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By Teddy Locsin, Jr: COMELEC 35 - UNFORGOTTEN
[Automated elections automate I wonder what—the vote or electoral fraud? In practical terms, we will never know. There is no way to find out. The audit trail is casually treated as meaningless. And there is no way the Comelec will help you to uncover its own fraud.]  


FEBRAURY 9 By Teddy Locsin -IMAGE FROM OPINYON.COM Meoni Erika Fajardo Bergara, 18, daughter of Mina Fajardo, is a first time voter this year. She writes: “My mother was a part of the 1986 Comelec walkout. That may not mean much to many.” Wrong. The 1986 COMELEC WALKOUT haunts electoral automation today, a ghost that is made more scary by the thought that this generation of Comelec people will not have the idealism of those in 1986 who were, ironically, trained by dictatorship to value professionalism. Democracy only encourages people to be sloppy in mind and morals. Meoni Erika goes on, “It [the 1986 COMELEC WALKOUT] is a historical event that remains humbly in the shadows of everything else that awakened the Filipino people and contributed to the first EDSA revolution.” Wrong again. Far from staying in the shadows, the 1986 COMELEC WALKOUT is the elephant in the room of automated elections. The walkout triggered the fast events that led inexorably to the end of one form of government—dictatorship, even as a walkout this coming May will and should end democracy in our country. When a dictatorship totters by an act of conscience on the part of those who serve it—like the 1986 Comelec workers did because you cannot have real elections under a dictatorship (to be sure, the South Korean junta repeatedly conducted clean elections to check out where the opposition areas were to clamp down on them). But when an act of conscience shakes a democracy, it is not from a blow coming from outside or inside, but from a rotting of its moral fiber; democracy is moral or it is worse than dictatorship because it means the triumph of mass ignorance and mass moral turpitude in every case. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Ellen Tordesillas -Lacierda may yet get his dream of becoming foreign secretary
[Del Rosario’s resignation is effective March 7. He will still be accompanying President Aquino to the Special ASEAN-US summit in California on Feb. 15 to 16. He is also expected to say his farewell to his ASEAN counterparts during the regional group’s Foreign Minister’s Meeting Retreat in Vientiane, Laos on Feb. 27. Dubbed by nationalists as “American Boy,” Del Rosario’s stint in the DFA will always be remembered as the lowest point of Philippine-China relations.]


FEBRUARY 10 By Ellen Tordesillas: -Palace confirms Del Rosario's resignation. MB FILE PHOTO The resignation of Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, four months before the end of the Aquino administration, may yet pave the way for Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda to realize his dream of becoming foreign secretary. Not many know Lacierda’s desire to be head of the much-coveted Cabinet position. It was Mar Roxas, the presidential candidate of President Aquino and the Liberal Party, who told an ambassador that Lacierda would be his foreign secretary. Roxas, the envoy recalled, presented Lacierda to him: “Here’s your future boss.” The envoy, who was taken aback, replied, “I won’t be with the DFA anymore by that time.” Funny. The envoy’s reply sounded like “I’m thankful I won’t be there when that disaster happens in the DFA.” The envoy was thinking that it would happen after 2016 and assuming that Roxas would succeed Aquino. But that possibility doesn’t seem very likely because in the many surveys conducted of the presidential race for the May 2016 elections, Roxas has never topped one. Although analysts say the 2016 presidential contest is a close fight. In the latest Pulse Asia survey, where Partido Galing at Puso presidential bet Grace Poe retook the lead from United Nationalist Alliance’s Jejomar Binay, Roxas no longer trailed PDP-Laban’s Rodrigo Duterte. He tied with Duterte in third place. In the latest survey of pollster Junie Laylo conducted last week, which Poe again topped, Roxas already tied with Binay in second place. But Lacierda need not anchor his dream on the doubtful victory of Roxas in the 2016 elections. He can lobby for the President to appoint him to be acting secretary and enjoy the perks of being the top diplomat in the last four months of the Aquino administration. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Buddy Gomez - The man who saved Makati in 1943


