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Monday, April 13, 2015

Justice for Mei Magsino

Former Inquirer correspondent Mei Magsino was shot by unknown assailants in Batangas today. I've known her. And whatever other people say, that she has acquired not a few enemies in her life, what is important is that Mei remained a journalist by heart and by action.

Even if she's "semi-retired" in the sense, Mei can't seem to shake off that habit of picking fights when she sees something wrong. That's something which many people will not understand and probably will not ever understand about us, journalists. We have been trained to spot what's wrong about society and we always make sure that, in one way or another, we'll try to shout it out to the world.

Mei, you will be missed. More than this, we need to fight for justice. Cops should not hold their horses, investigate, probe deep and arrest those who killed her.

Killings of journalist remain a serious thing here precisely because no big fish has been caught by the authorities. No BIG personality has been punished. Every single instance, and killings of journalists have even reached an alarming point, something needs our attention.

That's why I don't understand those journalists who criticise the Marcos regime. Compare this 30 years of so-called yellowish era with that of Marcos' and you'll find the unvarnished truth--that more journalists have been killed compared with the 20 or so years under Marcos.

Pony government entered into a deal with a ghost who maintains bank accounts

Who will save us from this stupidity? I am so ashamed not as a Filipino but as a citizen of this Republic.

For years, government reportedly knew his "real name", and so claims this person known as Mohaqher Icbal. However, the military admits they simply don't know. Who knows? Prof. Sheila Coronel-Ferrer and Teresita Deles only? How about the rest of the damned republic?

Icbal says it's a matter of security. For forty years, says OPAPP propaganda, Icbal has been in the thick of things. Eh, yun naman pala eh. He has been in the struggle for years, sacrificing his life for the sake of the "cause". Ano pang katatakutan niya?

I don't agree with Senator Teofisto Guingona's argument that this use of an alias is a trivial matter. It is not as what they (meaning, government) wants us to think.

And what senators failed to ask "Mr. Iqbal" today during Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos hearing was his true nationality. Iqbal says, he will be willing to reveal his true name shortly after the signing of the BBL. There is a deeper reason for this and which this writer knows but will let this "person who claims to be Mohaqher Iqbal" reveal for himself.

Worse, Iqbal says he has numerous bank accounts under his name. So there. That means that government tolerated this person for so long and probably, even gave him a legitimate government ID to use for his transactions.

Is this the price for peace, that we will allow such travesty of our laws, just to get the support of a rebel group and the passage of an ambiguous law?

Hindi ba pwedeng makuha ang kapayapaan sa Mindanao nang walang kalokohan at pagkapahiya natin bilang pamahalaan? Na kailangang hiyain pa lahat ng miyembro ng pamahalaan kapalit ng isang batas na hindi naman natin siguradong magtatagumpay?

Friday, April 10, 2015

10 Reasons why Mohaqher Icbal Uses His Nom de Guerre instead of his real name

  1.       “ Mohaqher” is better than Abu Borat

  1.         “Mohaqher” is sexier than Al Moranas
  2.          “Mohaqher” is easier to write than Ali Ng Esmimo Cabayuhin Co.
  3.          This “Person Known as Mohaqher Iqbal” idolizes ‘This Person Known as Prince”
  4.          Mohaqher is afraid that the public will discover a sex video under his real name. 
  5.         Try to pronounce Mohaqher and you’ll know why “This Person known as Mohaqher” hairstyle is like that.
  6.        This person has so many unpaid loans under his real name. That’s why he told Congress that he cannot reveal his real name “for security reasons.”
  7.       This person idolizes Bong Revilla who even petitioned the court for him to use his dad’s showbiz surname just to win an election.
  8.       Using a nom de guerre is a license for having more than two wives. 
  9.       Mohaqher’s real name is really Vicencio Ganda or Vice Ganda

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

MILF chief negotiator Iqbal refuses to reveal true name--is it mocking Congress?

Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chairman Mohaqher Iqbal refuses to reveal his true name before the duly elected representatives of the people investigating the Mamasapano incident. Iqbal says, he uses so many names since it is a practice in revolutionary organisations. Only the government knows his real name.

