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.)
Umaayon si Pacquiao sa pananaw ni Binay na walang katotohanan ang mga ibinebentang sa kanyang katiwalian hangga’t hindi napapatunayan. Papaanong mapatunayan ni Binay na wala siyang kasalanan kung hindi naman siya umaatend ng mga hearing? Paano niyang mapatunayan na hindi galing sa nakaw ang yaman nila kung palaging idinadahilan niya ang “immunity” ng kanyang posisyon upang hindi siya mapuwersang dumalo sa mga hearing?
Nakakabahala ang ganitong pananaw dahil nagpapahiwatig ito na walang kasalanan ang isang nagnakaw kahit may mga ebidensiya pero hindi napatunayan sa husgado dahil sa galing ng kanyang abogado. Ang ganitong pananaw ay nagsasalamin ng hindi mapapagkatiwalaan sistema ng hustisya na pinapagalaw ng mga abogadong “matatalino” at ang serbisyo ay mayayaman lang ang may kakayahang umupa. Dahil diyan, maraming mga inosenteng mahirap na walang pambayad ng magaling na abogado ang nabubulok sa bilangguan.
Palaging may karugtong na “Diyos” at pa-English pang deklarasyon ng kanyang “faith” kuno tuwing magsalita si Pacquiao upang ipabatid na siya ay maka-Diyos, kaya tingin niya sa kanyang sarili ay isang mabuting tao. Nakakapanindig- balahibo ang ginagawa niyang pagmamalaki….kahindik-hindik, at isang karumal-dumal na kayabangan! Hindi dahil dasal siya nang dasal o di kaya ay panay ang pagbasa ng Bibliya ay mabuting tao na siya. Paano ang mga walang Bibliya dahil walang pambili? Sila ba, tulad ng mga bakla at tomboy, ay mas masahol din sa hayop dahil walang na-memorize na salita ng Diyos tulad niya?
Paano naging mabuti ang isang tao na nagsasabing inosente siya hangga’t hindi napapatunayan sa korte ang mga kasalanan niya, kahit sa kaibuturan ng kanyang diwa ay alam niyang may kasalanan talaga siya? Ang ganitong pananaw ay nagpapahiwatig ng karumal-dumal na kawalan ng konsiyensiya ng isang tao dahil kahit alam niyang may kasalanan siya pero kaya niyang kumuha ng isang matalino at magaling na mga abogado ay siguradong absuwelto siya.
Kung mananalo si Binay bilang presidente at si Pacquiao ay senador, hindi na mawawalan ng pangungurakot sa gobyerno dahil ang kasalanang ito ay kailangang patunayan PA sa korte, ayon sa kanilang pananaw. Hindi man sila ang gumawa ay gagawin ng iba dahil kaya nilang umupa ng magaling na abogado kahit mahal ang serbisyo. Yan ang sagot sa tanong kung kaylan pa may napatunayang nangurakot na malalaking opisyal sa matataas na puwesto ng gobyerno. Samantala ang mga kaso man lang ng mga kinurakot na pork barrel sa ilalim ng kasalukuyang administrasyon ay wala pa ring linaw hanggang ngayon.
Nakakatakot isipin na nabubuhay tayo ngayon sa panahong naglipana ang mga taong walang konsiyensiya. Silang tingin sa sarili ay maka-Diyos at hindi asal-hayop dahil panay ang basa ng Bibliya, pagdasal, at pag-attend ng prayer meetings, kaya mga “Kristiyano” kuno…ganoong ang nasa isip pala ay inosente sila sa mga kasalanang ginawa dahil hindi napatunayan sa korte!
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!
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?
The professional jealousy between the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is very obvious. No amount of cover-up can hide it. I have talked to a retired military officer and he told me that there is a popular impression in the AFP that the police is apparently pampered not only on the aspect of pay but benefits as well. My friend added that while the AFP soldiers who are exposed to the elements and danger of fired bullets from the enemy line in the field, the police field personnel comfortably commute to their posts on expensive motorcycles or stay in air-conditioned offices.
