"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

Street Shooting

Wet Christmas...............

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Media Presstitution in the Philippines the Enablers of Political Dynasty

The non-debate on Political Dynasty Part 2 & 3, conclusion of part 1.
"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
Now why do society view such perversion to be normal can be traced to what could have been a noble intention gone awry that started the very first day the dictator was chased out of Malacanang Palace. What is ironic is that shallowness seems to dictate the sentiment of the perennial complainers looking at the surface readily blames what they thought brought us to where we are. Can we blame them when the media can’t help themselves in presstituting their profession adding to the confusion and dumbing down of the people?

Let’s face it, when the dictators was deposed there are people who immediately went on mimicking the very people the EDSA “revolutionist” loathe and right away established their stranglehold in their own turf. One would think that replacing a 2 party political system with a multi-party political system would have leveled the political playing field, providing access equitably among the citizens especially with the inclusion of the party list and prohibition of political dynasty.

The constitutional provision on the prohibition of political dynasty requires the lawmakers to define political dynasty and to what degree of consanguinity and affinity is covered by legislating and passing an enabling law to that effect. No ifs no buts about it and it is as simple as it can get and yet some media practitioners in presstituting their profession would rather misinform and play dumb as if it was the most mysterious and complicated subject they have encountered all their life. Instead of informing the public on the failure of the lawmakers to pass an enabling law for the past 25 years they are acting as the enablers of the trapos in rationalizing the proliferation of political dynasty. In effect when the media goes on presstituting their profession they drug errr drag along the gullible public into enabling politicians to transform the multi-party political system into a family political dynasty system thus the absence of any sensible ideology or platform of governance.

In part 2 of the PTV4 political dynasty forum Enrile states it is difficult to understand and the framers of the constitution did not know what they want thus they left it to the lawmakers to define what they can’t comprehend, LOL. The difficulty is not how political dynasty is to be defined but the opposition coming from people with vested interest already raring to set up their own political dynasty in their respective turf on having the prohibition included in the constitution.

Dynasty he states originated with the monarchy but our dynasty is different because the people are the one's appointing them and not by a single person or the king. True dynasties are built thru the electoral system but under a system where whoever has the guns, goons, and gold in a personality and patronage based electoral contest determines who has the upper hand and the likely winner. If it was indeed the people or the boss as Pres. Noynoy Aquino says that determines the outcome of the electoral contest can someone please explain why the likes of parricidal maniac convict Ruben Ecleo, pedophile convict Romeo Jalosjos, and the mass murderer Ampatuan clan are unbeatable in the electoral process?

Funny how Enrile complains about the absence of a clear cut definition what constitute political dynasty and will support it if there is one. As if to up the ante even says he is willing to retire or resign if there is a law and even blames the framers of the constitution for leaving it to the lawmakers to define the law. Perhaps that’s a typical reaction from people who knew exactly what was needed but refuses to take action because the longer they violate the constitution the longer it becomes acceptable and give a false sense of hopelessness that it can never be done.

The state of our pathetic political system where political dynasty proliferates and getting stronger when it is prohibited by the constitution was best described even though as a joke by JC de los Reyes an Ang Kapatiran Party (AKP) senatorial candidate:
“Political dynasty is government privatization at its best.”
While Lito Yap David also of AKP brought up the people’s initiative on their proposed bill defining political dynasty 6 months ago with the Comelec and wrote them recently has not been acted upon. He further states that our feudal system stunts our progress that serves as a breeding ground for political dynasty.

Former VP Teofisto Guingona warns that there is a potential for seventy (70) families to control the Philippines which is the very reason why the state guarantees equal access to public service. Of course any student of politics in the Philippines will tell you that members of the ruling elites of the political dynasty will not give it up without a fight.

Conrado de Quiroz will of course insist on his flawed logic that there is no need for a law ignoring the constitutional provision and assert further that culture tramps laws, LOL. He must have been referring to the trapos with Mafiosi culture that is so prevalent with the criminal minded and culpable violators of the constitution. Just because they are culpable violators of the constitution repeatedly for the past 25 years does not make it right or legal, calling a criminal by any other name is still a criminal, LOL.

Eden Co one of the panelists while acknowledging the fact that the prohibition of political dynasty was the result of the anti-oligarchy and dictatorship sentiments at that time. It was surprising for her though that the constitution is very “vocal” on political dynasty prohibition and other nations never banned them. She must have been hinting at the rights and freedom of citizens to run for public office while ignoring the very reason why political dynasty is prohibited, for the state to guarantee equal access to public service.

As if this forum was not boring enough part 3 truly dumb down anyone who watched it, LOL.

Bam Aquino the brilliant wannabe clone to the late Benigno Aquino laments the cost of getting elected and urge as if daring people to define political dynasty now. Either he lacks manurity errr maturity acting like a child, or blinded by his desire to be a senator that he becomes so ignorant not knowing that the people can’t define or pass the law. The only time the people can do this is through the people’s initiative route of getting 3% of the voter’s signature in a petition for a referendum with a proposed bill defining political dynasty.

Atty. Jennifer Atienza brought out the problem of no one really follows the campaign financing limit. There's a lot of confusion because it was not defined she further states. Hmmmmn, seems like there is a pattern here of violating whatever laws there is when it comes to laws that makes it difficult for political dynasties to get elected is it not?

Malaking kalapastangan sounds more forceful than the English word disrespect, and that is exactly how Lito Yap David described the aberration on political dynasty.

Conrado de Quiroz is so out of it even agreeing with Bam Aquino on the uneven political playing field by enacting laws making turncoats illegal. Duh, if lawmakers can't come up with a simple enabling law defining political dynasty for the past 25 years what makes him think it will be easy to enact his pet law? LOL

Edna Co states the obvious on the power of the media, by having more substance and direction. Well, this forum is a classic example of lacking in direction and purpose since they start with a wrong premise asking whether there is a need for a law when it was enshrined in the constitution.

Bam says he believes that the Filipino people are intelligent enough to choose the right candidates and that some candidates see their candidacy as an avocation. Really, why are you running if that is the case? One who sees it as an avocation will of course examine where he is at in that equation especially in the context of prohibited political dynasty.

