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EDITORIALS & OPINIONS OF THE WEEK:
(Mini Reads followed by Full news commentary below)
FROM ABS-CBN (BLOGS)

ELLEN TORDESILLAS: AQUINO ALLERGIC TO SAF 44


The President says the deaths of the SAF troops is a tragedy he will carry to the end of his days COURTESY OF RAPPLER.COM With President Aquino, what you see is what you get. He is not good at masking his lack of concern and sympathy for the everyday problems of Filipinos. Like when Tacloban businessman Kenneth Yu Uy complained to him during in his post-Yolanda visit to Tacloban in November 2013 about the peace and order breakdown in the typhoon-devastated province and he snapped at him, “Eh buhay ka pa naman, di ba?” (Uy died last week of a heart attack.) He is honest. He is no hypocrite. That’s why Malacañang and Philippine National Police officials should stop making excuses about the deletion of the names two of the 44 members of the Special Action Force who died in the Mamasapano tragedy last January to capture two terrorists in the Wanted List of the United States. That’s what their superior wanted. The President gets what he wants. Inquirer reported that the PNP memorandum of the “Result of the Selection of Awardees” included the names of PO2 Romeo Cempron and Police Supt. Raymundo Train. In fact, the widow of Cempron was informed by SAF to prepare for the awarding during the PNP's 114th anniversary last Aug. 7. She was told that the award will be given by the President himself. In Malacañang’s advisory on the PNP awarding ceremonies, the names of Cempron and Train were not included. Inquirer reported that there was a verbal instruction from the Presidential Management Staff to the PNP “to remove the name of the Mamasapano awardees from the program.” Reason: “The President did not want to bring back the memories of the Mamasapano encounter.” Believable. In his sixth and last State-of-the-Nation Address. He boasted about the capture of “international terrorist Marwan” but made no mention about the SAF 44 who died in that operation. He paid tribute to everybody including Paul Cabral, his dress designer, and Cherry Reyes but no mention of the SAF44. Coloma denied that Malacañang had anything to do with the removal of the names of the two SAF officers from the list of awardees on PNP Day. He said the President has always recognized what they (SAF44) had done for the country. Really? When? READ MORE...

ALSO By Boo Chanco: Ponzi scams are forever


GOOGLED IMAGE APPENDED BY PHNO --So there are two Ponzi scams that victimized thousands of investors in Mindanao. Initial estimate of the loot is at P244 million and maybe much more to as high as P12 billion. A Filipino of Malaysian descent is said to have been on top of the fraud in Pagadian and an Iligan businessman in the one in Marawi. Ordinary folks from teachers and small entrepreneurs and politicians ended up victims of the scams. Not too long ago, folks from well to do families in Metro Manila, including one I know so well, also fell for a similar scam. As much as $250 million in investors' funds may have been lost after a Singaporean on top of the scam disappeared. The Singaporean established a local subsidiary of his company called Performance Investments Products Corp. in the British Virgin Islands (Performance Investment, BVI). Rich Filipino investors woke up one morning to find the Singaporean gone. They asked Interpol to locate him but nothing has been heard of him since July 2007. Establishing a local subsidiary which holds office at Citibank Towers in Makati, the Singaporean invited these high net worth persons to place money for trading of sophisticated financial products called "futures derivatives." Investors were required to put in a minimum of $40,000 each. Those who did not have the minimum amount but eager to be counted among the very rich were asked to pool with partners to come up with the minimum investment block. It is safe to assume that even these well educated investors didn’t understand the nature of the investments they made. They simply focused on the promised high returns. Bernie Madoff case Being rich and educated has never been a guarantee of immunity to schemes which target man’s inherent greed. The Bernie Madoff case which was in the headlines in 2008 victimized rich and well connected people, mostly Jews he met at country clubs on Long Island and in Palm Beach. According to the Associated Press, they "trusted Madoff because he is Jewish." Madoff, now in jail after his conviction, is said to have run the biggest private pyramid-scheme ever. Prosecutors say it could be worth $64.8 billion, based on the amounts in the accounts of Madoff's 4,800 clients as of November 30, 2008. Until he was arrested, Madoff seemed pretty respectable. He helped establish NASDAQ, a stock exchange for technology issues, and was for a time also running it. Pretty big folks in New York were seriously affected by the Madoff scam. When Madoff's personal and business assets were frozen, many business and philanthropic organizations were forced to shut down. READ MORE...

