GlobalGranary.Org – Milestone 500000, photo by PH Morton
GlobalGranary.Org – Milestone
We, the Admin Team, are happy to share this milestone with you; you who have helped us reach the half a million stat. Without your clicks and constant visits, obviously we would not have achieved it and in such a short time too.
Thank you, thank you all and we hope that you will continue to come and visit us here. We would always appreciate your comments.
We shall endeavour to post more interesting topics of all genres as we go along.
GlobalGranary.Org – Milestone
GlobalGranary.Org page, photo by PH Morton
GlobalGranary.org, is our medium to be able to share our points of view to the wider world. Indeed our blog has been read by organisations and celebrities who have seen it.
The notable blogs we did on the pork barrel PPAF issue in the Philippines was cited by the Supreme Court of The Philippes for providing source information.
Our blogs highlighting the Napoles corruption scandals drew nearly 50000 visitors in two days alone.
We are happy to say that many of you have accompanied us along the way. We hope you will continue to hang around with us as we blog our way into the future.
Peter & I, celebrating,
A special thank you also goes to the third member of our Admin Team. Without his input we would not have a website. Thank you James! Get well soon from that horrid flu.
Again thank you everybody; to those people who inspire us to blog and to those kind people who willingly share their photos to go with our blogs, we appreciate your kindness.
The Philippines could be Asia’s next tech tiger. When my dear wife & I visited the Philippines nearly two years ago, we spent most of the time with Jean’s delightful family and touring around. I was impressed at the scale of building work. I saw architecturally interesting, clean bright looking buildings being erected, mainly apartments & offices. I could see so much potential in the Philippines, it is a growing SE Asian economy. Their use and development of IT is as good as any developed country.
If the infamous and exposed corrupt (Napoles et al) Pork Barrel PDAF budget systems are corrected soon, this potential would be unleashed to improve the economy to benefit the hard-working & innovative Filipino people. The IT industry is growing in the Philippines and cyber hubs are growing. This is no surprise, as I find Filipinos are natural engineers and problem solvers. Many are electronic , hardware engineers, computer coders, programmers who enjoy embracing technology. However those who have the skills tend to migrate to more prosperous countries, which have better infrastructure.
The internet infrastructure in the Philippines needs drastic improvement. Only the ‘social surfing elite’ having decent connection speeds. This severely hampers those who need faster broadband speeds needed to develop cyber innovation and therefore generate income to the nation.
Below is an interesting BBC news item about the Philippines emergence in technology.
“The Philippines may have the fastest-growing economy in South East Asia but it also has the slowest internet in the region. Despite this, some think they have spotted an opportunity that could turn the country into Asia’s next tech tiger. Aurora Almendral met some of the true believers. On paper, the Philippines has all the ingredients of an emerging tech tiger: a fast-growing middle class with money to spend; a 100-million strong, largely English-speaking, population addicted to social media; plus low labour and operating costs.
But go anywhere on the islands and you’ll notice frustrated faces on many of those with a handheld device in their palm.
Internet speeds are atrocious – a measly 3.6 megabits per second (Mbps), well below the regional average of 12.4 Mbps. Never mind the US average of 22.3 or near neighbour Singapore with 61 Mbps.
“We see the Philippines as a good testing market”
Peter FabianInternet entrepreneur
Coverage is patchy at best for mobile. Venture outside of the cities and you might as well be in the 1990s.
In the words of Peter Fabian, a recently arrived tech entrepreneur, to any seasoned Silicon Valley investor the Philippines looks like “the end of the world. For years, the Philippines lagged behind the rest of South East Asia, and entrepreneurs looking for the next tech hub overlooked the country for other nearby booming economies, like Thailand and Singapore. But, says Mr Fabian: “We see the Philippines as a good testing market.” After researching emerging markets across the globe, he decided on the Philippines for his start-up, which aims to use big data to build a credit card company aimed at the middle class who are not customers of traditional banks. Furthermore, there are a lot of unexplored opportunities and, with few experienced tech entrepreneurs around, not much competition. Mr Fabian was also attracted to the fact that, as a former US colony, the country shares many US institutions and has a similar culture, making the Philippines feel very familiar.
