"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

The politics of Quarry Plunder & Jueteng 2

continuation of the series……….

How credible is the argument or rather black propaganda put forward by the agents of the politics of Quarry Plunder & Jueteng? I say nada, zip, baseless that are laughable at best but people are free to express themselves even if they make fools of themselves. They should be allowed to dig their political grave and the more they belly ache and “complain” about the “inefficiency” (yeah, that’s what they call honest, transparent, accountable and responsible good governance) of Among Ed Panlilio the more they get exposed for what they really are……. A bunch of fools whose motivations are questionable at best.

Tonette Orejas Responds

The spam going around the internet was titled “Stories Inquirer Correspondent in Pampanga Refuses to Write About” so I asked with Inquirer writer Tonette Orejas if she indeed was not reporting the so-called “other side” of Panlilio. She is the most prolific writer reporting on the Ed Panlilio front thus I directed the question to her. I am glad she obliged with graciousness although I never expected her to do so. It will not do justice to her if I just quote a portion so I am reproducing the unedited full text email response:

Dear PJ and All,

First of all, allow me to clarify that as a correspondent, my area of coverage is not only Pampanga. I'm sent on assignments and coverage in six other Central Luzon provinces (Aurora, Bulacan Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac and Zambales). That tells you I'm also on a lookout for stories in other areas. Despite health limitations, I do try to exert efforts to keep Pampanga covered.

Now, to your question if I have refused to write stories, to be exact, on the bad side of Panlilio.

Refusal is not mine. I get my hands on every bad or good story that I could get.

The refusal thing has two issues: the questions of access to news sources and their news agenda.

Before I explain that, let me emphasize I have not violated the journalist code of ethics and even INQUIRER's own ethics insofar as balance, fairness and accuracy were concerned. Neither had I been selective in my stories with regards to Panlilio. Several anti-Panlilio stories have come out (criticisms by Vice Gov. Yeng Guiao and Conscience).

Now to the question of access, two news sources have branded me as pro-Panlilio and shut me out of the information loop. I do still want to accommodate them despite that.

As for the news agenda, I don't set it. News sources and readers do. What I can only do is to report things as they are, pour time and effort in composing stories even when I do not have the power to decide which stories are to be published or not.

I am sad that I have been badly portrayed. and I think this is utterly unfair. There were only a few of us crusading and dissident journalists in Pampanga in the Lapid days. We keep the light burning in those 12 years and in my case, I still do, always on the lookout for injustices, corruption and other forms of wrongdoings on the vigilant reporting of readers and communities.

This watchdog has not rested her guards.

Peace, Tonette

In a follow up email Tonette has mentioned that as bloggers we should stop categorizing journalist as pro or anti Panlilio and I agree because this is not about personality this is about principle, renewal and what good governance is all about.

Sadly what she has revealed here is an indication of the state of ATM errr journalism in the Philippines; lack of ethics in presenting the “sides” that are questionable at best and as usual a tendency to break down into factions. Tonette Orejas has nothing to gain except credibility as a journalist in writing stories as she sees it. In contrast if we look at what Pascual and his Sunstar kuligs errrr colleagues are presenting as the “other side” which is the side of traditional politicians is like presenting the side of Cobramen and women (illegal numbers game Jueteng bet collectors), untenable and illegal activities having the gall to cry and protest for losing their illegal income.

Journalist on the take used to be known as envelopmental journalist but with the advent of technology comes ATM (automatic teller machine) wherein wads of cash that is so obviously “scandalous” (as if these people still get scandalized) and the risk of getting caught red handed naturally took a high tech approach of bribing through electronic deposit.

Governor Ed Panlilio being the crusader for good governance is like the ATM Journalist worse nightmare since there will be no ATM deposit to expect being part and parcel of the culture of corruption that has no place in the Panlilio administration.

The politics of Quarry Plunder & Jueteng has been going on for quite sometime and they will impose their will unless people stood up and declare ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. The people of Pampanga have suffered enough losing hundreds if not billions of pesos from the Quarry Tax Revenue. Can we trust traditional politicians to take charge of the quarry tax collection when we see Gov. Ed Panlilio and his staff doing a job? If it ain’t broke why fix it? Go figure……..

Go back to series 1 The politics of Quarry Plunder & Jueteng, continue to series 3. or to series 4 the conclusion Why & Who Wants Panlilio Staff Fired?

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The politics of Quarry Plunder & Jueteng

Alimangong BukidFirst of a series…….

The Politics of Quarry Plunder & Jueteng as espoused by their messiah has consumed people in the Jueteng capital of the Philippines.

A certain “Ruffy Balboa” using an email address of storiesmaniladailieshatetoreport has been spamming netizens on the so-called “other side” of Among Ed. If you have not encountered it then don’t bother, I assure you its all garbage and I suspect it has something to do with quarry plunder and jueteng.

Leading the pack is the self-proclaimed “adviser” Federico Pascual with his bending over backwards advice to Among Ed in “working” the “existing” setup until it is “change”.

Indeed Among Ed Panlilio is a newbie in politics but does that mean immersing himself in the muck of corruption so he can run the provincial capitol “effectively”? Well, that’s exactly how this genius of a liepaper errr newspaper columnist Federico Pascual is yapping about, to quote:

SELF-INFLICTED: Most of his cabalen want Among Ed to succeed. But many of the problems hounding him are self-inflicted. And solutions are long in coming. He seems confused.

Complicating Among Ed's problems is his inability to work out a modus vivendi with other elective officials. He must remember that, like him, they also have their own direct mandate.

The governor cannot escape working with other elective officials -- the vice governor, the mayors, and members of the provincial board, etc. He cannot run the province by his lonesome.

Until the system is changed, he has to work with them as dictated by the setup.

“Brilliant” isn’t it? As in shinning lahar quarry thievery and buko (coconut) vendor turned millionaire now “kingmaker” except we have no clue how they got there because BIR, Injustice Department and other supposedly anti-corruption agencies does not have the balls to probe into the anomaly for fear of “violating” their “privacy”.

