Friday, November 7, 2008

The Philippine Political Revolution of November 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen of the "JURY":

From the moment I released the e-mail blast, about 21 hours ago, the Philippine tri-media industry remains bent on maximizing the mileage that can be derived and the revenues that can be squeezed out from each and every column inch of advertising space from their captive corporate sponsors and advertisers from the "Brouhaha over Barack Obama". And so, Filipino Citizens afflicted with "Short - A.S.S." (Short Attention Span Syndrome) remain glued on the 'Brouhaha over Barack Obama", unmindful of overt and covert actions by the Illegitimate Tenant in Malacanang, her cohorts in the 14th Congress, the Supreme Court, while still under the "protection" of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police that maintain the "Withdrawal of Support from the FILIPINO PEOPLE" since JANUARY 2001. Before anyone will even try to contest that, please check on the total number of Presidential Appointees in the National Government who are EX-generals of the AFP and PNP. You should find it worthwhile to realize the magnitude of what has been done in that area since JANUARY 2001.

But, the need for effecting the long overdue changes in public governance of the Philippine Republic must be addressed now, for it will be too late for Filipino Citizens to wait for MAY 2010. At the National Level, the pitch for peaceful and constitutional measures for effecting changes is part of the "script" of the "Tripartite Syndicate" among the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches in playing out the "political zarzuela con moro moro" that will be box office hit for the majority of the descendants of the darn idiotic Indios from 1936 to 1946, who would rather be "Little Brown Americans", or the latest quip of "Little Obamas" !


Is there enough number of Filipino Citizens, who share the common vision, mission, and aspiration to change the environment NOW?

At the National Level, the tragic reality of the moment is that there is NONE. And so, I will put to the sidelines the only real solution for effecting honest-to-goodness change in public governance at the National Level.

The "Political Revolution" must start from the Local Government Units. And that WE, Filipino Citizens, can do in small groups PER barangay, municipality, city, and province right here and now, without having to wait for MAY 2010 Local Elections.

What are the minimum numbers required for this "Political Revolution" to be launched immediately?

Barangay - only 50 Filipino Citizens

Municipality - only 100 Filipino Citizens

City or Province - only 1,000 Filipino Citizens

The next question is: What about the "fire-power" needed for this "Political Revolution"?

WE, Filipino Citizens, who want to effect specific changes in public governance immediately at the Local Level only need to organize and invoke the following:



This is the most powerful "firepower" for effecting political changes right here and now, readily available to us, Filipino Citizens, but which have been relegated to the background intentionally by the Traditional Politicians who are in power, and which have been grossly overlooked by the so called Non-Traditional Political Leaders (who still have the mindsets of their Traditional counterparts), Non-Government Organizations and by the majority among us, descendants of the darn idiotic Indios from 1936 to 1946, who would rather be "Little Brown Americans", or the latest quip of "Little Obamas" !

Now, what are the specifics of our "firepower"?

SECTION 120. Local Initiative Defined. -

Local initiative is the legal process whereby the registered voters of a local government unit may directly propose, enact, or amend any ordinance.

SECTION 121. Who May Exercise. -

The power of local initiative and referendum may be exercised by all registered voters of the provinces, cities, municipalities, and Barangays.

SECTION 122. Procedure in Local Initiative. -

(a) Not less than one thousand (1,000) registered voters in case of provinces and cities, one hundred (100) in case of municipalities, and fifty (50) in case of Barangays, may file a petition with the Sanggunian concerned proposing the adoption, enactment, repeal, or amendment of an ordinance.

(b) If no favorable action thereon is taken by the Sanggunian concerned within thirty (30) days from its presentation, the proponents, through their duly authorized and registered representatives, may invoke their power of initiative, giving notice thereof to the Sanggunian concerned.

(c) The proposition shall be numbered serially starting from Roman numeral I. The Comelec or its designated representative shall extend assistance in the formulation of the proposition.

(d) Two (2) or more propositions may be submitted in an initiative.

(e) Proponents shall have ninety (90) days in case of provinces and cities, sixty (60) days in case of municipalities, and thirty (30) days in case of Barangays, from notice mentioned in subsection (b) hereof to collect the required number of signatures.

(f) The petition shall be signed before the election registrar, or his designated representatives, in the presence of a representative of the proponent, and a representative of the Sanggunian concerned in a public place in the local government unit, as the case may be. Stations for collecting signatures may be established in as many places as may be warranted.

(g) Upon the lapse of the period herein provided, the Comelec, through its office in the local government unit concerned, shall certify as to whether or not the required number of signatures has been obtained. Failure to obtain the required number defeats the proposition.

(h) If the required number of signatures is obtained, the Comelec shall then set a date for the initiative during which the proposition shall be submitted to the registered voters in the local government unit concerned for their approval within sixty (60) days from the date of certification by the Comelec, as provided in subsection (g) hereof, in case of provinces and cities, forty-five (45) days in case of municipalities, and thirty (30) days in case of Barangays. The initiative shall then be held on the date set, after which the results thereof shall be certified and proclaimed by the Comelec.

SECTION 123. Effectivity of Local Propositions. -

If the proposition is approved by a majority of the votes cast, it shall take effect fifteen (15) days after certification by the Comelec as if affirmative action thereon had been made by the Sanggunian and local chief executive concerned. If it fails to obtain said number of votes, the proposition is considered defeated.

SECTION 124. Limitations on Local Initiatives. -

(a) The power of local initiative shall not be exercised more than once a year.

(b) Initiative shall extend only to subjects or matters which are within the legal powers of the Sanggunians to enact.

(c) If at any time before the initiative is held, the Sanggunian concerned adopts in to the proposition presented and the local chief executive approves the same, the initiative shall be canceled. However, those against such action may, if they so desire, apply for initiative in the manner herein provided.

SECTION 125. Limitations upon Sanggunians. -

Any proposition or ordinance approved through the system of initiative and referendum as herein provided shall not be repealed, modified or amended by the Sanggunian concerned within six (6) months from the date of the approval thereof, and may be amended, modified or repealed by the Sanggunian within three (3) years thereafter by a vote of three-fourths (3/4) of all its members: Provided, That in case of Barangays, the period shall be eighteen (18) months after the approval thereof.

SECTION 126. Local Referendum Defined. -

Local referendum is the legal process whereby the registered voters of the local government units may approve, amend or reject any ordinance enacted by the Sanggunian. The local referendum shall be held under the control and direction of the Comelec within sixty (60) days in case of provinces and cities, forty-five (45) days in case of municipalities and thirty (30) days in case of Barangays. The Comelec shall certify and proclaim the results of the said referendum.

