"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

Poem: While Silence is Her Refuge

Today is International Day to end Violence Against Women. I am sharing my ten year old poem that was published in Chaneg ten years ago.

While Silence is Her Refuge

He crushed her being

spat on her education

raked her self-confidence

burned her plans

charted in the kitchen

where her work was never done.

Violence upon violence

visited her scar-ridden body

The pain - so severe

she could not even scream.

Silence was her refuge.

Her wounds ran much deeper

than sisters could imagine

But she swam alone in the

sea of her nightmares and anguish

Fears covered, cries stifled

Silence was her refuge.

The crowd had a million ears

but not one for the moans

of a sister’s tortured soul

It taunted her for her questions

crucified her for her speech

Word of pain was infamy

The crowd rubbed salt on the

raw, bleeding wound

Since then, silence became her refuge

A daughter now does the work

that is never done

Her spirit protests not

numbed by her mother’s death

and her own, for like her mother

she died a hundred deaths

and will die a hundred more

because silence is her refuge.

The crowd does not know

that silence betrays

The crowd itself has run

a million times

to silence for refuge

It still does.

When will the crowd realize

that silence is a foe?

It harbors violence

and squeezes the blood

that waters and keeps alive

the tree of death

that has eternal life

while silence is woman’s refuge./ Cheryl L. Daytec, 13 March 2000

Open letter from CHRP on the Maguindanao Massacre

President Benigno Simeon Aquino III
Malacanang Palace
Republic of the Philippines

23 November 2010

Dear President Aquino,

It is now one year since 57 people were massacred in Magindanao in the Philippines by a local private army. Among the victims were 32 journalists, making this the worst massacre of journalists on record.

Disappearances, torture and murder remain a constant threat to community activists, church workers, lawyers, journalists and trade unionists in the Philippines. Since 1991 there have been over 1200 political killings in the Philippines and the level of killings and abuses shows no sign of abating following your election. The complicity of the Philippines armed forces in these abuses of human rights has been placed on record by among others Philip Alston, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

There is hope and expectation from all those around the world concerned with human rights that a new government in the Philippines will usher in a new concern for human rights. However, the first 100 days following your coming into office witnessed 16 further political killings. This surpasses the rate of killings of the last months of the previous president Mrs Arroyo. On 12 November the president of the Calamba Water District Union was gunned down by masked men on motorcycles. We have similarly seen disappearances continue with the recent cases of Agusto Ladera and Reanato Deliguer, two farmers who were abducted by soldiers in Surigao del Sur in August.

We call upon your government to bring the suspected perpetrators of the Maguindanao massacre to justice speedily; to bring to justice all those responsible for torture, murder and disappearances in the Philippines; to end the climate of impunity which allows political killings and disappearances to take place; and to ensure a safe environment for journalists and all those who work to defend a free society.

Yours sincerely

Reverend Canon Barry Naylor
Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines (UK)

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Government neglect, disservice to OFWs

The ongoing hullabaloo about the 11 Filipino victims of illegal recruitment/human smuggling who sought refuge in Los Angeles after fleeing from their recruiters in Mississippi focuses once again on this nefarious malady in our society. It brings to mind past headlines about the more than 300 Filipino teachers recruited in Louisiana; of others enticed with fake jobs and scholarships to the United Kingdom using student visas; still others recruited with promises of job placements only to be left abandoned in Bangkok; the 67 female caregivers who had no days off and were made to work for 12 hours or more daily in Saudi Arabia; of workers made to work in Singapore for long hours, not enough food, and not paid their salaries for six months; the case of 137 sent to non-existing driver positions in Dubai, and so on and so forth. All of them were treated badly by illegal recruiters and made to pay exorbitant placement and other fees

My encounter with the group of alleged victims now in LA that has been a hot issue in online discussion boards was instructive of the human capacity to endure and adopting to adverse circumstances. Understandably sulking and sad, they nevertheless exuded the appearance of a people betrayed but have decided to make the most of the situation. Needless to state, we should be concerned with the plight of our kababayans in distress because without friends, kin and financial support they are more vulnerable and easily intimidated here. Being scammed by illegal recruiters is one of the worst scenario imaginable considering that not only the job seekers are victimized; their families left behind have no more breadwinners to depend on and then there are the usurers demanding payment for money lent so the workers can leave for their foreign destinations.

For decades now the Philippine government has depended on the export of labor as an important part of its development strategy and a way of reducing unemployment as well as boosting foreign currency reserves. The fact that OFW remittances have helped much in propping up the homeland economy battered incessantly by government corruption and inefficiency earn for the former the tag "Modern Heroes." But not all things are rosy and the adverse effects include family ties and lives destroyed.

The Labor Code of the Philippines provides penalties for offenses committed in connection with the foreign labor market and there are agencies like the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and a medical care program to safeguard and protect the best interests of OFWs. But OFWs continue to suffer, illegal recruiters proliferate and rules and prohibitions circumvented with schemes of ghost loans, cash advances, double contracts, and who knows what else. Why?

The case of a single OWWA officer, Alberto Adonis Duero, posted in Los Angeles could provide a glimpse of what ills Philippine bureacracy. With no resources and no fund at hand, Duero supposedly has jurisdiction in more than 20 countries including the entire United States. Among the problems that currently occupy him are the case of distressed OFWs in Haiti and Cuba, and the 300 teachers and victims from Mississippi mentioned above.

His request for funding to cover the food and accommodation requirements of the latter while their case and immigration status are being threshed out by US authorities has been denied. In addition he is now in hot water reportedly because higher-ups didn't want the story of the victims to be known to the community. He also had the gumption to write to his superior, Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz of DOLE, reiterating his "request for an immediate investigation of the illegal recruitment activities by several agencies and individuals in the Philippines and to revisit the direct hire policy of POEA."

The scrapping of direct hiring is one of the demands that HongKong OFWs and the Migrante advocacy group are urging President Noynoy to do. Duero said that the direct hire policy is the root cause of all these problems pertaining to illegal recruitment and alleged human trafficking of Filipino workers. Suddenly Duero's LA posting is cut short and he may be sent back to the Philippines before the year ends. This turn of events, as well as the arrogant and rude manner Pinas News columnist Pex Aves was treated in the consulate while following up the victims' story, gave rise to the intriguing questions: What is it that some in the Philippine officialdom is trying to hide? Are some of them involved in the multi-million illegal recruitment syndicates? -- Dionesio C. Grava

Dionesio C. Grava - Part-time community journalist based in Los Angeles and editorial writer at Forum Asia.

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P-Noy’s First 99 Days

Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS
Chairman, Filipino United Network – USA

Last Thursday, October 7, 2010, on his first 99 days in office, President Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III reported the impressive initial accomplishments of his administration and the fundamental changes he has instituted in the government so far, in his battle against corruption in the government and for the eradication of poverty in the nation.

The supposed report on his first 100 days, held a day earlier, before a standing-room only crowd at the La Consolacion College Auditorium adjacent to the Malacanang Palace ground, was symbolic of the extreme eagerness and anticipation of the people in their anxious quest for good governance under P-Noy.