What exactly is the setup being referred here? Here is a quote from Mike Banos of American chronicle titled Among Ed: A shared Vision for National Building:

“After some time in office, I realized many barangay officials still don’t know what the Local Government Code (LGC) is, or what their Internal Revenue Allotment is,” Panlilio said during a private meeting with leaders of civil society held at a local restaurant last Monday, Jan. 7.

“The LGC is a beautiful code which allows the ordinary citizen to participate in nation building and social reformation,” he added.

He decried how many local government officials still wanted to make it appear that the barangays’ IRA were dole-outs from the LGU head’s largesse when it was rightfully the barangays’ to budget and spend as they saw fit.

Now, who is “CONFUSED” here? Is it Among Ed Panlilio or Pascual? It appears that the Pampanga Jueteng League ooops (Pascual acknowledge this in the same trash errr column as the jueteng influence) Mayors league led by allege anak ng jueteng (son of Jueteng) and presidential godson Dennis Pineda son of former Buko (coconut) vendor turned Millionaire husband to “kingmaker” Bong Pineda are upset due to Ed Panlilio’s enforcement of the Local Government Code (LGC). So now they are ganging up on Ed Panlilio because he has exposed their perverted governance of self-promotion treating people’s money as if their own to dispense like alms to barangays just by following LGC.

Is it not the elected officials mandate to adhere to the system and not the present “setup” or was it because Pascual in his perverted sense of “mandate” interprets the same as how the jueteng league of mayors does? C’mon Pascual you can’t just twist and insinuate the “negative” side without basis, this is just like a gossip session of Cobramen (illegal numbers game bet collector) and women lamenting their loss of income from illegal activities.

He advises the governor to work out a “modus vivendi” in short accommodate the thieves errrr the local officials that also has a direct mandate, another brilliant advise I should say. Now how in the name of cheating errr seating president will he do that? Panlilio and his staff enforce the present codes and laws so is this not a good basis for accommodation between disagreeing parties? Any agreement or accommodation must be legal and if the agreement meant committing a crime then it is unenforceable and non-binding. Should the governor not enforce the LGC as it exposes and shows the pathetic personality politics of traditional politicians playing god at the expense of the tax paying public?

Pascual laments the “undue influence” of civil society groups over the elected officials that has a direct mandate but from the looks of it how come many barangay officials are confused or did not realize what LGC meant for their jurisdiction. What have these jueteng league done to empower Barangays aside from the proliferation of cobramen and women congregating in their respective towns in their daily gossip session while collecting bets?

What is wrong with civil society taking an active role in governance? Is this not the essence of participatory democracy which we all aspire in building a strong republic not by pronouncement unlike that of the lady phone pal of garci? Hmmmmn, I wonder why he echoes the sentiments of the selected errr elected officials when they should welcome these initiatives instead of disparaging them?

I say Talangkaism (crab mentality) is alive and well in the minds of people with perverted concept of governance..... ok, who was saying that it is a sign of ATM Journalism? I did not say that but some of my gossip buddies of the Cobramen and women genre are insinuating that it is ATM Journalism and I could not tell one even if its like a snake biting me in the face. I am just so 'naive" when it comes to the present "setup" of governance especially how Pascual spells it out.

Let me end this with a quote from abengmalugud in his comment from the Campaign Supporting Good Governance:

a lot of filipinos don't realize that supporting good governance in pampanga means supporting good governance for the whole country... the claws of greed who try to do away with among ed in pampanga are the same claws that wield the power throughout the archipelago... do we really deserve one family, rather one person, to decide who and who will govern us... the family does not only control the 20 pampanga mayors... the family controls congressmen, senators, military men...the president... ergo the whole philippines... wake up philippines... if the same family succeeds in unseating the good governor, may god have mercy on us filipinos...

Continuation at series 2.....or jump to series 3 or series 4 the conclusion, Why & Who Wants Panlilio Staff Fired?

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A Blogger named KCAT

This is a truly an awe inspiring journey of A Blogger named Kcat in her desire to live a normal life despite her debilitating rare disease. A must read.... to lift your heart at the courage and optimism that is very infectious where ordinary folks buckle she conquers. And with the help of good hearted individuals helping her achieved what is unattainable is as fulfilling for her and a triumph so rewarding proving man indeed is good and his desire to do good is paramount in this life.

Imagine an 18 year old so full of life and just about starting to learn how to be independent ready to explore and appreciate the wonderful things life has to offer. The yearnings and energy to embrace the world all gone in an instant when she found herself trapped in a debilitating disease so rare that only one in 40,000 are affected plus science still has to catch up for lack of data available.

It can be a nightmare and truly disturbing experience bordering on depression and a tendency to withdraw in self pity. Or worse get caught up in deep depression unable to handle debilitating condition when one is tied in a wheelchair probably for life instead of being out there ready to conquer our wonderful world.

Pinoy Ambisyoso called our attention at PinoyBlogosphere yahoo group on the need to spread the word about A Blogger named Kcat needing our support. A truly inspiring and moving journey of a young woman that I can hardly described for her resilience and tenacity to live a normal life has me awed and amazed.

Kathrina KCAT Yarza is one active blogger who never cease to be useful and creative making full use of her time in spite of her physical limitations due to her medical condition has managed to bring hope and inspiration to most of us who chanced upon her through the internet. Indeed the wonders of the internet bringing people together giving us the true meaning of life from someone who truly appreciate it despite insurmountable challenges ahead of her.

How she does it is truly amazing, KCAT at a young tender age is just amazing at how she manage to stay very positive. Here is a person barely a woman that can withstand the trials and tribulations of life has not only inspired her family and friends but touched those that she encounters as well. The loving care and support from her family and friends gives her so much strength of will with so much energy and enthusiasm fueled by her super optimist attitude is from the Philippines afflicted with Neurofibromatosis type 2. Never in a moment used her debilitating disease as an excuse to lament the lack of modern medical facilities in the Philippines but instead sees and values the love she gets from her family, friends and supporters. Indeed she has never ceased to inspire us for her courage and super optimist outlook. NF2 definition from Medicine.Net:

Neurofibromatosis type 2: Abbreviated NF2. A genetic disorder characterized by the growth of benign tumors of both acoustic nerves (the nerves to the ears). These tumors are called acoustic neuromas or, more precisely, vestibular schwannomas. They cause tinnitus (ringing in the ears), hearing loss, and problems with balance. Other findings in NF2 include schwannomas of other nerves, meningiomas, and juvenile cataracts.