ALSO By Buddy Gomez --: Marcos, according to Marcos


Former President Ferdinand E. Marcos --Ranged against the irreducible, irrefutable, unalterable and unimpeachable evidences of falsehoods that Marcos has embellished his life with, lived them, himself believing in them and got away with, there is one indisputable truth."Probationary" 3rd Lt. Ferdinand E. Marcos survived the infamous Bataan Death March. That makes him a war hero.Ranged against the irreducible, irrefutable, unalterable and unimpeachable evidences of falsehoods that Marcos has embellished his life with, lived them, himself believing in them and got away with, there is one indisputable truth. "Probationary" 3rd Lt. Ferdinand E. Marcos survived the infamous Bataan Death March. That makes him a war hero. Unfortunately, that was just never good enough for him. That is, to be one among the more than 50,000 soldiers who survived that epic forced march. To the Marcos psyche, he had to be the one and only, the number one to on top of all, with nary an equal. And so, he wove a lethal concoction that was to mire the fortunes of the country from which extrication and recovery are a national endeavor still in progress, two generations after. It is also a matter of an additional indisputable fact that Marcos himself boasted and claimed, in recorded literature, to have been awarded the Purple Heart Medal. Not just once but in fact twice! The Purple Heart is an old and revered US military tradition. It is a decoration awarded in the name of the President restricted to those wounded or killed in combat. Recipients are entered in a roster for posterity, bestowing upon them due respect and honor. That hallowed registry of heroes is kept by the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Here then is the Second in a Sequence of Seven Lies. There is in existence a consummate compendium of fraudulent claims that effectively mesmerized an electorate to have elected him to the Presidency of the Philippines. Such is to be found in a book, now a collector’s item. For campaign propaganda purposes in the 1964 Presidential elections, Marcos commissioned the writing of what can be called definitively “retrospective mythmaking,” founded upon fraudulent claims of dramatic heroism. The much celebrated opus is titled “For Every Tear a Victory,” first published by McGraw-Hill in 1964 and republished a few more times during Martial Law. Politically, it was highly useful and a very successful literary maneuver. The book is credited with having won for Marcos the Presidency, apart, of course, from Imelda being the campaign’s “secret weapon!”  Over time, “For Every Tear a Victory” has been unmasked as a self-adulating autobiography masquerading as biography written and ‘authored’ by a well-known WWII journalist and correspondent, Hartzell Spence, unfortunately enveigled by fee and fame, consented to be its author of record. But it was Marcos himself who dictated and edited the contents of the book. (I acquired access to the typewritten drafts now on file in the archives of the University of Iowa---Spence’s Alma Mater) The bottom line is that Spence’s only source was Marcos.  READ MORE...

ALSO Buddy Gomez: The August and September of Our Lives


August and September are memorably momentous months that are of historical significance to the Philippines and to Filipinos. August 21, 1983 was the day Ninoy Aquino was assassinated. It was also an act that doomed the dictatorial regime of the man held responsible for the brazen and dastardly daylight rub-out of a political adversary. Karma has already deemed that the bloody cabal has consigned the mastermind to eternal infamy. September 21, 1972 (or Sep. 22 / Sep. 23, depending on what historians wish to reckon the signing or the actual implementation or the announcement of the painful event) was the day President Ferdinand E. Marcos declared Martial Law and altered forever the essence and tempo of life in our benighted country. It was the smoke screen behind which the nation’s moral fiber was eviscerated from which recovery continues to be Sisyphean. I will attempt to devote the succeeding blogs during this advent to commentaries and remembrances of the national anguish and pain that an older generation of our countrymen have endured and overcome, with many, in fact, still in suffering. And thus, sharing these thoughts with all and sundry through cyberspace, will likewise serve as warning, a shot across the bow, as it were, to Marcos mercenaries that any attempt at revision will be met by a vigorous torrent of unalterable and unimpeachable historical facts. Don’t we know it too well that such a shameless and surreptitious operation has been in vain progress for sometime now. An attempt to purchase with purloined wealth heavy doses of artificially induced national amnesia. The Marcoses will continue to try. They will continue to fail. Ever since the Marcoses returned to the land that they plundered and abused so mercilessly, they have been on a campaign to alter history, to coerce it to agree with their fantasies, once more to dupe and hoodwink the people. The objective is to brainwash today’s generation who have no clue what Marcos and Martial Law have done to the Motherland. Lest the youth are rendered impervious to the realities of the past, those who among us have a reverential respect for historical truth must always exercise vigilance and be sensitive to the maladjusted designs of the incorrigible. I intend to devote myself to such a noble task. I enjoin my cyberspace friends to do the same. Ninoy Aquino was fond of quoting from the poet Archibald Macleish--“How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms; by truth when it is attacked by lies; by democratic faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always and in the final act, by determination and faith.”  SONA and its side shows For many years now, the President’s annual delivery before Congress of the State of the Nation Address (SONA) has been attended by truly irrelevant side shows that compete for public attention. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Aquino allergic to SAF 44
[
With President Aquino, what you see is what you get.]


The President says the deaths of the SAF troops is a tragedy he will carry to the end of his days COURTESY OF RAPPLER.COM

MANILA, AUGUST 17, 2015
(UNBLOGGED @ ABS-CBN) By Ellen T. Tordesillas Posted at 08/10/2015 10:50 AM - With President Aquino, what you see is what you get.

He is not good at masking his lack of concern and sympathy for the everyday problems of Filipinos. Like when Tacloban businessman Kenneth Yu Uy complained to him during in his post-Yolanda visit to Tacloban in November 2013 about the peace and order breakdown in the typhoon-devastated province and he snapped at him, “Eh buhay ka pa naman, di ba?” (Uy died last week of a heart attack.)

He is honest. He is no hypocrite.

That’s why Malacañang and Philippine National Police officials should stop making excuses about the deletion of the names two of the 44 members of the Special Action Force who died in the Mamasapano tragedy last January to capture two terrorists in the Wanted List of the United States.

That’s what their superior wanted. The President gets what he
wants.

Inquirer reported that the PNP memorandum of the “Result of the Selection of Awardees” included the names of PO2 Romeo Cempron and Police Supt. Raymundo Train. In fact, the widow of Cempron was informed by SAF to prepare for the awarding during the PNP's 114th anniversary last Aug. 7.

