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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Koko Darak, err Narak: The Thai Blabbermouth

An uncouth mouth. When Filipinos visit other countries, they are extremely polite and respect the laws of the country they are in. Why? Simply because we were raised by our parents to be respectful of other people, regarding of race or religion.

Now, I don't know about this Koko Darak, err Barak, this Thailander whose name is Prasertsri Kosin. What I heard was he wrote disparaging remarks against Filipinos in his Facebook page and he is now facing deportation proceedings.

Prasertsri works for Cognisant Philippines, a business outsourcing outfit based in Taguig. I reviewed his updates and they seemed to be rantings based on his experiences here.

When he accused us Filipinos of being paranoid and totally fearful of what may happen to us when we walk the streets of Manila, Koko was actually writing about the realities of daily life here. When he narrated how security guards check our bags for deadly weapons, for him as a foreigner, that is worth something ti write about.

Now, people probably took offense when we were called "pignoys." Well, in other countries, being called a pig is an honor rather that a derogatory term. When he describes some of the traits we usually see with other Pinoys, we take offense.

Maybe Koko wants us to face reality and maybe contemplate on how to improve our situation.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Pacquiao faces suit over non-disclosure of shoulder injury

I pity Manny Pacquiao. It appears that he probably allowed himself to be part of the system. He has grown so big, and entirely popular that everyone wants a slice of him only to get disappointing results in the end.

I realised that this "fight of the century" is not all about the sports--it is about MONEY. Floyd is right--this is all about that green buck. Look at how everyone tried to squeeze every publicity juice out of Manny to a point of adulating him like a God. Pre and post-fight advertisement kept Manny's bank accounts fat, fat with capitalist lard. With a guaranteed purse amounting to 100 million dollars, Manny has the option to retire and just enjoy a splendid life of a rich man.

But what about those millions of us whom Manny tricked into believing that he is fighting for us? We were made to believe that Manny's fights are all "para sa Bayan", when, in truth, these are nothing but  multi-million dollar fights for him and his team. Nothing changes after Manny's fights. Win or lose, Manny gets rich while we remain despondent when he loses and resplendent when he wins.

Many got disappointed with the lacklustre performance of Manny that they needed an answer. And they got one--a shoulder injury which Manny hid from the public and exposed post-fight. He sustained this injury three years ago, but it never mattered to him except when he suddenly remembered this injury giving him some uncomfortable periods before and on the third round when Floyd reportedly punched it.

How many more secrets does Manny have? How many more that he did not reveal to us, his adoring fans? Now, he faces several suits for not revealing this to the public prior to the fight.

Those who spent thousands of dollars just to see Manny and Floyd fight their guts out, were disappointed. What we saw was a song and dance routine, where two fighters wanted nothing more than sustain cuts in their brows. We saw two fighters doing the motions and spent the time just jabbing and holding and dancing away from danger. They were too conscious about their faces that after the twelfth round, not one of them sustained a gash in his face.  It is as if we just saw a practice bout between two amateur boxers.

Credit that to the thought of these two already fat with money even before stepping into that ring. Obviously, both want to enjoy those dollars they stole from the public without going to the hospital. That explains why Manny continued the fight even, as he said, he was "injured" and that explains why Floyd flew like a butterfly and stung like a baby.

That fight of a century is a trickery, even a "fuckery" if Amy Winehouse (bless her soul) was to be asked. Time for the public to fuck back.


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Pacquiao vs. Mayweather Jr: This is now a question of who's hungrier between the two

The weigh-in has been concluded. Pacquiao got his ideal weight at 145 while Mayweather Jr. put on extra weight at 146. What does this mean?

Mayweather Jr. will try to add one or two more pounds to his frame before fight night. The intention is simple--he wants nothing more than add more power to his punches. Meaning, Mayweather Jr will try to go for a knockout in the early rounds. Why? Mayweather Jr. knows that the longer this fight becomes, the more uncertain his future becomes. A knockdown in the fourth is ideal for Mayweather jr.

Pacquiao trained for a long fight. The Filipino boxing superstar would try and get his knockdown at the last four rounds. He knows that he can't get that in the first four or five rounds. Why? The experts are correct--Pacquiao's punches are no longer as lethal as they were several years ago.

The Pacman is deadliest at the super featherweight level. At welterweight and with age, the Pacman's punches fail to find its mark most of the time.

Mayweather Jr. has prepared for Pacquiao's punches. He cannot avoid being hit. That's why he wants a bulkier, heavier body to be able to absorb the impact of the Pacman's punches. He's not taller than Pacquiao. That's why he needs weight to be able to take what the Pacman can dish out.