NF2 is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner and is due to mutation in the NF2 gene in chromosome band 22q12.2 which encodes a protein called merlin. About 50% of persons with NF2 inherit it from an affected parent and the other 50% with NF2 have a new gene mutation. Anyone with NF2 has a 50% risk of transmitting it to each of their children. Prenatal testing is available.

Also known as bilateral acoustic neurofibromatosis and central neurofibromatosis.

She sees and appreciates the positive side of her condition and the love of an extended family and friends that keeps her going to live life to its fullest. In so doing and her desire not to be a burden to her family is trying her best to fund her operation that will cost at least P1million.She has unleashed her artistic creativity by designing T-shirts in the hope that she get enough response from good hearted individual to patronize her effort. This is how she describes her condition:

I have NEUROFIBROMATOSIS TYPE 2 (NF2). I have brain tumors. I was normal until my disease got into me. Now, my left extremities are weak, I can’t move my left arm and hand, my left foot won’t move and my left leg is weak. I can’t walk. My right face is numb and my facial muscles won’t move. I can’t swallow well, I have a blurry vision, I can’t smile and most of all, I’M DEAF.

Katrina Kcat YarzaKcat loss her sense of hearing in January of 2006, and like a typical courageous woman has been doing her own research to find ways to ease her pain and suffering, as she describes below:

Cochlear Implant/ABI is so expensive.. Shining Shimmering 1 million pesos (plus+plus+plus)! kaching! kaching! It really costs ALOT! it seems so impossible to raise such amount.. but everything's possible.. but then again, i can't just wait and weep forever.. right? "nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa" (we can’t leave everything to god’s graces we still have to act) so i'll just do what i can do, then i'll leave everything else to God.. so i got a lot of fund raisers in my mind in order to afford the implant because i really want to hear again.. one of which is selling shirts with my original design on it.. not only am i selling, i'm also sharing my talent (talent.. hihi!)..

I have inserted the translation for the benefit of non-Filipino readers. Others would have given up and just wallow in self pity but it is not to be. Her statement above is very compelling and truly inspiring as she shares her talent and creativity amidst the craziness out there. Your P300 can go a long way in helping fund her transplant operation and appreciation of her talent as an artist.What is so amazing is her zest and vibrant activity that she even finds time to have a meet up or meetings and going to different events to promote her original design and sell her T-shirt. Imagine what she can do if she has all her faculties so please help her regain her hearing, that’s the least we can do for someone who does not ask for charity and working hard to fund her operation.

If you happen to be in Manila check her iskedyul (schedule) and see her actively promote her designer shirts. Please help spread the word by letting people you know about her designer shirts and if you are a blogger blog about her and help her sell her T-shirts……. don’t forget to buy one yourself for A Blogger named Kcat.

I have sent Kcat's story to CNN Heroes but their nomination is not open yet so in the meantime please send them an email HERE.

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Honesty & Heroes

Certified Honest BloggerIn a place where thieves infest society like a plague from top to bottom an honest person is lauded as a hero. We hear of this feel good stories landing in the news from time to time where even high ranking officials scrambling to get in the act praising the do-gooder hopefully not to grandstand but share in the glory of the almost extinct species.

Primitivo Salo, a driver for Manalili taxi found a wallet containing P3,000 in cash and more than P28,000 worth in dollar bills went to radio station dzBB with his wife Josephine to find the owner.

Seaman Earl Jose Fredeluces got his money back at the station because the Salo’s are honest people knowing it was not theirs to keep was intent from the very start to return the money and so they did.

Meanwhile in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Iluminado Boc a motorcycle driver who needed money for his sick wife and his rents overdue found $17,000 left behind by a passenger returned the same.

Just like the Salo’s Iluminado Boc says it was not his even though he took his wife to the hospital on that same day went to the police precinct immediately and without hesitation return the money to the owner.

In Singapore OFW Marites Perez-Galam 33, a mother of four, found a wallet in a public toilet near the restaurant where she work as the head waitress found a wallet containing 16,000 Singaporean dollars ($11,000).

Maritess Perez-Galam immediately handed the wallet to the restaurant manager of Imperial Herbal restaurant where she worked located in Vivo City Mall. The manager in turn reported the lost money to the mall’s management.

It took the Indonesian woman less than two hours to claim her lost wallet intended for her son’s ear surgery that she and her husband saved for the medical treatment.

Maritess Perez-Galam refused the reward offered by the gratefull owner and said it was the right thing to do and does not expect anything in return for a good deed.

In Malacanang Ed Panlilio the priest turned governor elect of Pampanga found himself with a wad of cash, P500,000 handed to him on his way to his vehicle. Just like the Salos’, Boc’s and Galam’s wanted to find out what was the cash for and deposited the cash in the provincial treasury for safekeeping. Instead of being praised for his honesty and diligence in asking where the money came from and for what purpose he was lambasted by the ATM Journalist together with Pampanga Jueteng League oh, my mistake I meant Pampanga Mayors League headed by presidential godson Dennis Pineda allege anak ng jueteng (son of illegal numbers game jueteng) Bong Pineda wife of former Buko (coconut) vendor turned millionaire (don’t ask where the moolah came from or you will violate his “privacy” and slap you with libel) “king maker.” Now why may I ask are these morons denigrating and questioning of all people a priest on his motivation and honesty?

How come when you see an ordinary Pedro, Juan & Maria do the same honest deed they get all the praises and hailed as a hero? So why do the Pampanga politicians connived like a mafisosi mob family in sabotaging an honest man doing an honest job? Why even the President’s son Mikey (vice-governor during the quarry plunder era) was rumored to have bragged about releasing P10Million to discredit Among Ed instead of being given an award with all the pomp and gory errr glory plus of course the usual “kodakan” (photo) opportunities for that extra “PR mileage”? Is it because honesty is bad for their bottom line of recouping their recent sky is the limit electoral expenditures?

