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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Philippine National Police Ate P21,000,000.00 worth of Burger and Fried Chicken

9:42 PM

Regardless of reasons, it is just wrong and unhealthy to spend 21 million pesos on burgers and fried chicken for Police consumption. No wonder they are getting fatter.
With that amount, PAGCOR and PNP can build a big building or rent a large space that can be used as “PNP Anti-Rally Kitchen” instead of buying unhealthy fastfood.  There are so many policemen who can cook better and healthier food than fast food meals.
Also, it is not fair to spend P21,000,000.00 on burger and fried chicken for Policemen while millions of Filipinos are living below a P100 daily food budget.
Those who belong to the progressive groups, now you know, the more rally you do, the more money of the Filipino people “they” spend. At the end of the day, it is the common people who gets really affected. Their taxes is spent right under their noses (mouth).

The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) issued an official statement Tuesday on the investigation being made by the new management of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) on the supposed P21 million worth of food purchases for burgers and chicken. NCRPO chief Director Roberto Rosales denied involvement in the controversial purchases of millions of pesos worth of food items made by the PAGCOR, saying they did not handle cash or checks.
Rosales, however, admitted that he issued a certification on June 28 attesting that they received and consumed the food provision given by PAGCOR intended for the food ration of 15,000 policemen deployed in various security operations, particularly in Civil Disturbance Management (CDM) operations during rallies and demonstrations. (mb.com.ph)
The P21 million check was the total amount of 28 official receipts from McDonald’s issued on January 15, March 11, April 5, April 14, May 4, May 12, May 13 and June 3.
The main office of the fastfood chain, meanwhile, confirmed the orders which it categorized as “large food orders.”
Supposing that a 2-piece chicken and the most expensive hamburger were indeed ordered, this would amount to a budget of P250 per police officer or a total of 24,000 orders for both food items.
The PNP has only 15,000 police officers, which means the orders are in excess of 9,000.
New PAGCOR Chairman Cristino Naguiat earlier called for a probe into the P21 million check, which a resigned employee under former PAGCOR Chairman Ephraim Genuino had attempted to encash last July 1.
The new PAGCOR board is also questioning why the check was issued on June 28, 2010 ahead of the certification from the PNP on June 29, 2010.
“Titignan natin lahat ng anomalya na nangyayari, mga midnight contracts, at tignan kung nasa lugar ba ito. Kung kailangang ipagpatuloy o kailangang ilagay sa korte, kung may mga dokomento against people who ran the Pagcor previously,” Naguiat said.
“I just can’t imagine how they ate P21 million worth of hamburgers,” he added. (abs-cbnnews.com)

With Excepts from:
NCRPO denies hand in P21-million Pagcor food bills – By JEAN FERNANDO, mb.com.ph, July 20, 2010, 6:27pm
NCR police chief welcomes probe into P21-M burger donations -abs-cbnNEWS.com,with a report from Jing Castaneda
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Monday, March 8, 2010


3:52 AM

Political survey is a powerful tool especially when the results are overwhelming and almost the same. Villar’s camp may call this article baseless or bias, I don’t care. This simply serves as a wake up call to political candidates. I remember last year when Gilbert Remulla was interviewed regarding the TV ad campaigns of Villar, he said that it is the fastest way to bring the message to the people and they have to do it frequently because they do not have brothers or sisters who are actors or actresses. As far as three years ago, Senator Villar started the OFW strategy followed by a series of TRI-MEDIA  ads. His latest commercial “nakaligo ka na ba sa bundok ng basura” is a major hit among children.
Issues on how Senator Villar will recoup his campaign spending are pilling up. People  say no person in his right mind would spend billions of pesos for a monthly salary of P100k/month. This question is legitimate. However, it is not the issue at hand. The real question is this: Is his spending billions of pesos worth of political commercials effective or detrimental?

I believe Villars’ campaign was good at the start ( the OFW commercials). Even if he was allegedly spending more on showing his OFW campaigns on TV than the actual  help given, the fact is, he helped some OFWs personally. This good deed however backfired when the TV and Radio aired. There was too much “commercialization” of helping OFWs and sooner than expected, the people noticed the silent political agenda behind.

His latest commercial “nakaligo ka na ba”  is an instant hit among children but to thinking adults, it is just too good and too promising to be true. To me, this particular Villar ads is overstatement and overkill. At first, it was entertaining, lately it became annoying and backfired again. I don’t know if Villar or the people around him notices this, but his too much spending on TV and Radio commercials are backfiring. Because of too much ads spending, his image of being portrayed as coming from the ranks of the poor is changing to an image of “elitist”. History will educate us that Filipinos will go for the underdog, Villar came out of the list.
On a personal note, I believe Senator Villar is a good person and has achieved so much to deserve the  right to become the Philippine president.  His chances though is becoming slimmer because of his too much political advertisements. People are going for the “winnable underdogs” – Gibo Teodoro, Erap Estrada, Dick Gordon and surprisingly, Noynoy Aquino who managed to create an atmosphere of being the underdog of Villar.
Political survey results “supposedly” conducted “nationwide” by survey firms such as Pulse Asia, SWS and others serve merely as guidelines. However,  if the survey results are almost identical to the local and online survey results, then it now serves as a genuine guideline.  As a political analyst, I can say this… looking at the survey results, people are going for the underdogs and Senator Villar is not on the list. His supposedly intelligent think tanks should learn to go down from their level and begin talking to real people and learning from them.

In people oriented surveys ( those that are not commissioned or paid ) conducted in Colleges and Universities, organizations and associations  as well as in online blogs, forums and groups, Aquino tops the list followed by Teodoro then Villar and Estrada. In this results, Gibo Teodoro is the fastest gainer.
Today is March 05, 2010.  I will say this, if Villar will not change his advertisement campaign style, he will end up like former congressman De Venecia.  By April 05, 2010, the fight will be among Aquino, Teodoro, and Gordon. Among the presidentiables, Senator Villar will slide down as a preferred candidate. From Quezon city, to Divisoria in Manila, to Dagupan, to Baguio and La Trinidad, the word on the street is one and the same “nakakatakot magpresidente si Villar”. Indeed, his too much spending on commercials backfired. If only Villar could disguise and mingle with regular people in the streets up to the corporate offices, he will see that he has a big problem caused by his too much spending. And remember, it was word on the street that made Trillanes an underdog and later on a Philippine Senator.

And so I say…
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Thursday, February 11, 2010


7:24 PM

I have been wondering what makes the United States of America the most powerful nation on earth? After a decade, I finally know the answer and it is not their military force. America is the most powerful nation because of HOLLYWOOD.

United States Hollywood movies control the world because of the mind set and influence it brings to the viewers. We are used to see Americans as heroes and saviors of the world. Also, most war movies and action films depict a "heroic" American saving the day. With this continuous psychological mind setting, people all over the world see the USof A as the land of promise, the greener pasture, the savior of the wold (although in reality, USA has one of the biggest debts in the world). With this in mind comes another question... what happens to the mighty United States of America if Hollywood will shutdown entirely? Will the western "heroic" influence still prevail? I guess not.

Entertainment is a powerful tool to control people. Just like in the Philippines where so many Filipinos wanted to become Koreans because of the Korean tele-novelas  shown in TV.

Hollywood entertainment is the best that America has to offer. In times of economic crisis, making a very entertaining movie will cover the obvious and common thinking will be diverted to "heroism".

During the cold war between USA and USSR, Hollywood played a big role in creating a worldwide mindset that the USSR is the cold blooded enemy. They made this worldwide influence in the movie series "Rambo" and "Rocky Balboa". Such movies uplifted the spirits of every American and its allies throughout the world.

The music industry is also controlled if not influenced by Hollywood. Just look around, you can see Asian rappers and hiphops wearing over sized pajamas which was originally common only to western youths. Boy bands, County song, Rap music, Rock bands etc... name it, it all came from Hollywood.

To become powerful, you must have two major things, the mind and the body. The United States Army is the body... strong and powerful... but the body is useless without the mind which is no other than Hollywood.

