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

FROM THE MANILA TIMES

BY R. TIGLAO: DUTERTE MIGHT STILL GET TO SLAP ROXAS
[The US National Student Clearinghouse, a trusted source for verification of academic degrees, has confirmed that Roxas received a degree of “Bachelor of Science in Economics” from the University of Pennsylvania, but his school division was noted as “Wharton undergraduate.” So Roxas lied: He is not a Wharton graduate, but a Wharton undergraduate.]


DECEMBER 15 -The kind of diploma Roxas probably has. Duterte would tell him: “Nasaan ang Wharton diyan? It’s strange, really, that the nuances of academic degrees get involved in who deserves to be, gangland-style, slapped. President BS Aquino’s boy, Mar Roxas, again made things worse, when he should have refused to be drawn into usapang kanto – a territory Duterte has lived in almost all his working life, where he could eat the Yellow Heir alive. This slapping episode started when Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte blurted out a risqué threat that he would slap Roxas if he saw him, for saying that Davao’s being a peaceful city was a myth. Roxas could have taken advantage of Duterte’s use of gutter talk – which I don’t think most Filipinos appreciate – by being gentlemanly, and replying with something like: “Slapping someone for telling the truth is what gangsters do, and we don’t do that in civilized society.” Or he could have been cute with a response like, “If he slaps me I will turn the other cheek and repeat the truth that Davao hasn’t been peaceful under Duterte.”  When Duterte again taunted him that he was lying about being a graduate of the Wharton School of Business, he should have remained cool and just told him not to believe everything whispered to him, and just check the records, that he would even pay his plane fare to go to Pennsylvania to see for himself the official school records.But no, Roxas’ ego of course, was pricked, and no one could do that to the scion of one of the wealthiest clans in the country, destined to follow his granddaddy’s footsteps as President. He brought the conversation again to the spectacle of slapping: “Sampalan tayo. Kung hindi totoo ang Wharton degree ko, sampalin mo ako. Hindi ako iiwas o iilag. Pero kung totoo ang Wharton degree ko, sasampalin kita. O ayan. Ang bilis mong magsalita na hindi mo alam, eh. (“Let’s go on a slapping match. If my Wharton degree is fake, slap me, I won’t turn my face away. But if you see my Wharton degree to be true, then I get to slap you.)
Mr. Palengke has become Mr. Palengkera. Like a kid whose ego was bruised, Roxas even added: “I will write Wharton today to produce official records.” READ MORE...

ALSO EDITORIAL: Thanks to BS Aquino’s neglect, we will have very tough months ahead


DECEMBER 14 -CARTON COURTESY OF SUNSTAR (CEBU) FILE T certainly did seem ironic that on the same day (Monday afternoon) that global aid and development charity Oxfam was sharing a rather specific, dire warning that thanks to the El Niño, at least 85 percent of the Philippines will be in a drought condition by March, the first impact of the stronger-than-expected Typhoon Nona (Melor) was being felt in Samar and the Bicol Region. Nevertheless, credible forecasts over the past several days – the United Nations weather agency issued an updated warning two or three days before Oxfam – indicate the near-certainty that rain, from a typhoon or otherwise, is going to be a very rare commodity for the next few months. We cannot help but conclude that the Aquino Administration, despite having had a lead time of nearly a year to prepare for it, has not developed an effective response to El Niño, which is being described as one of the strongest ever recorded. The climate phenomenon, which occurs at irregular intervals every several years, is actually a significant warming of ocean water in the Eastern Pacific, which alters weather patterns worldwide. In our corner of the globe, the weather during an El Niño is hotter and drier, with fewer but generally stronger tropical storms. None of this is news; the El Niño effect has been understood and carefully studied and monitored for several decades, and while the effects may vary in intensity, once an El Niño condition is identified, there is no excuse for the authorities to be caught by surprise. Yet that is exactly what seems to have happened. In an announcement Monday, the Department of Agriculture said it may have to import up to 900,000 metric tons of rice in the first half of 2016 to make up for the shortfall in domestic production expected from drought conditions. Some importation is inevitable; analysts have pointed out time and again that even under the best circumstances the dream the Aquino Administration once expressed of making “rice self-sufficiency” a national goal could not be achieved in less than 20 years or so, due to under-developed agricultural capacity and the peculiarities of various trade pacts the Philippines must honor. Lack of foresight Even so, virtually nothing has been done to try to reduce the import need due to El Niño. Work on irrigation projects that should have been accelerated over the past year has proceeded at a casual pace when it has proceeded at all, placing farmers who are still reliant on rainfall for irrigation in the position of facing certain disaster. To add insult to injury, many of those farmers are in areas that have suffered from a variety of natural disasters they have yet to recover from, thanks to the government’s inefficient (and in some cases, corrupted) relief and reconstruction plans. READ MORE...

