I AM glad you are now at peace with yourself and that you have finally come to terms with your conscience after giving up the wheeling-dealing life of big time corruption. I know it was not easy giving up the perks of high living that corruption has brought to your life. Weaning yourself from the exciting life of rubbing elbows with the rich and famous and sharing the wealth and decadent pleasures with the corrupt even if you temper your greed in moderation must have been tough. But it certainly is not a stricken conscience that forced you to abandon all that and return to an honest and clean living. Certainly it is nowhere like the conversion of Saul who was enlightened by a bolt of lightning on his way to Damascus and later became the Apostle Paul. It was in fact your fear for your safety and your dear family, not a bothered conscience that made you cling to dear life and beg tender mercies from the good nuns to help you. All these fears are bound to happen when you ignored the Four Way Test the Rotarians have taught you. These fears are consequences of your actions that you should have thought of first before you employed yourself with the corrupt and joined political partisanship as you do now. If you feel harassed you can only blame yourself for making your family victim of your own follies. I respect you for encouraging Joc Joc Bolante to join you in seeing the light. But rather than for love of family that you enjoin him to tell the truth, I would think Bolante and you should bring back your patriotic sense to do it for love of country to atone for the grievous offenses both of you had committed while in government. Serving in the government is to serve the country and people. When the two of you cheated the government you have in effect broken the covenant of trust that you were supposed to uphold. You have committed punishable crimes against the state and its people that cannot and should not be extinguished by public apology. Sure, others have committed worse criminal acts too but their time will come as it did to you. It is unfair that this is the only country I know where too many lawbreakers have gone unpunished. And most unfair of all a convicted unremorseful felon who committed a capital offense was pardoned without feeling the cold iron bars of prison. Your self-cleansing mea culpa did not hit well for many people. Your detractors do not see it as an act of remorse because your words contradict your actions. Thus, many skeptics find it difficult to believe in your new-found advocacy to fight corruption in government. Your story does not end here though. For one, many are cynical about your accusation of kidnapping against your protectors who fetched you at the airport on your return from Hong Kong. These are the same people who you asked for help to keep you away from the Senate investigation and it becomes incredulous to charge them with kidnapping unless others have motivated you to do it. Your arrival was obviously intended to be inconspicuous but for the unexpected presence of media waiting at the airport your clumsy excitable handlers turned the welcome reception into a comedy of errors. You came home safe nonetheless but people close to you are not satisfied. They have other plans for you yet. Also, you admitted to having been used in corrupt activities which you now abhor and find repulsive. But you seem unaware you are being used once again and this time for political reasons. It does not matter if your handlers are the heavenly saints, the ungodly or the wicked and which side of the political divide they belong to. To fight corruption you must remove yourself from political partisanship. You said you are not afraid to fight for the truth. Good, fight your own battle then. I do mine like many citizens who want to be free from political influences and partisanships. Do this and the skeptics will believe in you. I wish you and your family well. De Los Reyes, Via Reader’s Comment
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This is In reaction to the "Telcos, not text senders, will be taxed." It’s understandable for the domestic telecom companies to block any proposals that would reduce their enormous profits. Gordon’s proposal is noble one but i think people should realize that the main issue here is the negative impact of the duopolistic behavior (forget Sun, they are not yet earning) of the two main telecom players. Congress should work hard to induce more industry competition (lower cost, better service). Better yet, investigate the respective ownership structures of these companies. My worry is that foreign interests are the ones benefiting more on the growth of the industry. Sorry but I’m just thinking aloud. paruparo via Reader's blog comments.