Dubbed “Report Kay Boss,” addressing the Filipinos as his Boss when he was inaugurated June 30th and during this Town Hall Meeting that followed his official report, P-Noy masterfully answered queries from the panel and the audience in his usual casual tone, with honesty, sincerity, and humility. Even the rude, loud, and embarrassing distraction staged by some radical student protestors did not faze the President, who proceeded with equanimity to help clarify the budget issue. These students could have simply raised their hand and made the comment, just like all the others who asked questions. Obviously, these insensitive women were simply trying to get attention and hug the limelight, sacrificing proper decorum and decency.

Among those present at this historical event were members of P-Noy’s cabinet, Vice President Binay and other government officials, Tony Meloto of GK, representatives from the various sectors of the country, students from different colleges and universities, and Filipino-American leaders from the Filipino United Network-USA and We Are One Filipino.

“Isang Daang Araw, Isang Daang Matuwid” (One Hundred Days, One Straight/Honest Path,” says the invitation to this event, highlighting the basic policy, the hallmark of P-Noy’s administration: honesty, transparency, accountability, social justice and compassion for all, especially for the poor and the marginalized. Most noteworthy policy changes instituted so far, which are saving the nation billions, include abolition of duplicate and unnecessary offices/positions, curtailment of excessive salary and termination of bonuses, implementation of strict public bidding for government contracts and procurements, expense trimming and elimination of cost padding, no sacred cows, no padrino, reduction in foreign trips and expensive meals, no wang-wang.

P-Noy came home from his recent US trip bringing home at least 43,600 jobs for the Filipinos and $2.7 billion in fresh foreign investments for the Philippines, with the business process outsourcing industry (BPO) also signifying “that they will double again the number of people they have.” The bulk of the money “will fund programs for the poor, such as hospitals, cutting the cost of medicines and improving public services.”

The President “cited positive developments on the economic front, like the swelling of the gross international reserves to a record high of $52.3 billion as well as the stock market’s sterling performance.”

The $430 million Millennium Challenge Corporation Grant, which the Arroyo applied for twice for 9 years during her term, which were both rejected, was expeditiously handed to P-Noy, 3 months after his assumption into office. What a feat! Clearly, crime does not pay and honesty does.

“So, we are pleased that the things we were expecting in the first quarter of next year are already starting to happen now.” the President stated.

The Social Weather Survey showed P-Noy to have a 71% overall approval rating (+66% net), compared to the +24% starting score which Arroyo got in March 2001. This is indeed a healthy sign for the country, something we, Filipinos, can be proud of.

However, in spite of the good things President Aquino has accomplished and is trying to do to rebuild the nation’s integrity and country’s devastated condition resulting from the massive culture of corruption in the government, his political detractors, mostly amoral leaders who despise change and want to continue to plunder the nation, create every stumbling block possible to derail the President’s administration.

I guess this is not surprising and should actually be expected. Criminals will always be against anyone putting them out of business. While the past administration of Gloria Arroyo was immersed in corruption and was the problem, the present administration of P-Noy, which exudes with honesty and transparency, is trying in earnest to be the solution. And the crooks don’t like it.

The geniuses in our society who, term after term, continued to elect into office unscrupulous politicians and plunderers, are evidently equally corrupt themselves and deserving of the greatest brunt of the blame. Hopefully, the New Filipino, who catapulted P-Noy to Malacanang with a massive and historical landslide victory, will inspire and teach the rest of the electorate.

“Following the straight path is no joke. All of you involved in wrong governance and have caused troubles to the people, I guarantee you, your days are numbered,” President Aquino emphatically stated.

From where I sat at the Town Hall Meeting (right behind the President’s uncle, Peping Cojuangco), I could not help but wonder if the corrupt government officials feel any guilt and humiliation at all whenever they hear the stern warnings of P-Noy directed at them and see how the people thunderously applaud the president’s attack on them. If they still have any conscience at, these plunderers must be feeling like the lowest form of scavengers and bottom-feeding scum of the earth.

Then there are those who are impatient and without even an ounce of common sense. This unthinking bunch wants the massive problems of the Philippines solved overnight. The culture of corruption in our government has been with us for more than 3 decades. It is so entrenched in our system that it has even spilt over to the streets.

When I told him in 1981 that I thought he could be the answer to our nation’s woes, the President’s father, Ninoy, replied, “Primo, getting rid of the dictator is the first step, but that’s far from solving our national problems, because the vestiges of corruption and abuse will continue to plague our country.”

Indeed, no one President can magically make corruption and poverty disappear instantly. The gargantuan task might even take a generation or two. But like a journey of a thousand miles that begins with the first step,“We, the People,” have already taken that most essential initial step: we have elected an honest and compassionate man, who is the most reliable to lead our nation and our people to our great destiny. As a colleague said after P-Noy’s election, “we worked hard to help P-Noy win; now it is our responsibility to help him succeed.”

Let us be fair and realistic. Let us be patient. Let us give P-Noy a chance. Let us give him time to at least allow him to complete the changes we all want for our people and our country. Six years will certainly not be enough for any president to successfully treat the critical social and political cancers killing our country. At least, we now have an honest president, one with moral ascendancy and an honorable legacy to protect, a president who has broken the cycle of corruption at the top, and one who has taken the first bold and courageous step to battle corruption head-on, to rebuild our country, to regain our dignity, honor, and pride, as Filipinos and as a nation, with justice and equality for all. More importantly, let us stop whining and nit-picking while doing nothing. Let us step up to the plate and help our President carry the heavy cross on his shoulders as we watch him like a hawk. These are our obligations as good citizens and the least we can do to save our country and our people.

President Aquino has accomplished the first fundamental change in governance in his first 99 days. The day after, and the days that will follow, will not be perfect or smooth sailing all the way, but I bet you, the wonderful miracle for our nation we are all hoping for could yet be achieved sooner than we think, IF “We, the People,” all chip in and do our share in nation-building in the next 6 years and beyond.

P-Noy alone cannot do it. He knows it and has said so himself. So, let us roll up our sleeves and give him a hand. After all, together, we have a miracle to perform.

Please visit www.FUN8888.com Email: scalpelpen@gmail.com

Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus in Northwest Indiana, USA, trained at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, is Chairman of Filipino United Network (FUN-USA), Vice Chairman of Filipino American Leadership Council (FALCONadvocacy) and Vice President for Far East of Cardiovascular Hospitals of America, Wichita, Kansas. He is a columnist for five newspapers and one magazine in the United States and five newspapers and one magazine in the Philippines.

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Fwd: Alleged arrogance, disrespectful conduct of LA-based Vice-Consul Chua

Note: Pex Aves, Los Angeles Bureau Chief of Pinas Newspaper -- Dioni

From: Pex Aves
Sent: Tue, September 28, 2010 8:34:35 PM

Paging Consul General Mary Jo Aragon

September 23,2010 10:30 am tinawag ang inyong Dateliner nang kaibigan nating Editor nang Week-End Balita si Rhony Laigo,sabi nito pupunta daw kami sa Philippine Consulate at may Press Conference dahil dumating daw yung ibang grupo nung mga viktima nang human trafficking galing Mississippi.napag kasunduan namin mag meet kami sa Philippine Consulate at 11:00 am,so ganun na nga naglakad ako papuntang Consulate dahil malapit lang ang Consulate sa opisina ko.

11:15 am dumating tayo sa Consulate at nagtanong tayo sa mga tao duon kung saan ang Press Conference tungkol duon sa mga viktima nang human trafficking at iti nuro
tayo sa may room number 532, so tumuloy tayo sa room 532,katok ako nang katok wala namang nag bukas buti nalang after maybe 10 minutes may lumabas so pumasok
narin tayo.