She was told that the award will be given by the President himself.

In Malacañang’s advisory on the PNP awarding ceremonies, the names of Cempron and Train were not included.

Inquirer reported that there was a verbal instruction from the Presidential Management Staff to the PNP “to remove the name of the Mamasapano awardees from the program.”

Reason: “The President did not want to bring back the memories of the Mamasapano encounter.”

Believable. In his sixth and last State-of-the-Nation Address. He boasted about the capture of “international terrorist Marwan” but made no mention about the SAF 44 who died in that operation.

He paid tribute to everybody including Paul Cabral, his dress designer, and Cherry Reyes but no mention of the SAF44.

Coloma denied that Malacañang had anything to do with the removal of the names of the two SAF officers from the list of awardees on PNP Day. He said the President has always recognized what they (SAF44) had done for the country. Really? When?

READ MORE...

He didn’t feel like honoring them with his presence when their bodies in coffins arrived in Villamor Air base, he opted to go view a showcase of cars during a Mitsubishi Motors plant inauguration.

When he finally met with the SAF late in the evening, he told PO2 Christopher Lalan, the lone survivor in the massacre, that he would have to turn him over to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front who alleged that the police officer from Kalinga killed civilians who were praying.


Director General Espina: "I seek answers for my people so that when my time comes and I have to face them, at least I can say something," he further said. Espina, who will be retiring from the police organization in July, also said there were even videos showing the brutal killing of some of the SAF troopers. FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

Lalan told Aquino that he would not allow himself to be turned over to the MILF. He would rather go back to his tribe and dared anybody to get him there.

That’s the reason why when he talked to SAF and asked them if there’s anything they want to tell him, he was given the silent treatment.

The PNP gave all sorts of reasons for the deletion of the names of Cempron and Train. One said “the review” was not completed.

Another said last week’s awards were for acts done last year and the Mamasapano operation happened last January.

They should stop. SAF44 will always be a reminder of one of the ignominious moments of the Aquino presidency and it is understandable that Aquino does not want to be reminded of it.The people accept the President for what he is. Besides it’s only nine months to go.

We could not say it better than what former member of the military Dencio Acop posted in Facebook:

“This inept administration can say all it wants. It is, after all, self-serving. But there are those of us who do not buy your crap even if you are so full of it up to your eyeballs. This latest insult to the man in uniform only manages to further add salt to an unhealed wound.

“If 44 men who paid the ultimate sacrifice for a mission personally sanctioned by a cowardly and emotionally devoid commander-in-chief do not deserve recognition, then I do not know who or what does!

“But I do know one thing. This president is no leader. He neither has the track record of having served in uniform nor does he care to do the only thing that one who hasn't served can do: honor those who have and their selfless deeds in favor of us all. And I do not have any ounce of respect for all the self-serving lesser public officials, in uniform or civilian, who let this insult after insult of the man in uniform happen. God help this long-suffering country of ours from the greatest threat to its national security --- its leaders especially BS Aquino.”

***

Blog: www.ellentordesillas.com
E-mail: ellentordesillas@gmail.com 

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.


Ponzi scams are forever By Boo Chanco Posted at 11/27/2012 12:13 AM | Updated as of 11/27/2012 12:15 AM


GOOGLED IMAGE APPENDED BY PHNO --

So there are two Ponzi scams that victimized thousands of investors in Mindanao. Initial estimate of the loot is at P244 million and maybe much more to as high as P12 billion.

A Filipino of Malaysian descent is said to have been on top of the fraud in Pagadian and an Iligan businessman in the one in Marawi. Ordinary folks from teachers and small entrepreneurs and politicians ended up victims of the scams.

Not too long ago, folks from well to do families in Metro Manila, including one I know so well, also fell for a similar scam. As much as $250 million in investors' funds may have been lost after a Singaporean on top of the scam disappeared.

The Singaporean established a local subsidiary of his company called Performance Investments Products Corp. in the British Virgin Islands (Performance Investment, BVI). Rich Filipino investors woke up one morning to find the Singaporean gone. They asked Interpol to locate him but nothing has been heard of him since July 2007.

Establishing a local subsidiary which holds office at Citibank Towers in Makati, the Singaporean invited these high net worth persons to place money for trading of sophisticated financial products called "futures derivatives."

Investors were required to put in a minimum of $40,000 each. Those who did not have the minimum amount but eager to be counted among the very rich were asked to pool with partners to come up with the minimum investment block. It is safe to assume that even these well educated investors didn’t understand the nature of the investments they made. They simply focused on the promised high returns.

Bernie Madoff case

Being rich and educated has never been a guarantee of immunity to schemes which target man’s inherent greed. The Bernie Madoff case which was in the headlines in 2008 victimized rich and well connected people, mostly Jews he met at country clubs on Long Island and in Palm Beach. According to the Associated Press, they "trusted Madoff because he is Jewish."

Madoff, now in jail after his conviction, is said to have run the biggest private pyramid-scheme ever. Prosecutors say it could be worth $64.8 billion, based on the amounts in the accounts of Madoff's 4,800 clients as of November 30, 2008.

Until he was arrested, Madoff seemed pretty respectable. He helped establish NASDAQ, a stock exchange for technology issues, and was for a time also running it. Pretty big folks in New York were seriously affected by the Madoff scam. When Madoff's personal and business assets were frozen, many business and philanthropic organizations were forced to shut down.