You cannot serve two masters at the same time. Many are called, few are chosen. With these lines, I ask, "What did Fr. Ed now Gov. Ed Panlilio hope to achieve when he ran for Governor?" I think he was confused about a lot of things. First he must have thought that being a priest is also like being a governor. Or that he could bring his priestly duties to his new job. Fact is, that is ideal but highly improbable. Simple lang po. Pag ikaw po ay pari, lumalapit ang tao sa yo para magkumpisal ng kasalanan. They have acknowledged their wrongdoings and are asking for forgiveness and penance. Mabait na sila. They are also not afraid to confess to a priest kasi di naman sila nito ipapahamak o isusumbong dahil may vow of confidence ang confession, di po ba? But in a governorship, di ganun ang mga tao. Gagawa pa lang sila ng kasalan. Masama pa sila. At sigurado di sila aamin sa governor kung gagawa o gumawa na sila ng kasalanan. It is very naive to think people are angels and saints all the time. So see, there are a big chunk of difference there is that what is good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander here. Ang approach ng pari ay iba sa approach ng isang public official. Ang sitwasyon ng simbahan ay iba sa sitwasyon ng kapitolyo o munisipyo. Kaya nga siguro, pag pari, pari at pag public official, public official. Di pwdeng double personality. May conflict of interest kaagad. Many will be bound to be frustrated. As for the calling, may I ask. Did Fr. Ed heard the wrong calling when he answered the call to become a priest because what he really wanted to be pala ay maging public official. Or he heard wrong when he thought he had a calling to be a public official. He can’t be right in both cases. Ok lang naman ang maging pari o maging governor but you can’t be both and certainly you can’t expect people to see you as both. I think Fr/Gov Ed is confused and the whole situation confuses people around him. Reader's Comment by goldenrule
THIS concerns the recent column of Mr. Honesto General titled, "GSIS law on foreign investments" (PDI,10/08/08). I really have no idea why the GSIS general manager Winston Garcia has declared that the GSIS investments under the Global Investment Program (GIP) "was earning 5 percent," which is contrary to what the GSIS said a year ago that the said investment was supposed to have a guaranteed earnings of at least 8 percent? Is the GSIS hiding something from its millions of active members, most of whom are having difficulty applying for loans with the pension fund agency? And if ever loans are granted to them, most often computations are questionable and beyond the understanding of ordinary government employees whose mathematical skills are not at par with those of the magicians at the GSIS loans processing department. What seems to be mystery right now is the way in which the GSIS is tinkering with its members' money? The difference between 5 and 8 percent should be misconstrued as something that should be accounted for. The GSIS management should explain this in a public hearing which maybe called by Congress to shed light on the details of the said offshore investments. Otherwise, the difference should be another case of "finding a needle in the hay." If not, it is about time that any government employees association must stand up and do something to stop these shenanigans in the GSIS by filing a lawsuit before a proper court to stop GSIS from collecting members’ contributions until the GSIS shortcomings and loopholes in the processing of loans are corrected. Or they can lobby Congress to rectify some of the provisions of the GSIS charter, especially if it concerns matters that have something to do with investments abroad and other matters that are beneficial to its millions of members. As a former GSIS member, I haven’t heard of any government organization that had protested in behalf of its members to ventilate their grievances in the proper courts so that these things could be ironed out, once and for all. If a consumer organization had succeeded in suing the Manila Electric Company for what it did to millions of hapless consumers, why not the GSIS members, too? Al Jeratso via Reader's Comment
THIS is with regards to the article about the complaint on the BBC TV comedy program that portrayed a Filipina with racist tone. Filipinos whine and complain quickly when one of their kind is made fun of especially when made by foreigners. They will quickly paint it as racist. Let’s face the fact. Filipinos are also racist. When you portray Visayans in a funny way as to mock them, isn’t it racism? When you mimic their heavy accent when they try to communicate in Tagalog, isn’t it racism? At least they can speak Tagalog while you can’t speak their language which you call dialect. The truth is, you don’t even understand the difference between a language and a dialect. One example, a dialect of pure Tagalog is Batangas people’s mother tongue. The thing is, racism is alive and rampant in the Philippines done against the other ethnic groups in the islands not only against the Visayans but also against the Muslim Filipinos. Before you take the speck on other people’s eyes, clean your eyes of your own log. Talk against racism? Talk about racism first that is rampant in your own backyard. Joe Duterte via Reader’s Comments