ALSO EDITORIAL: Honrado proves vacuity of honor of Aquino regime


DECEMBER 16 -MANILA STANDARD EDITORIAL CARTOON
WHEN will Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) Manager Jose Angel Honrado bow to popular demand and call it quits? Must we Filipinos wait for the Last Judgment to come before he gracefully exits from the stage? Honrado makes his own surname inappropriate for himself. He manifests the same pathology common among Filipino politicians and public officials. This disease is rarely seen in more civilized political cultures: the officials’ tenacity to cling to a position even when the whole nation demands that they quit. Strangest of all, the pathology evidently comes from the desire to save face. They believe that by resigning an office, they will confirm the worst that has been said of them. When the National Bureau of Invetigation (NBI) officially confirmed the existence of the Tanim-Bala (bullet planting) extortion racket at the Ninoy Aquino International airport (NAIA), and then filed charges against employees of the DOTC’s Office of Transportation Security (OTS) and the PNP’s Aviation Security Group (ASG), we thought it would finally induce Honrado to submit his resignation. Instead, this political appointee and relative of President BS Aquino issued a public statement saying that he will not quit. He declared that he must continue the service and the program that he provides at the nation’s main international gateway. Public office not a sanctuary A public office is not a haven or a harbor in which the citizen, if lucky to be elected or appointed, should seek sanctuary. It is a place where the officeholder is expected and mandated to do a job and do some public good. When he or she insists on clinging to office, come hell or high water, he/she inflicts harm on the public service.  In the book, Honest Government, an Ethics Guide for Public Service, by Michael Cody and Richarson Lynn, the authors discuss the options available to an appointee like Honrado. They are only two: 1) resignation out of principle or voluntary resignation; or 2, wait to be fired from the job by the appointing authority. A third option, says the book, is “going down in flames,” clinging to office to the bitter end. But be warned, the flames will burn bridges and restrict future chances at public service. Mr. Honrado should see the film Heneral Luna–if he has not yet seen it. If he has, but is not being challenged to choose “bayan” in the film’s emphasis on Heneral Luna’s message — “Bayan o sarili?” (Nation or self?), then he is really undeserving of his name. And he also dishonors his friend and relative’s good governance claim and slogan (Daang Matuwid). READ MORE...

ALSO: Our immature candidates are wasting our time


DECEMBER 16 -SHAME on presidential candidates Rodrigo Duterte and Mar Roxas for demeaning what few shreds of dignity remain in our electoral processes with their stupid and irrelevant “word war” over Roxas’ academic credentials, and shame on the supporters of Duterte for encouraging him to continue. Even more nauseating is that the two exchanged threats to slap the other! The issue arose from Duterte’s accusation that Roxas’ claim to have graduated from the Wharton School (formally, its proper name is ‘The Wharton School of the University of Pennylvania) was false, and has since escalated into the two men trading childish barbs including challenges to a slap fight, a brawl, and finally, as just another indication that Duterte doesn’t know when to quit, a challenge to a duel with guns — publicly challenging someone to a duel is a crime under Article 261 of the Revised Penal Code, punishable by up to two years in prison, not that running afoul of the law is something that evidently troubles Duterte in any way. Roxas, according to a check of the publicly available records, received a BS degree in economics from the Wharton School in 1979. As several Wharton and U. of Pennsylvania alumni have explained, calling oneself “a Wharton grad” is typically reserved for those who have completed a graduate course there and received a Masters degree, so while Roxas did not lie about his academic credentials, exactly, he certainly appears to have misled everyone, which was an immature and avoidable mistake. Duterte, on the other hand, has only demonstrated that he has no bigger priorities than to drag out for an entire week an infantile argument over something that is ultimately irrelevant to national issues. READ MORE...

