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EDITORIALS & OPINIONS OF THE WEEK:
(Mini Reads followed by Full news commentary)

FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

By Hector Villanueva: POLITICS OF HATE
[“Indeed, revenge is always the pleasure of a paltry, feeble, tiny mind.” Juvenal]


The Benigno Simeon Aquino administration, as its legacy, will be remembered for introducing and enhancing the politics of hate, and the culture of vindictiveness, political vendetta, and selective justice in Philippine society. Contrary to media hype and poll survey, there have been very few meaningful reforms as Pres. Noynoy Aquino spent his first five years in office chasing and persecuting his political enemies instead of instituting fundamental reforms in the bureaucracy and Congress under his “daang matuwid” (straight path) advocacy which turned out to be long on rhetoric and short on application. The Aquino politics of hate surfaced in 2010 with Pres. Noy Aquino’s hostile and undisguised determination to impeach and oust Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, followed by the incarceration of former Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for corruption and plunder. This manhunt for political enemies also resulted in the detention of three opposition senators, namely, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, and Sen. Bong Revilla for plunder and corruption in connection with the alleged Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam of Janet Lim Napoles. Encouraged by the climate of vindictiveness and lack of civility, the Senate, led feebly and lacklusterly by Senate President Franklin Drilon, then launched its own campaign of vendetta led by Sen. Antonio Trillanes, Sen. Peter Alan Cayetano, and Sen. Koko Pimentel of the Blue Ribbon subcommittee against Vice President Jejomar Binay and family. It is obvious, from the marathon hearings of the subcommittee, that the three senators carry and harbor self-serving and personal motives against Vice President Jejomar Binay who remains a serious contender for the presidency in 2016. Truth to tell, the Aquino administration is beginning to unravel with the economy slackening in the midst of global economic turmoil, and the masses (his “bosses”) increasingly dissatisfied, and the OFWs in rebellion over the no-brainer policy on opening of balikbayan boxes. READ MORE...

ALSO by Atty. Romeo Pefianco: Even Pope Francis cannot stop De Lima
[The only way to stop a prosecution is to get a final decision of acquittal or conviction. If there’s an appeal, final judgment by the Supreme Court is necessary.]


Atty. Romeo Pefianco If a Catholic bishop commits the crime of syndicated estafa (swindling) not even Pope Francis can drop a hint that DOJ or its city/provincial prosecutor cannot prosecute the bishop. Prosecution is not undue interference in the internal affairs or problem of one religion big or small. Let’s always recall that the PDAF scam worth R10B was unmasked by a veteran employee who was detained under guard in his employer’s home. The employer is now facing a sentence of reclusion perpetua (with a maximum of 40 years). Unmasking the grafters  The detained employee’s disclosures led to detention without bail of his employer, three senators, one governor, and the filing of anti-graft complaints against dozens of public officials and officers of bogus foundations. No religion or its members can enjoy the full protection of the Bill of Rights if a crime has been committed and there exists good evidence to support a formal complaint against one or more persons. Freedom of religion? Freedom of religion means the right of a person to worship God and to embrace certain religious beliefs without interference from any person or any government or private agency. It is not interference in the internal problem of a religious sect if one or some of its members face prosecution for swindling and other crimes. Other aspects covered by religious freedom are: the separation of Church and State and the freedom of religious profession and worship. READ MORE...

ALSO Editorial: It’s September and all is well
[But we have faith that, despite the non-arrival of the usual cool weather at about this time of the year, we will somehow find reason to enjoy these “ber”months as in the past. Over at the Bureau of Customs, the personnel have started getting extended working hours because of the increasing number of balikbayan boxes arriving from Overseas Filipino Workers all over the world.]


The coming of September has always been welcomed by many people as the start of the “ber” months – those last four months of the year associated with the Christmas season. Some radio stations start airing Christmas carols, giving rise to the notion that the Philippines has the longest Christmas season in the world. It seems these sounds of the season are not as common this year. Our radio and television programs, as our newspaper pages, have been filled instead with reports of protest rallies, typhoon warnings, traffic jams, balikbayan boxes, and statements and moves of prospective presidential candidates. Part of the reason could be the report of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) that because of the El Niño phenomenon, the temperature will be “warmer than average” in most parts of the country from September to February next year. January is normally the peak of our cold season, but slightly warmer weather is predicted in lowland areas of the country. Also related to the El Niño is the report that there will be rationing of water in Metro Manila and other areas which get their water supply from Angat Dam in Bulacan. The National Water Resources Board reduced the water allocation for Metro households starting last Tuesday, the first day of September. If continuous rains do not fall in one to three days, it said, there will be water service interruptions in some areas and this may continue until mid-2016. READ MORE...