Don Alfonso Zóbel de Ayala (left), with his son Jaime Zóbel de Ayala. Photo probably taken sometime in the 1950s. Manila Nostalgia/Paulo Rubio Of the most useful and strategic spoils of war for a successful conquering horde to partake of during World War II in the Philippines, there was San Pedro, Makati’s vast tract of open land that hosted the Nielson Airfield. This is today the very Central Business District and the surrounding residential communities. The Japanese Imperial Military had confiscated the entire property--aerodrome and facilities--for the use of its Air Force. In the summer of 1943, the occupying authority summoned the owners of the estate. This time, the invaders were demanding that the property be turned over to them permanently by way of, very evidently, a coerced sale. Their offered price was set at the prevailing government’s assessed valuation, not to mention, looming overhead, the consequent reprisal if the offer were denied. A nerve-wracking vise hostaging the owners. The patriarch of the owning family had just died a few months earlier. Elders recall, Don Enrique Zobel de Ayala (great grandfather of the current generation of Ayala business leaders, Jaime Augusto and Fernando Zobel de Ayala) passed on with a broken heart, lamenting that as a consequence of the war, the fortune that took generations to build was fast perishing. Hacienda San Pedro de Makati was next door to Manila. Although it was mostly marshland, its meager income was from horse feed (zacate) that grew abundantly in the vicinity and the rental from the lease of the Nielson airfield, civil/commercial aviation being at its infancy just before the war. It was already under the control and exclusive use of the vicious enemy. The property had been owned by the Roxas-Zobel-Ayala clan since the 1850s. The spread was originally a mid-1700s land grant to a childless couple, Jose de Brito and wife, who bequeathed the hacienda to the Jesuits, only to be confiscated by the Spanish Crown following the expulsion of the Order from all Spanish domain in 1767. What I recall from having read archival material a long time ago was that there were three or four previous owners prior to its last purchase. There was a Marques de Villamediana, a Velez and even a Gomez! READ MORE...

ALSO: By Inday Espina-Varona - Not a joke but a worldview: Duterte's response to unionism


By Inday Varona -It was unprovoked. It wasn't an off-the-cuff, careless response to a pesky reporter. It was 1:24 minutes, right smack in the middle of his economic agenda, in a speech officially kicking off his presidential campaign. Rodrigo Duterte has squarely placed unions in his crosshairs. Any talk of him joking or engaging in "hyperbole" is an exercise in delusion. “I will establish economic zones… iimbitahan ko; dito kayo mag-trabaho… huwag kayong magmamadali. Kayong mga KMU (Kilusang Mayo Uno, the militant labor federation), medyo pigilan na muna ninyo ang mga labor union. Akon a ang nakiki-usap sa inyo. Magkasama tayo sa ideolohiya. Huwag ninyong gawain yan kasi sisirain nyo ang administrasyon ko. Pag-ginawa po ninyo yan, patayin ko kayong lahat. Ang solusyon ko patayan lang. Eh, pagusapan nyo, ayaw eh. We better come to terms with each other. Do not do it now, yang active labor front. Kasi pag-ginawa ninyo, nasisira. Do not do it. Give the Philippines a respite of about 10 years…” He was talking of "generating jobs, increasing employment," -- included in his "Focus Five" agenda. Duterte, who has vowed to work for genuine land reform, also aims to establish foreign investment enclaves where capitalist guests can make their own rules and policies – the Constitution be damned. There is no taking his words out of context. Only the blind would not see the context. Duterte thinks he is owed thanks for this economic vision. He asks the KMU to repudiate its reason for existence. He wants to transform KMU into some kind of yellow union – “try to stop labor unions.” He touts a shared “ideology.” Last I checked, only scabs and dictators and their hatchetmen subscribed to union-busting as an ideology. Duterte makes an appeal. Anybody who doesn’t accept his gracious offer dies. Killing is his solution to anything and anyone that opposes his demand. Well, let’s put that in perspective. Do you know that 85 union leaders were murdered in the first seven years of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration? READ MORE

ALSO: The 3 stages of falling in love with your job according to Charo Santos


Ms. Charo Santos-Concio during the ABS-CBN Kapamilya Awards. Anjo Bagaoisan, ABS-CBN News
In the time of “walang forever”, staying in the same company or line of work for more than 5 years is already a prize. It may be due to the scarcity of tenured posts, the allure of shifting workplaces for better offers or simply the impatience often ascribed to today’s Millennials. Whatever the reason, loyalty to a job or an organization these days remains the unheeded advice from the older generation. Many of them grew up seeing ascent in the corporate ladder as the main evidence of success. But there are professions like journalism and media whose hold on their practitioners is for more than bread and butter. And there are companies whose opportunities can span a spectrum of careers one could explore without leaving their backyard. Getting to last long in these places is encouraged and in some, rewarded. At ABS-CBN, they call it the “Kapamilya Awards”, a gala to recognize employees who reached 5-year milestones in their service with the company. They are treated to dinner, performances by ABS-CBN artists and receive a personalized token along with a moment with the executives. It’s a night deep with meaning for the Kapamilyas being honored. But the meaning has different shades–depending on how long they’ve been “in the service”. It took Charo Santos-Concio, then ABS-CBN’s President and CEO, to put these and the emotions attached into words when she spoke at the Kapamilya Awards in August 2015. Whether 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25 years “old”, what do those milestones mean? The Dreamers Ms.Charo started with the young–the fresh graduates who enter ABS-CBN’s gates driven by dreams. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

