Malacanan people should stop mumbling wishful thoughts….

Malacaῆan people should stop mumbling wishful thoughts….
By Apolinario Villalobos

Every time people in Malacaῆan say something, especially about the “good works” they have done, eyebrows are raised. The statements are embarrassingly eliciting guffaws, giggles, laughter. There is for instance something on poverty which is implied to have been reduced, or crime rate that has been checked, or energy problem that is being resolved, or economy that is on the rise, or unemployment rate that has been reduced, etc. etc. For one who is not blind, deaf and dumb, all those are of course, wishful thoughts!

Filipinos, except the ass lickers in Congress and other nooks of the government, know for a fact that surveys are just numbers and not facts. How can those at the palace by the Pasig River say that poverty has been checked when the minimum wage got stucked way below the poverty line while the prices of prime commodities have not been returned to their former affordable level, or steadily and stealthily rise under the noses of the so-called guardian agencies like Department of Trade and Industry and Department of Agriculture? How can they say that unemployment rate has been reduced when every year, the number of standbys balloons as great number of fresh graduates march out of university and college portals every year with no jobs in sight?

On the issue of energy, it is only now when the summer season is fast approaching that the government is in a quandary on what to do, despite the current administration’s having all solid five years, but they did not lift a finger. The president relied on the input of his “bright” secretary of Energy who has the tendency to make panicky statements. As a last resort, they asked Congress for an emergency power! The said agency is even still in a limbo on what really must be done, as no fixed solution is in sight. On the other hand, alarming statements are issued by the Energy secretary to condition the mind of the Filipinos for the blackouts that should be expected!

When we were in elementary, every time we had tests, our teachers would order us to pass our papers “finished or not finished”, when the bell has rang. For this administration, it is not “finished or not finished”, but just “not finished”. But the consolation of the president is that his hands are verrrryyyy clean with all the constant washing!

Bakit sa Bakuran ng Malakanyang Nagpahayag si Pnoy ng “Katotohanan” tungkol sa Mamasapano massacre?…at bakit huli na?

Bakit sa Bakuran ng Malakanyang Nagpahayag si Pnoy ng “katotohanan”
tungkol sa Mamasapano massacre?…at bakit huli na?
ni Apolinario Villalobos

Ang sinisisi ngayon ng taong bayan sa mga nangyayari kay Pnoy ay ang kanyang mga walang binatbat daw na mga tagapayo. Kung hindi kasi ampaw ang kanyang mga sinasabi ay palaging huli na tulad ng talumpati niya sa “prayer meeting” sa bakuran ng Malakanyang noong March 9, 2015. Sa unang putok ng eskandalo ng Mamasapano massacre, inamin niya ang responsibilidad at hindi niya dinamay si Purisima, habang si Napeῆas naman ay abut-abot ang pag-emote sa pag-amin din ng responsibilidad. Ito ay kahit na ang mga pahayag niya (Napeῆas) sa isang imbestigasyon ay nagtuturo din kay Purisima bilang sangkot dahil sa pakikialam kahit na suspendido. Pagkatapos ng pag-amin ng presidente, ay wala na siyang sinabi pa kaya nabitin ang mga Pilipino dahil hindi siya nagpaliwanag nang maayos o sa malinaw na paraan. Payo kaya ng mga “adviser” niya?

Nang lumutang ang posibilidad na maaaring madagdag sa kaso niyang illegal na paggamit ng DAP ang isyu sa “command responsibility” niya sa Mamasapano massacre ay tila nagpahapyaw na ito ng pagbago sa kanyang binitiwang pag-amin, hanggang humantong sa pagbitaw niya kay Purisima na itinuro niyang may kasalanan tulad ni Napeῆas. Malamang ay nabahala na siya dahil baka matulad siya kay Gloria Arroyo. At sa pinakahuling drama niya sa Malakanyang nang mag-organize ang mga tauhan niya ng “prayer meeting”, lalong naging 360 degrees ang kanyang pag-ikot, dahil direkta na niyang sinabi na wala talaga siyang kasalanan at ang itinuturo na lang ay si Napeῆas na nanloko pa sa kanya…si Purisima naman ay nabura sa kanyang talumpati dahil hindi nabanggit na may kasalanan din! Mistulang inabsuwelto niya ito…sinadya kaya ng script writer niya?

Ang mga umatend ng “prayer meeting” ay napakaraming pastor ng iba’t ibang born-again Christian movements at mga sektang Protestante…wala ni isa mang Katolikong pari. Kaya siguro malakas ang loob ng presidenteng magsabi ng “katotohanan” dahil ang turing niya sa mga umatend ay mga kakampi niya. Ang ibang pari kasi na Katoliko ay bumabatikos sa kanya at nagpapababa pa nga sa kanya sa puwesto!

