PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE: Since 1997 © Copyright (PHNO) http://newsflash.org


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


FROM MALAYA

By NESTOR MATA: AQUINO RATTLED BY MARCOS POLITICAL INSURGENCE'


MARCH 1 -By NESTOR MATA
PRESIDENT Noynoy Aquino, soon-to-depart from Malacañang, must been rattled by a New York Times International story headlined “30 Years After Revolution, Some Filipinos Yearn for ‘Golden Age’ of Marcos.” Instead of talking about the significance of the EDSA Day commemoration last Thursday, he devoted his speech to attacking Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. In the NY Times story, well-researched and written by Fred Whaley and published February 23, it was reported that “as Filipinos were preparing for the 30th anniversary of ‘People Power’, the Marcos family legacy is undergoing a political renaissance... Some of many Filipinos claim that the time of Marcos rule was a ‘golden age’ of peace and prosperity.”  “The Marcos family’s political resurgence,” the report continued, “is being led by Senator Bongbong Marcos, a popular senator, who is running for vice president in the May 9 national elections...Bongbong has built a coalition from his father’s remaining supporters and young people who were not alive when martial law was declared in the 1970s, He has drawn close to popular politicians like Manny Pacquiao and Miriam Defensor Santiago.” The report was so vivid, and the language colorful, that President Aquino forgot to talk in his speech about the meaning of EDSA Day and instead disputed the “golden age” perception and attacked Senator Marcos. He was so jolted by the report about the increasing number of people supporting Bongbong’s candidacy that he must have told his propaganda mouthpieces to mount a campaign to blunt the young Marcos’ mounting popularity. Malacañang’s propagandists quickly produced a kind of junk book on martial law. One spokesman also told media that the country is more successful now than it was during the Marcos years.” We are known as Asia’s rising star, an investment-grade economy and an example of good governance,” he claimed. Alas, as one political observer bluntly put it, “if a serious comparison were to be made between the record of Marcos and he combined records of Cory Cojuango-Aquino and Noynoy Aquino, it would prove to be a no contest. Up to now, the Aquino administration still has not matched the achievement of 8 percent GDP growth (twice) during the martial law years of Marcos.”  READ MORE...

ALSO: By Rey Arcilla - DIGONG CAN AND WILL DO IT


MARCH 1 -DIGONG DUTERTE
But first, for the record, I have never met the man. I know a couple of good people who are supposedly close to him. That’s it. Based on what I have heard, read and seen of him in the media, I believe that of all the presidential candidates, he is the only one who can successfully tackle the most serious ailments that afflict this country – corruption, the drug menace and criminality. I also believe he is the only one who can instill discipline among the populace, not out of fear but because of respect and through good example. I am also confident that he will appoint to his cabinet only people of integrity, competence and dedication and that he will not hesitate to fire anyone of them who later does not measure up. In the sunset of my years, what I truly long for is to see change, change for the better in this country. I believe Digong can and will do it. If I turn out to be wrong, well… everybody makes mistakes. *** President Noynoy Aquino has urged the populace not to allow the Marcoses to return to Malacañang and expressed his concern that Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. might be a dictator like his father, the late former President. There is a “disconnect” there somewhere. Last I heard, Marcos, Jr. is running for the post of Vice President. His mother, Imelda, is running again for the same congressional seat in Ilocos Norte, and his sister, Imee, is going for another term as Governor of the same province. Even if Marcos, Jr. wins the vice presidency, he will not be going anywhere near Malacañang. And everyone knows that a vice president has no real power and is a mere spare tire who takes over in case the president dies or is incapacitated. But that would be God’s will and there is nothing that anyone can do about it. Is Noynoy suffering from paranoia? READ MORE...

