Sunday, May 28, 2006

Unicameral Parliament

I found this on a newspaper and i think it is worth to be posted here so that visitors would be informed of the cost and the setbacks the bicameral system has done to the country. The bi-cameral system of government has its own good intentions but current political climate and the overall thinking of the Senators have made the bi-cameral system in a mess. A number of "in aid of legislation" investigations have sprouted since GMA sat down for office. And all of this investigations have no ending..except dead endings..Investigations are in general against the president, and most of it are not new or should i say RECYCLED ISSUES.. issues that where long gone buried and cannot be proven. Another investigation the senate started was with the failed mutiny of a group of elite soldiers of the AFP. The senate investigations are over and recommendations where made, BUT the senate as the LAW MAKER's seem not to understand the recommendations given by both military and civilian point of view. And the military is still in quite a mess in terms of equipment, personnel benefits, and overall morale of the soldiers. The current senate wants and likes to be in the headlines news always..they are seeking popularity, and therefore are not doing their job.. They are only seeking personal gains and sometimes political gains..If an inquiry of their assets would be done..and i mean a very stringent investigation.. you might not be appalled by the number of properties these senators have here in the philippines and as well as outside the philippines. Aside from properties , bank accounts and business..named to other people within the family or a dummy person can be found. If the US CIA would make this inquiry i think it would be very very profound..

Here is the newspaper ad, found it in Manila bulletin may 27,2006 issue:


So that the Filipino people will not be misled and misinformed, here is what we mean when we say: ABOLISH THE SENATE and HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

Since July 2004 when the 13th Congress was inaugurated, here is the score from the congressional ledger: 51 BILLS OF NATIONAL APPLICATION and 708 BILL OF LOCAL APPLICATION already approved on third reading by the House of Representatives HAVE BEEN GATHERING DUST FOR MONTHS IN THE SENATE.

The list of bills is too long to fit this space. We've collated most of the 51 national bills, majority of which are urgent measures, because they may never see the light of day in the senate.

The Senate's inaction is an abosolute waste of people's money.Just one law enacted by the senate and the House of Representative cost the government almost 700 million PESOS in taxpayer's money.**(soure: Mannila Standard Today)
The Senate's conduct leads to one inescapable conclusion: Its time to shift the country to a parliamentary government and a Unicameral(one-house) parliament!

Bills of National Application long approved by the House and Pending in the Senate
(As of April 25,2006)

Bill No. Short Title Transmitted to the Senate

HB04710 General Appropriations Act of 2006 3/21/06
HB04839 Anti_terrorism Act of 2005 1/24/06
HB04629 BioEthanol Fuel Act of 2005 8/24/05
HB03295 Investments Incentives Code
of the Philippines 3/8/05
HB03740 Amending of RA No. 8178 by
extending the utilization period of
agricultural competitiveness
enhancement fund 3/8/05
HB04069 Anti-Smuggling Act of 2005 5/24/05
HB02933 Granting a One-time Tax Amnesty
on all unpaid national internal
revenue taxes for taxable year
2003 and prior years 12/15/04
HB04264 Omnibus Housing and Urban
Developmetn Act 10/12/05
HB04275 Ensuring objectivity and the
protection of witnesses in the
prosecution of cases by the
ombudsman, allowing private
lawyers to act as prosecutors on
his behalf 6/1/05
HB03835 Socialized and low-cost housing
loan restructuting Act of 2005 3/16/05
HB04081 Billion trees Act of 2005 5/4/2005
HB05008 University of the Philippines
charter of 2005 2/7/06
HB03370 Creating the office of the
Comptroller of the AFP 4/6/06
HB01562 Amending RA 340,as amended,
which established a uniform
retirement system for the AFP 4/6/06
HB04846 Land Administration Reform
Act of 2005 11/29/05
HB03309 Frontline Service Information
Act of 2004 3/9/05
HB00068 Prohibiting of detention of Live or
Dead patients in hospitals and
medical clinics for non-payment
Hospital bills or medical expenses 5/25/05
HB04602 Philippine Cooperative Code of 2005 10/12/05
HB04835 Amending RA 35,As amended,
by including within its coverage
journalist from broadcast,
news agencies and internet
publications 11/29/05

there are more of this pending bills and other information @

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The weekend that was....


MAY 5, 2006 (STAR) The US Senate urged the Philippine government yesterday to swiftly bring to justice attackers of journalists in the country.

