The “Other Side” of Divisoria (Manila, Philippines)

The “Other Side” of Divisoria (Manila, Philippines)

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

While Divisoria has always been known as the shoppers’ Mecca, especially, during Christmas, there is” another side” of it which I do not want to present as an image of poverty but that of perseverance, patience, and honest endeavor. This is the “other Divisoria” which many people just refuse to see as it might cause them to puke! The accompanying photos show how these honest Filipinos contentedly strive to live in sheer honesty.

 

The skeptics always say, “it is their fault for going to Manila and suffer deprivation”. These hypocrite skeptics have  TV, radio, and occasionally read newspapers, so they should know that the provinces from where these people who are eking out an honest living on the “other side” of Divisoria, are infested with NPAs, Abu Sayyaf, opportunistic landlords, and loan sharks. For the arrogant, the world is just for those who can afford to live decently. On the other hand, as these skeptics have not endured days of hunger, they may not understand how it is to make a difficult decision to live a hand-to-mouth life in Manila by scavenging in garbage dumps, rather than die of hunger and be in constant fear for dear life in the province.

 

It is true that the slums have been in existence for many decades now, but there would be no slums had the government ever since the time the nation has become independent, did not get infested with corrupt lawmakers and officials. The slums have been around since the time that deprivation and exploitation have been propagated by learned Filipinos who found their way in the halls of Congress and Senate, as well as, agencies, even at the helm of the government. Unfortunately, the seed of exploitation has grown into an uncontrollable proportion today, making corruption as wrongly and unfairly viewed to be always a part of the Filipino culture.

 

The striving people from the slums near Divisoria, and other districts of Manila, in this regard, may be viewed by the arrogant as akin to dogs and cats, because of their many children, oftentimes making them utter unsavory remark, such as, “they know they are poor, yet, they keep on having children”.

 

How I wish these skeptics can also openly, make biting remarks –

  • to the corrupt politicians and government officials, such as, “they graduated from prestigious universities and colleges, yet, they do not know what is right or wrong”

 

  • to the filthy rich, such as, “they have plenty of money, yet they can’t even throw a piece of bread to a beggar”

 

  • to the stiff-necked Catholic priests, pastors, and other religious ministers such as, “they are supposed to be representatives of the Lord, but they can’t afford to take a look at the spiritually hungry”

 

Finally, compared to the disgusting hypocrites, loan sharks, corrupt government officials, arrogant “religious ministers” and conscienceless rich, who are supposed to be learned and intelligent, the people who honestly make a living such as those who belong to the “other side” of Divisoria, are worthy to be called creatures of God – true human beings…slum denizens who are viewed by aforementioned with utter repugnance.

 

(This blog will definitely, not hurt those who do not belong to the mentioned “classes” of loathsome Filipinos.)

 

 

Plans, Promises, and Pleadings of Candidates During Philippine Electoral Campaigns

Plans, Promises, and Pleadings of

Candidates During Philippine Electoral Campaigns

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

The electoral campaigns in the Philippines are treated by Filipinos as both spectacle and financial opportunity. Candidates assume different convincing facial expressions as they blurt out plans and promises if they are voted to the position and these are spiced up with pleadings that are made colorful with courteous vernacular words such as, “po”, “ho”, “opo”, “oho”, “natin”. Audiences are entertained by singers and dancers from the showbiz industry. Virtually, during electoral campaigns, corrupt personalities become saintly, and worse, demean themselves by being funny as they take the risk of being ridiculed – all in the name of the dirty Philippine politics. As a financial opportunity, well….vote-buying is done in the open, no question about that.

 

Mar Roxas plans to transfer the Manila International Airport to Clark Airbase. He must be dizzy when he mentioned this during an interview. He forgot about the terribly unpredictable traffic along the South Luzon Expressway going through which would take at least three hours before a motorist from Metro Manila could make it to the first Bulacan town. The reality is, if one would come from the Metro Manila area, he or she has to muster, yet, any of the hellish traffic along EDSA, Pasay, Roxas Boulevard, Commonwealth and Rizal Avenue. Passengers are used to reaching the airport today from their residence within the city or the suburbs such as Cavite, Laguna, Novaliches, and Antipolo in just about two or three hours depending on the unpredictable traffic. With the transfer of the airport to Clark, they must allow at least six hours, inclusive of the two hours leeway for the check-in before the published departure time. Worst is if the passenger will have to commute by bus to Clark. To be safe, a passenger will have to spend for an overnight somewhere around Clark Air Base if he or she is taking a flight the following day. Even if the government will offer free shuttle service, the same hellish traffic  will be dealt with along the way.

