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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Our President for 2016

By 2016, some forty million Filipinos will again go to the polls to vote for their president. Fifty one percent of these millions belong to the 18-34 years old age group, mostly high school graduates, working mostly in service, industrial and agricultural sectors and are highly mobile.

They have just three issues in mind: rising costs of everything, corruption in government and joblessness. These are issues which affect the gut and have been issues since this Republic came to being.

Again, voters will elect those who they think understand their predicament, someone with a very practical solution to pressing daily issues, and someone who provides the hope that many of these passive survivors need to hear, and cling themselves into.

Those who aspire for the top post will try to amplify their visions and themselves before the media. Many of them will use the internet to plead for the support of the Intelligentsia while use traditional modes of contact with most of those who will vote.

Those who successfully connected themselves with parents will definitely win. Those who animate the minds of the influencers will win.

If elections are held today, Vice President Jejomar Binay is the best man to beat every single one of those who dream of occupying Bahay Pangarap, one of them Mar Roxas.

Why Binay? Because people see in him something which they have. They see in him not just a visionary but a hard worker. He worked himself up. He belonged to the masses and someone even think that he is like Hugo Chavez.

How about Mar Roxas? Well, if he can shed his Mestizo skin, be forthwith, ask his friends to stop pressing private firms for reportedly election funds, and be as honest as possible in discussing his vision for the country, then, maybe, just maybe, he increases his chances for the top plum.

There are others who deserve a break.

Manny Villar remains a highly probable candidate. Bongbong Marcos, to my mind, has the qualities of a great leader and president. Unknown to many, Bongbong Marcos is a radical and an iconic figure. He could propel the country towards greatness again.

For our next president, we need both a popular and a strong willed individual. Popular because he uses that to justify his actions. Strong willed because he needs that for the bureaucracy to toe the line and for everyone to fear him and lessen the incidence of graft and corruption.


Janet Lim-Napoles as state witness? Then, why not turn the Ampatuans too?

Janet Lim-Napoles is expected to go under the knife this morning. The alleged mastermind of the monumental billion peso pork barrel scam artist, as what reports picture her to be, was reportedly fearful of her mortality. She wants to confess all.

There's a catch though---she wants to be a state witness. Wow.

Let me oversimplify this matter. There is this high profile thief. She stole billions from government. Government charges her with crimes. Yet, government is unable to establish a strong case. It needs someone to revalidate what sub-principals have alleged.

This thief offers to witness for government. Reason? Well, those billions she keeps in several banks here and abroad. She was deprived briefly of her lavish lifestyle.

Of course, she wants nothing more than preserve her material possessions, which most she got from her years of defrauding many of their monies.

Let us call a spade a spade---I cannot stomach the fact that a killer of dreams like Janet Lim-Napoles will be used by the government in order to pin its case down against those who profited from Napoles' nefarious schemes.

Worse, Justice secretary Leila de Lima even pictured Napoles as a "religious woman", praying the rosary when she arrived at her hospital suite at the Ospital ng Makati. This is outrageous. Of course, a condemned individual would really pray before any Mammon just to save her damned soul.

Janet Lim-Napoles should be prosecuted period. She should spend the rest of her breath in jail. Fact is, many people want even her relatives to suffer like her since they too lavished from the loot she amassed.

Why is this case so different from other cases? Well, precisely not just due to the enormity of the funds Janet Lim-Napoles and her cohorts got from the public coffers, but to the sheer brazenness and simplicity they took those funds from us.

We, who sweat it all out every single day. We, who fear every single time the BIR gets our taxes where would those monies go to. We, who fear for the future of our children because of rising costs of food stuffs, of education, of transportation, of everything.

We who fear for the direction this country is getting itself into, and we who fear every single day what would happen to us when we walk in those unguarded streets and we who line up in kilometer long queues just to get to work, we are the Judge, the People.

Let government use all its power to get the truth out of Lim-Napoles without her serving as state witness. Let us squeeze every juice out of her damned mind and soul, and thereafter, condemn her to a life of perfidity, of perpetual punishment.

I blame the government for this.

They used this controversial issue to hide the ongoing sale of major and critical infrastructures. They are using the issue again to bury the US$30 million extortion attempt made by several officials of the DOTC. They are using this issue to prosecute political enemies. They are using this issue for us not to mind the below the table deals several government officials are doing for the sake of their chosen political bets come 2016.

