TODAY'S headline story ("Neri was ready to talk about ZTE") is proof that the PDI is downgrading itself from a broadsheet newspaper to a typical tabloid. It did not [give] any news but gossip, hypotheses, hearsay, and political intrigues. PDI should be aware that its audience is not that dumb. We have too much of Tiktik, Taliba, and Abante. Please start relaying real news. Leave the tsismis to the Buzz and Startalk. -- Russel De Vera, Baltimore, Maryland (via e-mail)
September 2007 Archives
"WOW! Again?" The only thing I could muster to say after reading about the NBN fiasco. Seems like anything that Malacañang offers on the table, the opposition would grab it and throw it back together with a bomb attached to it... Don't get me wrong, I am not pro-administration nor am I pro-opposition. I am just amused at reading about these things. "I prefer a country run like hell by Filipinos to a country run like heaven by Americans. Because, however bad a Filipino government might be, we can always change it." -- Manuel L. Quezon A famous quote by MLQ... and we took it literally. It had been more than 100 years and the direction we're going is backwards. "Amusing," I said? Well, I just got used to it. It was very annoying at first, then you get frustrated, then you just get used to seeing these things. Look, we have a bigger number of turncoats in the government than the time the Japanese occupied us. Yet no lives are threatened just to turn to the other side. Just their positions, may it be elected or appointed. Our nation is not founded on principles anymore. Gone are the days of Quezon, Roxas and Magsaysay. Seems like the "kabataan" of their time did not fulfill being the good "kinabukasan ng bayan" that they planned for. Or is it that the "kinabukasan" will just get darker and darker as time will pass? The government doesn't live on principles anymore. Pardon for Erap? C'mon, after painstakingly ousting him and spending millions on his trial, they're going to give absolute pardon, and with his own conditions, just like that? We would be the laughingstock of the TV-watching, news-reading world. All this just to save face and soften the blow of the opposition against her. Then you should have just asked the Sandiganbayan to acquit him then. At least our judicial system wouldn't suffer the embarrassment. Then we have the opposition. An opposition mostly consisting of the same people that called for Erap's ouster. And it seems that their only purpose is go against anything that the government has planned. Being an engineer working in the electronic communications field, I agree that the NBN and CyberEducation projects would be a milestone in the improvement on the education system of our country and the improvement of communications and data transfer between Malacañang, its departments until the littlest of barangays. Yup, the deal is tattered with graft, so continue your investigations but let the project continue as well. Then nail down the people who profited financially from this deal. Hope this mockery of a government we have right now will change soon before a government will just cease to exist. As MLQ has said. "...however bad a Filipino government might be, we can always change it." Quo vadis, my Philippines?
WE need broadband in the Philippines. Cyber-Ed is simply abstract for a country who can't even fulfill its constitutional duty to educate all citizens. But my question is? Why pay a hefty fee to the Chinese when our own engineers and scientists can solve the problem of connectivity. All they need is a budget. Why spend billions for the Chinese when a hundred million would suffice? A billion spent on research and development within the Philippines itself will give us a return several thousand times that. Even if the research fails in the end we could always get something out of it, precious knowledge that we will never get by outsourcing projects. In short, I don't trust politicians and high-powered wheelers and dealers. In my opinion, they make a potentially strong country weak and a potentially rich country poor. But I trust our engineers and scientists. This is where I want my taxes to go, to Filipino researchers and innovators, not to cheating politicians and rich boys with comb overs. This is my money, our money, not their money. -- Brian Brotarlo, Iloilo City, Philippines (via e-mail)
THAT was a brainy literary gem you spewed out re: the cyberworld. GMA and company have not really internalized the essential implications of the cyber age. Global Pinoys are much smarter than government thinks; smokescreens, stonewalls and old, tired PR jobs are no match to truth crisscrossing the blogs, IMs and e-mails. In the battle of ideas, the truth always wins and liberates in the end. Notice the ever-increasing feedback from the OFW intelligentsia, thanks to the Internet? Once the Pinoys of the diaspora have tasted democracy/justice in their essential substance (if not form), no superficial antics can withstand morally progressive ideas homing back to the land of their birth. It reminds me of T.S. Eliot -- more expats are gazing back at the motherland and seeing its unique beauty for the first time. It's a wonderful sight, though excruciating at times from my perspective, this slow moral maturing of Juan de la Cruz/John of the Cross inside and outside geographic boundaries. Bravo to Joey DV for making the painful decision of taking the high moral ground! The baton has been passed on to his generation. Thanks mucho. -- Hernan Hormillosa, Queens, New York
AFTER spending hundreds of millions for the Joseph Estrada case and after he has been proven guilty of plunder, he is going to walk a free man again soon. As a political scientist and a student of law, I say our justice system is the worst in the world if he is to become a free man despite the seriousness of the crimes committed by that old man. Our sentiments for him do not matter. Yes, he deserves pity somehow. However, he does not deserve to be a free man at all. Justice shall be served. Justice shall prevail. -- Joseph Umadhay, Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat, Philippines (via e-mail)
AFTER our experience with the Marcoses, I thought we (Filipinos) should've grown up, a lot. But here we are once more. We just had an ex-president convicted of plunder in a court of law and talks of pardon are quickly laid out and most embarassing of all, a good number of us think that it is the right thing to do. Stupid. The only thing that comes to mind for lack of a stronger word to put sense in this. Why are we like that? Is it because we have been raised like that? To have the right amount of stupidity to put compassion above justice and to be less caring about that person's self-serving actions in the past? Simply because he was perceived as helper of a handful of poor folks who simply don't understand that the reason they are in that situation is because of people like him. So are we really a forgiving nation? No. We are in fact the opposite because we continue to do it over and over again.