 

Roxas keeps on promising the continuance of the programs of the administration to which he is so much attached as if with strong sentimentality. What is there to continue, anyway?…the obvious inept and insensitive attitude?…and still, another big question is, has there been anything accomplished that benefits at least the majority of the impoverished? If he is talking about the cash being doled out, such program is still being questioned, as in some areas it is allegedly tainted with graft.  If he is talking about the “progress” based on statistics, this too, is being viewed as dubiously self-serving. He should also, not forget that the administration still has to answer many questions as regards the fate of donations for the typhoon Yolanda victims, aside from so many other issues with the hottest, as the Mamasapano massacre and the purported well-concealed pork barrel in the just-approved budget. It would do him good at least, if he scraps out the “tuwid na daan” from his campaign statements and just promise what he can do. He should make people believe in his capability, not in his association with Aquino whose reputation is debatable. As for being not corrupt, he could claim that.

 

Duterte is promising to eradicate criminality and corruption in six months or he would resign. Unless heads will roll at least within the first two months upon his assumption if elected, he better be prepared with a resignation statement. How can he control the undisciplined and financially-pampered Congress? For a town, city, or province, this may be possible, but not for a nation whose law-making bodies got calloused with corruption.

 

Binay on the other hand, keeps on saying that he is not corrupt. He must be imagining that the Filipinos are idiot! It is suggested that the word “corrupt” be not ever mentioned in any of his campaign ads, or uttered by him. He should, instead, promise hospitals and terminal buildings to be built during his incumbency…and find out if his listeners will boo him just like what he experienced in Cebu.

 

Candidates for the 2016 election know that plans and promises during the past electoral campaigns were made to be broken, so they will do it, too. They should not be meddling in politics if they are not honestly aware of this fact. Those that will come after them will again make promises, propose plans, and plead, as expected. During the electoral campaign that will follow, it will be done again….still, again and again…..a vicious cycle of the dirty Philippine politics!

 

 

Ang Mga Laglagan sa Pilipinas

Ang Mga Laglagan sa Pilipinas

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Ilang buwan pa lang ang nakararaan, laglag-bala ang mainit na isyu. Ang mahigpit na pag-kontrol sa mga airport upang maiwasan ang pagpuslit ng mga deadly ammunition ay okey na sana subalit nasilipan ng butas ng ilang tiwali sa airport dahil sa paniniwala ng mga Pilipino sa bala bilang agimat. Dahil sa katiwalian na iyan, maraming tanga at may matigas na ulong Pilipino ang nawalan ng trabaho sa ibang bansa dahil napigilan sa pagsakay sa eroplano dahil lamang sa iisang balang nakita sa kanilang bagahe. Maraming tangang Pilipino ang umaming nagdadala talaga ng bala sa abroad upang pananggalang daw nila laban sa pag-aabuso ng employer. May mga natanggal na ring mga inspector ng bagahe dahil kahit obvious na talagang walang laman ang bala dahil ang tinuturing na agimat lang talaga ay ang tansong basyo, pinagpipilitan pa rin na “deadly ammunition” daw ito. Bakit nga naman nila palalampasin ang pagkakataon ganoong, ang “pakiusapan” ay may presyong mula 2 thousand hanggang 8 thousand pesos???!!!

 

Sa pinakapangit na airport pa rin sa buong mundo, ayon sa survey – ang Manila International Airport Terminal 3, laglag-kisame naman ang isyu. May nasugatan, banyagang turista pa, mabuti na lang at hindi nasaktan ang kanyang asawang Pilipina at anak. Nag-apologize ang manager ng airport subalit hindi pa rin ito sapat. Bago nangyari ang paglaglag ng kisame sa coffee shop, ay nagkaroon na rin ng laglagan bago pa man binuksan para sa operasyon ang Terminal 3, at nang nag-ooperate na, nagkalaglagan pa rin ng dalawang beses. Ibig sabihin, ang diperensiya ay ang mahinang “original” na kisame o suporta nito, kaya siguradong ang bagong kisameng ikakabit ay madadamay. “It’s more fun in the Philippines” pa rin kaya ang sasabihin ng pinakahuling nasaktan na turista?