SECTION 127. Authority of Courts. - Nothing in this Chapter shall prevent or preclude the proper courts from declaring null and void any proposition approved pursuant to this Chapter for violation of the Constitution or want of capacity of the Sanggunian concerned to enact the said measure.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the "JURY", the re-education or re-orientation of Filipino Voters is not just about the elections per se, which has been the narrow pitch sanctioned by the Traditional Politicians!

Real honest-to-goodness re-orientation of Filipino Voters is anchored on this "firepower":

WE, the Filipino Registered Voters PER barangay, municipality, city, or province MAY

a) directly propose, enact, or amend any ordinance

b) may approve, amend or reject any ordinance enacted by the Sanggunian.

Take note of the LIMITATION for the Local INITIATIVE to only ONCE A YEAR. It only means that WE, Filipino Registered Voters, must choose most judiciously among the priorities for whatever changes that we want PER barangay, municipality, city, or province. We should not put to waste this "single bullet per year" that the crafters of the Local Government Code, then headed by Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel Jr., sneaked into most insidiously and viciously to CURTAIL the inherent RIGHT of SOVEREIGN WILL of the Filipino Voter to CHANGE the LAWS that must be changed!

In the meantime that WE, Filipino Citizens, have yet to AMEND the Local Government Code of the Philippines via OUR invocation of our RIGHT to AMEND that law by REFERENDUM at the National Level, let us use the "single bullet per year" to the most important issue PER barangay, municipality, city, and province. That is with regard to OUR right for Local INITIATIVE.

However, when it comes to the invocation of the Local REFERENDUM, whereby WE, Filipino Citizens, MAY amend or reject any ordinance enacted by the Sanggunian PER barangay, city, municipality or province, let us MAXIMIZE the "NO LIMITATION IN NUMBER".

Ladies and Gentlemen of the "JURY", instead of wasting time on "Brouhaha over Barack Obama" behaving just like the despicable "Little Brown Americans" or "Little Obamas", inside or outside cyberspace, let us START our "Political Revolution" NOW!

So, in this political e-Group, how about starting with the most important LOCAL issue in your midst that can be CHANGED via Local REFERENDUM?

Who among you are tired of the exorbitant TAXES at the LOCAL Level? SLAM DOWN and SEAL A CAP on those LOCAL taxes! START with the MAYOR's PERMIT over which those Traditional Politicians have been drooling all over the place all these years since 1936!

While drafting for BRINGING DOWN the LOCAL TAXATION through LOCAL REFERENDUM in the more than 42,000 Barangays spread all over the 7,107 islands of the Philippine Archipelago, let US, Filipino Citizens REVIEW and EVALUATE each and every LOCAL ORDINANCE on PER Barangay, Municipality, City, and Province of OUR Republic of the Philippines.

It is TIME for US, Filipino Citizens, to RECLAIM our SOVEREIGN WILL by the POWER of LOCAL Initiative and Referendum.

There is NO need to wait for MAY 2010. TODAY, we launch the "Political Revolution" via LOCAL INITIATIVE and LOCAL REFERENDUM all over the Philippine Archipelago!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Freedom Of Information Act STALLED In Senate - WHY???

For: All Honorable SENATORS of the Republic of the Philippines

Truth, Accountability, and Reform are the core issues of public governance. Reforms can be effected only if those responsible for specific anomalies are made accountable for their acts. Accountability is based on the truth about such public transactions. The truth can only be established with complete transparency about the complete details of those public transactions. Thus, House Bill 3732 - Freedom Of Information Act (FOI) must be passed.

It is a SHAME to ALL those elected from 1987, from the 8th Congress to the 13th Congress, who FAILED to pass the enabling law for citizens' rights on access to information 20 years after the 1987 Constitution was enacted. ALL those Representatives and Senators are responsible and accountable for all the anomalies in public transactions because of their FAILURE to pass the enabling law that could have deterred the syndicated plunder of public funds from the Barangay Level and all the way to the highest offices of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. ALL those Representatives and Senators from the 8th Congress to the 13th Congress should NEVER be allowed by the Filipino People to be granted the privilege to serve in any public office in the more than 42,000 barangays spread over the 7,107 islands of the Philippine Archipelago. The names of all those Senators and Representatives shall be published, inside and outside of cyberspace, for the Filipino electorate NEVER to take a second look on those names every election campaign for casting their ballots!

The incumbent Senators and Representatives of the 14th Congress can save themselves from being included in that list. Rest assured that your names will be marked forever in accordance with whether or not you will ensure the passage of FOI in the shortest period from today.

The House of Representatives submitted House Bill No. 3732 last MAY 2008. Since then, the Senate Committee on Public Information, chaired by Sen. Ramon 'Bong' Revilla, has yet to conduct the FIRST hearing! FOUR (4) MONTHS have passed WITHOUT any action from the SENATE of the 14th CONGRESS???

How can such gross incompetence be tolerated among yourselves, who are supposed to be the Honorable Senators of the Philippine Republic? Does it reflect the same gross incompetence that anyone of you will inflict on the Filipino People should we grant you the privilege to serve as the President of the Philippines?

FOUR (4) MONTHS of DELAY on the FOI, and yet ALL of you are all over the place for photo opps and press releases about your "accomplishments"! NONE of whatever you claim as "accomplishments" can ever count at all WITHOUT this enabling law that we have been waiting to be passed since 1987.

Just for the DELAY of FOUR (4) MONTHS since MAY 2008, Ramong "Bong" Revilla does NOT deserve to be allowed to complete his remaining term as senator. His FAILURE to ACT with DISPATCH and HASTE also REFLECTS on the entire SENATE, because ALL of the OTHERS have TOLERATED that DELAY!

The cost for the failure of the 14th Congress to pass the Freedom Of Information Act ASAP shall be the political ambitions of each and every member starting MAY 2010. We shall get back at each and every one of you every election time for the rest of your physical lives.

For: All Citizens of the Philippine Republic

Remember the names of the following surviving Senators of the 14th Congress:

Edgardo J. Angara
Benigno S. Aquino III
Joker P. Arroyo
Rodolfo "Pong" G. Biazon
Alan Peter S. Cayetano
Pia S. Cayetano
Juan Ponce Enrile
Francis "Chiz" G. Escudero
Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada
Richard "Dick" Gordon
Gregorio "Gringo" B. Honasan II
Panfilo "Ping" M. Lacson
Manuel "Lito" M. Lapid
Loren B. Legarda
Jamby Madrigal
Francis "Kiko" N. Pangilinan
Aquilino "Nene" Q. Pimentel, Jr.
Ramong "Bong" Revilla
Mar A. Roxas
Miriam Defensor Santiago
Antonio "Sonny" F. Trillanes IV
Manuel "Manny" B. Villar
Juan Miguel F. Zubiri

These Senators talk about their "accomplishments" and "what should be done" while they fail to act on the passage of House Bill No. 3732 - Freedom Of Information Act (FOI).

