TRIBUNE EDITORIAL/OPINION

EDITORIAL: SENATE PROBE, 3 STOOGES HOST GAME SHOW 

OCT 31 --The Senate subcommittee inquisition against Vice President Jojo Binay has lately degenerated into a compatibility gameshow where contestants are taken to an isolation room before the other is given the same questions for a prize if the answers match. The hearing also featured a blogger who usually pops out during the heat of operations against an opponent of the administration of Noynoy and has gained prominence as the “small lady” who supposedly handed bank documents of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona to House prosecutor Rep. Reynaldo Umali. The presentation of blogger Raissa Robles involved a supposed interview with Binay where he had admitted owning some 10 hectares of the Batangas property derisively called Hacienda Binay, something which the VP never denied, as he had bought the land, then later sold it.

The presentation also included a lot of assumptions, conjectures and even conclusions based on photographs taken during the interview such as the rooms inside the Binay residence and the contents of the room including labeled packages lying on the floor. The presentation never did prove anything but only tried to reinforce the lies being peddled by the three Palace stooges in the Senate yellow ribbon subcommittee. There was no effort to expose the truth as what the three senators have been proclaiming through the inquiry as even the presence of representatives of Binay to rebut allegations made during the probe were ordered ousted from the hearing room since “they were not invited.” UNA interim secretary general JV Bautista and interim president Rep. Toby Tiangco tried to show a powerpoint presentation in the hearing but were turned away. But naturally, since these three stooges do not want anyone to rebut their lies.

The whole affair thereafter was an Alan Peter Cayetano show with his non-stop weaving of the fraud scenario against the Vice President. Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares, who is also employed in the Palace hit jobs including that against Corona, was presented at the hearing apparently to intimidate businessman Antonio Tiu whom Cayetano and Senators Koko Pimentel and Sonny Trillanes are trying to pin as the dummy of Binay. The game show format of the hearing first had Cayetano asking questions on Tiu before raising the same queries on lawyer Martin Subido, a partner of Tiu, and property appraiser Frederico Cuervo later on. * READ ON....

ALSO: Editorial: For want of a solution  

OCT 30 --Nobody was arguing after Noynoy finally realized the futility of his whim for a second term that was complete with a Palace-designed online movement called One More Term for PNoy that claimed 4 million supporters. Noynoy told businessmen when asked about his pursuit for a second term that extending his stay in Malacañang will not be the solution to the problems facing the nation.
He sounded bitter, however, as he expressed in his fatalistic explanation in dropping his earlier view that he can do better if he gets another shot at the presidency, indicating that he will spend the time after stepping down from the Palace to prepare for meeting his maker. “We all have our own time in this world and we have to prepare for the eventuality of being called to meet our maker,” Noynoy said. That was the second time that Noynoy sounded strange in referring to his life span, the last time being in his State of the Nation Address (Sona) when he indicated supposed threats on his life.

Noynoy first broached his preference for an extended term during a television interview where he said that the constitutional limit of a single term of six years for the presidency should be removed to allow continuity of reforms.
Then soon after, the online movement popped up with Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, the sentimental Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer who perennially fails in the surveys, endorsing a second term for Noynoy. Not long after came Caloocan Congressman and LP errand boy Egay Erice filing a resolution to amend the political provisions in the Constitution, including the term limit on the presidency. All these efforts of Noynoy and his LP cohorts were rejected by the public based on the surveys held on the charter change (cha-cha) effort for term extension with a majority rejecting suggestions to give Noynoy a shot at a second term. Noynoy’s surrender of his ambition for an extended term, however, does not mean an end to the greater aim of the LP’s continued hold on power. * READ ON...

ALSO: Bigger anomalies at a real Hacienda  

OCT 29 ---What seems to have been lost in the useless exchange of insults and name calling over the allegations on the Vice President owning supposedly the 350-hectares “Hacienda Binay” in Batangas is the more serious and inhumane atrocities in the vast Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac that, as a result of the hyped campaign against Jojo Binay, is being bumped off from media coverage. Last Oct. 21, an international fact finding mission that went to Hacienda Luisita, which is owned by the family of President Aquino, issued a report which related several acts of brutality in the estate, the acquisition of which the Cojuangco-Aquino clan was among the most controversial property deal ever. The international group called for a joint inquiry by Senate and the House of Representatives on the reported abuses in Hacienda Luisita.