Boy Montelibano has an article titled ‘Among Ed’, about honesty and heroism, to quote:

When Father Ed began his term as governor, he immediately exposed what smells like a scam and looks like a classic case of plunder. By simply doing his job and protecting the interests of his constituents, Father Ed saw to it that the province would collect quarry fees correctly and then submit the same in full to the provincial treasury. Collecting quarry fees is not a heroic act; it is a simple duty of officials who are elected to perform normal duties in accordance with their position. What is heroic and patriotic is to resist pocketing quarry fees and enriching oneself by depriving the constituents of one's province of their just benefits.

An honest act in a dishonest environment reverberates like a strong wind to push away foul smell, like a flood that cleanses an “estero” [creek]. Father Ed, in becoming Governor Ed, simply continued to live out his set of values, social, cultural and religious. He did not have to stop being honest and sincere and dedicated in the shift from active priesthood to active provincial governance. He is showing that an honest and sincere and dedicated Filipino citizen can remain so even in public service, proving that a man can stay clean even if others are not. Father Ed the governor serves as an example to other Filipinos who may be interested in public service but afraid of surrendering to corruption.

Now how pathetic is that……… and truly with Among Ed’s success in Pampanga and the transformation that comes with it in the form of moral renewal will surely reverberate and shake the very foundation of the traditional politicians stranglehold of the nations social, political and economic power. For once, actually an opportunity of a lifetime is in our midst and should we shrug our shoulders in apathy is like throwing Among Ed and his flock of honest crusaders for good governance in a feeding frenzy of hungry crocodile infested murky swamp. Let us end this with a quote from Boy Montelibano’s article:

Ordinary acts become heroic when these acts are honest, sincere and dutiful in a public context of corruption. Among Ed is delivering a message to ordinary Filipinos: Be heroes by simply being good people.

Incidentally the Certified Honest Blogger came from Hye.... as I was writing this a certain "Ruffy Balboa" using an email address of storiesmaniladailieshatetoreport@yahoo.com, uh huh..... I am so "impressed" with the garbage errr "news" purportedly to show the "other side" of Among Ed Panlilio. Hmmmmnnnn, I wonder if the P10 million rumored to have been released by Mikey the son of lady cheating errr seating by the murky river has anything to do with those trashy articles. I will come out with another article regarding those trash as this is getting to be a long article...... until next time.

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Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama?

Hillary ClintonHillary Clinton, Barrack Obama and the march to freedom of the Filipinos in Diaspora.

The current electoral contest between Senator Hillary Clinton of New York and Senator Barack Obama of Illinois is turning into a very hot issue among the Filams here in the East Coast. I noticed that among the conservative and the grizzly but staunchly committed Democrats, Hillary is their choice. While the young and the independent minded among us, seem to favor Senator Obama. I myself is in a quandary as to whom to choose. Am I going to parlay the comfortable presence of political experience and the special niche of Filams in the heart of Senator Hillary with the exciting promise of youth and the idealism of Senator Obama? But before I could even verbalize any further that question to my Sunday Group, a motley band of frustrated political pundits, culled from the Filam communities in the tri-state area, they cried in unison that the ALIMANGONG BUKID (farmed Crab) MENTALITY in us would once more derail this opportunity for the Filams to be seen, be listened to and be counted as a united force in the American political panorama.

Barack ObamaAs always, I tried to struggle with the din of noise as one of a member of my Sunday Group begun to rant a litany of reasons why unity among us could not be achieve in this land of abundance. My mind attempted to keep itself afloat in the ocean of negative values that threaten to drown the Pinoy. In a way, my friend is right in his observation but as much as he is, his observation could not keep me still as it fails to include what has been happening for some time now among Filipinos outside the Philippines. Far more profound than the changes envisioned by Hillary or Barrack in their political speeches, something is afoot in the hearts and souls of the Filipinos in Diaspora.Did you notice that continuing and ever increasing involvement of Filipinos in Diaspora in the affairs of their Kababayan (countrymen)? Here in America, almost every Filam community is abuzz, all year round, with meetings, conferences, plans, actions and other initiatives about political actions, educational programs, medical missions or technical assistance of various kinds and so much more for our paisans in the Philippines! There seems to be a conscious reawakening of who we really are – a caring, compassionate and righteous people of common heritage and culture.

These wonderful personal characteristics of our people remained hidden for so long a time because many of us were so engrossed then in trying to save our own skin from perdition due to the economic, political and social inequities wrought about by the circumstances of a society that has not totally rid itself of the vestiges of its past. As push turned to shove, we outwardly appeared to be self-centered or even selfish. So many of us, regardless of educational attainment, still walk around with a ball and chain attached to our legs. While many of us may claim that we have been free and independent since those heady days of June 12, 1899 or July 4, 1945, your choice, much more of our people are still slaves of behaviors borne while we were still under colonial rule. So many of us could not still see clearly what is RIGHT beyond the four walls of our own family, clan or our small community. Not a few of us, while so outwardly cosmopolitan and modern in our ways, still exhibit the mentality of insulares. The kanya-kanya or tayo-tayo (tendency to break into factions) system still reigns inordinately in many of us. These were the same values that were reinforced by a few colonial overlords to maintain their control over a superior number of people, naturally distributed among the 7,000 islands of our archipelago, for more than 3 1/2 centuries. This form of control remained with us and dined with us for another half a century of open American rule and 4 brutal years under the Japanese Imperial Army. These eras internally reinforced further our insular mentality that made us deeply prone to that certain kind of alienation whenever we are with other Filipinos.

Alimangong BukidThough our insular mentality has acted like a constant abortive material to that idea of unity with other Filipinos or has been the source of our seeming natural lack of trust with or suspicion of other Filipinos, whenever we consider them as strangers to our family, clan or community, it is not, however, without any redemptive use. While this mindset made us distrustful of other Filipinos on one hand, it also deepened, on the other hand, our connection and reliance to our family, clan, community. As matter of fact, this same insular mentality became the very foundation of what made us a great people all over the world. Often times, it is our family, clan or community – “connected dreams” such as a better life for them or their survival that became our raison d’etre to overcome the numerous obstacles in our life, which to ordinary mortals would seem insurmountable. With the same effect, our hope for our family brings out the best in us and inspires us to reach for unprecedented heights in our lifetime.

