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

FROM THE MANILA TIMES

EDITORIAL: LABORING TO UNDO THEIR FOOLISHNESS


MARCH 16 --PNoy's Malacanan logo -The news we get from the Aquino people is that Cabinet members and their different departments and offices are in the throes of “getting things done” or at least “getting things started” before this performance-handicapped administration is over three months from now. This is because their leader, BS Aquino, has realized that history will see very few achievements of his six-year term. When this President started, he allowed himself to be ruled by the grossly mistaken and ignorant notion that most of the ongoing projects of his predecessor were graft-ridden. So he ruthlessly cancelled many projects that were about to be launched. And he suspended the work on projects already ongoing. Among these was the P18.7 billion Laguna Lake Rehabilitation and Development Project, which was contracted to a 150-year-old Belgian dredging company, one the world’s best and accomplished in its field. As a result of this cancellation, Belgium filed a suit against the Philippine government and diplomatic ties with that old-friend-country soured up. DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson in 2010 cancelled 19 approved negotiated projects worth P934.1 million, funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Because of the cancellation local government officials complained that their areas suffered from severe flooding and millions of pesos in crop damage. Other major projects were cancelled or suspended in 2010. The billions that Congress had properly appropriated for these projects of the Macapagal-Arroyo presidency were then turned into DAP funds and allocated for projects that in President Aquino’s mind were priority activities. Because of the cancellation and suspension in 2010 of projects that had been launched earlier by the Gloria Arroyo administration, there was a lull in spending–from the time shortly after President Aquino assumed the presidency until after he and Sec. Abad made their DAP operational. That lull in spending is what made the GDP growth rate sink from 7.63 percent in 2010 to 3.64 percent in 2011. READ MORE...

ALSO: EDITORIAL - Unconscionable thoughtlessness and lack of charity and concern


MARCH 19 -Lights along Taft Avenue are seen through the open doors of a moving Light Rail Transit train Thursday night in this image taken from a video posted by James Cubelo. PHILSTAR HEADLINE: The Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) received flak from netizens after one of its trains was allowed to run on Thursday night even if its doors were open. In two one-minute videos posted on Facebook by James Cubelo, 19, a graduating student of the Technological University of the Philippines, he likened the “crazy LRT experience” to a death-defying ride at an amusement park. PHILSTAR FILE LRMC, the new managers of the LRT, their “bosses” at the DOTC, and their Topmost Boss President BS Aquino once again displayed for all to see—and shudder from—their unconscionable thoughtlessness and lack of charity and concern for the safety and welfare of ordinary people. They allowed for days the door of a carriage of an LRT1 train to be out of order while letting that train go on its merry way everyday. We will use the words of our country’s most patriotic association of scientists and technical professionals to describe this abominable negligence and lack of simple concern for the well-being of the millions—including children and senior citizens—who use the LTR1 trains.AGHAM, the scientist activist group, issued a statement headlined: “LRT1 door flop not the first time but been running on for days.” It goes on as follows: Scientist activist group Agham—Advocates of Science and Technology for the People—decried the continuing neglect of the LRT1 train system, which places in serious risk the riding public’s safety. This came after a student commuter posted a video yesterday (March 10) on Facebook showing how the LRT1 train he was riding continued to run despite its door failing to close. The said train continued to run from UN station to Pedro Gil, which is about 1.9 km long, without any move from the management to fix the problem. “Under normal operating conditions, LRT trains should not run if its doors are still open, as a safety precaution. The fact that the trains continued to run leads us to think that it was either allowed to happen by altering the train’s previous failsafe system or the failsafe system was weak in the first place,” said Cleng Julve of Agham. “This is clearly an act of neglect on the part of LRMC. Contrary to its promise of providing the riding public with affordable and efficient rail transport, it puts us into a very dangerous—even deadly—situation,” said Julve. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Homobono Adaza - EDSA BETRAYALS: Who betrayed whom