If there is anything that was useful in this forum it is non-other than learning that AKP has started the people’s initiative through a signed petition to have a referendum on a proposed bill defining political dynasty. We can always use the election to mobilize and organize the people in gathering pledges to vote only candidates who will commit to passing enabling laws. While we know that the likely chance of success is nil it will be the start of consensus building in preparation for the signature gathering for a referendum on a people’s initiative for a referendum on the a proposed enabling law defining political dynasty. Now if only the medial will have some "direction," no actually we just need them to stop the presstitution and call it what it is instead of telling us that the prohibition of political dynasty is complicated when it was not.

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The non-debate on Political Dynasty at PTV4 Part 1

The question or the debate should not be about whether political dynasty is right or wrong, it should be what’s taking them all these years to define up to what degree of consanguinity and affinity is legal or outlawed?

Perhaps, one just get impatient when watching TV anchors talk about political dynasty on the idiot box giving one the strange feeling of getting transported to the land of the dumb. Now why will they start on a wrong premise if there is a need or not for a law on political dynasty? First of all it is not a question of whether a law is needed or not because political dynasty is prohibited that is clearly spelled out in the Philippine Constitution under Article II, Section 26 which states:

“The state shall guarantee equal access to public service and prohibit political dynasty as may be defined by law.”

In case they are not aware the constitution is where the fundamental political principles on which a state is governed, especially when considered as embodying the rights of the subjects of that state. So when the constitution says as may be defined by law and the lawmakers fail or rather openly violate and ignore for the past 25 years passing the enabling law they are in effect guilty of culpable violation of the constitution. Remember that guy with a coterie of gratis high priced lawyers who vehemently protects his right to privacy on his US Dollar bank account? Yeah, he was impeached and fired for culpable violation of the constitution and who are those who filed the complaint and tried former thief este chief justice Renato Corona? Oh yeah, the same people who for the past 25 years failed and openly are in culpable violation of the constitution repeatedly running for office as if politics is a family entrepreneurial business profit center.

Don’t get me wrong here, I believe impeaching and firing CJ Renato Corona for culpable violation of the constitution is not just the politically correct thing to do but even very morally right on all levels. The problem is all these so-called right political moves becomes a joke and loses its luster and credibility that only strengthen the highly partisan mindset of the people because we seem to enforce it selectively, particularly to the enemies of whoever at that time is in power.
So when Conrado de Quiroz insist that we don’t need a law against political dynasty, he is so wrong on that point. If the prohibition on political dynasty is written in the constitution it is not a matter of whether some individual or sectors want the law or not. It is the fundamental law of the land that we need to abide by and follow or we are in culpable violation of the constitution. If it is enshrined in the constitution, the longer they fail to pass an enabling law defining political dynasty the longer we exacerbate peace and order and people without discipline. The longer they fail to pass a law the more it gets more attractive for the criminal minded to run for public office not mindful of the fact, that it is definitely a cause for the lawmakers’ disqualification for their open defiance and culpable violation of the constitution.

Now what’s wrong with the other premise brought forth by Conrado De Quiroz that having a law against political dynasty is wrong since it infringes on the rights of a person who happens to have the same family name or was it their fault to be born into the political family dynasty? There is nothing wrong being born into a political dynasty since they are not given a choice at birth, that is a given. What is wrong is the concentration of economic and political power to a certain political clan growing into a political dynasty because our political system is based on personality and patronage. It is this concentration of power that the state is preventing thus the prohibition of political dynasty to guarantee equal access to public service to all on an equal footing. One has to remember that an individual’s rights and freedoms stops when it infringes on others and clearly without the prohibition political position becomes a monopoly that denies others equal access to be in public service.

Unfortunately they misread or fail to grasp or perhaps playing dumb on a very simple constitutional provision that is anchored on the state guaranteeing equal access to public service. The state cannot guarantee equal access unless we have a level political playing field and when the system allows political and economic power to concentrate in a single family in a locality it shuts the door of opportunity to others, Meaning other deserving genuine qualified leaders with integrity will not be able to compete in the electoral process where goons, guns, and gold determine the winners decisively. Political contest should be decided on which party and candidate offers the type of good governance based on sound and pragmatic political platforms that the voters believe will help them move towards a better tomorrow.

It is not a question of whether a political dynasty is good or bad but it is a question of following the constitution that political dynasty is prohibited; now how difficult was that to understand?

Do we really want change for the better or do we just want to whine and complain even though we know these politicians will not hear of it because they are just too dense. Look at this Bam Aquino who insists on having a definition now of what prostitute errr constitute a political dynasty, well hello anyone home? Bam Aquino is a bright intelligent man, a successful entrepreneur and yet plays dumb while trying to mimic his uncle all the way to his eyeglasses. There’s a rumor going around that Bam’s eyeglasses is just a spectacle with no grade, LOL but let’s give the impersonator wannabe the benefit of the doubt. Really Bam, define it now? You know it takes the lower and upper house of Lolong este congress to make that happen, but what is so obvious is you are turning to be a trapo even before you start your political career. Aquino’s co-panelist JC de los Reyes and Lito Yap David senatorial candidates of Ang Kapatiran Party was very clear on this in case he missed it I am repeating it again, in the absence of an enabling law it’s all about delicadeza.

A strong anti-political dynasty movement is truly what we need especially for this coming 2013 election where we can organize and mobilize supporters to vote out political dynasty through a voters pledge to vote only candidates who will commit to pass enabling law defining political dynasty. We also have a choice to support Ang Kapatiran Party in their petition using RA 6735 with the Commission on Elections seeking the latter’s approval on the form of a Petition for the enactment of a national legislation, the Anti-Dynasty Act, through a people’s initiative. There is also the Supreme Court Petition led by former VP Teofisto Guingona to force congress to pass an enabling law and then we also have the tedious option of petitioning for their disqualification for culpable violation of the constitution or how about the other petition at  for the SC to define it themselves. So many choices out there but we can’t defeat political dynasty by sitting on our behind whining, we must act now or forever see the worsening state of politics getting owned by a few family for their piggy plunder bank……..........