Pacquiao Jr. will try to maul him into submission--that's what Freddie Roach and the Pacman wants. Of course, if there is an opportunity, Pacman would try and sneak a knockout punch, but Mayweather Jr is a veteran fighter. He knows how to evade such things.

Pacquiao's best way to win is literally maul Mayweather Jr into submission, which, I think is entirely possible. Avoid Mayweather Jr counterpunches. They have stings in them.

The Pacman can only do that if he is hungry not for money but for glory. At 36, this is the right time for hi to leave the sport which he has loved for most of his life.

Best if the Pacman wages an intelligent fight, avoid being hit as much as possible while dishing out those inches that hurt. Muhammad Ali is best to describe what I mean " Fly like butterfly, sting like a bee."

The Filipino cannot afford a decision, no. However, some experts think that a split decision will be good for the sport ONLY if Mayweather Jr agrees for another shot. If the Pacman mauls him into ultimate submission, then, we may be witnessing the last fight.

If that is so, then Pacman should finish this in the most grand of fashions.



On Mary Jane Veloso--what's the fuzz? And on the "should haves" that we expect from Pnoy

The president's men are all over town, trying to stir up the public to acknowledge what President Aquino reportedly did for Mary Jane Veloso, the Filipina convicted to die by firing squad in Indonesia due to illegal drugs possession. That last minute conversation by Aquino with Indonesian president Widodo spared Veloso from death.

Are we praising this president for doing the right thing at the last minute? Are we so desperate that even such acts are to be praised? Are we now saying that our standards in leadership have shrunk so low that we still describe this president as a "good one" because of his "last two minute" appeal?

Are we praising Aquino for acting so late in the game? Then are we encouraging him to do the "right thing" even at this late in his administration even though these would be considered as band-aid solutions?

Veloso was arrested last 2010. Five years later, and when Indonesia announced that she's one of the ten convicted drug offenders in that country, did our government intervened from the very highest levels and after Veloso had the scare of her life when she was transferred to the "execution island" pleading to government to ask Widodo to spare her because she was a victim of illegal recruitment. That fact alone should have been identified a year or two years or three years or even five years ago when she was arrested. Imagine, Veloso waited for five long years before government thought of a way of sparing her from execution. That very simple identification of her as a victim than a willing accomplice in a very serious case of drug possession and transportation into Indonesia should have been presented a very long time ago, in the courts, rather than involve two heads of state.

No. There is no reason why this President is to be praised, for a job that he and his army of legal minds in the bureaucracy is supposed to do a long time ago.

This applies to every and all things that this President should have done five years ago. Aquino should have used his powers to build industries in our country to make this economic growth permanent. Aquino should have stopped the implementation  of PDAF and DAP for the benefit of Congressmen, Senators and LGU officials five years ago. Aquino should have rooted out graft and corruption from its very roots five or four years ago when he was still getting a very high approval and trust ratings by cleansing the bureaucracy of misfits.

If I were to define this administration, this Tuwid na Daan which has been the slogan that drove us in a frenzied fashion for the last five years, is, not just me, but many Filipinos, an empty one which led us to nowhere but to different and differing roads.






Thursday, April 30, 2015

Possible outcome of Mayweather vs. Pacquiao Fight of the Century

Many have commented about this fight and the entire boxing universe is somewhat divided over who will win between Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. May weather Jr may not be his usual boastful self and there is a seriousness in the face of the American boxer but we will never know what's in his diabolical mind. We see a very confident Pacquiao but we don't know what really is the feeling of the Pacman. Is he compensating for the doubts in his mind? Yes, he probably completed his training but how about his emotional state?

What I am certain though is this:

1. Pacman will win this fight. This is for the good of the boxing world. A defeat thru unanimous decision which will be in favour of Mayweather will end boxing's richest fight. However, a Pacman win will lead to a Pacman vs. Mayweather II and III, to the delight of both Mayweather and Top Rank promotions. If Pacman wins, this match will not be the richest fight ever. A repeat would surely outclass, outbid and outscore the first one.

2.  It is highly unlikely for Mayweather to agree for a rematch if he wins. He will surely set his sights at other boxers such as Algieri or other younger fighters. Meanwhile, a loss will convince Pacquiao to retire.

3. If this bout goes the distance and the Pacman inflicts major harm to Mayweather Jr. a rematch will never ever happen. May weather Jr. would surely win if this goes the distance.

4. Is Pacman capable of knocking out Mayweather Jr? Yes, but it will not happen in the early rounds. It will happen when Mayweather tires himself out maybe in the seventh or eighth rounds. The Pacman has survived 11 to 12 rounds before while Mayweather, well, yes, but not all of his fights went the distance. Depending on his conditioning, but Mayweather Jr. will surely opt for an early knockout instead of going the distance because he knows that the Pacman gets deadlier as the fight progresses.