Surely, a people, who are so unselfish when it comes to their kins, could not have been that NATURALLY destructive with others after all, I said to myself!

True enough, the Filipinos in Diaspora, exposed as they are to new ideas and freed as they are from the controlling social and political values of their country of birth, have begun to turn into opportunities those monumental challenges that were strewn along their quest for a better life for themselves and their families. As Filipinos in Diaspora begun to achieve economic independence in their new adopted countries, they begun to confront and question their own mentality that unconsciously kept them away from their fellow Filipinos. And the deeper they probe into this negative personal social value, the more they realized that this value from a distant past hinders their own total development, and like an albatross hanging over their necks, impairs their flight to be truly free. And just like any victim of a traumatic event, the Filipinos in Diaspora discover that every time they reach out to other Filipinos, whom they consider alien to their family, clan or community, the more they could understand them, empathize with them and connect with them. In more sense than one, they start to understand themselves better and they begun to experience a kind of healing in themselves. And along that process of internal healing and with that self-knowing by reaching out to other Filipinos,they gradually manage to take control of their alienating attitude with other Filipinos and discover new possibilities to interact with them.

This new understanding of themselves by Filipinos in Diaspora through reaching out to others, OF BEING FOR OTHERS , gave their lives a new dimension that is not only enriching but more importantly, self-fulfilling. It is for them a unique sense of fulfillment. They realize that it is a different feeling of achievement from that brought by their success in that land away from their land of birth. They notice that it is somewhat similar to that sense of contentment; that feeling of peace whenever they made their kinfolks happy. They become aware that it is, for many of them, almost a totally novel experience. To some, it is even a sort of a transformative, religious journey. The Filipinos in Diaspora feel that their new found connection with their paisans, though novel, is not something new. Deep inside them, they feel natural about it. To most of them, that new found connection or interest with others somehow seems like a long lost friend. Understandably so! If our memory would serve us right, this social value has long been with us but was suppressed in the past, for purposes of colonial control and domination, for being a danger to the survival of the very source of their reason for living – their family, clan or community!

But history seems to be repeating itself favorably for us. As it was during the last decade of colonial Spain in the Philippines, when nationalists from the country like Jose Rizal, the Luna brothers, the Del Pilar brothers etc. gave momentum to our fight for national liberation with new ideas from societies outside the country, Filipinos in Diaspora are gradually assailing the destructive hold of our values from the past and their oppressive consequences. Like a sleeping giant, the natural compassion in the hearts of the Filipinos are gradually being awakened by new sets of values from outside our country of birth. This is evident from the ever increasing number of Filipinos in Diaspora who are getting involved in the affairs of the Philippines through many ways ranging from organizing regular annual medical missions to raising funds for charitable works in the Philippines down to outright formation of pressure groups in their host countries to effect changes in the political affairs at home.

The impact of this awakening, this rediscovery about who we really are, being experienced by the Filipinos in Diaspora, resonates back home. And it is for that matter that we exhort all Filipinos in Diaspora to continue reaching out to our dream for our people and a better Philippines. Let us seize the moment! The road may be long but every day, it is a distance less unclear than before because our hearts and soul are already hacking their way through its unchartered path. Let us continue to be counted against what is wrong in our midst. Let us not forget the lessons we learned from those who chose to sacrifice their everything if only to see that we may live as human beings. Let us always remember that what we have now are not only for us but for others too because what we have now have been made accessible to us by those, who by their own choice, have opted to struggle in the past, at all cost, that we may enjoy the luxury of the very things that made us free. Let us us seemly be, who we truly are!

Indeed, the dawn of a new day with all its hope is in the horizon. The days of a fractured Filipino community everywhere is about to end. We could already hear the footsteps of the majesty of law and the primacy of justice marching to reclaim their seats in the soul of every Filipinos everywhere. Peace, prosperity and good governance are coming home in the Philippines. It is not wishful thinking anymore to hope that Filipinos may start to live again with dignity as human beings in their land of birth. All of these are not mere pipe dreams anymore!

They are not mere dreams anymore because we, the Filipinos in Diaspora, have realized that there is a mountain of difference between our self-interest and selfish-interest; we, the filipinos in Diaspora, have realized that there is more to our lives than having to see our own children and kinfolks safe and secured in their own dreams; we, the Filipinos in Diaspora, have realized that we could only claim that we are truly liberated if we are not only for ourselves but for our KABABAYANS (countrymen) too!

But going back to my original problem, whom are we to choose Hillary Clinton and her well grounded experience or Barack Obama with his exciting dream and the promise of his youth.

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Powerful Potent Weapon Unleashed!

The use of technologically advance weaponry in the war on terror against Fundamental Islam Extremist seems to have little effect in quelling radicals out to impose their beliefs in the western world…… fear no more as this may signal what could be a decisive factor in this Powerful Potent Weapon Unleashed or to be unleashed once one person decided to be the “heroine” to save the world from chaos.

This weapon promises to give religious fundamentalist mullah a fit and probably distract them enough resulting in a heart attack lessening their agitation propaganda errrr teachings of hate and commit suicide out of frustration.

Ok, maybe it’s an overstatement when I say it is a weapon but it can be, should Britney Spears decides to convert to Islam. Middle East and African Bloggers are beside themselves having a grief over this event or non-event should this turn out to be nothing but plain rumor. When I saw this one liner at Wil’s page that says
Britney Spears is considering converting to Islam and Jillian York’s Global Online article states the reason for the conversion was in order to marry Pakistani-born Paparazzo boyfriend Adnan Ghalib, I just have to blog this.

Now what in the world is this Political Jaywalker thinking and of all subjects blogging about Britney Spears? That's totally out of character for this group blog and probably will get me in trouble with my teammates for doing this..... bear with me.... this is just hilarious and could not contain myself at what I stumbled upon as I get deeper into the story.