ALSO: By Dahli Aspillera - OSCAR WINNERS FOR SPOTLIGHT, DI CAPRIO


MARCH 4 -By Dahli Aspillera
SPOTLIGHT” tells the riveting true story of the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation that would rock Boston, USA and cause a crisis in one of the world’s oldest and most trusted institutions, the Roman Catholic Church. When the newspaper’s tenacious “Spotlight” team of reporters delves intoe, their year’s investigation uncovers a decades-long cover-up at the highest levels of Catholic Boston’s religious, legal, and government establishment, touching off a wave of revelations around the world. The book and movie Spotlight is last year’s American biographical crime drama that has won this year’s Oscar best film. The story and investigation was into widespread and systemic child sex abuse in the Boston area by numerous Roman Catholic priests. It is based on a series of stories by the actual Spotlight Team that earned The Globe the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. Boston Globe journalists uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese. The story by The Boston Globe’s oldest continuously operating newspaper investigative journalist unit in the United States. Spotlight ‘s riveting true story by the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigators rock Boston and cause a crisis in one of the world’s oldest and most trusted institutions. When the newspaper’s tenacious “Spotlight” team of reporters delves into allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church, it uncovers a wave of revelation. The movie showed for too few days to the public in the Philippines, taken out of the theaters lickity-split, that nobody I know got to see it, but DVDs are zapped out by the colorums, and selling fast. *** Leonardo Di Caprio, finally Best Actor after many years of simply being nominated, finished his Oscar-acceptance speech, with a climate-change plea: “Making The Revenant was about man’s relationship to the natural world, a world that we collectively felt in 2015 as the hottest year in recorded history....Our production needed to move to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow. Climate change is real. It is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Dody Lacuna - FORGIVE
[Three decades of deep political and personal strife would somehow start to vanish and yet, it would be somehow difficult to project how the events would ensue. Aquino would not restrict the criminal and civil cases against the Marcoses, but they would be seen in public in warm and sincere fellowship. Tall order for Aquino and sister Kris who seem not be at peace with themselves. Forgiveness without restitution and justice may be out of this world.]


MARCH 4 -By DODY LACUNA
The news media would carry what it always stood by as the main items in the life of any iconic figure of history citing his tenure and accomplishments, and invariably nothing more. The internment of the remains of President Elpidio Quirino at the Libingan ng mga Bayani brought back the character of the man which has been lost in the generations that followed him. The Japanese slaughtered his wife and three of his five children during the liberation of Manila. When he became president after the war he granted amnesty to some 170 Japanese interred at the Bilibid Prison. After tearfully expressing his own deep and unabated personal grief over the loss of his loved ones, Quirino then explained he did not want his hatred for the Japanese to be inherited by the present and coming generations. He owed it to his countrymen and also to his loved ones to forgive the Japanese - his avowed enemies. Quirino’s political allies and nearly his whole Cabinet protested his decision. The release of the prisoners was an overwhelming sight as they threw themselves at the feet of their captors and wept for weeks in gratitude at their unbelievable fate. All over Japan and until today, Quirino is hailed a hero of the people, the only Filipino accorded with such with an extraordinary distinction. Some say indeed he triumphed over justice by not seeking it. President Cory should have seen the nobility of the grand gesture and tried to make it shine again as she directed the start of the government peace talks with the communist rebels led by CCP chairman and Founder Joma Sison. If it was easy for her to empathize with the NPAs whose members and commanders she ordered freed, she could not, however, bring herself to work out a reconciliation between the military and the rebels. Her cabinet was almost packed with leftists who abhorred and distrusted the military many top officers of whom were Marcos-CIA friends. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Ellen Tordesillas - VERA FILES FACT CHECK, 'IS THAT SO?'
[In VERA Files, “Is that so,” we will make sure that the candidate’s statements from official sources (press release, press statement, speech, official Facebook or Twitter account.) are accurate and factual. If from a secondary source, we will check it against the transcript, audio or video containing the statement. If there are statements by candidates that you think are false, send them to us and together we will check them against official records. This way we help lessen the lies that pollute our environment.]


MARCH 4 -By Ellen Tordesillas
In the candidates efforts to boost their credentials to the public or to hide unpleasant information about them, they tell stories, some true, some false. There is no dearth of image-specialists that candidates can tap to re-package themselves to what appeals to the voters. Packaging is the thing. Never mind the truth. Voting for a candidate is no different from buying a merchandise. You want to get the real deal. When buying honey, you want honey syrup made by bees. Not a thick syrup that is half sugar. To help voters see beyond the nice packaging of the candidates, VERA Files is doing fact check. We have titled this project, “Is that so?” and this is how it works: We check the candidates’ statements against facts from official data and other sources. We know that many times, there is a problem with reporting. There have been a number of reports where the story’s headline is not supported by the candidate’s quote. Just what happened to a newspaper’s story that presidential candidate Grace Poe was “open to allowing the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani, if she becomes President.” A closer reading of the report, however, showed that Poe never mentioned Libingan ng Bayani. All she said was, “President Marcos should be given a proper burial already, wherever that may be. My opinion is based on a law, which still has to be clearly understood, which recognizes the victims of human rights abuses during that (Marcos’) time.”  READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