By Teddy Locsin, Jr: COMELEC 35 - Unforgotten


By
Teddy Locsin, Jr.

MANILA, FEBRUARY 15, 2016 (ABS-CBN) Teddy Locsin, Jr. Posted at 02/09/2016 - Meoni Erika Fajardo Bergara, 18, daughter of Mina Fajardo, is a first time voter this year. She writes: “My mother was a part of the 1986 Comelec walkout. That may not mean much to many.”

Wrong. The 1986 COMELEC WALKOUT haunts electoral automation today, a ghost that is made more scary by the thought that this generation of Comelec people will not have the idealism of those in 1986 who were, ironically, trained by dictatorship to value professionalism. Democracy only encourages people to be sloppy in mind and morals.

Meoni Erika goes on, “It [the 1986 COMELEC WALKOUT] is a historical event that remains humbly in the shadows of everything else that awakened the Filipino people and contributed to the first EDSA revolution.”

Wrong again. Far from staying in the shadows, the 1986 COMELEC WALKOUT is the elephant in the room of automated elections. The walkout triggered the fast events that led inexorably to the end of one form of government—dictatorship, even as a walkout this coming May will and should end democracy in our country.

When a dictatorship totters by an act of conscience on the part of those who serve it—like the 1986 Comelec workers did because you cannot have real elections under a dictatorship (to be sure, the South Korean junta repeatedly conducted clean elections to check out where the opposition areas were to clamp down on them). But when an act of conscience shakes a democracy, it is not from a blow coming from outside or inside, but from a rotting of its moral fiber; democracy is moral or it is worse than dictatorship because it means the triumph of mass ignorance and mass moral turpitude in every case.

READ MORE...

There is no ignorance or malevolence worse than that of common folk who let themselves be deluded, or who give in to the cheapest human instincts, and by the force of their numbers make evil prevail with the irresistible force of a seeming moral though in reality a false certitude.

The Comelec walkout group insist that a mere walk out for refreshments—to get over the shock of their discovery of computerized fraud, had turned into the WALKOUT out that toppled a government. They insist that a walk to the refreshments counter was just given a spin—I suppose by people like myself in the Cory camp—that would give the lie to the American insistence that there was cheating on both sides. That’s what Reagan said to the Filipinos’ dismay—but to my tired sense of satisfaction that I was right again.

But it did not look to me, or to the country, like a walk out for refreshments. The grim look on the faces of the Comelec group did not show thirst but rather an iron resolve to have no part of a show staged by an American-backed dictatorship. The spin that we gave it would fling Ronald Reagan’s friend Marcos and Nancy’s friend Imelda out of power and out of the country.

The Comelec walkout group describe themselves as unwitting tools of history. I believe them. History turns on accidents. But accidents must be well prepared for to make them historical events.

And so, in the darkness, as the Comelec girls exited the hall, they were grabbed by men in uniform. Mark Brown and I—alerted to or prescient of what was coming that night had gone to PICC—jumped on the men, shouting to leave the women alone. I tackled one but only managed to wrench something from his hand, an ID card. Oddly, he didn’t even hit me back. Instead he rushed with a woman in his arms to a line of waiting vehicles. Mark and I grabbed a car. But why was one available? We followed the convoy speeding down the boulevard to Baclaran Church into which they vanished. But at the altar, standing tall was US Senator John Kerry, telling us, “That’s as far as you go.”

After we came to power, Cory met with the RAM. Among the young officers was a Colonel Kapunan whose face I recognized from the ID I had snatched. He was there that night, waiting in the darkness, to protect Linda Kapunan if something went wrong. Coincidence? Maybe.

The Comelec walkout may not have been planned by those who carried it out but it was part of a larger design that German theologian Wolfgang Pannenberg described as the intervention of God in history, no longer by His own Hand and Person, but through the unwitting acts of the men and women who make history, wittingly or no, like the women of the 1986 COMELEC WALKOUT. (And so I described it in Cory’s speeches; but why did I study Pannenberg years before the Snap Election and the EDSA people power revolution?)