True enough or was it gossipy enough there seems to be some indication ok not just some but there are a lot of reactions and news item on this and somehow there is this underlying rumor errr humor in all these. The first reaction that I encountered and could not contain myself laughing at was
CodePiranha’s short stab:

I’ve spent a great deal of the past few years trying to convince some of my Muslim friends that the United States is not waging war against Islam. As it turns out, not only was I wrong, but it looks like we might have just fired the fatal shot:

“U.S. pop star Britney Spears is allegedly so in love with her new Muslim man she’s considering converting to Islam to marry him, British press reports revealed.” (link)

That’s right baby…. Britney Spears as a Muslim.

Islam will never be the same.

Britney SpearsIndeed Islam will never be the same with Britney Spears as their poster girl, hehehe, imagine seeing Britney Spears performing with a hijab or Burqa but of course almost naked as she has always been in most of her performances, besides if I am not mistaken showing of belly button is ok or was it with the Hindus?

Then imagine her in this picture of note (click here if you are over 18 years old) in a hijab will surely give the religious police a heart attack not that she is not causing so much grief with the Islam community right now.

Al Arabiya reported that Adnan Ghalib’s Sunni Muslim Family are so horrified by his antics that they have disowned him. One relative according to the account had Adnan’s father giving him an ultimatum to forget Britney or he will be considered dead but Adnan allegedly ignored his dad.

All the turmoil that this is creating and to think that this is not even confirmed if indeed Britney was serious in marrying Adnan. So can you imagine what will happen once they actually wed? Compared to the self-proclaimed Lyrical Terrorist and that welfare fraud Lady suing the Jail warden over her Hijab I think it will do the Islamofascist some good watching Britney Spears perform her signature song of..... C'mon baby hit them errr me one more time... yeah, yeah, yeah.

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Filipino Nurse Jailed for ‘Child’ Sex

Oliver BalicaoThe pervert is a Filipino nurse named Oliver Balicao, 34 a father of 2 from Bicester, Oxfordshire originally from the Philippines was sentenced to a 16 month jail term.

The victim a 16 year old girl was rushed to John Radcliffe Hospital on paracetamol overdosed distraught over school bullies was once more violated by a person of trust while in a state of drowsiness and confusion. Now how pathetic and gross is that? Hospitals are supposed to be a refuge for battered and troubled minors and to end up with a pedophile truly is disheartening and troubling.

According to newspaper accounts the teenager was molested by Balicao while she was drowsy lying in bed and then took the girl to the toilet on the pretext of taking her urine sample but ended up having sex with the minor. To quote a BBC report:

Judge Anthony Hall, passing sentence, told Balicao: "This was the grossest possible breach of trust.

"By your actions you have brought a reputable hospital and a reputable profession into disrepute. You should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself."

The judge said he was unable to order Balicao's deportation because he became a British citizen in 2006.

He added: "This was a young, vulnerable girl aged 16 who was ill and clearly in considerable mental turmoil who was in hospital so she could be cared for.

"Instead you did exactly the opposite - for reasons that wholly escape me you went with her to the WC and there you had sexual intercourse with her."

For his “defense” Balicao testified that it was “consensual sex”…… say whaaaaat? What in the name of Garcillano (Comelec Comm. in a wiretapped scandal on fraudulent electoral cheating) was that all about! What an unbedolable (Lintang Bedol another Comelec Official in fraudulent electoral scandal in the south) errrr unbelievable stupid perverted defense was that all about anyway, does he think he is in the halls of Injustice of SiRaulO Goonzales? Did he have Jalosjos (Philippine Congressman Romeo Jalosjos convicted of raping an 11 year old girl pardoned by President Gloria Arroyo in what other quarters are saying as a political favor for delivering the votes in the last election) for his role model or no one told him that there is no such thing as consensual sex with a minor. To top it off this pervert did not even show any emotion at his sentencing but says he was ashamed for what he did.... well he should be, geeez.

“Lucky” for him the judge can’t deport him since he has acquired British citizenship but his woes is not over since what he did was tarnish the nursing profession and hopefully get his license revoked. Balicao definitely is not fit to work in a hospital environment where he not only violated its ethics but committed a criminal violation as well, after all hospitals should be free of pedophiles like Balicao..

At Philippine Update Forum one guy was blaming the whole generation of martial law babies for Balicao’s perversion…… how about you what do you think?

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Update on Filipina Jazz Singer wows listeners in the USA

Charmaine Clamor JazzipinoCharmaine Clamor a Filipina American Jazz singer is the first Filipina to break through the mainstream US radio with her album “Searching for Her Soul” heard in over 100 stations all over the USA peaked at #1 on the CMJ jazz charts in several markets. Compared to legendary vocalists Nancy Wilson, Sarah Vaughan, and Cassandra Wilson.

Since she was featured at Pedestrian Observer Group Blog last May 22, 2007 more raves and reviews are coming out her way and her Flippin Out CD is truly a blast which she calls "Jazzipino" a mix of contemporary Jazz and Filipino standards.

Christopher Loudon in Flippin Out (Freeham) says aside from her being a drop-dead gorgeous as Nancy Wilson or Lena Horne, what matters is Charmaine Clamor vocally resembles an amalgam of Wilson and Horne. Describing her vocal assets as a sumptuously elegant blend of silk and satin, trimmed with gutsy self-possession, to quote further:

It’s a sound that generated plenty of attention when, three years ago, she served up a delectable assortment of standards on her debut disc, Searching for the Soul. Now, with the release of Flippin’ Out, Clamor has moved a giant step forward, crafting an entirely new musical form; a hybrid of American jazz and Filipino folk music dubbed “jazzipino” (a term the album’s title anagrammatically toys with). Working alongside Tierney Sutton’s top-drawer trio—pianist Christian Jacob, bassist Trey Harris and drummer Ray Brinker—Clamor the inventive torch-bearer is still present with a rich, creamy cover of “I Hadn’t Anyone ’Til You,” a playfully sensuous “Candy” and a fresh take on “Sugar In My Bowl” that’s more hard toffee than honey-dipped.

San Diego City Beat writer Nathan Dinsdale gives Charmaine Clamor’s event a must see with her picture (the only one in the article) prominently displayed in the article, truly looks like a star is in the making:

PLAN A: Charmaine Clamor @ Anthology. Clamor has coined the term “Jazzipino” to describe her blend of jazz, blues, soul and Filipino folk. I might have gone with something catchier (Filipazz? Jalipino? Manila Wafer?), but critics still clamor for Clamor and her new album, Flippin’ Out.