AQUINO RATTLED BY MARCOS ‘POLITICAL RESURGENCE’


By NESTOR MATA

MANILA, MARCH 7, 2016 (MALAYA) By NESTOR MATA March 01, 2016 - PRESIDENT Noynoy Aquino, soon-to-depart from Malacañang, must been rattled by a New York Times International story headlined “30 Years After Revolution, Some Filipinos Yearn for ‘Golden Age’ of Marcos.” Instead of talking about the significance of the EDSA Day commemoration last Thursday, he devoted his speech to attacking Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.

In the NY Times story, well-researched and written by Fred Whaley and published February 23, it was reported that “as Filipinos were preparing for the 30th anniversary of ‘People Power’, the Marcos family legacy is undergoing a political renaissance... Some of many Filipinos claim that the time of Marcos rule was a ‘golden age’ of peace and prosperity.”

“The Marcos family’s political resurgence,” the report continued, “is being led by Senator Bongbong Marcos, a popular senator, who is running for vice president in the May 9 national elections...Bongbong has built a coalition from his father’s remaining supporters and young people who were not alive when martial law was declared in the 1970s, He has drawn close to popular politicians like Manny Pacquiao and Miriam Defensor Santiago.”

The report was so vivid, and the language colorful, that President Aquino forgot to talk in his speech about the meaning of EDSA Day and instead disputed the “golden age” perception and attacked Senator Marcos. He was so jolted by the report about the increasing number of people supporting Bongbong’s candidacy that he must have told his propaganda mouthpieces to mount a campaign to blunt the young Marcos’ mounting popularity.

Malacañang’s propagandists quickly produced a kind of junk book on martial law. One spokesman also told media that the country is more successful now than it was during the Marcos years.” We are known as Asia’s rising star, an investment-grade economy and an example of good governance,” he claimed.

Alas, as one political observer bluntly put it, “if a serious comparison were to be made between the record of Marcos and he combined records of Cory Cojuango-Aquino and Noynoy Aquino, it would prove to be a no contest. Up to now, the Aquino administration still has not matched the achievement of 8 percent GDP growth (twice) during the martial law years of Marcos.”

READ MORE...

It most probably dawned on Aquino and his image-makers that all the skirmishing will make Bongbong popular, and possibly unstoppable in his bid for the vice presidency of the land, and so they have stopped their propaganda against him.

Still, many others have reacted adversely to the Palace propaganda. One noted that “Aquino’s style is to tell a lie and repeat it all over again and again, while another said that Aquino has lambasted the Marcos family and in every failure of his administration he would blame Marcos and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as the reason for it. And still another asked Aquino, “Can you honestly say that you really looked after the welfare of the poor?”

These reactions echoed the same theme of pundits, critics, and political enemies about President Aquino ever since he came to power six years ago to this day. And that is that “he has been caught in lies about his achievements,” that “he lied and lied and lied some more” and that “he comes across as a massive liar”!

They have cited instances of the President’s lies. One that “fewer Filipinos are poor today” but this is lie because it conveys the false impression that his administration is winning the war on poverty when the reverse is true; he boasted about reforms in the national budgeting process but failed to mention his disgraced Disbursement Acceleration Program that was legally barred by the Supreme court; and more self-aggrandizing propaganda that is not true. As one pundit put it bluntly, “perhaps he really believes the lies he is telling!”

***

Quote of the Day: “A lie is to present false information with the intention of deceiving and to convey a false image and impression.” – Webster.


DIGONG CAN AND WILL DO IT By Rey O. Arcilla March 01, 2016 SEVERAL people have asked me why I am so supportive of President-to-be (unless he is cheated) Rodrigo Roa Duterte.


DIGONG DUTERTE

But first, for the record, I have never met the man. I know a couple of good people who are supposedly close to him. That’s it.

Based on what I have heard, read and seen of him in the media, I believe that of all the presidential candidates, he is the only one who can successfully tackle the most serious ailments that afflict this country – corruption, the drug menace and criminality.

