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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Senate probe's aim is justify the jailing of Vice President Jejomar Binay

A bully's weapon is always the threat of physical harm against his opponent. Those with criminal minds when on the verge of defeat, would always resort to extreme solutions, to compensate their weak minds. Instead of, say engaging their enemy in an active discussion, they would just plan to ambush you or seek your physical destruction.

That's how I describe this Senate sub-committee probe against Vice president Jejomar Binay. Just take a look at the very composition of this sub-committee.

You have Senator Pimentel who took it personally when Binay decided to include his enemy in the senatorial lineup in 2013. Pimentel's umbrage against Binay is more personal than others precisely because his father, former Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr is a personal friend and political ally of Binay. Pimentel and Binay were comrades against Marcos during Martial law.

As they say, nilaglag ni Binay si Pimentel, na saying pinakamatibay na political ally of the Binays eversince.

Another person whom Binay reportedly had a spat with politically is Senator Antonio Trillianes IV, a known megalomaniac. Trillanes admitted that he had an agreement with Binay to support a campaign against former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. When Trillanes IV pursued his plan, he was surprised to learn that there was no Binay to lean on especially when he was already holed up inside that famous Manila Peninsula. He must have cursed a lot when he was being physically manhandled by this NCR director who is now in jail for alleged graft violations.

Trillianes IV was overheard saying that the reason why he's hitting Binay was that he already entered into an agreement with the camp of Mar Roxas. It's like, he's doing this as a commitment not to lose face.

Lastly, we all know the highly public spat between Makati mayor Binay and Mayor Len Cayetano, spouse of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano. The Cayetanos, who practically carved Taguig up like a fiefdom, want nothing more than benefit from the largesse Bonifacio Global City (BGC) generates every year. From mayor's permits alone, Taguig gains billions than what the Binays generates from businesses in their turf.

So, UNA secretary general JV Bautista is right---is there anything new to expect from this rambunctious bunch of Senators who basically had an axe to grind with the Vice president? Obviously, none.

They know Binay is strong, politically and they are now fearful that in a Binay presidency, their

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Duterte is unfit for the presidency

Rudy Duterte has shown his true colors. This guy is a braggart. He brags about killing people as if he's just killing pests. He just admitted that he's the one behind the controversial Davao Death Squad. In truth, Davaoenos know that he's not the one taking care of this gang, but another petty town mayor of Davao. Yet, he enjoys claiming that he is the one, because that makes him a toughie.

All the more that I'm convinced that this guy is just pretending to be a toughie when in truth and in fact, he just wants to show people that he's somebody to be feared.

Or, maybe, this guy is just trying to appear tough to hide his gay tendencies. Mr. Duterte, do a Bruce Jenner. That would be good for your mental health.

And then when he had already scored media points for his admission, here comes Mr. Duterte belatedly withdrawing his admission all because a lady by the name of Justice secretary Leila de Lima threatened to pursue criminal charges against him.

For years, de Lima has been trying to identify the one behind this death squad which has been known for killing hundreds if not a thousand Filipinos in Davao. These people were already adjudged guilty by DDS and meted with what they think as proper--a death penalty.

Now, because of his kayabangan, Duterte will now find himself in a very serious quandary with De Lima. Well, really I expect this to happen to this guy.

This guy has the tendency of shooting his mouth off, just to impress other people. I'm not at all surprised given that people like this Duterte tries to compensate what they lack in the physical department with strongly expressed words. Someone told me that the good mayor is very small, down there, somewhere.

And kung hindi ba naman sobrang kayabangan, this Duterte wants to run for the presidency knowing full well that he's gonna lose anyway. Why burden us with your despicable self, Mr. Rudy Duterte? Don't anymore confuse the public. Better for you to just plant kamote in one of the rich fields of Davao and forget about gunning for the presidency. You are unfit to become one.

Mr. Duterte, you always shoot your mouth off. You are a brainless buffoon who believes in the Gospel of Violence in the wrong way.

Mr. Duterte, please stop fooling us. You want us to believe that it will be better if we elect you as president because you are reportedly a toughie. A toughie with a political will.

It'll be interesting to see Mr. Duterte crossing swords with the BIG BRATS here in Manila, let's see how tough this Duterte is.

