September 21…the day democracy died in the Philippines

September 21

…the day democracy died in the Philippines

By Apolinario Villalobos


Indeed, September 21 gained prominence in the history of the Philippines as the day democracy died because of the Martial Law declared by the late Ferdinand Marcos. Among the reasons cited for signing the declaration were insurgency, Communism, corruption in the government…all of which were deterrent to the advancement of the country’s economy. After the declaration, the Marcos government became a beehive of activities founded on “Bagong Lipunan” or New Society.


Slogans and songs were composed, projects were implemented, infrastructures to support various industries, particularly tourism, mushroomed. In addition to those, permits for logging and mining were issued to hasten the exploit of the natural resources, purportedly to give additional support to the quest of the dictator to put the country ahead of the rest of the Southeast Asian nations. Marcos succeeded as he gained prominence and looked up to with awe and admiration by the rest of ASEAN nations. He inspired Lee Kwan Yew to transform Singapore into what it is today.


Along with the so-called progress, military and police abuse also gained prominence resulting to the incessant rallies. The notoriety of “METROCOM” was the talk of the town, as well as, the disappearance of prominent student leaders. Political personages who belonged to the opposition were dragged out of session halls and their homes to be locked up, including Benigno S. Aquino.


What has the country gained? Obviously, Manila became the cultural center of Asia, what with the springing up of the Cultural Center Complex along Roxas Boulevard that included, The Cultural Center of the Philippines, Folk Arts Theater, Philippine International Convention Center, the former Philippine Plaza Hotel (today, Sofitel), the cluster of squat buildings for agro-industrial exhibit and shows. Marcos became the new “tiger of Asia”. The Philippines soared as the new leader of Southeast Asian nations. Thankfully, there was no suppression of religion. The illegal drug “industry” was somewhat controlled with the execution of a Chinese drug lord in Rizal Park.


On the other hand, the Marcos take-over and control of various corporations was overwhelming. The act was decently dubbed “sequestration” to give it a legal impression….nothing personal. But the book written by Jovito R. Salonga, “Presidential Plunder…The Quest for the Marcos Ill-Gotten Wealth”, tells all about the staggering number of sequestered corporations controlled by the family and their allies. The book also tells how money is transferred from Manila to the banks in America for spending during their trips, as well as, the acquired properties in the land of Uncle Sam. The author was the first Commissioner of the Philippine Commission on Good Government, a misnomer, as the agency was supposed to concentrate on the ill-gotten wealth and not the issues on good governance.








Finally, my advice as a mere “chirp in the wilderness” to President Duterte, is to tone down his praises to the Marcoses as the more praises he utter, the more supporters he losses. It is enough that he has let the whole world know that his family owes a lot to the Marcoses…with such pronouncement, he has already shown his gratitude more than enough.






The Vicious Cycle of Progress and Poverty

The Vicious Cycle of Progress and Poverty

By Apolinario Villalobos


Poverty is a mean excuse to do things for easy money by the weak in spirit. But the strong are ready to go hungry in the name of ideals and principles. The exploiters use poverty in blackmailing the unfortunates, one result of which is the dirty election due to rampant vote buying.


Exploitation of the illiterates and impoverished also result to virtual land grabbing because they are made to “sell” their ancestral domains to rich real estate developers at below  the decent value level. As subdivisions, golf courses and resorts sprout, the displaced former landowners and the fortune-seekers from other parts of the country huddle in not so far depressed areas with many of them working as low-waged employees of the mentioned business institutions that sprouted.


Poverty is the corner where the impoverished are pushed to make a choice between death and survival. Also, when the government alleges progress, poverty trails a few steps behind. Along this line, poverty breeds animosity in a community, especially, on matters of politics. In this regard, while some members of the community are ready to sell their soul for a few pesos in exchange for their vote, others are steadfast in protecting theirs which has always been viewed as a “sacred” right. Even some of the clerics of the Catholic Church have joined the confusion by counseling their members to accept the bribe but vote according to their conscience.