In approaching this issue, government has not been as brutally honest as what most people expect it to be. Instead of applying the law, government use and will use this high-profile thief as a political tool.

Let Justice prevail. Prosecute Janet Lim Napoles and all those barong-clad thieves in our midst. Let the full force of the People's justice be applied to all of them. Instead of "baby-ing" these thieves, use the full force of the Republic in getting the juice out of them.

Monday, April 21, 2014

NCFC blames Abaya for systemic breakdown of comm and transportation

Lack of foresight by DOTC caused Holy Week systemic breakdown

Glitches in the operation of the MRT and the LRT as well as sudden breakdowns in the operation of airports and seaports during the Lenten season could have been avoided had Malacanang appointed a technocrat instead of a politician at the helm of the Department of Transportation and Communication.

This is in reaction to what Malacanan today announced thru Communications secretary Sonny Coloma asking the public for patience and assuring the riders of the MRT-LRT that assistance is forthcoming.

Atty. Oliver San Antonio, spokesperson of the National Coalition of Filipino Consumers (NCFC), an umbrella organisation of five urban poor groups says how can government normalize the already “abnormal” situation in the MRT and LRT stations when the DOTC did not prepare any contingency plan for the expected surge of the number of riders for the two railway systems.

Instead of letting the situation gets worse, the DOTC should have planned for utilising other modes of transport to ease the pain of more than 1,600,000 commuters using the MRT-LRT systems.

San Antonio blames Secretary Emilio Joseph Abaya for the veritable systems breakdown that the entire transportation and communications infrastructure suffered during the Lenten season and which extended today, Monday.

San Antonio says Abaya, a former Cavite politician, does not deserve to head the DOTC, the agency tasked in ensuring that the integrity of the transportation and communications infrastructure of the country remains robust and functioning. Sources say that Abaya and his officials over at the agency failed to create contingency plans and did not coordinate with the MRT3 technical team.

Instead of preparing for the expected spike in the influx and outflux of people, goods and services, Abaya was seen with DILG secretary Mar Roxas distributing goods to thousands of Yolanda survivors in Leyte.

Abaya was even quoted as referring to Roxas as his “president” an obvious disrespect to President Pnoy who appointed him and remains in power. Aquino’s term ends in 2016.

“ The President should let go of Abaya and replace him with a person who is more than capable of handling the myriad and technical issues besetting the country’s entire transportation and communications infrastructure. What happened during Lent affected millions of Filipino commuters and consumers who suffered long hours of waiting for their buses, their trains, their planes and their ships all because of a systematic breakdown of the country’s infrastructure which began last Tuesday and ended Sunday.

Today’s breakdown (Monday), all the more emphasized the urgency of letting Abaya go and replace him with a guy who can handle the Samsonian task of harmonizing the operations of the entire infrastructure. Someone who will concentrate on fixing the problems and not someone whose mind is obviously directed at ensuring the victory of his political benefactor,” adds San Antonio.

Thousands are still stranded in various parts of the country due to the failure of communications and signalling equipment of various ports and airports around the country. Several thousands missed their flights over at several international and local airports either due to brownouts or technical glitches of navigational equipment.

Hundreds of thousands more got stranded in different bus terminals which began last Thursday, the start of a noticeable increase in the volume of people leaving the metropolis.

IN the past, notes San Antonio, the DOTC averted possible technical glitches because officials prepared for months prior to the advent of Lent. Now, the DOTC did not even notify the public or went tight-lipped when asked about their preparations during the Holy week.

“ Let’s face it---Abaya is a political animal more than a technocrat kind of guy. He loves politics so much he had the gall of referring to Mar Roxas as his president. Let him go, Mr. President. Abaya needs to be given what he truly wants, to be Mar Roxas’s `trouble shooter’.”

--nothing follows—

For inquiries:

Atty. Oliver San Antonio
Spokeperson
09178388196

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Chaos at the MRT

MRT3 General Manager Al Vitangcol admitted that the MRT system was not meant for the future. Meaning, those who constructed the railway system did not anticipate the possibility of achieving maximum limits when it comes to ridership.