We should all remember that at this point they are individually and collectively accountable for the UNREASONABLE DELAY in the passage of the enabling law for our citizens' rights on access to public information 20 years after the 1987 Constitution was enacted.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

CHA-CHA Train to NO-EL?

'All systems go for Charter change'--Palace
By Lira
First Posted 14:54:00 08/12/2008
MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE)

"It's all systems go for Charter change," a spokesman for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared Tuesday, as Malacañang expressed support for a joint resolution at the Senate that called for the creation of 11 federal states in the country.

"It's all systems go for Charter change. We are supporting Senate Joint Resolution No. 10," Press Secretary Jesus Dureza said in a press briefing at the Palace.

Authored by Senator Aquilino Pimentel, the resolution also called for the convening of Congress "into a constituent assembly for the purpose of revising the Constitution to establish a federal system of government."

Aside from Pimentel, other signatories to the resolution are Senate President Manuel Villar, Senators Edgardo Angara, Rodolfo Biazon, Pia Cayetano, Juan Ponce-Enrile, Francis Escudero, Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada, Gregorio Honasan, Panfilo Lacson, Francis Pangilinan, and Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr.

"We are fully supportive of this," Dureza said.

When asked whether a timeline has been set to get the process going, Dureza said there was none and that the President was leaving the matter up to Congress.

Dureza said that "naughty insinuations that she [Arroyo] was going for Cha-cha [Charter change] because she wants to extend her term in office" prompted the President to make her position clear.

Dureza said that moves for a federal state of government have been at the Senate all along and the President has been talking about this right from the start.

Dureza said he has yet to check whether there was a parallel measure at the House of Representatives, but added that he expected its members to come up with one now that the President has expressed her open support.

The joint resolution aims to change the "highly centralized system of government" in Manila, which has "brought about a spotty development of the nation where preferential treatment has been given to localities whose officials are friendly with or have access to an incumbent administration."

It said the "lopsided arrangement has spawned a host of problems, including massive nationwide poverty to runaway insurgencies and rebellions that feed on the social inequalities in the nation."

"The federalization of the Republic would speed up the development of the entire nation and help dissipate the causes of the insurgency throughout the land, particularly the centuries-old Moro rebellions," the resolution said.

The 11 federal states called "centers of finance and development" to be created would be: Northern Luzon, Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, Bicol, Minparom (Mindoro, Palawa, Romblon), Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, Western Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao, and the State of Bangsamoro.

Under the resolution, the President and the Vice President will be elected and will serve a term of six years with one re-election. The President and Vice President will be voted as a team.

The resolution also calls for the election of six senators in each of the 11 component federal states.

Nine other senators will be elected to represent the Filipinos overseas. This will expand the membership of the Senate from the current 24 to 75 members, according to the resolution.

Meanwhile, members of the House of Representatives will be elected by district but limited to a maximum of 350.

The resolution provides that the senators will serve for a term of six years and congressmen, three years. The senators will be limited to two terms and congressmen, four terms.

Pimentel had said his proposed mode of electing senators would considerably lessen the cost of elections and keep victors from resorting to corruption to recover campaign expenses and pay off poll-related debts.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

OFWMD - 301108

November 30 (Philippine Time) shall be observed as:

Overseas Filipino Workers and Migrants Day

On this day as the sun shines on our Homeland, all Filipinos who are spread all over the face of Planet Earth, regardless of profession, gender and age will be united in spirit and aspirations to deliver three very important messages to all:

1. For ourselves

We are proud of being Filipinos in blood and spirit

2. For our loved ones, leaders and countrymen in the Homeland

We are hoping that unity, progress and good governance will reign in the homeland, instead of divisiveness, poverty and greed.

3. For the Citizens and Government of our Host Countries

Compliment us with respect for all our work, sacrifices and contributions we have been doing for your country and people.

How can we show our support on this undertaking on November 30 (Philippine Time) ?

By doing any, most or all of the following suggestions, depending on ones personal choice and limitations by situation:

1. If with leave credits, file a leave of absence/day off to spend the whole day celebrating with fellow Filipinos.

2. If without leave credits and yet you can justify not reporting for work to your employer, do the same thing.

3. If you will jeopardize your job by going on leave, you can resort to a “slow down” or a “sit-down strike”.

4. If a “slow down” or a “sit-down strike” will jeopardize your job, do anything or all of those indicated below.

5. Have a feast of Filipino Dishes with your family, relatives and friends

6. Waive a miniature Philippine Flag on you way to work/display it in your work desk

7. Embrace, shake hands or greet Fellow Filipinos you meet anywhere the whole day

8. Wear “Made in the Philippines” shirt or dress and accessories

9. Patronize Filipino restaurants or buy Filipino food and beverages, e.g., San Miguel Beer
10. Listen to Filipino songs

11. Have a Filipino Dance Party

12. Call your relatives and friends in the Philippines

13. Reminisce the happy times in the Homeland by watching Filipino films, videos, etc.

14. Whistle the tune of the National Anthem: “Lupang Hinirang”

15. Recite “Panatang Makabayan”

16. Tell your fellow co- workers how proud you are of being a Filipino

17. Bake a cake for the event and share it with fellow Filipinos or co-workers

18. Extend a helping hand to a Filipino in need, whether relatives, friends or even total strangers

19. Greet your fellow Filipino “Happy OFW and Migrants Day” through SMS/texts

20. Say a prayer for the safety and good health of all OFWs and Filipino migrants in every part of the world.

Simultaneous activities in the homeland to be initiated by our loved ones, OFW Institutions and Advocates will include Mass offerings in churches, praying for the safety and welfare of OFWs, bouquet offerings in various embassies emphasizing the message: Respect our people in your country as we respect your citizens here.

Are we asking too much? Is it possible? Can we do it?

We believe we all can! After all we are Filipinos …Sugod mga kapatid!

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! Mabuhay ang Bagong Pilipino!

Iniibig ko ang Pilipinas!
To SIGN UP and signify your commitment to join this global celebration, just CLICK on the following LINKS:

Please ADD your NAME and E-MAIL address in the LIST as you PASS ON / FORWARD …

Send CC to ALL those ahead of you for proper monitoring and coordination among all of us.