More than 60% of Filipinos have smartphones.
“The attitude towards foreigners is very welcoming, which cannot be said of a lot of people in Asia,” says Mr Fabian. The Philippine start-up scene is small, but people are starting to trickle in. Some are adapting Western products to the local market, like fast fashion ecommerce, daily deals sites or taxi service apps. Others, like Ron Hose, a Silicon Valley-bred, Manila-based entrepreneur and investor, are looking at solutions to more local challenges.
There are a second set of problems that are unique to emerging markets that companies and entrepreneurs in developing countries are not really building products for,” he says. “An entrepreneur sitting in an office in Silicon Valley,” Mr Hose says, “is not thinking about the problems of a Filipino who is sitting in a Jeepney [local taxi] for an hour and a half a day to go to work, or whose home gets flooded 10 times a year during typhoons.” Mr Hose’s company, Coins.ph, provides financial services for people without bank accounts. He says that while each country is unique, there are big fundamental problems that are common across emerging markets, such as lack of access to education or the fact that people are unbanked. “If you solve one of these needs, then the market is larger than any one of these countries. If you can solve banking for people in the Philippines, you can solve it for 500 million people in South East Asia,” he says.
Richard Eldridge is another tech entrepreneur based in Manila. He co-founded Lenddo, an on-line loan company that wants to help consumers use their social media activity to develop creditworthiness, giving them access to financial services. He has been working in the Philippines since 2001, and has had a front row seat for the Philippines’ economic growth.
Ron Hose believes his on-line site will be a breakthrough service for the middle classes in emerging markets
He previously ran a large outsourcing company, and found that many of his employees – the very middle classes he seeks to serve – kept asking him for loans. “It fascinated me that they were coming to me and not going to a bank and getting loans,” Mr Eldridge says. He left the multinational in 2011 to start Lenddo with New York-based chief executive Jeff Stewart. The Philippines remains Lenddo’s home base and largest market but in the past year it has expanded to Mexico and Colombia and is looking at 30 other emerging countries.
Local problems, local solutions
While foreigners have made a mark in the Philippine start-up sector, most entrepreneurs are locals, solving local problems. Norris Jay Perez was a programmer for a small company before he struck out on his own in 2009. For four years he tried and failed at 10 different start-up ideas before coming up with Apptivate, a platform that allows smartphone users without credit cards to buy apps. He had the idea when he wanted to buy an app for his second-hand smartphone but could not because he did not have a credit card. Nearly 60% of Filipinos own a smartphone, computer or tablet, significantly higher than comparable emerging markets such as India, Vietnam or Indonesia. Mr Perez says that only 3% use Apptivate and he believes he is tapping into a large market with plenty of room to grow. However, spotty mobile coverage and slow internet speeds are hampering adoption. Mr Perez admits he spends time fielding emails from Apptivate customers, frustrated because slow and patchy mobile internet connections kept them from downloading apps they had already paid for.
Limited local talent
The situation has attracted the ire of Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, who requested a Senate investigation to find out the cause of slow internet speeds in the Philippines and how it was affecting the ease of doing business. “Lack of good internet is going to slow down economic growth in the Philippines, that I know for sure,” says Ron Hose of Coins.ph. But he adds: “It’s not going to slow down tech entrepreneurs.” He thinks the bigger issues are an underdeveloped funding infrastructure and a lack of tech talent. “The good ones have left for Singapore or Hong Kong. It makes it hard for tech entrepreneurs to operate here,” he says. Lenddo solves its talent shortfall by outsourcing the most complex data engineering work to New York, while hiring the rest of its team locally. For now, the Philippine tech industry is for true believers, willing to build not just a business, but an industry from the ground up.“
As we have written a few months back, we said we are going to research for the most effective, the most reliable, the most honest, the wittiest, the most intelligent, the less likely to be corrupt person to run for the 2016 Philippines presidential election.
