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Monday, December 22, 2014

On MRT-LRT Fare Hike---Kapal!!

Just like what many predicted---these so-called mechanical and technical glitches which resulted even in certain injuries were used as reasons for the MRT-LRT fare hike. DOTC secretary Joseph Abaya says the 50% to 75% rate hike was "the right thing to do."


The right thing to do is for them, DOTC officials to do what is right and resign. They haven't done anything good for the country.

What is right is for them to stick to their annual budgets, hire the former firm that maintains the MRT system in tip-top condition and fire the Vitangcol firm that DOTC officials gave the privilege of maintaining the integrity of the system.

What is Right is for these officials to think of ways first of fixing all these problems using their present budgetary allocations before even arriving at a conclusion that the fare hike is the only solution.

It is always the policy of this administration that for every incompetent action made by government, let the public suffer the consequences. It's always a "pass-on" thing.

The public is now more knowledgeable than before. The public should not be made victim of this incompetence.

It is time to militate and show the government that enough is enough.

The Filipinos are not suckers for bad services. We pay for what is Right and that Right is anchored on quality service.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Is Grace Poe the President we need come 2016?

Are we really so desperate that, because of our perception that the Vice president is corrupt that we will sacrifice practically everything and elect an incapable person as President come 2016?

I am referring to Senator Grace Poe. For starters, I have nothing against the good senator. Fact is, I was one of those who fought and even sacrificed my future for her father, FPJ. I believed in what FPJ stood for and for that, I gave my all just to make sure that he wins that election. Everyone knows now that Arroyo and her minions rigged the elections and snatched victory away from FPJ.

Poe is not the ideal candidate for president. For one, she does not know the workings of government. Remember that she spent most of her years as a kid and as an adult abroad and even abandoned her Philippine citizenship when she resided in the continental states.

Government is not Poe's cup of tea. How then will we entrust the affairs of government to her, just because of our perception that she is "clean" and without "corruption"?

Corruption is one thing embedded already in the very bureaucracy that defines our system. We need to destroy the very system first in order to extract, and uproot corruption from its very core. Is Poe the one to uproot this from the very system which she so nurtured and loved as a member of the elite?

Some say, the un-initiated can be taught, just like what we did with Cory. Bull. Crap.

Was government under Cory better off than, say what Marcos did or what Erap or FVR did during their terms? Remember that during Cory's time, it began the selling of government assets, long brownouts and a never-ending political instability that caused the country so much.

There was a "saving grace" under Cory--she revived democracy and we recovered our liberties. This is another invention.

Yes, we recovered our voices at the expense of losing the pillars of industry that are supposed to ensure our future. That explains why Big Business loved Cory--she was the one who sold most of what the people built during Macapagal and Marcos time and gave it to her business allies.

Are we ready to accept that Grace Poe will continue the Aquino policy of selling government assets and the policy of not building anything, not creating the industrial infrastructure to ensure the people's future? Seems like it because that is what Poe understands about the "Tuwid na Daan."

Tuwid na daan, for all its supposed value, is really a failure. For one, Tuwid na dawn simply means for those who implemented it that everybody should toe the line otherwise, you'll suffer. Its simply a straight line going nowhere. It likewise means "Business as usual" because it is not supposed to be going up but definitely not going South either. It's just a straight line. No change, we simply continue the good aspects of the previous administration and get rid of the perception of corruption on the large scale.

There is a strong possibility of Grace Poe agreeing to become the administration's standard bearer. Is Poe cognisant of the very symbolism that this entails?

When Poe dons the administration jacket as its standard bearer, she does so as a member of the very elite that conspired against her father. Poe will actually be joining the very people that united against her father.

Is Poe ready to sacrifice the strong goodwill the people reposed on her by agreeing to become president and later, vilified because of her innocence of real politic, her lack of management skills and her inability as a consensus builder?