On the other hand, when I talked to a police friend, he told me that compared to the military, they are more “professional”, as they are degree holders, some even are lawyers, so they deserve appropriate compensation.
The Mamasapano massacre is one instance during which this animosity was manifested. Although, on papers, the two national security agencies are supposed to be “closely coordinating” with each other, in actual practice, there is much to be perceived. The two parties practically pointed accusing fingers at each other, for alleged negligence that led to the gruesome massacre of SAF44 at Tocanalipao, Mamasapano, Maguindanao Province (Mindanao). Until the re-opened Mamasapano hearing in the Senate has finally wrapped up, late in the afternoon of 27 January, 2016, the AFP and PNP are viewed as far from being reconciled.
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.
When I took the LRT to Sta. Cruz on the morning of January 10, 2016, I noticed that the driver was not making announcements about precautions and as we were approaching stations as part of their standard operating procedure. Instead of the announcement via the PA system, the security guard on board was making the announcement to the highest level of his voice that he could muster. I presumed the driver was not in the mood or just plain lazy, until I finally drew enough courage to ask the security guard why it was so. He told me that the PA system of the train I have taken was kaput…broken…wrecked, defunct – for several days.
While the LRT management may treat such breakdown a trivial matter, for the commuters, especially, those who are new in Manila, it is not. The announcement being made as the train approaches each station is an important information for the local and foreign visitors who are taking the “risk” of riding the LRT train despite the discouraging forewarnings from the media about its frequent breakdown. Without the announcement, those who are not familiar with the stations along the route must crane their neck to have a glimpse of the station signboard or ask other passengers, otherwise, they might overshoot their destination.
The joke today is that, if one plans to take the LRT or its “sister train of anguish”, the MRT, he or she must have an “allowance” of at least two hours. The two hours are for the trek along the rails to the nearest station when the train suddenly comes to a grinding stop….yes, grinding because of the frightening “metal to metal” screeching sound of the wheels. When there’s a downpour, pity are those without umbrella. When the sun is generous with its scorching rays, pity are those without the same contraption for shade.
The elevators are still out of order. The escalators are still resting. The toilets are still padlocked, except for one or two. But, fortunately, the employees are doing their best to be nice with their ever ready smile and uncomplaining stance even when four or five passengers one after another pay in crispy one thousand peso bill. These are the people in the lower rung of operation who are trying make up for the handicaps of the LRT system. Meanwhile, those at the top, including the DOTC secretary, Emilio Abaya, are so embarrassingly naïve to the situation that noisy calls for their resignation fall to deaf ears….theirs and those of the president of the nation, Benigno S. Aquino III.
Personally, wala pa akong nalamang may ginawang kapaki-pakinabang ang Commission on Human Rights (CHR). Ang napansin ko pa, kung may isyung matunog, saka ito pumapapel upang makisalo sa interes ng madla…yon bang gigitna din sa eksena upang masapol ng limelight at mga camera.
Nabahaw na lang ang isyu sa masaker ng 44 na miyembro ng SAF sa Mamasapano, Maguindanao, ay hindi man lang naringgan ng pahayag ang Komisyon na ito. Dahil kaya nananantiya at tila maraming masasagasaan lalo na ang Presidente? Kahit pa sinabing may mga kakasuhan daw na kung ilan ang DOJ – mga sundalo at mga rebelde, subali’t, ano naman ang ginawa ng CHR?
Nabaon na lang din sa kalimot ang Maguindanao Massacre ay wala ring narinig na maski paswit o matinis na sipol man lamang mula sa Komisyon na ito. Ang mga Ampatuan ay tila maaambunan ng grasya, kaya ang iba ay nakapag-piyansa na, at napapansin na rin ang kaluwagan sa kanila. Ano pa ang aasahan ng mga mahal sa buhay ng mga biktima kung ganito rin lang ang mangyayari? Wala bang “human rights” ang mga biktima at mga naghihinagpis na mahal nila sa buhay?