Nang nasa loob na tayo wala namang tayong taong maka usap at kung may lalapitan ka hindi ka naman papansinin ni hindi ka man lang titingnan.

May isang kuarto hindi naman sarado lumapit tayo at sa may pintuan nagtanong tayo,...sabi ko Iha good morning puede bang magtanong? saan ba e-held yung Press Conference tungkol duon sa mga viktima nang human traficking?.....ang sagot nang medyo bata pa na medyo maliit na dalaga na muntik na akong bumulagta ay....(sa mataas na boses)...HINDI KO ALAM....sabi ko uli...Iha kasi dito ako itinuro na dito raw yung Press Conference....at sa mataas na boses pa rin sabi niya..... HINDI KO ALAM AT WALA AKONG PAKI ALAM.....sa boses na galit....kaya umurong nalang ako pero sinabi ko sa kanya hindi naman seguro dapat niyang ikaka galit ang pagtatanong ko...at sa salitang mataas pa rin at galit... sinabi niya...HINDI AKO GALIT..that was it.umupo nalang ako sa tabi na medyo malapit pa rin sa kanyang kuarto na salamin naman ang dingding kaya kita ko pa rin siya.

Ang malaking ipi -nagtataka ko yung mga empleado nang consulado na lumalapit sa kanya ay hindi naman siya galit at ang ganda ganda pa nang kanyang tawa at ngiti, pero napansin ko yung mga papasok ang greetings sa kanya ay Good Morning MAAM.bawat taong papasok ay Good Morning MAAM at napaka tamis nang mga ngiti niya.

May isang napa daan sa tapat ko tinanong ko kung sino ba yang medyo bata pa at mallit lang na dalaga at naka salamin, sabi nang empleado at pabulong pa na para bang takot na takot sa kanya, ...ay yan .... siya ang bagong Vice Consul si Charmaine Chua...

Aha kaya pala galit sa akin dahil hindi ako nag MAAM sa kanya kasi gusto daw ni Vice Consul Charmaine Chua MAAM ang salutation sa kanya...

Ay naku po Consul Charmaine Chua isang daan ka pang vice consul WALA AKONG PAKI ALAM SAYO at hinding hindi ka makaka demand nang RESPETO SA AKIN.you can earn my respect but believe me you cannot demand respect from me.eh kung si Imelda Marcos nuong panahon nang Martial law hindi ko ni respeto ikaw pa?

Pasalamat ka pa tinawag kitang iha, si Imelda Marcos nuon tinawag kung P---------A sa programa ko sa radyo tsaka seguro mas maigi bumalik ka sa grade school at mag aral ka nang GOOD MANNERS and RIGHT CONDUCT. at matuto kang gumalang sa nakaka tanda sayo, ang tanda tanda ko na para sigaw sigawan mo lang,eh kung yung pagsisigaw mo sa nakaka tanda sayo yan din ang gagawin nang mga tao sa mga parents mo? sa mga lolo at lola mo?sa mga tiyo at tiya mo?matutuwa ka kaya?

At tungkol naman sa kay Consul Aragon seguro madame mag lecture ka dyan sa mga tauhan mo sa Consulado eh mga walang galang sa mga pumapasok sa Consulate eh, para bang mga obrero ang trato nila sa mga filipino, di ba nila alam bilyon bilyon ang contribusyon nang mga filipino dito sa California sa gobierno nang bankarotang Pilipinas? at sila bay bingi or nag bingi bingihan lang nang sinabi ni Pres.Noynoy Aquino na tayong mga filipino ay ang kanyang BOSS? so kayong mga nasa baba nang hagdan nang bureaucracy eh di mga BOSS din ninyo kami?G

Isa pa madame consul Aragon seguro alam mo naman na ang Consulado dito sa Los Angeles ay ang pinaka bentana (window) nang ating bansang DUKHA.di ba dapat lang magagandang ASAL ang ipapakita nang mga tauhan mo dyan sa Consulado,kasi marami ring mga americano kumukuha nag Visa papuntang Pilipinas dyan eh,masamang mga BASTOS na mga empleado ang maka salamuha nila, baka SABIHIN PA NILA lahat tayong mga filipino ay BASTOS,WALANG MODO, MAL EDUKADO.


Dionesio C. Grava - Part-time community journalist based in Los Angeles and editorial writer at Forum Asia.

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Some Filipino events in California

President Aquino in San Jose

Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010 at the Fairmont Hotel, San Jose, CA

The President will deliver a speech at the Gala Dinner of Philippine Development Foundation USA. The event will include recognition of outstanding Filipino achievers in the fields of education, research and development, entrepreneurship in science and engineering, and will also feature world-class entertainment. The Gala will be preceded by a Forum to discuss solutions to the Philippines' most pressing development problems.

Contact: PhilDev USA, Letty Quizon, 408-455-4137

Permalink here & here.

Showing of the film, DUKOT
Remaining in Southern California:
Friday, September 24, 2010, 7:00 PM
Glendale Central Public Library
222 E. Harvard St., Glendale, CA 91205

Saturday, September 25, 2010, 12:30 PM
The Art Theatre of Long Beach
2025 East 4th Street, Long Beach, CA 90804

For more information on tour dates, showtimes, and tickets, visit website or call 213-538-2852

The 2009 Filipino film Dukot is on US tour with its lead star, award-winning Filipino actor Allen Dizon, joining the tour. The film courageously tackles the taboo subject of ongoing human rights abuses in the Philippines.

email or call 310-658-7309

Reference: Eric Tandoc, Dukot-US Tour Organizing Committee – (213)-538-2852

Friday, September 24 – Sunday, September 26, 2010
Arena Stage, Theater of Arts, 1625 N Las Palmas Ave. , Hollywood, CA 90028

Tickets: $10 for any showings on Saturday and Sunday, $50 for an ALL ACCESS PASS to any of the films. Tickets will be available at the door or simply purchase them at Brown Paper Tickets website and type in "Filipino International Film Festival.

Saturday and Sunday, September 25 & 26, 2010
San Diego Concert of Philippine Dances & Music

Saturday - 8:00 pm; Sunday - 2:00 pm
Joan Kroc Theatre (6611 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92115 )
General admission - $15; Students w/ ID & Seniors - $12; Patron (reserved seating) - $25

Tickets will be available at the door. Group rate available to group of at least 10 (needs to be prepaid). For advanced ticket purchases, please call (619) 444-7528.

Saturday, September 25 / 9 am-3 pm
Annual Asian Small Business Expo

Legal issues in business: What you should know.
Omni Hotel
251 South Olive St., Los Angeles

Free admission.
Info at 213-473-1605 or visit website.


An evening to celebrate the past achievements and contributions of the Filipino American community as well as recognize and award the Filipino American business, community and academic leaders of today.

Deadline of nominations for the following awards by September 30, 2010:

  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Young Outstanding Academic Achievement
  • Young Outstanding Community Service
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Filipino Community
FACCOC is a nonprofit association of Filipino-American entrepreneurs and professionals committed to improving the business climate and quality of life in Orange County.

Philippine History Month celebration
Sunday, October 3 / 11 AM to 4 PM

Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
200 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102.

Theme: Filipino Journeys through American History and Art.