 

Nilaglag ni Aquino si Purisima kung kaylan sobra na ang alingasaw ng amoy ng “teamwork” nila. Nilaglag din ng administrasyon si Vitangcol ang sinasabing palpak at nangurakot sa mga deals at management ng MRT, pero under investigation, as usual, at pinagduduhan pa . Latest kay Vitangcol: humihingi ng tulong sa PAO para bigyan ng libreng abogado! Ang kakapalan nga naman ng mukha kung umiral! Yan ang problema sa mga tauhan ni Pnoy, ginagawang tanga ang mga Pilipino….gusto ba namang magkaroon ng abogadong ang nagpapasuweldo ay taong bayan na sinasabing niloko niya! Walang delikadesa!

 

May mga laglagan na rin sa pulitika bago sumapit ang election 2016. Nilaglag ni Pnoy Aquino si Mar Roxas nang i-veto niya ang batas para sa dagdag na 2 libo sa pension ng mg SSS retirees. Sa mga hindi nakakahalata, binago ni Roxas ang kanyang political ad dahil sinimplehan lang, walang music background, at ang dialogue tungkol sa tuwid na daan ay dinugtungan niya ng “pupunuan ko kung may kakulangan, iwawasto ang mali, at hindi ako nagnakaw….”. Malinaw na patutsada kay Pnoy na mula’t sapul ay walang bilib sa kanya. Nilaglag din daw ni Escudero si Grace Poe subalit deny to death naman siya sa isang interview…pero truthful ba siya?

Ang Kawawang Kalagayan ng Maraming Pensiyonado ng Social Security System (SSS) ng Pilipinas

Ang Kawawang Kalagayan ng Maraming Pensiyonado

ng Social Security System (SSS) ng Pilipinas

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Kawawa talaga ang kalagayan ng karamihan sa mga pensiyonado ng Social Security System (SSS) ng Pilipinas. Sa isang banda, ang hindi kawawa ay ang mga dati nang may kaya sa buhay bago nagtrabaho at ang mga namuno sa SSS mismo na milyon-milyon ang sweldo. Ayon sa balita, ang SSS ay may 7 Senior Vice-Presidents at 16 Vice-Presidents. Ang mga sweldo at bonus nila ay milyon-milyon din daw, pati ang mga allowances na kasama ang gastusin para sa mga alagang hayop o pet at grocery. Wala ring aalalahaning problema sa pensiyon ang mga kurakot na opisyal ng gobyerno dahil kapag nag-retire na ay siguradong milyon-milyon  na rin ang naipon nila na kayang ipamana maski sa mga apo sa tuhod.

 

Samantala, ang mga nag-retire nang mga miyembro ng SSS ay nagtitiis sa barya-baryang pensiyon. Nauunawaan naman ang sistemang binabatay ang pensiyon sa buwanang naiambag ng miyembro, kaya mayroong nagpepensiyon ng minimum na mahigit lang ng kaunti sa isang libo kada buwan dahil sa ikli ng panahon ng pag-ambag at kaunting halagang naiambag. May iba pang batayan sa pagminuta o pag-compute ng pensiyon kaya lumalabas na ang iba, kahit ang dating trabaho ay foreman ng mga kargador sa pantalan ay mahigit sampung libo ang pensiyon kung ihambing sa ibang manager na mahigit lang sa 7,000 pesos.  Ang masakit nga lang ay ang katotohanang nagpabaya ang SSS sa paglikom ng mga naiambag ng mga empleyado na kinaltas ng kanila-kanilang switik na mga employer kaya hindi lumalago ang pondo upang maging batayan sa pagpalaki rin ng pensiyon ng mga retirado. Kadalasan din, ang mga aktibo pa sa trabaho ay hindi rin malapag-loan dahil hindi nire-remit ng kanilang switik na employer ang kanilang contribution. Ayon sa balita ay wala pang 40% ang pinakahuling nalikom ng ahensiya batay sa kabuuhan ng mga miyembro, na sa kasalukuyan ay umaabot na sa 31milyon.