Remember that should the 1992 election scenario repeats itself, Poe will have a very hard time as President because of her election as minority president. For six years, the government under her will be held hostage by various Big Business interests which will undermine her own concept of governance and her own concept of serving the people. Will Grace Poe muster enough political will to effect the changes she desires for the people?

Bilibid prison chief should be fired now!

Bilibid prisons chief Bukayu has a very confident alibi. For the sake of peace, he allowed those drug lords to order a bath tub, several appliances and high tech equipment. According to Bukayu, he was asked by Noynoy to institute changes in Bilibid. So, what Bukayu did was brilliant---he brought the outside into the "inside". For the prisoners not to think of riots, let them enjoy the privileges they so enjoyed when they were still "free" men.

Bukayu even had the gall of defending his actions by saying that Bilibid is now actually a town--not a prison facility. Fact is, Bukayu even lied when he described Bilibid as a town because Bilibid right now is more of a "country" composed of several towns controlled by "mayores" and "lords"

Maybe Bukayu thought of his job as a hotel manager, not a jailer.

Or maybe Noynoy forgot to brief Bukayu that Bilibid is a prison, a containment facility, meant to deprive  a convict of the freedoms he so enjoyed before his conviction. Of course, Bilibid likewise serves as a rehabilitation facility. It is supposed to re-instill discipline by reminding the convict of the value of freedom he lost when he violated state laws.

How then will a drug lord value what he lost when Bukayu himself had this policy of bringing the "outside" into the "inside"? Bringing those appliances in is a small matter. Fact is, it is just a confirmation of what everyone knows except of course Bukayu, who maintains his innocence and his lack of supposed knowledge of what goes on inside the facility he so owns.

For that alone, his supposed "innocence" and his lack of knowledge of what goes on, is more than sufficient reason to fire Bukayu.

Likewise, Bilibid should be rehabilitated as a prison's facility. Government should take back Bilibid from the convicts. What is happening there is a direct mockery of the very system of justice we so value as a people.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Weakened Philippine opposition opens possibility of a Dark Horse running for the presidency come 2016

Will they all be out of power come 2016?
There is no doubt about it---the only opposition against the existing or prevailing dispensation is the one being handled by former president Joseph Estrada and to some extent, those belonging to the camp of vice president Jejomar Binay.

The expected "bang bang" from the Nationalista Party or the Nationalist People's Coalition is a dud. Most personalities connected with the NP or the NPC mouth statements similar with those of Palace spokespersons Edwin Lacierda or Sonny Coloma.

At this point, the only "opposition" in the strictest sense of the word, is simply the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, which is the only party with an authentic political platform. All the other so-called "political opposition" are duds or fakes.

Anyway, the "legal opposition" is being decimated slowly but surely by forces close to the administration, and some say, even by forces within the opposition who want to control it.

Enrile, as I said, is in jail. Binay is being cut down publicly and his political enemies are thinking of filing criminal cases against him to prevent him from running, and eventually, winning the presidency come 2016.

Estrada, meanwhile, is said to be on his way out come January. The SC decision will be announced prior to the Papal visit, to manage whatever "angry" responses coming from the Erap camp.

Will the Erap camp treat this lightly?

Meanwhile, another criminal case was filed against the Binays in the hopes of getting him behind bars before April of 2015. Why April? Because if Binay is not in jail by that time, his financiers will still recover their senses and if he announces formally a party which will back him up come that month, then, he has a fighting chance to win 2016.

Some say, these anti-Binay attacks are all meant to destroy his mass base. Wrong. These attacks are meant to dissuade those who want to finance his run. Even a popular candidate such as Binay will lose if he does not have the money to oil his machinery. That's realpolitik.

Anyway, it does not bode well for Philippine democracy if all these things happen. A weakened opposition is not reflective of a true democratic society.

However, this brings us to our main subject--the emergence of a dark horse.

The dark horse is reputedly someone coming from the NP or the Nacionalista Party. I am not at liberty of really putting his or her name here but suffice it to say, 2016 will be a repeat of both 1992 and 2010, with some modifications---the dark horse has a strong chance of clinching the post, to the surprise of those inside the Aquino administration.