One of the incidents, reported by Australian Catholic nun Helen Frawley, involved the security guards of the Cojuangco-Aquinos destroying the crops of a peasant family that was supposed to harvest the family’s crops in three days. Frawley said the intention was to intimidate the farm workers since the Luisita goons “could have destroyed it much earlier but they let the family pour in money and hard work before they destroyed it. That really shocked me. There was no humanity.” The international group held what they called a solidarity mission from Oct. 16 to 19 at Hacienda Luisita where farmers in different villages of the estate were interviewed. The group found that the security forces of the Cojuangco-Aquino clan have razed to the ground a total of 53 hectares of farm lots since December last year followed by the leveling of the farms using bulldozers, after which the fencing of agricultural lands started and has not stopped to this day. * READ MORE...

ALSO by Dinah S. Ventura:  Poe-litical  

NOV 3 ---She may not want it — yet — and she may distance herself from any hint of political ambition, but the fact is, Sen. Grace Poe, neophyte senator and former Movie and Television Review and Classification Board chairman, who happens to be the daughter of the late actor and presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr., is turning out to be a favorite choice for the 2016 elections. Senators Poe and Francis Escudero, according to reports, have been the top two choices for vice presidential candidates thus far. But with the ongoing controversies hounding current VP Jejomar Binay, which caused a slide in his popularity ratings, Poe’s name is being bandied around as another strong possibility for the highest post.

Of course, political observers and even ordinary folk comment, she is far too inexperienced yet to be able to handle the presidency. Just look at President Noynoy Aquino, they posit. I am pretty sure P-Noy will not appreciate the comparison, having had years in Congress before he ran for president due to the circumstances at the time. But it is like saying that if someone like P-Noy can be perceived as lacking in experience (or maybe it’s political savvy or political smarts), then how much more Ms. Poe? Based on the leadership styles we have witnessed from previous smart and experienced politicians versus those of sincere and inexperienced ones, then I would assume that the Filipino voting public would really rather reserve judgment at this point — yes, even so close to the next presidential derby. Right now, Grace Poe represents the kind of leader people still dream of. Being relatively new, she still appears fresh and clean. Her grounded approach to issues can be disarming, and her issues of interest reflect those of the masses. * CONTINUE READING...


ALSO by Aldrin Cardona: By the grace of…    

If only we were paying attention, Sen. Grace Poe gave the nation its needed break from the horrendous senatorial investigation by her more veteran peers on the allegedly questionable wealth of Vice President Jejomar Binay. And she did it well. Poe, daughter of the late actor FPJ who many believe was cheated out of the presidency in 2004 by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, took the podium last Monday to say her piece about the plight of the 15 million hungry and malnourished Filipino children. Although she stopped short of calling it a sin so unforgivable in these years of so-called economic gains under this government, Poe’s statement was loaded as she noted the disparities in the living standards of the wealthy and the poor.“Hunger in this supposed time of economic growth is the paradox of our times,” she said. “We shouldn’t allow the applause of rating agencies drown out the grumbling of empty stomachs. We should let the issue of hunger gnaw at bureaucracy’s thick walls or the officialdom’s thick hides the way an ulcer lacerates the gut.”

Poe was not lacking in drama when she delivered her speech that would have rivaled the greatest spoken lines from FPJ’s movies (remember ‘Kapag Puno na ang Salop’?).“This is a country where skinny street kids share one bowl of instant noodles under the foot of neon ads selling liposuction for the obese. This is a country where there is a fried or roasted chicken stand in every corner but the bestseller in the slums does not come in buckets but out of garbage cans — the pag-pag double-fried chicken,” she said. And what could have stirred the imagination in a more dramatic segue, away from the images of a palatial home in a supposedly agricultural land adjacent to a bunch of air-conditioned pig pens than that? In your mind, you see these kids. The images may vary: they could be the yagits, in true kawawa fashion, crying their hunger to sleep. * CONTINUE READING...