READ MORE...

Madoff was different from the usual scammers. He used snob appeal. According to Wikipedia, Madoff didn’t offer the usual high returns. He was also very selective on who he took on as clients. Those who invested early made quite a bundle.

“Madoff offered modest but steady returns to an exclusive clientele. The investment method was marketed as ‘too complicated for outsiders to understand.’ He was secretive about the firm’s business, and kept his financial statements closely guarded.”

Aman Futures case

The recent Mindanao scams, on the other hand, centers on a company called Aman Futures Group Inc. that gypped investors in Pagadian. The other one in Marawi that collapsed last July was by a local businessman.

Aman Futures is licensed to trade commodities like gold, coconut oil and nickel. It was instead accepting money from investors to engage in the trading of futures commodities in Malaysia. But its trading activities were recently shut down by the SEC.

The victims of Aman Futures were lured by profits said to be as much as 60 percent in a month or less. There is now a lot of crying and gnashing of teeth but it is generally believed the principal Aman official is now out of the country, possibly in Malaysia. A well publicized investigation by the NBI and the SEC is on-going but it is doubtful that much will come out of all that.

Listening to the tales of woe from the victims on national television, I could only shake my head and wonder what the next big scam will be and who will be its victims. While financial literacy is not a guarantee of immunity to such scams, as the Madoff and our very own PIPC cases showed, it could help make people more discerning of such “investment” proposals and help them ask the right questions.

Unfortunately, human greed transcends education and socio-economic class. People get blinded by the high earnings and neglect to do due diligence before forking their money over.

But it could happen that some “victims” invested with their eyes open and fully cognizant of what they were doing. In our recent experience with the Legacy case which cost the PDIC some P12 billion in deposit insurance claims, there appears to be some connivance between some “victims” and the perpetrator of the scam.

Many of the deposits that earned higher than market interest rates were made only up to the level of deposit insurance coverage. The “victims” were thus able to collect their principal from PDIC when Legacy collapsed.

In this era of very low interest rates on deposits and government securities, ordinary investors like retirees who live off such interest income could get very susceptible to such scams. How can such people protect themselves from being victims of Ponzi schemes?

Higher return, higher risk

First of all, be very wary of any scheme, which “guarantees” high returns to investors. There is no such thing as a safe investment that provides high returns. If the offered return is much larger than what is prevailing in the market, one should wonder why and ask a number of questions. A basic investment principle is: the higher the return, the higher the risk.

So, a potential investor must think about his risk appetite. How much risk can one take? When one is younger, one’s risk appetite may be more than if one is already retired and can no longer afford losing one’s principal.

Always remember that no one can guarantee returns on investments as no one can predict how the market will behave. Your investment adviser must always be transparent and explain to you clearly the underlying risks of any investment they recommend.

My personal experience with my banks and insurance companies is that they always ask me to fill up a questionnaire that establishes my risk profile. Then they update that profile regularly to reflect changes in my status as when I retired from my day job. That is their basis for making investment recommendations.

If too good to be true...

It is important an investor understands the investment he is making. Ask how your money will be invested and how money can be earned on it. If the offered return is too good to be true and the scheme too complicated to understand, back out.

Legitimate investment managers should be able to answer questions to your satisfaction. Run away from investment managers like Madoff who tell you the scheme is too complicated for lay men to understand.

Give your trust only to a reputable investment or wealth manager who has made a reputation over a number of years. The track record of the manager and his institution is very important. Do your homework. Avoid fly-by-night operations.

Ask around about the investment company. Who are its owners? Who are running it? I like the way BPI puts it in a recent advisory: Looking at investment returns alone is like targeting a destination without looking at the reliability of the vehicle that will bring us there.

Schemes as old as time

These so called Ponzi schemes are as old as time. Ponzi schemes are forever. What happened in Pagadian and Marawi have been happening for a long time and the schemes are almost the same anywhere in the world. In the early stages when more victims are being lured, the big returns are taken from money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from profits earned from a legitimate operation. The scheme is destined to collapse.

There probably isn’t much government regulatory agencies can do to prevent such schemes from happening even if we could benefit from some tightening of rules. For instance, the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) can be given more powers to act more proactively as in freezing suspicious accounts.

Right now, because banks are required to report cash flows above half a million pesos, AMLC knows when huge cash deposits or transfers are made but can do nothing but watch until someone complains. And before they can freeze accounts, they have to go to court and therefore alert the suspected scammer and give him time to move money out.

In the end, it is really up to the people to watch out for themselves. That is, of course, easier said than done, given human nature. It is difficult to control greed until all that is left is regret and despair.

Best advice to remember: if a scheme is too good to be true, trust your instinct for self-preservation. Stay away and save yourself the anguish.

--------------

Boo Chanco’s e-mail address is bchanco@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @boochanco 

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.


Marcos, according to Marcos By Buddy Gomez Posted at 08/13/2015 1:12 AM



Ranged against the irreducible, irrefutable, unalterable and unimpeachable evidences of falsehoods that Marcos has embellished his life with, lived them, himself believing in them and got away with, there is one indisputable truth.

"Probationary" 3rd Lt. Ferdinand E. Marcos survived the infamous Bataan Death March. That makes him a war hero.


THE SON WHEN ASKED SAID: There are human rights abuses but my father did not order them. READ FLASHBACK STATEMENT BELOW UNDER 'RELATED STORY'...