Now, we see long lines every single day, an inconvenience to thousands of MRT commuters.  The government has not admitted it, but we are already experiencing what experts call "traffic armageddon." The system has reached its limits. Sadly, the government is unable to correct the problem.

Now, even if we follow what Communications secretary Sonny Coloma suggested to find alternative ways of transport, there is not much around. Government should have anticipated this early on.

This only means that our government lacks the vision and the pro-activeness expected of it. How then can we sustain the so-called "gains" when there is a lack or even in some aspects, absence of necessary infrastructure?

It is a good idea to involve business enterprises yet, the sad fact really is these companies are after huge profits. Government is supposed to regulate the greed, but because government is itself, greedy, it allows these companies to do what it wants to the detriment of millions of Filipino consumers and commuters.

This is the bleak future we see in the horizon. This is the collusion that harms most of us. Is it possible to break it? Yes, it is possible through an overhaul of the entire system.

Pacquiao at six: Killer Instincts Regained

He says he feels that he's just starting. At 35 years old, and nearly 15 years of boxing, and Manny Pacquiao feels he's stronger and has regained the fighting form he once had when he was 25.

This is good to hear. Pacquiao has been criticized for losing his killer instincts. In his previous fights, Manny is often seen fidgeting and even wtihdrawing his punches whenever he sees his opponent hurt.  In previous entries, I have noted how Pacquiao has lost that animal instinct in him, that's why we see a mellower, and "kinder" boxer.

For that, Pacquiao lost most of his titles. Tomorrow, the former world pound-for-pound boxer will try to regain the glory he once had.

Some say, when Pacquiao transformed himself into a renewed Christian, out came his desire to hurt other people. Credit that to wrongful teaching by some of the Christian "pastors" that preached to him.

Killing someone is not ungodly for as long as God allows you to. Hurting someone when it is God's will is true Christianity, because you are just obeying the will of God.

Biblical heroes such as Saul, and even David slew thousands of people during their lifetimes. They did these without any misgivings because they were doing it "in accordance with God's will."

Previous to them, Joshua and even Moses ordered the slaughter of entire races because it was God who ordered them to. Samson, the mythical super human who, like Jesus, was born thru virgin birth, killed many by just using his bare hands. Again, his killings were all in the name of God.

Every fighter out there survives his every bout because he maintains himself at the level of a killer. For a boxer to avoid being hurt, he must "kill" his opponent in the fastest time possible, meaning he must knock out his opponent even at the first round, so that that person will not be able to hurt him anymore.

When Pacquiao decided to be kind to his opponent, he disobeyed God. God wants him to be His fighter.

By tomorrow, we will see if indeed, Pacquiao has regained most of the fantastic form God gave him in the first place.



Wednesday, April 9, 2014

ZTE-NBN like scandal at DOTC unravelling

Two weeks from now and we will be treated with another kind of spectacle--the despicable kind, I might say, that will rival every single conceivable graft you could ever imagine that would happen in this sun drenched country of 90 million.

Everyone is aware of how this administration wants to make itself known of--it wants to leave an infrastructure legacy. Yes, nothing wrong with that. Everyone wants people to think that Aquino has left the country in a good condition and what better to do this than showing that off with new roads, new bridges, new airports and new ports.

However, laudable as these things might sound but many people are dubious of the real reasons for this. For one, these projects are being "fast-tracked" and are being undertaken at the last minute. The DOTC for one, is awarding projects left and right to companies with either dubious records or has conflicts of interests.

In the past years, the DOTC has been the subject of intense scrutiny. This agency whose responsibilities lie on infrastructure development has been the center of controversies, simply because of the way it conducts itself. People have been assigned to head this agency, people as incompetent and as clueless of their real functions are except of course, being political operators. Look at the names appointed to head the DOTC these past few years and you'll notice that their only qualifications lie on their proximity to the Center of Power and their previous work as political animals of the mischievous kind.

These appointments only show one thing--the government thinks that this agency is just a mere source of political funds, nothing more. Hence, people in this agency thinks of satisfying the appointing power instead of doing their jobs right.

Of course, the appointing power's interests is purely political--it wants to perpetuate its powers perpetually. And the only way to do this is thru funds.

I am now giving Malacanang a heads up--in the next few weeks, this administration will be rocked by a monumental scandal so vile and so gross, that it probably eclipses the ZTE-NBN scandal several years back.