Dapat ay umatend ang Obispo ng mga Katoliko na si Tagle dahil bilib naman siya sa presidente, at nakadagdag sana siya sa bilang ng mga kakampi nito. Ang talumpati niya ay halatang itinayming upang magamit na batayan sa ginagawang “summary of facts” ng Board of Inquiries” (BOI) ng PNP. Malamang huli na nang pumasok itong ideya sa utak ng kanyang mga “advisers” kaya tatlong beses na-postpone ang pag-submit ng report ng BOI. Subalit saan mang anggulo titingnan ang strategy ng Malakanyang ay dispalinghado naman dahil mas naunang nagsabi ng “katotohanan” si Napeῆas sa harap nina Mar Roxas, mga opisyal ng PNP at military. Akala siguro ng “advisers” ni Pnoy ay bright na sila at mailulusot na nila ito!

May script kaya ang okasyon? Kung meron man, may isang pastor na hindi siguro nabigyan ng kopya dahil nagtanong pa ito tungkol sa love life ng presidente na sa pagkakaalam ng mga Pilipino ay isa sa pinakaiiwasang topic. Kaya ang mga reporters sa Malakanyang ay bawal yatang magbanggit sa kanya ng nabanggit na dalawang bad words. Sana, nagtanong na lang ang pastor ng tungkol kay Gloria Arroyo at siguradong aabutin ng takipsilim ang sasabihin pa ng presidente….magiging masaya ang okasyon dahil aabutin na ng hapunan!…Sayang!

Sinabi ng pangulo hindi na mauulit ang “panloloko” sa kanya ni Napeῆas. Bakit? Si Napeῆas lang ba, kung totoo man ito? Bakit hindi niya buksan ang kanyang mga mata upang makita niya kung anong uri ng mga tao ang nakapaligid sa kanya na patuloy na nagdidiin sa kanya upang lalo pa siyang lumubog? Siguro dapat kurutin din niya ang kanyang sarili upang siya ay magising…

The Government Has A Lot to Explain

The Government Has A Lot to Explain

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

No suavely delivered rhetoric can splash gay color over the miserable picture of the Philippines today. The president keeps on mumbling economic turnarounds, increased jobs, decreased unemployment, invigorated business atmosphere, investments, etc. It is a shame that he is blind to what are really happening around him. He is seemed to be solidly sanitized by his confidantes, his cordon sanitaire, that he cannot even afford a peek beyond the walls of Malacaῆan Palace.

 

On the second day of the World Economic Forum, while he was delivering his speech without emotion, pockets of rallies were being held to open the minds of the Filipinos that not even such a “world class” gathering of businessmen can guarantee a realistic economic growth for the country. While he was shown on one TV station delivering his speech about the country’s enjoying a “miracle” economy, another station showed the unfinished school buildings at Tacloban and the rest of its countryside that are obviously untouched by the promised rehabilitation. “Miracle” may just be the right word in describing the economic state of the Philippines, very apt for such a gathering of humbug economists who scratch each other’s back, and because the country is predominantly Catholic, the faithful are “waiting” for a miracle to happen, yet!

 

Now, it can be told, that indeed, one reason why the rehabilitation of the areas devastated by typhoon Yolanda is the turtle-paced action of the DBM in releasing funds. This allegation is splashed all over the front pages of the dailies. What happened to the billions of donated funds? Why is the agency having a strangling hold on the strings of donated fund’s purse? With its attitude, Filipinos are suspecting that the agency is concocting a way to filch the fund systematically.

 

Newspapers carried headlines about the president’s trusted DBM Secretary, Abad, as the first “client” of Napoles, while he was yet, a congressman, and also the “brains” that bred the idea on how NGOs and Foundations can be used in suctioning funds from DBM. The suspicion has been, in fact floating around when the issue on forged SARO’s surfaced, but the president just shrugged his shoulders. Nothing is heard about any thorough investigation of DBM…not even on where the Xerox boys of the agency got their idea about switching documents to facilitate the release of funds, and most especially, the issue on the issuance of two SARO numbers that seemed to have victimized complaining lawmakers, they who are currently dragged into the anomaly. I recalled the lanky governor whose SARO number (when he was yet a congressman), appeared on the SARO document of a government agency to which billions of funds were released. The release was accredited to his name, although his SARO was good only for a few thousand pesos of fund for his project. When the “mistake” was “discovered”, all that was published on the dailies was the simple apology of the staff of the agency! The agency on whose SARO document the governor’s SARO number was made to piggy-ride is notoriously known for its corruption, highlighted by ghost and half-finished infra-structures.