ALSO Editorial: A pastoral visit for Pope Francis
[This month, Pope Francis will be visiting the United States and Cuba. He will address a joint session of the US Congress in Washington, DC, the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, and the 8th World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia]


USA Mercy and Compassion was the theme of Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines last January. Mercy is again the theme of the upcoming Holy Year of the Roman Catholic Church declared by the Pope. A Holy Year is declared once every 25 years unless a Pope decrees an extraordinary one for a special need. The coming Holy Year begins December 8, 2015, and ends November 26, 2016. Pope Francis has become known for his compassion and tolerance, his readiness to reach out to all those in need. This was the principal reason he came to the Philippines. After super-typhoon Yolanda struck in November, 2013, taking over 6,000 lives and causing widespread devastation, he declared his desire to visit the country and meet with the victims of the calamity. It took several months but he kept his word and came last January, 2015. In the face of an approaching typhoon, he said Mass for the people of Tacloban City and Leyte province on a makeshift stage at the Tacloban Airport. In the months before the holding of the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family at the Vatican in November, 2014, the Pope set the stage for discussions on the Church’s view on homosexuals in society. Church doctrine declares that homosexuality, sex outside marriage, and divorce are fundamentally wrong, but the Pope asked, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has goodwill, who am I to judge?”

ALSO: Heroes as ordinary people


JUN YNARES
“What kind of people become heroes?” That was a question I overheard one teacher ask another a few days ago, I paused a bit and sharpened my auditory senses to wait for the other teacher’s answer. Here was what I heard. The other teacher said, “Well, some heroes were extraordinary people who led extraordinary lives.” “There are many more who were ordinary people who made extraordinary deeds,” she added. I understood the answer well. It was a good answer. Some of our celebrated heroes easily fit into the first category: Extraordinary people who led extraordinary lives. Among them is Dr. Jose Rizal. Few, perhaps, can match the extraordinariness of his person and that of his life. After all he was everything: Writer, doctor, poet, sculptor, linguist, agriculturist, builder, teacher, athlete, town planner and developer, lover, plus many more. He inspired a revolution, challenged the status quo, became a symbol of excellence and freedom, and helped shape the identity of a people and their nation. Equally inspiring are the Filipino heroes who led ordinary lives, but who rose to the occasion when the Motherland beckoned. For example, Andres Bonifacio was an ordinary craftsman-turned-street entrepreneur. When the aspiration of independence blossomed, he left his trade and became a co-founder of the La Liga Filipina and eventually fathered the armed revolution against the colonizer. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Politics of hate


Former Press Secretary Hector R. Villanueva (Admin of FVR)

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 7, 2015 (BULLETIN)  by Former Press Secretary Hector R. Villanueva August 31, 2015 - “Indeed, revenge is always the pleasure of a paltry, feeble, tiny mind.” — Juvenal

The Benigno Simeon Aquino administration, as its legacy, will be remembered for introducing and enhancing the politics of hate, and the culture of vindictiveness, political vendetta, and selective justice in Philippine society.

Contrary to media hype and poll survey, there have been very few meaningful reforms as Pres. Noynoy Aquino spent his first five years in office chasing and persecuting his political enemies instead of instituting fundamental reforms in the bureaucracy and Congress under his “daang matuwid” (straight path) advocacy which turned out to be long on rhetoric and short on application.

The Aquino politics of hate surfaced in 2010 with Pres. Noy Aquino’s hostile and undisguised determination to impeach and oust Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, followed by the incarceration of former Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for corruption and plunder.

This manhunt for political enemies also resulted in the detention of three opposition senators, namely, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, and Sen. Bong Revilla for plunder and corruption in connection with the alleged Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam of Janet Lim Napoles.