The COMELEC 35 has not been forgotten. Their defiance haunts, like the ghost of electoral indignation, the automated election law I sponsored; which, I was witless not to realize, removes human agency and therefore human conscience from computerized elections.

Automated elections automate I wonder what—the vote or electoral fraud? In practical terms, we will never know. There is no way to find out. The audit trail is casually treated as meaningless. And there is no way the Comelec will help you to uncover its own fraud.  


Lacierda may yet get his dream of becoming foreign secretary Ellen T. Tordesillas
Posted at 02/10/2016 1:56 AM


By Ellen T. Tordesillas

The resignation of Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, four months before the end of the Aquino administration, may yet pave the way for Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda to realize his dream of becoming foreign secretary.

Not many know Lacierda’s desire to be head of the much-coveted Cabinet position. It was Mar Roxas, the presidential candidate of President Aquino and the Liberal Party, who told an ambassador that Lacierda would be his foreign secretary.

Roxas, the envoy recalled, presented Lacierda to him: “Here’s your future boss.”

The envoy, who was taken aback, replied, “I won’t be with the DFA anymore by that time.”

Funny. The envoy’s reply sounded like “I’m thankful I won’t be there when that disaster happens in the DFA.”

The envoy was thinking that it would happen after 2016 and assuming that Roxas would succeed Aquino.

But that possibility doesn’t seem very likely because in the many surveys conducted of the presidential race for the May 2016 elections, Roxas has never topped one.

Although analysts say the 2016 presidential contest is a close fight. In the latest Pulse Asia survey, where Partido Galing at Puso presidential bet Grace Poe retook the lead from United Nationalist Alliance’s Jejomar Binay, Roxas no longer trailed PDP-Laban’s Rodrigo Duterte. He tied with Duterte in third place. In the latest survey of pollster Junie Laylo conducted last week, which Poe again topped, Roxas already tied with Binay in second place.

But Lacierda need not anchor his dream on the doubtful victory of Roxas in the 2016 elections. He can lobby for the President to appoint him to be acting secretary and enjoy the perks of being the top diplomat in the last four months of the Aquino administration.

READ MORE...

Sources in Malacanang, however, said President Aquino is inclined to appoint one of the career undersecretaries to be acting secretary just like what he did when he appointed Dr. Emmanuel Esguerra as acting socio-economic secretary and director-general of the National Economic and Development Authority to replace Arsenio Balisacan who was appointed as the first chairman of the newly formed Philippine Competition Commission.

There are three undersecretaries who are still active career officers: Laura Q. del Rosario, undersecretary for International Economic Relations; Linglingay F. Lacanlale, undersecretary for administration; and Evan P. Garcia, undersecretary for policy.

It’s likely to be Lula del Rosario (no relation to the outgoing foreign secretary), who competently stirred the substantive part of the Philippine hosting of the 2015 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit last November.

Del Rosario’s resignation is effective March 7. He will still be accompanying President Aquino to the Special ASEAN-US summit in California on Feb. 15 to 16. He is also expected to say his farewell to his ASEAN counterparts during the regional group’s Foreign Minister’s Meeting Retreat in Vientiane, Laos on Feb. 27.

Dubbed by nationalists as “American Boy,” Del Rosario’s stint in the DFA will always be remembered as the lowest point of Philippine-China relations.


The man who saved Makati in 1943 Buddy Gomez Posted at 02/10/2016 11:12 PM

Of the most useful and strategic spoils of war for a successful conquering horde to partake of during World War II in the Philippines, there was San Pedro, Makati’s vast tract of open land that hosted the Nielson Airfield.

This is today the very Central Business District and the surrounding residential communities. The Japanese Imperial Military had confiscated the entire property--aerodrome and facilities--for the use of its Air Force.

In the summer of 1943, the occupying authority summoned the owners of the estate. This time, the invaders were demanding that the property be turned over to them permanently by way of, very evidently, a coerced sale. Their offered price was set at the prevailing government’s assessed valuation, not to mention, looming overhead, the consequent reprisal if the offer were denied. A nerve-wracking vise hostaging the owners.

The patriarch of the owning family had just died a few months earlier. Elders recall, Don Enrique Zobel de Ayala (great grandfather of the current generation of Ayala business leaders, Jaime Augusto and Fernando Zobel de Ayala) passed on with a broken heart, lamenting that as a consequence of the war, the fortune that took generations to build was fast perishing.