We have to say that it was a gargantuan task that really needed thinking, cogitating, regurgitating and again thinking, cogitating, regurgitating and more to come up with our candidate. I am afraid we find that most of current government officials who have indicated their ambition to run for 2016 were found wanting.
Most of them do not ‘pass muster’ with our criteria no matter how much we lower our expectations 😉
Again, we thought we should not change the criteria, we are going to be electing a president that would hold the highest office of the land. We realise that it is because of our haphazard way of choosing our leaders that we are saddled with inept and/or corruptible officials.
We have therefore compiled a list for the criteria to base our choice:
Ability to connect and to understand the people and their constituents. After all the president is really the servant of the people and he needs to know how people tick to be able to deliver to them the best possible service. A genuine love and respect of people also helps.
Visionary – being able to articulate his platform and act on it. The Philippines is like an artwork that is work in progress. Unfortunately despite succession of “artists” the work remains unfinished because the clarity of vision is warped by self-aggrandisement.
Understanding of the culture within the nation. Acceptance with eyes wide open that corruption (The Napalos et al) scandals) is heaving and teeming within both the local and national government. Being aware as well as accepting that there is much work to be done, only then that change can commence.
Logical and consistent action on domestic issues. Being aware of the different cultures from the many region of the archipelago of the Philippines would allow understanding, thus the ability to address the many issues that can occur.
Trustworthiness and believability. Trust is important especially with the one that holds the highest office.
Integrity. Becoming the First Person is a powerful thing. Power can easily corrupt. Integrity is therefore required in abundance.
Great politician, being one with the people.
After so much consideration, it became clear that there is only one person that has all the attributes that would make a good president. That is none other than……
Ryzza Mae Dizon
The really sad thing is that this is not really a joke!!! 🙁
The most likely suspect of the mysterious Ma’am Arlene was allegedly one called Arlene Lerma, the éminence grise of the judiciary. Lerma, though she doesn’t hold office at the judiciary, is known to exercises power and influence. Lerma is said to be in very friendly terms with judges and justices. These J&Js are for sale. With enough money to grease palms, verdicts can be facilitated in favour of Lerma’s moneyed clients. Justice can be a total joke and can be subjective. If you have enough money and knows Lerma and has her connections, you can dance around the laws of the land!
Just like those many before her( many she was the go between for) Lerma and her corrupt-a-minute transactions will probably not land her in jail because of her connections.
But know this Lerma, you are now out of the shadow!!!
MA’AM ARLENE’S ‘AMIGAS’ Arlene Angeles Lerma (in pink circle), alleged fixer in the judiciary, joins last year’s retirement party for a court official with members of the judiciary. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
A Supreme Court insider has identified the so-called “Ma’am Arlene” who was earlier described as “the Janet Lim-Napoles of the judiciary” for allegedly influencing court decisions in favor of her clients with huge payoffs to judges and justices.
The source said the alleged “decision-broker” in the judiciary was none other than Arlene Angeles Lerma.
Lerma is known to most of members of the judiciary, according to the Inquirer source who asked not to be identified for lack of authority to speak to the media.
The media earlier reported that there were three Arlenes who showered members of the judiciary with gifts and cash.
The source was among those called by the Supreme Court committee under Associate Justice Marvic Leonen investigating corruption in the judiciary.
“We know her because she also attends parties for retired judges and events, but she is not a member of the judiciary,” the source said.
The Supreme Court insider said he overheard Lerma in one party for members of the Philippine Judges Association (PJA) saying “Iniwan ko na yung pang raffle (I left something for the raffle).”
Lerma came with Manila Vice Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso to the PJA party, the source said.
The source said Lerma was close to retired Deputy Court Administrator (DCA) Antonio Eugenio Jr., a former Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) judge.
RTC judges and Court of Appeals justices are known to issue temporary restraining orders (TRO) that adversely affect or benefit litigants. There are reports that these TROs can be bought.
The source confirmed that the photo obtained by Inquirer was taken at the retirement party of Eugenio last year.
“The party was attended by judges and DCAs and she (Lerma) was there,” he said.
Two-time PJA president
He said Lerma was a strong supporter of Eugenio who served as a two-time PJA president when he was a regional trial court judge.