Paxman would surely not force the issue with Mayweather Jr and will not choose to knock the American boxer out in the early rounds. May weather Jr is a great counterpuncher. Pacquiao is prone or has the tendency of forcing himself and committing monumental and very costly mistakes in the past. When Marquez knocked the Pacman out, the reason was, Pacman opened himself up which allowed Marquez to sneak a strong punch in. This same thing could happen in this fight if the Pacman becomes overeager.

5. Is Mayweather capable of knocking out Pacman? Yes. The Pacman has been knocked out before. An overeager Pacman would be a disaster because Mayweather is an intelligent boxer. He has a very strong counterpunch. If Pacman decides to come in and initiates a rough fight, Mayweather is expected to respond in a very strong manner.

The main problem of Pacman is Mayweather's agility. May weather knows how to distance himself and use his much longer reach to his advantage. His jabs may not be as strong as Pacman's yet he is capable of unleashing them at the right time and the right place so to speak. Mayweather Jr knows where it hurts and that's why he is a body puncher as well.



Floyd Mayweather morose, Manny Pacquiao smiling

Look at the photos of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and he looks very serious. Compare these to his former photos with different boxers and he's always smiling and sometimes, threatening. With Manny Pacquiao, he's not smiling and even avoided commenting negatively against the Filipino boxing superstar.

Alam o me feeling kaya lang amerikanong boksingero na matatalo siya ke Pacman?

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

On Mary Jane Veloso's case---it's not yet over

Mary Jane Veloso, the alleged victim of human trafficking in Indonesia, has been sent to the Yognakarta city prison after the Indonesian government suspended her execution. But, don't rejoice yet and surely this is NO miracle. This does not mean that Mary Jane has escaped the firing squad. No. Her execution has been suspended pending further investigation of the role of her recruiter in the drug ring operations. Meaning, she will surely die.

INdonesian president Widodo has rejected international calls for a stay in the execution. His explanation is simple--Indonesia is suffering from a very serious drug addiction problem. The only way to fight the drug menace is simply execute those being used to distribute illicit drugs into the country.

Widodo suspended Veloso's execution after being given notice that new evidence has been found and that Veloso would be made to witness against her illegal recruiter. There is no certainty if Veloso would be given a new lease of life or even given back her freedom.

Questions are rising as to the innocence of Veloso. Is she really innocent? Doubts form in my mind. Seems like Mary Jane is not an "innocent victim" here.              

670 million pesos went to Muslim bogus NGO's--COA

The Commission on Audit (CoA) reports that 670 million pesos from the public coffers went to fund programs and activities of bogus Muslim NGO's address. Less I be accused of spreadng false accusations, let me paste the news here from ABS-CBN website.

We need vigilance because when the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) passes, government will pour billions into it and we need to know where these funds went.

 "state auditors said P670.306 million worth of projects that were supposed to benefit Filipino Muslims were implemented by possibly bogus NGOs and people’s organizations (POs).

State auditors said there was again an improper selection of NGOs and POs implementing the projects funded by DAP allocations and Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of lawmakers.

Records show that in 2013, the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) released P155.596 million to various groups.

But COA said the releases did not pass through the proper selection process because concerned lawmakers were again allowed to identify their choice of NGOs or POs as evidenced by letters they sent to the agency’s secretary.

COA pointed out that the selection of NGOs and POs that will implement PDAF and DAP-funded projects “should be undertaken by NCMF because the funds were released to NCMF, thus, it is duty bound to account for the funds to the government and/or to the beneficiaries.

“The continuous practice of allowing the lawmakers to select the NGOs and POs to implement the PDAF and DAP was not in accordance with items 4.5.2 and 4.5.2 of COA Circular No. 2007-001,” COA added.

The NCMF admitted that lawmakers endorsed NGOs to undertake their PDAF projects and explained that this had been the practice in all other agencies that were recipients of PDAF soft projects.

Meanwhile, the audit team conducted an ocular inspection on Jan. 7 to 15, 2014. They found that of 21 NGOs that received PDAF and DAP funds, 12 were without offices at given addresses, 10 with unlocated addresses, seven with located addresses but unknown in the area, six with offices at given addresses, one with located address but already moved out, 18 were without financial and accounting records, 18 without separate savings account and three not inspected for security reasons.

Only four NGOs – I-Help Foundation Inc., Focus on Development Goals Foundation Inc., Coprahan at Gulayan Foundation Inc. and Kabuhayan at Kalusugan Alay sa Masa Foundation Inc. – have their offices at the given addresses and with tarpaulin signage hung outside their residential units.