Conclusion Part 2 & 3 Media Presstitution in the Philippines the Enablers of Political Dynasty

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The Bobotanteng (Voting) Pinoy & the Unrealized Power of the Ballot

.... continued from Political Dynasty and the Pinoy Bobotante - Part 2 of 2

One cannot help but think that unless we lift up the people out of poverty there is really nothing we can do about our pathetic patronage and personality based electoral system and the thieving if not plundering political dynasty that goes with it as a bonus. That really makes sense but this is what one unnamed lawmaker says about the people wallowing in poverty:

"You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary"

I believe this is where the good and the bad political dynasty get into the picture even if it is only digitally, LOL. I say to Alan Peter Cayetano and the rest who consider themselves honest, why not give up your day job as members of your respective political family dynasty and use your talents in creating jobs to address poverty? After all aside from political power that is concentrated in your family you also accumulated so much wealth that makes your family to be in a position to spur economic growth for the common good. Hey, I don’t think you can expect us to come up with the major capitalization when you people control 80% of the nation’s wealth? After all profitable business enterprise did not just become successful out of luck but it took skilled managerial skills and leadership for them to reach the top. So if members of political dynasty believe in themselves that they have what it takes to be a leader and honest enough perhaps they can even change the predatory mindset prevailing in the business sector in the Philippines.

Do we blame us the Bobotantes (voters) for the worsening state of politics or do we blame the political dynasty? How about blaming both or better yet how about we stop trying to point a blaming finger and instead start doing something to fix the problem? Surely lamenting and ranting fighting among each other on who can be angriest the most will not solve the problem. So is going in a different direction without learning how to coalesce makes the powers that be happy in seeing us self-destruct without them lifting a finger. Do we have what it takes to dismantle political dynasties that lorded over their area like a feudal turf with some that are murderous warlords like Ruben Ecleo surrounded by their private armies?

When the people deposed the conjugal dictatorship of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos we failed to consider the risk of local warlords creeping in. In effect while we got rid of a dictator we unwittingly replaced it with local warlords and political clans just got bolder at building up their dynasties when we failed to hold them accountable and responsible for their continued disrespect and violation of the constitution. Instead of dealing with centralized plunder from the very top we have little Marcoses running like wild animals marking their territories for looting and plunder and as if that was not bad enough they became so agile at deflecting the issues and became very good at using the democratic space we earned to their advantage. While the ruling elites were so successful at protecting their so called basic rights such as the right to privacy of not allowing anyone, entity, or even police agency from accessing their dollar accounts, there are people whose rights are trampled with forced disappearance most of whom never to be found or if found are already lifeless.

Perhaps we are not ready for the democratic space that we earned thus we still have people to this day missing the “good old days” of the dictatorship, talk about not getting enough masochist pleasure, LOL. Now I understand why man’s history is replete with cruelty like the one during Pol Pot’s genocidal rampage sending people to his reeducation camp. Don’t get me wrong, I abhor what pol Pot did but sometimes it makes me wonder had the Cory Aquino administration went on a reeducation program right after EDSA revolution, could we have a better appreciation of the democratic space and the leveling of the political playing field as intended and embodied in our constitution? 

History is written by the victors according to Winston Churchill; unfortunately no one seem to have taken the responsibility of writing the course of our history especially the part before EDSA and what precipitated it. Is it because those who are supposed to have done so are busy trying to build their own political dynasty or too busy savoring the moment while continuously dancing on the streets celebrating their victory? They did not even bother teach our children the misdeeds of the Marcoses and the evils of Martial Law that we now have people left and right sneaking in with their revisionist historical version of telling a story telling a lie. People especially the young ones and the Philippines being one in the region with a young population are now open season for the revisionist and the corrupt elites in molding a mindset that is so muddled. I am one who believes that man by nature is good. In the end what is just and fair will triumph but it will not happen until we the Bobotante take the lead and change the course of history by dismantling political dynasty. Make no mistake about it EDSA is an unfinished revolution and the so-called EDSA II is nothing but a scam wrought on the gullible people.

In 2002 we pay each congress representatives P65M in Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) yearly or better known as Pork Barrel, P420K salary/year, P2.4M in published expense, P600K to P1.2M/year allowance plus Christmas gift of P100K to P150K from the Speaker of the House, occasional Christmas gift from Malacanang of P100K to P150K, and other perks such as emergency fund, attending sessions, voting for bills, and travel allowances. That is just a 10 year old figure involving one congressman/woman which may have gone higher so imagine how much the taxpayers has to shoulder to maintain 287 House Members?

The cost to maintain 24 senator is P19.854 + to 19.877 + BILLION per year and if you add the yearly expense to maintain the Lower House, it will be a staggering amount. The upkeep of legislators has risen 10% every year since 1994. In 1999 this leaped to as high as a 60 % increase in the house of congress and a whopping 72% for the senators compared to the previous years. Now think of how much government revenue was exhausted all these years that they failed to pass an enabling law that is required of them by the constitution. A total of 27 years of maintaining the legislative branch and they have nothing to show for it except seeing the worsening endemic corruption and growing strength of political dynasties so entrenched  in power while dividing the country into their own personal territory to loot and plunder.

If we hire a professional, it is because we rely on their professional skills and expertise thus in return for what we pay them we expect to get good service. After all they earn their keeps by providing us the best skilled professional service, so why do we keep on hiring legislators who fails time and again to level the political playing field and stop if not exert extra effort in curbing corruption? Did we hire them so they can rob us blind?

No one will help us but ourselves if we want to finish or bring the unfinished EDSA revolution to its final course, we just have to take the initiative and not rely on the trapos. Sadly, change will not come from political personalities who are themselves members of political dynasty. Election comes every three years and the only time where politicians need us more than we need them is when they need our votes. We can only realize the power of the ballot if we use it at this point by focusing on having an enabling law passed on the legal definition of political dynasty. We can never expect our politicians to be honest if we allow them to openly violate the constitution and until we force the issue and tell them we don’t approve of it we will never see any improvement.

