President Noynoy’s Habitual Defense to his Officials

The President has developed the (undesirable) habit of defending his erring staff.

On his sweet and sour inaugural speech, we were reading President Noynoy as someone who would do what it takes to ferret out corruption and wrongdoings. But recently, we see him as the President who do what it takes to defend his officials who are close to his heart.

Well, he also consistently and publicly criticize those who are not member of a big domain called “kaibigan, inc.”

Recently, we hear the President once again spoiled us with his sugar-coated defense to Assistant Secretary Mai Mislang. The girl whose tweets made her appear as tactless and irresponsible government servant, was well defended by President Noynoy.

In GMANews.TV reports, the President was quoted saying:

Ipinaliwanag niya sa isang sulat at pinaalala ko lang sa kanya, well, bata si Mai baka yung akala niyang gawain na simple ay hindi niya narealize ang implications. I’m more or less convinced that she realizes what was done.

Please see: Aquino won’t fire aide […]

Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Rico Puno is a sure President’s pet. Puno was allegedly received jueting payola, according to an expose of retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz. When alleged-jueting man of Aquino government voiced to media that he would resign, Aquino was ready to broadcast his rhetoric chant – that Puno is entitled to undergo a due process.

Upon hearing the sugar coated words of the President, the former PAG-ASA chief flashed to my mind. Was there any due process when he [Aquino] relieved Prisco Nilo?

Please note that Nilo was not a member nor follower of new “kaibigan, inc” while Puno is the President’s close friend. Their friendship was born in the firing range according to Global Balita report that also outline why the President cannot let go the name Rico Puno.

We also remember how the President find ways to defend his “kaibigan, inc.” officials on the wake of controversial hostage crisis in Manila that involved Chinese nationals. We noticed how the President standing up to defend even to his erring officials. While it is not bad for a leader to defend his officials, Noynoy Aquino must get reminded that too much of it is undesirable.

Does the President raise his officials to become spoiled brats? Or the President simply repay those people who helped him get into office? Did he forget his sweetened battlecry, “kayo ang boss ko”? The voters brought him to office, not just his friends and supporters. That’s why I want him to allow Undersecretary Rico Puno to go out from government service because that man was dragged into jueting controversy.

Now I want to believe that the President was (aware or not) got jueting money support in the last presidential elections. I hope I am wrong.

Vote Buying, Partisan Politics

It was supposed to be non-partisan. But the recent Barangay and SK elections were practically a party politics. I wrote, Barangay Elections, Non-Partisan?

Candidates of Barangay and SK Elections ally with town’s political big bosses. Town and city political figures ally with Barangay leaders by financing candidates and ensuring victory.

Vote buying

There was massive vote buying in the recent Barangay and SK Elections. In our barangay, candidates for barangay council gave 30 pesos to 50 pesos per voter. Those who did not give lost. This scheme was also the reason why a virtually unknown person became the barangay’s new councilor. Barangay captains gave higher, from 100 pesos to 500 pesos.

In my observations, the bigger the money, the higher the chance to get victory. I have yet to know a place where the barangay and SK elections were not played up by too much and unnecessary money.

Worst SK Elections

I could say that it was the worst SK election ever at least in our barangay. It was too tricky.

Parents of one SK candidates even pawn some areas of their farms to raise P60,000 purposely for the elections. No wonder, SK voters were given some P500 to P1,000 each.

To ensure victory, they emlpoy a very clever way – the “kidnap” strategy.

What is “kidnapping” in tricky SK politics?

This is a way to keep supporters to get contact with other parties, thus the chance of shifting of support can be avoided.

For example, an SK candidate gather majority of SK voters in a place three to a day before election. Most of them brought those minors away from the barangay. For example, in Barangay Pugwan, the were brought to resorts and they stayed there until election day. Yikes! I saw the truckload of SK voters who went back to Pugwan to vote.

I was so disappointed with what happened. How could parents allow their daughters and son to stay in a secluded place with the SK candidates considering that they were all minors?

I wonder why SK elections become the “games of generals”. I could not see 17 year olds at work but the seasoned politicians.

How much you get? How much they give?

The questions before and after elections are now on how much was given and recieved than how good were the visions and programs of candidate or elected officials.

In fact these questions were asked naturally on public places – as if one was asking how much a kilo of Tamban or Pirit nowadays.