The call came after a Senate inquiry into reported murders of journalists in the Philippines since 2000.

"Ensuring that legal officials thoroughly investigate and prosecute attacks on journalists is critical as the world recognizes Press Freedom day today," said Republican Senator Richard Lugar, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which held the inquiry.

In reaction to the US Senate call, Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said the Philippine government is working hard to stop the killings of journalists.

Oh come on..Are they going to meddle with our state affairs again? and again? I found out on a forum that they (US GOVERNMENT) killed and hide the evidence of killing journalist in Iraq (click HERE).

Full Article


MAY 7, 2006 (STAR) By Jose Katigbak STAR Washington Bureau - Leandro Aragoncillo, a former US Marine who worked at the White House and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as an intelligence analyst, on Thursday admitted passing classified information to Filipino opposition politicians as part of an attempt to overthrow President Arroyo.

Aragoncillo, a Filipino-American, admitted going to Manila and meeting with his co-conspirators at Malacañang on Jan. 12, 2001 — eight days before former President Joseph Estrada was ousted from office, the US Justice Department said.

Full Article

And here's what Former President Estrada has to say....


MAY 7, 2006 (STAR) By Marichu Villanueva - Former President Joseph Estrada shrugged off yesterday the admission of Leandro Aragoncillo, a Filipino-American intelligence analyst, that he passed classified information to opposition personalities in the Philippines who were trying to oust President Arroyo.

"Why single me out? I was not the only one who was given copies (by Aragoncillo)," Estrada pointed out.

Full Article

And the hard heads of the labor group...very hard headed people...!!


MAY 7, 2006 (STAR) By James Mananghaya - A labor group said yesterday that workers in the country need a legislated wage hike and not increases decided by the regional wage boards.

In a statement, the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) said they are rejecting the suggestion of Labor Secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas for the workers to file wage hike petitions in the regional wage boards instead of holding rallies in the streets.

"Workers in the National Capital Region (NCR) will not go to the regional wage board for pay hikes. The workers need a legislated across-the-board wage increase now to help bridge the gap between minimum wage and the income needed to live a decent life. After all, the Constitution guarantees a living wage, not a minimum wage," Josua Mata, APL secretary general said.

Full Article

And finally, some good news...


MAY 7, 2006 (STAR) Ireland has started to implement new policies allowing some 2,000 Filipino caregivers in this country to undergo hospital training as nurses following the efforts of the Philippine Embassy officials in London to reach out and negotiate with the Irish government.

Full Article


MAY 7, 2006 (STAR) By Sandy Araneta - Thousands of Filipino human rights abuse victims can share $40 million in a New York brokerage account that belonged to the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, a United States federal appeals court said.

"This is sweet victory for Filipino victims of human rights abuse," Robert Swift, one of two lawyers for the plaintiffs, said in a statement distributed in Manila. "We struggled with scant resources for years to overcome many legal obstacles."

Each of the 9,539 Marcos victims will receive $3,000 to $3,500 if the money is distributed, the victims’ other lawyer, Rod Domingo Jr., said.

Full Article

Thursday, May 04, 2006

And its FINAL!!


MAY 4, 2006 (STAR) By Jose Rodel Clapano - In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court (SC) yesterday upheld the constitutionality of Proclamation 1017, in which President Arroyo declared a weeklong state of national emergency in February to quell a reported coup.

Voting 11-3, the tribunal declared that the proclamation was "constitutional insofar as it constitutes a call by the President for the (military) to prevent or suppress lawless violence."

In the same vein, it also upheld as constitutional General Order No. 5 — PP 1017’s implementing order — that directed security forces to take "necessary and appropriate actions and measures to suppress and prevent acts of lawless violence."

However, the court declared "unconstitutional and illegal" the way PP 1017 was implemented by security forces, saying the military and police "committed acts which violate the citizens’ rights under the Constitution."

It held that the ensuing government crackdown on street protests, warrantless arrests of political opponents and a police raid on The Daily Tribune, a newspaper critical of the administration, were illegal for lack of enough legal basis.

Malacañang is considering whether to seek reconsideration on that score.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita nevertheless hailed the court decision, saying it sustained Mrs. Arroyo’s authority to call on the Armed Forces to maintain order and protect national security.

Full Article

Would this be the final argument? Hope this would be the last...


MAY 4, 2006 (STAR) By Roel Pareño - Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Generoso Senga appealed to critics yesterday not to prematurely blame the military for the recent assault on a Chinese fishing boat that left four crew members dead in the disputed Spratly Islands.