I also believe he is the only one who can instill discipline among the populace, not out of fear but because of respect and through good example.

I am also confident that he will appoint to his cabinet only people of integrity, competence and dedication and that he will not hesitate to fire anyone of them who later does not measure up.

In the sunset of my years, what I truly long for is to see change, change for the better in this country. I believe Digong can and will do it.

If I turn out to be wrong, well… everybody makes mistakes.

***

President Noynoy Aquino has urged the populace not to allow the Marcoses to return to Malacañang and expressed his concern that Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. might be a dictator like his father, the late former President.

There is a “disconnect” there somewhere. Last I heard, Marcos, Jr. is running for the post of Vice President. His mother, Imelda, is running again for the same congressional seat in Ilocos Norte, and his sister, Imee, is going for another term as Governor of the same province.

Even if Marcos, Jr. wins the vice presidency, he will not be going anywhere near Malacañang. And everyone knows that a vice president has no real power and is a mere spare tire who takes over in case the president dies or is incapacitated. But that would be God’s will and there is nothing that anyone can do about it.

Is Noynoy suffering from paranoia?

READ MORE...

The dictionary installed in my Mac-Mini defines “paranoia” thus: a mental condition characterized by delusions of persecution, unwarranted jealousy, or exaggerated self-importance, typically worked into an organized system. It may be an aspect of chronic personality disorder, of drug abuse, or of a serious condition such as schizophrenia in which the person loses touch with reality.

***

A Malacañang functionary by the name of Manuel Quezon 3rd asserts that the Aquino administration is very concerned about the killing of journalists but there is nothing it can do to hasten the resolution of such cases.

“It’s with the courts,” he said. “There have been many instances when we have all been waiting for justice and a resolution because the process at the courts is very slow. But the courts are independent, so the government can’t do anything about it.”

The government can’t?! I don’t buy that. If it wants to, it can!

The power of the presidency in this country is so overwhelming that, as shown in many instances especially during Noynoy’s watch, it can influence and overpower both the legislature and the judiciary by means fair or foul.

So, please, Mr. Quezon, don’t give us that cow dung.

There have been 31 journalists killed since Noynoy assumed office in 2010. Very few, if any, of the cases have been resolved.

***

First, China took over Mischief Reef and built a military garrison on it; then reneged on an agreement to withdraw simultaneously from Scarborough Shoal; then did reclamation works on several isles and atolls, built airstrips on them capable of handling commercial aircraft and jet fighters; then positioned military contingents on them; and then installed surface to air missiles (SAMs) on one of them and radar facilities on another.

Except the one where the SAMs were installed, every one of the isles and atolls referred to above are within our Exclusive Economic Zone as stipulated under the UN Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS) of which both China and the Philippines are signatories.

And China says we are “provocative”?! My, my… Please!!!

***

The Asean foreign ministers held their annual retreat in Vientiane, Laos, last week.

The joint statement issued after the meeting said the ministers “remained seriously concerned over recent and ongoing developments and took note of the concerns expressed by some members on the land reclamations and escalation of activities” in the South China Sea. (“took note of the concerns expressed by some members…” Where in the world is Asean centrality there?)

This time, at least, the ministers agreed to seek a meeting with China over the matter, although no date or venue had been set.

I think it would be a major breakthrough if that meeting pushes through. China has always maintained that she would only agree to bilateral discussions with the various claimants of the disputed areas.

***

Years ago, I suggested in this space that the President should no longer re-appoint officials who have been rejected or bypassed by the Commission on Appointment (CA) at least three times.

I made the suggestion in the wake of the failure of several Noynoy appointees to get confirmed, e.g., Leila de Lima as justice secretary, Jericho Petilla as energy secretary, Heidi Mendoza as COA commissioner, etc.

I am glad that the House of Representatives committee on revision of laws has endorsed a bill declaring that a presidential appointee not confirmed by the CA for three adjournments would no longer be eligible for reappointment by the President.

To be fair, though, the approval or rejection by the CA of nominees must be based mainly on their qualification or lack of it for the job. There have been cases in the past where this criterion has not been followed.

***

Last week, I wrote:

“Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales has affirmed her order for the dismissal last July 24 for grave misconduct of the director and five others of the National Printing Office (NPO).

