Shift to Federalism

With savory “promises” that it will “spur economic growth”, eleven senators filed Joint Resolution No. 10 “proposing the shift from a presidential to a parliamentary-federal system of government”.

The resolution proposed the creation of 11 federal states and one federal administrative region. Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban), the principal author of Joint Resolution No. 10, said, the move to federalize the country is not simply a ‘political’ undertaking. It is also an economic effort. By creating 11 federal states and by converting Metro Manila as a federal administrative region, we immediately establish 12 centers of power, finance and development throughout the country. [1]

The proposal is meant to accomplish two main goals, according to Sen. Pimentel:

  1. Cause the speedy development of the entire country by unleashing the forces of competitiveness among the component federal states, and
  2. Dissipate the causes of rebellion in the country, particularly in Mindanao.

The plan to shift to parliamentary-federal system of government becomes an instant talk of the town. Many expressed excitement over the matter while few have some reservations.

This change is vital for our Republic, the April 26 editorial of The Manila Times noted. [2] While Senators Panfilo Lacson and Loren Legarda have expressed reservations on the matter, The Daily Tribune reported. [3]

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What happen to some Philippine Senators?

I get more than enough dosage of absurdity done by some senators in the 13th and 14th Congress. It seems to me that many senators are working hard not to legislate for the general welfare of the people. [It seems] They use legislative power for personal and political motives. Forgive me honorable senators but please do not blame me for thinking like this.

Look how some “brave” senators treated “witnesses” during the gruesome, theatrical, and often misdirected Senate investigation. Many times I suspected that the Senate investigations are not intended to aid important legislations but to aid political ambitions. Again, my apologies to good senators but again, do not blame me for thinking like this.

Almost everything popular will be investigated by the senate. This makes TV news more funny and very entertaining. It is both entertaining and irritating to see senators ranting infront of the camera. One writer proposed that some senators need “some training” so that they don’t appear like insecure and spoiled brat in highly respected branch of government.

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VSMMC Mess

The case of “Jan-Jan”, and his doctors and nurses in Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) has gained overwhelming publicity. Almost everybody reacts. People are talking about it. Opinion writers are writing about it. Major broadcast networks are reporting about it. Filipino bloggers are blogging about it.

The case of “Jan-Jan” was rare. The operation to take out a perfume canister that had been inserted into Jan-Jan’s rectum was performed for the first time in VSMMC. Naturally, the medical professionals who were present during the operation were curious. But can curiosity turn to mockery? Rebelmind wrote:

Medical practitioners and trainees, more so lead doctors, need a strong sense of emotional control when faced with a situation like that one that occurred at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in January.

The operation was successful. Like the VSMMC administration, we must commend the surgical team for the successful operation.

But here is the mess. (I don’t like to use the word “scandal”) A video clip uploaded to YouTube and circulated through mobile phones showed the surgical team apparently making fun of Jan-Jan during the operation. The video showed the persons present in the Operating Room (OR) laughing, shouting, giggling; and some holding their mobile phones taking video.

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No Pardon, Please

I can’t get over my disappointment with President Arroyo’s pardon to convicted former President Joseph Estrada. I insist, Estrada must serve his sentence in jail. I insist that the years spent by Estrada in Veterans Memorial Medical Center and in his rest house in Tanay were not sufficient penalty for the crime he committed.

Another disappointing move is running in Philippine political arena. Now, military officials and top government officials are calling for a pardon for nine convicted 2003 Oakwood coup plotters (Magdalo mutineers) who were sentenced to 12 to 40 years for their crime. The call for pardon surfaced even before the court decision. How sad.

I stand on my strong opposition to this pardon as I strongly oppose GMA’s pardon to Erap.

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Walk for Truth

It was absurd. The so called “Walk for Truth” of Senators Allan Peter Cayetano and Benigno Aquino III, Rodolfo Lozada, Jr., and their supporters was ridiculously unreasonable.

Needless to say, the Senate has the right to file motion for reconsideration to Supreme Court’s March 25 ruling that the three questions that Romulo Neri refused to answer were covered by executive privilege. But did Senators Allan Peter Cayetano and Benigno Aquino III and friends needed to dramatize it?

Cayetano was quoted in Inquirer.Net report saying, we participated in this activity because we want to inform the public that the NBN-ZTE controversy is a big issue that should be dealt with thoroughly.

I want to inform the good senator that the public has known already that the NBN-ZTE controversy is a big issue. And the public deal with it thoroughly.

The most ridiculous, irresponsible, and unreasonable statement came from Senator Noynoy Aquino. In a QTV report, I heard him saying:

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Leon Kilat and Tres de Abril

Everyone in Cebu knows what Tres de Abril is. Tres de Abril is a street in Cebu City. The first time I heard Tres de Abril was when I arrived in Cebu in 2000. I asked why the street is called a such. A Cebuano officemate told me about the battle that took place on April 3, 1898. He also narrated to me about Leon Kilat.

pantaleon-villegas-leon-kilat.jpgI was mesmerized as if I had the anting-anting (amulet) of Leon Kilat. It was also the first time I heard about him. Leon Kilat is also a name of a street in Cebu City in honor of Pantaleon Villegas “Leon Kilat” for his great contribution to Cebu history.

It was then that I learn to value not only Colon Street but also other notable streets in Cebu such as C. Padilla, T. Padilla, Gen. Maxilom, A. Abellana, among others.

Tres de Abril

Tres de Abril or April 3 is an important date in Cebu. Every year, Cebuanos celebrate it as the date when major resistance movement was staged against Spanish rule.

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Amazing Feat: Philippine Bar Exams Trivia

If my wish is granted, I would like to stand before the topnotcher of the 2007 Philippine Bar Examination. I would ask Mercedita Ona, do you feel any pressure right now?

Her answer may be interesting, what do you think? Ona is not the first Filipina to top the bar. Being on top is not easy as being in the middle. The first woman to top the bar, Tecla San Andres-Ziga might had felt the pressure.

I visited attyralph.com, the official website of Atty. Ralph A. Sarmiento and read some amazing feats in the Philippine bar examinations. Here are some:

  • First woman to top the Bar (1st Place): Tecla San Andres-Ziga of the University of the Philippines placed No. 1 in the Bar Exams of 1930 with a grade of 89.4.
  • Highest grade of all time: 96.7 in the 1954 Bar Exams by Florenz Regalado of San Beda College.
  • Bar flunker who placed 1st on his second take: Francisco Noel R. Fernandez (University of the Philippines) failed in the 1993 Bar Exams but placed No. 1 in the 1994 Bar Exams with a grade of 89.2.

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