I have seen her perform at the Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture in San Pedro, California unfortunately I was not that impressed, ok just to clarify this she is a great singer but she should really be more discerning in the type of venue she performs. It was at the yearly Filipino exhibit and in an open space with cheap sound system installed even the greatest of singers will not fare well.

I bought her Flippin’ Out CD and as soon as I popped it in my CD player the difference was so obvious and I started to appreciate Charmaine Clamor again as how she was raved by reviewers. The live performance really sucks in an open space with cheap sound system does not do justice to her talent and voice quality. The lyrics of My Funny Brown Pinay her Rodger’s and Hart’s version of “My Funny Valentine” somehow made the crowd hardly noticing the awful sound system; she definitely should try and avoid this kind of cheap events.

The CD has guest guitarist and percussionist Zaxariades on “I Need a Lot of Love,” on other songs augmenting the trio with the Pakaraguian Kulintang Ensemble (a traditional Filipino assemblage of gongs and tribal gongs) and Abe Lagrimas Jr.’s ukulele. The disc had some Harana (a Filipino courtship serenade song of old) and Kundimans (Philippine classics) to which Louden described as Clamor establishing herself as a dynamic new compass point in world music.

Her Flippin Out CD is definitely a must buy to appreciate “Jazzipino” but if you prefer to see her live in real good venues check out her schedule at Charmaine Clamor’s website.
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William Hung's Era Officially Over

William HungMove over William Hung a new sensation has just dethroned you and made you a “has been”….. Philippine Update described the new sensation as the “Hottest New Talent” officially ending William Hung’s Era in American Idol a popular reality talent show contest.

Reynaldo’s arrival came at a time over this “news item”, American Idol’s William Hung Found Dead of Heroin Overdose… a quote from the Broken news:

Stanford’s hippy population immediately misconstrued the situation and adopted Hung’s death as a pet cause. “He was a victim of the corporate greed-machine, just like Kurt [Cobain] and Eddie [Vedder, who is actually still alive],” said one dreadlocked mourner outside the engineering department at Stanford University, where a makeshift memorial had been set up, “he just wanted to sing, and Fox decided to turn him into this joke, man, this fucking joke. They just ate him up and spit him out. Fucking Bill O’Reily. I think it’s because he was against the war.” The last comment is apparently in reference to the fact that Hung once answered “no, thank you” when asked whether he was “for or against the war in Iraq.”

The Las Vegas police released part of his suicide note. It read, “I have no reason of living . . . my art which is my importance to the best everybody laugh to . . . I make end here . . . goodbye world of cruel.”

Although Hung’s immediate family disowned him seconds after his appearance on American Idol, it is believed he has an aunt in Toledo, Ohio who will take care of funeral arrangements.

Hung was despondent upon seeing Reynaldo Lapuz belting it out at the American Idol that he overdosed on heroin ooopppps ok not true just my ad lib and not part of the broken news. Fortunately or was it unfortunately, it was satirical news debunked by Hoax Slayer which according to the article was in bad taste, to quote:

In fact, Mr Hung is alive and well. This rumour started from a story on the satirical "news" site, Broken Newz. Although it resembles a real news story, it is a complete fabrication apparently in the name of entertainment. Personally, I find this sort of satire in poor taste. Pinoy Idol Reynaldo Lapuz

It was funny and I am glad I found Hoax Slayer article first because this “news” item looks so real and sadly it is going the rounds of forums through emails and debated to death…. Talk about death, huh.

Oh geez, this is about our new idol so going back to Reynaldo Lapuz it seems some Filipinos are not happy and felt insulted with their ego errr misplaced pride ooops I meant Filipino Pride seems to think it is embarrassing since we have great singers. Heck, what’s up with that have they loss their marbles errr sense of humor, it’s all for fun and if Reynaldo Lapuz himself was not embarrassed by it, why would you?

There were quite a few children in school that was overheard singing the original song of Reynaldo lapuz and they think he was good (I just don’t know if they meant good as in really good or as a goofball, I suspect the later though, lol) because it was catchy unlike William Hung who murdered Ricky Martin’s song. Reynaldo’s is an original composition so hopefully he will gain some following and some are swooning over him and having the urge to strangle errr hug him because he is so loveable they say. Below is the lyrics of the original composition and to watch the youtube video just click on the image or click HERE.

We're Brothers Forever

By Reynaldo Lapuz

I am your brother
Your best friend forever
Singing this songs
The music that you liiiike!

Brothers till the end of time
Together or not
You're always in my heart
Your hurt, your feelings
And you will worry no mooore!

Reynaldo Lapuz T-Shirt

UPDATE 1/19/08 9:00AM:

Thanks to Ed Balcos a heavyweight at Pacland Forum for sharing the Ebay American Idol T-shirt (see image) of I am your brother Logo and a ringtone of the same song being sold on the net. It appears there is no stopping this rise to popularity of American errrr ok maybe Pinoy IDOL REYNALDO LAPUZ to the top and indeed, William Hung's ERA is over......

Meanwhile at Blogging Zoom this entry was posted and as of this writing has risen to the top 8 from the 10th place, if you are a blogger zoom this and help me errrr help Idol Reynaldo to the top.

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Charter Change - A Facade To BOGUS FEDERALISM

Just like a pernicious, malevolent, and virulent strain of cancerous cells, another call for Charter Change has been coming out of the woodwork of Philippine politics. For this round, the protracted deadlock in peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is being used as the dangling “bait” to the Filipino People. Where before the proponents for Charter Change were all from the Majority Party, this time there are additional proponents from the ranks of the Minority Party. One can not help but suspect that there could be “Trojan Horses” in the Opposition.