MARCH 16 -by HOMOBONO ADAZA
EDSA started off on the wrong foot with betrayal of agreements. Betrayal came like an unexpected downpour from the Cory Aquino camp. I least expected it because Cory campaigned on a high moral tone and the Opposition leaders sang the same tune. I should know, I was in the thick of it and one of those who participated, making strategic decisions long before the snap election campaign, during the campaign and after the campaign. Betrayal of agreements As the head of the Opposition committee that negotiated with Juan Ponce Enrile (JPE) and Fidel V. Ramos (FVR), I was the one who inked for the Opposition the agreement between JPE-FVR and the Opposition that Corazon Aquino (Cory) and Salvador H. Laurel (Doy) head the new government and JPE as secretary of National Defense and FVR as Chief of Staff head the military branch of the new government with the caveat that the Cory-Doy duo would only appoint five members of the Cabinet – National Defense, Local Government, Justice, Foreign Affairs and Finance – and the rest would be agreed upon by Cory-Doy and JPE-FVR. The Opposition leaders at the Laurel residence unanimously approved the agreement. Was it in writing? Of course not! But an agreement whether it is oral or not is an agreement that should be honored. As they say, there is honor even among thieves. Political leaders of a country should have honor better than thieves. FIRST BETRAYAL: This agreement was never honored. While the Opposition group was meeting at the Laurel residence after the Committee and I reported what was agreed upon with JPE-FVR, without anybody’s knowledge, except probably Cory alone, two betrayers, Jose “Peping” Cojuanco and MP Ramon Mitra, Jr., met somewhere and prepared a list of the new Cabinet members in violation of the agreement. SECOND BETRAYAL: The Opposition also agreed with JPE-FVR that the oath-taking of Cory-Doy would be the evening of that day at the Club Filipino. Consistent with that agreement, I informed my friends in the international and national media that the oath-taking would take place at the Club Filipino, under the protection of JPE-FVR. With other Opposition leaders we went to Club Filipino at the appointed time only to be told by Rene Saguisag, the appointed spokesman of Cory, that the oath-taking was postponed to the following morning. Angered by this change without prior notice, I shouted at Rene saying who the hell ordered the postponement. Rene said, “Bono, I am only a messenger here.” I replied: “By gad Rene, you cannot even observe simple agreements, how can you people expect to run a government.” Rene said nothing in reply visibly embarrassed. I went home that night in a state of rage, promising myself not to show up for the oath-taking the following day. My wife, Marge, who is a daughter of a former governor of Misamis Oriental, who has more traditional political sense than me, pushed me to attend the ceremony, and I did. READ MORE 'BETRAYALS'...RELATED, EDSA revisionism and the errors of FM (Part 1)...

ALSO: By Ben Kritz -Banking gains overshadowed by greed and stupidity


MARCH 16 -Ben D. Kritz
IT is unfortunate that two of the biggest and most positive pieces of news in years for the Philippine banking sector have been completely overshadowed by a story more representative of the reputation more commonly associated with the Philippines, one that at least some in this country are trying hard to undo. Over the weekend, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) signed an agreement, believed to be the first such agreement or at least the first major one under the Asean Banking Integration Framework (ABIF) that will allow the entry of up to three major banks from each country into the other’s banking market. And on Tuesday, executives from Japan’s largest bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. (BTMU), visited Manila to discuss their plans in light of BTMU’s recent 20 percent buy-in of Security Bank, a deal worth nearly P37 billion. Unfortunately, these two developments, which have nothing but good implications for the local banking sector and the economy as a whole, were pushed aside by the ongoing $100-million RCBC money-laundering scandal, which took a sadly predictable turn for the farcical on Tuesday with the conduct of day-long Senate hearings on the matter.
The hearing clearly had no purpose but to serve as a promotional exercise for the Senate, particularly Senators Recto, Guingona and Osmeña, because it was obvious from its opening moments that no substantial knowledge about the internationally embarrassing scam would emerge from it. The principal players from RCBC, CEO Lorenzo Tan and branch manager Maia Deguito, refused to answer many questions, citing bank secrecy laws, with neither they nor the camera-conscious senators realizing or admitting that invoking bank secrecy on questions involving accounts that have already been determined to be fraudulent actually doesn’t make any sense. Why the Senate is even permitted to question personalities in a live criminal investigation is an unhelpful quirk of politics that the country should reflect deeply upon. Even the boilerplate excuse “in aid of legislation” is irrational, especially in this case; with the investigation hardly begun, the senators, even if they were serious, couldn’t possibly know yet exactly what they’re supposed to be legislating, and any legislation that might result from the present scandal wouldn’t be applicable to it anyway. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Romy Mariñas - ‘Unholy alliance:’ A cheesy way to sleep with the enemy
[The “unholy alliance” is expected to stop Bongbong from easing Escudero out of the race for Vice President, unleash a campaign machinery that will steamroll that of Marcos and capture the supposedly wide base of voters of the  Koalisyong Makabayan and Sanlakas. For Escudero to realize these three objectives, he may need to raise the ante like he needs a hole in the head.]


MARCH 17 -ROMY P. MARIÑAS
Desperate times call for desperate measures. They apparently do, just like in the case of Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, an independent vice presidential candidate in the 2016 elections, who seemed to have decided to sleep with the enemy. Escudero, running mate of Sen. Grace Poe, was reported to have recently forged an “unholy alliance” with two perceived Left-leaning groups in exchange for P70 million, which would bankroll a demolition job against a top rival for the second-highest post in the land. The target Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is supposed to be brought down by “any form of propaganda” (the blacker, the better, thank you very much) to stop the former governor of Ilocos Norte province in the “Solid North” from knocking at the gates of Malacañang. A source named “Heart” has told The Manila Times that Escudero approved both giving around P50 million to the Koalisyong Makabayan or KM and around P20 million to Sanlakas, thus, the total of P70 million for the smear campaign against Marcos, who, as of this week, is “statistically tied” with Escudero in at least one survey as the voters’ preferred Vice President. KM takes charge of party-list candidates of the so-called reaffirmist or RA in the Philippine Left in the May polls this year. RA sides with the views, analysis and strategy and tactics mouthed by the “reestablished” Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), whose alleged chairman is Jose Ma. Sison, a.k.a Armando Liwanag, who has long been on self-imposed exile in The Netherlands. The CPP was “reestablished” by Sison in 1968 supposedly in Pangasinan province to shake off the “revisionism” of the “old” communist party founded in 1930 and led by Jose Lava. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Laboring to undo their foolishness

MANILA, MARCH 21, 2016 (MANILA TIMES) March 16, 2016 11:58 pm - The news we get from the Aquino people is that Cabinet members and their different departments and offices are in the throes of “getting things done” or at least “getting things started” before this performance-handicapped administration is over three months from now.