Unfortunately, that was just never good enough for him. That is, to be one among the more than 50,000 soldiers who survived that epic forced march.

To the Marcos psyche, he had to be the one and only, the number one to on top of all, with nary an equal. And so, he wove a lethal concoction that was to mire the fortunes of the country from which extrication and recovery are a national endeavor still in progress, two generations after.

It is also a matter of an additional indisputable fact that Marcos himself boasted and claimed, in recorded literature, to have been awarded the Purple Heart Medal. Not just once but in fact twice!

The Purple Heart is an old and revered US military tradition. It is a decoration awarded in the name of the President restricted to those wounded or killed in combat. Recipients are entered in a roster for posterity, bestowing upon them due respect and honor. That hallowed registry of heroes is kept by the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

Here then is the Second in a Sequence of Seven Lies.

There is in existence a consummate compendium of fraudulent claims that effectively mesmerized an electorate to have elected him to the Presidency of the Philippines. Such is to be found in a book, now a collector’s item.

For campaign propaganda purposes in the 1964 Presidential elections, Marcos commissioned the writing of what can be called definitively “retrospective mythmaking,” founded upon fraudulent claims of dramatic heroism. The much celebrated opus is titled “For Every Tear a Victory,” first published by McGraw-Hill in 1964 and republished a few more times during Martial Law. Politically, it was highly useful and a very successful literary maneuver. The book is credited with having won for Marcos the Presidency, apart, of course, from Imelda being the campaign’s “secret weapon!”

Over time, “For Every Tear a Victory” has been unmasked as a self-adulating autobiography masquerading as biography written and ‘authored’ by a well-known WWII journalist and correspondent, Hartzell Spence, unfortunately enveigled by fee and fame, consented to be its author of record. But it was Marcos himself who dictated and edited the contents of the book. (I acquired access to the typewritten drafts now on file in the archives of the University of Iowa---Spence’s Alma Mater) The bottom line is that Spence’s only source was Marcos.

What follows are verbatim quotations from that book. Marcos according to Marcos!

READ MORE...

In January 7, 1942 he was “struck in the left kneecap by shrapnel. He was out of commission for several days but refused to go to a hospital.”

Five days later, “He had scarcely returned to duty when patrolling several miles behind Japanese lines, he was hit by sniper fire in the right thigh…..bullet grating on his thigh bone….he cut out the bullet with his knife….again he refused to be hospitalized……and the oak leaf cluster to his Purple Heart was delivered to him in the forward area.” [An ‘oak leaf cluster’ is an additional decoration for a subsequent wound instead of another Purple Heart medal.

This claim meant that Marcos was indicating that he had already previously earned another Purple Heart medal, that he is a multiple Purple Heart medalist!]

The book continues. By January 22, he was captured and tortured….but escaped. He was promoted to First Lieutenant (Marcos is silent about skipping Second Lieutenantship!) but in less than a month he was again promoted.

This time, to Captain. The promotion came by way of a “telephone call,” from Gen. Jonathan Wainwright, to an assistant of General Mateo Capinpin, Marcos’s commanding officer.

Then, one more wound. “Captain F.E. Marcos although wounded by shrapnel and sniper fire in the abdomen….,” so the imagined citation quoted by Marcos categorically states.

And yet another wound. ”….shrapnel tore his right side and unknown to him a sniper’s bullet lodged in the same wound….” Note that this last one amounts to a double physical jeopardy!

To these wounds, let me digress a bit and add relevant trivia. During Marcos’ last and final hospitalization in a Honolulu hospital, weeks before his demise, at the moment of a bronchoscopy procedure performed to remove what the hospital described as a “non-metallic object” from his trachea, Imelda declared before local media that the surgery was to remove a shrapnel lodged in Ferdinand’s lung, during the war in Bataan, while “fighting for America!” (Would you believe Marcos is suspected to have purposely gagged himself with two Big Macs? But that’s another story. Really!)

Just imagine, all that blood oozing and all the gore gaping. Left knee cap blown off , right thigh slashed, captured and tortured, abdomen torn open and his right side twice blasted. Imagine all those wounds in a space of less than 45 days! And without ever going to a field hospital!

And he survived the Death March! A brutal episode of World War II. A 65-mile forced march from Mariveles in Zambales to San Fernando, Pampanga under the scorching heat of a Central Luzon summer sun. A hero with nary an equal! Marcos according to Marcos.

There are two existing photographs of President Marcos in black swimming trunks, covered only from below his navel down to his upper thigh, perhaps with an inseam between his inner thighs of no more than three inches. But for the trunks, the President was bare, displaying his physical health and prowess.

There is available testimony from a visual witness. A Camp O’Donnell/Capas concentration camp bunkmate of Marcos, a fellow Ilocano, also a Death March veteran. Dr. Juanito Duque stated in a written testimonial that Lieutenant Marcos did not bear any shrapnel wound, not even a scar. How then could a Purple Heart decoration happen without any wound or even a scar to prove he merited the revered medal?

President Marcos’s claims to war wounds and the Purple Heart decorations were pure fraud. For good measure, a few years ago, I wrote the Military Personnel Records office in St. Louis, Missouri a simple query: Is there a Bataan Death March survivor by the name of Ferdinand E. Marcos who is listed in the Military Order of the Purple Heart?