Mr. Duterte, if you're really tough, challenge me anytime and I'll indulge you. Let's see who between the two of us would eventually give up and fear the Face of Mortality.

Senator proposes back-channeling efforts with China

Active engagement. That is what analysts' propose the Philippine government to do in relation to China. And then a senator, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. wants to start back-channeling efforts to resolve territorial row with China.

Good suggestion but it's already happening as we speak. Back-channeling efforts have started as far back as Bongbong Marcos' father's time, and look what had happened to us. Most of the islets and reefs that we claimed to be ours have already disappeared and now claimed or occupied by other powers, a sign of how weak we have become in terms of diplomacy.

Had it happened to other countries, there is already a shooting war between China and the Philippines. Imagine, a country has already built an airstrip several kilometres away from your shores and you still want to make "lovey-dovey" with them? Marcos' suggestion is more of a political statement rather than a suggestion of someone knowledgeable about the issue.

Your land has already been occupied by your opponent and you want to still arrive at a win-win solution? There is no win-win solution as far as bilateral relations between China and the Philippines since China considers the Philippines as no more than a small, weak nation, a pest if you will in its desire to set itself as a dominant Pacific power.

There are other "kick-ass" suggestions that it most pertinent to convey to China. The Philippines must register a stronger statement, a stiffer resistance and a meatier engagement that what it is now doing with China. Otherwise, China would continue occupying Philippine territory bit by bit and slow but sure and we'll all wake up with Chinas face already staring before us.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Beijing treading dangerously close to its self-destruction

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei spoke before reporters and warned the United States not to send its surveillance planes anymore within the 22 kilometre "airspace" that it "owns" when they built an airstrip in the disputed islands off the Western Philippine sea, which to them, is actually the "South China Sea".

Lei says US actions are dangerous. Well, I dare say, China's actions are more dangerous than what the US is doing.

The US defended its actions saying that it has the right to fly over "international waters." The US government is now using the line that the disputed area belongs to "international waters" since it is part of the commercial routes taken by commercial ships carrying international cargo.

Sources say, the US is considering testing China's resolve to defend its "territory" which is actually that space owned by the Philippines by matter of historical right. But since the Philippines is weak militarily and in other things as well, the US has taken upon itself to defend the rights of the Philippines as well as other ASEAN nations.

Well, I dare say that China must learn history's lessons and never tempt fate; otherwise it could prove to be disastrous in the end.

Yes, China is the world's most prosperous nation. Yes, China has dramatically improved and yes, China has developed its military capability and is in the better position to assert itself against other nations.

The only question is---is it prepared for a possible military encounter with a more experienced and more equipped US military? A follow up question---is China prepared for the eventual consequence of its actions in economic terms?

Best that China read its history and learn from it. For in those times when China grew economically fast, it does not necessarily follow that China also scored good points in terms of military conflicts. Of course, others would tell me that times are different because China is now ruled by a mighty Communist Party unlike imperial times. Well, I'll answer and say that there's no significant difference.

For one, the present Chinese leadership has not experienced war compared with the previous Politburo members. The last war which China took part and lost was during the Korean war. I cannot count its military invasion of Tibet as a "major" one considering that Tibet was weak militarily and wasn't able to really put a stiff resistance.

Somebody would say that the Chinese military has always trained with its allies, namely the Russians and the North Koreans. Putin's Russia is in a very tight fix and the Spratlys is not included in its interests. North Korea, for one, will not aid the Chinese in a possible conflict with the United States because it is still weak economically and it will likewise affect its defense of the 56th parallel with the South. The North is still technically at war with the South.

In a possible South China sea conflict, it would actually be China against the US, aided by Japan, the Philippines and possibly even Vietnam. Remember that this is possibly a naval conflict, not a ground war, so China's superiority in terms of numbers (1 million plus standing army) do not count. Review China's naval strength and it is nowhere near the US.

Meaning, China is in a situation where the US wants it to.

Inexperience in war is a very important factor for me and is my basis for saying that it is best for China not to tempt fate. China is flourishing in trade and history has shown that it is not entirely successful when in war.