Will Grace Poe prosecute Abad etal for DAP?

Seems like the Palace is now an inch near its objective--force an understanding with Senator Grace Poe and convince her to become the administration's presidential bet come 2016. And it seems that the Poe camp is nearing a decision. 

There is no issue--Grace Poe is being projected right now as a "political angel." People perceive her as "clean". No doubt about it if Grace really embraces what his father believed and died for--the dream of a new day for the hapless masses.

If the only consideration for Grace to run is to fatten her financial support base or to ensure the protection of certain members of the Aquino administration from possible prosecution due to the much ballyhooed Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), then, that is NOT, to my mind, what her father wanted.

This early, Poe's actions are at best, populist. But, can she really pull a wonderful magic rabbit out of her hat the minute she is elected as minority president? We all know what happened in Cory's time, when she was elected not as largely as what everyone thinks but as a minority president as well. She managed the affairs of the state in a very destructive way.

Will Poe fix even the serious traffic situation even in the Metro?

The only question to my mind is this---who are the people behind Grace Poe? Are they also clean? What about her husband? Is he also as "clean as a whistle"?

Was there no point in the nearly six year political career of Poe that she was not involved in any DAP-influenced project or projects? Who finances her moves? No politician ever uses his own money in politics. They always have sponsors, mostly carpet baggers who patiently wait along the aisle for projects for their donee to throw their way.

What Grace Poe should consider is this---the possibility of her being enticed to the "administration" so that the mystique of the Poe name is tarnished or diminished. FPJ, Grace father, is more than a movie icon. He symbolises the hopes and aspirations of the Filipino. And these hopes are anchored towards a belief that actions of government must emanate from a clear determination of the people's collective welfare.

In the last time when Poe commemorated her father's death, the good senator mentioned the phrase "tuwid na daan." Maybe Poe thought that the "Bagong Umaga" concept of which her father was widely known for, runs in parallel with this yellowish mantra?

Ms lady senator, the "Bagong Umaga" concept is totally different with that of "tuwid na daan." Tuwid na dawn presupposes that government is getting no where and the solution is simply make everyone toe the line.

"Bagong Umaga"is all about renewal, regeneration, rebirth. What FPJ aspired for is a totally different government, run and managed by competent people and decisions are based on collective action. It is revolutionary. It does not consider a middle road but a sure path towards development.

Consistent with the "Bagong Umaga" concept, will Poe consider prosecuting those who committed grievous sins against the people during Aquino's time?

Will Grace Poe be her "own woman" or will she just run for the sake of those who fear prosecution post-Aquino?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The downfall of RP's Three Kings and the Effects of a Grace Poe candidacy in Mar Roxas' destiny of being King

The downfall of the Three Kings, the Possible Candidacy of Grace Poe and its effects in Mar Roxas’ destiny of being King himself
By Ricky Rivera

In the summer of 2013, three public personalities came out and announced the possible victory in the political arena of their new alliance. Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile, former president Joseph “Erap” Estrada and Makati mayor Jejomar Binay went out and declared themselves the “Three Kings”.

A year later, this new group of so-called political royalties was practically wiped out in the political scene. Enrile is now in jail, Binay is facing numerous accusations of graft and corruption while Erap now faces possible ouster from his post as Manila mayor. Binay has since declared himself independent of his former political party, the PDP-Laban while Enrile has since left the United Nationalist Alliance which he joined alongside his good friend, Erap Estrada.

Rumors are swirling that Erap may be ousted from his post this January the minute a Supreme Court decision comes out which disqualifies him from the post. Sources say, the decision came from the case filed by defeated mayoral candidate Alfredo Lim, a former Erap political ally. Lim argued that Erap’s “pardon” attaches a caveat of not participating in any electoral exercise.

If this happens, then its 2001 again for Erap, who was ousted in a January mutiny, 13 years ago. 13, according to close friends of Erap, is really a bad number for the former president who is also reputed to be a strong believer of numerology.