The pitch is anchored on the “federal system being the only feasible solution to the centuries-old rebellion in Mindanao” as contained in a recent press release from no less than the Office of the Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Nene” Q. Pimentel, Jr. Subsequently, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita announced that the government is prepared to discuss the federalism proposal when the peace talks resume. And as if pushing the stakes higher, Pimentel even warned that the peace talks should not be derailed and delayed any longer in view of the increasing restiveness among the ranks of Muslim rebels which may lead to the revival of the separatist war. Joining the bandwagon is a well-known staunch proponent of the concept of “Federalism” since the early ‘70s, Dr. Jose B. Abueva, U.P. Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Public Administration and former Chairman of the 2005 Consultative Commission on Charter Change.

Pimentel said a federal system setup will put an end to the recurrent Muslim secessionist conflict because it will not only give the people in Muslim Mindanao a measure of self-rule but will also enable them to assert and preserve their cultural identity, specially their Islamic faith and way of life. He said that the creation of a Bangsa Moro Federal State is the collective wish of the Muslims in Mindanao which was conveyed to him through conversations he had with practically all the known Muslim rebel leaders, their ulamas, and their business, academic and youth leaders. “To a man, they prefer the establishment of a Bangsa Moro Federal State over the autonomous region. Otherwise, the threat of secession still hangs in the air as the ultimate way of out of the Moros of the predicament they find themselves in.”

In concert, Dr. Abueva declared “And I respectfully appeal to all local government leaders and the legislators to seize the moment for transforming our highly centralized and stultifying unitary system into a devolved structure of autonomous regions that will release the creativity and energies of local leaders and citizens all over the country. Mindanao, the cradle of regional autonomy and federalism, has a historic opportunity to lead our country in regional autonomy and federalism.” In addition, Dr. Abueva is proposing the shift from the presidential government into a “unicameral” parliament.

What the Filipino People should be reminded about is that the Honorable Senator Pimentel was appointed after EDSA ’86 as the Minister of Local Government and Presidential advisor/chief negotiator with the Muslim insurgents in Mindanao. The Filipino People must also remember that he was elected Senator (1987-1992), and he authored the seminal Local Government Code. Rather than listen to his pitch about “Federalism”, the Filipino People should ask the Honorable Senator why he failed to resolve the Muslim insurgency during his stint as Presidential advisor/chief negotiator more than 20 years ago. Most importantly, the Honorable Senator must be asked about the implementation of the Local Government Code with regard to “maximum devolution” of the National Government’s functions, power & authority to all the Local Government Units: province, city, municipality, and barangay.

In the case of Dr. Jose B. Abueva, the Filipino People should remember that he served as the Secretary of the 1971 Consitutional Convention that was responsible and accountable for the 1972 Philippine Constitution that was adopted the Dictator Ferdinand Edralin Marcos. The eminent Dr. Abueva should be expected to recall the deliberations that resulted into neither the adoption of “Federalism” that he had been espousing even at the time, nor the adoption of the “Unicameral” structure for the CONGRESS of the Republic of the Philippines. Most importantly, Dr. Abueva should be reminded that even after 35 years, there has been no significant change in the political landscape that indicates any need for changing the “form” or “structure” to achieve good governance. The real problem remains the same: the issue of moral ascendancy of the “people” in all three (3) branches of the Government of the Philippines – the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judiciary.

With regard to the issue of “greater autonomy” for the “regions”, there is NO need to amend, much less revise the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines. All that must be done is for CONGRESS to REVIEW the IMPLEMENTATION of the “Enabling Law” - "Local Government Code of 1991", which was crafted to ensure the “greatest autonomy” possible to all Local Government Units: province, city, municipality and barangay levels.

In Section 2 – Declaration of Policy, the following are stipulated:

(a) It is hereby declared the policy of the State that the territorial and political subdivisions of the State shall enjoy genuine and meaningful local autonomy to enable them to attain their fullest development as self-reliant communities and make them more effective partners in the attainment of national goals. Toward this end, the State shall provide for a more responsive and accountable local government structure instituted through a system of decentralization whereby local government units shall be given more powers, authority, responsibilities, and resources. The process of decentralization shall proceed from the national government to the local government units.

(b) It is also the policy of the State to ensure the accountability of local government units through the institution of effective mechanisms of recall, initiative and referendum.

(c) It is likewise the policy of the State to require all national agencies and offices to conduct periodic consultations with appropriate local government units, non-governmental and people's organizations, and other concerned sectors of the community before any project or program is implemented in their respective jurisdictions.

What is the basis for the contention that CONGRESS has the OBLIGATION to REVIEW the IMPLEMENTATION of the “Local Government Code of 1991”?

In Book IV – Miscellaneous and Final Provisions, Title Two – Provisions for Implementation:

SECTION 521. Mandatory Review Every Five Years. - Congress shall undertake a mandatory review of this Code at least once every five (5) years and as often as it may deem necessary, with the primary objective of providing a more responsive and accountable local government structure.

Thus, the FIRST and MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION is “Was the IMPLEMENTATION of the Local Government Code of 1991 reviewed EVERY five (5) years by CONGRESS?

The SECOND question is: What were the FINDINGS/RESULTS of the REVIEW/S that should have been conducted by CONGRESS, if any?

The THIRD question is: What ELSE can be done and therefore must be one in order to ensure the “greatest autonomy” possible to all the Local Government Unitsprovince, city, municipality and barangay levels? The MOST IMPORTANT angle of this question is on the “role” of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). Even on just a very cursory or superficial level, there are outright indicators that the DILG has become an abominable mutation: instead of “maximum de-centralization” or “total devolution” to the LGUs, the thrust in implementation has always been to “centralize functions right there in the DILG! Accordingly, it looks like that the only thing that must be done is to DISMANTLE the present DILG, nothing less and nothing more.

At this point, it should be obvious that “Federalism” is just a decoy for something else which is the real agenda for Charter Change: “UNICAMERAL Parliament”. And this one should not take more than two (2) statements to refute: The pitch for the advantage of a “Unicameral Parliament” is negated right at the outset by the actual proclivities, machinations, maneuverings and manipulations of the legislative process by the current Majority Party in the present BICAMERAL Congress. The long and short of it is: a “UNICAMERAL Parliament” will simply be a “ONE Political Party DICTATORSHIP”.

And the Filipino People already learned the lesson the hard way and so NEVER AGAIN, NEVER AGAIN, NEVER AGAIN!

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