Iqbal also confirmed that he used his nom de guerre when he signed the peace agreement with the government.

That explains why the MILF is treating the Mamasapano incident very lightly because those who signed the peace agreement from the MILF ranks used fake names henceforth, the document which establishes peace has ghosts who signed it.

Curiously, even being tagged as Chairman of the Bangsamoro Transitional Council, Iqbal used his nom d guerre. So now, are we saying that we are allowing such an individual like Iqbal to use his nom de guerre as a formal name in lieu of his name in his Philippine birth certificate?

Justice secretary Leila de Lima thinks this is just a "minor thing", and does not affect the validity of the agreement. True, because an agreement does not depend on the very act of signing the legal document--it depends on the way each party treats the document. If the party honors the agreement, then, it is enforced.

So, are we saying that if I, Patricio Mangubat, uses my nom de guerre (this is my nom de guerre, every one knows my real name) in a government transaction, Justice secretary De Lima will not be charging me with falsification of public documents or usurpation of authority if I sign a document with Patricio Mangubat, with an append, say Atty. or Dr or General?

The public, which is the real power behind this Republic deserves a more acceptable explanation. Fact is, we, the Filipino deserves to know who are we really talking to because since Iqbal used only a nom de guerre, he can very well deny possibly in the future that he signed such a peace agreement or the one who signed the peace pact is simply his "self during time of peace", and not his "war" self?


We, the people, deserve nothing more than respect. Respect in the form of our contracting parties entering the negotiating table with clean hands. Respect us by revealing your true identity so that we know who to run to when this issue goes boinkers.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

What Pnoy ought to reflect

After a string of serious missteps which embarrassed government and the entire country, the palace says President Aquino is now thinking of atoning for his sins. He will spend the time reflecting and probably thinking of the many things he did wrong and the many lost opportunities he could have handled very well for the people and unfortunately missed.

IN just a few months unto his administration, and it is only now that Pnoy ever thought of this? How apathetic. What can you do with twelve months?

Instead of atoning for his sins in the sanctity of his chambers, why not go out this Sunday, address the nation and say these things:

1. I'm sorry I misjudged the Mamasapano operation which caused the deaths of 44 of our SAF members. As commander-in-chief of your armed forces, I am responsible for this.

2. As a sign of my sincerity, I am asking the Department of Justice to file criminal charges against the MILF. The recent incident is clearly a massacre and in the interests of justice and truth, I am charging our agencies of government to identify the perpetuators of this crime, pursue them until arrested or neutralized.


RP economic growth taking root in the countrysides--no thanks to Pnoy

I am amazed at the speed development has entered the countrysides. Many people are erecting malls and buildings with spaces to be leased. This just tells you of the enormous demands for commercial space. This means that Filipinos entrepreneurs are sprouting almost everywhere and businesses are expanding.

Now, wait a minute. Before anyone, and that includes Pnoy tries to get some credit for this, let me be blunt and say that this economic growth and expansion was not brought about by this administration. This is actually a fifteen year old thing in the making. It is now bearing fruits because of two things: slowdown of the economies of the US and Europe and the shift of wealth from West to East. Yes, hot money is beginning to re-enter the US economy but because investors have seen the condition of the Philippine countryside, and the enormous market this country has, some of these hot money are now parked here, in the banks. Liquidity allows banks to play, and play they will thru placements and of course, granting or giving of loans. The low interest rates given by the Bangko Sentral is pretty much encouraging people to get more loans. The more people entering into loans and investing these in profitable ventures, the more expansive this growth becomes.

The local bourse is performing very well, which means that people are actively reacting to market stimulus. Consumers are pretty much using their monies to buy things. The more people buy, and the more diverse their choices are, the more sustained this growth becomes.

Again, let me be very frank and say that this is NOT brought about by this administration. This is a natural consequence of the existing condition of the global financial system. Investors are seeing dollar signs in the Philippines. However, this has its time limits.

Palace mulling on tapping TESDA chief as Communications Point man after PDAF/DAP scandals

The palace is considering TESDA chief and Pnoy best friend, Joel Villanueva as its Communications secretary, replacing Sonny Coloma who is being primed to occupy the Civil Service Commission after former health secretary Francisco Duque retired.