ALSO by Ninez Cacho-Olivares : Same dirty, desperate tactics  

NOV 3 ---Clearly, a lot of money is being spent by administration allies in ensuring that the popularity rating of Vice President Jojo Binay in surveys drop to a level that would be manageable enough for the Nonoy Liberal Party (LP) anointed to catch up with Binay’s numbers, which would then make it easier for Noynoy and his boys to cheat the VP out of his electoral victory in 2016. With the numbers of Binay still up, and a big gap in numbers shows in the ratings of the LP anointed vis a vis Binay’s, it would be very difficult to explain a credible win for the administration bet, as the election results will hardly be accepted by the public. And make no mistake about it. The yellow surveys will be manipulating the numbers, that is for certain, as it has already been proved in 2010, where the yellow surveys deliberately pulled down the ratings of former President Joseph Estrada during the campaign period and made Noynoy look like the runaway winner, with Manny Villar being a close second.

This is the reason the three senators insist on the long running inquisition against the VP — despite the fact that even after 10 hearings, they have failed to produce evidence of the accusations they made against Binay. But knowing that despite the weekly yellow Senate subcommittee hearings against Binay has not been working well with the general public, there the administration allies went, coming up with a tabloid comic book called Dyaryo Bistado featuring all the attacks by the Senate on Binay, given away free in cemeteries, obviously to spread their vile message to the masses, who are Binay’s constituents. This is obviously the work of the usual yellows, many of whom are with Noynoy and his administration and who were, in 2000, with then Vice President Gloria Arroyo. Recall that a yellow tabloid was born devoted to continued attacks on then sitting President Estrada on whom they were already planning to oust, through a civilian-military coup d’etat.

Among those who were with the ouster move were Cory Aquino, Noynoy and the usual LP plotters, such as Frank Drilon, Mar Roxas, Butch Abad and Dinky Soliman along with their yellow civil society and the anti-Estrada media and not to forget, Alan Cayetano who was also one of the rabble rousers against Estrada. This same group of politicians is adopting the same attack weapons, using first, the Senate blue ribbon committee on the jueteng issue against Estrada, complete with whistle-blower Chavit Singson, who was granted immunity. The Senate headed by the yellows now have Ernesto Mercado, a self admitted plunderer, instead of Singson. What is clear is that a lot of money and government resources are now being poured to bring down Jojo Binay and the funds suspiciously come from public funds. * READ MORE...


READ FULL REPORTS HERE:

3 stooges host a game show

MANILA, NOVEMBER 3, 2014 (TRIBUNE) Written by Tribune Editorial - The Senate subcommittee inquisition against Vice President Jojo Binay has lately degenerated into a compatibility gameshow where contestants are taken to an isolation room before the other is given the same questions for a prize if the answers match.

The hearing also featured a blogger who usually pops out during the heat of operations against an opponent of the administration of Noynoy and has gained prominence as the “small lady” who supposedly handed bank documents of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona to House prosecutor Rep. Reynaldo Umali.

The presentation of blogger Raissa Robles involved a supposed interview with Binay where he had admitted owning some 10 hectares of the Batangas property derisively called Hacienda Binay, something which the VP never denied, as he had bought the land, then later sold it.

The presentation also included a lot of assumptions, conjectures and even conclusions based on photographs taken during the interview such as the rooms inside the Binay residence and the contents of the room including labeled packages lying on the floor.

The presentation never did prove anything but only tried to reinforce the lies being peddled by the three Palace stooges in the Senate yellow ribbon subcommittee.

There was no effort to expose the truth as what the three senators have been proclaiming through the inquiry as even the presence of representatives of Binay to rebut allegations made during the probe were ordered ousted from the hearing room since “they were not invited.”