In the Opium wars when China was then economically growing, it tried to assert itself against the British and what happened? British ships destroyed the Chinese junks. This is one lesson which I hope China would remember and consider before they issue stupid statements or before they sabre-rattle.

What to expect six years after 2016 (First of Two Parts)

Whoever we elect as our Chief Executive by 2016, he (or Heaven please don't, a she!) will inherit a government beset by the same old problems as before yet, uncontrollably entering a new phrase in its economic development. There is no denying that our economy is improving and interest is growing. The only problem is really how to manage its growth so that our people will finally get something out of it.

True, economic growth must be sustained for a period of two terms, meaning twelve years before any improvement in the lives of the people become evident. To achieve this, there must be a continuance of the policies which allowed such growth to flourish. What am I saying here?

Government must continue its tight spending--that nothing is left to chance and that spending people's monies should be treated as strategic rather than tactical. When PDAF was lifted out of the system, the monies which usually goes straight to the pockets of our politicians were put to a much better use than before. Look at the landscape and you'll see an improved infrastructure and somewhat an easement in the lives of the economic sectors like farmers and fishermen.

Graft and corruption stays yet, due to the improved judicial system, these thieves in barong are becoming an extinct species. It takes extraordinary effort now to steal the people's monies, and many people in the bureaucracy are entirely careful not to trip some wires that would alert the public of their misdemeanours.

If the schedule by Malacanan pushes thru, we will be implementing the transitional phase for the creation of the Bangsamoro sub-state. So, expect extraordinary incidents in that part of the Philippines. Forces, both political and economic, would work in tandem to frustrate this. Mindanao is a big area of interests mainly by big economic forces, so these people would definitely do some wrecking just to frustrate the aspirations of the Bangsamoro people. Of course, these people would tap their long-time political and economic allies from among the Bangsamoro people.

What these people do not realise is the fact that the issue has turned into a very serious thing that a tilt towards extremism is possible if this experiment fails. The Bangsamoro Basic Law has turned into a galvanising force that both militant and non-militant components have already reached a point of convergence.

Experts expect that in one way or another, the ISIS will eventually reach Philippine shores. A militant Bangsamoro Mindanao aided by foreign funds could tilt a war in favour of the insurgents.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Official Tandems for 2016 Philippine presidential elections: BInay-Duterte, Poe-Francis, Mar-Bong

This came from various sources considered highly reliable.

The Grace Poe-Chiz Escudero is not anymore a shocker. You know that. It would only change if Mar's group led by Erice force the issue and present a Roxas-Poe tandem, which at this point, is welcomed weakly by people.

The rumour is that Poe-Escudero would be supported by the administration in a broad coalition led by Liberal party members, several members of the Kapatiran party, Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC), and some members of the Nationalista party.

If this happens, Mar Roxas' group will gravitate towards the Nacionalista party. The Nationalista party, thru Senator Cynthia Villar, has intimated its desire to coalesce with a party. Villar mentioned that three of its senators, namely, Alan Peter Cayetano, Antonio Trillianes IV and Bongbong Marcos want to run for a higher position.

Cayetano announced that he will decide by June if he's gonna throw his hat unto the ring, while Trillions IV is all set to run for the second highest post since he believes he has a better chance of winning when he does that. Bongbong, by the way, is being torn by personal friends edging him to try and run for the presidency, yet, as surveys show, he has a very strong chance for the VP post if Poe runs for the presidency.

So, what is shaping up is that, if the main Nationalistas aligned themselves with the Liberals, it would be a Mar Roxas-Cayetano or Mar-Trillianes or Roxas-Marcos or to some, Mar-BongBong.

The Vice president's political party is also taking shape and in the Philippine political environment, these two forces are trying to snatch one group from the other. Visualise them as two whirlpools. UNA is more organised now than before, because of the entry of several Lakas-NUCD heavyweights and former UNO aligned politicians. There are likewise, strong Estrada allies coming into the fore.

What would "shock" the public is the imminent announcement of a Binay-Duterte tandem which is entirely possible and feasible, if you ask me. Aside from the skin color, both offers two unique items in the table: they are all experienced local chief executives and they are all lawyers. The public perceives the two as tough, strong-willed and with a vision for the country. If this happens, this is, by far, the best tandem.