Hacienda San Pedro de Makati was next door to Manila.

Although it was mostly marshland, its meager income was from horse feed (zacate) that grew abundantly in the vicinity and the rental from the lease of the Nielson airfield, civil/commercial aviation being at its infancy just before the war. It was already under the control and exclusive use of the vicious enemy.

The property had been owned by the Roxas-Zobel-Ayala clan since the 1850s. The spread was originally a mid-1700s land grant to a childless couple, Jose de Brito and wife, who bequeathed the hacienda to the Jesuits, only to be confiscated by the Spanish Crown following the expulsion of the Order from all Spanish domain in 1767.

What I recall from having read archival material a long time ago was that there were three or four previous owners prior to its last purchase. There was a Marques de Villamediana, a Velez and even a Gomez!

READ MORE...

Portions that had already been sold for development were the early subdivisions of San Andres and Singalong. The Santa Ana racetrack, the Santa Ana Cabaret (world’s largest dance hall) and the Manila South Cemetery were all part of this estate. Apart from the material and the utilitarian, the sentimental value of this spread is sacred, cherished history. And the conquering tyrants wanted to take it away for a token pittance.

DON ALFONSO ZOBEL DE AYALA


Don Alfonso Zóbel de Ayala (left), with his son Jaime Zóbel de Ayala. Photo probably taken sometime in the 1950s. Manila Nostalgia/Paulo Rubio

Don Alfonso Zobel de Ayala, now solely in-charge as Managing Partner after his father’s demise, took on the duress and pressure. He was a mild mannered, a genteel individual, not athletic, more of a moderating moral influence than swashbuckling in corporate affairs. Of course, the property was not for sale! But the pain and anguish was at a steep crescendo requiring him to summon all the strength godly possible to put up a courageous unflinching front which he knew deep inside him was being torn apart bit by bit.

For weeks, summons after summons during which a one-sided negotiations-cum-coercion was being foisted. At one point, hopeless as the matter stood, he yielded with a counter-offer that may have been reasonably acceptable to the unwilling sellers, if only to save themselves from further interminable threats and harassment.

It was a calculated counter-offer by Don Alfonso.

But it was unacceptable to the Japanese. A painful decision to sell was arrived at but the price remained unachieved, for both sides.

I can almost picture him standing before a haughty and chauvinistic military officer talking him down, the grip of a vise tightening with every turn of the screw, Don Alfonso wilting defenselessly, close to surrendering and simply cry. What desperate thoughts must have run through his mind, what fervent prayers he may have offered….how can anybody else know. The strength to stall and to stall was all that was left.

And Don Alfonso took the gamble at a profound cost to his already frail physical and emotional condition. And it paid off!

Weeks after, on October 14, 1943, the Philippines was granted independence by the conquering Empire of Japan.

The Republic of the Philippines, a puppet government, was born with Jose P. Laurel as President. Japanese military plans and priorities had been altered. The summons to appear before the Military negotiator ceased. By a stroke of guts and painfully labored persistence, Hacienda San Pedro de Makati stayed a family heirloom.

The man of that moment is Don Alfonso Zobel de Ayala. He single handedly saved Makati for its destiny.

Had Don Alfonso lost his grip and cool, almost completely drained and had he succumbed to the deathly pressures that hung over him and his family, there would be no Makati today.

When Liberation came, Makati would have become Japanese property. As such, it would have been declared confiscated enemy property with government as custodian. And aren’t we only too familiar with our government’s capabilities! Col. Joseph R. McMicking would have had no vision and no creation. No Ayala as we know it today!

Don Alfonso and brother-in-law Col. McMicking worked swimmingly well together, in fact, a ‘mutual admiration’ duo, they merrily were.

READ: Would you believe: Hollywood, Bulosan and McMicking!

EPILOGUE

Here is my personal epilogue.

I was first presented to these two corporate elders, both baldpates (kalbo) during a sales conference in Baguio. 1962. This is an annual gathering for the Ayala Insurance Group senior executives and budding management trainees, with opportunities for best-foot-forward presentations. In a sense, it was also recruitment/scouting season for the elders to take pick and bet who might be worthy of executive development.

On closing dinner, a Saturday evening, skits, songs and ‘palabas’ were de rigueur. I was called upon and I stood up saying that I had a short limerick dedicated to Don Alfonso and JRM. “Ang kalbo. Ang kalbo, hanggang batok ang no-o.” (The bald has a forehead up to his nape!). Such cheeky effrontery! But it brought the house down.