To celebrate with the Filipino American Community are members of the Consular Corps of San Francisco, Mayor's office, Asian Art Museum Commissioners and Trustees, Filipino American community leaders, Filipino American business leaders, and representative of corporations.

Bayanihan Philippine National Dance Company
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
615 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa CA 92626
10/03/2010 03:00PM
Box Office: (949) 553-2422
Tickets available on 9-27-2010 12:00 PM

The first Filipino group to perform on Broadway also has the distinction of being the first non-American dance company to take to the stage at New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, as well as the first Philippine cultural group to perform in Russia, the People's Republic of China and South America.

Filipina Leadership Summit/Meeting of leaders
Oct 7-10
Skyview Ballroom, 26th Floor, Bally's Hotel in Las Vegas

Outstanding Filipina leaders will be there to share career tactics and to nurture the next generation of leaders.

Register at FWN website.

Migrants for Export: How the Philippine State Brokers Workers to the World
Friday, October 8, 2010 / 12:00 noon

279 Haines Hall, UCLA Campus, Los Angeles, CA 90095

Free and open to the public.

Colloquium with Prof. Robyn Rodriguez, Sociology, Rutgers University. This talk will draw from Professor Rodriguez's recently published book, Migrants for Export. Migrant workers from the Philippines are ubiquitous to global capitalism, with nearly 10 percent of the population employed in almost two hundred countries. Rodriguez investigates how and why the Philippine government transformed itself into what she calls a labor brokerage state, which actively prepares, mobilizes, and regulates its citizens for migrant work abroad.

"Ala-ala: Remembrances" A WWII Photo Exhibit (Philippines)
October 9 through October 30, 2010

Long Beach Public Library & Information Center
101 Pacific Ave Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90822

Tel. (562) 570-5756

For more information, please contact via email.

Library Hours: Sun-Mon: Closed; Tues: 10-8 p.m.; Wed-Thurs: 10-6 p.m.; Fri-Sat: 10-5 p.m.

Free and open to the public.

Parking is available in the Civic Center parking structure located at Broadway and Chestnut. First 30 minutes free, $1.75 for each 20 minutes thereafter OR $1.75 for up to 2 hours for library patrons with library validation ($10.00 maximum/lost ticket).

Opening Reception: Saturday, October 9, 2010 / 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

RSVP by October 1 to Linda (310) 514-9139, email.

Reception sponsored by the American Coalition for Filipino Veterans in cooperation with the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles.

Related Book Talk, Slide Show and Book Signing

Saturday, October 16, 2010 / 2:30-5:00 p.m.

Mr. Angus Lorenzen, A Lovely Little War: Life in a Japanese prison camp through the eyes of a child

Philippine Theatrical Production: RIZAL atbp.
Lessons from the life of Dr. Jose Rizal depicted in drama, song and dance

Saturdays, October 9 and October 16, 2010

October 9, 2010 / 6 p.m.

Joan Kroc Theater, 6845 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92115

October 16, 2010 / 6:30 p.m.

Wilshire Bell Theatre, 743 S. Lucerne Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90005

Contact: Claudia, 619-913-3448, or go to website.

Press Contact: Jim Eigo

Southeast Asia Day: A Celebration of Cultures
Saturday, October 9, 2010 / 9:00 am–5:00 pm

Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802

Cost: Free with general admission ticket. Free for members. Members' guests receive 20% off admission.

General Admission: Adult: $24.95; Child (3-11): $12.95; Senior (62+): $21.95

Info: (562) 590-3100, ext. 0 Website

Philippine Theatrical Production: RIZAL atbp., Lessons from the life of Dr. Jose Rizal depicted in drama, song and dance

October 9, 2010 / 6 p.m.

Joan Kroc Theater (6845 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92115)

October 16, 2010 / 6:30 p.m.

Wilshire Bell Theatre (743 S. Lucerne Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90005)

Contact: Claudia, 619-913-3448


Intersections: World Arts/Local Lives
UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History
UCLA Campus

Museum admission is free. Although they are scattered throughout the exhibit, there are a number of artifacts from Southeast Asia (Burma, Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia) including ancestor figures, puppets, masks, and other sculptures.

Directions to UCLA and maps of the campus are available here.

Through December 5, 2010

UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History
UCLA Campus

Museum admission is free.

Through the medium of video recorded in eight sites in four countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and East Timor), weavers and batik artists tell their own stories directly to the museum audience.
Dionesio C. Grava - Part-time community journalist based in Los Angeles and editorial writer at Forum Asia.

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The Jueteng Hoax on the Filipino People

True - jueteng is a source of corruption.

But not just in the way that it is commonly understood.

Of course there is this payola or intelligencia as it is supposedly called consisting of bribes to the authorities.

But is jueteng a moral issue?

I submit that it is not. If absolute morality is invoked then the conclusion should be that all gambling is bad. If it were so therefore we should close Pagcor and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes. otherwise we would all burn in hell for abetting it. Is it only the rich that should be allowed to gamble and the poor should not? Every individual should have the equal opportunity to go to their own heaven or hell without any pre-emptive interference from public policies that smacks of almost being like a bill of attainder.

Jueteng shorn of the platitudes thrown all over the place in the polemics involved is really an artificial law enforcement .issue.

Artificial because by existing law 'jueteng' or jueteng like activities is defined to be illegal.
if there were no law against such activities then there would be no illegal action and no criminal elements will be involved.

By allowing jueteng or legalizing it - it becomes a question of regulation -- with the goal of protecting the betting public from cheating operations by unscrupulous operators.

It also becomes a revenue issue to make sure that the proper taxes are paid by the operators.
In the present state of affairs, the criminal elements and bribe recipients are really strange bedfellows with the hypocritical moralists in our society that would seek to keep on maintaining the illegality of jueteng. They work in seemingly contradictory purposes but their separate actions result in the perpetration of the jueteng hoax on the Filipino people. Their combined actions in effect preserves the domination of criminal elements of the jueteng trade and continues the corrupting influence of the payola and intelligencia on our public officials.

The lessons of Prohibition Period in the US should have been instructive. The puritan teetotalers who succeeded in inflicting Prohibition on the American people produced an era of criminality lorded over by the likes of Al Capone with the exemplary notoriety of the Valentine Day massacre. Why was that so -- because a significant portion of Americans love to drink and will not hesitate to patronize 'speak easy's' even if this were patently operating illegally. So is it with jueteng and its variants. Filipinos being a playful race love the game. and love to juego.

Telling Filipinos not to patronize jueteng will just fall on deaf ears. Keeping it illegal gives the criminal operators the perfect alibi to ramain hidden in the woodwork and keep to their cheating ways. By making the whole thing legal and forcing existing juteng operators to come out in the light of day the cheats will be exposed and the betting public (na hindi naman nagpapa-awat) will at least be protected. Of course as a legal operation, the necessity for the payola and intelligentsia disappears and these corrupting influence is stopped on its tracks. There are many among our officials charged with the eradication of jueteng who mouth the usual invectives against jueteng but who live a Jekyll and Hide existence and receive these payolas without missing a beat. This artificial zarzuela should be stopped.

Let the rule of law prevail. By enforcing halfhearted and unwinnable drives against jueteng the 'untouchable' operators are effectively operating outside of the laws practical enforceable ambit. Let these jueteng operators come in from the Cold. Regulate them and Tax them and please.... please... stop this foolish Hoax on the Filipino People.


