Zamboanga City

What Is PNoy Up To?

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by Ramon Orosa

SOMETHING is happening in this nation that is not easy to understand or interpret. Most people are wondering what’s next. Others are also wondering how PNOY sees and/or interprets what is happening. Most of the opinions are not so salutary.

 

FOTO BANNER STORY PNOY for web

When the protests began about the PDAF and began to reach a crescendo, the evident uncertainty of the Palace was discomforting. First was the kneejerk response of opposing the protest and defending PDAF. Then the position changed to being somewhere in the middle until the day of the protest when a declaration of support for the protest was made obviously to pre-empt the MPM protest march at Luneta.

Obviously, the responses suggested that the assessment was that the protests would somehow go away and that it should not be taken seriously. This was a mistake because what was hurt was PNOY’s own integrity. For someone who had planted on the masthead of his administration the “Matuwid na Daan”, his vacillation about truly pursuing the corruption exposed by the Commission on Audit report was disheartening to many people.
This revelation of such extensive malfeasance in the highest levels of the Legislative bodies and the Executive Departments, after the impeachment through somewhat dubious methods of the Chief Justice, sent tsunami-like waves over the whole nation. The ones who impeached Corona were guilty of even greater corruption! Proof once and for all that, with few exceptions, corrupt and dishonorable persons in just about every part of government are totally undeserving of any honor and have tainted so severely their positions. No delicadeza and they are still clinging to their posts, shameless if anything.

Remedial action was undertaken to try and pacify the protesters by inviting the somewhat motley leaders to a conference with the DBM head Butch Aquino and DSWD Sec. Soliman and a few others. It did not result in any real changes as was proven subsequently.

The people’s demands were essentially two. First, abolish the PDAF in both houses of Congress, meaning take away from them the power to initiate and control projects, their function being legislating. They are welcome to make suggestions, but cannot initiate projects on their own initiative. That work should be undertaken by the line departments and agencies with no overt or discreet interference.

Of course what resulted in the budgetary process was to simply change the collar around the pork but the initiative still rests with the individual legislator. In other words, sheer cosmetics, not substantive.
The second portion of the protesters demands was to charge everyone involved in the corruption, regardless of party affiliation. The report of the Commission on Audit indicated that over 200 legislators were somehow involved in the matter, some already out of Congress, many others still in. Well, up to now the charges have not been filed and it seems only three are being seriously considered at this time. The sad part is that legislators on both sides of the aisle are involved but PNoy is being true to his pursuit of only those that may represent a danger to him or else those that are in the opposition. So the protesters have given PNoy until sometime early December to file all the charges and otherwise prove that he is just like the other politicians and cannot stand on his declared slogan. He has been found seriously wanting. He may have a heart for the poor but all calculated for political gain.

I am not betting that with the exception of a very few samples, the others will be indicted at all. Again, it will be at the expense of PNoy’s integrity and commitment to doing the right thing! I suspect though that in formulating that slogan the ones who crafted his political postures never anticipated that all these revelations of corruption would ever be so public.

Next followed the Zamboanga incident and there are those that saw what happened as suspiciously orchestrated. Followed by PNoy’s physically staying in Zamboanga for a week, utterly neglecting all the other national concerns. Some interpret this as a somewhat escapist activity. Next came the earthquake in Bohol and so now PNoy is camping out in the area. This leaves a lot of people wondering that though the moves might have had some PR value, it did expose PNoy to accusations of limited capacity to undertake the stresses of office and face the very serious issues that need to be faced. So much for the people being the boss. Turns out to be sheer political blather.
These developments though smack of a very cynical sort of perception management considering the damage done to PNoy’s image by his waffling on the PDAF issue; protesters incidentally wanted the elimination of discretionary spending to be applied to what is tantamount to his own pork, a large percentage of the national budget at about 600 Billion of a 2 trillion budget, approved by a compliant Congress in 15 minutes as the media have reported.

Well, maybe not totally, but certainly much , much less than the current amount; the idea being let the amounts be allocated directly to the line departments who must give good account of how they spend it.
And so, PNoy’s principal slogans lie in tatters.