What happens to the “opposition” if Erap loses his post and the only “king” left is Vice president Jejomar Binay?

Speculations are rife that the “Powers-that-be” are likewise planning, nay already salivating, of seeing Binay behind bars prior to 2016. The anti-Binay camp is silent, probably creating and calculating their next moves. What is most certain is that this group will try and get Binay come February, shortly after the Papal visit and maneuver to cause the filing of a criminal case against the vice president come April. A criminal case will surely prevent Binay from running in 2016. Failure to do this means Binay running for the presidential post and possibly snatching the top post if he runs against Poe.

Poe, according to several sources, is being courted actively by the President himself. There is a possibility that Pnoy will repeat what his mother did in 1992---announce his support for Mar Roxas and then shifting it to Poe, if the senator throws her hat unto the political ring.

The problem with a Poe candidacy is her lack of grassroots machinery. Remember that in 2010, Poe ran using Chiz Escudero’s network. If Poe runs, surely Escudero will definitely be not far behind. Is the administration pushing for a Poe-Escudero tandem? The possibility is not impossible. With Escudero’s vaulted grassroots machinery paired with the administration’s and financed by fat bonuses from the 2015 national budget, the win is as sure as day.

What then happens to Mar, whom sources say, considers the 2016 as his key ticket towards his supposed “destiny”—that of the presidency?

Hard core Liberals will surely push Mar to declare his candidacy. He will run with a candidate from the Nacionalista Party, possibly either Alan Peter Cayetano or Antonio Trillianes IV. Or if Mar’s ratings continue its slide, the NP may even consider fielding their own candidate, which, most likely, would be their president, former senator Manny Villar. More on this later.

What is most certain is that a Poe candidacy is like a monkey wrench thrown at the administration party. Many Liberals are thinking of pairing Mar with Poe (Roxas-Poe tandem or RP Team), which some of Poe’s close advisers would probably agree. Running for the vice-presidential post is Poe’s safest bet. For one, Poe is a sure winner, a vice presidential run is not as costly as a presidential and this is a possible “win-win” solution.

Why is it that the administration is betting for a Poe? One, many members of the Aquino administration are banking on her support post-Aquino. Surely the president does not want to suffer the same fate as that of Gloria’s.

Aquino and his cabinet members feel safe with Poe which they feel will not fight their interests post-Noynoy. They don’t feel the same way with Binay. The on-going power struggle between the Binay faction which is composed of several groups closely allied with the Aquino family and those of the Hyatt 10 or Balai group has already turned personal and surely, the Balai group will definitely not allow themselves to be tagged or persecuted after Noynoy.

Poe is a logical choice because she appears to be not a real political threat, much the same way, political bigwigs perceived Noli de Castro, who won the vice presidential post inspite of being connected with former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Yes, Poe is popular but she does not have real power or real weight as a political player. Anytime, Poe can be demolished by her enemies through accusations of corruption. Poe knows that the formula that worked to demolish Loren Legarda applies even to her. She cannot forever hide behind the contrived belief that she is a Poe—a daughter of former presidentiable Fernando Poe Jr. There will be a time when her name will be disassociated with the good name of her surrogate father and eventually cause her downfall in the political arena.

With Poe as a potential administration candidate paired with Roxas, there is a strong chance of winning the presidency once more for the true beneficiaries of the Tuwid na daan—the political families which back this administration and have consolidated their political and economic bases to perpetuate their hold unto the economy and the political state.

Monday, December 15, 2014

A minority president in 2016 will affect RP economic performance

Those who are manipulating the public arena to force what analysts say as the election of a minority president are forewarned. Unlike 1992, when we have a personality like an ex-general winning over politicians and technocrats, the scenario in 2016, is entirely different. In the current roster of "presidentiables", no one can swing things about and create a favourable environment similar with what Fidel V Ramos achieved during his term.

The election of a minority president will surely be detrimental to the overall people's interests because he simply cannot issue policies that benefit the people more than Big Business.