Gil R. Ramos Ph.d. finished his Doctorate in Monetary Economics and Masters in Population Economics at the University of Hawaii. He did his AB Economics and also a Masters in Urban Regional Planning both at the University of the Philippines. He currently teaches MBA students at the (New Jersey City University) NJCU in Managerial Economics, Corporate Financial Management, and Managerial Information Systems. He runs his own consulting firm GRR Analytics based in the New York / New Jersey area.

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Debatable Jueteng Solutions

Introduction: The power brokers behind the Office of the President stand to earn millions of pesos from the regular jueteng payola dole-out; and the power brokers behind the throne would want the existing status quo on the matter.

Why? The money is basically tax free; it cannot be declared. It can be spent but it cannot be traced. It can lubricate the whole Philippine National Economy; but if its done above-board; and since it is unregulated the impact of jueteng money cannot be ascertained with accurate financial instruments; and the millions of pesos unmonitored as it can spell the difference. It is the secret for winning elections and for asking favors (be it local or national elections).

To regulate jueteng numbers game will mean the opposite view. When State’s police power in the form of a valid regulation steps-in the power of taxation comes along with it. Both the power of taxation and the police power are considered awesome powers of the State. The State power to tax and police powers originate from the people themselves; and the exercise of the power is only delegated to the elected authorities. The power is the means not the end. The power must come from a valid policy measure exercised by Congress; and implemented by the Executive. In case of doubt on the policy measure, only then will the Judiciary steps in. The answer to our jueteng problems therefore would be the Blending of Powers of the three principal branches of our National Government. The national government must take the lead; and the local government can follow that lead.

Registration will definitely un-mask the jueteng operator; it will unearth the million of pesos that changes from one hand to another hand; it will unmasked the capital take-in and the capital take-out of the gambling operator ( a private individual or a group of individual) The gambling operator will be screened by the public; the financial statements verified; and the cash in-flows and out-flows can be seen in the naked light. The financial ratio for the asset-capital base; and its revenue portfolio as it seems will be disclose to the general public if and when regulation is the answer.

For every 100 Pesos, one should ask? How much goes to the operator? How much goes to politician—be it: [A] Local officials: Congressman, Governors, City Officials, Municipal Officials; or [B] National officials: Senators, Cabinet Secretaries, and Office of the President.

The illegal number’s game commands a several million followers; and for the State to allow it to remain unregulated will mean that the business is considered a: “tax free undertaking;” and with a tax free undertaking the “grease money,” or “payola” will come into play every time there is a Christmas gathering and specially during election period. Follow the money; follow the motivations; and you can discover the body language of the person involved in this jueteng numbers game.

Framework: A friend of mine called; and he asked me if I can give an honest and un-bias opinion about jueteng numbers game. He did not ask me whether or not I am pro-jueteng or anti-jueteng. If he asked me, I have no intelligent reasons to answer the inquiry.
But today we have to give reasons. Legal reasons and moral reasons will be considered as you read this manuscript. As we move on to our nation building, we must address the issue of jueteng numbers game. The national government, with the credible leadership, (P-Noy and Secretary Robredo); the Roman Catholic Church-the Iglesia Ni Cristo [INC]; the Congressional Leadership (Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Speaker Sonny Belmonte); and the business leadership has this lone opportunity. We might as well decide this now.

Jueteng Players: There is a need to re-examine the players in the whole jueteng numbers game industry. There are two kinds: The direct player; and the indirect player. The direct player has a direct say in the business operations of the jueteng numbers game; and the indirect player stands to gain from jueteng numbers game. We have to view it as jueteng numbers game from the business operations side. A view from the point of costs of operations in relation to gross income; and in relation to risk and returns ratio can explain why jueteng numbers game will be financially attractive (if unregulated) and financial un-attractive if regulated.

First, I will attempt to present the arguments of the anti-jueteng because they are against the existing status quo; and thereafter I will attempt to present the arguments of the pro-jueteng advocates they prefer the existing status quo. The anti-jueteng is viewed as the anti-thesis; and the pro-jueteng is viewed as the preserver of the existing status quo.

Those persons who are undecided; we will just give the reasons. The undecided persons may either be undecided because they have no direct knowledge; or undecided on account of family reasons and/or associated reasons; and undecided because they have no time to gamble. The activist will always belong to the participative minority; and the undecided will always belong to the passive majority. The participative minority will always convince the passive majority to make a decision base on ascertainable truths.

Differentiation on account legal & moral reasons: Gambling is an offense against the virtues of the Catholic Church. But the same Catholic Church receives donations from PAGCOR-Philippine Amusement and Games Corporation. That alone confuses the laity—the majority. I am not an authority in Moral Law. We have to trust our moral law counselors on the matter. The moral arguments are discussed and considered Part III.

In the field of Civil Laws—the laws on gambling (as defined by the Revised Penal Code) disallow the numbers game [hence it has to be “illegal numbers game.” That will serve as the legal thesis of this manuscript; and I will explain it later. The Legal Arguments are considered under Part IV.

But, the State of the current Statutes and Jurisprudence do not prohibit the operations of Casinos; and the operations of Cock Fighting; and Horse Racing. These three models are considered sanctioned gambling.

These three sets of models work against the moral stance of the Roman Catholic Church (as a general rule). But the same Catholic Church accepts donations from PAGCORP; and that is where the gray area comes in.

The proposed solutions here were gathered from friends and associates. Well meaning friends and business associates will carry their own passionate arguments—they will either hate me or love me—but it does not matter. The importance of the social impact of the debate will influence the free market of ideas—the clash of the old thesis and the arguments of the anti-thesis will come into play; and from this free market of ideas there will b a new wave of synthesis. A new beginnings.

Since it is for the free market of ideas; I will present my arguments here using the Oxford-Oregon Debating Format:

RESOLVED: That jueteng numbers game operations be allowed by way of regulation in the Philippines

I. Is it practical?
II. Is it necessary?
III. Is it beneficial?

Is it practical to regulate jueteng numbers game? Is it necessary to regulate jueteng numbers game? Is it beneficial to regulate the jueteng numbers game? Some may argue it is practical; but not necessary. Some may argue it practical and necessary but for whose beneficial interest will a State regulate?

This particular segment is considered pivotal and un-bias in the spirit of free debate and argumentative phraseology. The argument for winning the hearts and minds of the Filipino people deserves a serious look on these three notions of practicability, necessity and beneficial interest. The resolution was arranged in this form and it is considered as a neutral advocate on account of color (race), creed (religion), and calling (work).