This is because their leader, BS Aquino, has realized that history will see very few achievements of his six-year term.

When this President started, he allowed himself to be ruled by the grossly mistaken and ignorant notion that most of the ongoing projects of his predecessor were graft-ridden. So he ruthlessly cancelled many projects that were about to be launched. And he suspended the work on projects already ongoing. Among these was the P18.7 billion Laguna Lake Rehabilitation and Development Project, which was contracted to a 150-year-old Belgian dredging company, one the world’s best and accomplished in its field. As a result of this cancellation, Belgium filed a suit against the Philippine government and diplomatic ties with that old-friend-country soured up.

DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson in 2010 cancelled 19 approved negotiated projects worth P934.1 million, funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Because of the cancellation local government officials complained that their areas suffered from severe flooding and millions of pesos in crop damage.

Other major projects were cancelled or suspended in 2010. The billions that Congress had properly appropriated for these projects of the Macapagal-Arroyo presidency were then turned into DAP funds and allocated for projects that in President Aquino’s mind were priority activities.

Because of the cancellation and suspension in 2010 of projects that had been launched earlier by the Gloria Arroyo administration, there was a lull in spending–from the time shortly after President Aquino assumed the presidency until after he and Sec. Abad made their DAP operational. That lull in spending is what made the GDP growth rate sink from 7.63 percent in 2010 to 3.64 percent in 2011.

READ MORE...

Later, with money available from the cancelled projects re-assembled into the DAP funds, government spending for big projects was again in full swing just as during Macapagal-Arroyo’s time, so that in 2012 the GDP growth rate rose back to the high levels set by President Arroyo—6.82 percent in 2012 and 7.16 percent in 2013.

What does this truthful narrative of our GDP growth tell us?

It tells us that President Aquino and Sec. Abad’s claim of being heroes who cured our sick and dying economy by giving it the DAP “medicine” or stimulus is an egregious lie.

For the truth is that they were the ones who starved our robust, strong and healthy economy (7.63% GDP growth rate in 2010 thanks to the Macapagal-Arroyo administration’s work) and made it sick and weak (3.64 % GDP growth rate in 2011).

The Aquino administration, in effect and in truth, caused the Philippine economy to be very sick in 2011, then restored our sick economy to better health–and beat their breasts in triumph for being the rescuers.

He and Mr. Abad are false heroes, Huwad na Bayani (as in the title of the famous play by Virgie Moreno).

President Aquino is like a man who pushed his wife and children off the deck to drown. But when he saw that people were screaming for someone to save the drowning, he does something to pull his victims up to safety.

Then he tells the reporters what a great hero he has been.


EDITORIAL: Unconscionable thoughtlessness and lack of charity and concern March 19, 2016 12:53 am


Lights along Taft Avenue are seen through the open doors of a moving Light Rail Transit train Thursday night in this image taken from a video posted by James Cubelo. PHILSTAR HEADLINE: The Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) received flak from netizens after one of its trains was allowed to run on Thursday night even if its doors were open. In two one-minute videos posted on Facebook by James Cubelo, 19, a graduating student of the Technological University of the Philippines, he likened the “crazy LRT experience” to a death-defying ride at an amusement park. PHILSTAR FILE

LRMC, the new managers of the LRT, their “bosses” at the DOTC, and their Topmost Boss President BS Aquino once again displayed for all to see—and shudder from—their unconscionable thoughtlessness and lack of charity and concern for the safety and welfare of ordinary people.

They allowed for days the door of a carriage of an LRT1 train to be out of order while letting that train go on its merry way everyday.

We will use the words of our country’s most patriotic association of scientists and technical professionals to describe this abominable negligence and lack of simple concern for the well-being of the millions—including children and senior citizens—who use the LTR1 trains.

AGHAM, the scientist activist group, issued a statement headlined: “LRT1 door flop not the first time but been running on for days.”

It goes on as follows:

Scientist activist group Agham—Advocates of Science and Technology for the People—decried the continuing neglect of the LRT1 train system, which places in serious risk the riding public’s safety.

This came after a student commuter posted a video yesterday (March 10) on Facebook showing how the LRT1 train he was riding continued to run despite its door failing to close. The said train continued to run from UN station to Pedro Gil, which is about 1.9 km long, without any move from the management to fix the problem.

“Under normal operating conditions, LRT trains should not run if its doors are still open, as a safety precaution. The fact that the trains continued to run leads us to think that it was either allowed to happen by altering the train’s previous failsafe system or the failsafe system was weak in the first place,” said Cleng Julve of Agham.