How did our shame blown away?

Barangay, SK Elections – for Better or Worse

Good politics start at home, at the neighborhood, at our barangay. In the same way, dirty politics at the way we involve in the most important political activity, the Barangay Elections.

The Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections on October 25, 2010 defines the direction of our town, city, and provincial politics. The way we involve will either bring us reforms we love to call as good politics or worsen our situation.

Barangay Elections, Non-Partisan?

Supposedly, yes. Barangay election is a non-partisan political exercise. But to find a Barangay in the whole country where there is absence of partisan exercises is very difficult.

Candidates of Barangay and SK Elections ally with town’s political big bosses. Town and city political figures ally with Barangay leaders by financing candidates and ensuring victory.

Why are they doing this? Obviously, one’s political power is gauged based on his local allies. The more a town or city leader gets ally-barangay captains, the more he becomes powerful.

A barangay official who refuses to ally will soon get zero projects. This sounds familiar to all us. These are the sad realities.

Political Alliance at the Grassroots Level

Political alliance aren’t bad after all. However, there is something that we need to watch – what type of political alliance our barangay leaders have with our town and city leaders?

For Better or Worse, here comes again our Election

Here we are again. Since we start to count the days of 2010 until the our elected leaders took oath of office last June 30, we are all get the comforts and headaches of election drama.

Here we are again, seeing the fabulous campaign, the titillating gimmicks and the exciting campaign as joyous-dirty stage play.

Here we are again, trying to reflect whom to vote and why we vote. Will this bring us good in the next few years or will this give us long years of political sickness?

It takes one vote to answer.

First World Bloggers Day happens in Cebu

May 2, 2010 is World Bloggers’ Day declares Cebu Bloggers Society. This would the first time such world blogging event is observed.

The first World Bloggers’ Day, as published in BigNew.Biz, will take place on May 2, in the Queen City of the South — Cebu, Philippines.

World Bloggers Day design by Jim Villaflores

In the same article, World Bloggers’ Day will

feature the Blogger of the Day and the Best Cast-away Outfit Award while doing live blogging and many more. All bloggers, individuals or groups, are encouraged to participate in this remarkable day of the year!

All bloggers are invited to join this event! If you are in Cebu, you can come-and-meet us at Parkmall in Mandaue City, Cebu.

Credit: World Bloggers’ badge is designed by Jim Villaflores.

Vote God on May 10, 2010

Will you vote (presidentialCandidate) or (anotherPresidentialcandidate)? A good friend from my hometown in Mindanao asked me through text (SMS).

Unfortunately, he only mentioned two names. There are 9 presidential candidates to choose. Apparently, only the very popular candidates are usually mentioned. Because I know that he knows I am vocal on my support to one presidential candidate, I suspect he wanted to engage another lengthy campaign discussions. I think of another thing. I want to share to him about Vote God advocacy.

So I replied: I will vote God on May 10!

I just read fellow Cebu blogger’s post about election, Vote God this Philippine Elections 2010.

Vote God

Intriguing indeed! How can we vote God who is not even a candidate? In Vernon’s article he suggested (which inspire me),

Look to your conscience and choose the way of GOD! Do not just listen or even take the word of these aspiring public servants but instead do your research and I encourage you to use this L-A-S-E-R test as your guide.

Another blogger who mentioned about Vote God crafted the striking truth when she wrote that deciding who to vote lies in our minds, hearts, and hands. Isn’t her post Let’s Vote God sounds equally intriguing as Vernon’s?

Recently, I wrote and I asked, Do your candidates pass the LASER test for Election 2010? In that post, I mentioned about Vote God campaign by the Dilaab Foundation.

What is Vote God?

Going back to my friend. As expected my friend exploded with quick reactions. Unsa na nga klase nga joke bai?

Of course you know that I was not kidding. Later my friend understood what I meant. Thanks to God and thanks to Skype. (smile)

Vote God, as described, is a

[..] faith-impelled advocacy which hopes to infuse the electoral process with Christian values and for the discerning bloc to muster enough moral courage to choose good over evil, even the lesser evil, during the elections.

It is choosing the way of  God!

I think you are also eager to know about Vote God. Instead of copying and pasting the Frequently Asked Questions about Vote God, I would point to you the primary source. Please visit http://www.votegod.net.