UNA interim secretary general JV Bautista and interim president Rep. Toby Tiangco tried to show a powerpoint presentation in the hearing but were turned away. But naturally, since these three stooges do not want anyone to rebut their lies.

The whole affair thereafter was an Alan Peter Cayetano show with his non-stop weaving of the fraud scenario against the Vice President.

Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares, who is also employed in the Palace hit jobs including that against Corona, was presented at the hearing apparently to intimidate businessman Antonio Tiu whom Cayetano and Senators Koko Pimentel and Sonny Trillanes are trying to pin as the dummy of Binay.

The game show format of the hearing first had Cayetano asking questions on Tiu before raising the same queries on lawyer Martin Subido, a partner of Tiu, and property appraiser Frederico Cuervo later on.

* Still, Cayetano, despite the sophomoric ploy, failed to come up with a definite link on Binay and instead got into a financial and legal joust with Tiu and Subido.

The topics taken up went on and on in circles about disproving Tiu’s ownership of the Batangas property which the shareholders of companies of Tiu would have noticed and withdrawn their investments had Tiu been peddling lies over all these years.

The witch hunt is going to the extent of inviting all the employees within the Batangas property which Cayetano already scheduled for the next hearing.

Nothing came out, such as in the other previous hearings even with the game show format as the senators failed to pin down inconsistencies on the statements of Tiu, Subido or even appraiser Cuervo.

Cayetano and Trillanes said that the theatrics will continue for at least eight hearings more with the option of being extended based on the new allegations to be cooked up and included in the hearings.

There were a lot of unsubstantiated allegations and even speculations raised in the inquiry which is supposedly in aid of legislation, but the way it is being conducted, complete with insults and hardly allowing the resource persons to explain, as they are quickly cut off by the three, there is no other conclusion but a determined effort to demolish Binay who remains on top of the periodic presidential surveys.

The three senators, obviously, will try all means to keep public interest going as the inquiry goes in a circle over the charges on Binay.

It doesn’t need the inquiry to be credible as long as the constant barrage of lies is repeated at least once each week.

Editorial: For want of a solution Written by Tribune Editorial Thursday, 30 October 2014 00:00

Nobody was arguing after Noynoy finally realized the futility of his whim for a second term that was complete with a Palace-designed online movement called One More Term for PNoy that claimed 4 million supporters.

Noynoy told businessmen when asked about his pursuit for a second term that extending his stay in Malacañang will not be the solution to the problems facing the nation.

He sounded bitter, however, as he expressed in his fatalistic explanation in dropping his earlier view that he can do better if he gets another shot at the presidency, indicating that he will spend the time after stepping down from the Palace to prepare for meeting his maker.

“We all have our own time in this world and we have to prepare for the eventuality of being called to meet our maker,” Noynoy said.

That was the second time that Noynoy sounded strange in referring to his life span, the last time being in his State of the Nation Address (Sona) when he indicated supposed threats on his life.

Noynoy first broached his preference for an extended term during a television interview where he said that the constitutional limit of a single term of six years for the presidency should be removed to allow continuity of reforms.

Then soon after, the online movement popped up with Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, the sentimental Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer who perennially fails in the surveys, endorsing a second term for Noynoy.

Not long after came Caloocan Congressman and LP errand boy Egay Erice filing a resolution to amend the political provisions in the Constitution, including the term limit on the presidency.

All these efforts of Noynoy and his LP cohorts were rejected by the public based on the surveys held on the charter change (cha-cha) effort for term extension with a majority rejecting suggestions to give Noynoy a shot at a second term.

Noynoy’s surrender of his ambition for an extended term, however, does not mean an end to the greater aim of the LP’s continued hold on power.

* He said the next elections should have a discerning public that will not elect leaders who are favored by the public but actually have “no substance.”

“With regard to how do we sustain this after 2016, I will vote for the right candidate and if I can ask you also to discern properly as to who is extolling populist sentiments with no substance as opposed to those who not only say the right things but whom you can trust to delivering the same,” Aquino said.

He added there should be a continuation of people of like mind who will deliver on the promises that are real and not just self-serving or nice or pleasant to hear.