A few weeks later, I was called to the Ayala offices in Makati (the Insurance companies were still in Binondo). I was informed that I was soon to be transferred to the parent company, Ayala y Compania. I logged 25 beautiful years with the Group. I guess my irreverent sense of humor and self-confidence had merit after all. But of course, I think I did much more!

The last time I had a chat with Don Alfonso was when he was already retired. He was visiting. We were looking out the window of the 5th floor of the Makati Stock Exchange building, facing the still vacant space of Salcedo Village, watching a two-seater Hughes 300 helicopter bobbing up and down in mid air about 80 feet from the ground. He said, shaking his head rather concernedly, “Look at him, almost sixty and wanting to fly another plane!” Col. McMicking was taking helicopter flying lessons a year before his own retirement.

Don Alfonso, a kindly gentle soul!

----------

For comments/reactions: tgomeziii@outlook.com


Not a joke but a worldview: Duterte's response to unionism Inday Espina-Varona
Posted at 02/11/2016 11:10 PM


Inday Espina-Varona

It was unprovoked. It wasn't an off-the-cuff, careless response to a pesky reporter. It was 1:24 minutes, right smack in the middle of his economic agenda, in a speech officially kicking off his presidential campaign.

Rodrigo Duterte has squarely placed unions in his crosshairs. Any talk of him joking or engaging in "hyperbole" is an exercise in delusion.

“I will establish economic zones… iimbitahan ko; dito kayo mag-trabaho… huwag kayong magmamadali. Kayong mga KMU (Kilusang Mayo Uno, the militant labor federation), medyo pigilan na muna ninyo ang mga labor union. Akon a ang nakiki-usap sa inyo. Magkasama tayo sa ideolohiya. Huwag ninyong gawain yan kasi sisirain nyo ang administrasyon ko. Pag-ginawa po ninyo yan, patayin ko kayong lahat. Ang solusyon ko patayan lang. Eh, pagusapan nyo, ayaw eh. We better come to terms with each other. Do not do it now, yang active labor front. Kasi pag-ginawa ninyo, nasisira. Do not do it. Give the Philippines a respite of about 10 years…”

He was talking of "generating jobs, increasing employment," -- included in his "Focus Five" agenda.

Duterte, who has vowed to work for genuine land reform, also aims to establish foreign investment enclaves where capitalist guests can make their own rules and policies – the Constitution be damned.

There is no taking his words out of context. Only the blind would not see the context.

Duterte thinks he is owed thanks for this economic vision. He asks the KMU to repudiate its reason for existence. He wants to transform KMU into some kind of yellow union – “try to stop labor unions.”

He touts a shared “ideology.” Last I checked, only scabs and dictators and their hatchetmen subscribed to union-busting as an ideology.

Duterte makes an appeal. Anybody who doesn’t accept his gracious offer dies. Killing is his solution to anything and anyone that opposes his demand.

Well, let’s put that in perspective.

Do you know that 85 union leaders were murdered in the first seven years of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration?

READ MORE...

In 2007 alone, there were 59 cases of union and human rights violations involving a total of 829 victims. These included the killings of two labor leaders, violent dispersal of picketlines, illegal arrest and detention, torture, grave threats, and enforced disappearances.

In a Bulatlat.org report, the Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) said that from 2001 to August 2007, there were 1,167 union and human rights violations, all in all involving 14,623 victims.

Many of these attacks occurred in Southern Luzon where Mrs. Macapagal-Arroyo’s government dangled the very same thing Duterte wants to offer his foreign investor pals: carte blanche in crafting policies to boost profits, going hammer and tongs against those who bring up the issue of basic human rights.

Duterte vows to instill discipline “for everyone to adhere to the rule of law,” and to strengthen the country's justice system.

You tell me how killing unionists fit in with this. You tell me how killing anybody, how chucking out due process, fits in with the concepts of justice and rule of law.

In case Duterte needs a reminder, many agricultural sectors, especially those under the plantation set-up, have workers paid very low monthly or piecemeal rates. Many of them face the worst labor inequities and labor under conditions that threaten their health.

How does this fit in with a vision of “equitable distribution of wealth” – when workers are told to wait until the rich are content with their profits, before seeking higher wages?

That sounds like the peace of the graveyard. Last I heard that phrase, it was a young Lumad woman warning President Benigno Aquino III that would happen if soldiers and paramilitary troops keep on mowing down anyone who stands in the path of miners and plantation owners.