How about Panfilo Lacson, what about him? Will he throw his hat unto the ring?

Lacson will up the ante just so to push his re-election bid to a much higher level of awareness. But, insofar as really and seriously pushing for his presidential bid to its logical conclusion, Ping knows he does not have a chance with Binay and Poe as opponents.

So, 2016 is shaping up to be a titanic fight between "experience" and "youthful idealism." Who will snatch the public's attention more? Who between them would successfully prove that one is better than the other?

Big Business interests threatened by BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law)

The House just voted and passed the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) with most of its provisions submitted by the Palace approved. Immediately, Senators led by Miriam Santiago and Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. registered their dissent, with Santiago alleging that the BBL aims to create a "sub-state" which is entirely violative of the Constitution.

Malacanang has set a deadline--June 10--for the passage of the controversial law. Opponents of the BBL are organising an anti-BBL rally on Sunday. Some of those opposing the passage of the law includes former officials of the Ramos administration.

Giving more powers to the Bangsamoros is a given in any negotiation with them. Who will not demand for an arm and a leg? Decades of imperialist rule by Tagalogs and Visayans justify such an arrangement with them.

The MILF Central Committee has already given their decision--they will not accept a "diluted" BBL. What is the consequence? Will it be all out war?

I think war is a far-fetched idea given that the Bangsamoros follow what the Noble Qu'ran teaches them to do--  that you don't go to war if peace is possible. If the BBL fails to pass, the next step really is for both parties--the MILF which represents the Bangsamoro People and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) to go back to the negotiating table.

The problem with a re-negotiation is that the first one was actually mediated by a third party state--Malaysia. Second, Japan also came into the picture. I don't know what face will we be able to show to these two countries which gave so much of their political capital just to make this a reality.

And the MILF leadership also sacrificed a lot of political capital when they sat in that negotiating table. The risk is greater for them than the government peace panel. Losing their respective reputations means a weaker hold of grassroots groups. A weaker centralized leadership could lead to disunity or worse, creation of smaller, more mobile yet more lethal revolutionary groups. International support could reach these groups, giving them more ammunition and more sophistication in their military operationss.

A failed BBL could result to a more serious security threat against the Philippine Republic. What this issue has achieved is it led to a re-consolidation of Bangsamoro groups. IF a war does ensue, that would be more intense and more serious than past conflicts because it would probably show a stronger more resilient Bangsamoro front. Even the middle forces in Bangsamoro society would surely take part in this war. And that would seriously affect peace and order in the region.

I think it is time for the government to understand what things hinder these Big Business groups from this BBL. There is nothing wrong with talking with these Big Business Groups and the hawks outside government and understand where they are coming from, and why they militate against the BBL.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

On Mar Roxas and why we haven't elected a Technocrat as President

From 1986, the Filipino electorate has elected a former housewife, a former general, a former actor-mayor and a former college professor as Chief Executives. What we haven't tried to elecThe housewife, Cory Aquino won in an election reportedly against a strongman. Her choice was more of the need of the moment thing instead of a rational and collective decision.

That former general's election came at a time of great destabilisation caused by the militant and armed component of the revolution which brought a former housewife to the palace. There was general agreement that the country needed someone who has the experience not just in war, but in peace.

When peace has been restored, we elected a former mayor-actor, the very first "democratic elections" since 1986. Estrada won due to his large network and his great appeal to the masa. Estrada's administration would have been great had it been stopped in its tracks at mid-stream. Self-moralising segments of the elite and middle forces converged and ganged up on Erap who left the palace, like his former precious idol, with his tail between his legs.    

He was replaced by a more favourable personality, whose bloodline came from the hacienda class. She nearly resigned yet was prevailed upon by several of her allies who were caught in their respective scams as well.

After her, we elected the son of the former housewife. The son will cap the 30 years since this country expunged dictatorship from its memory.

Thirty years and look at the persons we elected into the Office of the President. We elected an inexperienced housewife and the four critical years under her rule were met by deafening shouts for change. Many of us regretted electing her as a counterpose against a strongman.

The six years under Ramos was also met with controversies, as the country reeled from a very debilitating power crisis only to find itself missing several millions of pesos due to graft and corruption.