Of course, he should be referring to Mar Roxas who seems to be incapable of making himself appealing to the public but which the LP is selling as the person who would continue the reforms of Noynoy.

Noynoy should have quit while he was ahead in stating unequivocally that he is dropping any intention for a second term without the lecture on who the public should choose as his successor.

Indicating that a “like-minded” candidate should be voted into the presidency would not work either since that usually results in a death kiss for his anointed which is what usually results after a lackluster administration.

Former President Gloria Arroyo tried to distance herself from the administration candidate in 2010 former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, who many believe is a capable bet, but the stigma stuck and Teodoro lost badly.

Noynoy speaking of the LP’s need to put in a successor within its rank also only confirms that the current smear drive against Vice President Jojo Binay and the political opposition is emanating from the Palace.

Noynoy was correct in pointing out that an extended term is not the solution to the nation’s problems although he may have added the LP’s continuing hold on power as also among his stated non-solution.

His stepping down bringing along his yellows and LP mobs might do the trick, however.

Bigger anomalies at a real Hacienda Written by Tribune Editorial Wednesday, 29 October 2014 00:00

What seems to have been lost in the useless exchange of insults and name calling over the allegations on the Vice President owning supposedly the 350-hectares “Hacienda Binay” in Batangas is the more serious and inhumane atrocities in the vast Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac that, as a result of the hyped campaign against Jojo Binay, is being bumped off from media coverage.

Last Oct. 21, an international fact finding mission that went to Hacienda Luisita, which is owned by the family of President Aquino, issued a report which related several acts of brutality in the estate, the acquisition of which the Cojuangco-Aquino clan was among the most controversial property deal ever.

The international group called for a joint inquiry by Senate and the House of Representatives on the reported abuses in Hacienda Luisita.

One of the incidents, reported by Australian Catholic nun Helen Frawley, involved the security guards of the Cojuangco-Aquinos destroying the crops of a peasant family that was supposed to harvest the family’s crops in three days.

Frawley said the intention was to intimidate the farm workers since the Luisita goons “could have destroyed it much earlier but they let the family pour in money and hard work before they destroyed it. That really shocked me. There was no humanity.”

The international group held what they called a solidarity mission from Oct. 16 to 19 at Hacienda Luisita where farmers in different villages of the estate were interviewed.

The group found that the security forces of the Cojuangco-Aquino clan have razed to the ground a total of 53 hectares of farm lots since December last year followed by the leveling of the farms using bulldozers, after which the fencing of agricultural lands started and has not stopped to this day.

* Another report from Kate Lappin, regional coordinator of the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development, stated the lottery process of land distribution initiated by Aquino’s lapdogs at the Department of Agrarian Reform had a discriminatory and perverse effect on peasant women who were allocated small parcels of land several kilometers away from their husbands or other family members.

The method of land distribution did not consider the fact that agricultural work is done collectively by the peasant families, according to Lappin.

Members of the mission also questioned the DAR’s method of land distribution which goes against the principle of land reform since farmers who have tilled the land for 10 years are now being evicted and assigned to lots far away from their farm lots and homes.

Sarah Marland of the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition who was also part of the mission reported that farmers whose crops and homes were destroyed could no longer eat three times a day or send their children to school.

These, she said, are violations of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women signed by the Philippine government.

Her report added that women who defend their right to land and livelihood are being arrested, detained and charged with trumped-up criminal cases.

The report also alleged impunity in human rights violations coupled by the farmers being denied access to justice. The collaboration of police and military with the security forces of the Cojuangco-Aquino clan all work toward denying the farmers any recourse against abuses in the estate.

Malacañang, prior to the international mission visiting the Cojuangco-Aquino estate, challenged farmers who have trooped to the Palace, which was a desperate move as well since they will be complaining before the residence one of the landlords, to show proof of abuses.

The statement came after the farmers filed for the third time criminal charges against the Cojuangco-Aquinos before the Department of Justice, which no doubt will not touch the complaint with a 10 foot pole.