ALSO By Fr. Shay Cullen : The injustice that causes poverty


DECEMBER 19 -Fr. Shay Cullen
CHRISTMAS is here already and we have to think what it means. It’s much more than Santa Claus and consumerism. It’s about compassion, love for the poor and seeking justice in an unjust world. Jesus was sent to help change it. We must carry on this mission. We have to understand what that challenge is. The world economic trade system is constantly depriving the poor of land and livelihood, fairness is in short supply and corruption and exploitation are taking over the world. This evil system of unjust trade policies and practices is growing and has caused great damage to families. No less than Pope Francis himself condemned this unfettered liberal runaway economic system that causes such social and economic injustice. He, quoting a fourth century bishop and making the fat cat capitalists cringe, called it the “dung of the devil.” In the Philippines, it is said that 140 politically and economically powerful families control the Congress and consequently, the lives of 100 million Filipinos. What chance do the ordinary Filipinos have to change the unfair system of dynastic families that rule with the power of the police and military. Only when the Filipino people have a nationwide strong organized non-violent educated movement for justice and fairness will change come. There was a great moment during the visit of Pope Francis to Bolivia when he spoke out and supported the rights of farmers and peasants. It was in the city of Santa Cruz where participants of the second world meeting of popular movements gathered. This is an international group of organizations, mostly victims of oppression, as well as of globalization and the multinational corporations.
Millions of poor are living outside the normal economy. They are mostly people on the peripheries of society, landless and disposed people. Poor and unemployed, they are the voiceless. But Pope Francis gave them a voice heard around the world. He told the leaders that he stood with them in the demands for justice and social & economic inclusion. This is his mission of lifting up the downtrodden and sending the rich away empty-handed as we read in the gospel song Magnificat. “Let us not be afraid to say it: we want change, real change, structural change,” Francis, referring to the unjust globalization of the economic system that “has imposed the mentality of profit at any price, with no concern for social exclusion or the destruction of nature,” told the cheering crowds. “This system is by now intolerable: farm workers find it intolerable, laborers find it intolerable, communities find it intolerable, peoples find it intolerable. The earth itself – our sister, Mother Earth, as St. Francis would say – also finds it intolerable,” he said. At one point, the Pope spoke against the unbridled capitalism that ran roughshod over the rights of the poor. This he called a new form of colonialism, which, like the Spanish empire, regrettably backed by the Church, damaged native peoples and culture in the name of kings, emperors, and big traders. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Duterte might still get to slap Roxas


by RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO

MANILA, DECEMBER 21, 2015
(MANILA TIMES) December 15, 2015 11:21 pm RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO - It’s strange, really, that the nuances of academic degrees get involved in who deserves to be, gangland-style, slapped.

President BS Aquino’s boy, Mar Roxas, again made things worse, when he should have refused to be drawn into usapang kanto – a territory Duterte has lived in almost all his working life, where he could eat the Yellow Heir alive.

This slapping episode started when Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte blurted out a risqué threat that he would slap Roxas if he saw him, for saying that Davao’s being a peaceful city was a myth.

Roxas could have taken advantage of Duterte’s use of gutter talk – which I don’t think most Filipinos appreciate – by being gentlemanly, and replying with something like: “Slapping someone for telling the truth is what gangsters do, and we don’t do that in civilized society.” Or he could have been cute with a response like, “If he slaps me I will turn the other cheek and repeat the truth that Davao hasn’t been peaceful under Duterte.”

When Duterte again taunted him that he was lying about being a graduate of the Wharton School of Business, he should have remained cool and just told him not to believe everything whispered to him, and just check the records, that he would even pay his plane fare to go to Pennsylvania to see for himself the official school records.

But no, Roxas’ ego of course, was pricked, and no one could do that to the scion of one of the wealthiest clans in the country, destined to follow his granddaddy’s footsteps as President.