How do we go about going against a very powerful formidable opponent?

As far as we the BOBOtante (voters) are concerned it is up to us to prove them otherwise and pledge to support and vote only candidates in congress and senate willing and able to commit to pass enabling law defining political dynasty. We either remain BOBOtante or empowered electorates that can launch a massive campaign. How to go about it without funding is a challenge but it can be done with the power of networking. If we start with ourselves signing a pledge to commit to vote only candidates to congress and senate who will themselves pledge to commit to pass an enabling law defining political dynasty regardless of whether they belong to any political party or not is the first step. Next step is to persuade just three fellow registered voter to sign and commit to the same pledge we signed, and for the three to do the same each of them persuading just three registered voters and their recruits to do the same routine and so on, in due time we might reach most if not all of the registered voters before they cast their ballots in the 2013 election. Our success will depend on how many will follow through and not break the cycle. How can they break the cycle if they want an end to political dynasty and the possibility of leaders emerging having the same integrity and having political skills like Jesse Robredo? There is definitely power in numbers and voting as one only those willing and able candidates who will commit to pass an enabling law is just the start. What say you people, are we the BOBOtante type or the empowered botante who will change the course of history for the better?

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Political Dynasty and the Pinoy Bobotante

Part 1 of 2 

Filipino politicians are notorious for creating and changing their own rules from time to time or even interpreting established laws according to how it benefits them depending on whoever is in power. One thing where they meet in a bi-partisan (as if there are really political parties separated by principle and ideology, hehehe) manner is their failure to pass enabling law defining political dynasty that does not even take an Einstein to figure out.

It is not like Article II, Section 26 of the constitution is so difficult to understand when it was written in plain simple language, to quote:

“The state shall guarantee equal access to public service and prohibit political dynasty as may be defined by law.”

So what is there in the 19 word sentence that is so difficult to comprehend that for the past 26 years since it was written in the Philippine constitution no one seems able to figure out up to now? Some people think it defies definition, really? I don’t know how it can defy definition when everyone knows what a dynasty is, but just to show that it is really not undefinable here is how Webster defines political dynasty: 
1 : a succession of rulers of the same line of descent 
2 :a powerful group or family that maintains its position for a considerable time

The constitution is very clear on why it is prohibiting political dynasty, it is to guarantee equal access to public service to the citizens as in prohibiting and not just preventing the concentration of power in the hands of the few ruling families. It is the same reason why the party list was introduced in the constitution, to give the underrepresented marginalized representation and access to the legislative branch of government. The point is to level the political playing field where qualified leaders of integrity a citizen of the republic is given equal access to governance, and not limited to the few families who control the nation’s wealth and political power which is what a robust democracy is all about.

When a new voter vote for Pedro Tarpulano or a Juan Tanga they don’t expect to vote for his wife, mistresses, sons, daughters or even his bastard children courtesy of their labandera (laundrywoman) all the way down to his grandkids which is just ridiculous but it is happening now because of the personality and patronage based electoral system. Voters deserve better than contend with the same family for the next 50 years or his/her lifetime.

Just because it has not been defined it does not mean that members of the political clan that sees politics as an entrepreneurial family business profit center is not aware or have no clue what is a political dynasty. As if that is not bad enough some sectors tries to deflect the issue towards what they believes is the real pressing one that they puts to task anti-political dynasty advocates for quoting the characterization of pornography by Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart “I know it when I see it” adage. Perhaps that is what the petitioners wrote in their arguments, but the only thing that I see comparable between political dynasty and pornography is they are both obscene, Other than that there is really no comparison. While I agree that RH Bill, Freedom of Information Act, and the Sin Tax are urgent issues, political dynasty is not an absurd and distracting issue that some people wanted us to believe. It is the issue now because the 2013 election is just around the corner and this is the only time we can force the issue and the time when politicians need us more than we need them.

Now, how exactly is political dynasty so undefinable as if it is such a mysterious term or contentious when it really is all about greedy politicians so drunk with power unwilling to let go? Their refusal to define political dynasty is seen as their propensity to violate the constitution or any law that stands in the way of their stranglehold on political power. All the bills introduced defining political dynasty seems to come up with the same basic definition below:
Political Dynasty is to be defined as the concentration, consolidation or perpetuation of public office and political power by persons related to one another.

Is that so fool este full of complexities? I don’t think so but the reason being is they really want political power concentrated within the family. The reason they refuse to even consider passing what they could muster as the most watered down version is that no matter who introduced and what law is passed their spouses and children are the first on the chopping block.

What really comes as very amusing is how Senator Alan Cayetano the husband of Lani Cayetano the Facebook tyrant who happens to be the mayor of Taguig desperately tries to rationalize and desperately differentiates their dynasty from the rest, LOL. Perhaps Alan Cayetano was telling the truth that they are not corrupt and I clap my hands in glee but that is not the point of contention here. Never mind that his wife Lani fired the nurses for posting a complaint in their Facebook account and her co-employees for liking it. Never mind that it was enough to give them a hard time by not issuing them a work certificate, and she is supposed to be a woman of the dynasty with integrity?

As an anti-political dynasty advocate I appreciate the advice given by Alan Peter Cayetano although unsolicited is really missing the point by a thousand miles, LOL. This is not about identifying which ones are good or bad political dynasty, the issue is about passing an enabling law defining political dynasty. 26 years is long enough, we need to exert all our effort towards paving a level political playing field which is what a tuwad este tuwid na daan (straight path) needs in order for us to leave a lasting legacy to our children and their children. Who knows we might even attract leaders of the likes of Jesse Robredo who might just get encouraged to participate in the electoral process?

Glad to know that Alan Peter Cayetano believes they are honest, unfortunately not honest enough to admit that they are violating the constitution and just exploiting the absence of an enabling law as a sorry excuse to perpetuate their family in power.  I say give it up and let us have an enabling law and they should be honest enough even without it people of integrity knows exactly what the constitution requires everyone to do. The very problem we face is the hypocrisy wherein we can easily identify and see what’s wrong with others not realizing we are not really any different and with the feeling of entitlement we just go around in circles.