Villanueva, who began his political career as a partylist representative of CIBAC, a known anti-corruption group, has been tagged by an accused PDAF man, Dennis Cunanan, as one involved in pork barrel scam. Cunanan positively identified Villanueva's party as involved in coursing thru their congressional allocations to the NGOs of Janet Lim-Napoles. Villanueva's party CIBAC is one among many being investigated by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). see story at "Cunanan links Tesda chief Joel Villanueva to pork barrel 'scam'" Interaksyon, 21 February 2014.

It would be very interesting to see the palace spokesperson evading questions about the pork barrel scam or mouthing statements about morals, morality and the non-use of PDAF. Also interesting to see Villanueva defending other Liberal party members involved in the PDAF scam.

On the other hand, it is a fitting tribute to this administration which began on a high moral standing and ending it with a whimper.

Obviously, Villanueva will just use the free airtime to get himself elected in the Senate after a lacklustre performance in the previous two elections. So much for God fearing people serving government--this one has already been eaten up by the system, sorry to say.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Pnoy's unapologetic stance may cause him the presidency

President Benigno S. Aquino's refusal to apologize for the debacle that is the Mamasapano massacre is something insane, to say the least. Aquino's bull headedness is causing irreparable damage to the institutions of democracy in the Philippines.

His mishandling of the Manila hostage crisis nearly destroyed our bilateral ties with Hongkong. It even led to a ban of OFW deployment in the island state.

I think Pnoy misunderstands the concept of having or exercising a "strong political will." For him, showing strong political will means being bull-headed or pig-headed which is not right.

The reason why Pnoy lost his popularity and the trust of the public is simply the perception of him as an apathetic and pathetic leader. He is seen as apathetic, because he did not show any care for those who died in Mamasapano and "pathetic" because he refuses to remedy the situation and continues or refuses to rectify or even improve his actions adding cause to the perception of him "ducking responsibility" or promoting mediocracy in managing the affairs of the state.

I disagree with Senators Trillanes and Bam Aquino. The more this president refuses to owe up the more likely the possibility of him losing the presidency altogether.

Since when is an apology a political trap?

Mea culpa or mortification in the language of Communicators, is one strategy towards recovery in an event of a PR crisis. Sometimes, it is best to convey this especially if the issue involves the loss of lives. This is being held as an effective tool in mitigating the effects of a crisis. In cases where emotions are high over a perceived serious consequence of an action, communicators normally counsel their clients to admit responsibility and seek mortification. Fact is, it is included in William Benoit's model for image restoration after a PR crisis.

In the case of President Benign S. Aquino III, I cannot simply understand why he is being prevailed upon by his political allies, particularly Senators Antonio Trillions IV and Bam Aquino not to express his sadness and seek for mortification on the Mamasapano massacre.

For one, Aquino is not legally liable for his actions since he did it during the time as Commander in Chief. Admit that there were operational lapses yet those lapses were not committed by Aquino but by a subordinate, if one is to believe the various reports. Can he be held legally responsible for the deaths of the 44 SAF commandos? No. Why? Because it was ascertained that they died due to the non-observance of established protocols.

I was fortunate to have talked with several experts in this field (I talked with a General and a PMAer) and honestly, Getulio Napenas committed several infractions among which is the lack of an exit strategy in the event of a clash. It was held in the Mamasapano report that there was only one exit--which was the way where the SAF commandos entered. The basic SOP especially among operatives is one will not go the way he entered the place of operations. In the SAF case, the troopers tried to escape thru the riverine route which they initially used to enter the MILF camp. They should have considered another route for escape and exit. Fault this with the lack of appreciation of the terrain, which should have been easily remedied by studying aerial maps.

Of course, this does not answer the penultimate question as to why there were no reinforcements made or why Aquino and his peace advisers failed to communicate to their counterparts for the cessation of hostilities. That is another matter altogether.

Insofar as liability in the operational execution of the plan, Aquino is not entirely at fault since based again on the report, Napenas did not execute it the way it should have been executed.

An apology from Aquino is the best ending or closure so to speak, about this matter. It is highly unlikely that shortly after his apology, groups out to get his head would heighten their campaign against Aquino.