 

Nangangamba daw ang SSS dahil pagdating ng 2029 ay maaapektuhan ang pondo kung ibibigay sa 2milyong pensiyonado ang 2 libong pisong dagdag sa bawat pensiyon kada buwan kaya hindi inaprubahan ni Pnoy Aquino. Ayon naman sa gumawa ng panukala sa Kongreso na si Cong. Colmenares, dapat nga raw ang minimum na pensiyon ngayon ng retiradong miyembro ay 7,000 pesos. Marami daw namang paraan upang mahabol ang pagpalago ng pondo nito, tulad ng nabanggit nang  pagpapa-ibayo pa sa paglikom ng mga ambag, at pag-streamline o pagbawas ng mga “top-level managers” na malamang ay nagkakapareho o nag-ooverlap  ang mga responsibilidad. At lalong higit ay ang pagbawas ng mga nakakalula nilang allowances at mga bonus!

 

Sa Pilipinas, ang mga retirado ay hindi nabibigyan ng pagkakataong maging empleyado pagtuntong ng ika-60 na taong gulang. Ang may gulang na 40 nga ay itinuturing nang “overaged” ng ilang employers. May iilang nai-extend ang trabaho subalit hindi na regular ang status nila kundi “Consultant” hanggang umabot sa gulang na 65, kaya ang turing sa suweldo nila ay “Consultancy fee” na wala na ring benepisyo tulad ng allowances na kung tawagin ay “perks”. Ito yong mga nasa “senior management level” na ang saklaw ay mula manager hanggang Senior Vice-president, pero ang mga performance bago mag-retire ay namumukod-tangi, o yong may mga dating responsibilidad na napakahalahaga sa pagpapatakbo ng negosyo o opisina. Ang mga nasa supervisory at rank-and-file level naman ay napakanipis ang pag-asang ma-extend bilang “Consultant”. Ang matindi pa, malimit ay hindi agad naibibigay ang retirement o separation pay kaya ang pag-follow up lang at pamasahe ay problema din. Dahil sa mga nabanggit, pagkatanggap ng separation pay o pensiyon ay makakaltasan na agad ng pambayad sa mga inutang na pamasahe at panggastos sa pamilya nang panahong nagpa-follow up ang nag-retire!

 

May nakausap akong retirado na ang ginagawa ay hinahati ang tabletang gamot na nireseta ng doktor upang tumagal kaysa naman daw mawalan siya ng maiinom dahil hindi kasya ang kanyang pensiyong pambili. Ang iba naman ay hindi na komukunsulta sa doktor kahit masama ang pakiramdam dahil mababawasan ang badyet na pambili ng pagkain. Ang iba pa ay dalawang beses na lang kumakain sa isang araw, at sa halip na isaing ang bigas ay nilulugaw na lang. Nang tanungin ko kung bakit minimum lang ang pensiyon nila, ang sagot sa akin ay dahil hindi permanente ang trabaho nila noon, mabuti nga daw at nakumpleto pa nila ang pag-ambag sa SSS hanggang sa sila ay mag-retire. Hindi naman daw sila nagkulang ng pagpursige sa paghanap ng trabaho subalit talagang wala daw silang makita noong kalakasan pa nila. May mga retirado akong nakausap na nagsabing kapag namamasyal sila sa park o mall ay may bitbit silang mga shopping bag na malaki o backpack para lagyan ng mga junks na mapupulot, lalo na plastic na bote ng mineral water o lata ng soft drinks dahil kahit papaano ang maliit na kita sa mga ito ay nakakatulong din.

 

Sa mga mauunlad na bansa, kahit malaki  ang kaltas sa suweldo ng mga empleyado para sa buwis at ambag sa social security ay sigurado naman ang mga benepisyo nila dahi ang pagpapa-ospital, gamot, at pagpapa-aral sa mga anak ay libre. Ang ibang hindi gaanong maunlad na bansa naman ay maliit ang kinakaltas sa suweldo para sa buwis at social security, na ang pinakamalaki ay hindi umaabot sa 20%, subalit magaganda pa rin ang kanilang mga benepisyo. Sa Pilipinas naman, ang kinakaltas sa suweldo ng mga empleyado ay mahigit 30% subalit wala halos katumbas na matinong benepisyo. Ito yata ang sinasabi ng pangulo ng bansang si Benigno S. Aquino III na “matuwid na daan”….at saan naman patungo?….sa pagkagutom?

