this is an interesting development or is it speculation or rumor? even in politics boy abunda reigns supreme, so we should give this chismis space in this blog. it is an intriguing possibility.
we don’t see any reason why we should not allow the american military to sit at subic once again. the philippines and the united states of america have a very long history of friendship and cooperation and that includes economic, cultural, social and even military. the philippines’ location in asia is also very convenient and strategic for american forces with their role of global cop and guardian of freedom and the oppressed.
should we allow the american military to sit at subic once again, we should make sure that:
- the terms should be favorable to the country and should be defined within the framework of being co-equal
- the americans should pay rent and it should be a substantial amount that is significantly in favor of the philippines
- in no uncertain term should the country give up jurisdiction on crimes committed by US servicemen in the country. if a US serviceman commits a crime in philippine soil, this serviceman will be under and subject to philippine laws, judicial system and punishment
- there should be a review of the bases agreement for a certain period with clear measures and terms of adjustment for the future
- as the philippines allow the US to serve it’s objectives and goals through the base, the US should also be duty bound to protect the interests of the philippines should conflicts arise with other countries
- the bases in the country is not a license for the US to involve itself in philippine politics or governance. they should stay out of philippine politics.
Return of US forces to Subic possible
US military build-up in Guam delayed
By Robert Gonzaga
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:18:00 04/28/2011
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — High-level visits here by American officials have raised the prospect of a return of the United States’ military presence in this former naval base in the wake of disasters that hit Japan, which have delayed the planned US military build-up in Guam.
US Senators Daniel Inouye and Thad Cochran visited this free port on Tuesday and met with Subic Bay Metropolitan Au
thority (SBMA) and Olongapo City officials.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer learned of the visit but was told that it was “not open to press coverage.”
In March, US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas Jr. also met with local officials and briefed them about the impact of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on the transfer of US military bases in Okinawa to Guam. The visit was not announced to reporters here.
Inouye and Cochran, chair and ranking member, respectively, of the US Senate committee on appropriations, appeared to be interested in the possibility of an increased presence of the US military in the country, a source present at the luncheon meeting for the visiting senators hosted by Subic and local officials told the Inquirer.
The source, who asked not to be named for lack of authority to speak on the matter, said: “Their official reason for being here was to obtain a situationer of developments in the area and to consult with local officials about these. They even brought their technical staff. During the discussion, they were curious about the reception in the country of an [increased presence of the US military] here.”
the gloves are off! the catholic bishops are bullying pro-RH Bill supporters with the most unchristian words one can invent. now, a bishop is calling RH Bill supporters as terrorists. this is not the first time catholic bishops have used dirty words, the most unchristian words to subdue and conquer their opponents on the RH Bill. they have been doing this for a very long time.
the good news is that it seems to point to a strengthening of the support for the RH BIll. these dirty words are being used by the bishops in panic. they probably feel theirs is a lost cause. and when desperation sets in, they think doing the ways of the unchristian might instill fear among RH Bill supporters and back down.
this reminds me of the friars during the spanish era in philippine history when the friars landed in the country and went on to subdue and conquer the indios. the friars then used everything and anything to conquer the indios, including the unkind use of threats of burning in hell if the indios did not agree to convert to their ways.
this whole thing feels it is the second coming of the friars.
MANILA, Philippines—Advocates of the reproductive health (RH) bill are no better than terrorists because the measure could lead to the death of innocents, an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said Tuesday.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, CBCP vice president, said condoms and abortion were tantamount to killing the innocent.
we have heard this before – Philhealth cards were distributed hundreds of thousands of people for the purpose of securing an election win for arroyo during her prediential election fight with fernando poe jr. this issue has been hanging in the air for many years. it is not the only corruption scandal tattooed on the legacy of arroyo, but it is one of the more brazen.
we have also heard it before , the people waiting for charges of plunder to be filed in a philippine court against arroyo. legtal eagle frank chavez is the man who has finally done what many have been waiting for.
we will not lose sleep over this court case. what we will lose sleep on is on getting updates and the latest on this case.
will the truth set arroyo free or to jail?
