Archive for June, 2006


Moral Decay in the House of Glory(a)

I have never seen such degradation and decline of values in our society as the one we are witnessing today. The quest for more power and riches displayed by our politicians especially the majority bloc in the Lower House has totally diminished any sense of respect we can afford them. With the admission of Nograles that a successful impeachment could spell disaster for them, one would ask why run for public office if you are only after your personal gains? How can he then say that personal ambition drove the minority to push for impeachment? The minority if we remember lost all their positions after the botched impeachment last year. Gone too were their “pork” which mandated by law should be given to them. IRA of cities allied with the opposition have also been withheld. They wouldn’t take this risk of earning the ire of GMA if they would benefit from it.

At least now we know what kind of members the majority has. They are nothing but “Misrepresentatives” of the constituents they continue to toy and exploit. At least they now admit, although not directly, that they are fighting for their political survival. They sold their constituents out for what, certainly not to improve their districts but for their own political ambitions.

So what did we discover the past year? We have an administration devoid of moral values. An administration who have bastardized our institutions with its total disregard for basic human rights and congressional oversight. GMA also is pushing for more Filipinos to seek jobs abroad, treating our people as commodities for the sake of more dollar remittances and bragging rights for an economy which up to now has gone nowhere.

Is this the government we envisioned? Is this the kind of leadership we deserve? GMA’s minions would argue even saying its the voter’s fault and we got what we deserved, that we sold out votes for a few hundred pesos. If this had been the case, Garcillano would not have been appointed nor will there be a need to use the military for cheating in the last elections. How arrogant and stupid these people are. They must take us for fools and that we are to blame for the mess they created.

Governance is not all politics, being human enough to concern yourself with what your constituents need makes a good politician. To concern yourself with political survival is the least of one’s worries if serving the people is what you ran for office for. Values is what makes a well rounded public servant, right now, this administration has none. Totally devoid of values that they continue to lie through their teeth in the name of personal ambitions. Moral decay of the government has led to apathy and impunity. Is this the legacy this administration would leave behind. I guess it is, all in the name of personal gain.


A Worn Man By The Computer

Twenty years ago, after the fall of the dictator, I hoped for a new beginning for my country. From the time that Ninoy was imprisoned, nothing has filled our dinner time but politics. My Dad back then was fighting the PNB management for the rights of the workers and my uncle, helped defend Ninoy in court. My Dad brought me along in their pickets. I even attended campaign rallies of Laban when they ran for seats in the Marcos Parliament. I never thought that I would face the same scenes when my time came.

When Ninoy was assassinated, my parents left the country to seek refuge in the US. My Mom worked for the government and my Dad was a VP in one of the biggest banks. They had to give up their jobs to try to get us out one by one. We were left in the care of my aunt who was still single. I joined the rallies every Friday and on my free time joined the picket lines of our university’s staff. In short, I became an activist. I was full of bravado and thought I was invincible, until one colleague was found mangled by the railroad in Laguna. Tortured and beaten to death. It all sank in and I quit school. Wary of what could happen to me, I had to lay low for a while. But still I did not miss the rallies. The Second Quarter Storm was an adrenaline rush for me. My sister and I got separated during the dispersal and I ended up in Plaza Dilao.

Then came the snap elections and I became more active. My Mom had returned to join me and my sister in the rallies. We campaigned for Cory. I still had to be careful and always on the lookout for any eventuality. After one of the biggest rallies in Luneta, we were almost “waylaid” by an unmarked car. Luckily, I saw a huge crowd near a chapel and quickly headed for them. My Mom was so shaken and kept asking me what was that all about. I just told her maybe its because of the huge NINOY banner on my car. Those three years were the most exciting years of my life. I never however entertained the thought of going “underground” unlike what most of my friends did. I told them I’d stick it out and take my chances. I always opted for a peaceful solution than an armed struggle.

My Mom received a call from the palace that fateful day in February telling her that the Marcos’s had left. I thought that I would never join another “fiesta” in EDSA until 2001 came. I took my kids with me to give them the feeling of what’s its like to attend a rally, just as my Dad did when I was a little boy. Now the wheel has come full circle and we have another dictator-wannabe. I guess time will come when I have to once again attend another “fiesta” to boot out another maniac.