Anita Sese Schon
Copper Sturgeon
Mark Dario
JM Nepomuceno
Austri Basinillo
Zerzes Villadarez
Irineo Perez Goce
Cenin Monreal

"Brouhaha" over E-VAT on Oil and Derivative Products

Given the escalating prices of products and services triggered by the pump-price of gasoline and petroleum-based fuels, the Filipino People is bombarded with a barrage of pronouncements and counter-assertions regarding the Extended Value Added Tax (E-VAT). I do not wish to engage in polemics solely on such a hotly-contested controversy: the Expanded Value-Added Tax that was prescribed by the World Bank and major international creditors to be adopted by the Philippine Government. From where I am looking right here in Metro Manila, I am inclined to look at the "brouhaha" being played out in tri-media and cyberspace as just a "zarzuela con moro-moro" engaged in by all the active players in the present political stage for their own respective reasons and objectives. However, there is a lack of intelligible information for the majority of the Filipino citizenry to have the proper appreciation of the present situation and make a proper evaluation of the available alternative methods to solve the "problem/s" at issue.

What I recall is that there was "faulty implementation" of the original VAT law in 1998. With the hasty implementation of the original VAT law, there was need for a remedial measure which was the E-VAT law. However, instead of solving the "faulty implementation", the supposed to be remedial measure exacerbated the "price-escalation" impact of taxation on Filipino consumers.

To me, the problem analysis should not start with whether or not the E-VAT law should be suspended temporarily or rescinded permanently. At my end, proper problem analysis must start with the basics regarding the following:

  • consumption patterns of Filipinos in the 7,107 islands of the Philippine Archipelago;
  • the cost-price ratios of the "basket of goods and services" needed by an average Filipino household of five (5) members [parents and 3 children] for a decent standard of living with consideration of the income differential between urban and non-urban areas;
  • the estimated aggregate of revenues needed for the minimum National Budget;
  • all sources of revenues for the National Government for the minimum National Budget;
  • details and aggregate of the items that are over the minimum National Budget, which will have to be dealt with as distinct and separate items to be eliminated, if warranted

In short, the starting point should be a stringent evaluation of the fiscal management by the Philippine National Government for the past 10 years, i.e., since 1998.

I am not among those who subscribe to the need of the Philippines for a good credit rating with international creditors and credit agencies. All the more that I do not subscribe to the possibility of a financial disaster for the Philippines from a downgrading of its credit rating. Personally, I would like to see how the international credit community will deal with a Phil. President who will go for the lowest credit rating that can be given to the Philippines in order to stop foreign borrowings, at least for the next six (6) years using the 6 year term for the President of the Philippines without any re-election, as reference.

From where I am looking, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is already a TOTAL FAILURE as President of the Philippines for the past seven (7) years: from January 2001 up to December 2007. The only reason why she is still in Malacanang is simply because the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, as controlled by a group identified to be with ex-President Fidel V. Ramos, have yet to withdraw their support from her.

Based on what I have come to understand about the fiscal and monetary management done by the past administrations, from the Revolutionary Government of Corazon C. Aquino, to Fidel V. Ramos, and Joseph Ejercitor "Erap Estrada", to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, from January 2001 up to 30 JUNE 2008, what is needed by the Philippines today is an objective analysis of the total revenue sourcing vs. total expense requirement of the National Govt. And the E-VAT law issue is just a part of the whole caboodle.

Regarding the immediate concern on escalating price increases for products and services, aside from temporary suspension of specified taxes (in short, not just limited to E-VAT), there are other remedial measures that the National Government can resort to. Top of the list in my book is "price control" for the "basket of food" for the table of the average Filipino household and utilities: fuel, electricity and water. Another is increasing the maximum amount of household income to be exempted from income tax. Another is increasing the maximum amounts to be allowed as deductible expenses from the Gross Income to derive the Taxable Net Income, that should be applied to both fixed income earners and non-fixed income earners. Another is to consider premium payments for all types of insurance, including pre-need plans, as allowable deductible expense. Another is reducing the final tax on interest earnings of bank deposits from 20% down to only 2%. Those are just few of the many possible angles which can be explored for easing up the pressure of inflation and taxation on Filipino consumers.

Moving on to the jumbo items:

Although I have not joined the "Freedom from Debt Coalition" (FDC) of the Philippines, as a Filipino citizen I do not approve of the "Automatic Debt Servicing Provision". I therefore support the clamor for the repeal of the Automatic Appropriations Law on Debt Servicing, now contained in Section 26 (b) Book 6 of the Revised Administrative Code of 1987 or the automatic appropriations law on debt servicing (formerly PD 1177). It is one of the main reasons why the Philippines is in such a debt debacle. That law provides the institutional and legal mechanisms that dictate and aggravate our reliance to more borrowings to pay our debts. This insanity must be stopped as soon as possible.

If ever I will become involved in the operations of the National Government of the Philippines as a consultant, I would like to be assigned to the "Commission On Audit". Personally, I believe that "Foreign Debt Audit" is the first step to free us Filipinos from the bondage of Foreign Debt. I believe that "Foreign Debt Audit" is both a political tool and a process that must be exercised and used to fundamentally disentangle the web of foreign debt thread by thread --- to scrutinize the historical context and events why the Philippines ended up with such a foreign debt quagmire. What is so horrible is the "cover up" being perpetrated by those who are holding onto the power in both the Executive and Legislative Branches of the Philippine National Government.

What should happen after the Foreign Debt Audit by COA? We can pursue that when the more opportune topic will arise.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

It is time to take back our country!

This was sent to me...



While Typhoon Frank devastated the country
and claimed more than 650 lives,
including the poor victims of the MV Princess of the Stars sea tragedy,
illegitimate President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her 74 junketeers
mindlessly spend billions of taxpayers' money
to visit Bush and watch Pacquiao fight in the US.


300-5000 – Willard Hotel rate
30 rooms booked
400-500 – Dinner per plate
207++ - Airline rate per person
800-1000 – Rental per car
30 cars rented
250 consulate officials mobilized

P100,000 – each congressman gets monthly travel allowance
P1,620 – travel tax exemption when traveling with the President


