Though how Progressive a Country is, there will always be Poverty because of Corruption

Though how Progressive a Country is, there will always be

Poverty because of Corruption

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Perfection should be ruled out in the reckoning of a progressive country, because there will always be poverty due to corruption somewhere in the system of governance. In other words, the glitter of progress cannot hide poverty. For ultra-progressive countries, the signs may be insignificant as they try to blend with the glamour of urbanity. But in other countries, especially, the third-world, the signs are very prevalent, so that there is always a massive effort to cover them up occasionally, literally, as it is done every time there are special occasions such as visits of foreign dignitaries. This practice is successful in the Philippines.

 

Practically, poverty is the shadow of progress, and literally, too, as where there are looming high-rise buildings that are pockmarks of progress, not far from them are slums or homeless citizens who huddle together under bridges and nooks. These are misguided citizens who flock to the cities after selling their homestead, that have been farmed for several generations, to deceitful land developers, at a measly price. These are the urban squatters willing to be relocated but found out that the promised “paradise” do not even have a deep well so they go back to their sidewalk “homes”. These are contractual workers who have no job securities as they earn only for five to six months, after which they leave their fate to luck while looking for another job.

 

How does corruption ever be involved in the sad fate of the exploited? Simply, by the government’s negligence  in providing decent relocation sites with job opportunities and basic facilities to those uprooted from their city abodes for more than so many years; by its cuddling of the spurious contractualization perpetrated by greedy employers; by its failure to guide and protect the rights of farmers who sell their rice fields to subdivision developers at measly prices that are not even enough to sustain them for six months; by its failure to provide the citizens with the basic necessities as funds are allowed to be pocketed by corrupt officials; and practically by looking the other way despite the availability of laws against vote buying.

 

Third- world country leaders should stop using the word “progressive”, but instead they should use “surviving” to describe their respective economy. If a country’s economy cannot sustain, much less, provide a “comfortable life” to majority of its citizens, then it is still “ailing”…hence, expect poverty to be trailing behind, just a few steps away from the pretentious allegations!

 

 

 

Kung Ako si Jejomar Binay…

Kung Ako si Jejomar Binay…
Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Sa patung-patong na mga bagong ebidensiya na may kinalaman sa asyenda ng mga Binay sa Rosario, Batangas, at tinalakay sa Senate hearing, ika-tatlumpo ng Oktubre, malabo na nilang malusutan ang paratang na sila ang nagmamay-ari nito. Ang masaklap pa, nandamay pa sila…nanghila pa ng iba habang lumulubog sila sa kumunoy ng kahihiyan. Ang tanging pag-asang natatanaw ni Binay ay ang eleksiyon ng pagka-presidente ng Pilipinas sa 2016 – kung makakalusot niya…sa ano mang paraan siguro. Naalala ko tuloy ang tulang nabasa ko tungkol sa taong nagbenta ng kaluluwa niya kay satanas upang magkaroon ng maginhawang buhay….

Pero kung ako si Jejomar Binay, dahil sumapi kunwari ang ispiritu ko sa kanya, aakuin ko na lang ang mga ginawa ko. Kakausapin ko ang misis ko, at ang tatlo kong anak at pagsabihan sila na huwag umamin ng kung anong kasalanan. Basta, ang lahat ng bintang ay ibato sa akin. Haharapin ko na lang ang lahat sukdulan mang ako ay makulong. Walang problema dahil sanay naman akong kumain nang nakakamay na ginagawa ng mga nasa ob-lo. Nakodakan pa nga ako minsan kasama ang mga batang, kumakain sa dahon ng saging, naka-kamay kami. Kaya ganoon lang kadali yon…kakayanin ko.

Hihintayin ko na lang na matapos ang eleksiyon sa 2016, kung kaylan ay alam ko namang magkakaroon ng dayaan kaya yong mga may hawak ng pork barrel at kung anu-ano pang pondo ng bayan ang sigurado kong mananalo. Basta nandiyan lang “siya”. Magkasama nga kaming nag-hose noon ng mga loyalista ni Marcos, kasama si Tolentino sa harap ng Manila Hotel, nang ipilit nilang umupo ang matanda bilang Presidente dahil inilipad na si Marcos sa Hawaii, sa halip na sa Paoay. Nakodakan pa nga kami ni “brod”, in fairness, hindi nahulog ang salamin niya, sincere na sincere sa pag-hose ng mga taong nagkandatilapon. Kaya may utang na loob pa rin sila sa akin, dahil kung hindi ako humawak ng hose, hindi nakarating sa Malakanyang silang mag-iina. Dapat lang akong maningil dahil mahirap yata ang magpalit ng kulay, depende sa administrasyon….nakakaitim…kita na nga ang ebidensiya. Sa laki ng badyet na tingin ko ay maipapasa, sigurado na ang panalo “nila” sa eleksiyon.