“This is clearly an act of neglect on the part of LRMC. Contrary to its promise of providing the riding public with affordable and efficient rail transport, it puts us into a very dangerous—even deadly—situation,” said Julve.

READ MORE...

Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) overtook the operations and maintenance of LRT1 last September 2015 as part of its concession agreement with the DOTC under President BS Aquino’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Program.

Julve also underscored that this was not the first time that this happened with the LRT1.

“In fact, one of our members reported that this malfunction has already happened as early as March 8. For LRMC to allow the trains with faulty doors to run days after the glitches first manifested is a very serious case of disregard for passenger welfare,” said Julve.

“After over a year of [passengers] paying for increased fares, it is unacceptable that we still have to contend with faulty and leaky trains. It seems that we will see a repeat of the MRT experience should the government not intervene in this matter,” warned Julve.

The MRT was previously exposed to be five times more dangerous compared to its US counterparts due to the frequency of glitches it suffers, according to one study by Agham.

“The LRMC has only been operating for almost half a year but it has already shown how inept its management is, as if a foreboding vision of the rest of the 32 years it will be managing the operation and maintenance of the train line,” Julve said.

“We call on the DOTC to hold LRMC accountable for this incident. Furthermore, we reiterate that privatization will not solve the ills of our urban rail system as we have seen from this episode,” said Julve. “Instead of hyping up the PPP program, government should instead allocate resources to improve our train systems and appoint experienced and honest officials to see this through.”


EDSA BETRAYALS – Who betrayed whom March 16, 2016 8:17 pm HOMOBONO-A.-ADAZA


by HOMOBONO ADAZA

“Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a person turns about
When they might have won had they stuck it out.
Don’t give up though when the pace seems low…
You may succeed with another blow.”
– Anonymous

EDSA started off on the wrong foot with betrayal of agreements. Betrayal came like an unexpected downpour from the Cory Aquino camp. I least expected it because Cory campaigned on a high moral tone and the Opposition leaders sang the same tune.

I should know, I was in the thick of it and one of those who participated, making strategic decisions long before the snap election campaign, during the campaign and after the campaign.

Betrayal of agreements
As the head of the Opposition committee that negotiated with Juan Ponce Enrile (JPE) and Fidel V. Ramos (FVR), I was the one who inked for the Opposition the agreement between JPE-FVR and the Opposition that Corazon Aquino (Cory) and Salvador H. Laurel (Doy) head the new government and JPE as secretary of National Defense and FVR as Chief of Staff head the military branch of the new government with the caveat that the Cory-Doy duo would only appoint five members of the Cabinet – National Defense, Local Government, Justice, Foreign Affairs and Finance – and the rest would be agreed upon by Cory-Doy and JPE-FVR.

The Opposition leaders at the Laurel residence unanimously approved the agreement. Was it in writing? Of course not! But an agreement whether it is oral or not is an agreement that should be honored. As they say, there is honor even among thieves. Political leaders of a country should have honor better than thieves.

FIRST BETRAYAL: This agreement was never honored. While the Opposition group was meeting at the Laurel residence after the Committee and I reported what was agreed upon with JPE-FVR, without anybody’s knowledge, except probably Cory alone, two betrayers, Jose “Peping” Cojuanco and MP Ramon Mitra, Jr., met somewhere and prepared a list of the new Cabinet members in violation of the agreement.

SECOND BETRAYAL: The Opposition also agreed with JPE-FVR that the oath-taking of Cory-Doy would be the evening of that day at the Club Filipino. Consistent with that agreement, I informed my friends in the international and national media that the oath-taking would take place at the Club Filipino, under the protection of JPE-FVR. With other

Opposition leaders we went to Club Filipino at the appointed time only to be told by Rene Saguisag, the appointed spokesman of Cory, that the oath-taking was postponed to the following morning. Angered by this change without prior notice, I shouted at Rene saying who the hell ordered the postponement. Rene said, “Bono, I am only a messenger here.” I replied: “By gad Rene, you cannot even observe simple agreements, how can you people expect to run a government.” Rene said nothing in reply visibly embarrassed.

I went home that night in a state of rage, promising myself not to show up for the oath-taking the following day. My wife, Marge, who is a daughter of a former governor of Misamis Oriental, who has more traditional political sense than me, pushed me to attend the ceremony, and I did.

READ MORE...

THIRD BETRAYAL: When the United Democratic Opposition (UNIDO) decided to support Cory for President, the agreement with Cory was that the type of government of Marcos would be continued, with Cory as ceremonial President, since everyone knew that Cory had no knowledge of how to run the country, and she admitted this.

The joke in the course of campaign was the slogan of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL), the party of President Marcos (FM), that Cory was TWA and this had nothing to do with the ownership of Trans-World Airways (TWA).


Doy Laurel: Forgotten patriot of Edsa I - CONSTANT GARDENER The late former Vice President Salvador Laurel raises Edsa I's famous “L” for “Laban” sign on the campaign trail for the Cory-Doy tandem ...| Inquirer News newsinfo.inquirer.net600 × 450Search by image

TWA simply stands for Talagang Walang Alam which simply meant, she was ignorant of the task of government. Doy was the agreed Prime Minister with a Cabinet composed of Parliament (Batasang Pambansa) members.