 

While the President has the gull to announce the fast recovery of the country from calamities that befell it, TV stations splash on screens the sorry state of evacuees in Zamboanga, skeletons of school buildings in Leyte and Samar complete with salvaged books that may no longer be readable, broken chairs, shaky hanging bridges precariously spanning rivers, and undistributed stacks of bags of rice, some of which were reported to have been left rotting.

 

Add to the abovementioned, the announcement about checks made on jueteng and other gambling in the country which has become a funny topic among radio broadcasters, as it sounds just like a fairy tale. And, security of the nation that according to him is well in place, to which observers say, “ohhh…really?”.

 

Mountains that are supposed to be forested and protected have been denuded by unscrupulous illegal logging companies some of which are owned by politicians and government officials. Hills that are supposed to be thick with shrubs and tall grasses have been bulldozed, some practically flattened and converted into subdivisions. Why are these government properties titled? And why is the intrusion of foreign miners tolerated despite their having been exposed by idealistic media men? What the media men earned for their brave effort are marks for liquidation! Even a seasoned senator has the temerity to reveal in front of TV cameras when he was interviewed, that his money came from logging, hence, not from the coffers of the government, and which would therefore prove, that he is not corrupt!

 

The president cannot claim honest-to-goodness accomplishments despite his stay in the palace for many years. He keeps on blaming the past administration for what for him are “inherited problems”. He is implying that he cannot just let the nation be saddled with so many problems. Is he hinting on something? Is he aiming for another presidency, a reason why the three guys of the senate are viciously “maimed” – politically? Are all the problems that he keeps on mumbling to the point of repugnance be used as “signs” for him to stay put? If he will mention divine intervention despite his avowal not to run for a second term, only God knows if the Filipinos will believe him or trust him…again.

 

The president has a lot to explain. While there is still a fraction of chance for him to save what is left of their family’s honorable name, he should double up his effort in coming up with answers to the floating questions that just aggravate the polluted air of the country. While there’s still an opportunity left for him, he should sweep the palace with sincere effort to eliminate the egoistic whisperers who are obviously pulling him down. He has a little more than one year to do it, and he should take note, that time flies fast.

 

 

 

Filipino Patriotism

Filipino Patriotism                                                    

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Patriotism is nationalism – love of country. The extreme manifestation is fighting to death for the sake of one’s country. Filipinos are proud to use such adjective for themselves. Such show of patriotism was done first at the shores of Mactan Island in the province of Cebu where the Spanish Magellan was slain by Lapu-lapu, a local chieftain. The manifestation went on with the fight against Spain whose “conquest” of the country was made possible with the use of the cross. Later, the Filipinos showed this zeal against the Americans and Japanese.

 

Today, the patriotic fervor of the radical Filipinos consistently shows their disgust for the Americans whom they accuse of discreetly controlling the Philippine government. Unfortunately, this unrestrained outpouring of emotion results to vandalism. These are seen on defaced walls, bridges and fences spray-painted with communistic slogans, anti-American and anti-Filipino administration messages, not to mention the caricatures of hated local officials and whoever American president is sitting at the White House.

 

The radical groups keep on holding rallies at the US embassy and set aside the crucial issue against the intrusion by China of the West Philippine Sea. They do not hold rallies against the dumping of electronic waste in the country by other countries, the factories that dump waste into Pasig River and Manila Bay, the issue on Manila being developed by foreign drug lords as a distribution hub in Asia,  and the constantly rising tuition fees and prices of basic commodities, to name a few. These groups that carry red banners and streamers painted with hammer and sickle disrupt traffic on their way to Malacanan and US embassy…all because, they thought, they are patriotic, and to which I must honestly, though, partly conform.

 

For a change, why can’t these groups call the attention of local governments on the stinking public toilets and waterways clogged with garbage in their respective domains?…the beggars who literally convert sidewalks into makeshift homes and who should be given assistance by their respective social welfare offices?…the street urchins who are supposed to be rounded up and sheltered in juvenile homes?…the Badjaos who should be trained on livelihood endeavors rather than be tolerated begging in the streets?…and many more issues that could better occupy their time than harangue the Americans?

 

As a Filipino, I am also affected by the so-called “mismanagement” of our country resulting to the rampant corrupt practices, so deeply rooted that solutions seem to be no longer in sight. As an individual, though, I must admit that I am just an obscure voice in the wilderness of discontent. I want to be part of a movement for a patriotic advocacy, but how can I be encouraged to do it when all I see are groups that see violent acts as the only way of being heard? Never have I seen an attempt for restraint on their part. It seems that the more violent and provocative actions they have, the better for them to attract the attention of the media…hence, the better for their cause. 

 

Filipino patriotism should be tinged with values for which we are known. We are a non-violent and resilient race and our values should be manifested in all we do…including protest actions.