The source described as “unprecedented” Eugenio’s feat as two-time PJA president.
Lerma’s name cropped up as the “influential person” during the recent election for PJA president in October.
Lerma allegedly bankrolled the election of PJA officers and held parties for members of the judiciary.
Supreme Court Administrator Midas Marquez, who conducted an initial investigation of the alleged vote-buying in the PJA election, earlier said he had asked the three candidates vying for the leadership of the PJA to explain allegations of irregularities during the election.
The PJA candidates for president were Judge Ralph Lee of Quezon City (who won the presidency), Judge Rommel Baybay of Makati City and Judge Felix Reyes of Marikina City.
Hotel bookings, trips
Arlene reportedly booked 50 rooms in a high-class hotel for the judges and their spouses during the election and gave expensive bags and trips overseas as gifts.
Marquez has issued a circular reminding judges to conduct themselves properly during PJA elections and listed prohibited acts.
Isko kid’s godmother
Domagoso acknowledged that he knew Lerma, a godmother of one of his children.
“I never denied it. She’s my friend. She’s my neighbor in Balut, Tondo,” the vice mayor told the Inquirer in a phone interview.
Asked if he went with her to a party of the PJA, he said, “many times.”
He said he knew Lerma as an “ordinary, simple woman” who is a sister of a barangay chair.
“She has no business. She’s employed in a company,” Domagoso said.
He couldn’t recall her specific job and company.
Asked if he was aware of the alleged case-fixing activities of Lerma, Domagoso said, “As far as I’m concerned, I don’t know that’s she’s into [case] fixing. I have a high respect for the members of the judiciary. I don’t think that is happening nowadays.”
Lerma has been likened to Napoles, the alleged mastermind behind the P10-billion pork barrel scam. Napoles, along with Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla, and other lawmakers, has been charged with plunder and malversation in the Office of the Ombudsman for allegedly pocketing millions of pesos from the Priority Development Assistance Fund, a pork barrel.
I have to admit that I am not really into pugilism or boxing, though I grew up watching it on television, my dearest Lolo watched it all the time.
Having lived in the UK for the past 27 years, the legend of Pacquiao was just a peripheral vision. But being a regular visitor of the world-wide web I can’t help but realised how much success Manny has garnered not only for himself but for his country.
It saddens me now to realise how much flak he is getting from the Government. Instead of making Manny the Philippine hero that he is, they are trying to make money off Manny. Sad indictment of the state of Filipino mentality – toppling a hero to zero!
We do not have other countries’ way of honouring successful people. Probably this is the reason why we do not really breed people who make waves in the world. The one that did, we try to put down as much as we can. Bleed him to death through his pockets.
In the UK for instance, when an athlete did us proud, we celebrate her/him, we heap more honours to him or her. We support her/him and hope that he/she can continue the momentum of her/his winning streak for the country.
I think Manny Pacquiao was quite the phenomenon. After he lost two consecutive fights against Bradley and then Marquez, most people thought that Manny was a has been. He will never win back his title again. But lo and behold! Manny did! He is back on top but way too fleetingly, he was not even allowed to take off his boxing gloves before being faced with his greatest fight of all! This one against his own country via the BIR.
It was not enough that they treated him abominably, freezing his assets as if he is a common criminal, now they are treating him as if he is an uneducated moron!!! Telling him to shut the f**k up!
Would the BIR treat Manny in this most appalling way, if he had come from a monied background? If he had been an Aquino? An Ayala? A Sy? A Lim? I don’t think so.
People please know that this Manny’s fight with the BIR is in essence a fight of the ordinary Filipinos against the pseudo-fascism of the BIR/Government. There is one rule for the ordinary people and another rule for the chosen elites!
We must not let this continue.
Why has Kim Henares and the BIR not concentrating on all the Government Official’s tax returns? Why pick on the only living national icon?