A minority president will always be prey to the selfish motives of various forces. Such a president  will surely not move without incurring the ire or complaints of groups with ideological,business, and political interests.

2016 is most critical juncture in our history because it is supposed to be the continuance of our economic development that began in 2010. Economic revival started when investor confidence began pouring in. The Aquino administration used the anti-graft platform and began catching the attention once more of both foreign and local investors.

The finance department as well as different banks expect the Philippine economy to perform at par with 2014, which is good news.

I fear that we will face a self-created political instability when such a scenario happens. Even with the election of a "perceived political angel" in the person of a Grace Poe, if she is elected in a very tight contest, Poe can never use her political powers to effect changes in the bureaucracy.

The only reason why Aquino and his cabinet were able to effect changes was because of the president's high popularity, trust and approval ratings. These ratings discouraged "would-be" destabilisers of government.

If a minority president is elected, contending forces will always try to force a standoff with the winning administration. An aggrupation of several political forces which lost against the minority party will always be a serious threat to the very survival of the entire Republic.

It will likewise be a hard climb for the minority president since

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Days without Mac

It's been two days and I'm missing my Mac, and badly.

All my relevant files are there inside that aluminum body case. My whole work for an entire two years are inside that hard disk. Fortunately, it's integrity is intact. The one who initially checked my laptop said it must be the i/o or the logic board. I want another opinion precisely because, Macbooks are expensive machines.

Fortunately, I have my HP screen touch laptop. This has been my backup since I began working with a Mac. It's good but the thing is, I am missing the sound from my JBL portable speaker. This laptop does not recognize this wireless wonder.

Years ago, Macs were tough ones. You can troubleshoot it.

Now, you can't because it will spoil the warranty. Macs, they say, are more sensitive now than before. I miss those sturdier macbooks.

For me, the next best thing is a Toshiba laptop. I used mine for several years before I retired it.

My mistake is that I did not buy an Apple Care. Had I did, this would not cost me much now.

Typhoon Ruby cleanses path for Pope Francis

In the bible and other ancient scriptures like the Noble Quran, water represents not just life but a way of cleansing oneself. In the deluvian story as narrated in the Book of Genesis, instead of fire, which consumes whatever it touches, God used water, a similar strong apocalyptic force yet instead of consummation, water actually cleanses.

Typhoon Ruby turned from a super typhoon into a mere tropical depression the minute she landed in Laiya in Batangas. Accurate rendition by the Pagasa made everyone feel safe.

Another storm is coming. If we are as prepared as what happened in the Ruby case, then, all will be fine.

Honestly, this is all we expect government to do for us---muster enough courage, gather all its resources to make us safe.

Now, I can't seem to shake off the idea that Typhoon Ruby was caused by God. Ruby went in a similar fashion like Yolanda, albeit, with minimal effects. Seems like Ruby was created to make way for Pope Francis? Was it God's way of cleansing the places of desolation which Yolanda wrought?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Government pre-disaster preparedness shows what government really is for

IN all of Philippine history, it is not just human actions that shape or alter it--natural disasters are also instrumental in changing the course of our history. Fact is, Philippine history is replete with instances where heroic actions caused by men were reactions from the effects of geophysical changes happening in their midst.

In our times, had Typhoon Ruby maintained its super typhoon strength and battered the National Capital Region (NCR) to smithereens, it could have been a political game changer. Remember that this administration's ratings began to go south when it blundered relief efforts in Typhoon Yolanda. The public began to lose confidence in the capabilities of this government to protect them during disasters.

These past few days show how effective and how valuable government is to its people. The effective implementation of pre-disaster preparedness protocols was near perfect. Local Government Units (LGUs) were effective in organising rescue and relocation of people. One described what happened as the second biggest relocation effort since World War two.

And this is not easy. It takes a gigantic effort, a Herculian task that involves skill in logistical and chain management. For this, I take my hat off for the government.