THIS month of October we are celebrating Children’s Month. I find it very inconsistent though that the very same body which started all these rights-of-the-child thing, the United Nations, would be the very same body also that would spearhead something that violates one of the basic rights that have been ratified by governments and states of the world after a decade of consultations with various religions, cultures, societies, institutions, organizations, etc. Then here in the Philippines, which is one of the states which ratified the Rights of the Child, our lawmakers are trying to pass a law which once again destroys the spirit of the Rights of the Child through a bill comfortably labeled as something for the sake of women. This very fundamental right is the Right To Be Born. Maybe I see it in a very simplistic way but isn’t it ironic that the United Nations initiated this activity but then again they would disregard such a very important right (the very first right according to the Rights of the Child) and promote the use of contraceptives among its member-nations? It is written in very simple English and has been translated in all languages and dialects I suppose. This right is a very significant part of the entire list of children’s rights because upon it stands all other rights. It is a foundation upon which all the other rights stand as pillars. Without this right all the other rights would be useless. How can one enjoy the right to grow and develop if he or she is not provided with all the support to enjoy the right to be born? The celebration of the Children’s Month would be another useless waste of time, money and resources if the sanctity of this right would not be upheld. If we really want to have a true celebration of Children’s Month then let us support all the rights of the child especially the fundamental right which is the right to be born and oppose every program, project or activity that would make this right a thing of the past! Lance2008 via Reader's comment
IT challenges reflection that a lawyer, instead of a doctor, is the chief architect and single strong advocate of House Bill 5043 which actually consolidated into one, House Bills 17, 812, 2753 and 3920 in this 14th Congress. The simple idea of gender equality easily permits room for women proponents themselves, in either House or Senate, to be the mouthpiece as well as the voice behind such a now controversial bill that is met with so much opposition from not few traditional groups -- not Rep. Edcel Lagman -- unless otherwise no other proponent from the female species is available. Women issues are the exclusive domain of women, or so I thought? Offhand, HB 5043 pretentiously placed reproductive health, responsible parenthood, and population development under its policy framework. Good. But let us be reminded that a single legislative measure such as HB 5043 that carries more than three subject matters is actually “violative” of “overloading.” Bottomline: that is the way professors of law teaching on “How a Bill becomes a Law” always teach us. Where will HB 5043 all transport us to? Such a would-be law that prohibits and in fact penalizes any healthcare service provider who refuses to perform medically safe reproductive health care services in the absence of spousal consent or authorization is revolting. What is this? Boldly, the bill claims the policy is anchored on the rationale of sustainable development with a manageable population of healthy, educated and productive citizens. Truly, this carries some kind of racist bias against those otherwise unhealthy, uneducated, and unproductive in our realpolitik. Is this Hitler’s idea of a “super race?” What about China with approximately two billion in population that has managed equitably well without compromising its position as the next economic superpower? I say as anecdotal the sweet claim of a population management stratagem of a two-child policy. The proponent himself has more than two of his own, doesn’t he? If we have higher population than any developing country in the world, it is a blessing especially so that all developing countries, no exception, are now suffering from a graying population and are now in search of manpower to replace their aging manpower base. Where then do they have to import human capital? Where will they recruit the Industrial Reserve Army but from the Philippines? Have we as much as forget that OFW remittances of our fellow Filipinos buoys up an otherwise fledging economy? The next generation of overseas workers to fill the great demand of manpower from the global market has to be born now -- beyond the two-child limit. This kind of thinking might run counter to the bill’s claim that manpower is the principal asset of every country. If there will be a universal access to quality reproductive health care services, methods, devices, supplies and relevant information, this means that a whole range of options is at anybody’s disposal. Studies have already validated that reproductive health care as practiced in the more developed societies already negative impacted upon the home, family life, career, social milieu, culture, and society as a whole. It has been shown that women committed suicides. It has been shown that the incidence of broken families rose. It has been shown that children from broken homes are what triggered dramatic rise in the crime statistical chart. As divorces multiply, broken homes multiply just as well. Medically, a lot of these so-called contraceptive pills are not safe and just how many pills are manufactured in a minute and at what cost? Shotgun approach has been the design of HB 5043 -- it will kill all birds that took flight -- adults, adolescents, children – without distinction. It sounds crazy for the bill to claim that women seeking care from post-abortion complications shall be treated and consoled in a humane, non-judgmental and compassionate manner without being guilty of doing abortion in the unseen process. This kind of intended access opens the door wide to a lot of other possibilities in need of reproductive health care attention, not to be excluded, would be abortion itself at its initial stage. To give people the freedom to decide, if, when and how often to have a satisfying and safe sex life, as claimed, tears at the very moral fabric of our social existence. What then constitute as reproductive health-related problems that the bill aims to prevent and avoid -- reason for a full range of options? Openly enough, the bill espouses making available all methods and techniques