Well, it did not turn out that way. Doy was, at the beginning, appointed Prime Minister, but sacked by Cory a little after. All members of the Cabinet were Peping Cojuangco and Ramon Mitra’s choices, most of whom were not members of Parliament, in violation of the Opposition-Cory agreement and JPE-FVR-Cory-Doy agreement.

FOURTH BETRAYAL: The greatest betrayal of all was the dissolution of the Parliament orchestrated by Cory and her crowd. Why was the Parliament dissolved? It was not due to the fact that Cory’s wanted to demolish a Marcos institution. It was because, if the Parliament was retained, Cory and her crowd would have only ended up in the periphery of power.

Most, if not all of them, would not have wielded any significant power. They would have become outsiders of the new government that would have been dominated by UNIDO leaders, specifically the Nacionalista Party of Doy Laurel and its allies like the Concerned Citizen’s Aggrupation of Cesar Climaco, who was mayor of Zamboanga City, the Mindanao Alliance of this writer, the Bicol Saro of lawyer Salvador Princesa and the Muslim Federal of Abul Khayr Alonto.

The ranks of the Cory crowd wanted to grab power for themselves at the expense of the true Opposition, the UNIDO, which was doing it consistent with the slogan of the Nacionalista Party – Ang Bayan Higit sa Lahat (The country first above all else or the country first and foremost).

Who were the suspected personalities responsible for the power grab? These were their team captain Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, Jr., the omnipresent brother of Cory; Ramon Mitra Jr., Cory’s Secretary of Agriculture and later Speaker of the House of Representatives; Jose “Joecon” Concepcion, Jr., Cory’s Secretary of Trade and Industry; Rep. Neptali Gonzales, Cory’s Secretary of Justice; Senator Jovito Salonga, Cory’s Chairman of the PCGG and later President of the Senate; Jaime Ongpin, Cory’s Secretary of Finance; Joker Arroyo, Cory’s Executive Secretary; and Father Joaquin Bernas, the consigliore of Cory’s Council of Trent.

If the Parliament was not abolished, most likely all the members of the Cory band would have been nothing in the circle of power, except Gonzales, who was a commuter between the UNIDO and the Cory train. The ones responsible for the rise of the Opposition in the country were the UNIDO and its allies.

The Cory band members were not those who created the waves, they were just plain surf riders. Most of them were infinitesimal, if not silent, objectors, and many of them were plain and simple steak commandos who fought the war in the United States of America – very brave because they were thousands of miles from the scene of battles.

FIFTH BETRAYAL: This is attributable to my friend Doy Laurel and then Secretary of National Defense Juan Ponce Enrile.

B
LEFT, Then Armed Forces Vice Chief of Staff and Integrated National Police Chief Lt. Gen. Fidel V. Ramos and Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile. INQUIRER FILE

Why betrayal? They were the two leaders who could have prevented Cory and her band from dissolving the Parliament. Doy was the head of the most potent Opposition group in the country – the UNIDO. Johnny headed the most powerful armed component of the Republic – the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

But they failed to fight Cory’s band of fledgling power grabbers because they were afraid of the potential of that crowd in EDSA during the uprising and the perceived power of the Cory magic. They certainly had brains but they had no balls to demolish Cory and her band which could have been easily done immediately after the order to abolish the Parliament.

These two failed to fight despite their tremendous powers and this paralysis of the will amounts to a betrayal of the country whose people thought they could have better lives after the removal of Marcos.

Well the people’s dreams became a nightmare because the Cory administration was a calamity and this could have been prevented if Doy and Johnny rose to the occasion but they did not.

SIXTH BETRAYAL: Still this belongs to Doy and Johnny. Why?

The duo refused to fight for the enforcement of agreements as enumerated in the preceding discussion. Had both of them insisted on the enforcement of the agreements, the Cory band could have been easily neutralized but they did not. Then, there would have been genuine democratic restoration and the calamity of the Cory administration and those that followed it could have been avoided.

SEVENTH BETRAYAL: The sole responsibility belongs to the Cory band. Before the 1987 first senatorial elections after the installation of Cory as President, it was reported that Cory told her Comelec that she wanted a majority of the 24-man Senate in the elections.

Comelec committed an overkill by orchestrating the most scandalous 'dagdag bawas' (add and subtract) elections in the history of the country.

Through the effective use of computer transmissions of the election results, Comelec and Namfrel uniformly reported twenty-two senatorial candidates of Cory won and only two of the opposition Grand Alliance for Democracy (GAD) – Johnny Ponce Enrile and Erap Estrada.

The true results, however, as the genuine figures of the Namfrel and Comelec showed is that only ten of the Cory candidates won and fourteen of GAD. GAD went to the Supreme Court with overwhelming evidence to reverse the false and scandalous Comelec public reports. The Cory Supreme Court dismissed the petition without requiring the notorious Comelec to file a comment or answer.

EIGHTH BETRAYAL: This one belongs to Johnny Ponce Enrile and Senator Gregorio Honasan for advancing the schedule of the coup of 1989 from December 7 to December 1.