Representative Province

Rep. Narciso Santiago III, Alliance for Rural Concerns Party List Group

Rep. Monico Puentevella, Bacolod

Rep. Albert Garcia, Bataan

Rep. Mark Llandro L. Mendoza, Batangas

Rep. Hermilando Mandanas, Batangas

Rep. William Irwin Tieng, Buhay Party List Group

Rep. Jose Zubiri III, Bukidnon

Rep. Lorna Silverio, Bulacan

Rep. Mitzi Cajayon, Caloocan

Rep. Diosdado "Dato" Macapagal Arroyo, Camarines Sur

Rep. Joseph Santiago, Catanduanes

Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr., Cavite

Rep. Antonio Cuenco, Cebu

Rep. Eduardo Gullas, Cebu

Deputy Speaker Raul Del Mar, Cebu City

Rep. Rommel Amatong, Compostela Valley

Speaker Prospero Nograles, Davao City

Rep. Antonio Lagdameo, Davao Del Norte

Rep. Marc Cagas, Davao Del Sur

Rep. Nelson Dayanghirang, Davao Oriental

Rep. Teodolo Coquilla, Eastern Samar

Rep. Andres Salvacion, Leyte

Rep. Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez, Leyte

Rep. Trinidad Apostol, Leyte

Rep. Ma. Zenaida Angping, Manila

Rep. Amado S. Bagatsing, Manila

Rep. Bienvenido Abante Jr., Manila

Rep. Rizalina Seachon-Lanete, Masbate

Rep. Herminia Ramiro, Misamis Occidental

Rep. Yevgeny Emano, Misamis Oriental

Rep. Rozzano Rufino Biazon, Muntinlupa

Rep. Joseph Gilbert Violago, Nueva Ecija

Deputy Speaker Ma. Amelita C. Villarosa, Occidental Mindoro

Rep. Anna York Bondoc, Pampanga

Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr., Pampanga

Rep. Juan Miguel Macapagal Arroyo, Pampanga

Rep. Conrado Estrella III, Pangasinan

Rep. Ma. Rachel Arenas, Pangasinan

Rep. Eduardo C. Zialcita, Parañaque

Rep. Roman Romulo, Pasig City

Rep. Mary Ann Susano, Quezon City

Rep. Nanette C. Castelo-Daza, Quezon City

Rep. Danilo Suarez, Quezon Province

Rep. Junie Cua, Quirino

Rep. Arturo B. Robes, San Jose Del Monte

Rep. Roger Mercado, Southern Leyte

Rep. Munir Arbison, Sulu

Rep. Rex Gatchalian, Valenzuela City

Rep. Antonio Diaz, Zambales


Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago

Sen. Richard Gordon (Sen. Gordon did not go and did his job as Red Cross Chairman)


Sec. Arthur Yap, Agriculture

Sec. Rolando Andaya, Budget

Sec. Gov. Amando Tetangco, Central Bank

Sec. Gilbert Teodoro, Defense

Sec. Ronaldo Puno, DILG

Sec. Jesli Lapus, Education

Sec. Lito Atienza, Environment

Sec. Margarito Teves, Finance

Sec. Alberto Romulo, Foreign Affairs

Acting Sec. Marianito Roque, Labor

Sec. Ignacio Bunye, Presidential Spokesman

Sec. Jesus Dureza, Press

Sec. Peter Favila, Trade

Shall we leave our country in the hands of such uncaring people?

It's time to take back our country!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

TIME to DIVIDE the HOUSE - Without DIVIDING the Republic, not yet anyway

(Without DIVIDING the Republic, not yet anyway)

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, her handlers, cohorts, and minions are holding on to power based on the allegation that they still have the support of the majority of the estimated 90 million Filipinos. This allegation is seemingly shored up by the last pronouncement from the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), leaving it to the individual members of the Catholics in the Philippines, to make their respective choices/decisions.

The most concrete expression of support to any government is the actual payment of taxes by its constituents. It is time to test the allegation of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, her handlers, cohorts, and minions that they still have the support of the majority of the estimated 90 million Filipinos. Let us “divide the house” without dividing the Republic, not yet, anyway. Perhaps, after the implementation of the following proposal, effectively we shall divide the Republic of the Philippines WITHOUT any violence whatsoever.

Starting today 01 March 2008, ONLY those Filipinos who support the government of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo shall continue paying all the prescribed taxes by the Republic of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The rest of Filipinos who do not recognize the government of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo shall withdraw all forms of support, starting with the most concrete act: NOT paying any tax whatsoever.

Let this be the deciding action for each and every Filipino Citizen. Those who recognize and support the government of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo shall only be the ones to pay taxes. Those who renounce the illegitimate government of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo shall stop paying any form of tax whatsoever, until she steps down or up to the end of her term on 30 June 2010

Let the division of the house start NOW!


Tama na, Sobra na!
Iniibig ko ang Pilipinas!
Ikaw rin ba, iniibig mo ang Pilipinas?
Kung kasama ka, kilos na!
Kung hindi ka kasama, tumabi ka!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008




Please bring us back to the barracks

We are soldiers. We are also citizens. We, together with our families, are so much a part of the community more than our beloved organization. We are not faceless automatons incapable of thinking, feeling and discernment. We feel the pain of our neighbors as much as their anger. We see their oppression and sense their hopelessness. Of course, their happiness is ours too. But they are not!We, too, can distinguish good from evil, a truth from a lie, an honest one from a cheat and a thief. But it would be our most grievous sin if we tolerate and do nothing about it.

In the 2004 elections, a misguided and partisan few from among our ranks went out of our barracks not with a noble intent….but to commit a crime against the people. The rest of us stayed behind and watched as it happened. These criminals in uniform strayed away from barracks not to protect the people, but rather to subvert the will of the people. They are still out of barracks trying to cover up for the crimes they committed while suppressing the truth. Sadly, more are being lured out of barracks to partake of the loot.

EDSA 1 and today are no more different. In fact, today is worse than the conditions that prevailed before. There are more compelling reasons for the soldiers to go outside of its barracks. The mess that was created in 2004 either by direct participation and/or by silent complicity needs to be cleaned. It would be the height of insensitivity and callousness to let alone the people do the cleaning when we, ourselves, were so much a part of it. Going out of barracks to join the people in communal action to rid the ills that befell our nation is a Constitutional duty. In fact, it is demanded of us, as soldiers, by the very people whom we failed. Let us not, this time, fail them. Let our voices be heard from the barracks. Let our sense of community be felt from the barracks. And let our actions be seen in and out of the barracks.

After everything has been said and done…. We appeal to the Filipino people to bring us back to barracks and keep us there. Keep us forever in barracks by electing responsible public officials and holding them accountable, by being ever vigilant and by strengthening your sense of community. We, your soldiers, will then march back to barracks to settle to the task of keeping your worthy trust and respect. Let that be our covenant.

Keep the spirit burning and MABUHAY KAYONG LAHAT!

Maj. Gen. Renato Miranda and Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim, Marines and Scout Rangers
incarcerated for allegedly planning to withdraw support from Gloria Arroyo two years ago.

February 25, 2008



It is often said that “the truth will set you free.” Bu this would be understood in the philosophical and moral context, because the truth, in many cases will send a person to prison. Mr. Lozada does not appear to be a saint, but the truth may have set him “free,” as perhaps, it was a means for him to attain peace with his own God and to reconcile himself with his concept of what is just and good. However, for Mrs. Arroyo, some members of her family, and their cohorts, including Mr. Esperon, the truth will send them to prison.