Fact is, a mortification would surely disarm these groups because the emotional aspect of this crisis would severely be eradicated. What Aquino lost was his higher moral ascendancy. A mortifying event could afford him a way to regain this.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sabah claim effectively terminated when Bangsamoro Republic goes live

Will the Philippine government abandon the Sabah claim the minute the Bangsamoro Republic goes live? Will the government include residents of Sabah as voters in the plebiscite to be held for the Bangsamoro Basic Law? Why yes and why not?

It is expected that when this Republic goes live, it will eventually assume the claims to Sabah. However, this may even be superfluous since top leaders of this Bangsamoro government unit are closely allied with Malaysia.

What is the true reason why President Aquino and his minions are over-reacting on the Bangsamoro Basic Law? Many people are asking themselves why Aquino is so gung-ho about all these considering that no one really is certain on the success of this "experiment"

And don't tell me that there will never be peace negotiations post-Aquino? Why the rush?

Many, including this writer, thinks that this "rush" is linked with Malaysia. We all know the interest of Malaysia in all of these. Mindanao, for their intents and purposes, is a threat to the security of their country, especially Sabah. We are talking not just on the peace and order situation, but even to their economic security. Mindanao has the potential of becoming that region's economic hub. Its vast natural resources as well as its strategic location makes it an ideal venue for regional trade.

On the security aspect, we all know what happened when elements of the Sultanate of Sulu illegally entered and fought security forces of Malaysia. That was a security nightmare not just for Malaysia but even for the Philippines. President Aquino had to threaten those armed troops of the Sultanate to stand down.

This issue is still absolutely "live", meaning no resolution on the horizon. If the Bangsamoro republic turns legit, then, it will subsume the Sultanate and its adoption into the Bangsamoro state may eventually mean automatic abandonment of the Sabah claim.

In the event that the new Bangsamoro Republic assumes jurisdiction even Jolo, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi, will this effectively end the claim of the Philippines to Sabah?

Is Philippine Daily Inquirer going sexy?

Hard times, yeah. And sometimes, people had to do what's best for business.

For the first time in its thirty plus history, the Philippine Daily Inquirer released a photo of a bikini-clad woman in its frontpage.

Classy? Sexy? But why? Is it to attract more readers or more oglers?

IN a survey, PDI ranked second behind Manila Bulletin and a tad above Philippine Star. Surprisingly, Manila Times and Manila StandardToday are giving the bigger broadsheets a run for their money. Or, that just shows a shift of readership from the perceived "decent tabloid-ism" of PDI to a more "revelatory" treatment being provided for by Standard and Times?

Going back to PDI, hey John, can you explain this?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Aquino Legacy---From NAPoles to NAPenas

Come 2016, President Aquino's six year term will be defined by this phrase:" From NAPoles to NAPenas" stressing two big issues which nearly cost him the Presidency.

This is quite sad. Many well-meaning people thought that it is his Tuwid na Daan which is to define his legacy.

NAPoles is now being seen as the name behind a sophisticated network of scandalous schemes out to get the people's monies. While NAPenas reminds us of the tragic fate of 44 SAF troopers in Mamasapano Maguindanao.

Napoles will forever be in perpetuity as a reminder of how weak our government is in protecting our public coffers, while NAPenas will likewise remind us of how an honest public servant is now being blamed and faulted for something which he only did after being commanded to.

I hate to say it, but I pity the relatives of those fallen SAF commandos. Even now, the very institution which they have sworn to serve and protect is now even rebutting the findings of the very Board of Inquiry which was asked to investigate about the incident, just to protect the hide of President Aquino.

The BOI says there was a clear violation of the chain of command. The Department of Justice says the concept is a military concept and is not being followed in the PNP because the police organisation is civilian in character, not military.

The word here is simple---this administration wants nothing more than shield Pnoy from culpability. Period.

I really don't understand what's the big fuss is all about when it is entirely true that even if Pnoy admits culpability, there is still such a thing as "mea culpa" or an apology. Why is it so hard for Pnoy to admit his mistake and eventually move forward? He cannot be sued for issuing or leading a botched operation. Why the hardening of positions?