Part One:

The parties involved must be identified. The main players are considered either pro-jueteng or anti-jueteng; or just an undecided observer:

To the pro-jueteng numbers game, they are in favor for the following reasons:

(1) They are considered cheapest form of entertainment at the grass root level;
(2) They are considered as a community gambling activity likened to a game of cockfighting; and likened to a game of bingo; and as a community activity it would be best they are left unattended;
(3) the country-side jueteng advocates use the numbers game as a form fund raising activity; and for them moral and legal reasons cannot pass judgment on their fund raising activity. In so doing, the community toilet can be constructed; the community health clinics can be funded; the community basketball court can be cemented; the community water tank, water pipes, and water motor-pump can be purchased; the community stands to gain if they operate the jueteng numbers game.
(4) the city, or municipality leaders (who are in favor) consents to it by virtue of off-hand policy statement. They know that jueteng activity can be conducted by the community that sanctions it; and the community that sanctions it can be burned for it; and if that is the right argument—it goes without saying we can end up burning all barangay communities. From this perspective the City and Municipality agree with it because it has to address the perpetual funding issue of their community project. The jueteng payola if given will just have to benefit the community that sponsored it; and those who do not sponsor the jueteng will not benefit from anything. This being the main argument, all barangay communities will have this natural tendency to support the jueteng industry—why? At this stage we must blame our leaders, who frequent to Hong Kong; and who lavish on expensive foreign restaurants using tax payers money; while the poor community awaits for help. This is the root cause of jueteng—where the poor community must devise a way and a means to raise sufficient funds for their communal needs.
(5) The industry of jueteng was a community activity; until it has to grow from city to municipality to provincial (congressional undertaking). When the past Presidents like Marcos, Aquino, Ramos, Estrada, GMA failed to deliver the people power promises; the jueteng numbers game was considered a working formula for community fund raising project.
(6) There were community projects that has to address “security issues for their farmlands; and police strength was not working on their side; the jueteng lord promised community protection to the farmlands; and so the story goes; the people with an armed component can fight illegal taxation from group of persons (be it a political group or armed bandit). In that particular province, the farmlands continue to protect their farms; and the cost of their communal security came from the Jueteng Operations. One need not have a living proof on this accounts because these are valid inputs as allowed and covered by protective ethical conduct of journalism. Journalist need not reveal their sources on account of privilege information clause and guarantees.
(7) From a provincial and regional set-up the National attention came into life; because jueteng numbers game came into light with the Chavit-Estrada Debacle. It was during this time, that jueteng numbers game came into the national consciousness of the Filipino Society; and perhaps His Almighty Creator has a purpose for it. That event, signals the idea that “jueteng,” was influential indicator; the amount of jueteng money flowing in a community was addressing public finance shortages; and with a solution in sight, the barangay leaders, the city and municipal leaders was no longer dependent on Congressional Budget. The power of jueteng was so influential that Congressional Districts can be won or lost overnight. The jueteng lord will just announce: “Ang perang na-ipon natin ay ginamit sa warehouse ng bigas; yung kita sa jeuteng ng barangay community ay nakapagpatayo ng Warehouse ng Bigas, Asukal, Mais.” This postulate has un-made the incumbent Congressman; and it explains now why Congressional Districts cannot be assured despite the existence of pork barrel. The jueteng money, humble as they are, was a product of a community fund raising project; and people power (in the negative sense) was used to finance their needs. The natural market as they say made the solution for the demand and there was a demand for better public services; and jueteng money was successful absent of the pork barrel funds.
(8) The jueteng consciousness did not spare the Roman Catholic Church. The priest has three fundamental vows:

(i) vow of obedience to the Pope and Hierarchy of Bishops;

(ii) vow of poverty to serve Christ and his fellowmen;

(iii) Vow of Chastity and that means to stay married to the Church; since Christ is married to his Church; his priest is married to the Church.

The problem now as it seems are as follows:

(a) The distant church on account of poverty was receiving jueteng money donations; and this is being used to support church sponsored activities; and with financials perfect; the jueteng fund raising campaign has reached the inner sanctum of the church;

(b) The church controls the diocese and its church within the diocese with so much Catholic Funds; and the Church rationalizes their church contribution; but as financial will naturally explain, the grass root church becomes successful overnight because of the jueteng fund raising campaign that filled the church treasury; and with it the vow of disobedience comes into play. There will be priest posturing success overnight because money (jueteng money) as infiltrated the Church’s opinion;

(c) With money (abundance of money controlled by the priest) the devil incarnate resurrects—more priest with money has the tendency to compromise their virtues. A priest with plenty of money may stay out of the convent more often than expected. A priest with plenty of money may no longer embrace the vow of poverty; and the virtue of vow of chastity will now be compromised eventually.

To the Anti-Jueteng Numbers Game: The arguments of the anti-jueteng can be viewed from the moral side of the issue and from the legal side of the issue.

When the moral arguments are used; the complexity of moral laws must address the issue of jueteng—and that calls for an authoritative dissertation of moral laws on account of jueteng. We have to leave that with the experts on moral laws; as distinguish from civil laws. The test of morality is always based on the society that accepts the practice of morality. But one cannot impose morality; for morality is a way of life; and it cannot be imposed (and viewed from this perspective morality is considered as part of free practice of faith; and that again is another story).

When the civil law arguments are used, we have to consult the Civil Code and Revised Penal Code along with the various statutes enacted by Congress and those Supreme Court pronouncements called: “jurisprudence” interpreting what the law is. The laws and jurisprudence on gambling per se; and not on jueteng per se---can be viewed and it can be reviewed. It is there for us to see and read it. Gambling as a rule is not sanctioned in this country; but that is not an absolute rule on account of: Casinos inside Hotels; Horse Racing; and Cock Fighting. These three forms of gambling are sanctioned by the State (the Philippine State). The Roman Catholic position on these forms of gambling is unclear for me to some extent; but very clear to larger extent because of the fact that donations from the PAGCORP-Philippine Amusement and Games Corporation flows to the Roman Catholic Church---as a recipient.

We have to leave this hanging for a time; but I will take it once more later.

Explaining the numbers game and the financial underpinnings:

There is such thing as: "gambling economics." The State of Nevada as history will asure me was a vacant dessert. But the gambling industry and the hotel industry proved themselves correct. Nevada, Macau, Monte Carlo are considered States that allowed gambling and it has to regulate gambling. The overseas Filipino workers working inside Nevada, Macau and Monte Carlo were employed by the Hotels and the same Hotels cater to the gambling industry. The State of Nevada regulates the conduct of the operations. If this regulatory framework was successful; it begs the answer--regulatory controls can be and it is the only answer.

Let us now examine the gambling industry basic economics formula. We have at present a total of: 42,008 Barangays. This is the corner stone of the economic fundametals. Make that barangay earn 100, 500, 1000. Then with that gross earnings: come up with a solution: 12% VAT goes to BIR; and used directly to pay the NAPOCOR Debts. 30% percen goes to Energy Modernization Program. 18% goes to the school modernization program at barangay level; 40% goes to the Irrigation Farm Productivity. This alone will break the dependence of the Barangay from pork barrel. Anyway, there is a good assumption that the pork barrel never reaches the barangay; because it was spent on Pampanga Alone as a favorite legislative district. This proposition..I can defend before Plaza Miranda.

Model A: A barangay community has a population index. Let us take one community barangay in Makati called: Pio Del Pilar as a model; because it has its own barangay officialas and barangagy hall and its own church—San Ildefonso Church; as distinguished from the nearby Iglesia Ni Cristo Church along Evangelista. This is a perfect model. The market for the institutions would be the same members of the population. The theory is this: the barangay leaders and the church leaders cater to one and the same market. In our model let us have 1,000,000 barangay members.

At 1 Peso a day; that is 1,000,000 daily. At 30-days that will be 30 Million daily. That one peso will be sufficient for classroom modernization program. From the pro-jueteng advocates, they do not need Congessman. They just need the mayor to complete the classroom modernization program at 1 Peso a day per barangay. In practice, the strength of jueteng is on the number of bettors; and the more bettors the success of the jueteng fund raising campaign will be put into a greater effort.