“In the case of BL Personal Touch Foundation Inc., while the given address was located, no office was observed to be maintained by the NGO. On the other hand, Rich Islas de Filipinas Foundation, Inc. was located inside the informal settlers’ area at the back of Petron gasoline station in Philcoa. Sinag ng Kaunlaran at Pagasa Foundation was located, but the office has no signage. Below the office was a used car showroom, apparently a buy and sell business. Although it was alleged that the office was maintained by the NGO, we believed that the same office was used for another business venture,” state auditors said in the report.

“Sinag ng Kaunlaran at Pagasa Foundation was a newly created NGO and barely eight months in existence without any certified proof that it had implemented similar projects when it received the fund transfer. Despite its non-qualification, NCMF accredited and qualified it to receive fund, contrary to the provision of COA Circular No. 2007-001.

“Since the ocular inspection was conducted, one to two years after the implementation of the project, the nonexistence of the addresses provided by most of the recipient NGOs/POs and the offices maintained by some of them which were no longer located was an indication that upon completion of the PDAF projects, they possibly ceased or stopped operation and/or probably involved in illegitimate business ventures,” state auditors added.

The COA report called on the NCMF to conduct an in-depth investigation to verify the existence of beneficiaries and projects and file appropriate charges against the responsible officers and employees, if warranted.

Agency officials reasoned that at the time the inspection was done in 2014, almost two years had lapsed from the time of the accreditation of these NGOs and implementation of their projects and it was possible that some of the NGOs had moved or closed office.

“Finally, although these NGOs can no longer be located in their offices, their representatives constantly communicate with NCMF for the submission of documentary requirements,” they added.

Questionable liquidation reports

The COA also found that documents supporting the fund transfers to various NGOs or POs in relation to the implementation of PDAF and DAP projects totaling P670,306,300 and their liquidations totaling P451,779,700 as of Dec. 31, 2013 were insufficient. This runs counter to Presidential Decree 1445 or the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines.

State auditors said P324,710,000 worth of projects that were post-audited lacked various documents and proof of proper utilization, including list and photographs of similar projects previously completed by the NGOs or POs; inspection reports of the livelihood starter and/or technological kits procured; Certificate of Project Completion issued by the NCMF authorized representative; and Final Accomplishment Report duly validated by NCMF representative.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Gloc-9---phenomenal!

Gloc-9's 2014 album "Liham at Lihim" (Letters and Secrets) is a very impressive album of a Filipino artist. For those who want to know the Filipino soul, listen to this masterpiece.

Those lyrics, ah, such that touches my very soul to its deepest core. It reminds me of my youth and not a few made me cry.

Some of these songs, "Huminahon ka", " KMT", "Takim-Silim" (Regine's voice is so immaculate here. Very nice), " Siga" and others. Listening to Gloc-9 forms images in your mind, of the ordinary scenes in urban Manila.

Manila here is not your postal card pretty city but shows you the inner belly of a slowly rotting city.

What strikes my heart is the song, " Itak ni Andres". This song is really very impressive. Excellent. Nicely done.

I think the compilation of songs here especially including this song "tsinelas sa putikan" is a masterpiece. "Hindi sapat" is an emotional tribute song to Gloc-9's mother. Listening to this song reminds one of one's mother.

I bought one thru I-tune's and this is, I think, one of my best purchases ever.

I salute you Gloc-9! Thanks for reviving the light within my heart.




Saturday, April 25, 2015

Where would the NPC and the Nacionalista party put their political bets

The Liberal party has its bet, Mar Roxas, possibly running with Grace Poe. UNA, which is the party formed by merging former president Joseph Estrada's Partido ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) and Vice president Jejomar Binay's PDP-Laban is fielding Binay as their own. Lakas is financing Rudy Duterte's trial balloon but nothing is definite yet.

Now, there are two main parties left which are the Nationalist Party controlled by former senator Manny Villar and the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC) of Danding Cojuangco. The NP has three potential candidates, namely Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Bongbong Marcos and Antonio Trillianes IV. While there's no news coming from the NPC ranks, which formerly tried and failed to field Senator Chiz Escudero.

It is important to know where these parties will go or what direction will they take in the coming months since they are considered serious parties as well with their vaulted mass networks. NP is the second biggest political party yet we haven't heard from them.

Several months ago, talks that Senator Manny Villar was trying to revive his presidential interests went south when his wife, Senator Cynthia Villar herself doused cold water to the proposal. If you study what's happening very closely, it is actually a good time for Villar to revive his presidential ambitions, for several reasons.