Well, I think it was naively undertaken and has proven virtually impossible to truly pursue. But it does raise issues about what is next. If the protests continue or if PNoy truly pursues the issue of corruption in the PDAF, he will have to deal as well with the claimed corruption in Malampaya funds, the Agriculture scam and a whole lot of others that have come to light.

Then, there is the corruption in many LGU units all the way down to the Barangay level. As I have commented before, we will probably need to enlarge our jails and holding places or else create a bonanza for hospitals as the favorite holding area of those who have some influence in this nation.

But this is not really the danger. If PNoy is pushed hard to the wall, what direction will he then take? We need the seers to come out and tell us what they see coming up next because I do not see the pressures abating.

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Editorial : MVP for President

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by Ray Junia

SERIOUSLY, I want MVP for President.

I walked late into last week’s editorial meeting. Editors and consultants were discussing this week’s main story.
On top of the list was the impact of a USA default.  Very interesting discussion, a doomsday scenario for the Philippines, but actually good if handled correctly. They forecast the currency values will go crazy. But the flipside is we escape from being a victim of globalization.

(illustration by Kirby Agbas)

Second was the burning and bombing of Zamboanga City. There were speculations that PNoy and his cub scouts deliberately burned the city not to take out the MNLF rebels but to grab the news headlines from the Napoles case.
Finally, the decision was to rest our criticism on PNoy.  Anyway, almost everyone else is shouting his angst and deep disappointment on the President. And many are asking who should replace PNoy and run this country? We have trusted many of them, from political geniuses to the very sick in mind.

I asked if the Philippines were a corporation, who do you think is the best person to run Philippines, Inc.? The response was almost a chorus: MVP. One said Lucio Tan.

The discussion centered on why MVP? The week’s banner story tells why OpinYon picks him for President.
Most of our political leaders lack the backbone to stand up before the onslaught of foreign economic forces. The country is both a victim and loser in the globalization scheme.  We get a pittance from shares of our natural resources extracted by foreign companies. Compare our take from Malampaya with what the Malaysians get from their oil, you will see how badly we are being treated even in our own country.

It is time we get a President who has the skill and character in getting for and giving what is due the Filipino.
Even when OpinYon has been accused of being anti- MVP, there was nothing personal in our review of his business activities. OpinYon coming from consumers’ interests and MVP representing his stockholders’ interests, a clash is always likely. Again, there is nothing personal.

I don’t take it against him, his dogged focus on protecting the interests of his stockholders, his bosses. In fact, I appreciate that kind of loyalty and dedication to his mission.
Now I am throwing the possibility of his making the Filipinos his bosses if and when he becomes the President of our country.

I believe he is the person we need to run our country.

Anak ng Dalampasigan

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by: Ronald Roy

NO, dear Reader, there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that the festering decades-old Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) problem is virtually terminated. Do not believe the wild yarn that the Palace and the MNLF will soon officially announce details of a forthcoming exchange of nuptial vows between Pres. Benigno S. Aquino lll and the renegade MNLF founder and chairman, Nur Misuari.

misuari

I do not know who started the scuttlebutt, but if we are to believe a usually reliable Palace insider, the President’s protracted stay in war-torn Zamboanga is not an amorous rendezvous with Misuari, but an imperative to end the raging conflict in his capacity as the country’s President and Commander-in-Chief. “The buck stops where I stand, and I assume total responsibility”, he declared before the nation.

On the other hand, let’s take a look at the mustachioed Nur Misuari (Misua, for short), who was born in a Sulu beach and grew up in that beach — which explains why he reportedly carries the swashbuckling nom de guerre “Anak ng dalampasigan” ( ala “Anak ni Palaris” and “The son of Zorro”). #OpinYon #opinion #Zambo

read cont | http://bit.ly/15Iedrj

What’s With PNoy?

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by: Ramon Orosa

SO PNoy went to Zamboanga to try and put an end to the conflict. After one week, he’s back in Manila, but though reduced, the fighting has not ended. Somehow, his “visit” to Mindanao has raised questions although even prior to his visit, other questions were already being raised.