Encouraged by the climate of vindictiveness and lack of civility, the Senate, led feebly and lacklusterly by Senate President Franklin Drilon, then launched its own campaign of vendetta led by Sen. Antonio Trillanes, Sen. Peter Alan Cayetano, and Sen. Koko Pimentel of the Blue Ribbon subcommittee against Vice President Jejomar Binay and family.

It is obvious, from the marathon hearings of the subcommittee, that the three senators carry and harbor self-serving and personal motives against Vice President Jejomar Binay who remains a serious contender for the presidency in 2016.

Truth to tell, the Aquino administration is beginning to unravel with the economy slackening in the midst of global economic turmoil, and the masses (his “bosses”) increasingly dissatisfied, and the OFWs in rebellion over the no-brainer policy on opening of balikbayan boxes.

READ MORE...

Will Pres. Benigno Noynoy Simeon Aquino be remembered for the Luneta hostage-taking carnage, the Mamasapano massacre and fiasco, corruption and rampant criminality, or the “Daang Matuwid” advocacy that warped over time?

On the other hand, there are many who believe in Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s personal honesty and sincerity in giving back to the people the harvest and benefits of economic growth.

When all is said and done, should there be a continuity of administration, Mr. Mar Roxas will have to betray his own elite class by downsizing the oligarchy and democratizing wealth by redistribution of income by making the few rich pay more, that will truly bring” inclusive” growth to the masses.

You be the judge.

***

(For comments and views please email chaff_fromthegrain@yahoo.com.ph  )

Read more at http://www.mb.com.ph/politics-of-hate/#MdAgW1CXWHeBdX74.99


Even Pope Francis cannot stop De Lima by Atty. Romeo Pefianco August 31, 2015 Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share0


by Atty. Romeo Pefianco

If a Catholic bishop commits the crime of syndicated estafa (swindling) not even Pope Francis can drop a hint that DOJ or its city/provincial prosecutor cannot prosecute the bishop. Prosecution is not undue interference in the internal affairs or problem of one religion big or small. Let’s always recall that the PDAF scam worth R10B was unmasked by a veteran employee who was detained under guard in his employer’s home. The employer is now facing a sentence of reclusion perpetua (with a maximum of 40 years).

Unmasking the grafters

The detained employee’s disclosures led to detention without bail of his employer, three senators, one governor, and the filing of anti-graft complaints against dozens of public officials and officers of bogus foundations.

No religion or its members can enjoy the full protection of the Bill of Rights if a crime has been committed and there exists good evidence to support a formal complaint against one or more persons.

Freedom of religion?

Freedom of religion means the right of a person to worship God and to embrace certain religious beliefs without interference from any person or any government or private agency.

It is not interference in the internal problem of a religious sect if one or some of its members face prosecution for swindling and other crimes. Other aspects covered by religious freedom are: the separation of Church and State and the freedom of religious profession and worship.

READ MORE...

Flag salute not mandatory

Years ago in one US case, the Supreme Court upheld the right of the members of a religious sect to refuse to salute the flag. This doctrine was adopted by our Supreme Court.

An earlier ruling upheld the compulsory flag salute. Justice Frankfurter was talking about his opinion over cocktails at Hyde Park when Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt impulsively declared that regardless of the justice’s learning, there was something wrong with an opinion that forced little children to salute a flag when such a ceremony was repugnant to their conscience.

Impeachment if …

Even President Noynoy cannot stop the prosecution of a crime by a city/provincial prosecutor. If he tries to stop DOJ and its prosecutors from filing criminal cases, even against his Cabinet members, he is liable for impeachment on two grounds: culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust.

The state is not given a choice to prosecute or not to prosecute persons who have committed a crime or crimes if probable cause exists. Most public officials facing serious accusations in the Sandiganbayan are probably members of the dominant Catholic religion but DOJ has not been bothered by protest from fellow Catholics by the thousands.

High duty

The Revised Penal Code and other penal laws need to be enforced by the state as a matter of high duty and reminder to all citizens to respect the law. If law enforcers are prevented from applying the law fairly and equally we can expect chaos and bigger protests in many parts of the country.

And if the government totally ignores the people’s grievances this can lead to people power that ousted martial law and deposed Erap from office.

