Manila Standard

Wolves among Us

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by Liza Gazpar

CLOSE to 94% say SSS hefty bonuses ‘immoral’ – Inquirer News
Corruption in Customs systemic – ABS-CBN News
Anomalies mar DSWD rehab effort –
How will all this corruption end? – Manila Standard Today
Napoles issues blanket denial at senate hearing – Manila Bulletin
PNP most corrupt agency – survey – Philippine Star

These and more are served daily to Filipinos. With Internet technology, we hear of how rampant corruption is in every corner of the government anywhere we are. When do we, the real Pinoys, say, “Enough!” and actually do something about? Something that is much more than and beyond the grandstanding calls for change we see every day alongside these headlines on how croaked the matuwid na daan really is.

Where the Heroes Have Gone?
Why is it that for a nation which produced nationalists, who were more than willing to shed blood for it with several who died for their efforts, such as Jose Rizal, Gabriela Silang, and Andres Bonifacio, can spawn and nurture people who have no qualms about pocketing what isn’t theirs? How can such a noble nation endure for so long families who have perfected birthing sons and daughters who are more corrupt than their parents? How can such a proud nation stand the repeated rape of its lands?

How can we endure all these? How can we not get tired hearing all of these exploitations?
I am certainly tired about so and so is corrupt or how the system is rigged licensing every wolves in sheep’s clothing to convert public funds into their very arsenal. But honestly, no matter how tired I am, I don’t know what to do to make all these go away?
Do you?

True Pinoys
I may not know how to solve our country’s problems, but I do know that together we can do a lot. Worst, together, we can at least lessen the appearance of the above headlines – maybe from every day to every other day. That would certainly be an improvement, don’t you agree?
I call on my fellow young professionals, the very youth that Jose Rizal once said as the hope of the nation. Arguably today’s crooks and cheats of the very first order were once part of this hope and that a few of us turn as bad. Still we, the young and the brave, have the energy to say, “Enough!” and actually do something about all these.

I call on my fellow true Pinoys to make a stand, to add their voice to the growing discontent around the country. Each voice added to the collective will eventually become so deafening these goddamned corrupts will fear their lives, cower like the cowards they are, and cough up a cc of blood for every peso wrongly gained.

Discontented Nation
As the national discontent grow, let us not remain just discontent. Let us nurture this discontent. Let this discontent grow into something revolutionary that, if alive today, even Jose Rizal, Gabriela Silang or Andres Bonifacio is proud to call us brothers or sisters-in-arms.

Let us write a better history. Don’t we deserve something better than being told whenever you go to another country after you introduce yourself as coming from the Philippines, “Ah, pork barrel.” (This actually happened to a dear friend when she went to Vietnam for a business trip.

Let us find our time’s equivalent to Pugad Lawin’s pagpupunit ng mga sedula to start the revolution not against a foreign invader, but against our very own people who have done incalculable abuse to our beloved country.
It is time.

Kung hindi ngayon, kailan pa? Kung hindi tayo, sino pa? – Abraham P. Sarmiento, Jr., Philippine Collegian
American: In the US, stealing is against the law. If you steal, you will be jailed.
British: In the UK, foreigners who are caught stealing are deported.
Saudi Arabian: Do not steal or your hand will be cut off.
Japanese: Stealing brings dishonor to family, we make hara-kiri.
Chinese: If caught stealing, you face firing squad.
Filipino: Stealing is FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY!

*From a friend’s text message

Liza Gaspar is a wealth coach and personal finance enthusiast. She spends her free time helping out with the projects of the Rotary Club of Makati McKinley ( and the Gerry Roxas Leadership Awardees ( Visit her Web site at or email her at


Posted on

By Miguel Raymundo

MOST of us believe the pork scandal is a corruption issue. Yes it is, but to some high-risk political operators, this is just the start of the 2016 presidential campaign. The last three years in Malacañang has been the most dangerous, if not unproductive, for sitting President BS Aquino. Not only has he found himself abandoned, but also tamed even by his most trusted allies. As expected, powerful forces are now on each other’s throat in what could easily be a warm-up fight for the presidential contest two and a half years from now.

(photo source:
(photo source:

But if you think the war is between Malacañang and the opposition, you fail to see deeper into what is happening behind doors in the current pork barrel scandal. The war is now between forces inside Malacañang. Manila Standard Today reported that DILG Secretary Mar Roxas is to blame for the 12-minuter fiasco, the “I-am-no-thief” televised speech of PNoy. The Manila Standard also reported of a Laygo survey that said PNoy’s popularity rating is down by 35 percent, a major slip in his ratings. The broadsheet said Malacañang is in panic. The paper said they have a Malacañang insider for a source. OpinYon sources inside Malacañang say the Manila Standard story is half-true. It is true that there is a bloody war between forces of Executive Secretary Pacquito “Jojo” Ochoa and those of the Liberal Party led by Roxas. It is too bloody that PNoy has been reduced to become a victim of the ambitions, greed and fears of the Ochoa camp.