 

Mahirap talagang magkaroon ng presidenteng hindi nakadanas ng kahirapan sa buhay. Ang problema sa pensiyon ng SSS ay dumaan din sa ilalim ng nakaraang mga administrasyon, at lalong lumala sa panahon ni Pnoy Aquino ngayon. Kung sa halip na puro sisi ang ginagawa niya sa nakaraang administrasyon ay nagpakasipag na lang siya bilang presidente, sana kahit kapiraso ay may maipagpasalamat sa kanya ang mga Pilipino.

 

A Closer Look at the Filipino “Nationalistic” Groups

A Closer Look at the Filipino “Nationalistic” Groups

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Even during the administration of Ferdinand Marcos, there were already problems with China as regards the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea, separatist movements and kidnapping in Mindanao, as well as, with Malaysia as regards Sabah, and most especially, corruption in the government. The same problems were inherited by subsequent administrations. But the “nationalistic” groups were more concerned in shouting invectives against America in front of the US Embassy and in burning effigies of American and Filipino presidents. They did not lift a finger in helping the government in its effort to recover Sabah, and not a single rally was held in front of the Chinese Embassy to express their revulsion over the issue on West Philippine Sea. Not even a question was raised as regards the effectiveness of the military against the separatist movement and kidnappings in Mindanao because of its inadequate facilities due to misused funds intended for its modernization. These groups cannot even lay claim on the success in deposing Marcos, because the religious groups and ordinary citizens were the ones responsible for such success.

 

Despite the open reclamations of China in the West Philippine Sea, these groups were silent, although, belatedly, they somehow held a lightning rally or two, after such, nothing was heard from them again. Despite the ongoing activities of the Abu Sayyaf and separatist groups in Mindanao, they remained silent. The overly grisly Maguindanao and Mamasapano massacres did not entice them a bit to make a move to show their support to the victims. Despite the moving of justice system at a snail’s pace and unabated proliferation of foreign “investors” who are exploiting the natural resources around the country, nothing is heard from them, too.  And despite the blatant control of domestic medium-scale trading in the country by these foreign “investors”, still nothing is heard from these groups.

 

After the announcement of the Supreme Court’ decision favoring the legality of the US military presence in the country, these groups suddenly came to life. They maintain their claim that such decision shall lead to the construction of the permanent US bases in the country when in fact, nothing of that sort is mentioned in the agreement.

 

They claim that the continued presence of the American soldiers in the country will lead to the revival of sex- related industry which is not true. Even without the presence of US bases, there is uncontrolled proliferation of the sex trade via the internet, bars and massage parlors, even in the decent districts of Metro Manila.  But still, if they want, they can knock at the doors of Congress and Senate for laws that shall control this kind of industry, and which should be appropriate for the time. On the other hand, they are supposed to know that even the local government can control such industry. And, just what have they done on the issue of poverty that contributed to the fast growth of such industry in the country? They should caution the sex workers if they are really bent on helping their countrymen involved in sex trade which needs to be treated as a separate issue, instead of using this alibi in pursuing their “nationalistic” objective. They seem to be blind to the fact that various sex deals are flourishing even without the issue on the US military presence in the Philippines due to weak national laws and LGU regulations that reek with corrupt motives.

 

What dedication to advocacy are they talking about when some of them are even holding passports stamped with US visa?  If these groups are really serious in their advocacy, why don’t they hold rallies against the ongoing corruption in the country and the vote-buying, a political tradition that got deeply-entrenched in the Filipino culture? Why don’t they consistently hold rallies for the removal of department secretaries who are being questioned on the issues of smuggling, ghost NGOs, drug trafficking, illegal recruitment, and deplorable state of mass transit facilities such as LRT and MRT, etc. Why don’t they consistently hold rallies for the removal of the president, if they find him to be ineffective just like what was done during the time of Marcos? Why don’t they hold rallies against the unfulfilled promise of the government to modernize the military facilities after prime public properties were sold to foreign investors? Why don’t they picket outside the detention facilities where the Ampatuans are, to show their disgust over the hideous crime that they purportedly committed? These are what the Filipinos want to see and expect from them, as they claim to be “nationalistic” and pro-Filipino.