And so it is said again that “the truth hurts.” The truth may hurt because, well, it could send you to prison. But the truth could hurt more if and when it publicly reveals a person for who he really is, e.g. – a crook, a cheat, a liar, a coward, or simply dishonorable. It has been said that a man values his reputation more than anything else. Whether that reputation is correct or not is a different matter. Nobody wants to be called or known as crook, a cheat, a liar, or a coward. That is why people go to great lengths to hide their true nature, or pretend to be something they are not in order to cultivate a more palatable public image. Some people have become so adept at this deception, that they fool even themselves.

And so we come to the next point – what is the truth, anyway? Goebbels once said that a lie, repeated often enough, becomes truth. In law, regardless of what the reality is, the truth could simply be what the available evidence shows, and ultimately what the tribunal declares it to be. And, in a society such as ours, who really “determines” what the tribunals of law say? Is truth what historians say it to be? And who writes history? Is it not the victors of the present dispensers of power?

Mr. Esperon and his handful of minions are fully aware that the vast majority of the men and women of the AFP are already repulsed by the brazen, unabated and worsening corruption in the highest levels of government, the unmitigated and boundless greed of a favored few, the government’s insensitivity to the abject poverty and suffering of the masses, and the politicization of key officers and positions in the AFP. Mr. Esperon should know, because he is right at the center of this depraved, decadent and degenerate administration. Deep inside him, Mr. Esperon knows that he no longer has the respect or support of the men and women of the AFP. In truth and in fact, Mr. Esperon relies on nothing other than military bureaucracy and chain of command to maintain nominal control and to project an image of unity in the AFP.

Mr. Esperon has made repeated and frantic calls for soldiers to uphold the constitution and the laws of the land. He would like to brand himself and his group as defenders of the constitution and those who oppose him as “mutineers,” “rebels,” “Adventurists,” “rogues,” “criminals,” and “enemies of the state,” with “messianic complexes.” This call comes from a man who has violated the constitution and the law many times over, and with impunity.

Following the constitution or defending the constitution, indeed sounds appealing and the proper thing to do. For, we have wakened and lived all our lives in a society held together by that social compact known as the constitution. But we must open our eyes and rise above paradigms that have become dysfunctional in a society such as ours. The truth is that our leaders, including Mr. Esperon, have no respect for the laws of our land and for our constitution, but they hide behind its rhetoric when they find it necessary, convenient or expedient to entrench or perpetuate themselves in power. The truth is that our leaders, our political elite and their business partners, are using and abusing our institutions, our laws , our constitution, an our processes to give a semblance of legitimacy to what is in fact an immoral and unabated orgy of corruption greed and abuse of power. The truth is that, under our constitution, SOVEREIGNTY RESIDES IN THE PEOPLE AND ALL GOVERNMENT AUTHORITY EMANATES FROM THEM. Hence, when the current political elite use the very institutions of government to commit and “legitimize” unspeakable abuses, wreak havoc and inflict all sorts of injustice against the people, THE MASSES HAVE THE MORAL, CONSTITUTIONAL AND LEGAL RIGHT TO CLAIM AND EXERCISE THE SOVEREIGNTY THAT PERTAINS TO THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE. And the further truth is that the ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES IS THE PROTECTOR OF THE PEOPLE AND THE STATE.

This is the common yearning of all democratic peoples, indeed all peoples, as embodied in the American Declaration of Independence: “All men are created equal, x x x they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, x x x among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, - That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

So the question again is, what is the truth? Who are the rogues, who are the criminals, who are the enemies of the state, who are the enemies of the people? Who are the crooks, the liars, the cheats, and the cowards? Who are the true defenders of the people and constitution? IT IS THE VICTOR WHO WRITES HISTORY. That is why Mr. Esperon will do everything in his power to ensure Mrs. Arroyo’s political survival. Mr. Esperon’s fate is cast with that of the current administration. His loyalty is not to the constitution, his loyalty is not to the people, rather his loyalty is to himself, and to those who will ensure his survival.

The clarion call for TRUTH is being sidestepped by a flurry of calls and messages evoking undying loyalty to a person, at the expense of institutions. Shameless and pathetic are but tame words to describe these actions of some members in the AFP leadership.

I WILL DIE FOR YOU MA’AM…but never shall I die to ferret out the TRUTH behind the “Garci Tapes” and the involvement of Mr. Esperon and his criminal gang in the 2004 elections.

I WILL DIE FOR YOU MA’AM…But never will I die in defense of our soldiers and policemen who have been robbed of their housing units.

I WILL DIE FOR YOU MA’AM…But never shall I die to demand for the combat pay of our dying soldiers in the battlefield.

I WILL DIE FOR YOU MA’AM…But never shall I die to protect citizens and “Lozadas” whose truth will undermine your presidency.

I WILL DIE FOR YOU MA’AM…But never shall I die for the right to air legitimate grievances.

I WILL DIE FOR YOU MA’AM…for in doing so; I continue to enjoy the perks and benefits of my position. Err, please keep the funds flowing. I don’t care if those funds come out of the misery of our soldiers or that of the citizenry. Ma’am, I will die for you, even if it takes my own soldiers to shoot me. To hell with them!


February 20, 2008


Break the chain of lies and deceit

We express our support for truth and justice. As members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines who have sworn to defend the Constitution and protect the Filipino people, we refuse to be cowed into silence and submission by a leadership anchored on thievery and deceit.The events that transpired during the elections in 2004 have brought so much shame in the collective conscience of the AFP. A cabal of a few criminal elements in the Armed Forces led by Mister Esperon has wrought so much misery to our country and people. The silence of the majority reinforced this misery. There will be No Esperons, No Abaloses, No Pidals, No Garcias, No Bolantes, No Garcillanos, No Bedols, No Neris if only there were more Lozadas.

Engr. Jun Lozada has broken the chain. And by doing so, he has been liberated. Our Armed Forces, whose chain of command has been used to cheat the people, lie to the people and oppress the people, has lost all its moral claim as protectors of the people in the eyes of whom we seek to serve. It is now time to break that chain and liberate the Filipinos. In the words of Mr. Lozada, “let us keep whatever is left of our souls”.

To the Filipino people, we are one with you. Your aspirations are also ours. Your dreams are also our dreams. Your actions may well be ONE.


February 15, 2008


Panahon na para manindigan

Nais po naming ipaabot ang aming pagbati sa lahat ng nakikibahagi sa napaka importanteng pagkilos na ito. Bagama't kami po ay kasaukuyang nakapiit dito sa PNP Custodial Center sa Camp Crame, kasama ninyo kami sa diwa at damdamin. Kami po ay malugod na nagpaaabot ng aming pakikiisa sa inyo.