And so I say this... the most powerful weapon is not arms but influence. I learn that from Jose Rizal!
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Philippine Political Theories, linkage, politics and Facebook

3:35 AM

Political ideologies in the Philippines are dominated by two words, leftist or rightist. Depending on how a person was educated, trained and by personal experience, his ideology on how society, community and government differs from one another although at some issues a common ground is established.

In the Philippines, we classify leftists and rightists according to how they will react on a certain issue. Let me give an example, I have been posting articles online for a couple of years now and the reactions I get depend on how the person is affected. If I write something against the construction of a Mall in a province, some will say “keep it up! We do not need too much commercialization” or “construction of a big mall is against the rights of the small businessmen” etc. But some will also say “we welcome development in the province” or “let us not be left  behind, having a mall will encourage business growth” etc. Simply put, ideas and opinions of every person vary and there could be an unending debate on who has the better thought.

Opinions are everybody’s right whether it is pro or anti-government. Taking away the right of one person to express his opinion is tantamount to over all chaos. If a person expresses his opinion on a certain issue, reactions should be based on the issue presented and NOT on the person who presented his opinion. However, in the Philippines, this is not the case. If you present your opinion in an issue, you will receive comments that are personal in nature such as “grow up” , “immature”, or “poor you”. Worst cases would be threats to you and your family.

Rightists control business, economy and government. People in the right wing will do everything to remain in power and control and that means even using the military and police to achieve his interests. On the other hand, Leftists provide alternative suggestions against the control of the Rightists and addresses the issues and concerns involved in the control and implementation of rightist programs. Leftists are considered as pressure groups, branded as anti-government but seriously speaking, without them, there will be no balance at all.

Leftists are oftentimes associated with the communist party of the Philippines and its branches. People see them rallying in the streets shouting their issues and concerns. They may look like the “contrabidas” in a an action movie but their sentiments and voices provide the much needed balance against a totalitarian rule. They have the balls to speak out when others prefer to keep quiet.

But there is another form of ideology, much bigger and wider than what was presented above, and that is “CENTRIST”. This is the common people’s rational thinking. An independent analysis different from left or right thinking.
As defined:
 “CENTRISTS espouse a "middle ground" regarding government control of the economy and personal behavior. Depending on the issue, they sometimes favor government intervention and sometimes support individual freedom of choice. Centrists pride themselves on keeping an open mind, tend to oppose "political extremes," and emphasize what they describe as "practical" solutions to problems.”
–    an example would be: A centrist may say something such as the following: Abortion should be legal, but only in certain situations such as the woman having conceived during rape or not having the financial ability to pay for the baby, as well as others.

In certain aspects, many individuals are considered a centrist. Open minded to all issues and concerns but do not judge according to a political theory. They try to resolve issues and concerns according to what they believe is right and practical and if needed participate in government control or attend/organize street protests and rallies. It is an action involving the individuals free will and not dictated upon. This evolving theory is fast rising in the Philippines and it is considered as a threat in the bi-theory control in this country.

Again, I consider the “Baguio City case” as a landmark case of “centrists” thinking. The strong opposition for the construction of a Korean project at the Athletic Bowl was started and supported by common people. With the help of technology, open information, participation and awareness, the common people of Baguio city showed support against the City Government’s MOA by participating in an online protest. A group was created at Facebook denouncing the said MOA and in a few weeks the number of members rose to  more than 9,000. These supporters – oppositionists are the “silent voters”. They supported this opposition by free will, expressing their thoughts without fear and looking at no leaders but themselves so that their concerted efforts will bring forward a righteous concern to those who are in control.

As I have been expressing years ago, technology will change the control of information and with such technology comes the fear of losing control especially on the part of  politicians and their organizations because today their slightest moves are now in the publics’ scrutiny. Traditional politics is changing and the new battle ground is done online. Most of the voters in this generation are internet savvy. Information about a politician is traveling faster than the speed of light and even if politicians will use their money to buy votes, I believe the new generation of intelligent voters will decide according to what they think and how they feel and not because of any affiliation or influence.

TRI Media is a thing of the past. Today, the fourth medium is bigger, faster and more people oriented because the internet provides a venue for people participation from all ages around the world. This new medium provides a free for all discussion. Recently, I came across a video clip in Facebook, it was discussing the CPP-NPA-NDF entering into the mainstream of Philippine politics by legal means. I knew at the first instance that it was a bad publicity campaign against those who are running in the party list system. I wanted to see how people will react on the video so I used the “share” button, after which I copied in toto the message of the original poster also emphasizing that it is a re-post. I was amazed when a good friend who is a lawyer instantly belittled me for posting the “anti-leftist” video telling me to grow up and calling me as immature. His reaction didn’t surprise me at all. However, a new comment was added praising the video as informative and should be shared. There was a clear difference in opinion but I decided to click on the “remove” post button to avoid an unending debate just like what happened months ago when I posted a Youtube video with the title “muslim demographics”. At first, there was a good discussion of opinions but later on turned into a bad personal debate between two persons. I had to delete the post. 

Clash of ideologies is now in the internet and unlike before, you can now say whatever you like online without the fear of being punched in the face or lambasted in a proceeding. This new found freedom is somewhat absolute since there is no government agency that can control the internet and the rich exchange of information found within. This freedom is now available to the employees working 8hours inside the office, students, laborers, teachers, ofws, etc who can now  participate anytime in issues and concerns. This was the clear case in the “protect the Burnham park movement”.

Today, I remain to be a centrist. I react against the lapses of government and its leaders if needed and I will not hesitate to voice out concerns against those who are claiming to be progressive. At the end of the day, my opinion remains to be my opinion and I am entitled to it without fear or favor.

With the upcoming elections, social networking sites like Facebook will be flooded with political groups and organizations. Instead of shrugging them off, why not participate, learn and comment? You are free to say anything you want as long as you maintain a certain level of “professionalism”. You have no right to go personal only because the issue presented is against your thinking. Just avoid the “fan pages” since you cannot interact directly. Better join the “groups”, it is interactive.

Pahabol: I read a very long article about the new and unfamiliar trend of Facebook. It is now the largest social organization around the world and it is changing technology faster than we can cope up. According to the article, Google is leading in the world of online advertisements but this will soon be a thing of the past since more and more advertisers prefer Facebook advertising because of their direct target approach. This is why you keep seeing those unending political ads of candidates in your Facebook account and I’m sure those ads will double or triple in the coming months nearing the election date. Facebook will become a venue for Philippine political circus.
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Monday, January 25, 2010


11:43 PM

by: humarri, www.watwatworld.com

Philippine political elections is one of the most festive and expensive political events  in the world. According to one politician, you need at least 3 billion pesos to run as the next Philippine president. Simply put, invest so much in the elections for a chance to earn a monthly salary of P100K. Do whatever mathematical calculations you can, it’s just impossible to earn 3 Billion pesos in six years with a monthly salary of 100K/month. So armed with a criminal mind, I can safely say the next president of the Philippines will have to do some magic tricks to earn more than the 3 Billion pesos he invested. There is no such thing as spending 3Billion for the sake of “public service” . It is plain and simple hypocrisy.

This is the happy days for ABS CBN, GMA, TV5, radio stations, print media and PR companies. They earn billions of pesos from the politicians.  At the end of the political festival, the lowly Juan Dela Cruz was entertained but earned nothing and will suffer more.A question arises. How do politicians earn in the Philippines? My answer is simple, CONTRACTS, FAVORS and FRIENDS.

1. Contracts – every Filipino knows that politicians automatically earn 10-50% of every contract they facilitate or sign. This is a fact that is happening but nobody wants to talk about it.  Even the most religious politician is not exempted. Ask any of the public or private contractors during coffee or drinking sessions and they will blatantly accept that fact. There is no clean contract. Every contract has some form of corruption in it either in the amount, form, materials, implementation and automatic deduction. As they say, everybody earns in a contract except the lowly Filipinos. Now, imagine this, the Philippine 2010 national budget is Trillions of pesos, that would mean so many thousands of billions at the mercy of the politicians. With contracts alone, any president can recover his election investment in less than a year.