Subali’t kung gusto namang bumida ng junior ko…atatapang a bata yan…junior yata!…siya na lang ang ididiin ko. Pakapalan na lang ng mukha. Sanay naman ako diyan. Hindi siya puwedeng umalma dahil lahat ng ginusto niya ay binili ko, pati bahay na may elevator. Hindi siya dapat mangulila sa loob dahil padadalhan siya palagi ng keyk at mababangong bulaklak, pati na rin ng isang exotic na ibong nagsasalita, yon nga lang kailangang may interpreter siya dahil ang salitang alam ng ibon ay Mandarin.

Si misis at ang dalawang anak kong chicks, dapat manatiling malinis sa mata ng tao. Ipipilit ko yan, kahit na alam kong ngayon pa lang marami nang librong naisulat tungkol sa mga kababalaghang nangyari na nagsimula noong kapanahunan ko bilang mayor sa Makati. Aaminin ko naman talaga, upang wala nang mga kaek-ekan pang pag-usapan.

Maaari ko ring kausapin ang junior ko upang magpalabunutan kami kung sino ang aako ng mga kasalanan. Sasabihin ko sa kanya, na ang taong umaako ng kasalanan ay may grasyang matatanggap mula sa langit. Kung gusto niyang ako na lang ang tumanggap ng grasya, sasabihin ko na hindi na ako tatablan nito dahil makapal ang balat ko…ang mukha ko. Mauunawaan niya dahil matalino siya tulad ko rin, kaya nga ako naging abogado para malaman ko kung paanong paikutan ang mga batas. Ganoon ako katalino kaya nga dapat sana ay wala akong kasalanan until proven in court, o hangga’t hindi bumigay ang istaring na dummy na may intsik na pangalan.

Sana ako si Binay upang magawa ko ang mga pag-ako, o di naman kaya ay mabuyo ko ang anak ko na gawin ito, at nang matapos na ang usapang pangungurakot ko daw. Kawawa kasi ang taong bayan dahil nasasapawan na ang ibang isyu na dapat ay mapag-usapan tulad ng trilyones na badyet 2015 na pinaglalawayan ng mga buwaya sa kongreso at senado. Malamang nilakihan ng mga “brod” ko ang badyet upang masigurong may maipamudmod sa mga Pilipinong katulad kong mahirap at nagugutom ayon sa DSW, pagdating ng kampanyahan sa 2016. Alam kong may pagkabanal ang hinahangad kong ito, at alam ko ring 100% na tama…abogado yata ako, maraming alam, kaya nga maski mali ay nagagawa kong palabasing tama. Dahil sa kagalingan kong ito, maraming naiinggit, pinupulitika ako.

Ako na ito, ang manunulat, na nagsasabing opinion kong pansarili ang inilahad ko kung sakaling sumanib ang ispiritu ko kay Binay. Sa isang banda, huwag mag-alala ang mga spokesperson ni Binay dahil wala akong hangad na mang-agaw ng eksena. Kung gusto nila, paghatian na lang nila ang sentensiya pagdating ng panahon…kanila na lang. Lumalabas din lang sa bibig nila ang animo ay mga galing sa diwa ni Binay, i- all the way na nila ang pagsalita na para na ring si Binay, kasama na ang pa-humble epek nito sa harap ng mga TV camera…dahil mahirap lang siya…at maitim, hindi mestizo tulad ng mga kalaban niya.

The Crucial Binay Case

The Crucial Binay Case

By Apolinario Villalobos

The Binay case will bring to light, who among the contenders to the presidency, deserves the post. While the Binay camp is obviously rattled under the pressure of mounting evidences that include authentic testimonies, it went beyond decency by requesting a meeting with the President. The latter move boomeranged, proving that Binay is surrounded with unthinking counselors, for arrogantly releasing statements that it was the President who initiated the meeting, which of course, the latter vehemently denied. The denial of the President, added to the already deepening humiliation of the desperate Binay camp.