The report cited Noynoy as among those responsible for what is happening at Hacienda Luisita adding there is no evidence that the authorities conducted any thoroughgoing investigation on the allegations of abuses, was the conclusion of the findings.

While the chief recommendation of the mission is for Congress to look into the allegations of abuses, several attempts from independent legislators to seek an inquiry into Hacienda Luisita end up in the backburner of both the Senate and the House which are both dominated by allies of Aquino.

The report would likely end up anew with the United Nations (UN) since members of the fact finding mission have consultative status with human rights and economic bodies of the UN.

The UN has long been criticizing the poor human rights records under the term of Aquino and has blamed Noynoy, not just once, for impunity persisting during his term.

If there is an anomaly that needs immediate resolution, these are the atrocities being committed at Noynoy’s Hacienda Luisita.

Poe-litical Written by Dinah S. Ventura Monday, 03 November 2014 00:00

She may not want it — yet — and she may distance herself from any hint of political ambition, but the fact is, Sen. Grace Poe, neophyte senator and former Movie and Television Review and Classification Board chairman, who happens to be the daughter of the late actor and presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr., is turning out to be a favorite choice for the 2016 elections.

Senators Poe and Francis Escudero, according to reports, have been the top two choices for vice presidential candidates thus far. But with the ongoing controversies hounding current VP Jejomar Binay, which caused a slide in his popularity ratings, Poe’s name is being bandied around as another strong possibility for the highest post.

Of course, political observers and even ordinary folk comment, she is far too inexperienced yet to be able to handle the presidency. Just look at President Noynoy Aquino, they posit. I am pretty sure P-Noy will not appreciate the comparison, having had years in Congress before he ran for president due to the circumstances at the time. But it is like saying that if someone like P-Noy can be perceived as lacking in experience (or maybe it’s political savvy or political smarts), then how much more Ms. Poe?

Based on the leadership styles we have witnessed from previous smart and experienced politicians versus those of sincere and inexperienced ones, then I would assume that the Filipino voting public would really rather reserve judgment at this point — yes, even so close to the next presidential derby.

Right now, Grace Poe represents the kind of leader people still dream of. Being relatively new, she still appears fresh and clean. Her grounded approach to issues can be disarming, and her issues of interest reflect those of the masses.

* She is doing all the right things, and saying just the right words. In fact, her most recent speech on hunger and poverty, while revealing nothing new, said a political expert, probably struck a chord because of the way she presented it.

“We should let the issue of hunger gnaw at bureaucracy’s thick walls or the officialdom’s thick hides the way an ulcer lacerates the gut.” Among others, Sen. Poe, in this privilege speech given before the Undas, used some pretty powerful words on the hunger situation in our country. Some of the words she used made me want to applaud — they sounded like the cursing we keep in our heads whenever we hear of “frivolous” ways the government uses money or how “sincere” these politicians really are when they create programs that don’t make a dent on, let alone crack our real problems.

Indeed, she may not have said anything we didn’t already know, but she laid them all out in way that put the matter in a fresh light. By detailing the “paradox of our times,” she laid bare some things many people today choose to ignore or worse, simply accept as the norm.

For example, she highlighted the 15 million children who go hungry while the economy soars and commercial interests rake in fat profits but neglect to share even their extras. She talked about kids who share a bowl of noodles under billboards of weight loss clinics. She called on politicos to donate the tarpaulins they use to advertise themselves to farmers who can use them for drying their crops.

Poe wondered why millions remain poor and hungry when the economy is riding high and why people still can’t eat proper meals when the country is supposed to be self-sufficient when it comes to several agricultural products.

She urged her fellow leaders to be “sincere” in their efforts to help alleviate poverty and not devote less money on such programs than actually needed. Rather than waste budgetary allowance on frivolous projects, she said, why not focus on these programs that can really change the conditions of the poor and lessen hunger, especially among children, the future generation? She called for a “re-engineering” of actions against hunger and malnutrition in our country. Some of her suggestions were simple and practical, underlining her belief that it doesn’t have to be a grand scheme to eradicate hunger. Simply put, allot more funds and make it easier for Filipinos to stand on their feet. Just changing the way things are done and the way we approach a problem can do wonders, she seemed to say.