The problem with political power that is concentrated in the hands of the few families is that greed takes over and corruption goes haywire. The problem with this arrangement is that it corrupts not just people’s mindset but job opportunities become rare because the moneyed class invest their accumulated capital in enterprises that does not generates job opportunities when they invest in politics. Under the scenario of patronage politics people make a living as a sycophant or spin doctors muddling the problem beyond recognition deflecting the issues all over except of course in their benefactors direction. No wonder this spin doctor errr I meant opinion writer blames the bobotante (voters) who says that there are no political dynasty without the voters who keeps on voting them in. I say that was an astute observation, right on and at the same time wrong, hehehe. Well, for one it is not like majority of the citizen are independent and whose life and fate does not depend on the whims and caprice of the people in the government. That opinionated errrr opinion writer seems to forget that people are in a semi-feudal existence and as such they rely on patronage. The ugly truth or reality is that hungry people worries more about where to get the money for the next meal for his family than take the time to learn about candidates with integrity offering a viable platform of governance if one even exist. Desperation and desolation makes some people forget what is prim and proper or simply what is logical or even legal and illegal when offered money in exchange for their vote.

The problem can really get complicated if we make it to be so complicated, but if we stop from over thinking the problem and just confront the problem, we can all find out that it is just a hurdle that we can surpass if together we put our mind to it.

To be continued on Part 2 of 2……………… The Bobotanteng (Voting) Pinoy & the Unrealized Power of the Ballot

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Esperlita Garcia a.k.a. Cyber Perling, State Enemy of PNoy’sTRO’ed CyberCrime

In the Philippines it does not matter what the law says, what matters is how it is interpreted by onion skinned public officials even in far flung municipality of Gonzaga in Cagayan. Gonzaga Mayor Carlito Pentecostes Jr., felt he was libeled or his reputation tarnished when a retired teacher and grandmother who happens to be a staunch environmentalist in Gonzaga posted an update on her FB page. I am quoting the so-called “libelous” portion:
My fb friends are asking me what happened in the rally at the Saint Anthony’s Academy of Gonzaga (SAAG) yesterday morning, so here. I wish to inform everyone that the peaceful trooping of Gonzaganians at the starting point venue of the rally was harshly dispersed by the Mayor of Gonzaga who was with more or less 10 armed and uniformed military men and with a firetruck and several vehicles near the SAAG gate along the national highway. Gonzaganians wanting to join the peaceful rally were hindered by the Mayor’s group. What is so shocking to know was the bullying words of the mayor to one of the invited speakers of the KALIKASAN PNE when speaking to the mayor, “Mayor Sir, it’s the constitutional rights of your constituents to conduct a peaceful rally to air their protest against mining within the communities.” “NPA ka ‘no? Walang constitution sa akin. Ako and Mayor ditto. Lumayas kayo, “ the mayor angrily answered as he grabbed the video camera being in the hands of one of the protesters and angrily threw it with force to the ground.
Well, that is really terrible, no I did not mean what Garcia wrote but is it libelous? If there is anyone who needs to get a lesson it is none other but the mayor. First of all you don't bring military men in a peaceful protest because military people are trained to kill people unlike the police who are trained in crowd control. Second of all the mayor ought to get a lesson on tolerance and the military should have restrained the mayor if they are indeed the protector of the people.

If that is libel does that mean that if Gonzaga Mayor Carlito Pentecostes Jr., slaps me silly that I will be sued for libel if I posted my experience on Facebook? It seems the local DoJ led by Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Edward Javier sees the crime of e-libel even if the SC issued a TRO better than the highhanded treatment of the protesters by the mayor that they went ahead filing defamation of character and libel against a retired teacher and Grandmother Esperlita Garcia. Ever wonder why real heinous crimes and crimes committed by well-connected powerful persons remain unsolved because they seem so fixated at trying to secure a conviction against a grandma? So they say they are allowed to make mistakes but filing a complaint of libel citing RPC Article 258 on abortion is not exactly an oversight when they meant RPC article 353 and 355 which is not a typo but more of being confused, LOL. Seems funny when abortion came into the picture but in their haste to score a  3 minute of sound bytes  of fame their incompetence got exposed instead while dragging RTC Judge Tabaco in their folly on the strength of RPC Article 258 when they meant to file libel, that states: 
Abortion practiced by the woman herself of by her parents. — The penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods shall be imposed upon a woman who shall practice abortion upon herself or shall consent that any other person should do so. 

Any woman who shall commit this offense to conceal her dishonor, shall suffer the penalty of prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods.chanrobles virtual law library

If this crime be committed by the parents of the pregnant woman or either of them, and they act with the consent of said woman for the purpose of concealing her dishonor, the offenders shall suffer the penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods.

Well, blow me down and slap me silly but this is a legitimate WTF moment!  Now whoever penned this revised penal code I hope is not one Talibani honor killer, for one the language seems vent on penalizing the woman and her mother for concealing the “dishonor.” Now, why the fixation on dishonor when all the while it was supposed to be to preserve life? Okay, let’s give this a rest since this should be another idiotic topic we can discuss next time around, LOL.

Now, what’s up with the judge? Did Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Conrado Tabaco had one too many tobacco or something  that he did not even read the complaint and failed to catch the “error” of using RPC Article 258 on abortion for a defamation and libel complaint filed by the geniuses at the local DoJ led by Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Edward Javier? why issue a warrant of arrest  for violating abortion RPC, did he even check that grandma Perling is 62 years old and unlikely to get pregnant much less have an abortion? Eh magkano ba este what was the warrant of arrest for when obviously someone did not read the complaint or was that just what Perling feared that it was meant  as a pure harassment?  If the judge used his due diligence he would have rejected the complaint right there and then but to go further and issue a warrant of arrest is not exactly just a case of incompetence but null and void and therefore Esperlita Garcia’s arrest is illegal?