2. Favors – every politician owes someone something, either monetary or in kind. Campaign funds does not come cheap or free, it always has a price and it is called political favors. One example of political favor is the right of a person or entity to solely operate the jueteng operation in the entire country.

3. Friends – the power to appoint people in administrative positions. I need not expand. You can see this even at the smallest political unit (barangay) in the country.

Having said this, I am disgusted with the political system we have. No amount of election promises can change the current system… BUT it can be ALTERED to benefit more Filipino people. This is happening now. Filipinos are becoming active and participative in political issues  thanks to technology. One example of alteration is the active pressure of the common people who are not linked to any leftist, rightist or militant organization. My favorite example is the rescinded MOA to give Athletic bowl park in Baguio city to the Koreans.  The deal between the Korean investors and the city government went on smoothly and silently until it was exposed. The people of Baguio got angry voicing out their sentiments in online forums. This pressured the politicians and now they are cleaning their hands from the dirt. Thing is, no amount of water can clean their hands. The people are watching you closely. Times has changed. They will listen to your political grandstanding, they will listen to your explanations but will not allow themselves to be influenced by your words. This is altering the traditional political system.

Filipinos today are more vigilant and active. They know that corruption is instituted in every politician that is why they will see to it that more Filipinos will earn and benefit from every political move. Those who say that
they can stop corruption and initiate change are hypocrites to the highest level UNLESS they themselves accept that they will benefit from the position they are running and this includes those who are claiming to be progressive or militant in nature. Nobody is exempted.

The people of the Philippines are watching your every move and no amount of media publicity can save you from the watchful eyes of the public.
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Friday, January 15, 2010

January 15 Poll Survey: Yangot, Molintas, Olowan leading

5:15 PM

After almost a month of vacation, watwatworld is back! Let me start my blog with the latest result of the online poll survey we are conducting. I have spoken to some politicians, lawyers, followers and supporters about the poll survey of watwatworld.com and just like in most cases, their opinions vary depending on how they are affected by the survey. Let me put it this way... if you gather 100 bright and intelligent lawyers in one room and ask their opinion on a certain legal issue, you will get 100 different opinions unless it is favorable to some. It is simply hard to please everybody.

Some traditional politicians and supporters dismiss online surveys as irrelevant and useless but they are dead wrong. There is a NEW sector of voters clustered on the freedom of technology. They are not as loudmouth as politicians or their supporters but they actively participate in the end results. One good example is the issue against the alleged MOA selling the Baguio Athletic Bowl to the Koreans. When journalist Pigeon Lobien made a post (article online) discussing the Athletic Bowl issue in Facebook, in less than a week, thousands of Baguio "onliners" commented and actively participated in forwarding the information to the Filipino people all over the world. And so with too much "online" pressure, the Baguio politicians who had something to do with the issue are now washing their hands. This "silent" online sector even helped in making a Senator in the last 2007 elections by the person of Sen. Trillanes.

However, relevant as it may be, this poll survey does not determine the end results. It will surely vary and differ on the day of the election. To give chance to the other candidates who are running behind the survey, watwatworld will end this current survey at by January 30 and a new poll survey will be created for February until March.

Watwatworld will also entertain political candidates who would like to be featured in the blog. Here, you can present your programs, ideas, and achievements. This will create your online presence faster and wider. Watwatworld has established its niche particularly Baguio City and the Cordillera Region with almost a thousand blog visitors per day. You can present yourself to a targeted audience. First come, first serve.

Below is the latest poll survey result as of January 15, 2010.


1. Barcelo, Ruben Liwanag – “Ben” – INDEPENDENT
2. Busacay-Lazo, Erlinda Adan – “Erlinda Weir” – INDEPENDENT
3. Domogan, Mauricio Gambao – “Morris” – LAKAS-KAMPI CMD - 38%
4. Go, Marquez Ocampo – “Mark” – PWERSA NG MASANG PILIPINO (PMP) - 3%
5. Hernandez, Guillermo – “Willie” – INDEPENDENT
6. Labo, Ramon Lozano – “Jun” – INDEPENDENT - 1%
7. Mandapat, Julius Javier – “Butch” – INDEPENDENT
8. Molintas, Jose Mencio – “Joe” – LIBERAL PARTY (LP) - 56%
9. Puzon, Peter Dulay – “Terminator” – INDEPENDENT
10. Sembrano, Elaine Dominguez – “Kabsat” = INDEPENDENT - 1%


1. Domalsin, Carol Rosado – ” ” – LABAN NG DEMOKRATIKONG PILIPINO (LDP) - 16%
2. Farinas, Danilo Tesaluna – “Danny” – NACIONALISTA PARTY (NP) - 36%
3. Olowan, Faustino Atiwag – “Ulo” – LP & PHILIPPINE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST PARTY (PDSP) - 50%


   1. Avila, Edgar Mendoza – “Ed” – PMP - 1%
   2. Balisong, Rocky Thomas Aseilan = “Rocky” – NP - 28%
   3. Bautista, Reinaldo Jr. Asperin – “Peter Rey” – INDEPENDENT - 3%
   4. Bello III, Dwight Nicolas Advincula – “Ike-Kimat” – INDEPENDENT
   5. Quilala, Rabindranath Pablo – “Kabagis Abet” – PDP-LABAN
   6. Ramos, Felipe Tribonaldo – “Felipe” – INDEPENDENT
   7. Vergara, Bernardo Mangacang – “Bernie” – LAKAS-KAMPI - 9%
   8. Yangot, Leandro Jr. Bagto – ” ” – LP - 57%
   9. Yaranon, Baraulio Dacanay – “Raul” – LDP - 2% 
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Saturday, December 19, 2009

New Generation of online and inteligent voters

10:16 PM

Since 2007, I have been very vocal about a new trend when it comes to political issues. A trend that changes political situations in this country. I am talking about the new generation of intelligent onliners. Thanks to the fast advancement of technology, information nowadays is easy to gather and disseminate.

Gone are the days where information is controlled by a few minds and entities. The traditional practice of controlled information is the cause why there is imbalance of power. Those who control the government and media oftentimes get what they want at the end of the day. But such practice is now limited because of the online generation. A recent example is the Ampatuan massacre. Normally, the government will release items for the media to feast or media companies will publish the story they wish. But that is not the case. The massacre was made known faster worldwide and the government and media cannot control the release of information to the worldwide audience. Simply put, hundreds of thousands if not millions of Filipinos are involved online and information is passed on faster than a blink of an eye.

Today, politicians try their best to gather as much supporters by creating their own websites that showcase their achievements, awards, projects etc etc etc. But the funny thing is that most of the online generation do not spend precious time visiting the politician's website. Why? Because its just a website full of texts, pictures and words. It's like an existing website with no contents at all. Onliners would rather watch videos at Youtube, search Google or do Facebook. The reason behind the online snub is the lack of interaction on the part of the politician. Setting up a website is not enough. Example, I have yet to see a politicians' website where the politician is featured in a video explaining and showing to his constituents the projects and the budget for it for transparency. The first Filipino politician who will do this will be rewarded the utmost respect from the online community. He or She might even become the President of the Philippines.

Politicians running for the 2010 elections should consider "the new generation of online voters" because thoughts, encouragements, ideas and issues are being discussed freely in the internet unlike five years ago. Today, everybody can express his opinion and influence others in a larger scale. Traditional tactics and even traditional politicians will not survive the race for the chair they are after if they will not act quickly to introduce themselves and what they stand for to the new generation of online voters. The mere formation of a group, associations, fans clubs, and volunteers in social networking sites like Friendster, Facebook and Twitter is not enough. Actual online interaction is needed.

I remember last 2007 wherein some forums I am active with were talking about Chiz Escudero and Senator Trillanes. There were so many ads, paid persons and groups posting articles about their candidates,  etc but at the end of the day, the discussion about the two individuals mentioned above spilled over to the homes of the readers then later on to the community. They were voted by the people. Especially Trillanes. This will also show the political thinking of the Filipino people, they go for the underdog and despises the blatant use of money  to campaign.