She also invoked the participation of every one, from private entities to individuals, saying, in other words, that every little thing we do for the least of our brothers will lead to bigger things for the country.

Certainly, I liked the tone of that speech. It was just a little bit exasperated, a lot more impatient. Some might say she was being naive or sophomoric, but to me, the sentiment is shared by millions of fellow Filipinos, who are mostly sick and tired of the cycle, the system we keep saying is bulok (rotten), but find so hard to transform, and may simply want out if nothing changes soon.

By the grace of… Written by Aldrin Cardona Monday, 03 November 2014 00:00



If only we were paying attention, Sen. Grace Poe gave the nation its needed break from the horrendous senatorial investigation by her more veteran peers on the allegedly questionable wealth of Vice President Jejomar Binay.
And she did it well.

Poe, daughter of the late actor FPJ who many believe was cheated out of the presidency in 2004 by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, took the podium last Monday to say her piece about the plight of the 15 million hungry and malnourished Filipino children.

Although she stopped short of calling it a sin so unforgivable in these years of so-called economic gains under this government, Poe’s statement was loaded as she noted the disparities in the living standards of the wealthy and the poor.

“Hunger in this supposed time of economic growth is the paradox of our times,” she said. “We shouldn’t allow the applause of rating agencies drown out the grumbling of empty stomachs. We should let the issue of hunger gnaw at bureaucracy’s thick walls or the officialdom’s thick hides the way an ulcer lacerates the gut.”

Poe was not lacking in drama when she delivered her speech that would have rivaled the greatest spoken lines from FPJ’s movies (remember ‘Kapag Puno na ang Salop’?).

“This is a country where skinny street kids share one bowl of instant noodles under the foot of neon ads selling liposuction for the obese. This is a country where there is a fried or roasted chicken stand in every corner but the bestseller in the slums does not come in buckets but out of garbage cans — the pag-pag double-fried chicken,” she said.

And what could have stirred the imagination in a more dramatic segue, away from the images of a palatial home in a supposedly agricultural land adjacent to a bunch of air-conditioned pig pens than that?

In your mind, you see these kids.

The images may vary: they could be the yagits, in true kawawa fashion, crying their hunger to sleep.

* Or they could be the same bunch that helped divert a passerby’s attention while an accomplice picks her pocket empty.
But still, they reflected the ills of society. Poe had succeeded somehow in stirring the differences in class among the people, and in reiterating the need to change government tact in dealing with malnutrition and hunger among children, the neophyte senator had revealed the wedge that kept the poor in their condition while the rich get richer by the day.
Poe, however, offered solutions which were probably thought of in some matron’s kitchen.

She wanted additional budget for food. She did not probably see the failure in government’s conditional fund transfer.
She saw the hardships of the working class that has to spend half the worker’s day’s wage to be able to put a meal of beef or pork meal on his family’s table. But she did not touch the on the need for the workers to paid living wages, not minimum wages.

She saw the need to promote agriculture. Doing it now would be tougher as the landed class has already put up vast tracks for development.

She has called on the rich to start their soup kitchens.

She asked the big corporations to chip in to feed the poor.

She wants restaurant left-over food given out to communities.

Poe may have spoken all these from the heart.

And she deserves her chance to be heard.

The solutions she offered may not be the best, but they are worth trying out under the present circumstances.
Because in these times, we need to hear other voices.

And hers was one which tried to feign disinterest on the presidency when everyone else was trying to win votes this early.

Her face was also the least tainted among the present elected politicians. No controversy has been linked to her name.

She is coming like a whiff of fresh air in the stale environment of the Senate.

And when others say she talked like a presidentiable when she pitched for food for the hungry, we did not hear any protest.

Because that would do for now.

She has years ahead to prove her true worth.