These DOTC officials have prostituted themselves before the Mammon and once more, transformed this agency into a money making machine just to ingratiate themselves before their political benefactor.

These DOTC officials have turned a blind eye and have abandoned the tuwid na daan and instead turned into a "tuwad na daan"---prostituting themselves for the spoils and the future rewards their decisions have earned from the private companies they have so involved in their nefarious schemes.

Let the anvil falls. Those who have sinned against the Filipino People will merit the obvious punishment like what their predecessors got when they were the ones in power. 

Why is Malacanang sticking its neck out for beleaguered MRT manager Al Vitangcol who is accused of extortion by Czech ambassador

The DOTC-Inekon scandal is getting bigger by the day simply because of the "omission" made by the Czech ambassador. This "omission" pricked the curiosity of many people--why omit the name of this very important person or VIP in this scandal and focus on crucifying the small prys. One explanation given was these DOTC officials probably name dropped this VIP and there is no evidence that would link "him and her" to the controversy. Such evidence is definitely hard to find. You can't prove that this presidential sister and her husband are the "principals" of the proposers, meaning, MRT General Manager Al Vitangcol and allegedly, this Mr. de Vera, unless of course, these two present evidence establishing that they went to those meetings with the Ambassador with the expressed understanding that they are representing the couple and not just themselves.

What has damned this issue from the onset is the differing stance of this Ambassador. At one point, he is entirely sure of the involvement of the two. In other instances, the ambassador expressed doubts if the couple is really involved.

In a press statement, the Ambassador says he is willing to face Al Vitangcol in a Senate inquiry. This just means that the Ambassador is ready to even risk his diplomatic status just to prove a point.

What is most obvious in this scandal is the fact that Vitangcol remains in office--he should have been at the very least, asked to file a Sabbatical leave, to give the NBI and other investigators a free hand in determining his innocence or culpability.

Yet no. Vitangcol, an appointee of declared presidential candidate Mar Roxas remains in office inspite of the various problems the MRT is encountering. Clearly, just for incompetence sake, Vitangcol should have been asked to resign or just summarily fired for being incompetent. But, no. Malacanang is sticking to their man for no apparent reason, other than, what most people think--Vitangcol is probably really very close to the "VIP" mentioned by the Ambassador, that explains why he remains glued to his seat.

What the Palace should have done in the first place is make an example out of Vitangcol. He should have been asked, quietly, to vacate his post, out of delicadeza.

By allowing Vitangcol to stay, Malacanang is sending a wrong message to the people.

Yes, Al Vitangcol is just being accused of extortion and is not proven yet if he did. For delicadeza's sake, Vitangcol's case should have been handled properly

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Political implications of jailing three incumbent Senators--linked to the passage of the Bangsamoro basic law and Cha-Cha?

The Department of Justice has recommended the filing of graft charges against three incumbent senators. The Ombudsman is expected to follow suit. In the first of three expected "filing surges", three senators have been charged---Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla. These people are being accused of using their PDAF that funded bogus NGOs established by pork barrel scam queen Janet Lim-Napoles.

Senator Chiz Escudero and his colleague, Bong Bong Marcos expressed contrasting views on this, symptomatic of how divided the middle and upper middle class forces are when it comes to this issue.

Marcos, a political ally of Enrile and Estrada, called for sobriety. Marcos used the presumption of innocence card, saying that these senators ought to be given their day in court and should be treated not as criminals, but as "innocents." They haven't been adjudged guilty yet of the crime charged and therefore, as "innocent" as any other citizen out there.

Well, this is partially true. For one, a governmental agency has already found sufficient evidence to support the previous charges of graft. It will be now up to the courts, meaning the Sandiganbayan, to determine if these charges do satisfy the requisites of the crime as charged.

Escudero has expressed a view far away from the "adjudged innocent until proven guilty" view by saying that these senators deserve "common jail cells" instead of special ones. I simply dont know what Escudero means about "common cells", but if his class is to be asked, the "common cell" probably describes a nice room complete with airconditioning.

Both gentlemen missed the bus so to speak when it comes to this issue. For one, these fine gentlemen may never be jailed at all, because of the political implications of such a move by the State.

Everyone knows that in the next few months in Congress, one critical issue remains before legislators to resolve---the Bangsamoro Law.