The rally for the expulsion of President Estrada grew to a very large crowd not because of the paid protesters or the "hakot" system  but because people were talking through text and online. There was a free discussion of political sentiments. Those sentiments were brought home, shared to the community and spilled all over, thus the large rally against former president Estrada came through. It was not entirely the fault of Angelo Reyes turning against Estrada or the powerful Makati businessmen. The people's emotions, sentiments, feelings about dirty politics had something to do with the ouster and the meeting of the minds and free discussion online sparked a debate that was later on carried to the streets. Estrada, being a traditional politician did not see the relevance of "the new generation of online voters". 

This is a new generation, a new time, a new league of intelligent voters. The smallest contribution we could give to change the Philippine political system is one giant step towards fixing our future.

This is www.WatWatWorld.com...

And So I say
Copyright DMC, Quezon City
Political Scientist
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Is Gibo Teodoro leading the "silent voters" and why politicians should look into the "new battle field"

9:34 PM

There's a lot of fuzz running around the online world. To start with, the largest chunk of voters are what I call "the new generation of online voters". As a problogger who practically spends 12-18 hours a day online, I see the presidentiables running their campaigns using different methods from social networks to advertisements. From the different online forums I visited, it seems that Gibo Teodoro has the lead when it comes to responses on posts about the presidential candidates followed by Noynoy Aquino and Manny Villar. 

In summary, this is what I gathered from the different responses in online forums.

Gibo - is relatively unknown and was oftentimes regarded as President Gloria Arroyo's pet. However, in the past weeks, he is ranking up as one of the favorites especially by the younger generation because of his wits and the intelligence he showed in answering questions during presidential debates and forums. He presented the better answers and in a straight forward delivery. If he keeps this up, he will win easily. I saw this happen in the 2007 elections where Senator Chiz Escudero was the talk of the youth and eventually spread to the family and then to the community. Gibo is now seen separately from President Arroyo. He no longer lurks behind the shadows of the present administration.  

Aquino - is already popular by birth and has served as a legislator for almost a decade. He is also a good talker and his answers in forums and debates hit a point. However, his popularity among the younger generation is slowly diminishing because he is too much associated with showbizness thus belittling his capacity to run a country. In a presidential "cooking" show hosted by Jessica Soho, all of the presidentiables personally cooked their favorite dish except Noynoy who needed the help of someone. The popularity of the celebrity in the presidential candidates cooking show didn't help, it was a disaster. Reading closely at different discussions in online forums, there are comments that Noynoy cannot move by himself and must need pushing or advices. Again, this is not my personal opinion. If Noynoy does not change his strategy, his cousin Gibo will overrun him by a mile. 

Villar - is the presidential favorite years ago since he started the "OFW ads". However, due to his numerous ads and campaigns, it is but obvious that the new generation of online voters is having an overkill thought. For example, this week (December 15-20), Villar's political ads in ABS CBN, TV5 and GMA are so overwhelming that one would think the hundreds of millions spent. This is so noticeable because there were no other political ads played 24 hours aside from some Eddie Villanueva ads. Villar's commercials are now becoming annoying and questionable at the tune of hundreds of millions. Mr. Remulla is wrong in saying that the commercials are the fastest way to deliver the message to the people. What is being delivered is a negative impression especially to the largest portion of voters. The thing is, the so called advisers and analysts of Villar are looking to spend more millions to get the sympathy of the voters. This is wrong. Villar should instead show more guts and intelligence by joining presidential forums, discussions and debates. Remember, the voters today are watching every move and every word. Commercials alone is a big joke.

As for the other presidentiables, I still have to review and digest the online forums to give readers a good impression on the thoughts of the online voters. But I will say this again and again and again... the politicians running for the 2010 elections should consider "the new generation of online voters" because thoughts, encouragements, ideas and issues are being discussed freely in the internet unlike five years ago. Today, everybody can express his opinion and influence others in a larger scale. Traditional tactics and even traditional politicians will not survive the race for the chair they are after if they will not act quickly to introduce themselves and what they stand for to the new generation of online voters. The mere formation of a group, associations, fans clubs, and volunteers in social networking sites like Friendster, Facebook and Twitter is not enough. Actual online interaction is needed.

I remember last 2007 wherein some forums I am active with were talking about Chiz Escudero and Senator Trillanes. There were so many ads, paid persons and groups posting articles about their candidates,  etc but at the end of the day, the discussion about the two individuals mentioned above spilled over to the homes of the readers then later on to the community. They were voted by the people. Especially Trillanes. This will also show the political thinking of the Filipino people, they go for the underdog and despises the blatant use of money  to campaign.

The rally for the expulsion of President Estrada grew to a very large crowd not because of the paid protesters or the "hakot" system  but because people were talking through text and online. There was a free discussion of political sentiments. Those sentiments were brought home, shared to the community and spilled all over, thus the large rally against former president Estrada came through. It was not entirely the fault of Angelo Reyes turning against Estrada or the powerful Makati businessmen. The people's emotions, sentiments, feelings about dirty politics had something to do with the ouster and the meeting of the minds and free discussion online sparked a debate that was later on carried to the streets. Estrada, being a traditional politician did not see the relevance of "the new generation of online voters".

This is a new generation, a new time, a new league of intelligent voters. The smallest contribution we could give to change the Philippine political system is one giant step towards fixing our future.

This is www.WatWatWorld.com...

And So I say
Copyright DMC, Quezon City


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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Martial Law In Maguindanao In Effect: 62 Arrested

2:55 AM

SHARIFF AGUAK, Philippines (AFP) – The Philippines said Sunday it had detained more than 60 people and seized a stunning array of weapons after imposing martial law in a southern province in the wake of a massacre.
A total of 62 people were swept up in raids over the weekend, including 15 taken from a ranch owned by clan patriarch Andal Ampatuan Snr where the military found a cache of powerful rifles buried in a grassy area, police said.
Authorities said the decision to impose martial law in Maguindanao province from Friday night was needed to quell a rebellion by the clan, whose leaders were accused of being behind last month's massacre that left 57 people dead.
"Martial law (allowed) the security forces to really go after these suspects who are part of the rebellion, maybe some of whom are possible suspects in the recent massacre," said Andres Caro, the national police chief of operations.
The mass murders occurred on November 23, when 100 Ampatuan gunmen allegedly abducted and shot dead female relatives of a rival politician, plus a group of journalists and civilians, in a remote farming area of Maguindanao. Related article: Philippine massacre suspects rule over squalor
Ampatuan Snr, the governor of Maguindanao, as well as four other family members were detained Saturday in the initial raids following the imposition of martial law.
Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera said Sunday that leaders of the clan now in detention would be charged with rebellion.
The rebellion charges are separate from murder cases being prepared against them over the massacre, she said.
"We did not see them plotting against the government, we saw the deed done. They have usurped power from the government there," Devanadera told DZBB radio.
"This is not ordinary chaos taking place in one area, this has an armed component. And there is removal of allegiance from the republic of the Philippines by the leaders of this group."
The Ampatuan family is a Muslim clan that had ruled the province for most of the decade with the backing of private armies and the suppport of President Gloria Arroyo's ruling coalition.
Justifiying the controversial move to impose martial law, the government said large numbers of heavily armed gunmen loyal to the Ampatuans had threatened to attack if the clan chiefs were taken into custody.
The government alleged the Ampatuans had illegally amassed a stunning array of military hardware that it was prepared to use in the rebellion.