Model B: For our second model, we can use a remote town in Mindanao. This barangay has a limited population; and they need the fund raising project. The limited population for less than 20,000 members will mean 20,000 pesos a day; at 30 days that will be: 600,000 only compared to the 30 Million a day of Makati. This explains the contrasting forefronts of jueteng financial landscape.

In the remote town, it is easier to operate; in a city lottery style the operator is not likely to succeed—because of the grease money. But from a point of view of the pro-jueteng advocate; the fund raising campaign is considered as a communal activity; and the operator (banka) is only a capitalist partner. From a business point of view to tax the fund raising campaign will be a disaster to the communal fund raising activity; and precisely this is the answer for the numerous promised and undelivered pork barrel funds of Congress. In a way the pro-jueteng advocates are of the opinion that this whole socio-economic mess is the fault of Congress; because we the community just want to have solutions to our pressing social need. For them the “jueteng lord is the accurate modern day Robin Hood.” To the anti-jueteng advocates they have to argue on the moral issue; not on the pressing issue of economic need. The off-tangent argumentative fallacious rationales must not be sanctioned. The pro-jueteng and the anti-jueteng must meet eye to eye on the issue of jueteng money as an answer to the lack of pork barrel funds. The issue for next local election, is this: Despite the existence pork barrel funds devoted for congressional districts; the same occupant cannot be win overnight---much more with the presence of jueteng money as a means for community fund raising project.

The macro perspective and micro perspective must be considered: We can be accurate with the same postulate.

The Philippines has a total of: 42,008 Registered Barangays.

10-Peso Analysis: (10% vat)
At 10 pesos a day multiply by 42,008=Php 420,080.00
At 10 pesos for 30-day multiply by 42,008=Php 12,602,400.00

100 Pesos Analysis: (minimum barangay gross)
At 100 pesos a day multiply by 42,008=Php 200,800.00
At 100 pesos for 30-days multiply by 42,008=126,024,000.00

1,000 Peso Analysis: (minimum gross take of jueteng operator)
At 1,000 pesos a day multiply by 42,008=Php 42,008,000
At 1,000 pesos for 30-days multiply by 42,008=Php 1,260,240,000.00

This simple mathematical analysis will explain why the jueteng issue has reached our national consciousness levels. From a simple barangay community fund raising campaign, the business operator has delivered the promised financial package at barangay level; and from barangay level the distaste for pork barrel funds came into life; and from that point the taxing authority has sufficient legal and politcal reason to be alarmed because the voters have become immuned from pork barrel funds with the existence of jueteng money.

It is also accurate to state; this is the reason why political families (notable political families) have capitalized the inherent government absence. In Philippine politics who delivers the accurate needs of the community is likely to win a place in the hearts and minds of the voting public.

What can we offer as a substitute employment:

Labor Employment Factor: The other dimension of jueteng money is the potent employment generating factors. The “cabo” bet collector; and the “kubrador,” treasurer; and the “bolador,” the one that rolls the jueteng balls are all part and parcel of the jueteng organization. There was a time when the dice-handler will conduct the session between provincial boundaries where police may have different jurisdictional limits; and the look-out would just tell which police unit; and they may just go to the nearest boundary for protection (temporary protection). The provincial network for the jueteng operator serves as a potential working organization; and they earn also. This group is considered pro-jueteng advocates. They are direct employees and they cannot turn to drugs because of the drug lord; they cannot turn to agricultural employment because of the landlord; they cannot go to Roman Catholic Church magagalit si Lord.” A total of x-number of employees per barangay community multiply at: 4,2008 Baragays. Let us say we have 10 employees per barangay or a maximum of 100 employees per barangay—that could mean unemployment for: 420,080 on a national scale; and if it is 100 employees that would mean: 4,200,080. On this argument alone, I think we can have a reason to regulate. If all workers are accounted for and registered; they will not be harassed by the Philippine National Police. Of course, the PNP secretly disallows Jueteng Activity; but they do not mind accepting jueteng money especially if they can have new computers; new chairs; new cellphones; new and modest transport (local assembled jeepneys). No wonder no cases are filed.

Model C: So much jueteng money has already funded successful fish pen for the benefit of fisherman village; and they have now a source of money for their community ice generation plant. I know this for fact because as I distribute campaign materials to the remote barangay countries I was asked: How can we benefit if we vote for that candidate? The answer: I gave them “gasoline LPG Tanks; at a discount price] and they paid for it. The whole barangay has so much gasoline LPG Tanks per household and guess who paid for it? Your guess is good as mine. On a personal note; I need not know who will be that lucky jueteng guy. I am happy for the fisherman’s village now they have LPG Tanks; and tomorrow they will ask for Ice Maker Gadget for their fish harvest.
The reality on the ground is very much different from the reality that media will depict as they mirror the reflection of the very society they cater too. The perceived reality inside the halls of Congress is another story; and the perceived reality of the Roman Catholic Church in Manila is entirely different from the actual reality at the grass root level.

The solution must take into account virtues and vices (in universal form);
A business problem must be accurately defined; so that business solutions could be accurately customized. The idea here is to solve a socio-economic problem.

The first issue of the day is how to stop the fund raising campaign posture of the jueteng operator as an answer to the promised “pork barrel funds,” that never flows back to the barangay community. If the pork barrel allotments were accurate on a per year and per release, then the economic trickle-down effect can be considered curative legislation in nature. But that is not the case here. The pork barrel funds go to the pockets of commissioners; which in return was spent in Hong Kong trips; and European leisure travels. The pork barrel funds can be traced on the way Congress spends money for gasoline using the expedition; and the same Congress now wants to control the community fund raising campaign.

Let us be candid: How much pork barrel funds were diverted to the lone district in Pampanga; and why is it these projects were delivered in Pampanga; as if Pampanga was the only legislative district entitled with such feat. That is the principal reason and the only reason to be insulted and in deed it is “revolting.” Majority of these leaders practice Roman Catholic Faith during Sunday; and they practice pagan life from Mondays to Saturdays. Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio must be agitated by now in their graves. It is for this reason we cannot blame the jueteng operator who was instrumental to the fund raising campaign of the barangay community.

Arguments of the Anti-Jueteng Advocates
The stance of the Roman Catholic Church must be amplified and clarified:
This is the best time, the Roman Catholic Church can make a qualified stance. There will be anti-jueteng advocates on the ground of pure morality; but it does not mean they are correct.

Who is entirely correct in this world lately?

We are not living puritans; but we can be a sensible realistic decision maker based on the givens. The accurate distortions for the moral recovery program cannot be fought just because of a religious belief. There has to be more.

Let us test the arguments of the Roman Catholic Church.
(1) They will argue on morality no doubt; but they have to cover their stance with: Casinos, Horse Racing and Cock Fighting—that is a up-hill battle for our religious priest.
(2) They will argue on morality; but they are receiving donations from PAGCORP.
(3) They can argue on the extreme by passing a new paradigm: “outright removal of the casinos; horse racing and cock fighting”---but that is easily said than done. Removing the cock fighting at the countryside will be a disaster for the State; because they cock fighting will naturally go underground; and from a regulated stature; it becomes unregulated. The same argument hold true for horse racing and for casinos.
(4) They can argue on “regulation,” and if that happens there could be talking points already.