Pagkatapos po nating marinig ang mga rebelasyon ni Jun Lozada kung gaano na kalala ang korapsyon sa Malacañang, kailangan po sigurong mag muni-muni tayong lahat at pag isipan natin ang kahulugan nito sa buhay natin at kinabukasan ng ating mga anak. Ayon po kay Jun Lozada, hindi pa sila nakuntento sa 3.2 bilyon na kickback mula sa ZTE NBN project, walang pakundangan pang pinakailaman nila ang pondong nakalaan sana para sa pabahay ng ating mga sundalo at pulisya at para sa proyektong patubig para sa barangay para makakuha ng 200 milyong dolyar o 8 Bilyong pisong kick back. Ang masakit po nito, tayo ang magpapasan at magbabayad para dito. Grabe na'to!

Ito ay isa na lamang dagdag sa sangdamakmak na anomalya at iskandalong nagawa ng GMA Administration sa nakaraang pitong taon.

Panahon na para magdesisyon! Panahon na para manindigan! Panahon na para kumilos! Panahon na para mamili ng bagong lider ang ating bayan.Sa lahat ng lider ng ating bayan at sa lahat ng ating mamamayan, samahan po ninyo kami ni manawagan kay Gloria Macapagal Arroyo na magbitiw na.

Ituloy po natin ang laban para sa katarungan at katotohanan! Ituloy po natin ang laban para sa Inang Bayan!

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

Brig. Gen. Danilo D. Lim (AFP), Senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV, Capt. Gary C. Alejano PN (M),
Capt. Segundino O. Orfiano Jr. PAF, Ltsg Manuel G. Cabochan PN, Lt James A. Layug PN, Ltsg Andy Torrato PN, Ltsg Eugene Louie P. Gonzalez PN, Ltjg Arturo S. Pascua Jr. PN, 1Lt Billy S. Pascua PAF, 2nd Lt. Jonnell P. Sangalang PN (M),
Ens Armand G. Pontejos PN.

February 14, 2008


Monday, February 25, 2008

Silence is a Statement

For everyone who does not want to voice out the protest against "Immoral Governance".

Read the following, and reflect on it by yourself, and then decide what to do because:

"Silence is the more deafening statement" that
you tolerate and condone "Immoral Governance"


Tama na, Sobra na!

Iniibig ko ang Pilipinas!

Ikaw rin ba, iniibig mo ang Pilipinas?

Kung kasama ka, kilos na!

Patalsikin ang mga taksil sa bayan!



Silence is a statement
By Yya E. Aragon
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:37:00 02/25/2008
MANILA, Philippines --

By some weird twist of fate, I met Mr. Jun Lozada and his prayer warriors. And I never felt more ashamed about being a youth in this country.

Our meeting was accidental. My thesis partner and I had gone to the Senate on the first day of the hearing for a purpose that had nothing to do with the ZTE national broadband network deal. We wanted to interview a reporter for our thesis who was covering the hearing. When we got there, we learned that the media had been divided into three groups to meet with Lozada after his testimony. Before our interview with the reporter began, his group's turn came.

My thesis partner and I were left alone. Having nothing better to do, we thought we could mingle with the media people, see Lozada in person, and maybe go home and tell everyone, "Hey, we saw that man in person!" Maybe a few snapshots taken from afar would do for evidence. However, this brilliant plan collapsed right at the entrance to the room when a guard stopped us and told us we were not representing any media organization -- we were only students.

My partner was furious at the discrimination, but nothing could make the guard change his mind. "Goes to show what kind of government we have!" I blurted out in protest.

We went to another room to wait for our interviewee to finish, still fuming over the injustice of it all. But we did see Mr. Lozada in the end. The little raucous did not go unnoticed. A man wearing a big ID card promised to help us. Given this tiny ray of hope that we might be able to squeeze in a question, we prepared a single one.

When we went back to the room where Lozada was giving interviews, we were surprised that a different guard was willing to give us a chance to speak to him. The kind stranger with the big ID card must have done what he promised (thank you, sir). The guard told us to wait near the door, but of course, we could not wait. We followed him.

We saw a small crowd in front of Lozada, and I noted that many of them looked about our age. It made me wonder why this group of media people looked so young. I noticed that Lozada was still wearing his jacket, looking tired but more relaxed than he did on TV.

To our surprise, the kind guard went straight to Lozada and told him we were students at the University of the Philippines. And to our horror, Lozada greeted us and invited us to sit down in front of him so we could begin our interview. My partner was holding the camera, so I had to ask the questions. We found ourselves in the middle of everybody. Lozada was in front of us, the nuns and brothers who looked so welcoming to our side and what we took to be a young media group, who turned out to be his nieces and nephews, at the back. (Silly of me to think they were media; not one of them was holding a pen or a camera!) With all the training I got from prep school to college and not wanting to disgrace the good name of our university, I pulled myself together and did the interview with my equally stunned partner and we went home, still not believing our good fortune.

The truth about this article is that it begins when one of the nuns turned to me as I was about to have a heart attack and asked, "Before you interview him, I want to ask you: With everything that is happening, what do you think you, the youth, should do now?" (It was worded differently and I can't even remember if she spoke in Filipino or English.) My blood pressure shot up. This was not an impromptu interview. This was an oral exam!

I told her what I believed at that moment. I said I did not believe in going to rallies. That the best thing the youth could do now was watch ourselves, watch who we become and after graduation, never let greed rule our actions. "I cannot do a Mr. Lozada," I said, "but, with all due respect, I can never do a Mr. Abalos either. I'd rather do a Mr. Lozada than a Mr. Abalos."

One of the La Salle brothers pointed out that Lozada at first didn't think he could do what he did. And the question the nun asked has been like a gadfly to me ever since, bothering me without ceasing. The truth is I am ashamed of my answer. The embarrassment especially hit me when Lozada declared on TV that if the people do not act, then his sacrifice will be wasted. He is right: He has done his part; what happens next is up to the people.

I am one of the youth of this nation, the supposed bearer of idealism. I study in a university that teaches the importance of being active in society. And there I was saying that I had to graduate first before I could help bring about change, that the only change I can effect right now is on myself. While this may be true on some points, I feel uncomfortable about being passive and thinking, "Let others do the changing because I can only change myself." At this stage in my life, I should have known that a fragile, battle-weary family man would be unable to carry the burden all by himself.

I am ashamed that all I wanted to do was sit down comfortably in front of the TV and watch a man risk his life, family and credibility. I am embarrassed that all I ever did was grumble and complain about greedy politicians and wait for our generation's turn to run the government. The crusade for an honest nation cannot be carried by a single individual. It should be fought by the people who are mad at having their money stolen for the enrichment of a chosen few.