Thousands of soldiers and police poured into the provincial capital, Shariff Aguak, and other Maguindanao towns after martial law was imposed to detain the Ampatuans and their militiamen, as well as find the weapons. Related article: Farmers flee over fears of violence
On Saturday, security forces retrieved 340,000 rounds of ammunition, several assault rifles and a home-made armoured car at a warehouse owned by the Ampatuans.
On Sunday, about more 40 firearms, including M16 assault rifles, and dozens of boxes of ammunition were found on a property believed to be owned by Ampatuan Snr, the military said.
"Our suspicions are proving right, we believe there are more weapons hidden," regional army commander Colonel Leo Ferrer said. "Our operations are continuing so we can limit the military capability of those concerned."
Ferrer said the army has not encountered any armed resistance so far.
"But we are prepared to face these threats," he said.
The biggest reported discovery came on Thursday when the military found what it said were enough weapons and ammunitions to arm two battalions, or 1,000 soldiers, buried in a vacant lot near the Ampatuans' compound of homes.
The military said this finding was one of the triggers for it recommending to Arroyo that martial law be imposed.
One of Ampatuan Snr's sons, Andal Ampatuan Jnr, has already been charged with 25 counts of murder over the massacre. Police last week filed indictments recommending the clan chief and other relatives also be charged.
Police allege Ampatuan Jnr and his gunmen shot dead the occupants of a convoy that included female relatives of his rival for the post of governor in next year's elections, as well as about 30 journalists.
Before the massacre, Arroyo's government had supported the Ampatuans as part of its campaign to use powerful local clans to contain Muslim rebels whose bloody insurgency since the 1970s has left over 150,000 dead.

Copyright belongs to the author Cecil Morella and AFP (Agence France Presse)

Rumors are circulating around coffee shops and even in social networks and forums. The rumor is that the  President Arroyo had to shut down the Ampatungans especially the two governors because they were allegedly threatening the current president to expose the alleged anomalies committed in the Certificate of Canvass last 2007 elections wherein the vote was 12-0 in favor of the administration candidates.
Accordingly, if the president will not support the Ampatungans, the latter will spill the beans about the election fraud that happened in Maguindanao. Maybe this was the initial reason why the government was relaxed in hunting down the murderers and when the suspected Mayor Andal Ampatungan Jr. "surrendered", we all saw the laxity as compared to those who committed petty crimes like simple theft. This was probably the initial gesture of political friendship that Malacanang had to offer.

However, there is a big clamor for justice since 28 media practitioners were also killed in the massacre. The noise is too much for the Ampatungans so allegedly they again asked the President for support in exchange of keeping quiet on the past election issue. This time the president cannot give in to the favor since the whole world is looking at her and such actions may be detrimental to her career extension in congress. So allegedly, the plan was to shut down the voice of the Ampatungans and it can be done completely only if martial law was to be implemented and all the evidence sequestered.

This rumor maybe true or maybe not and there are so many questions yet to be answered. Clarity to this rumor will soon be available thanks to the wonderful world of social networking where you can find interesting answers to issues nowadays.
And so I say...
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Saturday, December 5, 2009

If you know you are right, fight for it! A Baguio City Market Example.

4:54 PM

I recently came across a friend who had a story to tell. It was a long story and the details she shared are full of twists and turns. After learning of what happened and the steps they did, they got what they deserve. This story will remind us that if you stand for what is right, you will never lose.  

Below is the story:
    The Baguio sari-sari section market was struck by fire on April 11, 2008 at dawn time. Only half portion of the sari-sari burned and that was the area facing the Magsaysay road.
The leaseholders then had to go on with their business thus they had to make temporary restorations after a week.  They had to make use of the small area using sako (Rice bag ) that was given to them to make a living.  After months of waiting, the city government expressed their side that they will restore the market together with the vegetable section that was also burned down last summer of 2009.
      Everybody was happy because finally, after 13 months (April 11,2008 to July 27,2009)of waiting for the sari-sari section, they will now start to restore it.
    The first clamor that time was for the old/original leaseholders to go back to their original places prior to fire.   Mr. G  , the sari sari section leader  appointed  Ms. G  (daughter of a leaseholder) to represent the leaseholders  without even informing the group but then everybody was silent about it.
    When the city government , through the citizens forum held during the city council session on Oct. 26, 2009, gave an approval, everybody was happy.  When the Vice mayor asked if they  have stall assignments, Ms. G brought out a piece of bond paper from her bag and presented it to the council.  The group were asking each other if they had knowledge of that paper presented and they said none.
    One City Councilor even mentioned that "actually, this is the first time I was handed a copy of this stall assignments, that they have stalls already" as we read it in the minutes of the meeting. so when the presiding officer – Vice Mayor said, “okey let them sign already if walang conflict” and he assigned the market superintendent Mr. Tamayo to finalize the stall assignments.
    After the session, A leaseholder named Ms. J was able to read a copy of the said stall assignments and was shocked because it was not the original places prior to fire which was just been approved by the council.  SWITCHING  of stalls was done and she was affected.  Having a question regarding that paper, . she went to Mr. Tamayo and told him about it and so with the others who had questions with that proposal He instructed them to go to his office first thing in the morning.  Ms. J and those who were affected by the switching explained their sides and he too knows that upon reading it, switching was done.  What they did was to make new stall assignments basing it on the original places prior to the fire. In effect, “kung sino and katabi mo noon, siya din katabi mo ngayon sa new building.” That was the majority agreement.

Everybody was listening and cooperating and Ms. G even helped when Mr. Tamayo was positioning the names in a cartolina with numbers on it basing it in the new structure.
    However, when Mrs. G,  mother of Ms. G  arrived, she wanted  to be transferred to the stall across(stall #13) from the stall that was previously favored to her (stall #14). Mr. Tamayo didn't agree since in the first place, they should be in stall #17 and not #14. Mr. Tamayo said, BINIGAY KO NA NGA ITO (POINTING TO HIS WRIST) AT GUSTO MO NAMAN EH HANGANG DITO (POINTING TO HIS WHOLE ARM).  Ms. G cried and said, sorry.  After everything was done  , Mr. Tamayo instructed his secretary to type the names and have them sign beside it in front of him to assure that they agree with what was given to them. Everybody who was present lined up to sign and majority already signed when Councilor S and Mrs. M, the city treasurer arrived. They were questioning  Mr. Tamayo why he allowed to make a new proposal since the proposal of the “G’s”was already approved by the honorable in the city council. Mr. Tamayo defended his side but he can't compete with the 2 city officials so he kept quite. Councilor S then instructed him to follow the “G’s” proposal. Everybody was murmuring and asking each other if they could appeal and explain their side why they had to make a new proposal but councilor S did not give any of them a chance to explain.
    They then went back to Their temporary stalls and were asking each other if they can do something so that councilor S. will be able to listen their side. Some of them formed a group and decided to seek the advice of a media man Mr. P.L. He assisted them in making the letter addressed to councilor S and had the same received at the offices of the councilors, vice mayor, mayor and sangguniang panglungsod on October 28,2009. Time was so important so they went back again the next day to follow up the letter and luck was with them that day because there is a special session for garbage problem on Oct .30 and councilor C, R and A told them to  attend so that they will have Vice mayor listen to their plight.  they waited until it was their time to speak and so councilor C presented the problem to the council. The Vice Mayor was angry there was a misrepresentation of data and said “have this be investigated, baka akala nila may favoritism dito.”  The group of 5 women were very happy because the city council approved the proposal that Mr. Tamayo
     We told the others and they were happy with the result but the next working day, Ms G appealed to city hall insisting that her proposal be followed since it was the first one that was approved.  Councilor S and City Treasurer Mrs. M said they will follow Ms. G’s proposal since it is still under the Market Authority headed by councilor S.  The resolution #450 and #450b is yet to be signed by the mayor who is always out of the country. When the group found out what Ms. G did, They asked the advice of the councilors and they were given another chance to be heard in a council session scheduled on NOv. 16,2009.  They specifically approved the proposal that was done by Mr. Tamayo with the group and councilor R said that she wants the names of the stall owners be embodied in the resolution and not just an attachment. The Vice Mayor said, "motion as clarified is considered approved as presented".