Yes I believe that Manny is an icon. Thinking on my feet, I can’t really name any Filipino aside from Manny Pacquiao who has a universal reputation, not even Leah Salonga. Please help me here. I can’t think of no scientist, no architects, no engineers, no singers, no actresses, no actors, no doctors whose names are bandied around the world. But there is always Imelda Marcos, of course!
With all the maltreatment and shenanigans Manny are getting from the Philippines, at least we found out the hard way why despite many top-notched Filipinos in our midst, we do not produce many with worldwide appeal. It is because we cut them down to sizes at the chrysalis state before they can turn into butterflies. We focus too much on beauty contest that doesn’t really mean a thing. I am so proud that we have provided the world with so much beautiful Filipinas but ask anyone outside the Philippines who they think are the most beautiful women, the unanimous answer would be one from those South American countries.
We save and put all our praises to those who are in the upper echelon of our society, those who are multi-millionaires and billionaires, who invest most of their monies abroad, and those who are mostly corrupt politicians who come from political dynasties.
I grieve that we are not seeing these or if we do we are acceptant of these!
I am sad and grieve that we do not see true achievement and rather accept our lot with corrupt & lazy officials. We must change and be more vocal in praise and to challenge corruption etc., use our voting rights wisely to get rid of the inept and corrupt! Leave the celebrities on films and televisions. Let neophytes work they way up. Government is not for on-the-job training. No wonder corrupt officials are getting their own way; we elect people because of who their father was. We cannot let people so greenhorn to marshal deep-seated corruption.
Time and again, we Filipinos have proven that we have much to offer. Actually the Philipines has been known to produce expertise in ICT, computer science engineering etc. We should build this up & the government should concentrate creating and funding centres of excellence in cyber technology!
People, we must remember that the Government should be working for us, every politician, from local and national government, is a public servant they should work for us. Having said that, it is only right that we pay taxes towards the upkeep of the country and its people but again agencies of the government have no right to act in such draconian manners and tactics to implement laws and regulation only to people who are easy targets!
Tax court issues gag order on Pacquiao, BIR chief Henares
Shut up already, the Court of Tax Appeals on Thursday has ordered Manny Pacquiao, Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares and their counsels.The gag order was issued during a 9 a.m. hearing Thursday in Quezon City, with Presiding Justice Roman G. del Rosario resetting the hearing for Jan. 16, 2014 when the BIR will present its counter-evidence on the tax case. Pacquiao and his wife Jinkee are questioning the BIR’s calculation of his purported P2.2-billion tax liability.
The gag order was the only thing that happened at the hearing, First Division Clerk of Court Margarette Y. Guzman told GMA News Online.
According to law.com, a gag order prohibits “… the attorneys and the parties to a pending lawsuit or criminal prosecution from talking to the media or the public about the case. The supposed intent is to prevent prejudice due to pre-trial publicity which would influence potential jurors. A gag order has the secondary purpose of preventing the lawyers from trying the case in the press and on television, and thus creating a public mood (which could get ugly) in favor of one party or the other.”
Guzman said the court ordered “no declarations from either parties and their counsels to the media” while the hearing on Pacquiao’s urgent plea to lift the freeze order on his bank accounts is ongoing and the BIR tries to settle the issue amicably.
“The copy of the gag order is still with the judges for signing and may come out today or tomorrow,” she added.Pacquiao’s tax troubles have become a feast for the media shortly after coming home from his comeback victory against Brandon Rios in Macau last November 24.The champ launched the first salvo last week when he complained of being politically persecuted by the BIR after his bank accounts were frozen.Henares responded tit for tat, arguing that it was a simple case of tax collection from a tax payer who had not paid his taxes. The BIR had issued a warrant of garnishment that enables the government to claim Pacquiao’s assets to cover his tax liabilities, said to amount to P2.2 billion, including penalties and sur charges.
On August 1, Pacquiao asked the CTA to review the tax deficiency claimed by the BIR against him and his wife, Jinkee.
The spouses then filed on Oct. 18 an urgent plea to lift the warrant issued by the BIR and ask the CTA to stop the bureau from further issuing any warrant against them.Fresh from his dramatic triumph over Rios, Pacquiao chose the moment of glory to hold a press conference to appeal for public sympathy in his battle against the tax man.