Arroyo’s plunder raps based on her notes
‘Charge to OWWA,’ Arroyo ordered; P550M misused
By Nikko Dizon
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:33:00 04/27/2011
MANILA, Philippines—For allegedly dipping her fingers into a cookie jar reserved for overseas Filipino workers, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo so disgusted at least three Malacañang insiders that they helped put together plunder charges that she is now facing.
Former Solicitor General Frank Chavez Tuesday filed a 23-page complaint claiming that Arroyo, now a Pampanga representative, misused more than P550 million from the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA) from March 2003 to February 2004.
“This was all very well-orchestrated because in all the recommendations made by the respondents, there was always the handwritten notation made by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ‘OK, charge to OWWA funds.’ But the OWWA funds are funds held in trust by the government and they cannot dip their fingers into the cookie jar that exclusively belongs to the overseas Filipino workers,” Chavez told reporters.
Chavez said three mid-level officials photocopied the documents for him, which was why all these he had submitted as bases for his plunder complaint bear Malacañang bar codes.
Chavez’s sources said they pitied the OFWs whose funds were being misused. He said this was in February 2004 before the presidential elections.
He said the original documents could be ordered produced in court and his sources, some of whom remained in government, need not come out in the open. The justice department can verify the documents’ authenticity through the bar codes.
“They are kind-hearted, highly conscienticized Filipinos who could no longer stomach the quagmire of corruption spewed by Malacañang,” he said.
things just got pretty nasty on this holy week of 2011 with the debate, actually bashing on the RH Bill. not that the3re ever was baby talk among the anti and the pro, but what is happening now has been leveled up quite a few notches higher.
president aquino has recently stated again in a speech at UP that he supports the passage of the RH Bill. aquino was pretty strong in his declaration of support for the bill. not that we did not know it, this is actually old news as far back as during the election campaign that gave aquino a landslide win over a long list of presidentiables.
the catholic church during the time of the arroyo administration has been attacking people, politicians and groups who support the RH Bill, this new attack on aquino is nothing new. in fact aquino was already threatened by a bishop of excommunication for his support of the RH Bill. the threat of excommunication is of course silly and stupid and the CBCP and bishops quickly withdrew the threat.
this is not excommunication but aquino is not being called a bad catholic. that puts aquino among 71% of all pinoy catholics in the philippines. an SWS survey puts 71% of pinoy catholics as supporting the RH Bill as well. how can the catholic church in the philippines have so many “bad catholics” among their flocks is perhaps something the vatican should look into. with such a high number of pinoy catholics as “bad catholics”, it can only mean the philippine catholic church has failed in its duty to have all its flock as “good catholics”
attacks of this sort is also not new for the catholic church. it has behaved in such a manner before. in fact for a very long time, at least 9 years during the whole of the arroyo administration. often times, the church will go nuts on its attack on people and groups only to retract them a few days after perhaps when they realize they were acting unholy in their attacks.
aside from the attacks, the church has also used lies, distortions and silliness in demonizing modern methods of contraception. they do that in forums like congress and by their speakers who go to schools where unsuspecting adolescents listen and do not have the guts or enough knowledge to question them.
with a catholic church like this one, who needs evil?
In Laguna, Fr. Jerry Oblepias, diocesan director of Laguna’s Family Life Ministry, Tuesday said Mr. Aquino was a “bad Catholic” with a “conscience that is not well-formed,” in his support for the controversial RH bill.
“He is misled. What he is thinking as ways to solve poverty are the easy and lazy ways. He must face the real issue, that we are poor because of bad governance and bad economic policies,” he said.
In a speech at the University of the Philippines (Diliman) graduation rites last Sunday, the President said: “I am aware of those who are opposed to it (RH Bill) but it’s my obligation as a leader to reach out to all sectors and talk and explain this to them calmly—even if some are saying I should be excommunicated.”