The Estrada administration was billed as the "most chaotic" yet if you look closely, the administration fared far better than Arroyo's and even of Ramos' despite the 2-year administration.

The secret is simple--during Estrada's time he recruited the best people in government and put them to manage bureaucratic posts. Mar Roxas was one.

It is time for us, ordinary folks, to take a very serious look at the Office of the President. This office is not for jokers, although we may have erred in a major way before, electing who we think fits into it but turned out to be jokers eventually, now is the time to change all that.

In an interview, Mar Roxas said he might be the best there is in a pool of Presidential aspirants, and in a way, I agree (in a belated way anyway).

Roxas is a highly educated man, an Ivy leaguer. He is experienced and I think his heart is in the right place.

The problem is Roxas is more of an analyser rather than a do-er. He ponders about the problem longer than others because his mind is wired to think that way.

In our criterion of who fits into this post, we always say that it must be a guy who thinks in a strategic manner yet has the heart to consider the welfare of the poor.

Roxas could be our perfect president but he simply cannot and will not be precisely because his brain was not wired to accept the job and show the skills necessary for a person to do things we consider presidential.

We must treat 2016 differently as we cannot afford to elect another lemon into office.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Its Official---BINAY-POE no more and possible scenarios

So its official---the possibility of a BINAY-POE tandem is no more. Senator Grace Poe has said that she and the vice president have different styles in managing affairs. Poe believes in transparency while it's not the case with Binay, according to Poe.

I have very reliable information that Poe spent close to three full hours with Pnoy discussing 2016 than what Mar Roxas spent with the president about his plans a year from now. Pinoy and Poe reportedly talked about specifics, one example is commitments and the other, campaign funds.

Here are the possible scenarios:

1. Medium to high probability of a Grace Poe-Chiz Escudero tandem. This is being pushed by several well-meaning members of the President's official family who do not want Binay to replace Pnoy. This sector belongs members of civil society who helped propel Pnoy to the presidency.

If this happens, the Grace Poe-Chiz Escudero tandem will be adopted by several political parties, NGOs and POs under a broad coalition which name is still being finalised as of this moment. This coalition is a merger of traditional and non-traditional political parties and groups and its battlecry seems to toy with the idea of infusing "new blood" into the country's political bloodline.

The thing is, behind this tandem is a big group of Big Businessmen some of which claim Iberian ancestry and others, American and Chinese. There are several PMA classes who likewise support or seemed to be hot with the idea.

Seems that Pnoy will replicate what his mother did---endorse Mar Roxas at the onset and then slowly shift support to the Grace Poe-Chiz Escudero tandem as the election day nears. This is what Cory did to Ramon Mitra whom she initially endorsed only to shift invariably to FVR when the election day nears.

2. Several political personalities seemed to be avoiding Mar like a plague. Mar will probably find an LP member as his running mate if talks on the Poe-Mar or Mar-Poe tandem bogs down. There are speculations of a Roxas-Trillanes IV tandem which is quite acceptable to several members of the Aquino administration.

3. How about Binay? Who'll be his running mate? Manny Pangilinan is out. Cynthia Villar had said her husband is not thinking or considering going back to the presidential mode. Villar however hinted that three Nationalist Party members are considering the possibility of 2016 elections..

Will it be a Binay-Duterte tandem? Sounds feasible and a very nice counterforce against Poe-Chiz.

4. NP will try and get some senatorial slots from the political party which they intend to coalesce with. Will they support a Cayetano-Trillianes tandem which the party knows does not have a Chinaman's chance of winning? I believe the first one who will abandon his presidential plans will be Cayetano, followed closely by Trillianes. However, an Escudero versus Trillianes fight is very interesting to see. Who'll win between them---a drunkard married to a beautiful lady or a narcissistic with a messianic complex? Do we have any other choice? How limited the field is!

This is a very serious problem. We are now experiencing a serious succession problem.

Liza Soberano--my "it" girl

Liza Soberano--a potential international star
Ask me who among our present crop of young artists has the looks, the poise and the possibility of getting a break internationally and one name comes to mind--Liza Soberano.

Soberano is a class act. She's young, beautiful and has the "it" or "x" factor. This girl will go places. If managed properly and trained, Soberano can actually penetrate the international market.