Blocking roads is illegal

One important right people can enjoy is “peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.” This right is not license to occupy or block streets and highways in anger to denounce any government agency. When people gather by the thousands in one or two places which they occupy for two or four days, they also leave trash and dirt that can spread an epidemic. This is not expressing grievance but spreading disease and foul odor within the vicinity of the occupied road.

Ordinance on sanitation

The grant of permit to rally and meet does not include breaking the ordinance on sanitation and hygiene. TV cameras on P. Faura street showed the usual dirt and filth left by the hundreds who greeted the DOJ secretary “Happy Birthday” this week.

The only way to stop a prosecution is to get a final decision of acquittal or conviction. If there’s an appeal, final judgment by the Supreme Court is necessary. (Comments are welcome at roming@pefianco.com).


Editorial: It’s September and all is well September 5, 2015 Share0 Tweet2 Share0 Email0 Share4

The coming of September has always been welcomed by many people as the start of the “ber” months – those last four months of the year associated with the Christmas season. Some radio stations start airing Christmas carols, giving rise to the notion that the Philippines has the longest Christmas season in the world.

It seems these sounds of the season are not as common this year. Our radio and television programs, as our newspaper pages, have been filled instead with reports of protest rallies, typhoon warnings, traffic jams, balikbayan boxes, and statements and moves of prospective presidential candidates.

Part of the reason could be the report of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) that because of the El Niño phenomenon, the temperature will be “warmer than average” in most parts of the country from September to February next year.

January is normally the peak of our cold season, but slightly warmer weather is predicted in lowland areas of the country.

Also related to the El Niño is the report that there will be rationing of water in Metro Manila and other areas which get their water supply from Angat Dam in Bulacan.

The National Water Resources Board reduced the water allocation for Metro households starting last Tuesday, the first day of September.

If continuous rains do not fall in one to three days, it said, there will be water service interruptions in some areas and this may continue until mid-2016.

READ MORE...

But we have faith that, despite the non-arrival of the usual cool weather at about this time of the year, we will somehow find reason to enjoy these “ber”months as in the past.

Over at the Bureau of Customs, the personnel have started getting extended working hours because of the increasing number of balikbayan boxes arriving from Overseas Filipino Workers all over the world.

Some 1,000 container vans, each containing 400 balikbayan boxes, have been arriving in the last few months and these are expected to double or even triple by December.

The weather this Christmas season may not be as cool as in previous ones, but the season will come to life in many ways – as local governments and private firms announce year-end bonuses, malls hold three-day sales, celebrations and concerts are held, city streets are festooned with traditional parols, and giant Christmas trees rise and Nativity scenes are set up in public places and in homes.

By the time Simbang Gabi starts on December 16, the nation will know the blessed season of Christmas 2015 is here and all is well with us and with the world.


Editorial: A pastoral visit for Pope Francis September 6, 2015 Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share0


USA

Mercy and Compassion was the theme of Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines last January. Mercy is again the theme of the upcoming Holy Year of the Roman Catholic Church declared by the Pope. A Holy Year is declared once every 25 years unless a Pope decrees an extraordinary one for a special need. The coming Holy Year begins December 8, 2015, and ends November 26, 2016.

Pope Francis has become known for his compassion and tolerance, his readiness to reach out to all those in need. This was the principal reason he came to the Philippines. After super-typhoon Yolanda struck in November, 2013, taking over 6,000 lives and causing widespread devastation, he declared his desire to visit the country and meet with the victims of the calamity. It took several months but he kept his word and came last January, 2015. In the face of an approaching typhoon, he said Mass for the people of Tacloban City and Leyte province on a makeshift stage at the Tacloban Airport.

In the months before the holding of the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family at the Vatican in November, 2014, the Pope set the stage for discussions on the Church’s view on homosexuals in society. Church doctrine declares that homosexuality, sex outside marriage, and divorce are fundamentally wrong, but the Pope asked, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has goodwill, who am I to judge?”

READ MORE...

For the coming Holy Year, the Pope of Compassion has again surprised many with his letter published this Tuesday by the Vatican in which he said he realized the “existential and moral ordeal” faced by women who have terminated their pregnancies and who “bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision.”