Twenty years and I have yet to see my country flourish and grow as a nation. Migration has grown to leaps and bounds. Priorities have changed for the worst. The citizenry once again repressed by a few ambitious individuals. Parents driven out of our country to fend for their families. I cannot bear to see this country once again terrorized into submission by a self-proclaimed messiah who has done nothing but to enrich her family and her cohorts. And I thought that Marcos was cruel. At least he never pushed our citizens into slavery for the sake of dollar remittances to prop up her supposed to be strong economy.

Twenty years and I see my beloved Philippines back at square one. Life has gotten worse and has cultivated apathy and a culture of impunity. The faces I marched with during those dark years, now swallowed up by the very system we fought against. Am I a “WORN” man who sits by his computer all day typing away his thoughts? I’m not, I’m just waiting for the call to come when my country needs my nameless face once again to right what is wrong and stand up for my rights.


Political Survival

The blogsphere is buzzing with the Impeachment fever. As we all know, last year’s “attempted ” impeachment of GMA ended in a massacre of sorts. The leprechaun in the enchanted palace has managed to “cling” to power through bribery and repression. With the threat of a new impeachment, can she foil this process again? Can she still use her old tactics or are her “guards” in the lower house still dependable?

Her cohorts in the lower house are now in a tight spot as this process could spell the end to theirs and their family’s political ambitions. With the Cha-Cha train stalled, their only hope of No-El gone, what options do they now have in dealing with this new impeachment? If you ask me, they have none. Their political survival is left on how they will “vote” on this new impeachment complaint.

We all know how those who voted for the impeachment last year suffered after their foiled attempt. Their pork withheld and some lost even their chairmanships. But now, the shoe is on the other foot as those who voted against are left to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Should they sign the complaint and get the ire of the pretending president, out goes their pork, their positions, their election funding and the other “benefits”. Should they “kill” the impeachment again, they will be at the mercy of the electorate who for sure will repay them “unkindly” come 2007. The last-termers whose family members will be “replacing” them will definitely fall victims to the voters who will surely vent their ire on them. Now they must wrack their brains on what path they would take once impeachment day comes. They must be having sleepless nights now, while the opposition with nothing to lose can sit and watch them squirm. They have no control of their destiny as either path would definitely hurt them.

With the concerned citizens actively at the forefront of this new complaint, what now Mr. “Tongressman”, what are you to do? The past has come to haunt you.


Reform Not War

Last weekend, GMA declared an all-out-war against the CPP-NPA. With the promise to completely erradicate the insurgency and a purse of P 1B, she hopes to obliterate the rebels in 2 years. Is this the right path to take in finally ridding our country of insurgency?

Counter-insurgency is a battle of hearts and minds. People disillusioned with our economic and political system tends to embrace an ideology that gives them new hope and a better future. At a time when social disparity and injustice continues to grow, the least of our needs is a war that could finally shatter our economy into pieces.

What the administration should do is implement the proper reforms that would finally address the root of the rebellion. Social and judicial reforms are what the country need. Social inequality has since driven most of the insurgents to the communist ideology. Victims of injustice has no other recourse for their plight, thus sending them into the arms of the CPP-NPA. Unless the administration in all sincerity address this problems, we will never have peace in the countryside.

Will war then finally put an end to this lingering problem which has plagued our country since the 50’s? Or would it will lead to abuse and further disenchantment of a populace long disregarded by an “elite” administration? The best way is just use the P 1B to finance socioeconomic programs that will benefit these disenchanted sectors of society. All talk and no walk leads to disillusion and disenchantment. Lip service is not a substitute to real peace and progress.


Testing, 1, 2, 3,

With the spate of “bombings” hitting the metro lately and the “noise” of Sigaw ng Bayan in the background, one would wonder if the administration is testing the political waters once again. Rumors of martial law or another state of emergency abound although the administration dismisses such thoughts. Sigaw recently warned of extra-constitutional means to push “their” Cha-Cha should the PI be shot down.

Although a rogue group “Tabak” has owned the bombings, we just cannot discount the probability that they are operating under the administration’s auspices. I also wonder why such inconsequential targets have been bombed with hardly any damage at all. If I were a legit group out to make the administration pay for its wrongdoings, I would make sure I get the maximum results. Or the “Tabak” is legit and the other bombings are copycat operations by the authorities themselves to create an air of anarchy that would eventually justify martial law.