Watch the session that was posted in  you tube "sari-sari proper baguio city council nov 16"

When Mr G, the section chief, visited the market in the afternoon of oct 24, he said that it is Ms G’s proposal that will be followed then councilor S came to new market building at around  6:oopm  telling those who were constructing their stores if they are sure of that stall since it is proposal  A (Ms. G’s) that will be followed.
    The next day, they were told that they will follow the proposal of Ms. G because all the resolutions pass├ęd by the city council were vetoed by the Honorable Mayor and a memorandum was made addressed to the city treasurer. Ms J , told herself  to fight for the last time so Ms J and her sister went to city hall seeking for answer and thanks to councilor R, they were able to talk to Atty P, the city secretary, after  all the political squabbles, they were granted their original places.

The story above shows that if you are right and you fight for it, at the end of the day, victory will be yours.

Photo By: Carl Carino Taawan
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Martial Law Declared In The Philippines, Province of Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat

4:52 PM

Martial Law Declared In The Philippines

Just this morning, martial law was declared by the president to be effective at once covering the provinces of Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat and the City of Cotabato. This declaration was a result of the seizure of high powered automatic firearms in the said province. 
The words "martial law" is somewhat scary because of the atrocities that were committed by the military and police during the latter part of the Marcos Era. But today, the declaration is generally accepted. Of course those who are  allegedly involved in the massacre will cry out foul! 
Taking into consideration that Maguindanao province is under control for at lest 60 days will give way to the arrest and prosecution of those who participated in the mass murder. I just hope that the declaration will be under control and closely monitored by the media so that no abuses will take place even for the Ampatungans who also deserve equal protection of the law.

Also, Secretary Dureza released his 'diary' of the 'Four Critical days in a document to try give his side of what government did in the hours after the crisis broke out. Read on.
MAGUINDANAO MASSACRE: THE FOUR CRITICAL DAYS (A recollection of those four critical days ) by Secretary Jesus G. Dureza
DAY ONE ‐‐Nov 23 (Monday) – I was monitoring closely reports about a missing convoy in Maguindanao with media friends. Later in the day, reports of mass murder of the Mangudadatus were confirmed. Allegedly by Datu Unsay Ampatuan Jr. et al. My instincts told me this could very well be a very explosive situation. . When media called, I said I would recommend proclaiming a state of emergency. At 8 p.m. SND Bert Gonzales and I met. He told me the President had directed that I act as “crisis manager”.
DAY TWO – Nov 24 (Tuesday) Bert and I took the earliest flight to Gen Santos City. At the 601st brigade in Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat, briefings were held. Initial photos of the carnage were flashed on the screen. Gruesome! Next we met with the Mangudadatus, many of them my personal friends.
They were tense and angry. They wanted to retrieve the bodies immediately. They demanded justice, immediately.
The Ampatuans did it, they said. After Bert and I expressed government’s resolve to do everything possible, Toto Mangudadatu said they will cooperate. No retaliatory action but government must give justice.
12 NOON – A teleconferencing call connected Bert and me to the Palace where the President was presiding over a hastily called security meeting. We were getting specific instructions from her.
So did Bert, PNP Chief Jess Versoza and AFP Vice CS Maclang who arrived with us. Her voice had that sense of urgency.
Inputs from the other cabinet members were also relayed. 1:00 PM – The crisis management committee was activated.
Assisting me were Eastmincom Gen Ferrer and PNP 12 Director Serapio. 2:00 PM – Bert left to fly back to Manila. Col Geslani, brigade commander assisted in setting up the command center. It was at this time that I operationalized an action plan I quietly formulated in my mind. It was a simple plan drawing lessons from past experiences.
3:00PM – Having talked with the Mangudadatus, I decided to go see the Ampatuans in Shariff Aguak. I felt confident. Both families were my friends. And I had direct access to them. With my staff and without military escorts, except for one military officer, Col Macario as guide, I motored to the Ampatuan residence.
3:45PM ‐‐I entered the Ampatuan fenced premises and the patriarch Gov. Andal Ampatuan, Sr was there waiting for me. With him seated in a “ bahay kubo” on the sprawling grounds were several ARMM and Maguindanao officials and relatives. Armed followers were everywhere. After informing Gov. Andal that my purpose in coming was because of the incident and that his son, Mayor Datu Unsay Ampatuan, Jr. was implicated , I told “Bapa” Andal that it would be best that the Ampatuans also “cooperate”.
I said that Datu Unsay should submit to an investigation. He immediately said: “ OK. Kausapin mo sya. Ipatawag ko si Datu Unsay. Basta kayo secretary walang problema”. I told him I wanted to see Datu Unsay as I got reports that he was missing or had escaped. Bapa said: “Hindi yan totoo. Darating si Datu Unsay. Magpakita sya sayo secretary”.
Bapa Andal as usual, was a man of few words. We then went inside the house to wait for the son’s arrival. In the meantime, ARMM Gov Zaldy Ampatuan and Cong. Digs Dilangalen arrived from the airport. Usec Zam Ampatuan, Atty Cynthia Guiani Sayadi, among others were there too.
I felt a bit tense and uncomfortable. I did not want to start talking about the incident until Unsay would arrive. We were chatting for about an hour trying to divert the issue and loosen up.
A lively conversation centered on how many children some of their relatives had. One relative had 70 children. Of course from several mothers. Etc.
4:30PM – We waited. I noticed that Atty. Cynthia was using her cellphone and taking pictures while we were chatting. Unsay arrived and got seated on my left. We continued a bit about our light banter until Unsay settled down. (GMA7 later that same evening showed some pictures on TV. My wife Beth texted me and called my attention immediately when she saw it: “Bakit ka smile kasama mga Ampatuan. Not proper.” I agreed. But I was puzzled where the pictures came from and who sent them.
There were no media people around. I surmised Cynthia did it.)
5:00PM. – I was becoming worried that darkness would overtake my return trip to Sultan Kudarat. Many armed and uniformed men on the highway. One could not tell what group or unit. So when Unsay got seated, I immediately told him that I came because of the serious incident and that initial reports mentioned his name as involved. I told him my purpose in coming was only to be assured that he would cooperate and submit himself to any investigation.
He looked at the direction of Gov Andal who spoke first: “ Gaya ng sinabi ko sayo kanina, magcooperate kami, secretary”. Then Unsay himself echoed saying: “Mag cooperate po kami secretary”. I then stood up and said I would contact them again soon. We arrived in Marbel already dark and stayed there for the night.
DAY THREE , Nov 25, (‐ Wednesday) – 830AM, I visited a funeral parlor in Marbel. Some bodies not identified yet.
I then directed DSWD 12 to attend to the immediate needs of the families, and that DOH 12 and OCD 12 were to assist. I motored to Tacurong at 601st brigade and met the NBI team that just arrived from Manila. I reconvened the crisis committee and mapped up moves on how to fast track work .
A team of PNP investigators were sent to the residence of Buluan Vice Mayor Toto Mangudadatu to get statements but they were told that affidavits of their witnesses would be submitted instead perhaps the following day.
I was already aware that the outrage over the killings mounted. And government was being criticized for slow action.
12 NOON –Over lunch at the brigade, I consulted with the crisis committee on my plan: it was time to contact the Ampatuans and call in Datu Unsay to voluntarily surrender.
As they committed to me yesterday. I was also quietly informed that an operational plan was underway to forcibly take custody of him.
2:00PM – On my way to Marbel to dialogue with all the families of the victims, I made several calls. First with ARMM Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan. I told him it was time to bring in Datu Unsay. He told me he would consult the father, Gov. Andal. I said I had only until 5 pm that day to work on this plan. After 5pm, the scenario would no longer be the same, I told him.
4:00PM – While meeting the families of victims in downtown Marbel, I got a call from the father, Gov Andal telling me that he would turnover to me Datu Unsay but requested that the deadline be moved from 5pm today to 10 AM, the following day.
I immediately told him I could not guarantee things if the deadline was moved. He said the Ampatuan clan would meet that evening and discuss things and bid goodbye to Datu Unsay.
I told him I would get back to him by phone. I made calls and informed some of my colleagues (with whom I had been consulting from the beginning) of the request. There were objections.
Understandable reservations: what if the extension was a ruse to escape that evening? What were the guarantees that he would voluntarily surrender during the new deadline? People were becoming outraged not only on the crime but on the perceived slowness of government, so why waste more time? The forces were ready to strike, so why delay?
But I also reasoned back: How sure are we that we would get Datu Unsay in the operations? (From yesterday’s visit to the Ampatuans, I was certain that he was not there in the immediate vicinity but came from somewhere far.)
An assault would surely cost lives knowing the armaments, the culture and the situation.
People were crying for swift action but I would not agree to precipitate action. I also said I believed Gov Andal was sincere when he told me he would bring out his son when needed.
To wrap up my point, I said: I would take full responsibility for whatever outcome. My new timeline was adopted. I moved the deadline to 10:OO AM the following day.
That night, we reviewed the “pickup” scenario several times and mapped out contingencies just in case things would not go as planned. In the meantime, government troops moved according to operational plans. That evening,
I got a call from Atty. Cynthia getting an assurance from me that nothing would be launched that evening until the 10 AM pickup time the following day. I told her if there were troop movements, these were in support of the 10 AM “pickup”. Later in the night, another complication suddenly arose. Gen Serapio and Col Geslani informed me that they got information that Toto Mangudadatu would motor with his followers to file his certificate of candidacy the following morning in Shariff Aguak. I immediately called Gov. Teng Mangudadatu.
I told him that there was something afoot the following morning and that without disclosing what it was all about, I requested if he could convince Toto to move his filing to another day. A few minutes later, Gov Teng called and said the clan agreed.
D‐DAY, Nov.26 (Thursday) 6:00AM–Early morning, government forces took over and occupied the ARMM facilities and other buildings and premises in Maguindanao province.
Armed elements loyal to the Ampatuans were taken by surprise and gave up their firearms without resistance. I was nervous a bit but confident. The “what if” scenarios kept popping up in my mind. I motored to the 601st brigade for the final briefings. The choppers would pick me up from there. Gen Ferrer and I watched as more newly arrived troops were jumping off towards designated areas.
9:00AM – I was informed that something went wrong with the Huey helicopters coming from Cotabato. The Davao choppers were instead dispatched but would not be able to arrive by 10AM. 9:55AM – I got a call from Col Geslani whom we tasked to liaison with the Ampatuans that they were requesting for a little time as they were waiting for their lawyer who was still on the road to arrive.
That was a break I needed. The 2 choppers arrived. We discussed with the pilot and crew contingencies and procedures.
10:45AM, we were ready to jump off upon cue from Col Geslani. It would be a short 35 minute hop from the brigade to Shariff Aguak.
My staff Cecil said she’s getting nervous but insisted on joining. My assistant, Yo was busy texting. But wait, another problem suddenly cropped up. As we were boarding, one the 2 PNP officers tasked to escort the suspect said they could not use the handcuff on Ampatuan as the KEY WAS MISSING! What about the other handcuff with your buddy, I asked. “Ganon din po sir”, he replied. “Sh_t!” I almost fell from my seat!.(”Sarap sapakin!”) But there was no more time. We then agreed that he would be strapped with the seat belt and the policemen would firmly clasp the buckles to prevent any unexpected situation while airborne. (When I was asked later by reporters why Ampatuan was not handcuffed, I had a ready curt answer with a straight face: “He is adequately restrained!”. Sec Agnes promptly responded with the same line when she was asked upon landing in Manila. )
11:20AM Two Hueys landed on the Maguindanao province capitol grounds. The Huey engines were not shut off as agreed in case a sudden exit maneuver was necessary. I waited for 20 minutes on the ground. I was getting worried. Finally, I saw my staff Ollie with his thumbs up sign. Col Geslani signalled, they were on their way. My “what if” scare disappeared. The capitol gates opened.
The Ampatuan family arrived on board vehicles from another location nearby. Gov Zaldy clasping my hand said: “Ipaubaya ni amah si Datu Unsay sayo” and turned over Datu Unsay to me. We boarded the aircraft with Atty. Cynthia , insisting she had to ride with him.
11:40AM, Helis took off enroute Gen Santos City where Sec. Agnes and her crew were waiting for an inquest proceeding. But again something happened. About a few minutes airborne and while still climbing and gaining altitude, I first noticed some flapping sound outside. I thought, maybe some loose parts of the chopper.
The noise kept coming, intermittent. I looked down and maybe I saw flashes but I was not sure. Suddenly the Huey banked sharply to the right and simultaneously, several short bursts from our two Huey gunners at the back. The bursts startled all of us.
The evasive maneuver by the pilot also jarred us. All of us kept our heads low as the Huey steeply climbed. My staff Jerry and Col Mac who were seated beside the open Huey doors ducked.
The soldier at the back shouted, “ground fire, sir”. We still climbed. The flapping sound from outside could not be heard anymore. The gunners later told me ground fire sounded like flapping from the air. The evasive action and the machinegun bursts were SOP. At 2,000 feet altitude, we cruised. That’s when I saw on the Huey floor an empty shell from the bursts of the M‐60 machinegun on board.
I picked up the empty shell, then pocketed it for good luck. At the Gensan airport, I called the Boss: “Mission accomplished, Mrs. President.” * * *
(Note: Dureza had successfully handled past crises situations notably the “detention” by MNLF Saber Malik of Marine Gen. Benjamin Dolorfino and OPAPP Usec Ramon Santos in Sulu in 2007; the handover of Misuari from Malaysian authorities to face rebellion charges in 2002; the surrender of convicted priestkiller escapee Manero in 2001; the release of Gen. Obillo and Capt. Montealto by NPA Commander Parago with the Capalla humanitarian team in 1999; the Cebu Pacific plane crash in Misamis Oriental in 1998; the Mindanao El Nino crisis in 1998; the Davao Penal Colony hostage situation in 1998.)
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Philippine Government, AFP and DND are Accessories to the Crime of Maguindanao - Ampatuan Murder/Massacre . Some Highpowered Machine Guns Used in the Massacre are DND-Military issued.

