Thursday, December 30, 2010

My New Year's wish for PNoy and our nation

I pray and hope that through his leadership he is able to inspire our people to act and by doing so unleash our collective capacity to undo the wrongs of the past and
bring real change for our nation.

We are an extremely talented, hardworking and creative people. We have proven resiliency and tenacity to endure hardships for the sake of our families and loved ones. With President Aquino inspiring our people to give their all for family and country there is no way for us to fail.

Under his leadership and together with those who will continue with the work he has begun, we look forward to that dream of a progressive and prosperous nation realized in our lifetime. Happy New Year to Team PNoy!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My statement on the Jolo bombing

The Jolo bombing, which happened on Christmas Day of all days, should serve as a stern reminder to government that the path to peace, even if fraught with danger, should nevertheless be pursued with greater intensity and aggressiveness. It should tell us that we must relentlessly confront the root causes of armed conflict and violence, which are poverty and discrimination.

The peace initiatives of the government must not be sidetracked by these acts of senseless violence. It must, in fact, strengthen our resolve to bring peace negotiations to a higher level and end decades of armed conflict and social unrest in the South.

With inspiring and determined leadership and a people inspired to get involved and see an end to war and violence in their respective communities, there is no reason why we cannot succeed in silencing the guns of war for all time.

Friday, December 24, 2010

My 2010 Christmas message

2010 was a year of change for our country. President Noynoy Aquino’s victory in the elections was the catalyst our nation, aspiring for something better, needed most. Several months hence, we saw and felt these changes happening around us, albeit in a pace that would leave a lot of people wanting. Through sheer determination, we all fought against corruption, even if it meant just starting with not using wang-wangs and respecting traffic laws. With steely resolve, we were able to expose corruption in several government corporations and were able to institute much needed reforms to curb such practices.

But with every victory, there were setbacks. This yuletide season, my wish is we all use this break to gather our wits, reinvigorate our spirits, and realize that we as a nation must all come together in the New Year if we are to realize our dreams for our country.

Real changes are forthcoming, but each and everyone of us must be a part of instituting these reforms. PNoy’s victory in the elections is a great example of how we as a nation can turn the tide and become one in influencing how our future should be played out. The election is just the start. Let us all continue to work together with audacity to the day when we can indulge in the benefits of genuine reform and change.

Have a merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Kung hindi tayo kikilos, sinong kikilos?

Sa gag order, dapat sa halip na tumahimik eh dapat lalo pang busisiin at pagusapan ang kaso dahil habang di pinaguusapan eh baka mauwi sa aregluhan. Malaking isyu ang kaso laban kay garcia at dapat sa halip na tikom ang bibig ay magsalita ang mga nasa likod ng plea bargain at ipaliwanag sa taumbayan paano nauwi sa bailable offense ang dating non-bailable na plunder case. Meron ba silang itinatatago kaya ayaw nilang pagsalitain ang mga ito? Dapat mariing na tutulan ang gag order na ito. Dapat ng magparamdam ang taumbayan!

Image Source: AFP

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My statement on court's release of Senator Trillanes

Nagpapasalamat kami sa korte na pinaboran ang kahilingan ng senado. Kinilala ng senado at nirespeto nito ang hurisdiksyon ng korte at bilang kurtesiya ay kinilala rin ng hukom ang aming hurisdiksyon kay Senador Trillanes bilang kapwa senador. Ito ay isang magandang ehemplo ng parliamentary courtesy sa pagitan ng dalawang co-equal branches na nagpapalakas sa ating demokrasya

Monday, December 20, 2010

My 12 Christmas wishes for our country and our leader

1. For peace talks to start: “An end to the armed conflict around the country could lead to the emergence of cities such as General Santos, Cagayan de Oro, and Davao city.”

2. A new image for the country’s tourism industry: “We must attract tourists; not criticisms. Our people are by nature extremely friendly and hospitable. We are only doing/achieving some 3M tourist arrivals annually while our neighbors are doing four or five time more with 12 to 15 Million tourist visits annually. It has been said that other countries in the ASEAN are doing so much more with so little in terms of natural wonders and beautiful sites while we are doing so little with so much.”

3. For the CCT to be implemented ASAP: “I share the President’s fervor in lifting our countrymen out of poverty. We would like to see the CCT be implemented the soonest so we can assess right away its impact on our nation’s marginalized sector and tweak the system as necessary.”