Aquino and the MILF have signed the Bangsamoro agreement, the first legal step towards the creation of the Bangsamoro Law. Aquino is very persistent in this. He wants to leave a legacy, since he already failed on curbing graft and corruption and poverty.

The Chief Executive has done his thing. It is now up to Congress to verify what the Chief Executive had accomplished in so short a time.

In such constitutional issues, both Houses are expectedly to vote separately. With three anti-administration senators out of the picture, it would now very easy for the palace to push for their agenda since they already "politically neuthered" the House. Fact is, any administration backed measure is sure to pass the "scrunity" of the House.

Is this part of the ultimate strategy--to prevent those who are at the other side of the political fence to make their moves and oppose this Aquino legacy from being implemented?

I hope in the future, anti-graft campaigns are used to really prosecute the sinners and not those whose sin is they believe otherwise.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Malaysia's interest in the Bangsamoro peace deal: Regional Effects of this deal

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak came to the Philippines to witness a peace deal forged between his Islamic brothers and sisters with those of their fellow non-Islamic believers. Known to many, Malaysia has been playing an active part in negotiating for peace in the Southern Philippines. Unknown to many, several countries should likewise be thanked for, like the United States, Indonesia, Japan, Libya and Saudi Arabia. These countries worked behind the scenes so that the aspiration of the Bangsamoro to live in a state of being dictated by his own religion Islam is achieved.

However, there are obviously state-related interests here. Malaysia considers the south as something to be managed because of its proximity to the Islamic country. Border security is one. Malaysia has a serious immigration issue. However, last year, Malaysia realized the criticality of resolving the issue of peace when adherents of the Sultan of Sulu came barging into their borders.

If left unattended, Mindanao could have transformed itself into a radical Islamist state which would harm the very security of Malaysia. Through the years, with the fires of Islamist struggle raging, several groups turned the revolutionary struggle into a higher struggle, agreeing to host regional terrorists whose beliefs in the creation of a regional Sultanate surpasses that of the original striving of just creating a Bangsamoro state.

Had the Philippine government failed in this peace deal with the MILF, the possibility of extremism rising is huge. The impact is unimaginable. Think of the effects of more than 12,000 armed men rising simultaneously and occupying territories right and left. That is not just a local security nightmare but a potential serious regional security threat even to neighbours of Mindanao, such as Malaysia.

A peace deal would allow the economic development of Mindanao to proceed in break neck speed. Malaysia is expected to benefit largely from the development of Mindanao. It would develop the regions of Malaysia which lie proximate to the new Bangsamoro state, and the possibility of this state even surpassing the growth of Metro Manila as a center of trade and commerce is big. The Southern trade corridor became undeveloped due to the serious security issues which hamper the free flow of trade. With the huge security threat lifted, it is highly probable that economic development would follow unhampered in that side of the Philippines.

Saudi Arabia, for one, has intimated its desire to invest big in the Bangsamoro state. With Middle Eastern monies flowing in Mindanao, this will create thousands of jobs and trade opportunities in that side of the world.

This explains why this Bangsamoro peace deal is historic and its effects far reaching. This does not just end years of infighting, but will eventually spur development in that region left neglected by political-economic interests based in Manila for decades.

Expect this Bangsamoro state to become a new center of trade and commerce in the BIMP-EAGA region, another potential Islamic center, even better than Singapore. Note that Mindanao has rich natural resources. Note that Mindanao has vast lands underdeveloped. And note that Mindanao has a huge consumer market just waiting for peace to come so that traders of all shapes and sizes would be able to do their businesses uninterrupted.


The Bangsamoro--the peace deal that affirms the rise of a Nation among nations

Just before dusk yesterday, the Bangsamoro fighters signed a peace deal that will hopefully end their political struggle and give them the peace they so longed for, for centuries. President Benigno S. Aquino III, and the Malaysian Prime Minister witnessed the signing of a pact that took seventeen years in the making. Al-Haj Murad, the MILF's political head and Prof. Miriam Coronel both affixed their signatures in a pact that will lead to the rising of the Bangsamoro.

Unknown to many, I became part of the creation of this deal, especially in determining the true concept of the Bangsamoro. One of the things which the government panel considered before resuming talks with the MILF is the striving towards a fuller understanding of what the MILF is fighting for.

