Archive for August, 2007


Gordon’s Anti-pollution Campaign

I caught Richard Gordon’s interview the other day. I found his response quite funny as it showed how a defense lawyer thinks. He clearly isn’t a senator searching for the truth but a defense attorney who is lawyering for the illegitimate occupant of Malacanang. The interview was all about the Doble testimony.

He asked why rely on a POLLUTED witness? He was referring to none other than T/Sgt. Vidal Doble of the famous Graci tapes. He said that Doble is not a credible witness since he received money in exchange for the tape. So what if he did? His bosses are making money, why can’t he? Follow the leader ‘di ba? I suppose now Doble realized how “accommodating” Esperon and the ISAFP can be. When your life is threatened and your family in peril, its human nature to seek refuge elsewhere and reveal the aces up your sleeve.

Gordon’s demeanor clearly shows how (in)dependent he is. Any defense lawyer would impeach a hostile witness if he can prove the accused’s culpability. Miriam looked more sane than he did after this interview. He is better off keeping his mouth shut or lose whatever image he has for 2010.

Hey Mr. Gordon, stick with the Red Cross, it will give you free media mileage for your presidential bid. Better yet, push for genuine electoral reforms than protecting someone who’s on her way out. You are in the senate to keep the abuses of the executive in check, not to be part of Gloria’s defense panel. Raul Gonzalez wouldn’t want anyone taking his rewarding job away from him.


Editors’ Failure

Malu Fernandez should have been a non-issue had the editors of Manila Standard and People Asia done their job. I have worked for a well-known lifestyle magazine more than a decade ago. Every issue was in fact read and reread by the owner himself. He scrutinized and edited all the articles before the magazine went out to the printer. A meticulous but sensitive person, he made sure that all articles are within the bounds of his personal ethical standards.

I don’t know how the editors of these publications managed to overlook highly callous side comments. Were they sleeping on the job or do they in fact share the insensitivity of the writer? Regardless of target markets, still they have to make sure that civility and sensitivity be exercised by their writers. Whether such articles are politically correct or they conform to socially accepted standards, their job is to edit and “sanitize” all articles before they see the light of day.

Obviously, the editors of both Manila Standard and People Asia are to blame for this Malu Fiasco. Since this thing blew up, neither publication has issued any kind of statement regarding this matter. Their indifference only shows and even justifies calls for boycotting them. They should not have waited for this fiasco to reach fever heights. They should have come out to clear their now tarnished names.

Its too late for that now. Organizations of OFWs the world over and concerned sectors are calling for their heads. The owners too should have come out with a statement. People now wonder if indeed Malu issued her apologetic statement. Though she started all these, she may just end up the underdog and the scapegoat.

To boycott these publications could adversely affect their workforce. They should not suffer just because the higher-ups were remiss in their duties. Boycotting however can also force its owners to FIRE their editors. The editors failed miserably at their mandated duties. I am sure that this will not die down just yet. When sectors of society band together for a common goal, its hard to stop.

It was not just Malu Fernandez who should suffer from this fiasco. Its the editors’ failure which led to this. The ball is now in the owners’ court. If they fail to act on this quickly, closing down could be their only option.


Malu Fernandez’s Apology

This statement was posted by my friend Chabeli in my comments box.

Chabeli wrote: For whatever its worth, thought of sharing the statement of Malu Fernandez which I just posted.

Statement from Malu Fernandez on the Controversy Sparked by the June 2007 Column in People Asia entitled, ‘From Boracay to Greece!’

“I am humbled by the vehement and heated response provoked by my article entitled, ‘From Boracay to Greece!’ which came out in the June 2007 issue of People Asia. To say that this article was not meant to malign, hurt, or express prejudice against OFWs now sounds hollow after reading through all the blogs from Filipinos the world over. I am deeply apologetic for my insensitivity and the offensive manner in which this article was written. I hear you all and I am properly rebuked. It was truly not my intention to malign, hurt, or express prejudice against OFWs.