He brought the conversation again to the spectacle of slapping: “Sampalan tayo. Kung hindi totoo ang Wharton degree ko, sampalin mo ako. Hindi ako iiwas o iilag. Pero kung totoo ang Wharton degree ko, sasampalin kita. O ayan. Ang bilis mong magsalita na hindi mo alam, eh. (“Let’s go on a slapping match. If my Wharton degree is fake, slap me, I won’t turn my face away. But if you see my Wharton degree to be true, then I get to slap you.)

Mr. Palengke has become Mr. Palengkera.

Like a kid whose ego was bruised, Roxas even added: “I will write Wharton today to produce official records.”

READ MORE...

So was Duterte wrong regarding Roxas’ academic records?


The kind of diploma Roxas probably has. Duterte would tell him: “Nasaan ang Wharton diyan?

Well, he was in one way wrong, but in one way correct. Roxas doth protest too much, and he should have just let the issue pass. Instead, his threat to slap Duterte if he produces proof of his “Wharton” degree has, instead, exposed how much of an untruthful person he is, quick to put a spin on things for his benefit.

You see, people who graduate from college with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania – Roxas’ course – would just call themselves U-Penn grads. It is only Roxas who has claimed, as in his official bio-data in the Senate that he is a Wharton graduate, a term used to describe those who finish a masters’ degree in business administration or finance from the Wharton School of Business, a unit of U-Penn. Former Energy Secretary Vicente Perez Jr., for instance, and Trade and Industry Secretary Gregorio Domingo, accurately claim to be Wharton graduates, because they have completed the school’s MBA course.

The US National Student Clearinghouse, a trusted source for verification of academic degrees, has confirmed that Roxas received a degree of “Bachelor of Science in Economics” from the University of Pennsylvania, but his school division was noted as “Wharton undergraduate.” So Roxas lied: He is not a Wharton graduate, but a Wharton undergraduate. (It reminds me so much of a staff I once got, introduced to me as a PMAer (a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy). It turned out he didn’t finish the course, so he couldn’t be called a PMAer, but a PMA dropout. Big difference.)

The division, I was told, was designed to prepare its graduates for MBA courses at Wharton. But Roxas didn’t even enroll in an MBA course offered at the Wharton graduate school.

Similarly, when somebody says he finished at Haas or at Kellogg or at Sloan, that means he holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration, Finance or other specializations offered by those graduate schools, and not just B.A. or B.S. degrees from the schools’ mother universities – University of California, Northwestern University or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, respectively.

I had wondered why Roxas didn’t just show his diploma “from Wharton” and posted it on the internet, with which he could have taunted Duterte: “O, ito ang diploma ko, nakasulat: Wharton. Isampal mo sa mukha mo.” I’m sure he has the diploma somewhere in his residence, most likely proudly displayed.

The likelihood is that his diploma may not even mention the name “Wharton,” but only the “University of Pennsylvania,” as shown by sample copies I saw of such diplomas for graduates of Bachelor of Science in Economics. This is because it is not the school that confers the degree but the University (see image).

If Duterte, the wise aleck, saw such a diploma, I’m sure he’d say: “O nasaan ang putanginang Wharton diyan sa diploma mo?” And indeed, until this sampalan challenge emerged recently, most people had never thought about doubting Roxas’ MBA, since he had referred to himself so many times as a “Wharton graduate.” It turns out to be a clever spin, something I had been tempted to do myself if I referred to myself as a Harvard man, because I was fellow for a year of its Nieman Foundation for Journalism.

Duterte might just have the right to slap Roxas, calling the Liberal Party candidate’s ante.

I am starting to enjoy this elections, never mind that it is so depressing, as it demonstrates how so barren of real leaders our political landscape has become.


EDITORIAL: Thanks to BS Aquino’s neglect, we will have very tough months ahead December 15, 2015 11:22 pm


CARTON COURTESY OF SUNSTAR (CEBU) FILE

T certainly did seem ironic that on the same day (Monday afternoon) that global aid and development charity Oxfam was sharing a rather specific, dire warning that thanks to the El Niño, at least 85 percent of the Philippines will be in a drought condition by March, the first impact of the stronger-than-expected Typhoon Nona (Melor) was being felt in Samar and the Bicol Region.