Mr. Aquino said he was willing to take that risk because he believed that slowing population growth would reduce poverty in the Philippines.
The Church has made it a crusade to block the passage of the RH bill now pending in Congress, claiming that it endorses abortion.
It has for the past 10 years blocked the approval of the proposed legislation which it said advocates “abortifacients.”
Different from Cory
Oblepias noted that Mr. Aquino’s latest declaration for the RH bill was so far from his election campaign battle cry of “kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap” (where there is no corruption, there is no poverty).
“I am very sad that P-Noy apparently does not know the meaning of [excommunication]… He is really totally different from his mother (the late President Corazon Aquino),” he said in a phone interview.
Malacañang Tuesday decried as “unfair” Cruz’s calling Mr. Aquino anti-Christian.
“I think that’s an unfair judgment of the President. Just because the Palace favors couples to be given information and education (on family planning methods), it is called anti-Christian,” said deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte.
Valte reiterated that Mr. Aquino was against abortion as this was against the law.
What the President has been pushing for is that through a responsible parenthood law, couples will be given access to information about family planning methods so that they can make an informed choice, she explained.
anti-RH Bill proponents say abstinence and discipline for sexual partners is the way to go for avoiding unwanted pregnancies. and that is very much needed when couples decide to use NFP (natural family planning). one needs to be aware and strictly follow a woman’s “safe periods” . making sure engaging in sex only during these times. that will take a lot of fiscipline and control for both partners, specially for the male partner.
and that is where the problem lie for the practice of NFP – discipline and self-control. ”special” humans like priests are supposed to be stronger. they are more disciplined and has more control than regular humans like us. theirs is founded on strong faith and belief and and many years of study and indoctrination as to what is right or wrong 24/7 while regular humans like us are just founded on a few hours of religion class in school and once a week sunday masses.
but as this report from the US shows, the clergy, catholic priests themselves lose it too with the discovery of new sex abuses by the clergy and their numbers soaring. these numbers should are just the tip of the iceberg as most sex abuses by priests are normally hidden intentionally or unintentionally. many victims of sex abuse by priests are too traumatized to reveal them or intentionally push them deep down into the subconscious that sometimes it takes years for the them to surface out to the conscious or never.
if priests who are supposed the masters of what is right or wrong, whose lives are dedicated to these pursuits 24/7 unable to control their urges and engage in sex apparently uncontrollably , how much more (or less) would regular humans like us exercise control and discipline that is needed in the use of NFP?
Clergy sex allegations soar in the US—study
By Karin Zeitvogel
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:34:00 04/12/2011
WASHINGTON—Allegations of sexual abuse involving the Roman Catholic clergy in the United States rose sharply last year to nearly 700 from around 400 in 2009, according to a church report Monday.
The vast majority of the allegations, 653, involved alleged abuse that occurred decades ago but whose “victims/survivors are just now finding the courage to report” them, the study said.
Thirty accusations were made by current minors, but only eight were deemed credible, said the US church’s annual report on implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
The number of victims was up sharply from 2009, when there were some 400 new allegations of clergy sex abuse in the United States.
SWS Survey Results : Mga Tunay Na Pilipinong Bayani (True Filipino Heros)
SWS survey detail
8 April 2011
First Quarter 2011 Social Weather Survey:
Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, and Ninoy Aquino
are top three most identified Filipino heroes
Social Weather Stations
Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, and Ninoy Aquino are the top three most mentioned persons considered to be genuine Filipino heroes, according to the First Quarter 2011 Social Weather Survey, conducted from March 4-7, 2011.
The survey question was, “Sino-sino po ang mga taong kinikilala ninyong tunay na bayaning Pilipino? Maaari po kayong magbanggit ng hanggang limang tao.” ["Who are the persons whom you consider a genuine Filipino hero? You can name at up to five persons."]