More than territory, more than political hegemony and more than resource sharing is the true striving of the Filipino Moro towards a state of being, that is Bangsamoro.

Let me reiterate here that the concept of the Bangsamoro is more than the creation of a State--it is an affirmation of the existence of a Nation. The concept of the Bangsamoro arose from the very genuine aspiration of the Filipino Moro for recognition of its unique identity separate from the rest of the Nation.

Yes, he is part of the Filipino nation. Yes, in the interim, he is one among many Nations comprising the Philippine state.

For the true believer of Islam, he is part of a bigger and higher state of Being--the Nation of Islam. This Nation of Islam embraces those who believe in Islam, the religion as set forth in the Noble Qu'ran by the Prophet Muhammad PBUH upon the prodding of Allah SWT.

This concept is beyond the political concept of the State. Bangsamoro is not just a state, but a Nation of believers in the true path towards salvation.

What our fellow brothers and sisters in Islam born and living in Mindanao have achieved is not just political victory but a reclamation of the lands given to them as blessing by Allah SWT. Politics is definitely not the true striving of the Pious Believer but the affirmation of the right over the lands that Allah SWT gave him when he was born and what Allah SWT gave his ancestors when they first set foot in Mindanao.

It is upon the will of Allah SWT that the Bangsamoro rises.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Is Noynoy's "political blessing" a factor in the 2016 presidential elections?

Many people are asking me thru email if President Benigno S. Aquino III's political annointment a critical factor in the victory of a presidential bet in 2016?

Let me qualify my answer here. Let us go back in history.

With the exception of Vice President Joseph Estrada, no other presidential annointee has been victorious at the polls since 1986. Estrada won largely because of his own effort.

History shows that a government official annointed by a sitting president as his successor stands to lose against another bet who is perceived to be in opposition to the sitting president.

Fidel Valdez Ramos is an exception. He was Cory's anointed (actually Cory anointed Speaker Ramon Mitra Sr first before changing her mind and instead threw her support behind Ramos, at the last minute). He won largely due to the efforts of his own men, mostly members of the ever-growing Christian democrats and military men.

During Ramos' time, it was also the period when the military clique found their own place in the government bureaucracy. Notice that from the time of Ramos, military men have taken full and firm control not just in the DND, but in other agencies handling critical infrastructure, including the DPWH, DOTC while leaving other agencies under civilian rule.

Ramos' bet Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. lost overwhelmingly against President Estrada. Estrada rode on the crest of a rising anti-criminality campaign.  When Estrada changed the rules of the game midstream, this was used as an occasion by several powerful forces close to Ramos to consolidate forces and drum support for a coup masked as a revolt. Estrada's ouster led to the ascension of Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

When Arroyo fielded her defense secretary Teodoro as her presidential bet last 2010, he lost considerably against President Noynoy who was perceived as a "safe" bet for the presidency.

Now that 2016 is just around the corner, will Noynoy's annointment matter in 2016? Several people think that Noynoy still enjoys tremendous trust and support from the grassroots. However, many people in the know and have access to surveys will tell you otherwise.

If Noynoy agrees on anointing DILG secretary Mar Roxas, Roxas will lose the presidency once more. If elections are held today, surely voters from Visayas and Mindanao and some parts of Luzon will remember those natural calamities and vote against Roxas.

If Noynoy anoints Binay, Binay will lose the elections and will open the possibility of Roxas snatching the post away from him. Why? Roxas will be perceived as an underdog. And underdogs are always supported by an electorate whose thirst for melodramas persists.

If Noynoy annoints an "outsider", that outsider stands a chance of winning the top post. However, should the president choose among his present political allies, that ally will not benefit from this annointment and instead, stands a great chance of losing the elections altogether.

I still believe that a person who is perceived as fresh, incorruptible, without perceived business interests backing him up and widely perceived as being supported strongly by the United States and several grassroots based groups stands a very strong chance of winning come 2016.

The Philippines circa 2014

As the Aquino administration winds itself down and prepares for a transition to 2016, several things are happening all at the same time.

Since President Aquino is desirous to leave an "infrastructure" legacy, he has ordered agencies of government to speed up construction of several legacy projects, including the construction of new airports, roads, highways, bridges and development of other infrastructures such as communication and transport.