“I’m glad that chief presidential spokesman Sonny Coloma, who has jurisdiction over the NPO, said he will implement the dismissal order.

“Immediately, I hope.

“The Partido ng Manggagawa said that the continued stay of the six casts doubt on the printing of the official ballots to be used in the May 9 elections.”

Has the Ombudsman’s order been implemented, Mr. Coloma, Sir?

***

Reminders (for Noynoy):

1) Filing of charges against officials of the National Food Authority (NFA) during Arroyo’s illegitimate regime. Noynoy himself said on several occasions that there is documentary evidence to prove the venalities in the past in that agency. That was more than five and a half years ago!

2) Order GSIS chief Robert “Pretty Boy” Vergara to report to him on COA’s findings that:

(a) Vergara received the obscenely excessive compensation of P16.36 million in 2012 making him the highest paid government servant then. He was also the highest paid in 2013 with P12.09 million and again in 2014 with about the same amount.

(b) That about three years ago, at least P4.13 billion in contributions and loan payments made by 12 government offices, maybe more by now, to the GSIS had not been credited to the offices as of Dec. 31, 2011.

COA also said that the amount of unrecorded remittances could go much higher because only 36 agencies have at that time responded out of the 186 that were sent confirmation requests by government auditors. Of the 36, 27 confirmed “discrepancies” in their premium and loan payments ledgers when compared with those of the GSIS.

There are three questions being raised when remittances, or parts thereof, of government agencies are not recorded by the GSIS on time: a) Where are these huge sums “parked” in the meantime?; b) Do they earn interest?; and c) To where (whom?) does the interest, if any, go?

Pray tell, Mr. Vergara, what is the present status of these funds, including those that may have been remitted since and not yet recorded by the GSIS? How long do you think you can “dedma” these questions?

I believe it is time for COA to follow up on what Vergara has done on the above findings so that affected GSIS members would know the status of their contributions!

Maybe the GSIS Board chairman, Renato de Guzman, could also look into this?

In this connection, I would like to address this question to COA Chief Michael Aguinaldo: “Is Vergara one of the sacred cows in Noynoy’s coterie whom you wouldn’t dare investigate?”

***

Today is the 291st day of the ninth year of Jonas Burgos’ disappearance.

I dread to think of how many more years it will take before Jonas’ disappearance is finally resolved. It is beginning to look more and more like the next administration will have to be reminded of it too. In the meantime, it would be interesting to know what our Commission on Human Rights and the Department of Justice are doing about it.

***

From an internet friend:

The other night I was invited out for a night with “the girls.” I told my husband that I would be home by midnight. “I promise!”

Well, the hours passed and the margaritas went down way too easy. Around 3 a.m., a bit blitzed, I headed home. Just as I got in the door, the cuckoo clock in the hall started up and cuckooed three times.

Quickly realizing my husband would probably wake up, I cuckooed another nine times. I was really proud of myself for coming up with such a quick-witted solution, even after drinking so much.

The next morning my husband asked me what time I got in, and I told him midnight. He didn’t seem disturbed at all. Whew! I Got away with that one!

Then he said, “We need a new cuckoo clock.” When I asked him why, he said, “Well, last night our clock cuckooed three times, then said, “Oh, crap,” cuckooed 4 more times, cleared its throat, cuckooed another 3 times, giggled, cuckooed twice more, and then tripped over the cat”.


OSCARS FOR 'SPOTLIGHT', DI CAPRIO By Dahli Aspillera March 04, 2016


By Dahli Aspillera

SPOTLIGHT” tells the riveting true story of the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation that would rock Boston, USA and cause a crisis in one of the world’s oldest and most trusted institutions, the Roman Catholic Church. When the newspaper’s tenacious “Spotlight” team of reporters delves intoe, their year’s investigation uncovers a decades-long cover-up at the highest levels of Catholic Boston’s religious, legal, and government establishment, touching off a wave of revelations around the world.

The book and movie Spotlight is last year’s American biographical crime drama that has won this year’s Oscar best film. The story and investigation was into widespread and systemic child sex abuse in the Boston area by numerous Roman Catholic priests. It is based on a series of stories by the actual Spotlight Team that earned The Globe the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. Boston Globe journalists uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese. The story by The Boston Globe’s oldest continuously operating newspaper investigative journalist unit in the United States.