4:51 PM

Today, hundreds of high powered and sophisticated guns, some made by Armscore - a major arms supplier to the AFP, that can arm 500 soldiers or militia men were recovered in a shallow hole near the residence of the Ampatuans in Maguindanao. The said weapons were said to be the same guns that was used to kill the 57 Ampatuan massacre victims. The source said that the weapons were buried one day after the mass killing.

The question we have now is this: why are the high powered guns in the possession of private individuals? I remember some issues a few months back that was well covered by the media. It involved a junior navy officer and some members of the military. They broke the chain of command and expressed their loss of faith in their superior officers and one issue brought to the media's attention is the sale of high powered guns to the highest bidders who happen to be influential  politicians. I shrugged it off as a mere accusation. But after the Maguindanao massacre, it seems that the accusations were real and backed by convincing proof ( physical evidence recovered ).

I'm pretty sure the issue on the Department Of Defense issued high powered sophisticated automatic guns will just fade away. In the first place who in the Philippines has the balls to investigate or prosecute the high ranking officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Department of Defense? NOBODY! The best thing that the so called "investigators" can do is to play around with the media through "paid" press releases.

This being said, it is better to concentrate on prosecuting the Ampatuan massacre killers today rather than diverting attention to the private arms confiscated. It's a hard decision and arguably debatable depending on your political linkage, but it is better to bring justice to the families of the victims by actively participating in the judicial proceedings. To follow the weapons used is useless.
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WatWatWorld: Philippine Political Organization Mushroom (Lilitaw - Lulubog)

4:49 PM

As early as two years ago, I already noticed the formation of different organizations and associations geared towards the 2010 elections. Recently, Facebook, MySpace, Friendster and Twitter are commonly used to boost up their membership. Creating a political organization prior to an election is a common practice and just like mushrooms, many of this organizations disappear after the elections. Politicians commonly use the youth sector in mobilizing membership by promising a good platform and objectives. Fact is, every politician has his/her own platform to show during the campaign period but more often than not, the realization of the platforms presented remains to be seen. If you follow the history of Philippine elections, it maybe safe to say that after elections, the platforms earlier presented remains in the piece of paper where it was written. Only a few really practice what they are introducing during a campaign.