Ang mga iskwater na inilipat sa mga relocation sites na wala naman palang mga pasilidad na kailangan upang mabuhay ng maayos ay lalo pang naghirap, kaya ang iba ay nagsibalikan sa lunsod kung saan ay may mapupulot na basura upang ibenta…at upang may maipambili ng pagkain. Hindi ba “human rights” ang mabuhay kahit sa paraang isang kahig isang tuka? Hanggang tungkol lang ba sa mga bagay na may kinalaman sa pagpatay ang pakikialaman ng Komisyon na ito?
Ang mga Badjao at mga nagra-rugby na mga kabataang nagkalat sa kalye at bangketa, bakit hindi pakialaman ng CHR, ganoong nakita namang inutil din pala ang Department of Social Welfare pagdating sa bagay na ito? Hindi pakikialam kung sumawsaw ang Commission on Human Rights sa mga gawaing para sa mga tinukoy na mga taong dapat tulungan, kundi isang “pakikipagtulungan” sa mga ahensiyang dapat ay may direktang responsibilidad tulad ng Department of Social Welfare at mga local government units. Bakit hindi inspeksiyunin ng Komisyon na ito ang mga rehabilitation facilities ng mga local government units para sa mga kabataan? Baka ang iba ay wala pa ngang maayos na pansamantalang tirahan ng mga kabataan, kaya ang “social welfare office” ng ibang local government units ay hanggang referral lang, kahit may malaking budget naman!
Ang mga biktima ng mga illegal na recruiters, bakit hindi asikasuhin ng CHR, lalo pa at hindi pa sila miyembro ng OWWA? Ang mga nabibiktimang OFW sa ibang bansa, bakit ayaw pakialaman ng CHR sa tulong ng kanilang international counterpart? Akala ko ba, bawa’t bansa ay may Commission on Human Rights. Bakit hindi sila naririnig tuwing may dumadaing na mga Pilipinong OFW na pinagmalupitan ng mga amo nila sa ibang bansa? Ang mga hindi makauwi dahil tumakas lang sa pagmamalupit ng mga amo kaya nagbebenta ng laman upang makaipon ng pamasahe…bakit hindi tulungan ng CHR?
Pagdating ng panahon, siguradong mababanggit sa mga pahina ng kasaysayan ng bansang Pilipinas, na minsan ay may pangulong nagtalaga ng mga tao sa Commission on Human Rights, sa ilalim ng kanyang administrasyon, pero wala palang nagawa…
Kaylan lang ay bumulaga sa buong Pilipinas ang balita tungkol sa nadiskubreng 20 sakong relief packs na ibinaon sa isang lugar ng Dagami, Leyte na inilaan dapat sa mga biktima ng bagyong Yolanda. Ang mga relief packs at sako ay may tatak ng DSW at ang masama, mag-iimbistiga daw ang ahensiya pero ang resulta ay ilalabas sa susunod na buwan!…ibig sabihin ay Enero 2016! Ganoon na ba kabagal kung kumilos ang gobyerno? Nang nakawin naman ang mga relief sa isang bodega sa Cebu noong nakaraang taon at nakunan pa ng video, inimbistigahan din daw, pero inabot na ng mahigit isang taon ay wala pa ring narinig tungkol dito. Malinaw na kaya malakas ang loob ng mga kawatan sa gobyerno ay parang may nagkukunsinti sa katiwaliang ito dahil wala man lang napaparusahan…na dapat ay saklaw ng batas tungkol sa “command responsibility”.
Ang pagkasinungaling ng DSW ay lumilitaw na naman dahil sa kabila ng sinasabi ng kalihim nito mismo na si Dinky Soliman na “inililigtas” lang daw nila ang mga batang kalye tuwing may darating na bisita ay malinaw na ganoon na nga….pagsisinungaling lang. Balik na naman sa mga kalye ang mga “batang hamog” sa iba’t ibang kalsada ng Maynila at namemehuwisyo ng mga motorista. At, ngayon dahil pasko, ay nakikipag-patintero pa sa mga sasakyan at humahabol sa mg bus at jeep na kanilang pinagkakarolingan. Nasaan ang katotohanan sa sinasabi ni Soliman na inililigtas ng ahensiya ang mga ito mula sa delikadong kalagayan ng mga kalsada?