Lessons from the Book of Noah from Noah the movie

Watch Noah, a movie about a pre-Deluvian man of God. For those who know the Bible, he is the one described by the Ancients as the son of Lamech, a son of Methuselah, the oldest man on biblical record.

The movie is unique because it captures visually, the socio-economic environment depicted in the bible. While watching the movie, you get to feel as if the very milieu where Noah and his family once roamed was re-created before your very eyes.

Russel Crowe played Noah, while other familiar faces acted in the movie.Unlike other Hollywood-sy movies, Noah is simple yet visually affective. Cinematography at its best. The use of special effects is likewise admirable.

What I like about this movie is its faithful rendition of the Biblical version, spiced up by recent archaeology and probably even used The Book of Enoch, a book which, though not included now in the present roster of Books in the Bible remains a very influential one because of it being quoted liberally by several authors of the bible.

Basically, the question that the movie wants resolved is--what defines man?

Is man, a creator, just like God? When Adam sinned, he and his family were banished from the Garden of Eden. God planted him in a place far away. There, the first men laboured and toiled in the earth. Without the grace of God, Adam worked the land, planted seeds and got his nourishment from the fruits of the land.

Watchers or in some places, transliterated to be "angels" were sent by God to "watch over men." In the Bible, some of those who did, lusted upon the women of men and had carnal knowledge with them. They procreated and produced mythical giants of old called Nephilims.

Those angels who watched and eventually helped man worked the land, were banished from heaven and became "watchers." In the Book of Enoch, their sin was they shared knowledge with men. That knowledge, man used to dominate other men. Thus, it led to sin.

Men fought for resources using the tools given to them by the Watchers. Men began killing other men and thus sin increased in the land. Blood was spilt and it spoiled the earth.

Thus, God had no choice but to cleanse the earth of all filth. He then tasked Noah to build the Ark, where he will stay, along with his family and the species that roamed the earth.

Question--why was it that Noah did not include dinosaurs in there? Seems like all those animals included in the ark were of those species which existed after the dinosaur era. Or probably, because of men's sin and greed, they virtually wiped out the dinosaurs during those times?

Going back to the question of what defines man. Is man a creator himself or a servant?

For Noah, man is to serve God without any question. His unwavering faith in God transformed him into what we now term as fundamentalists. Noah, like his great, great grandson Abraham, never tried to question what God intended to do. He is ready to even kill his own kin, if God wanted to.

When his adopted daughter sired two daughters out of wedlock with his son, Shem, in defiance of what God wanted which is the eradication of mankind, Noah was adamant. This was not God wanted, he ranted.

He then resolved upon himself to kill the two babies. Shiloh relented and when at the very moment when he raised his arm to strike those babies, his grand daughters, Noah prevented himself from doing so.

Noah did not muster enough courage to do what God had instructed him to do and that led him to a moment of extreme mortification.

What the film resolved is the fact about free will. Yes, man is to serve God, but this service must be of willingness to do God's bidding. Man must learn not just to serve, but to exercise mercy in circumstances where it is not clear what God really wanted.

God, in His anger, wiped out nearly all creation from the face of the earth. What the movie gave us as a lesson is that love and mercy are two things which God also felt when He allowed the waters to cleanse the earth.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Aquino administration--impressive so far in handling Typhoon Ruby

This early, I'm impressed with the way government is handling the pre-disaster preparedness stage in response to the possible dire effects of supertyphoon Ruby. I believe several of our government officials have learned already and are pro-active in terms of response now.

EASTERN SAMAR has already been hit and everything, according to reports are down there. Pagasa expects Ruby to bring tremendous rains today in the National Capital Region (NCR). This typhoon packs very strong winds and lots of rains.

Government suspended work and classes today but fell short though of declaring private work suspended. Private firms should suspend work today to allow everybody to be prepared. The frickle-ness of this typhoon is contributing to its lethal-ness. Pagasa admits that they are beginning to see it difficult to predict when and how this typhoon would behave and move.

Be safe everyone.