I can understand that they are in the boondocks but the municipality is online so how did they not know that there was a TRO on RA10175 and no matter how they lie este explain that they filed the complaint based on RPC Article 353 and 355 and not RA10175 the 2 cited articles 353 and 355 does not cover Facebook or the internet. Did they not even ask Vicky Belo or are they fixated with Hayden Camera este Argee Guevarra or they are too engrossed on giving retired teacher Esperlita Garcia a hard time? The DoJ in Manila refused to file a case in 2009 and what makes it different now if I may ask, because it involves mining compared to just small time bust butt jobs?

Another legit WTF moment is when NBI director for Cagayan Valley Hector Eduard Gealogo says they did not conspire with Mayor Pentecostes or manhandled Garcia during the arrest. Maybe true but they did not read her, her Miranda rights and just hauled her to jail. Arresting Garcia on the crime of abortion when the complaint was meant for defamation of character and libel is therefore illegal, meaning her arrest and her imprisonment is also illegal. Now what’s the swift action all about, does she even posed a danger to people and it took 3 agents to arrest her? Don’t the NBI had more pressing things to do like hunt down the suspect in the Ortega murder case, or how about arresting Ecleo the parricidal murderous killer who has already been convicted and yet remains at large? Ok, I guess they need to bring down pesky retired teachers so the mayor can teach her a lesson, what exactly was the lesson again if I may ask? Now if the statement of Esperlita Garcia is “libelous” what about this statement from Pentecostes, are they not libelous and I quote:
“Wala akong sama ng loob sa’yo, dahil kung may sama ako ng loob sa’yo, hindi na kita iisyuhan ng mayor’s permit sa negosyo mo kahit hindi siya nagbabayad ng tax. So walang harassment, kundi ginagawa ko lang ang karapatan ko dahil sinira nila ang puri ko kaya nag-file ako ng libel case,” he added.


Pentecostes also questioned Garcia’s stand against mining, alleging that several private properties of Garcia and her family in the province have been open to mining operations.
“Ang totoo, may mining operation dito sa bayan namin pero hinihigpitan namin ang monitoring dito. Ang hindi ko lang maintindihan, sinasabi niya na siya ay environmentalist. Siya mismo ang nagpapamina sa tabi ng bahay niya at sa tabi ng mga bahay ng mga kapatid at magulang niya. Hindi ko maintindihan,” he said.

“Sinasabi niya na anti-mining siya, eh bakit niya pinayagang ipamina ang mga private property nila?” he added.

I would have believed what Pentecostes was saying but I asked Esperlita Garcia on the above claims and this is her response:
He is lying for i never allowed mining in my own property. He said he was not aware of my arrest. It was just then the own initiative of his lawyer who requested the services of the NBI to serve the warrant of arrest against me. He even said, he was considerate to me that inspite of my failure to pay my taxes, he just issued me Mayor's Permit. Is the LGU his own that he can just allow business to run without paying the needed business tax? I was charged a criminal case for a VIOLATION OF MUNICIPAL TAX ORDINANCE even if I had paid all my financial obligations at the LGU he leads. Is this fair? this is the reason, I need to attend a court hearing on this criminal case against me tomorrow, Oct 25. He makes me miserable for my anti-mining advocacy hence these two baseless cases against me filed by the Mayor himself.
This is turning out to be a circus and CJ Sereno should step in and ask RTC Judge Conrado Tabaco to explain why he should not be sacked for issuing a warrant of arrest on a libel case citing RPC Article 258 on abortion. Cite the local DoJ for ignorance of the law when e-libel does not technically exist based on the TRO they issued and why did they involved the NBI when clearly Esperlita Garcia could not hurt a fly and pose a danger to no one. The DoJ is a department that is under the president and they should not utter things that's so childish and unprofessional when Asst. Prosecutor Edward Javier pouts and sulks on Garcia airing her side to the media. Well, anyone who was wrongfully accused on a law that technically does not exist, wrongfully charged, arrested and imprisoned illegally with abortion when they meant libel and on top of that posting a bail is like being victimized by a kidnap for ransom gang. A complaint against the NBI for illegal arrest and imprisonment should be in order if we want this incident as what the mayor says to be a teachable moment and not just him giving a “lesson” to a grandma. The DILG must school if they are not doing it already local elected officials about tolerance and proper use and management of of the military, police and the National Bureau of Investigation.

What the mayor, the local DoJ people, and the NBI did was showcase the feudal mindset of people given authority and sadly they seem incapable of handling it correctly. This is like the problem in the legislation of Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 or RA10175 we have people who are clueless on the workings of the internet specifically Facebook regulating what is beyond them. When people post on Facebook, it does not automatically show everywhere or worldwide as some ignoramuses would like to believe. It took me awhile to look for the posting in question and all I got was a jpg image instead of the original posting so please stop hallucinating that it was that easy besides who cares about the reputation of a small municipal town mayor? It is not like politicians in the Philippines are highly regarded for integrity, so quit it and stop harassing grandma you bullies!

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Misleading: Footnote to STING'S SM-MOA (NON)CONCERT

"Somebody misled the Englishman in New York."

So claimed SM   in a public statement after the musician Sting’s announcement that he would be cancelling SM-Mall of Asia as the venue for  his December Philippine  concert. It went on to blame my letter to the  singer's camp for his  decision. Beyond ambiguity, I am  who SM was referring to as the “somebody who misled the Englishman in New York.”

My letter sent to and received by Sting's camp on 20 September said in part:
Sting is a well-loved musician among human rights advocates and believers all over the world including the Philippines. This is foremost because he speaks the voice of the marginalized and disadvantaged. A lot of times, it was because of him that stifled voices were amplified. This happened each time he exposed injustice, iniquity, and inequity in his songs. The world's oppressed classes owe Sting so much. And now, in behalf of the disadvantaged, we ask him to do something for them again.

There is an ongoing online petition asking Sting for a change of venue of his concert which also shows a video of the April spontaneous rally of thousands that surprised even us who made a public call for a mass indignation action... This petition was initiated by Project Save 182, the movement based in Baguio City, Philippines, which (the National Union of Peoples’ lawyers) is representing in court. Project Save 182 was born on January 20, 2012 when more than 5,000 people gathered to protest the planned expansion so soon after it was made known…SM and the government kept things under wraps. Public consultations as mandated by Philippine law and even international law were not conducted and the project does not bear the stamp of social acceptability. Since 20 January 2012, the people have not stopped protesting...
I am worried that the petition might not reach Sting which is why for the last few days, I have been looking for ways to reach him.  I hope I found the channel... (T)he people of a historical city of almost half a million people are fervently praying that something can be done. Please do something...