Senga said there is no initial basis to pinpoint the military as responsible for the attack last week which also left three others wounded.

"Huwag niyo naman gamitin ang AFP dahil wala pang basehan ‘yong ganoong reports (Don’t accuse the AFP because there is no basis for such reports)," Senga appealed to the media during the 30th anniversary of the AFP Southern Command here.

Senga said initial reports indicated the attackers could be pirates.

He stressed the attack could have been carried out by pirates or any armed group.

"Maraming masamang elemento na ganoong karahasan. Walang indication na AFP ang gumawa (There are many criminal elements capable of carrying out such senseless attack. There is no indication the AFP is behind the attack)," he said.

Full Article

I hope the politicians would defend the military. The media has been unpatriotic..I hope the law makers will set aside differences and be patriotic in this issue...


MAY 4, 2006 (STAR) For the third straight year, the Philippines ranked second to Iraq as the most dangerous country for journalists, a sad note for the news industry as the world marked World Press Freedom Day yesterday, according to a media advocacy group.

With seven journalists murdered in 2005 and continuing moves by officials to muzzle the media, local journalists pay a high price for their outspokenness, the Paris-based Reporters Sans Frontières (Reporters Without Borders, or RSF) said in its annual report.

"For the third year in succession, the Philippines, with seven murders and as many murder attempts, ranked after Iraq on the list," RSF noted.

Last year was the deadliest for journalists worldwide in a decade, RSF said, with 63 reporters and five media aides killed. Iraq accounted for 24 of the deaths.

RSF-Asia chief Vincent Brossels noted that in a way the Philippine government is "struggling to rebuild confidence" even as President Arroyo, "weakened by a series of scandals, tried to stop the press from doing its job of safeguarding democracy."

At least five Filipino journalists were sentenced to jail for defamation, and four media outfits closed last year, RSF said.

Full Article

Well, quite interesting...too much press freedom? I hope the journalist will learn that there are limitations about press freedom. But some legitimate stories, stories about corruption and lies in government or in the private sector should be taken action by the government.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Press Freedom in the Philippines

Recent news info about the ranking given by a new york based Freedom House:


MAY 3, 2006 (STAR) By Delon Porcalla - Contrary to observations made by an international watchdog group, the Philippines’ press remains the freest in Asia, borne out by exposés of alleged corruption and ineptness of the government, President Arroyo’s allies in Congress said yesterday.

"The fact that Arroyo critics and the press can liberally criticize the Arroyo government proves that press freedom is very much alive in the country," defended Eastern Samar Rep. Marcelino Libanan.

Libanan, vice chairman of the House committee on justice, along with Rep. Douglas Cagas of Davao del Sur, rectified the observation of the New York-based Freedom House that the country has a "declining press freedom."

"Freedom House’s unfair assessment does not reflect the real situation in the country where press freedom remains unabated," Libanan and Cagas said in a joint statement where they branded as "unfair and inaccurate" the foreign organization’s evaluation.

Full Article

And another news about the tightening of security measures imposed to media men while inside the GHQ at Camp Aguinaldo:


MAY 3, 2006 (STAR) By Jaime Laude - The already "secretive" Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) appears to have clamped down on media by restricting coverage inside General Headquarters (GHQ) at Camp Aguinaldo.

The new media restrictions are contained in an April 20 memorandum issued by AFP Public Information Office (PIO) chief Col. Tristan Kison.

Kison told reporters they should confine themselves, while inside Camp Aguinaldo, to the Defense Press Corps office or the Public Information Office (PIO).

Other media activities, unless they have prior approval from his office, are barred, Kison said.

Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Generoso Senga was the one who directed Kison to issue the memorandum at a time when the military establishment was hounded by controversies.

Among these controversies were the partial release of the Mayuga report and the investigation on suspected leaders of the failed Feb. 24 coup.

Except for the PIO and DPC offices and the grandstand, all areas inside the camp are "off-limits" unless there are events authorized for coverage by the PIO, Kison’s memorandum addressed to the DPC and to all military offices and the military police, stated.

Full Article

The media should also put into mind that press freedom does not mean that they can just barged into any government office, employee, and even us citizens just to get their story. Media is not regulated in any form (except pornography) by the government, but i think the media should possess professionalism during at work..during coverage of certain stories, and in making stories..The media should not be used as a tool for chaos, the media should not be used to promote violence, the media should not create panic, and the media should not always show negative news..most news programs are mostly airing negative news...which is unproductive to the country..and i hope the media will not be used again as a tool to oust a government..