She looks both modern and classic all at the same time. Her face can very well compete with some supermodel faces.

I believe she needs exposure in the international scene, and if casting agencies or agents will just discover this girl, Liza will find it very easy to get gigs and even film offers abroad.

Or, plan her career, by conquering Asia first, then Hollywood. I think Filipinos out there should help her achieve her fullest potential. Don't follow the career patterns of local stars here. Think regional and global. It would be just a waste if Soberano would just train her sights on local gigs.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Grace Poe on the Presidency--Honesty not experience counts. Huh?

Political fireworks had just began when Grace Poe reacted on the statement of Vice president Jejomar Binay about the need to elect an "experienced" man (or woman) to the Chief Executive post. What the country needs, Poe says, is an honest man, not an experienced one.

Bull. Crap.

In government service, honesty or being honest is a trait which is actually selective by practice because of the sensitivities of the post. Are you now saying Ms. Senator, that if elected as President, you'll be honest to a fault? Then, you don't know what you are talking about.

We don't need a nun or a pope to lead us, because politics is not about "good character" or "good grades" in the poor's scorecard. It's about governance. The presidency is about governance.

And even if we talk about honesty, have you been honest to us, the people, about your real citizenship, about what country you owe your allegiance to?

Have you been totally honest in detailing all your expenses as a Senator? Have you been honest that you only get your salary as a senator and not dipped your cono fingers into the honey pot, that is, the people's coffers? Are you sure you did not benefit from the DAP of President Aquino?

How about your husband? Curiously, you omitted the good surname of your husband from your "official name". Why? Are you ashamed of what your husband is doing? What exactly is your husband doing by the way?

Have you been honest to yourself, Ms. Senator? You always deny in public that you are running and now, you are giving yourself several interviews hinting you are now indeed running? Are you now saying that the "Grace Poe" last year is different from the "Grace Poe" now talking and discussing the possibility of running for the presidency just because her ratings have improved?

There are so many things unanswered about your true identity, Ms. Senator Poe-LLAVANZARES. I suggest before you spew out these words, try to think first.

I apologize for criticising you, Ms. Senator. I deemed it my duty as a Citizen of this country not to ever again be swayed by emotions or by a false sense of belief in an individual who professes to love the country while not being totally honest of her intentions to run.

Honestly, we don't need a Poe'r presidency--we want someone who would steer this country to clear waters.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Why Binay will win 2016 polls

The elite, the wealthiest of this country will wake up in May 9 2016 with an expected shocker---a win by Vice president Jejomar Binay over Grace Poe. Poe, who is now letting herself be played with and prostituted by these rich game players, will commit the greatest mistake of her career by dancing with the enemies of the people, the very same class of people who convinced her father to run for the 2004 presidential elections and abandoned him in mid-stream. Why do I believe that Poe will not win against Binay?

First, the survey numbers. Binay has been attacked relentlessly since two years ago, yet his numbers have not nosedived as seriously as the others (Cayetano, Trillanes IV, Roxas, etal). Talk about Grace Poe's, her numbers dimmed somewhat last December and January and there was no significant spike in her ratings inspite of accusations against Binay and her highly public yet populist reportage of the Mamasapano incident. Meaning, Poe's numbers are being manipulated to show a rising number of the voter's population reportedly abandoning Binay and going to Poe. This so-called "trend" is based on the popular belief that both Binay and Poe share the same constituency.

Actually, Binay's mass base is dissimilar to many respects with Poe's. For one, Binay is strong in the -B-C class while Poe is strong in A-B. The D-E classes will go the way of whoever between them does some activities that benefit the masses, or who between them did his homework of campaigning and taking his sweet time with the people. Binay has been going around since 2011. He has a very solid base of 21-25% of the electorate.

Second, there are still about eleven months from the 2016 elections and anything is possible to happen. If Poe declares her candidacy come June or July, she will now be very vulnerable politically. She will definitely be hit left and right by her enemies, which is not few. Until now, the people are not convinced of her preparedness, and definitely his mental toughness. IN this critical time of our history, we need a leader WHO WILL STAND UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT, EVEN IF WHAT IS RIGHT IS UNPOPULAR.