Nevertheless, credible forecasts over the past several days – the United Nations weather agency issued an updated warning two or three days before Oxfam – indicate the near-certainty that rain, from a typhoon or otherwise, is going to be a very rare commodity for the next few months.

We cannot help but conclude that the Aquino Administration, despite having had a lead time of nearly a year to prepare for it, has not developed an effective response to El Niño, which is being described as one of the strongest ever recorded. The climate phenomenon, which occurs at irregular intervals every several years, is actually a significant warming of ocean water in the Eastern Pacific, which alters weather patterns worldwide.

In our corner of the globe, the weather during an El Niño is hotter and drier, with fewer but generally stronger tropical storms. None of this is news; the El Niño effect has been understood and carefully studied and monitored for several decades, and while the effects may vary in intensity, once an El Niño condition is identified, there is no excuse for the authorities to be caught by surprise.

Yet that is exactly what seems to have happened. In an announcement Monday, the Department of Agriculture said it may have to import up to 900,000 metric tons of rice in the first half of 2016 to make up for the shortfall in domestic production expected from drought conditions. Some importation is inevitable; analysts have pointed out time and again that even under the best circumstances the dream the Aquino Administration once expressed of making “rice self-sufficiency” a national goal could not be achieved in less than 20 years or so, due to under-developed agricultural capacity and the peculiarities of various trade pacts the Philippines must honor.

Lack of foresight

Even so, virtually nothing has been done to try to reduce the import need due to El Niño. Work on irrigation projects that should have been accelerated over the past year has proceeded at a casual pace when it has proceeded at all, placing farmers who are still reliant on rainfall for irrigation in the position of facing certain disaster. To add insult to injury, many of those farmers are in areas that have suffered from a variety of natural disasters they have yet to recover from, thanks to the government’s inefficient (and in some cases, corrupted) relief and reconstruction plans.

READ MORE...

Had the government been looking to the near future, some of the enormous import need could have eased, which would have had the beneficial related effect of improving at least some farmers’ chances of withstanding the coming drought.

Forethought certainly would have saved a great deal of money as well. Even if the 900,000 metric ton import amount couldn’t be reduced, stretching that importation out over several months – beginning several months ago – would avoid the situation of having to buy the whole lot at the height of the El Niño-induced drought, when prices from the usual suppliers (Thailand and Vietnam) will be at a premium, as those countries will be suffering similar climate effects.

At this point, we can only hope that the effects of the weather will not be as bad as feared now, because our government has left the country in a very poor position to deal with them. That hope may be our best option is a discouraging thought, to say the least.

2 Responses to Thanks to BS Aquino’s neglect, we will have very tough months ahead
Federico Lojo says:
December 16, 2015 at 11:07 am
Truly, pnoy is visionless leader. He cannot even come up with the correct figures re Yolanda death victims. Simple counting yet he does not know how to count. The Philippines can never become a developed country under the program of daang matuwid. Rather it is a path straight to hell.
Reply
Conrado Alcantara says:
December 16, 2015 at 4:30 am
How could the administration pay for all infrastructures, irrigations and the like if we keep electing politicians that takes peoples money and lined their own pockets. Dont blame Mr. Aquino he did not steal any peoples money. Blame the Marcoses, Binays, Arroyo’s , Estrada, Enrile, Revilla and so fort. They almost have most of governments monies.Almost nothing left for spending for government needs.


Honrado proves vacuity of honor of Aquino regime December 14, 2015 11:34 pm


MANILA STANDARD EDITORIAL CARTOON

WHEN will Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) Manager Jose Angel Honrado bow to popular demand and call it quits? Must we Filipinos wait for the Last Judgment to come before he gracefully exits from the stage?

Honrado makes his own surname inappropriate for himself. He manifests the same pathology common among Filipino politicians and public officials. This disease is rarely seen in more civilized political cultures: the officials’ tenacity to cling to a position even when the whole nation demands that they quit.

Strangest of all, the pathology evidently comes from the desire to save face. They believe that by resigning an office, they will confirm the worst that has been said of them.