Promises are also common in political organizations even if the members join as "volunteers", in many cases, these volunteers end up as cash cows or foot soldiers with a promise that if the candidate they are fighting for will win, they will receive some incentives either in form of grants, scholarships, positions, jobs or contracts. Allegedly, the political organizers also "earn" because they handle the channeled finances for the organization. However, we will not deny that there are also organizers and volunteers who really believes in what they are campaigning for thus doing it in their own free will and sacrifices. I have seen this before in our province wherein volunteers really used their own money, time and effort to campaign for a senatorial candidate. After the election was over, the volunteers where not even recognized. The organizers got all the thank you's and wishes. Soon after, the organization faded away.

The most common victims of political organization mushrooms are "promdi's" like me. All of a sudden organizations are mushrooming all over the provinces. Fact is, those people organizing are more often than not the same faces you saw organizing for another party or politician during previous elections. I call them "political dance instructors", and I will allege that they are earning a living or even more from what they are doing.

Political organization mushrooms maybe temporary in nature but they serve their purpose very well. I may not agree on how the organizers manipulate volunteers but at the end of the day, something is achieved and that is the spreading of political awareness from the national capital region to the far flung areas in the provinces. This is the only time where politics and politicians reach the ends of the provinces and the only time where "promdi's" like me can see our favorite actors and actresses in person.
To illustrate, if there are 100 politicians running for President, there will be 100 or more political organizations that will mushroom up and each of these newly born mushroom will have their own programs, policies and platforms to show. Each mushroom will try to gather as mush volunteers and as history dictates, the volunteers will stand their ground for the candidate they are endorsing even if it means physically fighting with the other political mushrooms. Again, at the end of the day, whatever the result is, the political candidate may not even know what is happening in the field.

All having said, even if these organizations are actually historical mushrooms,  I believe they still serve the purpose even for a limited time. These purposes are:
1. To spread political awareness up to the ends of each province and islands in the Philippines;
2. To gather the sentiments and needs of the people;
3. To bring medical missions and a plastic of goods containing 1 kilo of rice, two noodles and 2 cans of sardines to the poor communities;
4. To give a sense of power or control to the ordinary people; and
5. To bring actors, actresses, comedians, dancers and singers to entertain the people in the province for free!
What can you say?
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4:48 PM

Sex in the Philippines is a catchy title rather than using the word prostitution which has worsened to the highest level. I have been staying in Manila for almost five years now and I had my share of ups and downs. Living in this part of the country made me realize the difference on cost of  living, it is indeed expensive to live here in the National Capital Region. Without a stable source of income is suicide. Better go home to the province. This is my introduction because I have seen bad consequences in trying to live it out in the Metro especially on the subject sex and prostitution.

For two years I had worked in the Cubao, Quezon City area and every night when I go home I had to pass by the intersection overpass at Aurora Boulevard. I can't believe it but there are young ladies I think as young as 14 years old standing at the side while a pimp, either an old lady or a gay transacts business with passersby. Accordingly, the rate is P500 but it can go down to P300. Half goes to the pimp, half goes to the young girl. This sight is familiar along the main road and the dark alleys of Aurora Blvd.

You can also see the same sight along Quezon Ave, Quiapo a night, Malate and Taft Ave. So sad that you can see in the faces of the girls that they do it so that they could eat. I have also seen a couple having sex in a street sidewalk at the back of  Malate church. All they had to cover their lower part of the body where the action is going is a big refrigirator box.

It is said that sex is the oldest profession and as long as there are men, it will never die. This maybe a fact and not even the most religious can stop the proliferation of this trade. However, seeing young children, kids getting into this sex trade is something I strongly reject. Some tricycle drivers even joke that they can have sex for a kilo of rice! Imagine that!

Then I saw the episode of Imbestigador hosted by Mike Enriquez. There was a feature were old men can have sex with children and teenagers in a scale of "three girls for P100". I was shocked. The modus was to pay the owner of the house so that the customers ( mostly tricycle drivers and bystanders ) can use it as a drinking space. Then the young girls will be lured to join them in the drinking spree and after a few drinks, sex begins. It's a god thing that Imbestigador was able to catch the perpetrators of that sex house.

Yet there is another story. I'm sure by now you are aware of the sudden growth of teenage gangs all around the country. Ganghood is only one of the negative influences adopted by Filipinos from the Americans. Many teenagers are now active on this and they employ the harshest bullying using guns and weapons to scare other kids. So many stories have been told but I will use a particular example in Baguio City where two highschool girls from prominent families were given to a gang leader as a gift in exchange for their membership. The two highschool girls got pregnant. This created an outrage in Baguio City but still it ganghood remains. In Metro Manila, you can see teenage gangs in every corner of this metropolitan city and the word sex comes out of their mouth just as fast as they sing their rap songs. It seems sex trade amongst gang members is a free trade under what they call "hirap o sarap".

Sex in the Philippines is not limited to the girls or gangs in the streets. In fact, it is only a small portion of the industry. Most of the sex trade comes with a price and the people involved are the persons you would not want to mess with. How many stories have you heard about politicians, policemen etc having more than one wife and more than two homes? Funny thing is,  they are the people who ought to implement the law.

We will have a hard time admitting this, but despite the Philippines being known as the only christian majority based country in South East Asia, many foreigners, especially the males, come to the Philippines because sex is cheap. In an article written by ilovephilippinestoo.blogspot.com he said that "Philippine tourism, has proven to be helpful to sex workers in the country. There are at least 100, 000 women in the country, both young and a bit older trying their luck to have a fair share of income in the tourism industry of the Philippines. In the country (Philippines) sex is priced more or less at Php 2,500 an hour. Not really bad considering the minimum wage is too less! Who does not want to earn this amount in an hour anyway? It is more wage than the salary of some CEO's!"

Then he follows it up with hard truth. He said "there are laws against this, against that but these laws are never working nor implemented! Although illegal in the Philippines, prostitution is still a very good industry. It is being boosted by dollars brought in by foreign tourists, who are most likely to be male, aged 38 years or older and in the country for pleasure. The government actually has enough laws against prostitution, I have to mention again."

He quoted some laws. "Among these Anti-prostituion laws is Republic Act 9208, otherwise known as the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, which seeks to save women and children from falling into prostitution, pornography, sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery, involuntary servitude or debt bondage. Unfortunately, the law does not save them from poverty and lack of livelihood opportunities, which force thousands of women to prostitution. The fact that some Filipinos are very rich and others are very poor breeds the exploitation and abuse of poor women. As I may tell you, there can be no other law more beautifully phrased than Philippine laws... really! But all these, are all drops of ink and nothing more. I don't even think most law-makes are aware that they have passed these laws! In 2005, some 2.6 million foreign tourists infused about $2.4 billion into the country, the highest in history. This year, the Department of Tourism (DoT) expects between $2.8 and $2.9 billion from the influx of about three million visitors. Another 3.4 million visitors are expected in 2007, 3.88 million by 2008, 4.42 million by 2009 and five million by 2010. And of course, the tourism industry has computed it in the premise that there are always be prostitutions to help foreigners to come by."

Indeed, many male tourists come to the Philippines because of the cheap sex it offers. It is hard to accept especially to those who are un-exposed but it is true.

Lastly, sex in the Philippines is almost tantamount to scandal. In Fact, if you say Philippine sex you are actually saying sex scandal. If you do not believe me than just type the word sex scandal in Yahoo or Google and you will see almost all articles provided are Filipinos. Maybe this is one reason why our country is one of the targets of foreigners looking for sex. Why don't you try it yourself, just type "sex scandal" in Google and you will see thousands of websites all over the world featuring sex scandals in the Philippines. Sad to say, it's a reality we have to live with. REMEMBER: whatever you post (pictures or videos), upload or write online becomes part of the history because it can never be erased even if you deleted it from your account! Always remember that when putting something online.
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