A certain Atty. J Bautista even had the temerity to show himself during the Senate hearing and “lectured” on the committee. As he started speaking, viewers and listeners confirmed their suspicion that the guy is just a typical lawyer who want to make impressions even to the extent of making nonsensical statements. Sitting beside empty seats, J Baurtista was a forlorn picture of a helpless boy who lost a toy! His antics made viewers wonder if indeed, he is a lawyer.

Jonvic Remulla made a mistake in emphasizing smilingly in front of TV cameras that the billings and receipts showed by former Makati Vice-mayor Mercado do not hold water as regards the Binays’ ownership of a log cabin at Tagaytay Highlands. The fact that nobody can be issued such documents if he does not own any property inside the high-end housing complex has already been stated during the hearing, such being a prevalent practice, so that the effort of Jonvic in blatantly thwarting the documents’ purpose, just earned him added ridicule.

Jonvic Remulla should have distanced himself from the Binay case in the first place. As the Revillas are becoming more unpopular, the Caviteños turned to Jonvic Remulla as their hope in regaining the respect for their tainted image. For them, he was clean, until he dipped his fingers in the Binay case, even proudly championing the questionable honesty of VP Binay, as spokesperson. He should have used his wise judgment if he wants a clean image as a staunch fighter for justice which was expected of him, ever since he entered the political arena after so many years of absence of a representative from his clan. Now, his political opponents in Cavite must be rejoicing.

The latest Senate hearing, conducted on October 22, put to fore how greed could make a person sacrifice anything in favor of a selfish quest. Tony Tiu, an accused dummy of the Binays, vehemently claims with arrogance his being an honest businessman, until from his lips came information about his political ambition. Simple analysis would show that Tiu was banking on the Binays to prop up his ambitions both for more financial gain and a crack at politics. Despite the technical facts pointing to his just being a “rights owner” of the Hacienda Binay in Rosario, Cavite, he kept on insisting otherwise. His brave allegations when interviewed a day before were crushed one by one during the hearing, yet, he desperately tried to make a gallant stand to show his “honesty”. His classmates in a reputable school could be squirming in their seats while focusing their attention to TV monitors at home, seeing his helpless look. The disastrous performance of his businesses shown on TV, just pushed the guy deeper down the muck of embarrassment. Gone now is the image that he has been desperately trying to project as a “successful” businessman. Questions are mounting as to how he got the billions as his personal asset, that he has been mumbling to show that in no way could he become a dummy of the Binays, as he can afford to be equally rich as they.

The composure of Allan Peter Cayetano earned him more respect. His calm statements showed that he knows what he has been doing. Statements were carefully weighed and never did he stammer, even showing humility in making an apology for a slight and insignificant oversight. Not even the arrogant, nonsensical ranting of a JV Bautista changed his facial expression, at the end, even thanking the guy for showing up on his own, unlike VP Binay who kept on snubbing invitations. All the way, throughout the proceedings, he exhibited unquestionable intelligence.

Cayetano expertly showed how the Binays desperately, are trying to hide their ownership of properties by not registering them in their name, as in the case of estates, although, payments have been effected. The municipal towns in Cavite surrounding the Hacienda Binay have alleged that their records do not show any Binay property. Very clearly, Tony Tiu, though with a hint of confusion, insists on his ownership of the hacienda although honestly claiming that what he paid does not represent the total value of the property. The picture shown during the hearing was, with Tiu “owning” the hacienda at this time, with the title to be given him as soon as he completed the payment within at least two years. Meantime he “uses” the land to supposedly plant exportable vegetables. But the catch is that if he “fails” to pay the total value within the allotted period at least two years from now, the property reverts back to the “real owner”. The year is a little beyond 2016 – past the election period for president. Binay is moving heaven and earth to be in Malacaῆan, by then, during which, promised protections for sacrificing allies would have been secured – if he will make it. That is how Cayetano explained the scenario of how corrupt officials hide ill-gotten wealth.

As usual, the pluckiness of Senator Trillanes did not help him much to gain a good impression. He still is the guy who easily gives in to pressure, easily intimidated, as several times, he almost became unreasonable in his statements. He allowed himself, to be overcome by hatred.