To that, 75% named Jose Rizal, 34% named Andres Bonifacio, and 20% named Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. [Table 1].
They were followed by Cory Aquino (14%), Apolinario Mabini (14%), Emilio Aguinaldo (11%), Ferdinand Marcos (5.1%), Ramon Magsaysay (4.3%), Manuel L. Quezon (3.8%), and Lapu-Lapu (3.7%).
the latest (march 2011) hunger and poverty survey of SWS got a reaction from president n0ynoy aquino – he said the SWS was unable to properly capture the efforts they did in visayas and mindanao where he said many of the government poverty alleviation programs were implemented. from the point of view of statistics, he means the respondent sampling done by SWS was incorrect.
Aquino finds flaw in hunger survey
“I myself can’t reconcile that sometimes,” Mr. Aquino said, referring to the contrasting survey findings and the claimed achievements of the government’s programs to generate employment and reduce poverty.
President Aquino said the bulk of the data in the SWS survey came from Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon.
He said that 400,000 new beneficiaries of the government’s conditional cash transfer program, or CCT, were from the Visayas and Mindanao but this was not reflected in the survey.
“It so happened that the statistical sample used didn’t capture the ones helped by the CCT. If it was reversed, the result would have been skewed to show that more people experienced their hunger being alleviated,” Mr. Aquino said.
The President said the CCT was first rolled out in the Visayas and Mindanao because the poverty incidence was more serious in those areas compared with Metro Manila and Luzon.
aquino is wrong in what he said.
it is not true that the survey failed to capture the government’s poverty alleviation efforts in visayas and mindanao where the government did bulk of their efforts. the hunger ratings in fact in visayas and mindanao went down from previous with 14.7% in march in visayas from previous 18.2% and to 16.7% in mindanao from 21.1% of previous period.
self-claimed “mahirap” or poverty ratings however climbed up in visayas and mindanao. visayas went up to 61% from 53% and mindanao to 49% from 44%.
aquino’s complaint about the sampling skew towards NCR and Luzon is also baseless. bulk of the respondents come from NCR and Luzon for the simple reason that most of the population of the philippines come form these same two areas. that is how sampling design is supposed to be done – you get more respondents from the areas where most of the population are for the sample size to be truly representative of the country. the sample size is supposed to mirror where the people are in the country.
in other words, there is nothing wrong with the sampling design of the SWS survey as aquino is saying. there is only something wrong with aquino’s understanding of what is a good sampling design.
also, one can expect a difference in results between the SWS survey and aquino’s efforts at poverty alleviation for the simple reason that SWS used random sampling while the aquino government’s efforts were not random but purposive and specific. given that, it is possible results will be different.
for the aquino government to find out how effective their efforts are , the aquino government should do a purposive sampling of the actual people they helped and see if their economic lives have changed. in simple terms they should do a before and after study on the specific people they reached.
these are the rest of results:
we think giving whistle blower mendoza the post of COA commissioner is a very good move. we applaud aquino’s wisdom in doing so. we see this as proof of aquino’s election promise of fighting corruption. ‘
mendoza has shown she is not only a smart and committed auditor who is completely dedicated to her calling as an auditor, she is a firm believer of sto9pping corruption wherever she sees it.
we have seen her never say die attitude – she filed her report on the garcia corruption with the ombudsman when her own bosses at the COA has told her to go “easy” on the AFP, that people from malacanang wants her to lay low and that COA is not the government agency where she can file her report. facing a blank wall erected by her own bosses at the COA, she decided to file her report with the ombudsman instead to make sure her hard work is not thrown out in the garbage bin and that the corruption she saw will be exposed and stopped.
that is the kind of attitude and people the country needs if it wants to stop corruption in government. people in government need to know and be afrad of mendoza so that they will stop thinking of trying to steal frrom the government.
with mendoza as auditor, would be corrupt government officials are being given notice that the paper trail that they will need to leave behind will be discovered by mendoza and the corruption exposed.
we expect many great things from mendoza in her new job. we wish her well.