4. A girlfriend for PNoy: “I hope all the best for our President, but more than that, I wish for him to finally find that special someone so that the media can focus their stories on the more substantiative aspects of being the leader of a nation.”

5. A united Malacanang: “We would like to see A more disciplined and cohesive team working towards achieving progress in the country. Let us be rid of the factions within. Filipinos are naturally resilient and love to laugh. But it does us no good to laugh at the follies of those who represent PNoy.”

6. Stable gasoline prices: “We make an appeal to those controlling the prices of this very important commodity: Let us give our countrymen a chance to rise above subsistence. Let us find a compromise wherein your business can still thrive without the poor suffering at the end of the consumer chain.”

7. For Filipinos to start thinking of fishing as a viable industry: “There is more to the country than agricultural farming. We have one of the longest coastlines in the world and a treasure trove of aquamarine resources. The Philippines can easily be the aquamarine resource powerhouse of the world.”

8. To be rid of garbage: “The tragedy of Ondoy should serve as a powerful lesson to us all. Cleaning up the environment also gives one a sense of pride and dignity, no matter what social class he or she belongs to.”

9. For families to be informed of their choices on family planning: “The fact remains that unless we are able to address the issue of population management, we can never realize our true potential as a nation. The government can only provide for so much of its citizen before there is chaos. An informed choice is what Filipinos need to manage the booming population.”

10. More private-public participation in worthy projects: “ The Gawad Kalinga is an exemplary example of how the synergy of government and private sector partnerships can bring about sustainable reforms for our communities and indeed, the whole nation. We all hope for a better nation, and as a people we will collectively realize these hopes only when more of us are willing to make a stand, take the risk, move out of our comfort zones and pledge to commit to doing our share in helping shape our communities and in helping move our nation towards a new direction.”

11. For smugglers to go to jail: “Smuggling affects the sustainability and profitability of our trade industry. It has been pervasive for far too long. We would like to see these unscrupulous traders finally put to jail. Smuggling is an indication of pervasive corruption in the country. We hope to stamp out all forms of corruption in the Philippines, and we need to make examples of them by punishing them.”

12. For our staple to have price stability: “Rice has been the cultural staple of Filipinos. And yet not all of our countrymen are able to afford to have them on their tables. For us to have economic stability, we will need to have food security. Addressing the gaps that affect the prices of rice will greatly improve the lives of our impoverished people. One cannot dream of prosperity after all if one has an empty stomach.”

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Supreme Court should be above all

It cannot get any lower than this.

The quality of decisions has reached an all time low. How on earth can we legally and morally say that a son of a former president can represent a party list organization for security guards? He doesn’t represent security guard. Even a third grader can tell you that. He represents his mother and their family and their personal and political interests, and the Supreme Court expects us to accept and respect its decision saying it isn’t so and he truly represents the marginalized security guards sector?

Herein lies the highest court of the land. It may be that Hubert Webb is innocent. It may be that Executive Order #1 may not be legally in order. But when this Supreme Court decides, doubts are immediately cast. For how can you trust a Supreme Court with a spate of bad decisions, such as allowing a marginalized sector to be represented by a marginalizer?

A Supreme Court decision is supposed to stand the test of time because it sets a precedent for all cases of similar nature in the future. How can future generations find wisdom from the whims of a few magistrates?

The Supreme Court, to be above all, must rise beyond personal dictates.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Put smugglers behind bars

It must be stressed that food security is national security—a public interest of the highest order. Government should find solutions to stop illegal smuggling of agricultural products before we totally cripple our farmers.

When smuggled goods find their way into our markets, our farmers are robbed of their profits. Smuggled products sell at a much lower price in the market. Smuggled pork are sold for as low as P70 a kilo, while our own local pork is sold at P170 a kilo. Consumers will not pick a more costly produce, even if they are not assured of the quality. These products have not gone through quality control processing; as such they pose as health hazards to our consumers.

Even if the Philippines is an agricultural country, we are unable to feed our people properly and cannot provide for the hands that feed us.

We need sustained and relentless efforts at going after smugglers, and it should not end with the seizure of goods smuggled: It must ultimately end up in placing smugglers behind bars.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The petty bickering between local football federation is detestable and makes me want to vomit

This disunity between local football federation officials which has led to the non holding of the semi finals game between Indonesia and the phil is such a shame. Their inability to rise above their differences in the interest of both the sport and the nation is truly regretable.