The BIR was scheduled to present its counter evidence against Pacquiao’s motion to lift the warrant of garnishment on Thursday. The CTA has already had two hearings on the case – on Oct. 22 and on Nov. 5.
But the court ordered the hearing reset to January 16, 2014, when the fate of Pacquiao’s billions may be decided. – VS/HS, GMA News
PNoy’s term will go down in Philippine history as one of the most corrupt Governments.
How did it all go wrong?
We thought, “yeah, good pedigree. Martyred dad and saintly mummy. Noynoy is a good egg. He will see us through and lead us in the right path. It is his legacy.”
For 5 minutes, PNoy did try his best to create a Daang Matuwid (straight path). Unfortunately he is not quite man enough to be the hero to vanquish all the evil deeds and doers. Instead he chose to do a shortcut by buying off opponents and adversaries.
Far from going the straight path (daang matuwid) but rather with one foot circumnavigated the fringes of the right path and the other foot firmly ensconced at the hellish core of the Government. In the end what we got was Ali Baba, an honest man who can’t help himself but partake with the looting with the 40 thieves. I believe it is like “if you can’t beat them, join them.”
Ninoy’s letter to Noynoy was released by the Aquino family on September 9, 2009 (09/09/09) when Noynoy Aquino announced his candidacy for the 2010 Presidential election. Thirty-six years ago, Noynoy’s father Ninoy sent this letter to him while in prison cell, during the heights of the tribulations that befell the Aquino family. Noynoy’s declaration to run for the President is his reply to his father’s letter. From Ninoy to Noynoy:
August 25, 1973
Mr. Benigno S. Aquino III
P E R S O N A L
My dearest Son:
One of these days , when you have completed your studies I am sure you will have the opportunity to visit many countries. And in your travels you will witness a bullfight. In Spanish bullfighting as you know, a man, the matador, is pitted against an angry bull. The man goads the bull to extreme anger and madness. Then a moment comes when the bull, maddened, bleeding and covered with darts, feeling his last moment has come, stops rushing about and grimly turns his face on the man with the scarlet “muleta” and sword.
The Spaniards call this “the moment of truth.” This is the climax of the bullfight. This afternoon, I have arrived at my own moment of truth. After a lengthy conference with my lawyers, Senators Jovito R. Salonga and Lorenzo M. Tanada, I made a very crucial and vital decision that will surely affect all our lives: mommie’s, your sisters’, yours and all our loved ones as well as mine.
I have decided not to participate in the proceedings of the Military Commission assigned to try the charges filed against me by the army prosecution staff. As you know, I’ve been charged with illegal possession of firearms, violation of RA 1700 otherwise known as the “Anti-Subversion Act” and murder.
You are still too young to grasp the full impact of my decision.
Briefly: by not participating in the proceedings, I will not be represented by counsel, the prosecution will present its witnesses without any cross examinations, I will not put up any defense, I will remain passive and quiet through the entire trial and I will merely await the verdict. In as much as it will be a completely one-sided affair, I suppose it is reasonable to expect the maximum penalty will be given to me. I expect to be sentenced to imprisonment the rest of my natural life, or possibly be sent to stand before a firing squad.
By adopting the course of action I decided upon this afternoon, I have literally decided to walk into the very jaws of death.
You may ask: why did you do it? Son, my decision is an act of conscience. It is an act of protest against the structures of injustice that have been imposed upon our hapless countrymen. Futile and puny, as it will surely appear to many, it is my last act of defiance against tyranny and dictatorship.
You are my only son. You carry my name and the name of my father. I have no material wealth to leave you. I never had time to make money while I was in the hire of our people. For this I am very sorry. I had hopes of building a little nest egg for you. I bought a ranch in Masbate in the hope that after ten or fifteen years, the coconut trees I planted there would be yielding enough to assure you a modest but comfortable existence.