BOC: Cash Cow

The Ochoa camp is not ready to give up its control over Malacañang even after PNoy is gone. That is the ambition and the greed. The fear is should an enemy group take control of Malacañang, Ochoa and company could be joining another President behind bars. The fears of Ochoa’s group are not unfounded. There are persistent reports that some top Malacañang officials are in control of smuggling. Billions of pesos in lost taxes and government revenues end up in the pockets of the relatives of these Malacañang officials. Out of power, they will not only lose this cash cow, their boys might even be charged of corruption. The Bureau of Customs is the favorite cash cow of any political party in power. It has lately become a center of controversy and power play between Samar and Balay groups. Attempts by the Balay group to take control of BOC has always been derailed resulting in Ruffy Biazon keeping the post even with his dimwit performance. Also the agencies known for massive corruption like the DPWH are controlled by the Samar group. There is sharing of powers in some agencies that bring in the cash. The bigger pie almost always ends up with the Samar group.

Dirty Tricks

In the elbowing in the power game, pockets and egos are bruised creating deep resentment and plotting between the two forces. The war inside Malacañang is a very interesting as regards the use of dirty tricks. Unbelievable it seems the claim that only the Roxas camp is to blame for the 12-minuter speech fiasco. The report said that PNoy delayed facing the camera for that “I-am-no-thief” speech to give time for corrections of the speech by Ochoa. Being the last official to tinker with the transcript, Ochoa should take the blame for the final copy. But the Manila Standard source from inside Malacañang said that Roxas takes the blame and played up the slant that he is bringing down the President.

(photo source:
(photo source:

Who owns Manila Standard?

An OpinYon source said it is the other way around. The almost perfect handling by dirty tricks operators of Samar is making Roxas the bad boy. Almost perfect is the handling in the demolition of Roxas except that the top broadsheets appear to be treating the story with suspicion. So does OpinYon, forcing us to sneak in and get our side of the truth. Why is Manila Standard on top of this “inside sources” trick? This brings us to ask: who owns Manila Standard? That paper is owned by the Romualdezes, who are actually the Marcoses. We encourage you to do your own math and we would end up with the same conclusion. Notice one story finding space and getting viral in social media: the Marcos wealth and insinuations that its return will solve poverty in this country. Another interesting side of this 2016 battle for the presidency is how the camp of Binay is being treated by these two forces inside Malacañang. It appears that a decision has been made that Binay is not a serious contender, if not an already destroyed potential enemy.

Binay, A Goner?

With Binay already reduced to ashes, ironically by his own acts and moves by Malacañang, the two groups are now on each other’s throats, suspecting that whoever takes Malacañang will have the other join the President behind bars. Roxas has minced no words in seeking the presidency come 2016, but speculations are rife that Ochoa may have a different agenda – backing the presidential bid of opposition Senator Ferdinand Marcos “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. The Ochoa-Marcos link is via a law firm – the Marcos, Ochoa, Serapio and Tan, thus the acronym MOST. Marcos refers to Liza Marcos, wife of Senator Marcos, while Ochoa is Aquino’s executive secretary and S and T for Edward Serapio and Joseph Tan, respectively. The law firm was recently tagged as lawyering for pork barrel queen Janet Lim-Napoles, accused in a case of kidnapping and serious detention.
It should be noted, as well, that as early as Aquino’s 2009 presidential campaign, the salt to the wound has already been added. Members of the Balay faction of Aquino supporters, the one headed by Roxas, started blaming the Samar group under Ochoa for the failure of the Aquino-Roxas banner, after Chiz Escudero endorsed the Aquino – Binay tandem, without the knowledge of the said candidates. Escudero even went as far as to print t-shirts saying ‘Aquino-Binay’, which did not help the already widening division between the two groups that are supposed to be united under the Aquino flag. The publicity spin doctors in Malacañang were quick to rush and patch up the holes created by the infighting, but not fast enough that sources from inside were able to spread the knowledge that Aquino is running a divided political household.

Battle Royale

Since Filipinos are known for putting premium on keeping up appearances, Ochoa and Roxas would come in public ceremonies together, standing side by side, just to make it appear that allegations of infighting are baseless. Other than the obvious nonverbal tension that one can observe in this play-acting to feign truce, we know that the Filipino public has seen the same political drama repeated over and over again, and they are not fooled.
As preparations for the 2016 elections begin, we see a repeat of the 2010 battle royale between these two groups. But this time, it will be bloodier and it might trigger the fall of Pnoy even before the 2016 elections.
Malacañang is now the most dangerous place to be: a snake pit.