Spotlight ‘s riveting true story by the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigators rock Boston and cause a crisis in one of the world’s oldest and most trusted institutions. When the newspaper’s tenacious “Spotlight” team of reporters delves into allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church, it uncovers a wave of revelation.

The movie showed for too few days to the public in the Philippines, taken out of the theaters lickity-split, that nobody I know got to see it, but DVDs are zapped out by the colorums, and selling fast.

***

Leonardo Di Caprio, finally Best Actor after many years of simply being nominated, finished his Oscar-acceptance speech, with a climate-change plea:

“Making The Revenant was about man’s relationship to the natural world, a world that we collectively felt in 2015 as the hottest year in recorded history....Our production needed to move to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow. Climate change is real. It is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.

READ MORE...

“We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters or the big corporations, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people who will be most affected by this, for our children’s children, and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed. I thank you all for this amazing award tonight. Let us not take this planet for granted.” Relating it to the upcoming presidential election: “If you don’t believe in climate change, you don’t believe in modern science or truth and you’ll be on the wrong side of this issue....We need to vote for leaders who recognize the truth and will do something about it.”

***

The UN Women (United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women is inviting media to the “Presentation of the First-Ever Data on Sexual Harassment and SVAWG in public” and media launch of “Lighting the Way to Safe Cities.”

Also hosting is the local government of Quezon on March 7, 2016 at the QC Museum, Quezon Memorial Circle.

To kick off the month-long celebration of National Women’s Month is the visual lighting spectacle to light up Quezon City skyline. Participating are more than a thousand supporters on the cause of women’s safety in the city.

Sexual harrasment and sexual violence against women and girls (SVAWG) remains a challenge; victimized on the way to school, work, on streets, and in other public spaces. The lighting ceremony aims to raise national awareness on the issue.

The program will include the presentation of the first-ever data on SVAWG in the country--the real scale of the problem and the different kinds of street harassment that women have to endure while moving around our cities.


FORGIVE By DODY LACUNA March 04, 2016


By DODY LACUNA

The news media would carry what it always stood by as the main items in the life of any iconic figure of history citing his tenure and accomplishments, and invariably nothing more.

The internment of the remains of President Elpidio Quirino at the Libingan ng mga Bayani brought back the character of the man which has been lost in the generations that followed him. The Japanese slaughtered his wife and three of his five children during the liberation of Manila. When he became president after the war he granted amnesty to some 170 Japanese interred at the Bilibid Prison. After tearfully expressing his own deep and unabated personal grief over the loss of his loved ones, Quirino then explained he did not want his hatred for the Japanese to be inherited by the present and coming generations.

He owed it to his countrymen and also to his loved ones to forgive the Japanese - his avowed enemies. Quirino’s political allies and nearly his whole Cabinet protested his decision. The release of the prisoners was an overwhelming sight as they threw themselves at the feet of their captors and wept for weeks in gratitude at their unbelievable fate. All over Japan and until today, Quirino is hailed a hero of the people, the only Filipino accorded with such with an extraordinary distinction. Some say indeed he triumphed over justice by not seeking it.

President Cory should have seen the nobility of the grand gesture and tried to make it shine again as she directed the start of the government peace talks with the communist rebels led by CCP chairman and Founder Joma Sison. If it was easy for her to empathize with the NPAs whose members and commanders she ordered freed, she could not, however, bring herself to work out a reconciliation between the military and the rebels. Her cabinet was almost packed with leftists who abhorred and distrusted the military many top officers of whom were Marcos-CIA friends.

READ MORE...

By weaving her powerful maternal influence she could have temporarily set the cries for justice aside and and instead bring together leaders of the two sides under a commission she herself could have presided. But, the crucial factor of persuading the military to seek forgiveness from its adversary it has repeatedly brutalized for many years was beyond her.

The strangest thing happened to our friend Mon Tulfo. Mon, of course, is not the type to back out from any physical encounter. In his newspaper column he writes about struggling with bitterness over a physical confrontation with Raymart Santiago and his friends at the NAIA. He says he had planned to get even and contacted an underground figure to do the job. He spent sleepless nights and had developed persistent back pains. Ultimately he gave up the plan and just forgave and forgot. He said he never felt better after a burden had strangely lifted from his chest.