I WENT back to the Philippines as a balikbayan to study in a seminary in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija. Weekly, from Bulacan to Nueva Ecija, I drove a car and it took me about three hours to reach my destination. The problem, e.g. Baguio and other places in Luzon, is not so much about the conditions of the road but about the tricycles who hamper travel by using the national highways. These tricyle [drivers], though they have the right to earn a living, are blocking the streets particularly in public palengkes or markets. Without these tricycles on the streets, I could have reached Cabanatuan within one-and-a-half hours. Lack of discipline and training for traffic rules compounded the problems -- endangering both motorists and pedestrians. Let's not wait for some big disasters to happen -- they are causing deaths and accidents in every part of the country. I urge the MMDA and the LTC to act on this nuisance and obstruction in our our national highway. I urge Mr. [Bayani] Fernando, who is doing a good job as MMDA chair, to travel more by car to those places to see these problems. -- Paddy Padilla, Carson, California (via e-mail)
"DOBLE is already finished as a witness. He needs somebody else to back up his story," Gordon said. This is a statement coming from Senator Richard Gordon, a member of the Senate of the Republic of the Philippines. What is the truth, Senator Gordon, if I may ask? If Doble is not a credible witness, what about the taped conversation between Mrs. Arroyo and then Comelec Commissioner Garcillano? Is that a product of the technical expertise of the agents of ISAFPhil or just an electronic anomaly plucked out of thin air by the agents to embarrass Mrs. Arroyo? This issue will not die even if Senator Gordon and other apologists of Mrs. Arroyo in the Senate hedge and stonewall inquiries like this. It will haunt Mrs. Arroyo for the rest of her political life. -- Alfonso Demayo, Vancouver, Canada (via e-mail)
IN MY own opinion, our lawmakers should focus more on putting up laws governing the Internet. We are so focused on improving our Internet infrastructure, but the laws governing it are not very established. Our economy may benefit from the broadband expansion, for it will create more businesses and jobs in the outsourcing sector, but consequently easy access to the Internet would mean the proliferation of porn, Internet-related crimes, fraud, pedophilia, and other unimaginable damage [to which[ our children and loved ones [would be exposed]. -- Efren Cruz, Makati City, Philippines (via e-mail)
THE TRIAL of President Estrada is the first case of a former Philippine president being accused, arrested and tried for alleged crimes committed during his regime. Our society has become polarized on this issue, and the impending verdict seems like a brewing storm looming over the horizon. As it was, the ball fell into the hands of the Sandiganbayan, where a special division was created, to conduct a speedy and impartial trial. And rightfully so, due to the uniqueness and precedence of this case. The aftermath of EDSA II, the force which catapulted Mrs. Arroyo to power, saw a third force which aimed at reinstating Mr. Estrada. Certain politicians rode the crest of this third force but abandoned it later on. A string of events occurred culminating in the violent dispersal at the gates of Malacañang. This was the first feather on the political survivor cap of Ms. Arroyo. The trial of Mr. Estrada on the charges leveled against him is already a part of history. The impending verdict, in my view, is a necessary evil to put a closure to this. It is therefore the duty of both opposition and administration elements in government not to inflame the passions of supporters but to let reason prevail. On this, let history be our judge.
WHEN misbehaving in other countries, you face the consequences of the law. This time the errant American must have sweet talked immigration with some "sob" story. Attribute it to a long flight? Nah! Medical condition? I doubt it. [Only if] he can prove he has that condition should he be pardoned, but he should have been sent back to the US for behaving as such. He can send the money for the repairs [to] his wife's family house from the US anyway. We shouldn't tolerate this kind of behavior -- even before being formally admitted to the country. What stories can he tell about our hospitality in the US? He can brag about this in the States that he easily fooled our immigration officers by saying he has this medical condition. Sino ngayon ang nagmukhang tanga? Tayo! Hoy, gising! (Who looks stupid now? We do! Wake up!) -- Edward Javier, Springfield, Virginia
SENATOR Juan Ponce Enrile called his Sigma Rho brods "trainers of thugs and killers." Former UP prexy Nemenzo, a Sigma Rhoan, condemned the culture of violence cultivated by fraternities. Former Senate president Jovito Salonga threatened to break his ties with Sigma Rho if the latter is proven to be responsible for the death of Cris Mendez. Yet [Iloilo] Vice Gov. Rolex Suplico, in deadpan fashion, dismissively opined that "there is no concrete evidence that the death of the UP student (Cris Mendez) was caused by the fraternity's initiation rites." Such a cold, cold heart. The vice governor just put his foot where his mouth is.
I AGREE with [Cagayan de Oro] Cong. [Rufus] Rodriguez but there are three points I would like to suggest further: (1) As pointed out that DA [Department of Agriculture] should not only focus on rice production but also on other high-value crops particularly in Mindanao. Thus DA through BFAR [Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources] should also develop other high-value aquatic crops like abalone and sea cucumber which can be cultured already since the hatchery protocol has been already established (2) If ever GMA [President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo] would be true to her promise, the budget increase in Mindanao, the absorptive capacity in Mindanao should also be improved. There's supposedly a lot of money for Mindanao projects from other sources particularly from NGOs but to avail of this is another level of concern, another level of expertise (3) Regardless [of whether] the Mindanao people can absorb more fundings effectively or not what is more important is the credibility of President GMA's promise to Mindanao.