Here we have a golden opportunity to cheer our national team and foster national unity and pride and we have thrown it away because of petty bickering. It is this kind of selfish, petty promotion of personal interests over the national interest that has prevented our nation from truly progressing in various fields. It makes one want to vomit in disgust. It is detestable and condemnable.

This is truly deplorable and those who sabotaged our chances of hosting the event should be made to commit harakiri. Nakakahiya ang ginawa nilang pagsabotahe sa nasabing hosting semi finals match. This makes me want to vomit in disgust.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Supreme Court running amuck

First they encroach on the impeachment proceedings against the ombudsman in the House, then they absolve their own against charges of plagiarism. They then threaten the UP College of Law with sanctions for expressing a contrary view to their own. Now they declare the truth commission as illegal.

This is the Supreme Court running amuck. If there are harsh criticisms thrown their way I believe they should be ready to take it given their recent string of highly questionable decisions.

Congratulations to the winners of the 8th search for Ten Accomplished Youth Organization

Congratulations to the winners of the 8th search for Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations:

1 Educ Revolution Movement (Bulacan);

2 PRO-DORP Team (Surigao del Sur);

3 Pochon Youth Group (Ifugao);

4 Pagaypay 4-H Club (Ioilo);

5 Philippine Stagers (Manila);

6 Mandaya Tribal Youth (Compostela);

7 Pag-Asa Youth Association (Cebu);

8 Alay Ni Ignacio (Quezon City);

9 Link.exe (Iloilo);

10 Brotherhood of Peace (Baguio).

Thank you for all your support!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Desisyon sa Truth Commission, si GMA lang ang masaya

We lament the Supreme Court’s declaration of the Aquino administration’s Truth Commission as unconstitutional.

We fear the ruling may unwittingly create the public perception that the former president cannot be investigated and cannot be held liable for her actions, and may further harm the image and reputation of the Supreme Court.

Malungkot isipin na ganito ang naging desisyon. Di man ito sinasadya ng Korte Suprema, ang mensahe ng desisyon na ito na ipinapamalas sa taumbayan ay yung mga pang-aabuso at katiwalian sa ilalim ng gobyernong Arroyo ay di dapat ma-imbestigahan. Ang epekto nito sa isipan ng publiko ay pinapawalang-sala si Ginang Arroyo sa mga eskandalo at pagiging sangkot nito sa katiwalian at pang-aabuso sa gobyerno. Makakasama ito sa imahe ng korte. Nawa’y magbago pa ang pasya ng ating mahistrado sa pamamagitan ng isang motion for reconsideration. Tiyak ang pinakamasaya sa nasabing desisyon ay walang iba kundi si GMA.

We hope that by way of a motion for reconsideration on this adverse ruling, the Supreme Court will reconsider its position and “allow the President to fulfill his campaign promises.”

With all due respect, the Supreme Court should be a partner and not a stumbling block in the Aquino administration’s anti-corruption efforts.

Maagang pamasko ito kay GMA. Pero ika nga e, di naman araw-araw ay pasko. Naniniwala ako na sa bandang huli, mananagot din si GMA sa mga kasalanan niya sa bayan.

My thoughts on SC's decision that the Truth Commission is unconstitutional: This is a sad day for our judiciary

We are deeply saddened by the decision. Considering the numerous corruption scandals that hounded the previous regime, the ruling may unwittingly create the public perception that the former president cannot be investigated and cannot be held accountable for her actions. I am afraid that this ruling may further harm the image and reputation of the Supreme Court.

President Aquino ran on the campaign promise of addressing corruption and poverty. We hope that by way of a motion for reconsideration on this adverse ruling, the Supreme court will reconsider its position and allow the President to fulfill his campaign promises. With all due respect, the
supreme court should be a partner and not a stumbling block in the Aquino administration's anti corruption efforts.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Achieving lasting peace

We welcome the silencing of the guns of war this Yuletide season. It is our genuine hope that soon, through a negotiated honorable peace settlement, these guns will be silenced for all time. May this generation of leaders achieve what previous generations have failed to do. May we as a nation achieve lasting peace in our lifetime. For the cause of progress, for the welfare of our nation, for the future of our children

We welcome Alfredo Pascual's appointment as the new UP President

We welcome the appointment of international banker and finance expert Alfredo Pascual as the University of the Philippines’ new president. We believe that Pascual’s background in the business sector will serve the state university well in addressing its financial problems.