Earth Day 2010: Let us take action

On April 22, millions of people in different nations will take action and unite to show love to our only Earth. April 22 is Earth Day!

Earth Day 2010 is significant because it is the 40th Earth Day celebration. Earth Day started on April 22, 1970 in the United States.

Here’s the words from Earth Day Network:

Forty years after the first Earth Day, the world is in greater peril than ever. While climate change is the greatest challenge of our time, it also presents the greatest opportunity – an unprecedented opportunity to build a healthy, prosperous, clean energy economy now and for the future.

How’s our Earth? The question, to be more specific should be: how’s your environment?

Even a grade 5 student can tell you about how the face of earth is destroyed. A second year high school can explain to you how environmental abuse relate to climate change.

We may be aware. It’s on how we work on our awareness.

For example, garbage segregation seems simple as it sounds but actually difficult to implement. I can cite what happen here in Mandaue City. When the city’s dumping site was closed, the government initiated garbage-segregation. But the program did not really sustained.

It’s election and election here in the Philippines is literally dirty with all the garbage (mostly plastic-made campaign materials. Imagine how our cities look after election.

Here is the buzzword called climate change. Though the Philippines is not a major contributor to global warming but recent events shown that our country is highly vulnerable to natural disasters and abrupt change to climate.

Now, the country is experiencing a very dry season. In an episode of iWitness, the impact of dry season was felt. It showed how people in Masbate are surviving with very little water.

Here is a teaser of the TV program:

Water mixed with mud. Water that tastes like mud. This is what residents in Sampad, Masbate must deal with on a day to day basis. With no permanent source of clean water, they dig wells with their bare hands hoping to tap into some water from the earth. But with widespread drought, the dug wells bring little relief.

I wrote, Minimizing the impact El Niño phenomenon, to remind everyone that while we cannot stop the dry spell, we can actually do something to minimize its effects.

We already felt the effect of climate change; we are getting back what we give to Earth. But of course, it is not yet too late. We can still act. Let us take action.

I believe the best Earth image is the Blue Marble. The Blue Marble is a famous photograph of the Earth taken on December 7, 1972, by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft at a distance of about 45,000 kilometres (28,000 mi). (Source: Wikipedia; Image below also from Wikipedia)

I suggest that you will take a look and appreciate the beauty of our Earth in 30 seconds. Look at the Blue Marble below then answer my question.

What can you do to help save our only Earth?

Do your candidates pass the LASER test for Election 2010?

As voters, we also need to do our homework. This is the reminder of a very good friend Novell Tagailo. By the way he is the same person who advocates that everyone should go out and vote on May 10, 2010 because we, the voters are  the reason, why there is an election.

So here is one of the most important homework that we should do: LASER Test.

What is LASER Test?

LASER is an acronym for Lifestyle, Action, Supporters, Election Conduct and Reputation. You should vote to candidates who pass the LASER Test. I will tell you why.

Even before the election campaign started, we were already bombarded with tons of information about the candidates. The information are mostly conflicting, confusing, and misleading. I believe you have your own frustration on the way election campaign is run. It is characterized by negative stuff, mudslinging, personality assassination, and full of finger-pointing and accusations.

Let us not allow ourselves to get drowned on negatives; instead, let us light the flame of optimism that through one vote, we can make a difference.

This is the reason why I suggest that we use the LASER test and major basis for electing our country’s next leader. As a little background, LASER test is conceptualized by Dilaab Foundation to help us voters discern the best candidate to vote on May 10, 2010.

The LASER test for election 2010 candidates are part of the campaign called Vote God. As described, Vote God is a faith-impelled advocacy which hopes to infuse the electoral process with Christian values and for the discerning bloc to muster enough moral courage to choose good leaders.

Vote God

I will tell you more about Vote God advocacy on my next post.

The LASER test is best understood in the context of Christian values. When you run the LASER test to your candidates, it is very important that you put God at the center. By doing this, you erase the political color you already put on yourselves.

Ask these questions.

What is my candidate’s lifestyle? What are the actions of my candidates? Who are the supporters of my candidates? Are they the supporters also pass the LASER test? What is the election conduct of my candidates? Does he focus on his plan or put pains to his opponents with his dirty political tactics? Does he follow election laws and guidelines? What is the reputation of my candidates?

Let us pause and reflect. This is about our future.

Let us do our homework. We still have time.