As the recent recipient and target of death threats, hate blogs, and deeply personal insults (ranging from my weight to my looks), I now truly understand the insidiousness of discrimination and prejudice disguised as humor. Our society is bound together by the human chains of kindness and decency. I have failed to observe this and am now reaping the consequences of my actions. It is my fervent hope that the lessons that Ive learned are also not lost on all those who, through anonymous blogs, engaged in bigotry, discrimination, and hatred (against overweight individuals, for example).

I take full responsibility for my actions. My friends and family have nothing to do with this matter. As I have tendered my resignation letters to both the Manila Standard and People Asia, may this matter be laid to rest.”

I do hope that this will finally settle the issue of Malu Fernadez’s uncalled for comments which has affected our OFWs. I also hope that this be a lesson that humor and wit should be used with civility and sensitivity. Mainstream Media should be aware that readers will always react to columns which are close to their hearts.

Editors are responsible for what their columnists write. This would have been a non-issue had the editors done their jobs.


Bridging The Social Gap: Its Everyone’s Concern

My post about Malu Fernandez proved one thing, there are still people who live in the past. Gone were the days when societies in general had only masters and servants. Gone were the days when the rich and famous are concerned only with themselves. We have seen how the richest of the rich extend their hands to the poorest of the poor. Many have realized that we will have a better world if we could eliminate poverty.

Malu represents but a minuscule segment of society who thinks they’re a cut above the rest. That they are the masters of the world and that they will never in their lifetime be equal to the rest of society. Better think again as we see people everyday climb up the social ladder. Soon Malu and her kind will have to accept the fact we are all responsible for this social revolution.

The world is now in a state of social awakening. The rich no longer live in a world of their own and that in reality, they “rub elbows” with all classes of society daily. But regardless of who or what we are, its everybody’s responsibility to bridge that gap of socioeconomic classes. Instead to leaving the poor behind to wallow in despair, we who have a little in life should be sensitive to their plight. Its our moral and social responsibility to assist in whatever way we can, those who have less in life.

We see them fight for survival regardless of how life seems to be unfair. They only need that small “push” to begin living respectably. Families have endured the pain of separation for the sake of a better life. We see families torn apart as parents leave their children behind to work in distant lands. The last thing these people need is an insult from a fellow Filipino.

The rich of the world are now joining in the crusade to end hunger and poverty. We see foundations and philanthropists give aid and support to those who need them. We see them grant scholarships to poor kids and assist families and even entire communities get out of the rut of poverty. We see volunteerism grow each day. The rich are definitely listening and taking affirmative action.

If only some of us can put ourselves in another’s place. Then maybe, just maybe, we all would have a better understanding of what these people go through. Bridging the gap of social divide will not lessen our dignity nor will it hurt our image. To be human is not bad, what is disgusting is to pretend to be human.


Swine Mentality: UPDATED

And I thought educated people have breeding, obviously I am wrong. For someone who writes a column, one should be sensitive not only with her choice of words but with the way she describes her (mis)adventures.

I could easily have let it be, but I am not someone who allows injustice or bigotry for that matter to simply pass. No, I never take anything sitting down. What is worst is when a Filipino, belittles her own countrymen.

I am appalled at how Manila Standard Today columnist, Malu Fernandez narrated her trip to Greece in People-Asia Magazine. Here are excerpts which really got me going ballistic.

“However I forgot that the hub was in Dubai and the majority of OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) were stationed there. The duty-free shop was overrun with Filipino workers selling cell phones and perfume. Meanwhile, I wanted to slash my wrists at the thought of being trapped in a plane with all of them.”

How I wish she had slashed her wrists right there and then. These OFWs work their asses to earn an honest living. They never asked nor begged from this uneducated columnist their daily keep. Were you molested by these OFWs in any way?

“While I was on the plane (where the seats were too small I had bruises on my legs), my only consolation was the entertainment on the small flat screen in front of me. But it was busted, so I heaved a sigh, popped my sleeping pills and dozed off to the sounds of gum chewing and endless yelling of “HOY! Kumusta ka na? At taga saan ka? Domestic helper ka rin ba?” I thought I had died and God had sent me to my very own private hell.”