As soon as the corrupt candidates are finally put in place, thanks to the rampant vote-buying, in no time at all, they start to engage in schemes designed to insure the “return of their investment”. Projects that involve infrastructures are conceived, supposedly to carry on the “progress”…the bigger project, the better, as assurance for fat commissions. The worst scheme is connivance with non-governmental organizations for ghost projects. While all these things are going on, the suffering constituents see around them towering manifestations of progress in the shadow of which, they cringe in poverty.


Progress and poverty are the two forces that push each other to create the never ending loop that goes round and round…a never-ending cycle that plagues the people of the third-world countries such as the Philippines, and the culprit are the “investors” – exploiting nations that promise comfort in exchange for “developments”. Yet, despite the prevailing realities of the time, the rest of third-world nations still bite the bait.

The Heavy Pollution in China should Warn Third-World Countries

The Heavy Pollution in China

Should Warn Third -World Countries

By Apolinario Villalobos


Manufacturing countries that clandestinely hate China have successfully inflicted a “slow death” on the awakened dragon of Asia. They have simply transferred the production aspect of their business in China because of her cheap labor and with it, the byproduct of high technology – the deadly pollution! They have been awfully successful, no question about that!


China today, is practically crawling due to the effect of heavy pollution while countries that own brands manufactured in China are basking under smog-free atmosphere. Every day, internet news carries warnings of the Chinese government to its citizens about the heavy pollution and photos are those of the Chinese citizens with face or surgical mask to lessen their inhalation of the dirty air. An enterprising European country is reportedly exporting fresh bottled air to China.


The phenomenon in China should serve as a warning to the third-world countries that are blinded by the prospect of living in comfort through high technology. China has practically flooded the world with products made in her homeland. Despite such show of opulence, she is far from being satisfied as her expansionistic desire is slowly creeping towards the rest of Asia and the African continent- with all their third world countries.


The governments of these countries would like their forests be uprooted and replaced with factories; would like their fields planted to rice, corn and other staple foods bulldozed to give way to resorts and first-class housing projects; would like their mountains to be drilled for minerals; would like their citizens to be introduced into the mean habits of squalid urban life; would like their centuries-old traditions and faith to be polluted with the immoralities of progress.


As the exploitation lasts only for as long as there are yet to be exploited, their “benefits” are likewise short-lived. When the factories and mining companies stop their exhaustive operations, they leave behind ghost towns and villages- with their rivers poisoned by chemicals and the once-fertile land exhausted of their nutrients making them not suitable even for the lowly grass. Their polluted culture gives rise to a new generation of prostitutes and indolent, and worst, with a twisted view on faith.


The high-technology must be one of the checks that God has imposed on earth to maintain the balance, aside from natural calamities such as typhoon, earthquake, diseases, and floods, as well as, man-made war. Without them, the world would have burst long time ago, due to overpopulation and inadequate sustenance. But, while these are divine penalties, caution should have been observed by man to at least delay and minimize their occurrence. Unfortunately, man is now reaping the fruits of his greed…at high speed!


In the Old Testament, when the God of Israelites wanted them punished for their misdeed, He used the heathen races or tribes to sow disaster upon them. Sometimes He used calamities such as diseases and famine-causing pestilence. The religions of the world are based either directly or indirectly on the Abrahamaic faith, except for some pockets of tribes in unexplored nooks of forests and islands. In a way, most peoples of the world are connected to the God of Israel. Are we now suffering from this divine penalty, mentioned in the Old Testament?

Napahiya ang mga Binay!….sa issue ng Doctrine of Condonation

….sa issue ng Doctrine of Condonation
Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Talagang gagawin ng mga Binay ang lahat upang manalo lang sila sa mga kaso. Kumuha sila ng neophyte na abogada na dating estudyante ng Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Inaasahan nilang papabor ang Chief Justice sa abogada nila dahil estudyante nga naman. Subali’t tila naputukan sila ng bomba ng hiyain at halos bulyawan ng Chief Justice ang abogada dahil sa pinagpipilitan nitong Doctrine of Condonation upang maabsuwelto sa kanyang mga kaso si Junjun Binay. Sinasabi daw kasi sa doktrina na kung naboto uli ang isang nagkasalang opisyal, mababalewala na ang mga kasalanan nito.