 

Obviously, the Philippines has been under a long-tested democracy which unfortunately proved ineffective due to its loop-holed system that led to the propagation of various forms of corruption. And, this is what the left-wing groups want to be changed to a more “nationalistic” system. But what do they mean by “nationalistic”?…a communism-inspired system?

 

By the way, I just want to make myself clear that not all nationalistic Filipinos have a communistic mentality.

 

 

Ang Hamunan nina Roxas at Duterte ay Pagpapakita ng Maruming Pulitika sa Pilipinas

Ang Hamunan nina Roxas at Duterte

ay Pagpapakita ng Maruming Pulitika sa Pilipinas

ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Ang namumukod-tanging katangian ng pulitika sa Pilipinas ay pagiging marumi nito. Ang mga kandidato ay nagbabatuhan ng mga putik. Kaya may kasabihan sa Pilipinas na kung ayaw mong mabisto ang katauhan mo ay huwag kang pumasok sa pulitika. Ang dahilan noong-noon pa ng mga pulitiko, na “pagtulong sa kapwa” ang dahilan ng pagpasok nila sa pulitika ay pinagtatawanan na ngayon. Sinasabi pa ng iba na ang pulitika ay isa sa mga larangan kung saan ay yayaman ang isang tao – na unfair naman sa mga talagang walang intensiyong mangurakot….ng malaki. Tanggap naman ang 10% na komisyon na ang tawag noon pa man ay “for the boys”, na ayaw pa ngang tanggapin ng iba dahil nakakahiya sa sinumpaan nilang tungkulin. Ang masama lang kasi sa ibang nanalo at nakaupo na sa puwesto, hindi lang 70% ang gustong kurakutin, kundi 100% dahil ang project ay hanggang papel lang!

 

Hindi sana umabot sa hamunan ang dalawang kandidato sa pagka-pangulo ng bansa kung hindi sana pinakialaman ni Roxas ang nananahimik na Davao City. Alam naman niyang alagang-alaga ito ni Duterte pati na ng mga Davaweἧo, pati ng mga taong nakatira sa mga bayang nakapaligid dito. Kung papansinin, nagpakumbaba pa nga si Duterte nang punahin ang pagmumura niya at tinanggap pa ang “lecture” ng Obispo sa Davao City. Ito ay pakita lang na okey sa kanyang punahin ang mga personal niyang pagkakamali sa mata ng mga moralista, pero ang kantihin ang inaalagaan niyang katahimikan sa Davao na kung ilang taon din niyang nilinis at pinatahimik ay maituturing na “below the belt”.

 

Nang gantihan naman ni Duterte si Roxas tungkol sa nakakadudang pag-graduate niya sa hindi naman gaanong kilalang eskwelahan sa Amerika, pumalag din siya. Ngayon ay nagsisisi siya dahil pati ang kredibilidad niya sa larangan ng edukasyon na isa sa mga pinagmamalaki niya ay nalagay sa balag ng alanganin. Dahil sa panggagalaiti niya, marami tuloy ay nagsasabing baka nga totoong hanggang kodakan lang ang pag-graduate niya  sa Amerika.

 

Ang daming maaaring ipaliwanag ni Roxas sa mga tao upang magkaroon ng linaw ang mga isyu na may kinalaman din sa sinasandalan niyang presidente ng Pilipinas…bakit hindi na lang niya dito ituon ang kanyang effort sa pangangampanya? Bakit kailangang siraan pa niya si Duterte na nananahimik na nga? Mag-concentrate na lang sana siya sa “tuwid na daan” na pinangako niyang ipagpapatuloy, para marami pang mahatak kung sakali. Huwag na niyang pakialaman si Duterte na ang kapalaran ay nasa kamay ng COMELEC. Sa ginagawa niya, halatang ninenerbiyos siya dahil malakas ang hatak pareho ni Duterte at Poe. Mukhang pumalpak na naman ang campaign machinery na tumutulak kay Roxas.

