutions to our very basic problems and they do not really care.D

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Who are the real liars in the Senate?

Who are the real liars in the Senate?
Philippine Daily Inquirer

TO ACCUSE THE 12 SENATORS who signed the report on Sen. Manuel Villar’s culpability in the C5 Extension project of political motivation is a sophomoric attempt at avoiding the issue, and is itself politically motivated. The assumption that Filipinos are so stupid as not to see through this ploy is an insult to the people the senators are supposed to represent.

By avoiding to take up this issue on the Senate floor and dismissing it simply as politics, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano is in effect calling his 12 colleagues of lying and of being irresponsible and unpatriotic.

And if he and the other senators who signed the “acquittal resolution” on Senator Villar truly believe that Senator Villar has been falsely accused by his irresponsible colleagues, then it is their sworn duty to expose these unworthy senators and prove to the public that they are indeed liars and to accept the latter group’s challenge to convince Senator Villar to present himself before the Senate and show the public who are the liars. Presidential candidate Villar cannot strut around the country pretending this is not happening. This is a great opportunity for him to prove that he is clean and deserves to be our next president.

Senator Cayetano, corruption is the reason why there is so much poverty in our nation, in case you don’t know. You were elected to represent the 90 million Filipinos, not yourself.

As for those two senators who signed both the “acquittal resolution” and the report, whichever group is proven to be lying, they are doomed to be in the list of liars.

256 Calatagan St.,
Ayala Alabang Village,
Barangay Alabang,
Muntinlupa City

(Comment: As I said before, the country needs a total overhaul of leaders (politicians, religious, etc) to start moving again. These people in the senate are just using their time fighting, insulting, backbiting, back-stabbing each other while millions of Filipinos are hungry and suffering. Total overhaul means from the president, senators, congressmen, governors, mayors, barangay captains and tanods. This includes policemen, and leaders from the armed forces who are mostly corrupt. The list goes on to leaders from the public works, education, COMELEC, justice department, religious leaders who are trying to be politicians themselves, NGOs, etc). The country needs a total change on mentality, culture, or beliefs. The Philippines has and still is "the" laughing stock of the world (better yet, a country subjected to general ridicule), the economic sluggard, and cheap supplier labor because its leaders are corrupt, dishonest, incompetent, and no connections to the outside world. The country and its people (including leaders) are like fishes swimming in a small bowl where there is no longer room for improvement, development, and progress. So what happens when the country and its people are "dammed" like those fishes in that small bowl? They start killing and eating each other until the only strongest among them survive. This is the once-proud, once-2nd-only-to-Japan country in Asia). It is only by putting many of its corrupt leaders (and their cohorts) in jail and changing the Filipino mentality of insensitivity and stupidity that the country will grow and become a strong nation. Oh, by the way, Filipinos should stop worshipping America and eating its trash. Filipinos should learn how to manage themselves and take of themselves during calamities and natural disasters. Hora-horada na lang pag me kabuwisitan, tawag sa kano! Ano ba? Pag me bagyo, tawag sa knao! Pag me baha, tawag sa kano! Pag me lindol at landslide, tawag sa kano! Hindi na tayo nahiya! Well, ganun naman talaga kasi. Pag puro walanghiya at corrupt and maraming leaders, talagang hindi sila mahihiyang magmakaawa na naman sa kano para tulungan. 'Yan ang quality ng maraming leaders sa Pilipinas, napakarami ang mga walanghiya! Magsariling sikap naman tayo. Gamitin ang pera sa baha, huwag ilagay sa bulsa!

Other countries in Asia had accomplished that 20-30 years ago. This is why they are more developed now and have overtaken the Philippines in many aspects of their development). Wake up na, Pinoys!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Adulterer, yes; plunderer, no

By John Nery
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Close this The decision of the Comelec’s Second Division to qualify Joseph Estrada for the presidential election in May, reached on the ninth anniversary of his people-powered ouster from Malacañang, invites the Filipino citizen to consider, yet again, the ex-president’s sins against the nation.

In two recent editorials, the Inquirer observed the distinction between the legal impediments Estrada faces (which the second division blithely set aside, in favor of a sweeping populism) and the moral hazard that Estrada’s return represents.

This distinction, I think, is crucial to our evolving understanding of the democratic project.

Many Filipinos object to the very idea that a failed president can serve in the presidency again. But as the first editorial pointed out, the issue before the Comelec was whether the Constitution—not past performance, not much-publicized adventures in morality—bars Estrada from running for reelection. In other words, the notion of “failure,” of whether Estrada was a “good” or “bad” president, ought not to figure in the legal debate.

As I have written before, the phrasing of the prohibition, that the president is ineligible for “any reelection,” seems clear enough; the deliberate inclusion of the word “any” reflects the framers’ reconsidered view. Sadly, instead of vigorously advancing a contrary legal view, the Comelec’s second division merely passed the burden of decision to the electorate (in theory) and to the Supreme Court (in reality).