MANILA, MAY 3, 2006
(STAR) SKETCHES By Ana Marie Pamintuan - The markets reacted with glee yesterday to the peaceful conduct of rallies on May Day. Are we finally getting our act together? Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

If sobriety can be sustained, we might yet be able to catch up with our neighbors in economic development.

The political opposition should not be discouraged, and it should continue playing its role in our democracy.

Sobriety does not mean an end to healthy debates on matters that affect the nation. It simply means keeping the debates civilized. That heckler of President Arroyo who graduated from a university in Cavite got her 15 minutes of fame for bad manners; among youths, boorish behavior and emotional outbursts may be disappointing but are not unexpected. Rudeness, however, cannot be carried over into adulthood, and it must not be turned into a national trait. At a certain point, one must outgrow shouting and learn the art of persuasive argument.

Sobriety means debates based on intelligent arguments. Politicians should stop insulting the intelligence of Filipinos by offering simplistic, unrealistic solutions to complex national problems.

Such unworkable solutions have turned off people from the divided opposition, whose tack in working for regime change resembles that of the young heckler from Cavite. The only common refrain we hear from the numerous opposition factions is that they all want to assume power.

The administration, for its part, should also stop insulting the public’s intelligence by going on with business as usual. After five years in office, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should be thinking beyond political survival. What will be the legacy of her administration? Surely the daughter of Diosdado Macapagal does not want it to be cheating, lying and stealing.

If we want long-term economic progress, we need transparency at all levels of government. We need to develop the integrity of institutions. Good governance is the best way to weaken the political opposition.

Full Article

Can everyone read this!!!! Especially the opposition....and learn from it!!! Not learning to destroy..but learning to promote development and transparency within the government...

Monday, May 01, 2006

May 1 -> LABOR DAY...

Its May 1, its Labor Day...Laborers celebrate!!!...spend time with your family..or just simply spend some quality rest at home....

please, no rallies...

here are a couple of news, courtesy of

30 militant, labor groups converge in Plaza Miranda -
MORE than 30 militant and labor groups converged at Plaza Miranda on Monday, calling on the government to prioritize the rights of workers.

Estrada supporters barred from entering Mendiola - SUPPORTERS of former president Joseph "Erap" Estrada failed to get to Mendiola in Manila as anti-riot police barred their entry because they did not have a rally permit, according to GMA Network’s “Flash Report.”

and more news at


Flores -

Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit;
sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.
Chinese proverb

Invest in the Philippines now. That’s what I’m doing in a small
way and that’s what I’m urging all local and foreign investors to
do. No, I didn’t vote for Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in the last
presidential election and I still couldn’t in conscience support
her brand of politics, but I will invest in the Philippines under
her administration and I will put my bets on her stubbornly
exhausting all means to decisively revive our moribund economy.
I believe GMA has no scruples, but she has guts, grit and brains.

I believe most of our politicians are selfish, corrupt and inept,
but my faith remains in the vast reservoir of human and natural
resources of the Philippines, which can still offset their
destructive impact on the economy. Almost 75 percent of the
population is reported to be under 20 years old, offering a vast
market for a lot of businesses and for those of us who are enterprising,
persevering, hardworking, courageous and innovative.

Who says the Philippines is a society with only a few who are
super-rich while the rest of the masses are mired in poverty,
with no real, sizable middle-class? "The Philippines has a
middle-class sector," my young entrepreneur nephew Paul Lee said.
"They are millions, but they are overseas. They represent a big market."
Among the numerous natural resources of our archipelago include our
untapped mining resources, which are estimated to be worth at least
US$1 trillion dollars. Why not invest now?

Can unpopular politics lead to fearless reforms?

God works in the most mysterious ways. I do not believe our
cynical and corrupt politics is a divine curse upon this archipelago,
but it could be a possible source of good news. I believe the paradox
of GMA being the most politically unpopular president in modern
Philippine history can exert extraordinary pressure on her to redeem
herself in history, by leaving a legacy of a more globally competitive
Philippine economy. Non-stop questions about her political legitimacy
all the way up to 2010 is actually a blessing in disguise, for it
shall hopefully humble the President to push unpopular but necessary
political, economic, social and other reforms. It is not true that
the military and police generals are the best guarantors of GMA’s
political survival, but it is a better economy that can create jobs,
more incomes, more business opportunities and more hopes.