Malamang halos himatayin sa inis ang Chief Justice sa pagsita sa nagmamarunong na abogada nang sabihan siya nito na ang gusto yata niyang mangyari ay umiral ang kaguluhan sa pag-unawa ng Saligang Batas. Ang doktrina kasi ay nakapaloob sa lumang Saligang Batas na nabago na, kaya wala nang bisa. Ang abogada ay si Sandra Marie-Olaso Coronel.

Malamang itong doktrina ang ginagamit ng mga abogado upang lumakas ang loob ng mga Binay sa kabila ng patong-patong nilang mga kaso. Lalo pang lumakas ang loob nila sa paggawa ng mga hakbang na halos ay lihis na sa good manners and right conduct. Pati ang anak na kongresista ay nagbanta na wala silang patatawarin sakaling manalo ang tatay niya. Para bang ang pagka-presidente ay in the bag na! At sinabi pa niya na ang Vice-President daw ang magbubuklod ng mga Pilipino!….WOW!

Ito ang mga taong tinutukoy kong naturingang nakapag-aral subalit ginagamit ang mga natutuhan sa pagbali ng katotohanan!

Isa pa…bakit pinipilit ng mga Binay ang Doctrine of Condonation? Nangangahulugan ba itong talagang may ginawang kasalanan? Hindi ba ito ay indirect na pag-amin?

Sigurado, nagsisisi ang Chief Justice kung bakit ipinasa niya ang estudyante niyang ito na kabago-bago ay nababahiran nan ng maitim na hangarin ang katauhan!

Questionable and Self-Serving Accomplishments of the Binays…and the desperate quest of Vice-President Jejomar Binay to become President

Questionable and Self-serving Accomplishments of the Binays
…and the desperate quest of Vice-President Jejomar Binay to become President
By Apolinario Villalobos

The picture is clear now that Vice-President Jejomar Binay really had a grand plan ever since, to become president of the Philippines. His humble beginnings could have played a vital role for this quest, as Filipinos have the penchant to favor underdogs, however, he committed the grave mistake of going beyond the limits of tolerable abuse that the Filipinos can take.

From being a humble husband of a struggling doctora, he became Vice-Mayor and worked his way up to become Mayor of the then, fast-developing commercial hub of Metro Manila – Makati. Physically, observers say that he does not have the factor that can make a man standout in the crowd – not good looking, dark-skinned and short. But this handicap was overshadowed by shrewdness which shaken up constituents in Makati used to believe was an inherent benevolence of a man who, long ago was poor, and who derived extra income from a backyard piggery. They thought he was generous at heart with all the projects that were supposed to benefit the poor of Makati. Unfortunately, cases filed against him, are alleging that those projects were concocted for fat commissions.

The people of Makati clearly tolerated him despite floating stories about commissions derived from projects. From cakes given to senior citizens during their birthdays and hospital equipment, commissionable ventures soon grew into infra-structures. The Binays tried to maintain their clout on Makati, as after the father, the wife took over, and lately, the son. Ongoing cases are still being heard on these.

But when the elder Binay became Vice-President and shamelessly floated the idea of his running as President of the country while only barely a year in his position, eyebrows began to rise. It was again a mistake on his part, perhaps due to uncontrolled enthusiasm. In all honesty, he seems to believe, that he should be credited for the development of Makati into what it is now. Unfortunately, his basis for his “success” is the bustling business district of Ayala only. He did not throw a glance at the other nooks of Makati where squatters still thrive along river banks, street corners dumped with uncollected garbage, streets pockmarked with holes, etc. He thought that only the Ayala district is Makati City. He forgot that the real “developers” of the Ayala district are the Ayalas, themselves, and their trusted industrial buddies. He was a salaried mayor and expected to work for Makati to the best of his ability. But what he did, according to investigators of his graft cases, was “milked” Makati for his own selfish motives, which as of late have been exposed, with presidency of the country as the centerpiece!