Aquino names Heidi Mendoza CoA commissioner; ex-Finance exec named CoA chair
b y Christine O. Avendaño
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 16:02:00 04/05/2011
MANILA, Philippines—Whistleblower Heidi Mendoza will be back with her old colleagues at theCommission on Audit.
President Benigno Aquino III has appointed Mendoza as commissioner to the CoA, as well as former Finance Undersecretary Grace Tan as CoA chair, Malacañang announced on Tuesday.
Tan will replace Reynaldo Villar, whose term as head of the CoA, expired last February 2, according to Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang.
Mendoza will assume the post left by Commissioner Evelyn San Buenaventura.
Mr. Aquino had earlier said he will offer Mendoza the job of CoA commissioner.
Mendoza had been instrumental in helping prosecuteformer military comptroller, retired Major General Carlos Garcia in his plunder case before the Sandiganbayan. She blew the whistle on how Garcia stashed away millions in his personal accounts.
It was initially a lonely fight for her when she testified her audit findings before the Sandigan. But this all changed when it was learned that Garcia’s plunder case had been reduced to bribery and money laundering as a result of a plea bargain deal he entered into with the Office of the Ombudsman last year.
Mendoza resurfaced in the ensuing Congressional hearings that investigated the plea bargain deal where she again testified against Garcia.
a lot of press in the last few days on the performance satisfaction rating survey conducted by SWS (read here : http://wp.me/pnw03-1qs). the press is mostly on malacanang thinking about the ratings drop and what it means.
on one side, it’s refreshing to see that the occupants of malacanang are sensitive to the survey results. it means they are sensitive to the sentiments of the people. and that can only be good as a sensitive malacanang to the sentiments of the people can mean better action at truly serving the people’s needs. even a marketing or political newbie will tell you that the way to improve the ratings is to serve the people better.
we did not see this kind of reaction from the previous administration of gloria macapagal arroyo. arroyo’s malacanang would have ignored the survey results or attack the results and question the results. arroyo’s administration have always thought everyone else is wrong while they are the only ones right.
the other side of the reaction of the current malacanang occupants is this never ending search for who is to blame for the drop in the ratings. the spokesperson has said previously, media was to blame as it tended to publicize only what is wrong and the bad news while ignoring what is good and the good news.
recent pronouncements puts the blame on “shyness” of malacanang in publicizing its good deeds. with this thinking, malacanang has resolved to be “more aggressive” in putting in the good news out to the press. that means they will need to learn to be more “kapal moks” , if we are to use their thinking on them being too “shy” to publicize their good deeds.
Valte said the Palace communicators would “maximize the use of all our resources, not only government television and radio … We will be maximizing all resources available to us.”
She disagreed with suggestions that the Palace communication group was to blame for the low ratings, but she said the communicators were taking the survey “as a sign to be really more aggressive in promoting the President” and his programs.
She said this was not for the President’s spokespersons alone to do and that Cabinetsecretaries and their public information offices could also lend a hand.
“It cannot be just a job of three but everybody has to pitch in to make sure the good news [reaches] the people,” she said.
The other day, Valte also said on state radio: “We have a very Filipino trait of being too shy to boast.”
who is to blame for the drop in satisfaction ratings on the president’s performance? let us get a run down.
is media to blame? all communication practitioners should know this – media will put what they think will attract their audience, those that their audience will find interesting or those that they think their audience want. the news being “good news” or “bad news” practically has nothing to do with it. you can have bad news but if it is not something the audience want, it will not get any exposure. same thing with good news. good news does not guarantee and audience, it can on the other hand pull in boredom. the only barometer media uses in deciding what is printed out there is its saleability or interest value to its audience.
it is this nature of media that makes it necessary for public and private figures and groups to engage communication practitioners to deal with media. their job is to make something interesting enough for media to see it’s value and put it out for the people to read and see.