to prevent unwanted, unplanned, and mistimed pregnancies but what exactly are these? Pregnancies – whether or not wanted, planned, or timed – are pregnancies. Any act or means to be sought to prevent it should be called as what? It would not be abortion, would it? Whoever invented these labels without any scientific basis ought to be a murderer? It is noticeable how a proviso has been carried that would, in effect, expand the coverage of the National Health Insurance Program or NHIP especially to many poor and marginalized women to include a full range of reproductive health care services and supplies as health insurance benefits. Will money be inserted in another else’s pocket? How much in State subsidies will be infused into a supposed-to-be existing program or agency, again and again? Rider or not to a proposed bill, the creation of a Board of Commissioners of POPCOM (or Population Commission) of 14 heads of agencies plus 3 representatives from the private sector ought to be the subject matter of another and separate bill yet to be proposed and filed in Congress considering that when a board meets, honoraria are given. At the very least, their appointment by the President for a term of 3 years means that some people get to be employed, first and second, time. Even the Department of Agriculture and the Commission on Higher Education will be members thereof make for Ripleys. Again, more midwives or skilled attendants need to be employed in every municipality or city based on some ideal ratio. More qualified personnel in each city or province will have to be employed in hospitals to provide emergency obstetric care, again, based on ideal ratio of say one such hospital for every 500,000 population. How good indeed those indigent patients will be covered by PhilHealth insurance benefits for hospital services related to family planning? Again, are we putting money in another else’s pocket? Another apparent caveat of the proposed HB 5043 is the fact that every congressional district will be provided a van for Mobile Health Care Service from their PDAF but it is not stated too clear if this means an additional budget to their PDAF. A mandatory health reproductive education will be required of those from Grade V to Fourth Year High School. Will parents agree to this law? Inserting 10 percent additional increase in the honoraria of barangay health workers is truly an inducement. Will not barangay captains or mayors agree to this scheme and its pecuniary benefits? From where I stand, readers of HB 5043 can read with caution the corpus of purely statistical data in the explanatory note of the bill from which it based its goal to erect a law that is always met with extreme opposition from those thought to become its beneficiaries as well as to its intended victims. In the end, adults, adolescents, and children that the bill purports to help will be the true victims of a law that is easy enough to approve given that it has “strings attached” to it. Not remotely, some laws really self-destruct as soon as they get implemented and this proposed measure shall be one of them. Since coins will be dropped in the vendo machine, many legislators might tend to stamp their own approval of HB 5043, irrespective of dictates of conscience – and so be it. Primer C. Pagunuran, via reader’s comment
IT is lamentable (to borrow the word of Senator Pangilinan) that Mon Tulfo would call Ermita and Atienza "decent men," while branding Jun Lozada’s claims "exaggerated." Now we see why the country is in a lamentable state. We glorify those people who never manifested "decency" when the NBN-ZTE scandal was a hot item, while the person who risked everything is being crucified. At least I’m basing what I’ve written here from their previous actions and not based on their personality. Let me remind Mon Tulfo that even family and friends of criminals say that those criminals are "mabait" and not capable of committing crimes. Lamentable! Robert C. Garcia, via reader's blog comment
Editor's note: We love a good conversation. So starting this week, we will be highlighting readers' comments we deem interesting and relevant to this blog. Readers must identify themselves and not use anonymous names to get higher chances of being picked out from the crowd. Also, best to say where you're from and put a link to online articles you wish to comment on. Here's one we picked for this week. +++ I am so appalled at how the Inquirer editorial on September 7, 2008 can be so careless and wrong about its facts despite its vast network of reporters and contacts who can do even a cursory verification. The Consortium on Electoral Reforms or CER is not composed of lawmakers from both Houses of Congress. It is purely a civil society network of electoral reform workers and it definitely cannot “railroad” the passage of a bill. With all due respect, the tone of the editorial makes it look more like a hatchet job against groups that supports reform in our political party system, than one that would encourage debate on this important issue. Where did this piece come from? I understand that Inquirer has to take strong positions on important issues, and although I do not agree with all of them, they are generally well written and informative. This editorial is different. All that Inquirer should have done was to talk to Mon Casiple, the CER Chair, who is anyway very visible in the media, to ask CER’s positions on the political party reform bill. Inquirer may disagree, but at least it would be an informed position. The insinuation of malice and sinister motive on CER is a grave insult to its network members who have selfishly worked for electoral reforms for a number of years now. This is plain irresponsible journalism that must be rectified. I have made it a daily habit to read the Inquirer and its editorials over that of the other papers. Now I am having second thoughts about your paper. Luie Guia, via readers' comment.