He has been going around the country as far as Mindanao and Visayas. In the guise of doing his job as housing czar of the administration, he visits cities and municipalities that lately have been exposed as “sister municipalities or cities” of Makati. The number of Makati’s sister LGUs has unbelievably soared with unprecedented pace during his incumbency as mayor. A simple analysis would show that, that early on, he had been tying friendly knots with prospective supporters that he would need when the time comes for him to run for president of the country….and that is a year from now – 2016. What a grand and genius plan, indeed! It has been found out that officials of the sister LGUs who visit Makati are accommodated in condo units which saw better days as low-cost BLISS housing complex for Pag-ibig members. It has been alleged that the purchase and renovation of the building were strapped with fat commission. The free-of-charge accommodation comes with free meals, too.

Binay keeps on flaunting the benefits of Makati constituents, despite the fact that all of these are based on national policies which any municipality or city can adopt. When the latest survey on who the Filipinos thought is the most appropriate president, and the name of senator Grace Poe tailed behind him by just a very insignificant difference, Binay immediately issued a statement that the President should have enough experience as a government official, particularly in heading a political unit, which of course points to him, being a “successful” mayor of Makati and now Vice-President of the country!

Since the quest of Vice-President Binay affects the whole country, Filipinos who cannot be as tolerant as the constituents of Makati are now apprehensive, especially, with his uncalled for remark when interviewed by a radio station in Samar, during which he insinuated his pro-Chinese leaning. A joke is circulating about his plan to convert the whole country into a vast business empire using the investment of the Chinese, if he becomes the president of the country!…but whose business empire, is the question.

Ang Masamang Halimbawa…ng mga opisyal ng gobyerno

Ang Masamang Halimbawa

…ng mga opisyal ng gobyerno

ni Apolinario Villalobos

Ang pagkakataon na ibinibigay ng batas at husgado, na pinaigting ng “katalinuhan” ng abogado, at lalo pang pinatingkad ng kabagalan sa pag-usad ng hustisya ay nagpapalakas ng loob ng mga may kaya sa buhay upang makaligtas sa kaparusahan kung may nagawa silang kasalanan. Palagi nilang sinasabi na “magkita na lang tayo sa husgado”, o hindi kaya ay “kailangang mapatunayang may kasalanan ako bago ako husgahan…”.

Dahil sa dami ng mga makabagong gadyet na naglilipana at nakakapag-record ng mga nangyayari, ang isang krimen ay nakukunan ng CCTV o di kaya ay camera ng cellphone man lang. Sa kabila nito, ang nahuli sa aktong nagkasala ay binibigyan ng karapatang ipagtanggol niya ang kanyang sarili sa hukuman, isang bagay na magastos kung ang naapi o naagrabyado ay walang perang pambayad ng abogado. Ang nahuli naman sa aktong gumawa ng krimen ay nakakapag-piyansa para sa “pansamantalang” kalayaan kuno, pero sa katagalan ay nakakagawa ng paraan upang “mabili” niya ng tuluyan ang kalayaan, di kaya ay umaabot sa puntong nagkakalimutan, o di kaya ay tuluyang pagkabura ng kaso dahil sa teknikalidad.

Ang nararamdamang sakit ng katotohanan tungkol sa mabagal na pag-ikot ng gulong ng hustisya ay lalo pang nadagdagan ang hapdi dahil mismong mga nanunungkulang mga opisyal ng gobyerno ay nagpapakita ng gilas na kaya nilang paikutan ang mga batas. Gamit ang mga standard na salitang nabanggit na tulad ng “magkita na lang tayo sa husgado” at “kailangang mapatunayang may kasalanan ako bago ako husgahan…”, parang walang ano man kung sila ay may kayabangang umasta sa harap ng mga kamera upang magdeklara ng kanilang kainosentihan.

Dahil sa nabanggit na asal ng mga opisyal sa gobyerno, nagagaya tuloy sila ng mga may isip-kriminal na pangkaraniwang mamamayan. Ang resulta, maraming krimen ang hindi nalulutas sa kabila ng pagkahuli ng mga sangkot na dahil sa pera ay nakakayang magpabagal ng kaso o maglagak ng piyansa, o magbayad ng huwes.

Sa kaso ng Pilipinas, mahirap mangyaring mawala ang mga masamang halimbawa na naglilipana sa mga bulwagan ng pamahalaan. Ang magagawa lamang marahil ng mga matitinong Pilipino ay mag-ingat.

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!