I stated  that  SM  already cut and will cut trees.  The corporate  giant labeled this  “misinformation”-  it is balling, not cutting, the trees. Project Save 182 has always been incredulous. After misinformation from  SM in the past (as when it led the public to believe   that its expansion plan bore LEED certification which  turned out to be a white tale, or  when its lawyer  said on TV that the expansion project would not start while the case was pending  which would turn out to be untrue ), concerned citizens are understandably skeptical of its statements. Other than  its self-serving assertion, SM has not shown evidence that it balled and not cut 40+ trees on Luneta Hill.  We were there during the two nights when SM was felling trees (and in one of those nights, we were armed with a court-issued temporary environmental protection order which SM refused to obey).  SM erected walls to obstruct the  view of what was happening within the expansion area but we  could hear the sound of trunks cracking and  falling to the ground.

At any rate, the issue is not whether SM will ball or cut the trees. Cut or balled, mature  trees will  perish  unless the balling procedure is done properly. For a  fully grown pine tree, slow death is certain from balling and even SM’s pine tree expert affirmed this in a published  article.  In fact,   cutting a fully grown tree is not as bad as balling it. A cut tree has value because it can be used for lumber or serve other human purposes; a balled tree will just rot away. The death of those mature pine trees that were balled and transplanted in Loakan by Camp John Hay Development Corporation remains vivid in our memory.  Project Save 182’s call is for the trees to remain where they are now. They should be neither cut nor balled. SM apparently wants the world  to believe  that as long as it will ball the pine trees, it does not destroy the environment.

SM says,  “With this successful move to stop Sting from holding the concert at SM MOA Arena, and referring to the venue as an 'oppressor', it is now looking more like the court battle has extended from saving trees, to ruining a corporate giant’s reputation completely."  SM’s reputation gets destroyed because of a claim that it is cutting trees? 

I do not think Sting decided against SM-MOA  merely because  182 trees would be cut. We have to credit the man- or any environmentalist worth his salt- with more sense than that. The cutting of a tree or trees does not ineluctably give rise to an environmental concern. Cut trees to serve human need, not to pamper greed. A thousand trees may be cut when it is  indispensable to fulfilling a   human necessity. But trees or   a single tree for that matter  should not  be removed from  an erosion-prone area sitting on earthquake faultlines  to pave the way for the erection of a 7-storey (or more) concrete building which includes a parking facility. Perhaps, the  property is yours, but your ownership right does not extend to using it in a manner that  you  expose to peril the lives and properties of others. In fact, to the right of property is attached social responsibility.

No one misled- and no one could mislead- the Englishman in New York.

Photo belongs to Pixel Offensive

Cheryl Chyt Daytec, is a Practising/Litigation Lawyer, Human rights advocate, Poet, Writer, and an Associate Professor at St. Louis University in Baguio City, Philippines. She is presently a member of the Board of Trustee of Cordillera Indigenous Peoples' Legal Center (DINTEG) rendering pro-bono services for the poor and the oppressed (marginalized women and children, informal settlers, IPs, laborers, HR victims, etc.).

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Hoy, Kaplok

Hoy, Kaplok


This is an organization of Filipinos who dedicate their lives to the objective of crushing political dynasty mentality, giving flesh (fair play, loyalty, exemplary, sincerity, and honesty) to politics, creating a

culture of sacrifice as the highest degree of honor in every conflict of interests, and fostering volunteerism as a castle of every profession.



The Orwellian Manifesto

"The meaning of our struggle is to be able to return to freedom. First you must return to freedom. So that all segments of our community, whether from the Left or from the Right, will have the right to speak. And in that open debate, in that clash of debate in the marketplace, we will produce the clash between the thesis and the antithesis—and we will have the synthesis for the Filipino people.”

The late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.

The idea of a creeping tyranny forms the crux of RA 10175 or the new Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. It’s much too real and risky to be a laughing matter. The powers it claims for government not only flatters itself undeservedly, it opens our private lives to more intrusions than what our two hands could parry. Think about it: where we spend our days amid the warmth of loved ones, while conversing with friends online, there government will be, just right next to us, watching clandestinely, and lying in wait for what we will do next. No greater than mere suspicion is all that’s needed to bring down a jail term of twelve years in one fell swoop. It is set as a precedent for invasion, with all the power, resources and malevolence tyrant governments have at their disposal.

More than the simple violation of our right to privacy, RA 10175 is in essence a criminal incursion into our lives; criminal because it is unconstitutional. The chilling effect is being felt everywhere. Recently, it was reported that Asian governments and netizens were closely monitoring Filipino protests against RA 10175. They fear this law could become a paradigm of how things would be in cyberspace for the future. Hence, losing this battle for our voice is synonymous to destroying what defines us as free individuals in a new frontier. A draconian law like this, once in control of cyberspace, could take forever to untangle. Imagine the bedlam once it spills over into real-time.

It is expected of any State possessed with delusions of grandeur to restrict the voice of the governed, whatever medium it chooses to control. Hitler did it. Stalin did it. Idi Amin went further down by eating his enemies. No other voice matters to a tyrant but its own. The forged hero worship of those around him feeds the pride and aggrandized opinion of himself. As he basks in his own self-worth, thinking he could do no wrong, the air around him is then charged with hubris. He begins to count his days in power in multiple centuries, thinking he is the answer to all things. What began as motives good and true turn tragically, for the would-be tyrant, to messianic self-importance. Every single tyrant in history—from Ceaușescu to Marcos—thought saving the world was their deific calling, to instil some discipline into freedom’s chaos. Marcos’ New Society was a model of that idea. Little did these people realize that as soon as they sit over all they surveyed, the first that needed saving was the one whose ass was on the chair.