Read: Slain Lumad leader's child to PNoy: Your peace is of the graveyard

A couple of months back, I reminded people of Nazi Germany, where they first rounded up criminals and deviants, proceeding to communists and Jews, and anyone who dared speak up against mass murder.

We started off shrugging the killings of juvenile delinquents, hailing threats to kill all suspected drug pushers.

Now, we’re into murdering unionists.

Where will it stop?

I understand the support of people who think human rights are an inconvenient nicety. I do not agree with them but understand why they support Duterte.

What I cannot understand is protesting, even risking your life, for the rights of threatened people -- and then joining Duterte on that very slippery slope.

Macapagal-Arroyo’s henchmen didn’t stop with unionists. By the end of her term, the rights watchdog Karapan documented 1,206 killings of members of trade unions, farmer organisations and church based advocacy groups.

The late dictator Ferdinand Marcos claimed he declared Martial Law to stop a then rag-tag band of communists. More than 75,000 human rights complainants and their heirs have filed for compensation. And the communist movement grew into one of Asia's strongest insurgencies during his two-decade dictatorship.

Think about that.


The 3 stages of falling in love with your job according to Charo Santos Andrew Jonathan S. Bagaoisan, ABS-CBN News Posted at 02/14/2016 8:22 AM


Ms. Charo Santos-Concio during the ABS-CBN Kapamilya Awards. Anjo Bagaoisan, ABS-CBN News

In the time of “walang forever”, staying in the same company or line of work for more than 5 years is already a prize.

It may be due to the scarcity of tenured posts, the allure of shifting workplaces for better offers or simply the impatience often ascribed to today’s Millennials.

Whatever the reason, loyalty to a job or an organization these days remains the unheeded advice from the older generation. Many of them grew up seeing ascent in the corporate ladder as the main evidence of success.

But there are professions like journalism and media whose hold on their practitioners is for more than bread and butter. And there are companies whose opportunities can span a spectrum of careers one could explore without leaving their backyard.

Getting to last long in these places is encouraged and in some, rewarded.

At ABS-CBN, they call it the “Kapamilya Awards”, a gala to recognize employees who reached 5-year milestones in their service with the company. They are treated to dinner, performances by ABS-CBN artists and receive a personalized token along with a moment with the executives.

It’s a night deep with meaning for the Kapamilyas being honored. But the meaning has different shades–depending on how long they’ve been “in the service”.

It took Charo Santos-Concio, then ABS-CBN’s President and CEO, to put these and the emotions attached into words when she spoke at the Kapamilya Awards in August 2015.

Whether 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25 years “old”, what do those milestones mean?

The Dreamers

Ms.Charo started with the young–the fresh graduates who enter ABS-CBN’s gates driven by dreams.

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“Baka pangarap na makatapak sa loob ng isang kompanya na ating hinahangaan. Gusto nating maging bahagi ng mundong dating napapanood lang natin sa TV o sa sinehan.

“Nariyan na rin ang pangarap na magamit ang pinag-aralan at makaangat, makapag-abot sa magulang, makapagpaaral ng kapatid, o makaipon. Nariyan na rin ang pangarap na gumaling, na matuto, at balang araw, mapromote at mamuno.”

(“Maybe it’s the dream of stepping into a much-admired company. We want to be part of a world we’ve only seen on TV or in the movies.

“There’s also the dream of using what we’ve learned and get ahead in life, give back to a parent, put a sibling through school or save up. There’s also the dream to become better, to learn and one day, be promoted and lead.”)

For them, she says, the recognition of reaching the 5 year mark is a “validation for a job well done.”

The Fighters

But the years that pile on will mature people and change their priorities, Ms. Charo said. The dreams become tangible: a car, a house, or a family of one’s own. Along with a few first triumphs, the challenges become tougher.

“No life in ABS-CBN is complete without risks and failures, trials, crises, painful lessons.

“Darating at darating ang panahon na masasaktan ka, and you will spend time in the dark night of your soul. At dito, maitatanong mo sa iyong sarili, ‘Sino ba ako?’ ‘Ano ba ang mahalaga para sa akin?’ ‘Ano ba ang gusto kong marating sa buhay ko?’”

(“The time will surely come when you will get hurt and you will spend time in the dark night of your soul. These are the times you will get to ask yourself, ‘Who am I? What do I value?’ ‘What do I want to achieve in life?’”)

While some confronted with these questions will pass on blame–be it to other people, the budget, the audience research, the company or even fate—finding the answer requires courage and determination.