Two things why Aquino wants all these: first, this is to reward private companies who put their bets on him last 2010 and spur additional jobs and employment to the poor. Since most or all of these projects are funded initially by private enterprises, the effects of these so-called Public-Private partnerships will not take effect instantaneously. The burden will be shouldered by the tax paying public shortly after 2016 in the form of toll fees.

This explains why private firms are jockeying to get these plum projects precisely because, as seen in the NLEX, power and water utilities projects, the rewards are juicy and run in the astronomical billions. By 2020, we will all have to face the prospects not just of higher prices of goods and services, but the prospect of paying higher toll fees in the guise of convenience and faster ways of going from a to b. Whoever gets most of these projects will enjoy humonguous profits.

Come 2016, and we will see a new landscape not just in Metro Manila but in other metropolitan centers. The downloading of public funds to private hands will result to more employment and possibly more business opportunities for SMEs.

These are all good. However, one question really is--whatever happened to the promised eradication of graft and corruption?

The very first speech of the President indicated his desire to reform government by campaigning against graft and corruption. What resulted was a selective prosecution of those seriously involved in these scandalous affairs. Instead of being an honest-to-goodness campaign, the anti-graft campaign became a political circus rather than a serious effort at looking for solutions to finally address the issue.

This perception, fueled by vocal and incendiary political speeches coming from affected political actors, has resulted to a mockery of the entire campaign. Aquino's resistence to calls for an impartial anti-graft probe is the reason why the current campaign is not being taken seriously by the masses especially by the middle classes. Like all other anti-graft campaigns, the one being waged by the present administration is more cosmetic and propaganda-driven rather than a serious attempt at finally putting behind bars, those responsible for stealing the people's monies.

And this campaign is not expected to fly even post-Aquino. This early, two of the main frontrunners in the presidential fight come 2016, have indicated their unwillingness to pursue what Aquino and the rest of this administration have sacrificed their reputations to.

Worse because of the failure of this administration to curb graft, it has finally taken a new lease of life with the State's dealings with businesses who indicated their willingness to pursue these PPP projects.  Two foremost examples are the things which happened in the Inekon project and the Mactan airport project. And there are many others.

The simple solution really is adherence to the law. What government people should do really is to implement the law strictly and without consideration to anything, political or economic gains.

The thing is, these people in government are unwilling to do what is best and what is right, because of the very fact that they see the loopholes of the law and most of them want to skirt these. They don't fear prosecution precisely because they don't see themselves being punished by the State.

Hence, some or even most of these people see PPP projects as merely for personal or political gains of their principals come 2016. They are not being considered for their strategic value rather they are considered for their temporal gains.

Thus, many people already consider these things as failures.

So there.

Many people applaud President Aquino for leading the peace caravan and eventually providing a solution to the Bangsamoro problem. This historic deal which would result to the establishment of a Bangsamoro state, is really a step towards the right direction.

What the State should be made aware of is the prospect of hostilities breaking out in Mindanao. First, traditional power centers oppose this deal. They are expected to unleash their private armies to oppose the Bangsamoro state security forces.

Remember that Muslims do not comprise majority of the peoples in Mindanao. There are millions who adhere to Christianity and indigenous beliefs. Remember that large landholdings are owned by the Philippine elite, especially sugar barons close to a presidential bet.

Problems will arise the minute the MILF assert its legal and constitutional territorial right. Since government agreed on expanding Bangsamoro territory, will the government assist the MILF in claiming territories owned by big landlords?

How about political forces who will be displaced once the state is established? Traditional political families rule Mindanao politics since the 1900s. With the emergence of the Bangsamoro state, they are expected to wither away. Of course, that is not the situation in real politik. These political forces will either fight it out or acquiesce their traditional powers.

As what this writer wrote several entries ago, the signing of this agreement is one step towards the right direction. The problem will be on enforcement.

The second stage of this Bangsamoro peace drama is Congress. Expect several members of Congress to either oppose or engage in transactional politics with the MILF. Up to what extent is the MILF willing to bet their territories or powers with these traditional politicians?

While these are ongoing at the surface, dissent and the feeling of distrust will fester among members of the underground, specifically those who initially oppose this peace deal. This wait-and-see attitude will actually benefit these forces, since the "impasse" will allow them to reconsolidate their forces and prepare militarily. These forces are just waiting for the deal to encounter tough and rough opposition before Congress.