Pascual himself promised to address the financial needs of UP in light of the budget cuts for 2011. I have expressed my reservations on this matter, and having a financial expert as UP president will certainly help matters.

Education is an extremely important pillar of the country’s goal of becoming a developed nation. With Pascual and his extensive economic background, there is a chance that the financial woes of UP will be addressed and remedied.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Senator Lacson must take Senator Trillanes' lead and face the music

We call on our colleague Senator Panfilo Lacson to face the accusations made against him.

If he is innocent, then he has nothing to fear. We have a new administration whose mandate is to serve best interest of the people.

Kahit nga naging senador si senador Trillanes, patuloy pa rin siyang humarap sa kasong isinampa laban sa kaniya. Ganun din ang nararapat gawin ni senador Lacson. Kailangan niyang harapin ang kaso at mapasailalim sa sistema ng katarungan sa ating bansa.

Local mariculture could be a goldmine for the country

Local mariculture could provide the country a much needed economical boost.

Our seas are naturally filled with so much bounty. We need more of Panabo Mariculture Parks set up on different coastlines around the country. Both local and foreign investors are attracted by the profitability of such projects. In fact, the strategic location of the Philippines alone could turn the country into an aquamarine resource powerhouse in Southeast Asia.

However, there is a need for cold storage facilities to make our fish industry more competitive. Panabo has none. There is also the need to find markets for our goods. We enjoin the private sector to invest in Philippine mariculture. An investment of half a million pesos can be recouped in less than two years time, provided the investor has access to the market.”

If we are able to address the gaps in our mariculture industry it will not only feed our hungry people, it will also be a source of huge revenues for our country.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Appoint an agricultural attache and send high level delegation to Tehran to save our Banana export industry

We propose that the Philippines appoint an agricultural attaché to Iran and send a high-level delegation to Tehran, preferably headed by our trade or agriculture secretary, to address the gaps regarding trade agreements between the two countries.

Both the farmers and the Department of Foreign Affairs deny that there is a trade ban on our bananas being imposed by Iran. However, Iranian businessmen are having difficulty in securing letters of credit as their currency is not accepted in trading; dollars are. And this is where the US sanction on Iran affects local banana exporters.

Iranian traders mainly get their letters of credit through Dubai, which trades in dollars. Unfortunately, Dubai is complying with the US sanction on Iran. Consequently, Iranian traders aren’t able to pay our exporters.

The US imposed sanctions against Iran as the latter continues to build nuclear weapons. The Philippines and its banana exporters stand to lose $170 million in annual revenues. Fifteen percent of the country’s fresh bananas were exported to Iran in 2009.

Kawawa naman ang mga magsasaka natin at wala naman tayong kinalaman sa awayan na ito.

We therefore suggest that we appoint an agricultural attaché to Iran and send a high-level delegation to Tehran so we can address the gaps. That would be the first step. Also, let’s look at other markets we’ve yet to explore: China, Kuwait, etc. We must find immediate solutions to address this impending crisis.

Image Source

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

SUC budget cuts will deprive our youth a chance to fulfill their dreams

I have reservations on the P1.1 billion budget cut for the operations of 97 state universities and colleges nationwide, plus the zero allotment for capital outlay for SUCs and the slashed funds for scholarships within the Commission on Higher Education.

For most of our countrymen, state universities and colleges are their only hope of getting affordable, quality education. Slashing their budget will deprive our youth a chance to fulfill their dreams of getting a diploma and becoming productive members of society.

I am a product of a great educational system of an SUC, I was chairman of the student council at UP, so I am aware of and can certainly sympathize with the issues confronting students of SUCs that will be affected by these budget cuts.

The University of the Philippines, arguably the country’s premiere state university, will see its budget slashed by P1.39 billion in 2011 from its budget in 2010—thus making it one of the universities around the country that is set to suffer the biggest budget cuts next year.

Education is an extremely important pillar of the country’s goal of reaching first world status. We should not deprive the future of our nation their basic right to have quality education. Let us not be hesitant to invest in our country’s future.