“All of us in big and small ways have been called to heroism. Life in ABS-CBN calls for a fair amount of sacrifice. Nobody promises us an easy life. We could not have succeeded if not for the risks and the failures. We will not be where we are now if not for the sacrifices we all gave to our community.”

And the fight, she said, is not without finding comrades in one's team—and finding one's heart.

“Napamahal na sila sa inyo. Ilang beses na nila kayong sinalo, ilang beses niyo na rin silang sinalo. Saan ka pa hahanap ng ganitong klaseng pagsasamahan? Nandito ang ikalawang pamilya mo. At saka mo mare-realize na nandito rin pala ang puso mo.”

(“You’ve grown to love them. They’ve watched your back a number of times and you’ve done the same for them. Where will you find this kind of camaraderie? Your second family is here, and you will realize that your heart is also here.”)

Passing this milestone after 10 or so years symbolizes the fighters’ heroism, fighting spirit, sacrifice, willingness to break through, to win against all odds, sometimes to do even the impossible, Ms.Charo said.

“And this is also a message–this is where you are meant to be. Everyone you love is here. What you love to do, you’re doing it here.”

Hopefully, the fighters would be inspired to charge ahead.

The Veterans

On a night deep with meaning, it was also a meaningful speech for Ms. Charo, who at the end of that year would be passing on the reins of the Philippines's largest multimedia company.

She moved on to the last and smallest group of service awardees that night—the veterans like her–and could not help but also reflect on her own 28 years in ABS-CBN.

Soon, her voice broke, the pauses came and the tears flowed, punctuated with applause from her listeners.

“Magbabalik-tingin din kayo tulad ko at itatanong ninyo sa sarili niyo, ‘Nagdaan na ba ang lahat ng mga taon?’ Napakalaking parte pala ng buhay ko, binigay ko sa ABS-CBN. (pause) Naitawid ko pala.’”

(“Like me, you would look back and ask yourselves: ‘Did all those years pass? I’ve given a very big part of my life to ABS-CBN. [pause] I was able to make it.”)

“And I ask myself, did I really deserve all the breaks (pause) that I got? Or is it the work of someone bigger than me?”

Most, if not all of these veterans were also pioneers at ABS-CBN like Ms. Charo. They started units that expanded and seeded concepts that blazed trails in the industry.

“The beautiful thing is that, we look back not only with pride but with a deep sense of humility.

“We do not see our successes as our personal achievements, but as the product of joining hands of the whole community. We could not have done it alone. We need one another all those years. We needed grace, and we needed God, however we may perceive him to be.”

The veterans have also made peace with the failures, pains and regrets of their past, she said. To them, it was all part of the big story.

“And then we realize, ang buong buhay pala natin, all along ay isang call to service.

(And then we realize our whole lives all along were after all a call to service.)

“We have been called to serve the Filipinos. And 15, or 20, or 25 years ago, we said yes. We made a choice. We invested our hearts, minds and spirits. In our own small and big ways, we served them, and we served them well.”

They’ve now reached the stage where they want to pay forward and ensure “future generations will be in a better place because of us,” she said.

To her, it is a time to teach those who would continue what they’ve started, to give back for the gratitude of all those years spent in service.

“Ang parangal na ito ay isang malaking pasasalamat, hindi lamang ng ABS-CBN kundi pasasalamat din ng bawat Pilipinong pinaglingkuran ninyo.

“Mahirap pong ipaliwanag… Walang salitang sapat. Walang trophy na sapat. Siguro po, maikukumpara ang gabing ito sa isang mainit na yakap, isang tapik sa balikat, o isang pagpisil ng kamay.

(“This recognition is a big ‘Thank you’, not just from ABS-CBN but from every Filipino you have served.

“It is difficult to explain… No words, no trophy would suffice. Maybe this night could be compared to a warm hug, a tap on the shoulder, or a firm grasp of the hand.”)

CSC, as she is called throughout the company, called ABS-CBN “a place of love” where she grew, learned and was loved.

Falling in love with one’s job or profession won’t be all warm and fuzzy. As trailblazers like her will confess, it will involve getting heartbroken, being confronted with your weaknesses, facing up to one’s responsibilities, and taking the trials and challenges for their lessons.

And through it all, one would see the people who have gone along for the ride, helped push ahead for one day longer until one can look back and say along with CSC:

“Yes, we did it, and it was not just a job well done. It was a life well-lived.”

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


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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