The advancing of the date was a betrayal of the agreement among the members of the coup top leadership – BGeneral Edgardo Abenina, MGeneral Jimmy Zumel and Colonel Gregorio Honasan – that the country would be governed by a National Governing Council (NGC) composed of three military men and four civilians – Johnny Ponce Enrile, the nominee of Honasan; Eduardo Cojuangco, the nominee of MJJimmy Zumel; this writer, the nominee of BG Abenina; and Vice-President Doy Laurel, by common agreement.

The reason for the advancing of the coup schedule is attributable to Enrile and Honasan because Honasan wanted to install President Cory disregarding the agreement for the establishment of the NGC as the group that would rule the country because Honasan and Enrile perceived that they would be outvoted by the five of Abenina, Zumel, Laurel, Cojuango and this writer.

What might have been?

In the light of all these, everyone is left with speculations of what might have been. Well, for my part, my thesis is simple – the country would have been better off, if those who betrayed the national interests did not and, most specifically, if the coup of 1989 was not betrayed. It could have avoided the debacles of all administrations – from Cory Aquino to Noynoy Aquino.

The next column will deal on the lessons we should learn from the Edsa uprising and the events that succeeded it.

------------------------------

ALSO

EDSA revisionism and the errors of FM (Part 1) March 9, 2016 8:27 pm HOMOBONO-A.-ADAZA


by HOMOBONO ADAZA

“Where there is doubt, faith,
Where there is despair, hope,
Where there darkness, light,
And where there is sadness, joy.”
– St. Francis of Assisi

First of two parts

They tell me that history is always written by victors. When victors write history, they are usually biased in their own favor. So history in the view of the victors is always revisionist. They normally don’t tell the whole truth and, in so telling half truths, they end up with lies or perversions of the truth.

 This is the case with the so-called EDSA “revolution.”

The truth has been hijacked by now Senator Juan Ponce Enrile and former President Fidel V. Ramos and the President Cory Aquino family, represented today by President Noynoy Aquino and his sister, Cris Aquino, the ever present television personality who is a lover of sorts.

The events that led to EDSA

THE MISTAKES OF FM:
The events that led to EDSA could only be traceable to FM. Without his mistakes, EDSA would never have happened and all those mistakes are obvious errors of judgment which could have never taken place if FM, was in tiptop condition.


Ex-President Ferdinand Marcos (Philippines) died because of lupus nephritis. UnBlogged

Lupus caught up with him and without a weakened FM those errors, for certain, could not have happened.

First, his error in allowing the Opposition enough political space to denounce his administration here and abroad. When you are rebuilding a country, you do not allow anybody space, political or otherwise.

The opponents of a New Society you are building should be in either two places – in isolated islands, and we have plenty of these in our archipelago, for them to vegetate and reform or six feet under the ground, if they remain obstreperous and unrepentant.

I was surprised why FM did not do that. He allowed us to denounce him and for the mosquito press to cover the denunciations of the Opposition – prominent among the mosquito press were Jose Burgos, Sr. and Jr.’ Malaya and Eugenia Apostol’s Mr. and Ms.

Second, his error of calling for snap elections in 1986 when his term would have expired in 1987.

Why did he do it? On pressure of the President Reagan administration, he had succumbed to the demand of the Americans. Under normal FM circumstances, he could have easily defied Reagan because the Opposition in the Philippines objected to the calling of snap elections for the simple reason that it was not prepared to participate in it.

I was one of those opposed to the stand of the Opposition because it would have been a brilliant opportunity to remove Marcos since it would show that FM was a stooge of America and it would give us the muchawaited time to galvanize the people of the country to depose FM. But the Opposition moguls in Manila led by former President Diosdado Macapagal thought otherwise.

As a disciplined soldier I had to abide by the decision of the Opposition leaders and I went to the Supreme watching Opposition lawyers, which included former Vice-President Emmanuel “Maning” Pelaez, argue what I thought was a foolish decision, as the later events proved me right.

Third, allowing international and domestic media to cover and publicize the canvassing of the votes of the snap elections. He should have known better and that to allow media to cover and publicize the canvassing would have very serious consequences on his rule. How did it happen that there was this media coverage? For historical purposes, let me detail it here. Deputy Prime Minister Jose Roño who was also minister of Local Government and majority floor leader of the Parliament, learned of the Opposition decision to boycott the canvassing of the results of the snap elections by not participating in the process. To Roño’s perception, this boycott would discredit the legitimacy of the canvassing and the snap election itself.

So on this theory, Roño approached me on my seat at the floor of the Parliament, as I was the de facto Minority Floor Leader, and said, “Pare, how can we bring back the Opposition to actively participate in the canvassing?” I replied, “Simple, just allow domestic and international media untrammeled coverage of the canvassing.” Roño replied, “I cannot make that kind of decision.

Only the President can make that decision. I will come back to you in two hours.” Roño came back to me at the appointed time and told me: “Pare, the President says it is okay.” I did not smile at the information lest I would reveal my intentions. I just told myself, how crazy could these people get by allowing untrammeled media coverage and I was proved right. I virtually stood alone on the floor of the Parliament for the Opposition and the country and made the word “asterisk” a byword for incandescent and brilliant Opposition. And the rest is history!