When the National Bureau of Invetigation (NBI) officially confirmed the existence of the Tanim-Bala (bullet planting) extortion racket at the Ninoy Aquino International airport (NAIA), and then filed charges against employees of the DOTC’s Office of Transportation Security (OTS) and the PNP’s Aviation Security Group (ASG), we thought it would finally induce Honrado to submit his resignation.

Instead, this political appointee and relative of President BS Aquino issued a public statement saying that he will not quit. He declared that he must continue the service and the program that he provides at the nation’s main international gateway.

Public office not a sanctuary

A public office is not a haven or a harbor in which the citizen, if lucky to be elected or appointed, should seek sanctuary. It is a place where the officeholder is expected and mandated to do a job and do some public good. When he or she insists on clinging to office, come hell or high water, he/she inflicts harm on the public service.

In the book, Honest Government, an Ethics Guide for Public Service, by Michael Cody and Richarson Lynn, the authors discuss the options available to an appointee like Honrado. They are only two: 1) resignation out of principle or voluntary resignation; or 2, wait to be fired from the job by the appointing authority.

A third option, says the book, is “going down in flames,” clinging to office to the bitter end. But be warned, the flames will burn bridges and restrict future chances at public service.

Mr. Honrado should see the film Heneral Luna–if he has not yet seen it. If he has, but is not being challenged to choose “bayan” in the film’s emphasis on Heneral Luna’s message — “Bayan o sarili?” (Nation or self?), then he is really undeserving of his name.

And he also dishonors his friend and relative’s good governance claim and slogan (Daang Matuwid).

READ MORE...

His bad performance as the Manager of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), his claim not to have any responsibility for the conduct of the luggage handlers and security personnel of the airport named after his cousin, Ninoy, his apparent tendency to excuse the criminal acts of the tanim-bala extortionists, are proof of the untruthfulness, hypocrisy and vacuity of honor of President BS Aquino.

Mr. Aquino claims to be a reformist president who has achieved so much in removing corruption and incompetence in Philippine government service. He claims that it is to make sure that the person who becomes the next president continues his anti-corruption and reformist government, he is moving heaven and earth to ensure that his anointed successor, Mr. Mar Roxas 2nd, wins the presidency in 2016.

Yet, Mr. Aquino cannot or will not dismiss his uncle, friend and favorite official, Mr. Jose Angel Honrado, who is a model of incompetence and corruption as shown by his willingness to tolerate the tanim-bala perpetrators in NAIA.

12 Responses to Honrado proves vacuity of honor of Aquino regime
Kris Manac says:
December 16, 2015 at 1:18 am
Mr, Honrado and his Boss have no sense of humor both of them abnormal.
Reply
brix says:
December 15, 2015 at 10:55 pm
Same feathers flock together.we can’t expect something good in this administration. he was got elected by mere popularity nothing less and nothing more.roughly six months he will go lets hope the next malacanang occupant is better.
Reply
django says:
December 15, 2015 at 7:02 pm
Naging general lang si honrado when he was still in the service, paf, because of cory aquino even though his performance was wanting and promoted over his senior and more competent officers. Honrado, please resign and give our country a break.
Reply
John R says:
December 15, 2015 at 2:01 pm
The temerity to hold on to his ill-deserved post is most logically driven his enabling presidential relative. The gall of this family to impose upon us !!!
Reply
What'd heck says:
December 15, 2015 at 1:40 pm
If a person failed to do his job, there are only 2 choices, either you quit or be terminated. I think mr. Aquino did not get his education right. Since Aquino is in the management position, his subordinates must follow Aquino commands which is good governance. If they disobey, they must be terminated. Really I cannot wait for the new president because our president failed miserably. That is the reason Mar Roxas will lose in this election. One and only option..NONE. Nobody is qualified to be president of this country.
Reply
jesso says:
December 15, 2015 at 1:03 pm
Incompetence, arrogance and Self-righteousness are the trademarks
of this lousy government.
Reply
Jaime Elumba says:
December 15, 2015 at 10:39 am
If Pnoy cannot appoint competent individual outside of his yellow circle of friends and relatives to replace the manager of our premier international airport means that there is a shortage of honorable and competent people around him.
Reply
Leodegardo Pruna says:
December 15, 2015 at 8:53 am
Just too bad that we are losing our sense of delicadeza. Expect the worse to happen. God bless the Philippines.
Reply
justin says:
December 15, 2015 at 8:00 am
Honor is not popular among Filipinos officials in the government. They are lucky.
Reply
Edward Watson says:
December 15, 2015 at 7:28 am
Alas, the “vacuity of honour” is not the sole domain of the current administration’s appointments, it is the badge of shame of all administrations and often the Presidents too (GMA, Estrada and Marcos to name but three). As long as we have a political system based on corruption, nepotism, patronage, cronyism, effective immunity from justice, an electorate who do not understand the value of their vote, interference from religious bodies, and politicians who are only serving their self interests rather than the country and the people then we will never improve. We will never be a true democracy, a 1st world country, rid of our dirty money label.
I do not see how things can improve, whilst we remain an oligarch, controlled by a few rich families and businesses.
Reply
Phoebe Kate says:
December 15, 2015 at 7:27 am
The problem with BS Pinoy is he don’t read newspaper anymore he only watch Boy Abunda on TV and of course sis Cris Aquino last quarter na ito syempre it is time for a kamag anak na humamig tuwid na daan ano yun?
Reply
Bong salvador says:
December 15, 2015 at 4:21 am
Very well said! The whole nation wants an NAIA Manager who is a competent and would ensure that the once premier airport to be free from any anomaly. NAIA having earned the unwanted distinction of Being One of the Worse Airport in the World needs a holistic facelift if it were to regain its image as the gateway for tourist to our Beloved Philippines. I honestly don’t think Mr Honrado is up for the job.


Our immature candidates are wasting our time December 16, 2015 11:02 pm


SHAME on presidential candidates Rodrigo Duterte and Mar Roxas for demeaning what few shreds of dignity remain in our electoral processes with their stupid and irrelevant “word war” over Roxas’ academic credentials, and shame on the supporters of Duterte for encouraging him to continue. Even more nauseating is that the two exchanged threats to slap the other!

The issue arose from Duterte’s accusation that Roxas’ claim to have graduated from the Wharton School (formally, its proper name is ‘The Wharton School of the University of Pennylvania) was false, and has since escalated into the two men trading childish barbs including challenges to a slap fight, a brawl, and finally, as just another indication that Duterte doesn’t know when to quit, a challenge to a duel with guns — publicly challenging someone to a duel is a crime under Article 261 of the Revised Penal Code, punishable by up to two years in prison, not that running afoul of the law is something that evidently troubles Duterte in any way.

Roxas, according to a check of the publicly available records, received a BS degree in economics from the Wharton School in 1979. As several Wharton and U. of Pennsylvania alumni have explained, calling oneself “a Wharton grad” is typically reserved for those who have completed a graduate course there and received a Masters degree, so while Roxas did not lie about his academic credentials, exactly, he certainly appears to have misled everyone, which was an immature and avoidable mistake. Duterte, on the other hand, has only demonstrated that he has no bigger priorities than to drag out for an entire week an infantile argument over something that is ultimately irrelevant to national issues.

READ MORE...

Neither man is at this point demonstrating even the merest quality of a political leader, and certainly both are rapidly disqualifying themselves, if they haven’t already, from even casual consideration as potential successors to President BS Aquino 3rd (who if nothing else has proved that intellectual depth and academic excellence or credentials are not actually important to most Filipino voters after all).

The entire drama is an embarrassment to the nation, an insult to the intelligence of even the dullest among us, and a complete waste of our time. Since we have very little hope that the two antagonists would do the honorable thing and quietly withdraw from the mockery of democratic process that their respective campaigns now represent, we demand that they cease and desist from this nonsense immediately, and focus on issues that matter.

At the same time we hope that all voters — who appreciate that good character, maturity, and a host of other virtues are necessary to make a good president — remember that these two men do not deserve their vote in 2016.


The injustice that causes poverty December 19, 2015 10:54 pm Fr. Shay Cullen


by FR. SHAY CULLEN

CHRISTMAS is here already and we have to think what it means. It’s much more than Santa Claus and consumerism. It’s about compassion, love for the poor and seeking justice in an unjust world. Jesus was sent to help change it. We must carry on this mission. We have to understand what that challenge is.

The world economic trade system is constantly depriving the poor of land and livelihood, fairness is in short supply and corruption and exploitation are taking over the world. This evil system of unjust trade policies and practices is growing and has caused great damage to families. No less than Pope Francis himself condemned this unfettered liberal runaway economic system that causes such social and economic injustice. He, quoting a fourth century bishop and making the fat cat capitalists cringe, called it the “dung of the devil.”

In the Philippines, it is said that 140 politically and economically powerful families control the Congress and consequently, the lives of 100 million Filipinos. What chance do the ordinary Filipinos have to change the unfair system of dynastic families that rule with the power of the police and military. Only when the Filipino people have a nationwide strong organized non-violent educated movement for justice and fairness will change come.

There was a great moment during the visit of Pope Francis to Bolivia when he spoke out and supported the rights of farmers and peasants. It was in the city of Santa Cruz where participants of the second world meeting of popular movements gathered. This is an international group of organizations, mostly victims of oppression, as well as of globalization and the multinational corporations.



Millions of poor are living outside the normal economy. They are mostly people on the peripheries of society, landless and disposed people. Poor and unemployed, they are the voiceless. But Pope Francis gave them a voice heard around the world.

He told the leaders that he stood with them in the demands for justice and social & economic inclusion. This is his mission of lifting up the downtrodden and sending the rich away empty-handed as we read in the gospel song Magnificat.

“Let us not be afraid to say it: we want change, real change, structural change,” Francis, referring to the unjust globalization of the economic system that “has imposed the mentality of profit at any price, with no concern for social exclusion or the destruction of nature,” told the cheering crowds.

“This system is by now intolerable: farm workers find it intolerable, laborers find it intolerable, communities find it intolerable, peoples find it intolerable. The earth itself – our sister, Mother Earth, as St. Francis would say – also finds it intolerable,” he said.

At one point, the Pope spoke against the unbridled capitalism that ran roughshod over the rights of the poor. This he called a new form of colonialism, which, like the Spanish empire, regrettably backed by the Church, damaged native peoples and culture in the name of kings, emperors, and big traders.

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“The new colonialism takes on different faces. At times it appears as the anonymous influence of mammon: corporations, loan agencies, certain ‘free trade’ treaties, and the imposition of measures of ‘austerity’ which always tighten the belt of workers and the poor,” he said.

The gospel values of fairness and economic and social justice are very important today. We need to know how and why this is happening and what it means in the daily lives of the discarded and unwanted people. We need to wake up from apathy and fence-sitting and become involved in a mission to find and implement positive solutions.

Fair trade is one way to do this. It is a movement that creates an alternative way of doing business with fairness, honesty, profit-sharing and positive empowerment of the poor so that they can be educated and break the cycle of poverty.

In developed countries, as well as in developing countries, more people are producing goods and food under fair trade conditions, becoming avenues for fair earnings and social development projects. Fair trade brings together the producer and the consumer in a positive, respectful partnership; the buyer knows the producer and how the food or the products are produced.

The poor suffer depression of a kind that most citizens of developed countries and economies cannot understand. In developed countries, the poor and the jobless will have the social net of welfare and unemployment payment by the state.

These benefits are unheard of in developing countries. In this ocean of unfair trading and economic activity, the rulers and the rich are the characters in the story of Jesus that contrasts the life of Dives, the filthy rich man in the palace at whose gates Lazarus begged for the crumbs that fell from the table.

The leftovers were all Lazarus wanted but Dives was so mean he would not give them from a loaded table that groaned from the weight of food. There, at gates of a heaven or hell-on-earth, depending on how one sees it, Lazarus died of his sores and ulcers. Only the dogs had pity and came to lick his sores. They had more compassion than the humans.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph had rejection, poverty and killers chasing them and they escaped as refugees to Egypt. Today, we see many refugees welcomed and others made unwelcome and rejected. When the needy come to our doors lets open them and welcome them in.

It’s an image of our world today.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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