The response was unequivocal. There is absolutely no such record of this Bataan veteran. Marcos does not appear in the roster. Marcos was never a recipient of the Purple Heart.

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

RELATED FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

Martial Law in the eyes of the late strongman Marcos' son September 21, 2012 5:35pm Tags: martiallaw, martiallawmarcos, bongbongmarcos

KIMBERLY JANE TAN, GMA News As the son and namesake of the late strongman Marcos, Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has had to bear the scorn of the victims of the Martial Law regime for the last 40 years.

On the 40th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law, Akbayan party-list even called on the neophyte senator to apologize for the "atrocities" committed by his father and his administration.

“We demand Senator Marcos to apologize to the Filipino people in behalf of his family,” Akbayan vice chairperson Marie Chris Cabreros said in a statement released Friday.

“Like what the late dictator was told in 1986, it is time for the Marcos family to ‘cut and cut clean.’ The first step towards complete justice and closure is the act of contrition on the part of the Marcos family,” he said, adding the Marcos family must return all their remaining ill-gotten wealth.

“This goes hand in hand with our call to hold accountable all those who committed grave abuses during martial law. Justice is justice. The people deserve nothing less,” he said.

Marcos could not immediately be reached for comment because he is currently out of the country. But the neophyte senator has always been touchy when asked about issues concerning his father's regime, which has been branded as one of the worst times in Philippine history.

In a statement on his official Facebook fanpage, he explained that as a 15-year-old high schooler studying in England, he was not consulted before Martial Law was declared in the Philippines.

And although saying he was aware of the chaos plaguing the country during that time, he urged his family's critics and the Filipino public to "move on" and accept that every administration had its own share of problems.

Marcos' statement reads in full:

It's this time of the year that I am asked the same questions so I've decided to post what are answers to those questions I've been asked repeatedly year after year as if the things that happened in the past can still change.

Anyway, to my friends here in FB, I will oblige you with what I hope is a comprehensive personal recollection and personal point of view of Martial Law from where we stand today.

Firstly: though I may have been a precocious 15 year old, I would be lying if I told you I was consulted on the planning and eventual declaration of Martial Law.

I had just turned 15 years of age and was pursuing my studies in the UK when I received a call from our Ambassador to the Court of St. James, Mr. Jaime Zobel, who broke the news to me that Martial Law had been declared. So much for having been consulted on it.

There are people still alive today that played major roles during the Martial Law period, from both the opposition (to Martial Law) and officials of the Martial Law government as well as officers in the military at that time.

They, perhaps, would be in a better position to explain Martial Law, from their points of view at least.

As a teenager in the early 70's, I was aware of the lawlessness that prevailed, the proliferation of fire-arms in the country, the violent street demonstrations, the bombings, and mounting criminality; but the primary reason Martial Law was declared, if my understanding is correct, was the imminent danger posed to the state by the twin insurgencies waged by the armed communists and the secessionists in the south, both receiving external support from their respective benefactor countries.

The problem of the communist insurgency was not exclusive to our country. It was the same in other 3rd world countries and had been proliferating worldwide with the active backing of the USSR and Communist China.

Of course, my father was always one to comment on current events and history and the conversations I had with him cumulatively over the years, gave me a more complete, if not complex, picture of the context in which Martial Law was declared.

On a more personal level, I remember people saying how thankful they were for the relative peace and order that followed Martial Law; the positive image of the Philippines worldwide; the emergence of a tourism industry; the cleaner streets; the dismantling of private armies of oppressive local politicians; the containment of price fluctuations of basic commodities through Kadiwa and strict implementation of price ceilings; self sufficiency in rice; world leader in geo-thermal energy, and a semblance of discipline never before seen among the populace, just to name a few.

I mention these to give some balance to the one-sided version that has been spewed out by the few that control media over the last couple of decades as can be seen up to this day.

In regard to the economy, one can simply peruse data relevant to those years such as the World Bank figures, which can easily be accessed from the internet (thank God for the internet).

In 1973, our GDP growth rate stood at 8.9% that took a dip the following year to below 5% as a result of the oil embargo. Subsequently, it stayed above 5% through all the succeeding years up to 1980 with a high of 8.8% in '76.

The same WB figures show a negative growth in 1984 in the wake of Senator Aquino's assassination in August of 1983 and what followed, as they say, is "history."

According to Global Financial Integrity, "capital flight from the Philippines (includes illicit money that is illegally earned, transferred, or utilized) was US$16 billion in the 1970s, US$36 billion in the 1980s, and US$43 billion in the 1990s which has led to a hollowing out of the economy."

In addition, from 2000 to 2008, illicit financial outflow from the Philippines registered at US$109Billion, according to the same source.

Other recent indicators or "distinctions" such as having become the "most dangerous country, not at war, to live in for a journalist" did not occur during the years of Martial Law, just to put things in perspective.

Human rights abuses did not stop after 1986; nevertheless, and I hasten to add, that does not justify the abuses committed under Martial Law but to say that was "government policy" during those years is a reckless statement at best.

Human Rights victims post-Marcos are just as much victims, with sufferings just as real, regardless of who the perpetrators were or under whose administration those abuses and massacres took place, and the guilty should not go unpunished.

We must also not forget the soldiers that have been ambushed and killed while doing civic work in remote areas of the country; the gruesome killings of our men in uniform that have been captured and some beheaded; and many other human rights violations inflicted on AFP personnel including summary executions. War is never a pleasant affair.