The voice of the other religious group must be considered:
The stance of the Roman Catholic Church alone is not adequate. The stance of other religious denomination must be taken into account in the spirit of democratic and libertarian spirit. The Iglesian Ni Cristo (INC); the Protestants; Philippine Free Masonry and the Muslim Sector must all have a say on “jueteng.” The practical issues then must surface not only the necessary and beneficial interests.

Moral Theology of Gambling?
Can we impose morality in a regime of Free Exercise of Religion?
What do I tell my children when I go home?
What would a jueteng lord teach his children?

I will discuss these issues jointly:

For me, gambling is a vice. I take it to mean as it is. Hard money is hard to earn; easy money can be disposed easily. One cannot place a bet on hard earnings; but it will be easy to bet somebody’s money. I have been in the consultancy work for almost 25 years now and it is hard to earn an honest living; and more often when dishonesty strikes in; I personally shy away from the deal. I have my moral and legal reason. The moral theology on gambling explains the idea of hard work; and earnings from casinos, horse-racing, cock fighting and jueteng are not considered hard work earnings. Hard work means dedicated physical and mental effort allowing you to use the given talent for his Divine Will. There is nothing divine in gambling. A person must use his work, employment, career, profession, calling, vocation, as a means to convert others; or as instruments of the Divine Will. This is the essence of moral laws that frowns on gambling. That is moral law.

Moral Laws are obeyed on self volition and not by imposition (Hence we cannot sanction Aristocracy and Theocracy). This is where “Freedom of the Exercise of Religion comes into form and practice. There is no civil laws disallowing a government leader to be a pagan from Monday to Saturdays; and to be Roman Catholic on Sundays. That government leader may either be the jueteng lord operator or he cannot be also. Nevertheless on the grounds moral law, he can be wrong; but there is no penal sanction for violation of moral laws. A jueteng lord who promised to his constituency to deliver a fund raising project cannot be considered as essentially wrong. That is essentially a civil or penal law in nature and form; and not moral issue in nature. But existing laws made an exception to the general law (civil law and penal law).

In this context, I cannot impose my personal standards on morality to my friends; each of my friends may have a different set of moral standards acceptable to them. On account of free exercise of religion, as guaranteed by the Constitution—the jueteng issue if taken as a moral issue cannot be penalized. If the jueteng issue will be taken as a civil or criminal issue that will be considered fallacious argument on account of the existence of other forms of gambling. Just because morally it is wrong; can it be criminal in nature? “non-sequitur.”

What do I tell my children? I will tell my children that gambling is not a substitute for hard work; and gambling is a vice; and it offends the teachings of the Holy Spirit. In Catholic catechism, the seven virtues refers to one of two lists of virtues, most commonly referring to the 4 Cardinal virtues of Prudence, Justice, Restraint or Temperance, and Courage or Fortitude, and the 3 Theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Love or Charity; these were adopted by the Church Fathers. An alternative list is the Seven heavenly virtues, opposed to the Seven deadly sins, and consisting of Chastity, Temperance, Charity, Diligence, Patience, Kindness, and Humility. Children: Gambling offends the virtue of temperance (restraint). It fuels the passion of man for a shortcut to success using the game of chance; and it defeats the virtue of hard work.

What would the Jueteng Lord tell his Children? It is ok to gamble my child; anyway we are not actually the ones who are gambling it is the patrons of gambling that will commit the sin? It is not us my child, it will be the Church that accepts the funds earned from gambling? It is not us but the leaders that will have to decide; so we can sleep soundly at night because as jueteng operator we are just businessman; and this not like: being a drug lord that sells prohibited drug; and this not like a land lord that cannot award the land for the benefit of the poor. Sleep my child, the Lord will understand.

Arguments of the Pro-Jueteng Advocates
Beyond Religion But Within The Law: This is the best argument for all pro-jueteng advocates. Regulation was not invented for the purpose of pleasing one sector of the society; or to displease another sector. Regulation is a tool of police power that allows the State to devise a means on how to control a specific social activity. Gun Control is a regulatory measure; that will ensure safety and security of the citizenry; but the State cannot remove gun in absolute terms because “when good men do nothing, then evil will triumph.” The middle ground therefore is regulation because of State Preservation. The State must have guns so that it can defend is own existence when threatened by internal or external forces.

Regulating Jueteng could be timely; because it will influence the outcome of our national and local election. It would be prudent to allow free market ideas and free market forces when it comes to fund raising campaign using jueteng system as a means to arrive at an end; but with regulation the direct players and indirect players comes out--an they have to be protected and controlled also--using the free market of forces.

As a people, we are looking for solutions that will allow us to finance our irrigation system—why not make the ‘jueteng money work for the benefit of the immediate farmers that will benefit from the irrigation project that was funded by the jueteng fund mechanism.” This perhaps addresses our ingenuity as a people. As a people we are looking for a means to have additional sources of revenue to promote renewable energy; agais this can be the best source of internally generated funds instead of that external borrowings.

The problem of regulation is the idea of having a corrupt regulator. When was the last time you heard the race horse company rendered an accounting to the general public? When did casinos render a daily accounting of gross receipts and accounting for walk-in persons? When was the gate receipts of the cock-fighting school monitored? The downside of jueteng regulation is the existence of corrupt leaders who are tasked to regulate; not to participate in the income. If regulators participate in the income generation and income division; then the regulator becomes a operator not a regulator.

Best Social Solutions

It has to boil down whether or not to regulate the Jueteng (a numbers game)
Can we remove gambling per se?

If Nevada, Macau and Monte Carlo can regulate it; the Philippines can regulate it.

Since pagan Rome before Christ, the existence of gambling was evident. We cannot remove gambling per se; and if we, as a society, admit we cannot remove it; we must have the courage to admit that it must be regulated. Just for this time, President Erap may be correct after all. The best solution to a gambling problem may have come from the honest opinion of the gambler himself.

The Roman Catholic Church cannot have the best weapons against police power and taxation power; but their moral stance can be considered as a religious argument not accurate for governance. One must recall this Statement: “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” This is the basis of the Separation of the Church and State in so many ways. We must always consider that gambling was existing before Christ. On a personal note I cannot tolerate gambling; but can we stop it? You must be kidding yourself if your answer is in the affirmative. If we prohibit gambling in absolute terms; the unregulated regime will dig deeper and use the "underground economic structure." When that happens, that will be a big loss (economic loss; and taxation loss)

Campaign posturing is different from governance posturing: Both campaignin and governance will not b easy and that fast; and it is hard and slow. Democractic deliberations could be tedious and divisive; but I prefer democractic deliberations on a broad day light; and in a libertarian tradition we cannot agree in any form of dictatoship (be it monarchial, constitutional, theocracy or aristocracy).

This is the best time; not yesterday and certainly not tomorrow. We can seize the day today. It has to be deliberated upon by the body politic and we have to resolve whether or not it must undergo the familiar terrain of thesis and anti-thesis to come up with a new synthesis. We must submit this issue to regular free market of ideas. I am part of that body politic; and we must have a solution one way or the other. We roll the dice today; because the "jueteng money can address our national economy and it can make a dent on the social financial strucuture of the countryside. If we want the best irrigated land so we can export rice, corn and sugar--this could be the hidden message from above. After rolling th dice of indecisiveness; we can try to roll the dice of "political will.

We can move on to nation building. Now na.

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