Filipinos are a very friendly race. They will not hesitate nor even be ashamed to greet another Filipino where ever they are. To them, we are all family. Even total strangers are wholeheartedly welcomed and received with open arms. And don’t worry Malu, with your appalling attitude towards someone who comes from a lower socioeconomic class, Lucifer will be waiting for you in the afterlife.

“On my way back, I had to bravely take the economy flight once more. This time I had already resigned myself to being trapped like a sardine in a sardine can with all these OFWs smelling of AXE and Charlie cologne while my Jo Malone evaporated into thin air.”

Sorry to hear that your Jo Malone expensive as it may be, simply cannot overpower the scent of cheap cologne. Maybe next time, since you claim to be richer than most of us, take first class. If you truly are rich, cost is no problem, unless of course you are just pretending to be rich.

Here’s the catch, the poor girl(?) had the temerity to reply to those who emailed their sentiments.

“Just recently, I wrote a funny article in my magazine column and my friends thought it was hilarious. It was humorous and quite tongue-in-cheek, or at least I thought so, until the magazine got a few e-mails from people who didn’t get the meaning of my acerbic wit. The bottom line was just that I had offended the reader’s socioeconomic background. If any of these people actually read anything thicker then a magazine they would find it very funny. Most people don’t get the fact that they need bitches like me to shake up their world, otherwise their lives would be boring and mediocre. I obviously write for the a certain target audience and if what I write offends you, just stop reading.

Although it may sound elitist to you the fact is this country is built on the foundation of haves, have-nots and wannabes. One group will never get the culture of the other. Although I could mention that it is easier to understand someone who has a lower socioeconomic background that would entail a whole other page and frankly I don’t want to be someone to bridge the gap between socioeconomic classes. I leave that to the politicians in my family who believe they can actually help. Now I seriously ask you, am I being a diva or are people around me just lacking in common sense? Perhaps it’s a little of both!”

The last thing we need are bitches who do not seem to understand what she is saying. Its no wonder why Malu responded in such a demeaning manner, she has politician relatives. Oh, and I never even knew you existed till I read the entries of several bloggers who if I may add belong to a better breed than where you came from. And by the way, your reply only confirms that you lack common sense.

At this day and age when the “TRULY” rich and famous are reaching out to the poor and bridging the gap across all classes, Malu seems to have been left behind wilting away on her perch. She has a very distorted view of what humanity is all about. Bigots have no place in a changing society.

The OFWs whom she unjustly mocked are the backbone of our improving economy. Their remittances continue to prop up our economy. They are the driving force in our consumer driven market. Yes, they are the investors whose money is heavily investing in our businesses. Mind you, the day will come when you will end up along side these people you belittle. And then you will find yourself alone, with your friends who think your column is hilarious. I’m sure your politician relatives are the reason why there is so much poverty in this country. If you think the Philippines stinks, then get out. Maybe you even purposely wrote this article in this manner to be controversial. How sad, it just shows how low you will stoop just to (in)famous.

The meek shall inherit the world and you better join the bandwagon lest you end up in hell.

Care to read the entire column, you can read it HERE and HERE. And THIS is her reply to the emails her paper got.

Bloggers’ reactions: Jae, Ailee, Arn-Arn, Selvo, Maru

More Bloggers have reacted to this post: Arbert, CVJ, Sparks, Nick and Pedestrian Observer


Accountability Not Amnesty Leads To Unity

We often hear the calls to unite. We’ve heard the call to reconcile and move on. Unity involves the willingness of all concerned to cooperate to achieve a certain goal. But unity will never be achieved unless all cards are on the table and that a clear understanding of what is at stake is accepted by all.

We are in a weird situation where the one calling for unity and reconciliation has too many skeletons in her closet. Now her allies call for amnesty to swiftly address the lingering division of our nation. Amnesty as I perceive it in our present situation is but another way to shortcut things. Plainly sweeping dirt under the rug never leads to anything progressive.