Napaga-alaman pa na mismong mga “Street Facilitators”, mga seasonal contract workers ng DSW, na siyang naghahakot ng mga batang kalye tuwing may bisitang darating, hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa nabibigyan ng allowance sa serbisyo nila noong APEC. Ano ang ginagawa ni Soliman sa pondo ng DSW para sa mga ganitong proyekto?
Marami ang bumabatikos tungkol sa napakalaking pondo ng DSW at kung anu-anong idinadahilang proyekto na kuwestiyonable naman ang relevance o katuturan. Pinagdududahan ng mga bumabatikos na baka ang malaking pondo ay gagamitin lang para sa kampanya ng mga manok ng administrasyon. Ayaw ko sanang maniwala….subalit ilang buwan na lang eleksiyon na at nagsimula na nga ang paglabasan ng mga ads ng mga kandidato na nangangailangan ng milyon-milyong pondo.
In Making Promises this Early which is not yet even
Within the Campaign Period
By Apolinario Villalobos
I am still shocked by the bold promise of Lenny Robredo who is the running mate of Roxas for the 2016 election, as the latter’s Vice-Presidential candidate. She boldly declares over the airlanes “…ibibigay ko sa inyo ang lahat sa buhay ko…” (I will give you everything in my life), referring perhaps to her promise to work for the Filipinos if she wins as vice-president. Whoever made that speech for her must be out of his or her mind, for he or she did not even think that the lady senator has a family, and she is a single mom after her husband Jess, who until an untimely death was not confirmed by Pnoy as Secretary of DILG. Ironically and shamelessly, the administration is using the popularity of the downtrodden Jess, for their selfish motive. And, to complete the exploit, they turned their attention to the widow, Lenny, a neophyte politician and whom the Liberal Party has perceived as a “clean” one yet, and therefore, a “noble” pawn for another grand plan.
Definitely, Lenny cannot give 100 percent of her time to the country, as all her children need her, and with the youngest trying to finish her studies, yet. In the first place, she should have not used such ludicrous speech that has immediately aligned her with the rest of the good-for-nothing-but-promises-only politicians. It made her an instant “trapo” (traditional politician)….so unfortunate, indeed for such a refined lady who has been waylaid by hollow ideals and false promises. She should have used a better sounding but simple, honest and motherly statement, instead. Indications are very clear that she will be used for the selfish motives of the people who are trying to evade legal prosecution if Roxas loses. Now, being the last choice, as there has been no other ambitious politician left to take the risk of mumbling the “matuwid na daan” mantra after a long and tedious courting of Grace Poe has failed, Lenny is now providing second voice to the songs of Roxas about the legendary “matuwid na daan”.
If Lenny Robredo wins due to political manipulations, as she must, to give support to Roxas as grandly planned, that will be the end of her “clean image”, though, not her political career. For as long as she is attached to the team of Pnoy, she will definitely suffer the same disgust and ridicule thrown to them by the disgruntled Filipinos who know what are really happening….Filipinos who are not blinded by falsehood. In the meantime, she will be safe in the shadow of Pnoy and company….until no opposition has assumed authority in years to come. But, if along the way, her innate principle about honest living prevails and make her decide to resign….that would be a whammy victory for Pnoy, Mar, and their cohorts, and they may not even give a damn about the road she will take next, as she has done her part – provide a softening element to the hardened bad image of the administration!
When the youngest Robredo daughter gave a speech at the televised wake of her father, she sort of compared herself to Kris Aquino who became popular after her father, Benigno, Sr. was slain. She even jokingly asked, if she will also become an actress like Kris whose popularity has been magnified when her mother, Cory became President. Is the dream of the youngest daughter of the would-be-vice-president played an important role in Lenny’s decision to finally accept the invitation of Pnoy and company?
Filipinos should be wary of politicians who swear by the name of God and willing to be struck by lightning…and willing to sacrifice their whole life, just to show that they are sincere in their promise. All of those who are in position did it during their campaigns in the past…and God knows what happened to the poor Philippines!
My disgusted feeling dictates that my wholehearted support for Lenny Robredo ends where her manipulation by the greedy begins…