More FM mistakes

Fourth,
FM should not have allowed the suspension of the canvassing of the snap election results by the National Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL). NAMFREL had acquired a reputation for accuracy in canvassing and reporting the results to the public but businessman Jose Concepcion, Jr. (Joecon), the Chairman of NAMFREL was a known Cory Aquino partisan.

Here is the story of how the canvassing of NAMFREL was stopped. While we were canvassing the flawed election results in the Parliament, I thought that NAMFREL was canvassing the correct results and would sustain my objections on the floor of the Parliament. It turned out that NAMFREL was canvassing the same results we were canvassing in the Parliament.

When I read in the papers and heard on television that Cory’s majority was dwindling to 75,000 votes, I got so disturbed that the canvassing in NAMFREL would arrive at the same results as in Parliament and that would have made a fool of the Opposition, and me in particular.

End of part 1. The conclusion will come out on Saturday.

* * *

On the SC decision in favor of Senator Poe

As I was writing this column I saw on TV that the Supreme Court had decided the Senator Poe disqualification cases in her favor. Congratulations to Senator Poe and the Supreme Court.

As I wrote over and over again in this column, Senator Poe, based on the facts and our laws is indisputably a natural-born Filipino citizen. Anyone who gives a contrary interpretation either does not know our Constitution and our laws or the English language, or both. The losers should stop talking about the violation of the rule of law.

They do not know what they are talking about. The Supreme Court has spoken; the losers should accept their defeat. They want to take this issue to the people?

They should stop making fools of themselves. Enough is enough.

What the losers should do is to campaign for their candidates instead of bellyaching in a nuthouse.


Banking gains overshadowed by greed and stupidity March 16, 2016 8:18 pm Ben D. Kritz


Ben D. Kritz

IT is unfortunate that two of the biggest and most positive pieces of news in years for the Philippine banking sector have been completely overshadowed by a story more representative of the reputation more commonly associated with the Philippines, one that at least some in this country are trying hard to undo.

Over the weekend, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) signed an agreement, believed to be the first such agreement or at least the first major one under the Asean Banking Integration Framework (ABIF) that will allow the entry of up to three major banks from each country into the other’s banking market.

And on Tuesday, executives from Japan’s largest bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. (BTMU), visited Manila to discuss their plans in light of BTMU’s recent 20 percent buy-in of Security Bank, a deal worth nearly P37 billion.

Unfortunately, these two developments, which have nothing but good implications for the local banking sector and the economy as a whole, were pushed aside by the ongoing $100-million RCBC money-laundering scandal, which took a sadly predictable turn for the farcical on Tuesday with the conduct of day-long Senate hearings on the matter.

The hearing clearly had no purpose but to serve as a promotional exercise for the Senate, particularly Senators Recto, Guingona and Osmeña, because it was obvious from its opening moments that no substantial knowledge about the internationally embarrassing scam would emerge from it.

The principal players from RCBC, CEO Lorenzo Tan and branch manager Maia Deguito, refused to answer many questions, citing bank secrecy laws, with neither they nor the camera-conscious senators realizing or admitting that invoking bank secrecy on questions involving accounts that have already been determined to be fraudulent actually doesn’t make any sense.

Why the Senate is even permitted to question personalities in a live criminal investigation is an unhelpful quirk of politics that the country should reflect deeply upon. Even the boilerplate excuse “in aid of legislation” is irrational, especially in this case; with the investigation hardly begun, the senators, even if they were serious, couldn’t possibly know yet exactly what they’re supposed to be legislating, and any legislation that might result from the present scandal wouldn’t be applicable to it anyway.

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As far as what may have happened in the RCBC scandal, a couple of banking executives I spoke to said, with a visible effort to maintain circumspection, that in their banks and according to banking regulations in general, it would simply not be possible to carry out a transaction of that magnitude without the cooperation of more than one department and the authorization of, as one of them put it, “managers at a fairly high level.”

What really transpired at RCBC, of course, will only be revealed through a proper investigation, one that we can only hope at this point hasn’t been compromised by the Senate’s grandstanding.

And we can only hope that the large-scale greed and stupidity being displayed in the RCBC scandal does not undermine the evident interest foreign banking investors are showing in our otherwise creditable banking sector.

The Philippines-Malaysia agreement under the ABIF is a welcome sign of progress toward the grand scheme of Asean economic integration, which is proceeding more slowly than most hoped it would.

Under the pact, up to three banks—ones that are deemed large and stable enough to manage it successfully—will be allowed to operate subsidiaries in the other country.

For the Philippines, this raises the potential for foreign capital inflow, and gives local banking customers access to the Malaysian market, which can, at least indirectly, support efforts to expand the regional export market, particularly for those companies smaller than the conglomerates who would extract the most from the opportunity.