Same dirty, desperate tactics Written by Ninez Cacho-Olivares Monday, 03 November 2014 00:00

Clearly, a lot of money is being spent by administration allies in ensuring that the popularity rating of Vice President Jojo Binay in surveys drop to a level that would be manageable enough for the Nonoy Liberal Party (LP) anointed to catch up with Binay’s numbers, which would then make it easier for Noynoy and his boys to cheat the VP out of his electoral victory in 2016.

With the numbers of Binay still up, and a big gap in numbers shows in the ratings of the LP anointed vis a vis Binay’s, it would be very difficult to explain a credible win for the administration bet, as the election results will hardly be accepted by the public.

And make no mistake about it. The yellow surveys will be manipulating the numbers, that is for certain, as it has already been proved in 2010, where the yellow surveys deliberately pulled down the ratings of former President Joseph Estrada during the campaign period and made Noynoy look like the runaway winner, with Manny Villar being a close second.

This is the reason the three senators insist on the long running inquisition against the VP — despite the fact that even after 10 hearings, they have failed to produce evidence of the accusations they made against Binay.

But knowing that despite the weekly yellow Senate subcommittee hearings against Binay has not been working well with the general public, there the administration allies went, coming up with a tabloid comic book called Dyaryo Bistado featuring all the attacks by the Senate on Binay, given away free in cemeteries, obviously to spread their vile message to the masses, who are Binay’s constituents.

This is obviously the work of the usual yellows, many of whom are with Noynoy and his administration and who were, in 2000, with then Vice President Gloria Arroyo. Recall that a yellow tabloid was born devoted to continued attacks on then sitting President Estrada on whom they were already planning to oust, through a civilian-military coup d’etat. Among those who were with the ouster move were Cory Aquino, Noynoy and the usual LP plotters, such as Frank Drilon, Mar Roxas, Butch Abad and Dinky Soliman along with their yellow civil society and the anti-Estrada media and not to forget, Alan Cayetano who was also one of the rabble rousers against Estrada.

This same group of politicians is adopting the same attack weapons, using first, the Senate blue ribbon committee on the jueteng issue against Estrada, complete with whistle-blower Chavit Singson, who was granted immunity.

The Senate headed by the yellows now have Ernesto Mercado, a self admitted plunderer, instead of Singson.

What is clear is that a lot of money and government resources are now being poured to bring down Jojo Binay and the funds suspiciously come from public funds.

* That Noynoy and his LPs are behind this move to kill off Binay is all too evident in their desperation to cling to power and position after 2016.

Political ads of Mar Roxas, Noynoy’s anointed, have been all over the airwaves, followed by reported paid radio attacks on Binay by broadcasters.

The Interior Department of Roxas denied that public funds are being used for the ads, but if so, why do the ads, when giving the broadcast time, say that “this brought to you by DILG,” if not to justify the use of public funds?

As for Noynoy being involved in the destruction of Binay, this is also all too clear, given the fact that his Cabinet secretaries and executives were all present during the latest Senate hearings, complete with their claimed motu propio investigations on the allegations against Binay.

It should be asked: Is the same batch executives and Cabinet members also doing their own probes on Drilon and other allied senators?

It is well known that Cabinet secretaries and administration executives don’t willingly appear before the Senate unless they have the go signal from the Malacañang tenant. All that spiel of Noynoy of him and Binay not talking about politics and their differing political views is yet another hypocritical stance of Noynoy.

But what all these attacks really mean, whether in the Senate or through the black propaganda that is the free Dyaryo Bistado is that Noynoy, his LPs and his allies in the Senate are that desperate to ensure the loss of Binay in 2016, to enable them to enjoy power and pelf after 2016 — and of course the guarantee of not being prosecuted for their crimes.

Fidel Ramos and his boys tried the same dirty trick on his vice president, Erap — to the point of accusing him of murder. The Senate then came up with the same dirty hearings on jueteng against Erap. The bishops even came up with the admonition for voters to vote in “anybody but Erap.”

They all failed. Estrada won the presidency by the widest margin ever. And won it honestly too.

But when Binay does become president, these frigging yellows won’t stop. The attacks will go on against Binay, that is for sure.

That is how low politics has gone in this country.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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