Unfortunately, I had to sell all our properties as I fought battle after political battle as a beleaguered member of the opposition. And after the last battle, I had more obligations than assets. The only valuable asset I can bequeath to you now is the name you carry. I have tried my best during my years of public service to keep that name untarnished and respected, unmarked by sorry compromises for expediency. I now pass it on to you, as good, I pray, as when my father, your grandfather passed it on to me.
I prepared a statement which I intend to read before the military commission on Monday at the opening of my trial. I hope the commission members will be understanding and kind enough to allow me to read my statement into the record. This may well be my first and only participation in the entire proceedings. In this statement, I said: Some people suggested that I beg for mercy from the present powers that be.
Son, this I cannot do in conscience. I would rather die on my feet with honor, than live on bended knees in shame.
Your great grandfather, Gen. Servilliano Aquino was twice condemned to death by both the Spaniards and the American colonizers. Fortunately, he survived both by a twist of fate. Your grandfather, my father was also imprisoned by the Americans because he loved his people more than the Americans who colonized us. He was finally vindicated. Our ancestors have shared the pains, the sorrows and the anguish of Mother Filipinas when she was in bondage. It is a rare privilege for me to join the Motherland in the dark dungeon where she was led back by one of her own sons whom she lavished with love and glory.
I ended my statement thus: I have chosen to follow my conscience and accept the tyrant’s revenge.
It takes little effort to stop a tyrant. I have no doubt in the ultimate victory of right over wrong, of evil over good, in the awakening of the Filipino.
Forgive me for passing unto your young shoulders the great responsibility for our family. I trust you will love your mother and your sisters and lavish them with the care and protection I would have given them.
I was barely fifteen years old when my father died. His death was my most traumatic experience. I loved and hero-worshipped him so much, I wanted to join him in his grave when he passed away. But as in all sorrows, eventually they are washed away by the rains of time.
In the coming years, I hope you will study very hard so that you will have a solid foundation on which to build your future. I may no longer be around to give you my fatherly advice. I have asked many of your uncles to help you along should the need arise and I pray you will have the humility to drink from their fountain of experiences.
Look after your two younger sisters with understanding and affection. Viel and Krissy will need your umbrella of protection for a long time. Krissy is still very young and fate has been most unkind to both of us. Our parting came too soon. Please make up for me. Take care of her as I would have taken care of her with patience and warm affection.
Finally, stand by your mother as she stood beside me through the buffeting winds of crisis and uncertainties firm and resolute and uncowed. I pray to God, you inherit her indomitable spirit and her rare brand of silent courage.
I had hopes of introducing you to my friends, showing you the world and guide you through the maze of survival. I am afraid, you will now have to go it alone without your guide. The only advice I can give you: Live with honor and follow your conscience.
There is no greater nation on earth than our Motherland. No greater people than our own. Serve them with all your heart, with all your might and with all your strength. Son, the ball is now in your hands.
‘Those opening lyrics from the song “My Way” may well describe the fate of President Noynoy Aquino, now enmeshed in a web of lies and corruption of his own making.’
AS charges of bribery, illegal disbursals of millions from the public purse, and electoral frauds continue to pile up day after day after day against him and his camarilla of advisers in government, it’s time perhaps for President Noynoy to start singing the opening lyrics of the song “My Way” – “And now the end is near…” – which may well describe the fate that awaits him for enmeshing himself in a web of lies and corruption of his own making.
Once more, the beleaguered President and his scheming officials stand accused of having misused P72 billion in government savings in 2011 and P55 billion in 2012 under the guise of a “patently illegal” Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) because its creation was never authorized by law.
The latest accusation was hurled by Senator Miriam Santiago and former Senator Joker Arroyo, who was once Executive Secretary of Cory Aquino during her presidency in 1987, after Noynoy Aquino, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Jr. and other Palace officials justified the disbursements of public funds by citing provisions of the Constitution and the Administrative Code that supposedly authorized the President “to realign savings.” But this was quickly debunked by Santiago and Arroyo, who pointed out they did it without congressional approval. And for this alone, Arroyo said “Malacañang should hale itself to court” while Santiago said Abad should “take the bullet for his boss” for the releases were “unconstitutional and constituted bribery.”