At the April 19 launching of the Larger Than Life, Inc. post-production
firm of young entrepreneurs Dondon Yu Monteverde and partner Marcus Ng
with Kris Aquino as the guest of honor, I asked Dondon why he is
investing now when the Philippine economy is still weak and our
politics still so brazenly corrupt. Dondon told Philippine Star:
"My partner Marcus and I are investing because we love what we’re
doing and we’re determined to succeed regardless of the Philippine
economic or political situation. This new company will help modernize
the Philippine movie, TV and advertising industries in terms of
world-class technologies. Why invest now? SM Group founder Henry Sy
once told me that true entrepreneurs like him invest during the worst
crises times when others fear to do business. Sy told me
he invested in the giant SM North Edsa shopping mall after the Ninoy
Aquino assassination triggered economic and political crises. People
laughed at him, but he did well. "We have a belief in the Chinese
culture that in every crisis, there is always both danger and
opportunity. We should have the right attitude. We should look for
opportunities and invest."

No to get-rich-quick schemes and politics, Yes to hard work

Bernadette Sembrano, the beauty and brains UP graduate newscaster of
ABS-CBN 2, recently showed this columnist her first foray into the real
estate business with a townhouse project in Project 8, Quezon City,
named after her maternal grandmother Felicidad. In 2005 she used her
savings to buy a big old house that she asked me to assist her to resell,
but since it was difficult to resell this old house, this year she
decided to tear down the whole structure and to venture into a
townhouse project. This is her second business, the first being the
Bound shop for second-hand books in Scout Castor Street, Quezon City.

Why did Bernadette Sembrano invest in real estate? She thanked her
mother for helping her from being fooled two times. Once, the
newscaster invested her hard-earned savings in the Multitel investment
scheme owned by the so-called Tibayan Group of Companies which
promised high-interest earnings. After only three months,
her mother urged her to withdraw the money. A week after Bernadette
withdrew her money, the Multitel/Tibayan Group collapsed like a house
of cards, and her friend’s family lost P1 million. The moral lesson?
Don’t believe in fancy get-rich-quick schemes or unrealistic
high-interest investments.

The second time Bernadette almost lost her savings was when she
invested in some jewelry, but a well-off officemate then at
GMA 7 offered to help her resell the jewelry. After some time,
Bernadette’s mother urged her to get back the jewelry, so she
went to the officemate’s house and discovered that her jewelry
had already been pawned. Bernadette spoke to the officemate’s rich parents,
they apologized for their daughter’s dishonesty and used their own
money to recover the jewelry from the pawnshop. Eventually,
Bernadette listened to her mother’s advice to buy an old house
in Quezon City with her savings. She originally wanted to lease it out
as a boarding house or to resell it, but finally decided to create a
beautiful but affordable townhouse project now under construction.

Like many young entrepreneurs in the Philippines now, Bernadette
Sembrano has no high regard for many of our politicians and has many
unprintable comments on some of our so-called leaders, but she prefers
to look at economic opportunities. She said that her inspirations in
venturing into business are her hardworking mother and the legendary
rags-to-riches immigrant taipan Henry Sy of the SM Group.

"How did a poor immigrant teenager like Henry Sy create his business
empire?" Bernadette asks. "Immigrants and self-made men like him
started somewhere and I believe that they started with the right
attitude. They persisted with hard work, honesty and integrity.
I believe truly successful entrepreneurs like Henry Sy or
John Gokongwei, Jr. do not do their work just to earn money,
I think earning money for them is only incidental. It’s a passion.
To be a good entrepreneur, find your passion. When you have passion,
it’s not work anymore, because you’ll enjoy what you’re doing."

My advice to entrepreneurs, professionals or other ordinary citizens:
ignore the depressing thought of our inept government and selfish
politicians, ignore pessimism, ignore negative ideas and people, get on
with our lives, work hard, dream and invest in the future.

Invest in the Philippine economy now not because of a better or worse
government, but in spite of government and in spite of our mostly
rotten-to-the-core politicos!

Let’s focus on the economy, on business, on improving our
livelihoods; enough with the bad and wasteful habit of wallowing
in cynical and corrupt politics! Of course we shouldn’t be apolitical
and let evil triumph; we should fearlessly uphold truth, justice and
rule of law, but let us not be sidetracked from the business of
doing more business.

* * *
With emailed consent form the author, Mr. Wilson Lee Flores to post this article,thank you..

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