 

Sa interbyu kay Duterte sa isang radio station sa Manila tungkol sa kanyang pagkandidato, nakiusap siya sa mga sumusuporta sa kanya na maging mahinahon at itigil na ang pagbabanta ng “rebolusyon” kung siya ay ma-disqualify. Bukambibig niya ang pagtanggap ng disqualification  kung ito ang desisyon ng COMELEC, kaya sinabi pa niya na kung maaari ay ituon din ng mga sumusuporta sa kanya ang atensiyon nila sa ibang mga kandidato, upang makapili sila ng karapat-dapat kung sakali ngang siya ay ma-disqualify. Pinapakita ni Duterte na hindi siya sakim, dahil ang gusto lamang niya ay maging realistic ang mga supporter niya batay sa mga umiiral na sitwasyon. Sa isang banda, malinaw pa rin ang pahayag niya na hindi siya umuurong sa pagtakbo bilang presidente ng Pilipinas.

 

Lenny Robredo should stop being Tactless by Attacking the Campaign Style of Duterte

Lenny Robredo should Stop Being Tactless

By Attacking the Campaign Style of Duterte

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Lately, Duterte was practically forced to declare that if Lenny Robredo does not like him, she does not like her also. In the past, Duterte was mum about Robredo as the running mate of Roxas. Many are wondering what made her utter such unsavory remarks about Duterte which is more personal than political. First her ad lines, such as giving her all if voted to the position, gave her an ugly trapo image…and now she is personally attacking Duterte by saying that she does not like his campaign style. She has no business in saying that because they are vying for different national positions. It would be a pity if she did that to show Pnoy and the Liberal Party that she is worth the opportunity given to her despite the fact that she was the last choice. Clearly, she is showing a “sipsip” attitude, another mark of an ugly “trapo”.

 

She must remember that she is just a “beneficiary” of a grossly unfortunate circumstance – the death of her husband, Jess Robredo who, Filipinos know was not given much importance while still alive by the Aquino administration, as a “proposed cabinet official”, because until the time of his death, he was not confirmed as Secretary of DILG. In other words, I could surmise that had he not met the fatal accident, he would still be on acting capacity, knowing the attitude of the President. And, she would just be an obscure figure in their province. She also benefited from the culture of the Filipinos who “love” the downtrodden…the “inaapi”…the lowly “kasambahay”…and then she as the “widowed” helpless mother of female children whose father was an “inaapi” “acting secretary”.

 

If ever, she should present a personality that oozes with humility, and as an intelligent mother. She cannot show her worth by being feisty in attacking the person of those running against the candidates of “her” Liberal Party. As the Vice-President has no definite position in the government, she should instead, present her views on many issues that beset the country today, such as poverty, low wage, unemployment, influx of foreign exploiters of natural resources, the Lumads, street children, etc. With those, the voters will know that she is prepared for any position that will be given to her by the elected president, be it Roxas or somebody from the opposition.

 

If she is intelligent enough as what her followers are trying to project, she should think twice before doing the dirty trapo tricks because, even if she will be voted, especially, as the Filipinos deem that the administration is trying to move heaven and earth to save Aquino for being prosecuted if the opposition wins, the smear on her image will stay – as long as she lives…a taint on her late husband’s name…not hers.

The Insecurity of the President is Intensified with the onset of Election 2016

The Insecurity of the President is
Intensified with the onset of Election 2016
By Apolinario Villalobos

The early manifestation of the President’s insecurity in his refusal to fire unproductive cabinet secretaries was tolerated. But the irritation of the Filipinos went out of hand when they clamored for the removal of Allan Purisima from his post as Chief of the Philippine National Police.

With the onset of elections, another manifestation of insecurity of the highest official of the land is again showing, and this time, even loudly expressed, when he refused to give instruction to his Cabinet secretaries who plan to run in the coming election, to resign. The reason for the popular call to for these government officials is obvious – there is a great possibility for them to use their respective agency in campaigns.

Unlike the senators who can return to their jobs if they lost in the election, the cabinet secretaries do not have this option. This could be the reason why the president is in a quandary because he cannot just seem to trust others than those who are now in his “stable”. What insecurity, indeed!…no wonder he is called by some parties as “weakling”.