1. Villar is perceived by the business community as a safe candidate. He belongs to the community and therefore understands what the business community needs.

2. There is no charge of corruption against Villar.

3. There is no formidable name among those being chosen strong enough to counter Vice president Jejomar Binay.

What is entirely possible is a Villar vs. Binay fight which is like a Mayweather vs. Pacquiao one.

Or, the Nationalista party can very well coalesce with the Liberal Party and secure the senatorial lineup as well as the second spot if Grace Poe decides to join the Nationalista.

In that setup, obviously the LP will gain more because their bet is weak. The only question really is--would it be enough to prop up the sagging popularity of Roxas? I don't think so.

If the Nationalista decides to put their trusts behind Binay's camp, then, the Vice president wins, hands down. The thing is two Nacionalistas, namely Cayetano and Trillianes were responsible for that smear campaign against the Vice president and this puts a merger in a very tight spot.

Of course, that will only happen if these two nincompoops bolt the party and join their principals at the Liberal party.

Possible deserters from the NP side are Cayetano and Trillianes who are expected to join the Liberals. If this happens, then they will be cheering in the sidelines with Grace Poe acting as Mar Roxas' John the Baptist. Will they sacrifice their own promising careers and reputations just to make Roxas' win? Well, this question is surely a multi-million enigma.

Now, how about Lakas?

Surely, Lakas will not field their own candidate because doing so would further decimate their ranks and eventually lead to their irrelevance. They would surely place their bets to the winning or probable winner. I bet my bottom dollar they would go to Binay.

So there.

Let's see what the Nationalist party would do in the next few weeks. Will they field their own or will they just coalesce but to whom or which party?


Oktaves, Frank Sinatra and the Peso Movement--New, Great Sounds

My almost 10-year sabbatical leave in going to the bars to listen to band music suddenly stopped when my wife and I went to 70's Bistro last night. I expect the usual "sound" laced with the usual lyrics of militancy. What I heard impressed me.

The first band is called Frank Sinatra and they sounded very well. I didn't remember their names but they were both witty and somewhat quirky but highly entertaining. I am looking for fresh, new sounds, and theirs fit my requirements to a "T". However, some of their strains remind me of the Doors, my favourite all-time band.

The next one is called Peso Movement. A Filipino-Brit (?) leads the four man band. Their sound is very impressive, to say the least. It reminds me of the early days of the Jerks. But this band man, they're very creative. I call them lyricists.

The last one which forced me to stay up until 2am is called Oktaves. Ely Buendia, a co-Narrahan, leads the band. Peel off the layers and you have a punk inspired band. There is an attempt to do some "mainstream stuff" and even introduce "Western", which is novel. They are like punks in suits.

Punks in suits, sounds great.

Now, I believe there is still hope for a great revival of the band scene. 70's bistro is still carrying the torch alive.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Bert Lina's ascension as Customs Chief: Sign of Abandonment of Tuwid na Daan and Possible Election Fraud Plan?

Two things--the palace admits that Bert Lina is an election financier of President Benign S. Aquino III and that he was formerly involved in an election anomaly as well as a businessman involved in the freight business.

With his ascension as Customs Chief, Lina's quick appointment was a cause of worry by many. For one, when Lina was still Customs chief under the Arroyo administration, that was a time when smuggling was at its peak. Likewise, Lina is an owner of AIR21, with direct dealings with the Bureau. There is obviously, a conflict of interest.

Is Lina's appointment a sign that the Aquino administration had given up and raised its hands in frustration over the continued inability of the leadership to curb rampant smuggling? Seems like it.

Former Customs chief John Sevilla says his resignation was caused by intense politicking within the bureau. Sevilla also revealed that he is being eased out primarily because he does not want to be a party to requests for fund-raising by certain political forces out to ensure the victory of a hated presidential bet in 2016.

1.5 billion pesos are the amounts of monies generated by the bureau every single day. imagine just 10% of that as protection money, that is more than enough to pay off certain people to keep their mouths shut while certain groups disfranchise the people of their voices.

Sevilla is an honourable man, a great asset of government, in any administration. This is a sad day for all of us, Filipinos, because of the corruption embedded deep into the system, persons like Sevilla who wants to serve the government with utmost honesty are now slowly being eased out and replaced by carpet baggers who knows no rules, no ethics.

Truly, there is really no way out of the rut we are in except perhaps, launch a revolution that would eliminate all these people from the very face of the earth.

Be aware---if and when these people cheat their way in 2016, expect a bloody war that will end all conflicts in this country, I assure you that. Even ordinary people like me, will go out of their comfort zones and militate and take arms against these groups.