It doesn’t really take much to grasp how power corrupts—and corrupts absolutely. It begins at the very moment a leader—one democratically elected or otherwise—becomes conscious of his ‘otherness’: that sense of distinctness from all the rest. Much as a king would declare himself god over his subjects. That feeling of transcendence begins to eat away the very notion of his being a man among men, like acid on skin. The slow, painful fall from grace begins when he or she feels that the world, even heaven, owes him all things. It’s a declaration of mutiny against the proper order. What is rarely admitted in cases like this is that the erring government leader is the true rebel in its most hideous form. No wonder the same rebellion he or she initiates against freedom gives birth to the very revolution that would soon topple the tyrant’s throne.

Once that sense of distinctness fully blooms, the natural result is the need for secrecy. For power to be wielded with absolute, unquestionable swing, there ought to be things left unsaid. No shape or form of darkness can live under a flicker of light. Transparency makes tyranny weak; secrecy feeds its black bones. The wielding of absolute power can only thrive under the guise of a benevolent face in order to conceal its wicked intentions. And this is where the irony comes in. One can tell if a government is preparing for a creeping tyranny: when it begins to breach the privacy of the governed if only to preserve its own.

Significant to the preservation of government’s policy of secrecy is a public gagged into submission. Nowhere is this best explained than in history’s account of the breach of freedom of expression. This policy forms the backbone of an autocratic two-faced monolith: only the voice of the State matters. This is government’s answer to the chaos and racket democracy naturally gives birth to. Sa ikauunlad ng bayan, disiplina ang kailangan was Martial Law’s battle cry for the better part of two decades. This unforgiving milieu kept the press under Marcos’ thumb for years. What Marcos, with all his brilliance, failed to catch was freedom’s basic tenet: no one can legislate character. This remains true even when discipline is direly wanting.

Had a conversation recently with a wise old sage of the courts. He made his point clear: "Government should kill RA 10175. There is a principle followed in all democratic institutions. Remember how it is better to let loose a hundred guilty persons than to jail an innocent one? The idea holds true for every democratic belief. A hundredfold abuse of a right is always tolerable than the need to curtail it. Because in a democracy, the law was always meant to defend the people, not to discipline them. Discipline and responsibility are never functions or intents of laws; they belong to gut-wrenching personal ethics. That's why democracy belongs to mature leadership. And since democracy is the antithesis of a monarchy or any autocratic government, it is rightfully assumed that real freedom means less government intrusion."

The philosopher Cicero pointed out how disingenuous discipline by legislation comes off to many in society: “The wise are instructed by reason, average minds by experience, the brute by instinct, and the stupid by necessity.” What added insult to injury was Martial Law’s presumption: we are all stupid, thus requiring discipline by necessity.

Yet, in so far as discipline is concerned, history teaches that it is government in general that is wanting in discipline and restraint, since the same is more prone to the lure of power than society is to the charms of freedom. A public steeped in poverty often gives up liberties to the need for food on the table, education for its young, money for its health. Even a cursory reading of historical narratives reveals that freedom has always been our last thought, the final solution when all else had failed. Nevertheless, government insists quite mistakenly that we need discipline more than it does.

RA 10175 and the inclusion of online libel is a wound that reveals a disease deeper than what critics could readily diagnose. Government is beginning to see itself as society’s redeemer, thus creating its own plan of redemption. Author Octavio Paz sees this as the genesis of a fall: “Every moribund or sterile society attempts to save itself by creating a redemption myth,” wrote Octavio Paz in The Labyrinth of Solitude. Clearly, this is the road being taken by government in justifying RA 10175, positioning itself as the be-all and end-all of who and what we are, and who and what we should become. This law doesn’t only bully us into silence, it presumes to tell us what we should say, if at all we choose to open our mouths. Nothing could be more criminal than to presume how we should think for ourselves and speak on our behalf.

Yes, it is criminal to suppress expression. Why? Because expression is the sole genius of man, the one thing that keeps society from falling off the threshold of insanity. Freedom alone fuels it. George Orwell, author of the ‘Big Brother’ fame, 1984, curiously expands on man’s indubitable birthright in his novel: “Curiously, the chiming of the hour seemed to have put new heart into him. He was a lonely ghost uttering a truth that nobody would ever hear. But so long as he uttered it, in some obscure way, the continuity was not broken. It was not by making yourself heard but by staying sane that you carried on the human heritage."

Big Brother’s slogan in Orwell’s 1984 ought to remind us of what some governments are forcing us to believe: that “War is Peace,” “Freedom is Slavery,” and “Ignorance is Strength”. This is the Orwellian Manifesto, the modern powers’ oath and religion of silence.

The novel offers us a foretaste of the inevitable return to dictatorship, if and when freedom is once more chained: “In the vast majority of cases there was no trial, no report of the arrest. People simply disappeared, always during the night. Your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten. You were abolished, annihilated: vaporized was the usual word.”

Middle of this year, the United Nations declared internet freedom as a basic human right. One report said:

“All 47 members of The United Nations’ Human Rights council signed a resolution to this effect Thursday, unanimously backing the notion that freedom of expression online is a basic human right. ‘The same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, in particular freedom of expression, which is applicable regardless of frontiers and through any media of one’s choice,” reads the report, issued by the U.N. Friday. The same report also calls upon leaders to ‘promote and facilitate access to the Internet’ and recognizes ‘the global and open nature of the Internet as a driving force in accelerating progress towards development in its various forms.’ The passing of this resolution is hailed as ‘momentous’ by individual ambassadors.”

Nothing could be more detrimental to the cause of individuality and uniqueness of man than to give in to silence, or self-censorship out of fear, or worse, the notion that peace can only be had when a society speaks and thinks the same way. The force behind our struggle for identity and existence begins and ends where freedom of expression expands above us as our blue and dark sky. We of the thunderous clash of millions of voices find synthesis in our uniqueness, not in cultic conformity. Thus, to speak liberally within the pied frontiers of real time and cyberspace, is to declare ourselves forever free. In no less this milieu are freedom and humanity best served. 

Convict Shirt graphic courtesy of: A.a. Almonte, BMPM Staff

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