As the second editorial argued, however, there are in fact many reasons other than the strictly legal to disqualify Estrada from running again. Many of these have to do with public virtue, a democratic republic’s true foundation stone.

Estrada’s new lease on political life thus gives all of us (or, well, maybe just me) the chance to sharpen our thinking on the kind of morality political office requires. I raised similar points in two columns last April; I trust Estrada’s example will help me push my argument forward.

* * *

In an ideal world, political office should be reserved for those of undoubted personal integrity. The familiar example we use to illustrate the point is powerful precisely because it speaks to common experience: A philandering husband, we say, makes for a corrupt politician, because he would be forced to skim money off the treasury to fund his extra needs. Hence, don’t vote known adulterers to public office.

In reality, however, the truth is more complicated. To confine our discussion to heads of government alone: Some of the best (that is, most effective) politicians have been less than faithful to their wives; indeed, to choose just one example, the most consequential US president of the 20th century was the fascinatingly complex Franklin Delano Roosevelt. (He was an artful liar, too.) Conversely, personal probity is no guarantee of competence in governance, much less of success.

But the republican form of government is based on the notion of public virtue. I take John Adams’ definition for my own: “There must be a positive Passion for the public good, the public Interest, Honour, Power and Glory, established in the Minds of the People, or there can be no Republican Government, nor any real liberty.”

Emilio Jacinto’s “Kartilya,” the primer he fashioned to orient members of the Katipunan, is marked by this same regard for public virtue. The fifth principle, for instance (cribbed from Filipino.biz.ph, using a copy based apparently on a National Centennial Commission “handout”) reads: “Ang may mataas na kalooban, inuuna ang puri kaysa pagpipita sa sarili; ang may hamak na kalooban, inuuna ang pagpipita sa sarili kaysa sa puri.”

We can translate this as follows: “The noble man places honor before self-interest; the lowly man puts self-interest before honor.”

To be sure, a strong sense of personal virtue underlies Jacinto’s founding principles. Consider the ninth: “Ang babae ay huwag mong tingnang isang bagay na libangan lamang, kundi isang katuwang at karamay sa mga kahirapan nitong buhay; gamitin mo nang buong pagpipitagan ang kanyang kahinaan, at alalahanin ang inang pinagbuharan at nag-iwi sa iyong kasanggulan.” We can translate this as: “Don’t look at woman as a mere plaything, but as your equal and companion in life’s hardships; tend to her weakness, and keep in mind your mother who bore you and raised you.” But even here, the notion of public wellbeing is transparent.

* * *

In sum: the moral fact that disqualifies Estrada from serving in the presidency again is not his serial adultery; it is his conviction for plunder. That his absolute pardon erased that conviction is legal fiction—that is to say, it is a construction, a fact created by legal processes (which we must all respect, if we want the rule of law to take effect).

But that he ran the illegal numbers game jueteng from Malacañang, and abused the powers of the presidency by putting pressure on the public insurance systems to purchase a controversial stock on which he, the President of the Philippines then, earned a P180-million commission—these remain facts that cannot be erased by the pardon. Only their legal meaning has been changed.

Their moral content remains the same: They prove that the highest official of the land violated public morality. He placed his own self-interest ahead of the public good.

All things being equal, I would of course prefer not to vote for an adulterer. Allow me, then, to tweak this column’s title, thus: An adulterer, maybe; a plunderer, never.

(Comment: Kagaya ng sinabi ko, the mere fact that Esrada was a convicted plunderer (ex-convict for that matter) already disqualifies him to run for public office. For delikadesa na lamang, dapat iningatan ito ng COMELEC if the COMELEC is a TRUE GUARDIAN of democracy in the country. Dapat HINDI na nila pigkonsidera ang application ni Erap dahil basag na ang public trust ng tao sa kanaya. Public office is a public trust. Once nabasag na ito,kahit pa pinatawad na siya, hindi na dapat pang in-accept ng COMELEC ang application nya. Ang basag na salamin sa bintana kahit lagyan mo pa ng dekorasyon at pabango, hindi mo na maibabalik and dati nitong anyo dahil me lamat na. This same thing applies to Erap's case.

Tingnan na lamang natin ang kaso ni Jalosjos na rapist ng 12 years old. Dapat makukulong siya ng habambuhay, pero dahil sa political movements ni GMA, pinatawad din siya at special guest pa nga si GMA sa birthday nito (sa Pilipinas lang nangyayari na ang presidente ng isang bansa ay nakikikain katabi ng isang convicted rapist! Thanks to Philippine corruption). Pero, ano kaya ang mangyayari kung ang ni-rape ni Jalosjos ay anak ni GMA or for that matter pera ni GMA ang ninakaw ni Erap, do you think pareho pa rin ang magiging treatment ni GMA sa 2 ito? Or the same things pa rin ang mangyayari sa dalawang ex-convicts na ito ngayon? Ano naman kaya kung anak pala ni Commissioner Melo ang ni-rape at pera niya sa bangko naman ang ninakaw, i-a-allow pa kaya ng COMELEC boss na ito ang pagtakbo for public office ang 2 ex-convicts na ito? Ano kaya kung ang ni-rape at ninakawan ng 2 ito ay mga kapatid ninyo o nanay ninyo, dahil pinatawad sila ng presidente ay tuluyang hahayaan na lamang ninyo na tumakbo pa si Estrada at makipag-party pa kayo kay Jalosjos?