EDSA 1 showed us how to kick out a tyrant. EDSA 2 showed us how the greedy exploited public outrage and EDSA 3 showed us how to manipulate the impoverished and the naive. Now Gloria and her gang of thieves would like us to believe that they are compassionate and would like to forgive(?) HER political enemies (I will not refer to them as enemies of the state because GMA is not the state).

GMA for sure had instructed her allies to float the amnesty balloon. She is definitely worried about her future once she steps down. Her plan to change the charter did not work, her only option now is amnesty. She will lose her immunity after 2010, and this is the reason why she is now exerting all means to ensure her physical safety.

But we the people, should once and for all assert genuine rule of law. We must ask for accountability from those in government. We, as citizens are under the law and our leaders should also be answerable somehow. Erap, corrupt as he may be, faced the music and earned his day in court. This to me is something we should admire him for. He allowed the justice system, flawed as it may be, to run its course.

Let the guilty pay for the crimes they committed. It will be an injustice not only for the accused but to the accuser as well if we always turn to amnesty as the cure all and end all. Amnesty only works if justice and accountability is present. If genuine remorse is expressed by the accused. We should not apply amnesty so liberally that results thereafter continue to haunt us.

Gloria and her allies are wrong in thinking that her successor would be kind as to clear her of the wrongdoings she had committed. But so far, she may just get her amnesty too. The current “crap” of presidentiables have stayed away from pronouncing their stand on GMA’s accountability. So for now, she is safe. And as for the horses running in 2010, not one of them deserves to be president if accountability is not in their agenda.

We can always forgive but we should never forget, lest we want history to keep repeating itself and prevent are country from moving on.


How To Abuse The Anti-terror Law.

Now comes the first test for Gloria’s Anti-terror Law. Reports say that Fil-Am activist, Dr. Annalisa Vicente Enrile, chairperson of GABRIELA Network USA was barred from returning to the US. She is a professor at the University of Southern California. Her organization, GABNet is an affiliate of the Gabriela Women’s Party. She was informed that she is in the government’s watchlist.

She has been given the runaround by the BID (Bureau of Immigration and Deportation), the DoJ (Dept. of Justice and the NICA (National Intelligence Coordinating Agency). She now claims to be held hostage here. Its been a week now since she was prevented from returning home. Her only fault, joining a fact-finding mission to probe the extra-judicial killings.

The HSA really can be abused as this situation has proven. Mere suspicion and by “affiliation” can get one harassed and subjected to intimidation. Although she has not been charged for any violation nor literally detained, her fate lies on the BID clearance.

So this is how the HSA really works. I was right all along that the law can and will be abused not in the name of justice but in defense of an abusive regime. Gloria invited all interested international parties to come and look into “allegations” of human rights violations. Human rights is a global concern. As usual, this government says one thing and does another. Plainly put, everybody is “invited” but they are not welcome. All those who have joined the mission are now in the supposed watchlist. The government has insisted that the Gabriela party list is a front for the CPP-NPA and therefore considered terrorists.

The international courts cannot intervene nor compel the Philippine government to justify the hold departure order against Dr. Enrile. So the government has found a way around the provisions of the HSA. Heck, even the US embassy can’t do a thing about her case. By including individuals to a “watchlist”, anyone can now be held hostage and be prevented to travel. No need to file charges nor physically apprehend a person. All Gloria’s dogs have to do is place all its critics in a list and they’re virtual prisoners.

Supporters of the HSA said that it has no teeth, that it is so full of safeguards that it would be very hard for the security forces to do their job. They claim that the law actually weakened the efforts to fight terrorism. Well think again clowns! A despot can never be prevented from abusing her power. No matter how watered down the law may be, everything still relies on how “POWERFUL A PRESIDENT WANTS TO BE”.

Like I said, we all better watch out. Gloria and her gang of serpents will stop at nothing to defend her survival. She will use, circumvent and violate all laws if need be. So when they tell you that the HSA will not be used against you, don’t believe the crap. So beware who you befriend. A paranoid administration will always look at you in a different light. It sees all and those who criticize this administration as terrorists. Next stop, the National Identification System which will finally do us all in.

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August 2007
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