we have been involved in the past with projects where the topic was seen as boring by media practitioners and the public when we started. after some careful planning and strategizing, we set out to make the topic “sexy” for media to publish and the public to take interest in. to make the topic “sexy” was the exact word used to describe what we intended to do with the topic. after a few months, the topic thyat was previously boring and usually out of media became a hot topic of discourse and attention both by media and the public.
malacanang does not have 1 but 3 groups under its employ to make the topic of “president aquino’s achievement” to be seen as “sexy” enough to pay attention to. that says they have no excuse for not being able to put across the messagtes in behalf of the aquino administration.
if they blame the poor and weak message release to the public as the reason for the significant drop in aquino’s performance rating, then it is the fault of these three communication gr0ups. in simple terms, these 3 communication groups have failed in doing their jobs.
The EO effectively reorganizes the Office of the Press Secretary and is aimed at modernizing the Palace’s communications strategy to better deliver President Aquino’s message to the people.
the primary task of the 3 communications group is to “better deliver president aquino’s message to the people” – the ratings drop due to shyness in delivering aquino’s message to the people means they have failed in their mandate.
aquino’s mandate reorganizing the office of the press secretary does not include “shyness” as an acceptable reason to fail in their mandate.
there is a dedicated press corp that covers malacanang. media covers the president’s activity 24/7. many of these media people, specially the major media outlets assign permanent reporters to the malacanang beat at all times and are exclusive to the office of the president. these reporters are ever present in malacanang. all that malacanang needs to do is hand over to them a press release or call a press conference and the news is out.
of course that does not guarantee publication. the job of the 3 communications group is to make the news interesting enough for media to publish them. if the topic is boring and the write-up is boring, it will not be published. you can have a boring topic but if the write up is interesting, it can get published.
since malacanang seem to be blaming aquino’s drop in rating on the lack or weak message delivery, we wonder if the re-organization that they did, dividing it into 3 parts is the one that is causing the problem. is it possible that when they divided the function into 3 distinct functions, some fell through the cracks.
SWS poll (march 2011) – aquino satisfaction rating suffers a significant drop, the good news and the bad news
a 13 point drop in the satisfaction rating of president aquino is statistically significant. on it’s value it can be a cause of concern for aquino. malacanang or aquino’s handlers are saying it is a concern. as a knee jerk reaction to the 13 point drop, feeling concerned is understandable but they need to look at the number within the framework of other factors and data that is available to them.
first of all, a drop in satisfaction ratings is expected. no president, even aquino can sustain a high rating through the lofe of the presidency. aquino started at a net satisfaction of +60, then moved up to +64. because it moved up to +64, the most recent +51 took a much larger drop of -13 points. if this was pegged at +60, the +51 would have been just a -9 pts drop only.
previous presidents’ satisfaction ratings also showed drops at different periods of their presidency. that just goes to show it is expected that it is impossible to expect that people will perpetually be happy with the president. the beginning of the term of the president always starts on a high note. the people just elected the president, there will be a halo effect on the satisfaction rating of any president during months after the election. it is called the honeymoon period. after the honeymoon, people see the real president with the halo effect from the recently concluded election campaign.
looking at the satisfaction ratings of past presidents, aquino’s most recent rating of +51 and his highest of +64 may be the lowest compared to the highest ratings of past presidents aquino (+69), ramos (+69) and estrada (+67), these ratings are much higher than the highest rating than what arroyo ever got (+30). in fact arroyo’s satisfaction rating record is the worst among all the presidents with arroyo getting minus satisfaction ratings for 25 out of 43 ratings. arroyo’s best rating is at +30 . aquino’s latest rating of +51 is a much more impressive than arroyo’s best.
what that means is that aquino’s presidency so far is serving the people much better than his predecessor, arroyo.
Ratings drop for Aquino
PUBLIC SATISFACTION with President Benigno S. C. Aquino III’s performance has fallen and controversies such as his purchase of a luxury car apparently have not helped, a new Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey found.