Mag-isip ka na, kabayan! Ninanakawan ka na, nire-rape ka pa, sinasamba mo pa?)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Villar allies slam Aquino over Subic-Clark road deal

By Cathy C. Yamsuan
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines – Supporters and allies of presidential candidate and senator Manny Villar hit back at his opponent, Liberal Party standard bearer, Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino by bringing up Hacienda Luisita’s involvement in a land deal related to the construction of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway.

During the Kapihan sa Manila Forum on Monday, Cavite Representative Crispin Remulla, of Villar’s Nacionalista Party, said the House of Representatives was ready to release a report on the SCTEX funding use. Remulla said irregularities in the payment of right-of-way to Hacienda Luisita, owned and controlled by the Cojuangco clan to which Aquino belongs, were uncovered.

Remulla dared Aquino to "come clean," saying he must have known of the land overpricing in the deal, being a Cojuangco.

Liberal Party members, Senator Rodolfo Biazon and Representative Ruffy Biazon took turns defending Aquino, saying the standard bearer was not directly involved in the land deals between Hacienda Luisita and the consortium that built the SCTEX.

The Biazons said Villar should explain the benefits his real estate companies gained from the C-5 road project.

Aquino, Biazon, and 10 other senators have signed the Committee of the Whole report seeking the censure of Villar for being in a conflict-of-interest situation in the C-5 road project. The report recommended that Villar’s company return to the government P6.2 billion, which his firm earned from the project.

Villar denied that the company earned that much said the contracts were above board.

(Comment: Pare-pareho lang silang corrupt. Bakit pa tayo pipili sa dalawang ito? Hay, naku, nagsisiraan, nagtatapunan ng parehong baho at putik! Pareho lang naman sila. At nagpapaloko at nagpapakabobo naman ang mga Pilipino. Agai, itaga natin sa bato, kahit sino pa ang manalo sa May 2010 election, another 6 years of poverty and suffering na naman ito sa ating mga Pilipino. Hindi na tayo (ehemm... KAYO - mula ngayon hiwalay na ako sa maraming nagpapakabobong kababayan nating hindi na nadala!)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Comelec: Estrada can run for president in May

By Kristine L. Alave
INQUIRER.net, Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE 3) The Commission on Elections Second Division allowed on Wednesday former President Joseph Estrada to run for president in the May 2010 elections.

The second division issued the ruling dismissing the disqualification case filed by a certain Evelio Pormento.

In its ruling, the poll body’s second division said Estrada could not be covered by the constitutional ban on a President’s reelection because he is not an incumbent President intending to run for reelection.

The poll body added that Estrada, who was convicted of plunder in September 2007, was pardoned by President Macapagal-Arroyo a month after, and therefore, all his civil and political rights have been restored.

Estrada, who was present during the reading of the promulgation, hailed the ruling, saying it could boost his popularity ratings in surveys on presidential candidates. Estrada is currently running third in the public’s preference surveys behind Sen. Benigno Noynoy Aquino III, the front runner, and Sen. Manuel Villar.

"It is a victory of the Filipino people," Estrada said of the ruling.

Pormento, the lawyer who filed the disqualification case against Estrada, said he would appeal the Second Division ruling to the Comelec en banc. According to him, the spirit of the constitutional ban on presidents seeking reelection is "absolute." Pormento said he has also started preparing an appeal to the Supreme Court if the Comelec en banc would uphold the second division ruling.

Before the promulgation of the ruling, nuisance candidate Ely Pamatong created a scene by yelling at the Comelec commissioners, "I want to lead. Magnanakaw kayong lahat (You are all thieves!).

Comelec guards immediately detained Pamatong inside a Comelec office, and the Comelec held him for charges of indirect contempt.

Comelec officials said he would be brought to the Manila City jail and be detained there for 10 days.

(Comments: Sinasabi ko na nga ba. Hindi sa pinatawad na si Erap ni GMA kundi ang katotohanang nagnakaw nga ang taong ito sa kaban ng tao. Yan ang issue kaya hindi siya dapat tumakbo at hindi siya qualified na tumakobo dahil ex-convict na nga! Hanip talaga itong COMELEC. Magkano kaya ang binayad sa mga ito sa decidion nilang ito? Pinagtatawanan na tayo ng buong mundo, hindi pa rin natitinag ang pagkamanhid ng mga taga COMELEC. Again, itaga natin sa bato, kahit sino pa ang manalo sa election sa Mayo 2010, another 6 years of poverty, suffering and very bad image ito sa ating bansa). Kelan ka pa magigising ang matututo, Pilipino?