As I've said repeatedly, I will leave to historians -- those that are trained in the discipline and are capable of impartial judgment and making impassioned conclusions -- to pass a verdict on those years.

Most of what we hear today are self-serving statements by politicians, self-aggrandizement narratives, pompous declarations, and political posturing and propaganda.

Finally, it is 2012, almost half a century since Martial Law was declared, and the world we live in is not the same as four decades ago when I was all of 15 years of age.

Today, we, as a nation, are besieged with serious problems, the most glaring of which are poverty, hunger, peace and order, unemployment, the drug menace, and climate change; and even our foreign relations, particularly with China, has become wobbly if not precarious.

We cannot change "yesterday" any more than we can foretell what the morrow will bring.

However, we can shape our future by what we do today.

Blaming others and finding scapegoats are not solutions to poverty, rising prices, criminality, the insurgency, and so on. And too much politics leaves no room for leadership.

Sure, there are lessons to be learned from the past and it is obvious that Martial law, and all the succeeding administrations for that matter, was neither "a bed of roses nor a bed of nails," to paraphrase Bon Jovi's lyrics.

That's all I will say on the Presidency of my father and those that came after. I will resist indulging in the blame game and continue to look forward.

Do I see Martial Law as something to be considered in today's context?

Definitely not; and my actions and public record as a local executive and as a legislator, are consistent with democratic principles, participatory governance, and the strengthening of institutions that provide the framework for checks and balances among the three branches of government.

All the government positions I have held in more than 20 years of public service have been gained through the ballot box and I have been consistent in my advocacy of devolving power to our LGU's.

I have never been implicated in anomalies involving corruption nor have I been accused of abuse of power whether that be during my father's Presidency or after. It simply is not my cup of tea.

But here's the point: we have got to move on, move forward, and channel our energies in progressive and constructive pursuits, because only then will we see and realize the full potential of our people.

If we have faith in ourselves, believe in ourselves, and declare in a unified voice that we can make real progress happen, God willing, it will happen.

Kung maniniwala tayo sa sarili natin na kaya natin, makakayanan natin! Mabuhay po kayo!

— RSJ, GMA News

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RELATED FROM PINOYPOPCULTURE.COM

PINOY POP POTPOURRI ... Snippets of Filipino life from a true-blue Filipino. Thursday, September 13, 2012

Young Bongbong Marcos' Speech in "Iginuhit ng Tadhana: The Ferdinand Marcos Story"

Two days ago, a post tackled 'Iginuhit ng Tadhana', the 1965 biographical film about former President Ferdinand E. Marcos. It also features the young Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., popularly known as "Bongbong."


A scene highlights the young Bongbong's inclination towards politics by imitating his father in delivering a speech. Today, the now-Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., is celebrating his fifty-fifth birthday. WITH THANKS TO PINOYPOPCULTURE.COM

TRANSCRIPT OF THE YOUNG BONGBONG'S SPEECH:

Dear friends, ladies and gentlemen...

I am Bongbong Marcos.

When I grow up, I want to be a politician.

I will serve my country, especially the poor.

And I will give them plenty of bigas and ulam.

I'll give them many, many gamot at damit.

And for their children, I'll give them many toys so they will not cry anymore.

And for my sisters, I'll give them chocolates for the thin one.

But for the fat one, no more chocolates... because she will look like a pig.*

And for my 'mabait na lola', I'll give her a new prayer book because her prayer book is already very bulok.


The August and September of Our Lives By Buddy Gomez
Posted at 07/30/2015 12:41 AM | Updated as of 07/30/2015 6:05 PM



August and September are memorably momentous months that are of historical significance to the Philippines and to Filipinos.

August 21, 1983 was the day Ninoy Aquino was assassinated. It was also an act that doomed the dictatorial regime of the man held responsible for the brazen and dastardly daylight rub-out of a political adversary. Karma has already deemed that the bloody cabal has consigned the mastermind to eternal infamy.

September 21, 1972 (or Sep. 22 / Sep. 23, depending on what historians wish to reckon the signing or the actual implementation or the announcement of the painful event) was the day President Ferdinand E. Marcos declared Martial Law and altered forever the essence and tempo of life in our benighted country. It was the smoke screen behind which the nation’s moral fiber was eviscerated from which recovery continues to be Sisyphean.

I will attempt to devote the succeeding blogs during this advent to commentaries and remembrances of the national anguish and pain that an older generation of our countrymen have endured and overcome, with many, in fact, still in suffering.

And thus, sharing these thoughts with all and sundry through cyberspace, will likewise serve as warning, a shot across the bow, as it were, to Marcos mercenaries that any attempt at revision will be met by a vigorous torrent of unalterable and unimpeachable historical facts.

Don’t we know it too well that such a shameless and surreptitious operation has been in vain progress for sometime now. An attempt to purchase with purloined wealth heavy doses of artificially induced national amnesia.

The Marcoses will continue to try. They will continue to fail. Ever since the Marcoses returned to the land that they plundered and abused so mercilessly, they have been on a campaign to alter history, to coerce it to agree with their fantasies, once more to dupe and hoodwink the people.

The objective is to brainwash today’s generation who have no clue what Marcos and Martial Law have done to the Motherland.