FOTO BANNER STORY PNOY for web

For example, the MPM and all the brouhaha about government and the malfeasance of legislators high and low and the assemblies to protest and keep the pressure to ensure that PNOY follows his own slogan of “Matuwid na Daan”. The peoples” demand is that PNoy applies the demand for accountability before the bar of justice across the board, meaning allies and foes alike, seeking not just examples to prosecute but to have hailed to court any and all involved within 100 days as his sign of sincerity if he is truly allied with the MPM as his minions have declared although there is a strong sentiment that that was no more than an attempt to preempt the MPM march.

Some have suggested that a diversionary tactic had to be created. The problem is that as I had it recounted to me, two weeks before the Zamboanga problem started, a senior ranking military official had already indicated that indeed such a development would take place in Mindanao without being area specific. #OpinYon #opinion

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Japanese Embassy Awards Mindanao Classrooms

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TWO turnover ceremonies were held in Mindanao on September 17 -18, 2013 for projects implemented by a Japanese NGO “ICAN.” Both projects were funded by the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines through the Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO Projects, a grant funding program of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA).

japan

On September 17, the ceremony was held at Bia-o Primary School in General Santos for the project called “Community Development Project with the Children of Indigenous Community in Mindanao” (Phase 2), amounting to US$ 240,693 (approximately PhP9.8 million). The ceremony was attended by Hon. Ronnel Rivera, Mayor of General Santos City and representatives from the Department of Education (DepEd) and the community as well as staff members of the Embassy of Japan and ICAN. #OpinYon #foreign #japan

Australia Provides Emergency Aid for Mindanao

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THE Australian Government today announced it will provide up to Php10 million (A$252,000) in emergency aid for families left homeless by the humanitarian crisis in Basilan and Zamboanga City.

Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell said the conflict in Zamboanga and Basilan has created a humanitarian crisis deserving an Australian response.

“We are deeply concerned by the recent violence in Mindanao and the effect this has had on local people,” Ambassador Tweddell said.

(image credit - http://australasianinlandmissions.com/)
(image credit – http://australasianinlandmissions.com/)

More than 120,000 people have been displaced and 10,000 homes destroyed by fighting between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and a splinter group of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Zamboanga City and the province of Basilan in Mindanao.

At the request of the Philippine Government and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Australia’s assistance will provide emergency aid including food, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, blankets, water containers, kitchen and hygiene kits for people left homeless by the conflict.

“Many people have lost their homes and livelihoods and are now staying in evacuation centres with very limited access to food, health, hygiene, water, and other basic services,” Ambassador Tweddell said.

“The Australian Government is making these items available through our partnerships with the Philippine Red Cross, the World Food Programme, and the United Nations Population Fund to assist the Philippine Government to respond quickly and effectively to the ongoing crisis in Zamboanga City and Basilan.”

Fighting between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the MNLF broke out in Zamboanga City on September 9, and by September 13 had spilled over to the nearby island of Basilan.

In partnership with the Philippine Government, Australia’s aid program is working to improve the conditions for peace and security in Mindanao. #OpinYon #Foreign #Australia #Mindanao

AWOL

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(photo source: http://girleavesdropper.wordpress.com/)
(photo source: http://girleavesdropper.wordpress.com/)

By Miguel Raymundo

PRESIDENT Aquino’s choice to stay in the Zamboanga war zone and away from Malacañang is taking a toll on his Presidency.

With much of Zamboanga’s commercial and business facilities shut down because of continued fighting between government forces and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels, the President is unable to attend to other issues of import that require his immediate attention.

Away from the public eye since Sept. 14 when he left the Palace for Zamboanga City, many are wondering what the President is doing there and who’s running the government’s affairs while he is away.

Is the President still in control? Has he gone AWOL to escape public censure over the P10-billion pork barrel scandal? Is he just sitting around playing his video games—content to sit in the sidelines while the lives and livelihood of the people of Zamboanga lie in the balance?

And where on earth is PNoy exactly? #OpinYon#CoverStory #Pnoy #AWOL

read cont | http://bit.ly/15srVOR