Meanwhile, VP Binay has the gall to go around Mindanao and campaign for his quest. He is so shamelessly vocal about it this early, which shows a lack of decency on his part. He makes use of his power as housing czar to gain popularity by distributing housing units which the recipients deserve, in the first place. His desperation reached its climax when he approached the president for help to bail him out of the scandalous Senate hearing, thinking that he is a “valuable family friend”. He shamelessly failed.

The Binay campaign slogan about what happened in Makati during his time can happen to the Philippines when he becomes the president, has become more appropriate as the Senate hearing is gaining grounds in exposing unthinkable anomalies. What Filipinos now think is that, if indeed, Binay makes it as president, what happened in Makati could indeed, woefully happen to the whole Philippines. Some say, the Binays may even convert the whole country into a vast business empire!…with the Filipinos subsisting on cakes, instead of rice!

Plundering to the Max…only in the Philippines

Plundering to the Max

…only in the Philippines

By Apolinario Villalobos

With the recent bomb that exploded, that of the ill-gotten wealth of the Binays that consist a sprawling hacienda in Rosario, Batangas, exposed by the whistle blower, former Vice-Mayor of Makati, Ernesto Mercado, the reputation of the country’s ailing political system which is best with exploitation and corruption is further pushed down the bog of shame. The Binays, as usual, shouted “politics…!”

The whistle blower has been spontaneous in delivering his statements, without a single stutter of apprehension or doubt, having worked in the hacienda in 1992 onward as a farm hand or “boy”, until he became the Vice-Mayor of Makati. It purportedly started with a five-hectare farm for an experimental 50-head piggery, purchased out of his attorney’s fee. The people of Makati City should be seething with anger and regret for having given their trust and confidence to the Binay family who made use of big projects as fronts for their plundering. The controversial hacienda with air-conditioned piggery, vast orchidarium, man-made lagoon, garden copied from the royal garden of London, fighting cock hatchery, and hi-tech features, is connected to the mega-plundering in Makati, being the source of the fund for expansion and operation, according to Mercado. The unwritten rule for a successful plunder is …bigger project, bigger commission.

Senator Allan Cayetano detailed how the Binays moving heaven and earth to waylay trackers o their ill-gotten wealth by using dummy corporations that went through a series of purchase and transfers. The same incorporators and offices have the same business address in Makati. Also, some are partners in the law firm of Congresswoman Binay. Some corporation doesn’t even have a contact number, just a website, perhaps for show of ownership, as is always the case. One corporate member has been found to be living in a government housing project putting the question to the fore, on his affordability.

The Binays are trying their best to come up with big projects supposedly to maximize the “benefis” to be enjoyed by their unsuspecting constituents. That is the image that the father, the mother and the son are trying to show to the people of Makati and ….hopefully to the rest of the Filipinos. They are too keen in manifesting that, what they have done and still doing to “uplift” the lot of Makati constituents can also be done for the whole country…a good move, indeed, for a family that dreams of living in Malacaῆan Palace. In so doing, they sort of made it clear that the people of Makati owe them a lot, for their “benevolent” act. And, they want such “benevolence” spread throughout the country, with hope against hope, if Jejomar Binay makes it as President in 2016. So God forbids, the country is again facing another threat of widespread familial corruption!

The 350-hectare Binay hacienda in Batangas could just be a tip of the iceberg of corruption that has been floating in the midst of the Filipinos after the toppling of Ferdinand Marcos, who was hated for his dictatorship. Investigations should also be made to the unremitting denuding of forests due to illegal logging which is purportedly controlled by an aging politician now facing a plunder case, and the incessant mining that hideously pockmarks beachfronts and once abundant rice fields in the northern region of the country, behind which are government officials including those in the local units. Acquisitions of the other officials, especially, those with vast tract of “acquired” land in Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Quezon, Batangas, and Cavite should also be made.

The shameless plundering to the max happens only in the Philippines. Plundering has become the ardent, albeit, covert desire of every ambitious Filipino to join the scramble in the filthy political arena. They are sure, that a return to their financial investment during campaigns that now shamelessly involves vote buying, will more than quadruple halfway through their term. Such heartless and hideous act has become a good business in the country. Gone is the noble intention of humble politicians who made it through the arduous election, to serve the country and the people, as promised in their oath, while the palm of their left hand solemnly rests on the Bible, and their right hand with open palm, is raised with equal soberness…as they highlight such promise with a sincere… “so help me God…”.

Corruption in the country comes singly, committed by a lone member of the family…conjugally, committed by the husband and wife…also, familially, committed by the whole family!