Like Tulfo, many of us think that the Aquinos cannot do a Quirino. Forgiveness for the Marcoses from a family he oppressed and from a sitting president whose father was believed ordered murdered by the hated dictator is not forthcoming. But, we should be awed at the impact of such a remarkable prospect.

Three decades of deep political and personal strife would somehow start to vanish and yet, it would be somehow difficult to project how the events would ensue. Aquino would not restrict the criminal and civil cases against the Marcoses, but they would be seen in public in warm and sincere fellowship. Tall order for Aquino and sister Kris who seem not be at peace with themselves. Forgiveness without restitution and justice may be out of this world.


IS THAT SO? By Ellen Tordesillas March 04, 2016 CREATIVE image makers are very much in demand this election campaign.


By Ellen Tordesillas

In the candidates efforts to boost their credentials to the public or to hide unpleasant information about them, they tell stories, some true, some false. There is no dearth of image-specialists that candidates can tap to re-package themselves to what appeals to the voters.

Packaging is the thing. Never mind the truth.

Voting for a candidate is no different from buying a merchandise. You want to get the real deal. When buying honey, you want honey syrup made by bees. Not a thick syrup that is half sugar.

To help voters see beyond the nice packaging of the candidates, VERA Files is doing fact check.

We have titled this project, “Is that so?” and this is how it works: We check the candidates’ statements against facts from official data and other sources.

We know that many times, there is a problem with reporting. There have been a number of reports where the story’s headline is not supported by the candidate’s quote. Just what happened to a newspaper’s story that presidential candidate Grace Poe was “open to allowing the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani, if she becomes President.”


Presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares during the Presidential Debates 2016 held in Capitol University in Cagayan de Oro City . PRESIDENTIAL candidate Sen. Grace Poe made it clear on Saturday that the decision whether or not to give former President Ferdinand Marcos a hero’s burial must be “in accordance with the law.” “The decision should be harmonized with the intentions of Republic Act No. 10368 on the reparation and recognition of human rights violations during the Marcos regime,” Poe said in a statement. INQUIRER PHOTO/LYN RILLON

A closer reading of the report, however, showed that Poe never mentioned Libingan ng Bayani. All she said was, “President Marcos should be given a proper burial already, wherever that may be. My opinion is based on a law, which still has to be clearly understood, which recognizes the victims of human rights abuses during that (Marcos’) time.”

READ MORE...

In VERA Files, “Is that so,” we will make sure that the candidate’s statements from official sources (press release, press statement, speech, official Facebook or Twitter account.)

If from a secondary source, we will check it against the transcript, audio or video containing the statement.

In fact-checking, aside from official data, we will also check the candidate’s statements from his or her previous statements. We’ll see if he or she is consistent with his or her stand on issues.

READ MORE...

Here is the first fact-check item:

Poe says PH 5th largest coconut producer.

Statement: During the first Comelec-sponsored Pilipinas Debates 2016 on Feb. 21, independent presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe said, “Kailangan na po ng replanting ng mga niyog. Sapagka’t tayo po ang fifth largest producer ng niyog sa buong mundo, pero hindi natin sila binibigyan ng sapat na suporta (We need to replant coconut trees. We are the fifth largest coconut producer in the world, but we’re not giving them enough support.)”

Poe was responding to a question about her plans for the food security of 2.6 million families who say they are poor. (Source: GMA’s Transcript: Round 2 of PiliPinas Debates 2016)

FACT: Latest data from the Food and Agriculture Organization show that the Philippines was the second largest producer of coconut in the world in 2014 (14,696,280 tonnes or metric tons) after Indonesia (19,102,130). The fifth largest producer was Sri Lanka, not the Philippines.

The Philippines was the top coconut producer in the world for the most part of the 1960s and 1970s, according to FAO statistics from 1961 to 2014, but would rank second in most years since 1984. (Source: FAOSTAT)

This was done by UP students Shernielyn Dela Cruz, Mark Kevin Reginio and Potre Leila Menchani Tilendo. They are journalism majors and they fact-checking candidates for their Journalism Ethics [J110)] course taught by VERA Files trustee Yvonne T. Chua.

If there are statements by candidates that you think are false, send them to us and together we will check them against official records. This way we help lessen the lies that pollute our environment.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2015 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE