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EDITORIALS & OPINIONS OF THE WEEK:
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FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

By RENE SAGUISAG - WORK FOR PEACE GOES ON DESPITE 'DEATH' OF BBL


FEBRUARY 1 -By RENE V. SAGUISAG
 As I write, the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) may be dead. With but a few session days left and quorum continues to be a problem, it may be up to the next Prez and Congress to decide the fate of the BBL. There is doubt that the thing may bolt upright in some morgue slab. We cannot rattle the bones of a skeleton from which all semblance of life may have departed. Yet, "the law hath not been dead, though it hath slept. - Shakespeare." We have to awaken it as soon as possible and convenient. To borrow from Ted Kennedy, this is not the end: "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." In world caging, the dream shall never die, although Pinoys are not really built for basketball. We'll host one qualifying event but we need to look for other sports where we are not at such physical disadvantage as basketball. (Here we bid good-bye and say thank you, Promfet Loyzaga. There will be a 5 p.m. Mass on Monday, February 1, in Mendiola where King Caloy will make a final sentimental journey home.) The work goes on on the BBL if only because too many people have died. Atty. Rene Saguisag served as senator from 1987 to 1992. He authored the Code of Ethics for Government Officials and Employees. He also loves sports. FULL COLUMN

ALSO: ANALYSIS by Fr. Ranhilio Aquino - PNoy's hands drip with SAF 44 blood, Enrile inquisition shows


JANUARY 27 -Fr. Ranhilio Aquino Senator Grace Poe opened the session with a very competent and clear summary of earlier proceedings. The Senate’s assessment of the President’s role in the debacle was rather benign. It did not take long for Senator Juan Ponce Enrile to make clear that, like Lady Macbeth, there is an ugly stain of blood in PNoy’s hands that will not go away — in fact, not only a stain. His hands drip with the blood of the SAF 44. For a long time, Getulio Napeñas was the fall guy. Even in the recent ceremony marking the sad anniversary of the heroes, PNoy lamented the slow pace of justice, and it was quite clear that what he meant by that was that he wanted Napeñas behind bars or, perhaps, preferably doing slave labor, more expeditiously. All the better to clear his BFF, ousted Police Director General Purissima. Senator Enrile was his usual self: thorough, and every inch a relentless inquisitor. He had done his homework — having read practically every exchange of text messages between the key persons. What is indubitable is that President Aquino knew about the operation of the SAF, cleared the operation, gave his consent and sent them off to their deaths. READ MORE...

ALSO: REFLECTION - On paying P1,000 for my whole UP education


By ARIZZA NOCUM I enrolled for my last semester in college a few days ago. I paid a tuition fee of exactly 78.50 pesos to the University of the Philippines (UP). Since I'm a big nerd, I computed the total amount of money I spent for college tuition fees and the average amount I spent per semester. Total Amount = PHP 935 Average Amount = PHP 77.92 / semester I cannot stress it enough: I paid under a 1,000 pesos (merely 20 US dollars) for my ENTIRE college education. And this was possible because I am an Oblation Scholar of UP. Being an Oblation Scholar of the University means that you have to be one of the Top 50 scorers of UP's highly competitive national entrance exam. In my batch, 60,000 high school students took the exam, and only 50 out of that 60,000 (0.083%) would be granted the prestigious scholarship. I was one of the 50. I was one of the very lucky 50. Going through college, I never forgot the fact that I am an Oblation Scholar. My family was capable of paying UP's PHP 30,000-a-semester price tag, but I was privileged with what is basically a free ride. The fact hit me hard whenever I heard of fellow UP students scrambling for discounts through the socialized tuition system. The fact hit me hard whenever I met any high school graduate who couldn't pay their way through college. Some students would take loans, work jobs, tutor kids to pay for tuition, but I paid 1,000 bucks - which is just one big pizza, or a pair of shoes, or a bottle of wine. Yes, I am an Oblation Scholar and I am lucky. But I don't deserve the scholarship - at least not yet. I have made a lot of goals in my college life. I wanted to be part of an organization, wanted to learn a new skill, wanted to excel, wanted to make my parents proud. But one of my biggest goals was this: work hard enough to deserve the scholarship. READ MORE...

ALSO: PINK Jeep rolls out for Valentine's Day 2016


FEBRUARY 14 -The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) once again deployed PINK Jeeps as a Valentine's Day gift to women, the elderly, children, and people with disabilities. PINK Jeepneys are in service from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on February 14 in Novaliches, Quezon City. A pink jeep rolls out for women, children, the elderly and persons with disability during last year's Valentine's Day on February 14, 2015. Photo: Jay Sabale The project is done in partnership with Cazanova Transport Service Cooperative and according to LTFRB board member lawyer Ariel Inton, it is part of their campaign against rude drivers. "[Valentine's Day] gift ito ng Cazanova Transport at LTFRB at ating inuulit na walang lugar sa kalye ang mga drivers na hindi marunong gumalang sa kanilang mga pasahero lalo sa kababaihan, matatanda at mga paslit, at PWDs," he said. Aside from the color with which the vehicles are painted, PINK also stands for "Para sa Interes ng Kababaihan, Katandaan, Kabataan at may Kapansanan." in 2015, 14 jeeps were deployed in Guadalupe, Makati City to give priority women, the elderly and persons with disabilities. —AT/ALG, GMA News FULL REPORT.


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

COMMENTARY Work for peace goes on despite 'death' of BBL


By RENE V. SAGUISAG

MANILA, FEBRUARY 15, 2016 (PHILSTAR) Published February 1, 2016 2:23pm By RENE V. SAGUISAG - As I write, the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) may be dead.

With but a few session days left and quorum continues to be a problem, it may be up to the next Prez and Congress to decide the fate of the BBL.

There is doubt that the thing may bolt upright in some morgue slab. We cannot rattle the bones of a skeleton from which all semblance of life may have departed. Yet, "the law hath not been dead, though it hath slept. - Shakespeare."

We have to awaken it as soon as possible and convenient.

To borrow from Ted Kennedy, this is not the end: "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."

In world caging, the dream shall never die, although Pinoys are not really built for basketball. We'll host one qualifying event but we need to look for other sports where we are not at such physical disadvantage as basketball.

(Here we bid good-bye and say thank you, Promfet Loyzaga. There will be a 5 p.m. Mass on Monday, February 1, in Mendiola where King Caloy will make a final sentimental journey home.)

The work goes on on the BBL if only because too many people have died.

Atty. Rene Saguisag served as senator from 1987 to 1992. He authored the Code of Ethics for Government Officials and Employees. He also loves sports.


ANALYSIS PNoy's hands drip with SAF 44 blood, Enrile inquisition shows Published January 27, 2016 2:46pm By FR. RANHILIO CALLANGAN AQUINO


Fr. Ranhilio Aquino

Senator Grace Poe opened the session with a very competent and clear summary of earlier proceedings.

The Senate’s assessment of the President’s role in the debacle was rather benign.

It did not take long for Senator Juan Ponce Enrile to make clear that, like Lady Macbeth, there is an ugly stain of blood in PNoy’s hands that will not go away — in fact, not only a stain. His hands drip with the blood of the SAF 44.

For a long time, Getulio Napeñas was the fall guy. Even in the recent ceremony marking the sad anniversary of the heroes, PNoy lamented the slow pace of justice, and it was quite clear that what he meant by that was that he wanted Napeñas behind bars or, perhaps, preferably doing slave labor, more expeditiously. All the better to clear his BFF, ousted Police Director General Purissima.

Senator Enrile was his usual self: thorough, and every inch a relentless inquisitor. He had done his homework — having read practically every exchange of text messages between the key persons.

What is indubitable is that President Aquino knew about the operation of the SAF, cleared the operation, gave his consent and sent them off to their deaths.

READ MORE...

It is also clear that at the prompting of Purisima, the acting PNP Director General was kept out of the loop, even if Espina’s men were in the line of fire. Neither was the AFP commander on the ground who could have provided support to the embattled SAF men.

Espina’s forthrightness was striking: When he was informed belatedly by the scheming Purisima — conspiring without doubt with his boss, the President — that SAF had been sent after Marwan and Usman, he immediately called the AFP commander in Zamboanga City who likewise did not know what was happening. Only Purisima was fully in the know! Espina was clearly holding himself back while answering questions. He was not angry at Senator Enrile. He was clearly angry at the scheme that kept him out of the loop.

Likewise telling was the exchange by which Senator Enrile elicited from Napeñas and other generals present the portrayal of a President who was more interested in the body of the high value target, hardly bothering about the SAF men who were being felled by the MILF and other adverse forces.

Catapang insists that he was summoned to Zamboanga by the President to discuss the Zamboanga bombing — a foolish topic, considering that a PNP operation was ongoing that eventually ended in the demise of the SAF 44.

Whatever else may be said by the President’s cheerleaders in the Senate, I have no more interest. I have heard enough, after having listened to JPE grill the witnesses.

Fr. Ranhilio Aquino is the dean of the San Beda Graduate School of Law.


REFLECTION On paying P1,000 for my whole UP education Published January 28, 2016 8:30pm By ARIZZA NOCUM

I enrolled for my last semester in college a few days ago. I paid a tuition fee of exactly 78.50 pesos to the University of the Philippines (UP).

Since I'm a big nerd, I computed the total amount of money I spent for college tuition fees and the average amount I spent per semester.

Total Amount = PHP 935 Average Amount = PHP 77.92 / semester

I cannot stress it enough: I paid under a 1,000 pesos (merely 20 US dollars) for my ENTIRE college education. And this was possible because I am an Oblation Scholar of UP.

Being an Oblation Scholar of the University means that you have to be one of the Top 50 scorers of UP's highly competitive national entrance exam. In my batch, 60,000 high school students took the exam, and only 50 out of that 60,000 (0.083%) would be granted the prestigious scholarship.

I was one of the 50. I was one of the very lucky 50.

Going through college, I never forgot the fact that I am an Oblation Scholar. My family was capable of paying UP's PHP 30,000-a-semester price tag, but I was privileged with what is basically a free ride. The fact hit me hard whenever I heard of fellow UP students scrambling for discounts through the socialized tuition system. The fact hit me hard whenever I met any high school graduate who couldn't pay their way through college.

Some students would take loans, work jobs, tutor kids to pay for tuition, but I paid 1,000 bucks - which is just one big pizza, or a pair of shoes, or a bottle of wine.

Yes, I am an Oblation Scholar and I am lucky. But I don't deserve the scholarship - at least not yet.

I have made a lot of goals in my college life. I wanted to be part of an organization, wanted to learn a new skill, wanted to excel, wanted to make my parents proud. But one of my biggest goals was this: work hard enough to deserve the scholarship.

READ MORE...

I wanted to show my fellow scholars, my fellow students, my teachers, and the taxpayers who made my education possible that I squeezed every ounce of my education and became the best person because of it. That did not just mean good grades. That also meant that I have to pay forward.

I needed to embody what it meant to be a scholar: to be a woman for my country. And I knew that I did not wait until after college to do that. Through my work with KRIS Library, the organizations I'm part of, and the people around me, I continue to work to show that my being an Oblation scholar is justified.

And as I take the final phase of my journey - my last semester in college - I only hope that, on the stage at graduation, I can finally say that I have maximized my 1,000-peso education.

That I have learned enough to make sure that, now and in the future, I can contribute positively to the lives of thousands of other Filipinos who deserved an education too.

Arizza is a 5th year BS Industrial Engineering student at UP. She was also formerly a scholar in Philippine Science High School. Aside from maintaining her honor standing, she heads a non-profit organization called KRIS Library which builds libraries and provides scholarships for children in poor and conflicted areas.


PINK Jeep rolls out for Valentine's Day 2016 Published February 14, 2016 2:33pm

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) once again deployed PINK Jeeps as a Valentine's Day gift to women, the elderly, children, and people with disabilities.

PINK Jeepneys are in service from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on February 14 in Novaliches, Quezon City.

A pink jeep rolls out for women, children, the elderly and persons with disability during last year's Valentine's Day on February 14, 2015. Photo: Jay Sabale The project is done in partnership with Cazanova Transport Service Cooperative and according to LTFRB board member lawyer Ariel Inton, it is part of their campaign against rude drivers.

"[Valentine's Day] gift ito ng Cazanova Transport at LTFRB at ating inuulit na walang lugar sa kalye ang mga drivers na hindi marunong gumalang sa kanilang mga pasahero lalo sa kababaihan, matatanda at mga paslit, at PWDs," he said.

Aside from the color with which the vehicles are painted, PINK also stands for "Para sa Interes ng Kababaihan, Katandaan, Kabataan at may Kapansanan." in 2015, 14 jeeps were deployed in Guadalupe, Makati City to give priority women, the elderly and persons with disabilities. —AT/ALG, GMA News


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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