Usually, only a bishop, missionary, or chief confessor of a diocese may formally forgive an abortion. but during the coming Holy Year, the Pope said, all priests will be able to do so.

This month, Pope Francis will be visiting the United States and Cuba. He will address a joint session of the US Congress in Washington, DC, the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, and the 8th World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

Apart from these official gatherings, the Pope will be reaching out to the American people with his message of hope for those on the margins of society, for to him there is no sin which cannot be forgiven. And so he will also visit an American prison in the course of his US visit.

Just as we remember Pope Francis, not so much for his official meeting in Malacañang, as for his saying Mass in the rain in Tacloban City for the victms of Yolanda, many Americans will doubtless see him and remember him later as a pastor looking after his sheep. It will be an apostolic journey, with a message of hope, of mercy and compassion, for which Pope Francis has come to be known throughout the world.


Heroes as ordinary people by Dr. Jun A. Ynares, MD September 5, 2015 Share0 Tweet1 Share0 Email0 Share1


JUN YNARES

“What kind of people become heroes?”

That was a question I overheard one teacher ask another a few days ago, I paused a bit and sharpened my auditory senses to wait for the other teacher’s answer.

Here was what I heard.

The other teacher said, “Well, some heroes were extraordinary people who led extraordinary lives.”

“There are many more who were ordinary people who made extraordinary deeds,” she added.

I understood the answer well. It was a good answer.

Some of our celebrated heroes easily fit into the first category: Extraordinary people who led extraordinary lives. Among them is Dr. Jose Rizal. Few, perhaps, can match the extraordinariness of his person and that of his life.

After all he was everything: Writer, doctor, poet, sculptor, linguist, agriculturist, builder, teacher, athlete, town planner and developer, lover, plus many more.

He inspired a revolution, challenged the status quo, became a symbol of excellence and freedom, and helped shape the identity of a people and their nation.

Equally inspiring are the Filipino heroes who led ordinary lives, but who rose to the occasion when the Motherland beckoned.

For example, Andres Bonifacio was an ordinary craftsman-turned-street entrepreneur. When the aspiration of independence blossomed, he left his trade and became a co-founder of the La Liga Filipina and eventually fathered the armed revolution against the colonizer.

READ MORE...

A number of the generals who led the revolutionary forces were also “ordinary” men who rose to the occasion: Miguel Malvar was a farmer; Pantaleon Garcia was a teacher; Simeon Ola was just a philosophy student; Antonio Luna was a pharmacist while Macario Sacay was a tailor and part-time barber.

Jose Paua was a blacksmith while Santiago Alvarez was a student. Vicente Lukban was a clerk while Edilberto Evangelista was a civil engineer.

Filipino women who took part in the revolution were extraordinarily brave but were also leading ordinary lives before they rose to the occasion. Tandang Sora was a singer and a merchant before she became the Florence Nightingale of the Katipunan.

Gabriela Silang was probably involved in her father’s trade when she married Diego and continued his fight after his demise.

Marcela Marcelo, the revolution’s “Selang Bagsik” was probably a plain housewife involved in the management of her family’s farm before she decided to transform herself into the nightmare of Spanish soldiers.

Nieves Fernandez, the famous woman-guerrilla during World War II, was a schoolteacher before she became a much-feared bolo-wielding leader of underground freedom fighters.

The list goes on and on.

What the people in the list prove is that many ordinary Filipinos leading ordinary lives are more than capable of doing extraordinary deeds when the occasion calls for it.

That spirit lives on today. It is a tradition that goes in full display especially during times of adversities, man-made or natural.

That spirit is evident among our teachers, overseas workers, breadwinners, rural health workers, agriculture extension workers, and other unsung heroes helping grassroots communities raise the quality of their lives.

As the nation celebrated National Heroes Day last Monday, we offer a prayer for the extraordinary Filipinos who led extraordinary lives who have become our inspiration.

We honor, too, the many ordinary Filipinos who rise to the occasion and perform extraordinary deeds. We honor them for keeping alive our tradition of heroism and greatness.

*For feedback, please email it to antipolocitygov@gmail.com or send it to #4 Horse Shoe Drive, Beverly Hills Subdivision, Brgy. Beverly Hills, Antipolo City, Rizal.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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