Lest the youth are rendered impervious to the realities of the past, those who among us have a reverential respect for historical truth must always exercise vigilance and be sensitive to the maladjusted designs of the incorrigible. I intend to devote myself to such a noble task. I enjoin my cyberspace friends to do the same.

Ninoy Aquino was fond of quoting from the poet Archibald Macleish--“How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms; by truth when it is attacked by lies; by democratic faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always and in the final act, by determination and faith.”

SONA and its side shows

For many years now, the President’s annual delivery before Congress of the State of the Nation Address (SONA) has been attended by truly irrelevant side shows that compete for public attention.

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While they are indeed distractions and do depart from the principal objective of the ritual, these have become ‘de rigueur’ that the SONA may no longer be observed and performed without out these pesky piggyback to-dos.

There is the yearly incarnations of bellyaching leftist malcontent personified by demonstrations that are bereft of civil decorum. (Hey, Gomez. What did you expect?) Oh, but these are sincere exercises of raucously vibrant democracy, you say.

Okay. But the ferocity of the vitriol that is spewed at this annual event must really provide an orgasmic hallucinating high to the protestor-provocateurs. It seems almost opiate albeit only a once-a-year indulgence! Such tirelessness!

Unconcerned with the nuisance that they have become, they keep on repeating the performance every year. Do they really believe that they achieve their ideological objectives?

Then, there is the other side show. A fashion show, that is. Gowns, ternos and bling-blings galore. “Oh dahling, who are you wearing today.” Beso. Beso.

While the ‘demos’ are an exercise in democracy, the fashion show that competes with the State of the Nation is a display of Filipino frivolity and becomes an indelible visage of the state of the nation, a reflection of the values possessed by this segment of Philippine society. What else but an opportunity to flaunt!

And why not? Television coverage of an ego-tripping extravaganza. Did those damsels and their gents ever notice the abject poverty that is strewn all through the route of their ride to the fashion show? (My host, ABS-CBNnews, estimates ternos to have cost anywhere from Pesos 25,000.00 to 50,000.00 per, while the more expensive men’s Barongs were at Pesos 20 to 30,000.00) Should not the bellyaching leftists’ ritual, annual anger have been redirected for greater effect?

This reminds me of a remark made by the Japanese general who conquered Manila and Bataan in 1942. General Masaharu Homma’s profound observation directed at the Philippines:

“A nation which indulges in pretty dresses, nice food, physical enjoyment and expensive fashions can never succeed in establishing a strong nation.”

A soft state! Anyone?

And not to be outdone, seven party-list members of Congress, the Makabayan bloc (or blockheads!) held their own anti-Aquino demonstration, immediately after the President’s speech. Something between the frivolity of the ‘fashionistas’ and the irritating irrelevance of the professional bellyachers.

Makabayan just had to have their own ‘palabas.’ Five males and two females relieved themselves right in the very Congressional Session Hall they call home.

It was like crapping, defecating in one’s own living room! Such behavior eloquently advanced the general judgement of their colleagues and confirmed the only conclusion polite society can reasonably reach. And it is that their parents were remiss in imparting the traditional Filipino tenets of “Good Manners and Right Conduct.”

The widow speaks!

Imelda Romualdez Marcos, representative of the 2nd Congressional District of Ilocos Norte, the very merry widow of that uninterred, mummified, paraffinned cadaver in Batac, was quoted by this online news service as having said that “the Aquinos have not been nice to the Marcoses.” WTF did Imelda expect!

For sanity’s sake, the father of the Aquino family was assassinated by the regime of your husband. WTF, Imelda!

The Society of Honor

This is almost like a Lilliputian endorsing a Gulliver. But I will be remiss with the admiration and awe that I hold for a particular discussion forum, a blog that so heartily promotes good citizenship and exudes a genuine concern for Philippine and Filipino beneficence, if I did not speak of it inasmuch as President Aquino himself had taken note of this blog’s existence.

It is “The Society of Honor” which sports a tagline “O’ rise ye land of happy fools.” Its editor is a certain “Joe America.”

The President took the opportunity in his SONA to thank Joe, saying: “isang blogger na di ko man kakilala….isang dayuhang nagpamalas ng pakikiisa.” (a blogger I do not even know….a foreigner who expressed his solidarity with us.) Here is what Joe America wrote which caught PNoy’s attention: “If the President were in my foxhole, I’d watch his back.

That’s because I trust that he is watching mine.” [btw, I have a Marcos / foxhole story to share. Let us wait for next week. It is a true story with a hilarious falsehood! Quaint and amusing. I promise. The other blog that I follow is that of Raissa Robles’s --- “Inside Philippine politics and beyond”--- who also contributes to this Opinion page.]

I am proud to be a fan and an acolyte of “The Society of Honor.” It counts upon the most sober, articulate, diverse, enlightened, lively and polite regular commenter-participants. Their collective erudition and wisdom provides me with a learning experience.

In fact, I think I become a better Filipino imbibing new insights. The blog speaks for itself. Shucks! And it takes a “dayuhan” to serve as usher and facilitator.

Funnily, from some trolling quarters came a comment that Joe America is fiction.

A Malacanang creation. A PR gimmick. Some folks seem unable to accept objectivity mixed with a healthy dose of fairness. Such stupid skepticism reflects the mindset of the President’s nay-sayers and ill-wishers.

Indeed, a malicious attempt to pollute and waylay the quality of public discourse.

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You may send comments and suggestions to tgomeziii@outlook.com

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.


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