And now, Aquino faces another very, very serious anomaly. This time – surprise of all surprises! – an expose by Margarita de los Reyes-Cojuangco. She revealed a plot by her nephew Noynoy and his officials in the cover-up the electoral frauds during the May 2013 senatorial and congressional elections and that he himself gave P30 million in public funds to carry it out.
She disclosed that “a top Palace executive, an official of the Commission on Elections, and a military general met last July at a residence in Forbes Park, Makati City to plot the cover-up of the electoral frauds that marred the May 2013 senatorial and congressional polls to benefit administration candidates…that began in July and continues to be carried out to this day.”
The cover-up, she said, involved the printing of new ballots to replace the original ballots that contained the real votes so as to match the bloated statement of votes (SOV) that supposedly passed through the PCOS (precinct count optical scan) and servers. And she said her sources in the Palace informed her that the officials from the Palace and the Comelec panicked upon learning that she was conducting a nationwide probe and immediately asked President Aquino for P30 million to carry out the insidious scheme.
“They knew I had proofs to show that indeed the elections were rigged and the results of the polls were pre-programmed to make the administration senatorial and congressional candidates win,” Cojuangco went on. “In the congressional races the results were equally reversely proportional.” This means, she said, that the increase in the votes of the administration congressional candidate exactly equaled the decrease in the votes of the opponent, and that this was seen not just on the municipal level but also in the per precinct level.
In the senatorial race, she continued, the 60-30-10 pattern – 60 percent for the administration, 30 percent for the opposition and 10 percent to independent candidates – was consistent and discovered in 105 cities and municipalities. She said this scheme was first discovered by Math professor Lex Muga of the Ateneo de Manila University.
“Our nationwide investigation showed the 60-30-10 vote scheme was discovered in 59,667 clustered precincts. We also discovered that there was a pattern among candidates, that whenever there was a vote bulk that enters the transparency server, they would get an equal vote share and the percentage share of each candidate would never change dramatically even if the province canvassed were their bailiwicks or weak areas,” said Cojuangco, head of the election watchdog “Isang Bansa Isang Boto”. This group found evidence that the 60-30-10 voting pattern was consistent with the results in that the Team Pnoy candidates got 60 percent of the total votes, the opposition United Nationalist Alliance bets got 30 percent and the rest of the independent bets got the 10 percent.
And she refuted claims by Malacañang that it had already answered the issues she raised. She said those issues were raised for the first time when she uncovered the results of her group’s nationwide probe. “The results of our nationwide investigation showed that the elections were rigged and the list of senatorial and congressional winners had been pre-programmed by manipulating the PCOS and servers. The Team PNoy senatorial candidates were digitally elected and the real voters were disenfranchised.”
In these revelations, which were excerpted from a recent radio interview and published by a non-yellow daily, Conjuangco, wife of the President’s uncle former Rep. Jose Cojuangco, confirmed that her nephew Noynoy was “not only aware of but also involved in 2013 digitally-rigged elections, and that the President himself gave the P30 million to Comelec Chairman Sixto Brilliantes to clean up and cover up the election frauds.”
Two days ago before Mrs. Cojuangco’s highly explosive expose, which could very well rattle the foundations of Malacañang, President Aquino was riled by persistent talks about his having bribed lawmakers to convict then Chief Justice Renato Corona, his links to the pork barrel scam allegedly “masterminded” by businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, and by declarations by Santiago and Arroyo as well as by two eminent deans of law schools that his disbursements of millions of public funds under the DAP were “illegal and unconstitutional.” And, as his wont to do ever since he became president, Noynoy arrogantly dared his critics, “Go ahead, impeach me!”
Yes, Mr. President, and it’s time for you to sing the final lyrics of “My Way”: “…And so I face the final curtain, I did what I had to do… And more and more than this, I did it my way”!
Quote of the Day: “Vast power and wealth breed political corruption and incite the people to demand rigid honesty in their leaders and public officials.” – Anonymous Commenter
Thought of the Day: “There is no worse mistake in public leadership than to hold out false hopes soon to be swept away!” – Winston S. Churchill