BTMU’s foray into the Philippines may pay more immediate dividends; based on the comments of BTMU executives on Tuesday, it certainly will if they’re given any say on the matter. While specific details were not divulged, BTMU stressed that it is angling to establish business in two key areas: Financing for Japanese investors in various sectors in the Philippines, and financing for projects, whether they involve Japanese participants or not, under the country’s public-private partnership program.

It should not need to be said that the impression of the local banking sector made on the Filipino public and foreign interests should be based on progress of the sort exemplified by the ABIF and BTMU deals, and not the sort of sleaze and ineptitude revealed by the RCBC scandal. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the BSP and most of the banking industry, the Philippines obviously has a long way to go before greed and stupidity are not viewed as some sort of a norm.


‘Unholy alliance:’ A cheesy way to sleep with the enemy March 17, 2016 8:31 pm ROMY P. MARIÑAS by ROMY P. MARIÑAS, SENIOR COPY EDITOR


ROMY P. MARIÑAS

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

They apparently do, just like in the case of Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, an independent vice presidential candidate in the 2016 elections, who seemed to have decided to sleep with the enemy.

Escudero, running mate of Sen. Grace Poe, was reported to have recently forged an “unholy alliance” with two perceived Left-leaning groups in exchange for P70 million, which would bankroll a demolition job against a top rival for the second-highest post in the land.

The target Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is supposed to be brought down by “any form of propaganda” (the blacker, the better, thank you very much) to stop the former governor of Ilocos Norte province in the “Solid North” from knocking at the gates of Malacañang.

A source named “Heart” has told The Manila Times that Escudero approved both giving around P50 million to the Koalisyong Makabayan or KM and around P20 million to Sanlakas, thus, the total of P70 million for the smear campaign against Marcos, who, as of this week, is “statistically tied” with Escudero in at least one survey as the voters’ preferred Vice President.

KM takes charge of party-list candidates of the so-called reaffirmist or RA in the Philippine Left in the May polls this year.

RA sides with the views, analysis and strategy and tactics mouthed by the “reestablished” Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), whose alleged chairman is Jose Ma. Sison, a.k.a Armando Liwanag, who has long been on self-imposed exile in The Netherlands.

The CPP was “reestablished” by Sison in 1968 supposedly in Pangasinan province to shake off the “revisionism” of the “old” communist party founded in 1930 and led by Jose Lava.

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Sanlakas, meanwhile, is the voice of the so-called rejectionist or RJ in the local leftist movement.

Headed by Lidy Nakpil, it opposes the views, analysis, strategy and tactics of the CPP under Sison.

For one, it considers passé the Maoist line of encircling the cities from the countryside, believing that parliamentary struggle can actually be pursued simultaneously with guerrilla warfare.

The law does not prevent Escudero from doing political business with any group, but, in apparently risking it by resorting to what “Heart” called a ”desperate move” to buy off electoral support from the leftist radicals, he may just have shot himself in the foot.

The reason why he would bleed for nothing is that the Koalisyong Makabayan and the Sanlakas and the votes that each group’s masa will have cast are going to cancel each other out in the 2016 elections.

The two Left-leaning groups will use the coming polls as nothing more than a platform for hitting at each other, not “politicizing” the masses, at the expense of Poe’s running mate, leaving Escudero in the cold.

Ang mamangka sa dalawang ilog, tiyak na lulubog (literally, “He who rows in two rivers, will surely sink”), or so a Filipino saying goes.

Conspiracy theory: This may be too much for a Yale alumnus to fathom or Escudero is just pretty naïve about the “united front” strategy and tactics of the Philippine Left.

Or, worse, he may just have been had for a cool P70 million.

The senator has neither confirmed nor denied the claim of “Heart.”

But Nathaniel Santiago, the secretary general of the Koalisyong Makabayan has denied and vehemently so the source’s story, calling it “pure lie.”

Santiago, who is described by RA sources as a “key person” in the pro-Sison camp, did not offer to tell what the unadulterated truth is.

When he was much younger, he was the chairman of the League of Filipino Students or LFS, and therefore should know his way around in the post-RA or post-RJ world.

Like Santiago, Leody de Guzman, national chairman of the labor organization Bukluran ng Manggagawa, and the first nominee of Sanlakas to the party-list elections, also denied knowing about the P20 million supposedly handed to Escudero’s camp.

That amount, according to “Heart,” was the product of negotiations between the senator’s men and the Sanlakas made possible by someone who has been an “activist” since the “First Quarter Storm” or FQS, as radicals of yesteryear referred to the first three months of 1970.

FQS was envisioned as a series of student-led uprisings that, with the help of the New People’s Army (NPA) streaming from the rural areas to the urban centers would culminate in a “people’s revolution” whose ultimate aim is the capture of the seat of power of the “bourgeoisie”– Malacañang.

Wishful thinking and it did not happen for various failings of “higher organs” in the communist hierarchy.

The “unholy alliance” is expected to stop Bongbong from easing Escudero out of the race for Vice President, unleash a campaign machinery that will steamroll that of Marcos and capture the supposedly wide base of voters of the Koalisyong Makabayan and Sanlakas.

For Escudero to realize these three objectives, he may need to raise the ante like he needs a hole in the head.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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