Another scary thought is Sigaw’s threat of revolution to ram their Cha-Cha down our throats. With the PI stopped at every corner, they are now trying to scare the populace with a veiled threat. With this out in the open, why has not the administration acted on it. Its seditious to call for a rebellion isn’t it? Or is this what the administration wants all along, to stage another coup to give GMA a reason to create a revolutionary government that would perpetuate her stay in power. Imagine the administration taking over itself. Though farfetched, this administration will do anything and everything no matter what the cost for its selfish interests. With a revolutionary government in place, GMA can now dissolve the congress and install her own brand of parliamentary system. I wonder how the apathetical middleclass will react should this happen.

Are these recent events just another ploy of the administration to test how the populace would react or are they laying the groundwork for their eventual power grab? One thing is for sure, the administration will stop at nothing to ensure its perpetual stay in power.


Independence: Just A Dream

As we celebrate 108 years of independence, let’s look back at what we’ve accomplished. Or better yet, what are we today. My personal take is we have regressed and had failed miserably at what our heroes fought for. From being proud and free to being “slaves” in our own country and abroad. This administration in particular has turned our people into mere servants and latest, as cannon-fodder in another man’s war.

Is this the independence we all long for or will we all be just slaves to a system who only changed its face and not its character. Oppression and corruption continues to be the order of the day and our institutions beholden and bastardized by a “pretender” who has nothing to offer but “lip service”.

We continue to “beg” for what is really ours, we are still under the “influence” of a distant “brother”, our economy driven and dictated by our enormous debt. In reality, we still do not decide our own fate but are left in the hands of power-hungry egomaniacs who has nothing better to do than to exploit us more. People who are devoid of values, principles and dignity.

So what have we learned all those years? We are still beset by the same problems our forefathers tried to eradicate. The poor become poorer, the rich become poorer and the “corrupt” are the ones reaping all the fruits of “OUR” labor. Those who tried to change our social and political landscape has either been, killed, dissillusioned and worst, swept by the raging tide of indecency and power play. Is this the independence we all want? Its about time we freedom-loving Filipinos open our eyes and take charge of our lives. Let us not allow ourselves to be what others would want but what we really want for ourselves. True independence can only be achieved if we assert ourselves and show our children that moral values, decency and principles should be in their hearts and minds. If we sit idly by and just let this system go its evil way, then independence will always be “just a dream”.


Shadow Warriors: Soldiers of (MIS)Fortune

Recent reports of the intrepid Malaya has sparked a controversy regarding recruitment of “mercenaries” by the Blackwater Corp. Blackwater is engaged in training and deployment of “private security aides” for different individuals and governments. This report was however denied at first by the SBMA but later confirmed a pending application.

Reports also said that they are now looking for Filipinos with police and military backgrounds. Blackwater gained public attention after four of their “operatives” were butchered in Fallujah, Iraq in March of 2004. An interview by ABS-CBN tonight confirmed that 3,000 Filipinos are currently employed in Iraq as “shotgun riders” (security back-up) for supply convoys. Sniper (alias used by source) said that they earn as much as $2,500 a month. He added that they are no different from US military personnel and serve as augmentation security forces. Sniper said that there are more openings for “security aides” and encourages Filipinos to try to apply for these jobs. He however added that the “job” is quite dangerous and that he recently lost a driver during a “milk run”. Fire-fights are common and they too have to fend off their ambushers from time to time. He stressed that with the lack of opportunity in the Philippines, Filipinos would be enticed by the high pay their employers give them.

Going by Malaya’s report, Blackwater couldn’t have picked a better place to hold office. Subic as we all know is a good training area for Escape and Evasion Tactics, Survival and even camouflage/concealment training. SBMA said that Blackwater intends to lease the shooting range and the nearby ordnance depot. Financial incentives offered by Blackwater ranges from $70,000 to $80,000 a year. Quite a fortune with the current exchange rate.

From exporting domestic help, entertainers, nurses, educators and caregivers, the Philippines has now graduated to “mercenaries”. The administration might have gone too far with this latest caper as this will surely make our country a haven of sorts. We’ll be hosting another “armed group” should this push through. From JI to Al Qaeda to “goons and guns for hire”. Surely this will entice our police and military personnel. Soon, we will even have a shortage of policemen and soldiers. Will this really be a fortune or misfortune for our men in uniform?

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June 2006
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