My silence is not anymore deafening, it is crushing. It has become a mute agreement. In essence I am saying that there is nothing that can be done about the situation. Silence is a statement, one that says corruption is unsolvable. And for me it is one that says I do not care what happens to this country.

I am a Filipino, and though I am a coward at heart, I want to protect it from crooks, not after graduation, not in the next 10 years, but now.

Those protest rallies are wake-up calls to those who need to be stung by gadflies. They are statements. And though they are a hundred times repeated and nothing seems to happen, they are reminders that the people remain awake and vigilant. They say we do not tolerate corruption, we are ashamed of what is happening right now, we are not afraid to speak the truth, and we cannot approve of $130 million or any amount being stolen from our pockets. The rallies are a demand for people running the government to come out into the sunlight, hiding nothing, getting nothing that is not theirs and doing their duties. If we keep fighting, maybe something will happen. Maybe not now, but surely it will happen some day.

This is not a call for everyone to join the rallies. All I want to say is that this is not the time to just listen to the radio or watch television. In whatever lawful way possible, let us voice out our protests. I am sorry for thinking I could only change myself. Change starts with oneself but it does not and should not end there.

Yya E. Aragon, 21, is a fourth-year Broadcast Communication student at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Bottom Line for Immoral Governance


To wait for May 2010 is the pitch of those who benefit from Immoral Governance whether directly or indirectly.

"Tama na, Sobra na!"

"Iniibig ko ang Pilipinas!"

"Ikaw rin ba, iniibig mo ang Pilipinas?"

"Kung kasama ka, kilos na!"

"Patalsikin ang mga taksil sa bayan!"

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Just like a pernicious, malevolent, and virulent strain of cancerous cells, another call for Charter Change has been coming out of the woodwork of Philippine politics. For this round, the protracted deadlock in peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is being used as the dangling “bait” to the Filipino People. Where before the proponents for Charter Change were all from the Majority Party, this time there are additional proponents from the ranks of the Minority Party. One can not help but suspect that there could be “Trojan Horses” in the Opposition.

The pitch is anchored on the “federal system being the only feasible solution to the centuries-old rebellion in Mindanao” as contained in a recent press release from no less than the Office of the Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Nene” Q. Pimentel, Jr. Subsequently, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita announced that the government is prepared to discuss the federalism proposal when the peace talks resume. And as if pushing the stakes higher, Pimentel even warned that the peace talks should not be derailed and delayed any longer in view of the increasing restiveness among the ranks of Muslim rebels which may lead to the revival of the separatist war. Joining the bandwagon is a well-known staunch proponent of the concept of “Federalism” since the early ‘70s, Dr. Jose B. Abueva, U.P. Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Public Administration and former Chairman of the 2005 Consultative Commission on Charter Change.

Pimentel said a federal system setup will put an end to the recurrent Muslim secessionist conflict because it will not only give the people in Muslim Mindanao a measure of self-rule but will also enable them to assert and preserve their cultural identity, specially their Islamic faith and way of life. He said that the creation of a Bangsa Moro Federal State is the collective wish of the Muslims in Mindanao which was conveyed to him through conversations he had with practically all the known Muslim rebel leaders, their ulamas, and their business, academic and youth leaders. “To a man, they prefer the establishment of a Bangsa Moro Federal State over the autonomous region. Otherwise, the threat of secession still hangs in the air as the ultimate way of out of the Moros of the predicament they find themselves in.”

In concert, Dr. Abueva declared “And I respectfully appeal to all local government leaders and the legislators to seize the moment for transforming our highly centralized and stultifying unitary system into a devolved structure of autonomous regions that will release the creativity and energies of local leaders and citizens all over the country. Mindanao, the cradle of regional autonomy and federalism, has a historic opportunity to lead our country in regional autonomy and federalism.” In addition, Dr. Abueva is proposing the shift from the presidential government into a “unicameral” parliament.

What the Filipino People should be reminded about is that the Honorable Senator Pimentel was appointed after EDSA ’86 as the Minister of Local Government and Presidential advisor/chief negotiator with the Muslim insurgents in Mindanao. The Filipino People must also remember that he was elected Senator (1987-1992), and he authored the seminal Local Government Code. Rather than listen to his pitch about “Federalism”, the Filipino People should ask the Honorable Senator why he failed to resolve the Muslim insurgency during his stint as Presidential advisor/chief negotiator more than 20 years ago. Most importantly, the Honorable Senator must be asked about the implementation of the Local Government Code with regard to “maximum devolution” of the National Government’s functions, power & authority to all the Local Government Units: province, city, municipality, and barangay.

In the case of Dr. Jose B. Abueva, the Filipino People should remember that he served as the Secretary of the 1971 Consitutional Convention that was responsible and accountable for the 1972 Philippine Constitution that was adopted the Dictator Ferdinand Edralin Marcos. The eminent Dr. Abueva should be expected to recall the deliberations that resulted into neither the adoption of “Federalism” that he had been espousing even at the time, nor the adoption of the “Unicameral” structure for the CONGRESS of the Republic of the Philippines. Most importantly, Dr. Abueva should be reminded that even after 35 years, there has been no significant change in the political landscape that indicates any need for changing the “form” or “structure” to achieve good governance. The real problem remains the same: the issue of moral ascendancy of the “people” in all three (3) branches of the Government of the Philippines – the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judiciary.

With regard to the issue of “greater autonomy” for the “regions”, there is NO need to amend, much less revise the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines. All that must be done is for CONGRESS to REVIEW the IMPLEMENTATION of the “Enabling Law” - "Local Government Code of 1991", which was crafted to ensure the “greatest autonomy” possible to all Local Government Units: province, city, municipality and barangay levels.

In Section 2 – Declaration of Policy, the following are stipulated:

(a) It is hereby declared the policy of the State that the territorial and political subdivisions of the State shall enjoy genuine and meaningful local autonomy to enable them to attain their fullest development as self-reliant communities and make them more effective partners in the attainment of national goals. Toward this end, the State shall provide for a more responsive and accountable local government structure instituted through a system of decentralization whereby local government units shall be given more powers, authority, responsibilities, and resources. The process of decentralization shall proceed from the national government to the local government units.

(b) It is also the policy of the State to ensure the accountability of local government units through the institution of effective mechanisms of recall, initiative and referendum.

(c) It is likewise the policy of the State to require all national agencies and offices to conduct periodic consultations with appropriate local government units, non-governmental and people's organizations, and other concerned sectors of the community before any project or program is implemented in their respective jurisdictions.

What is the basis for the contention that CONGRESS has the OBLIGATION to REVIEW the IMPLEMENTATION of the “Local Government Code of 1991”?

In Book IV – Miscellaneous and Final Provisions, Title Two – Provisions for Implementation:

SECTION 521. Mandatory Review Every Five Years. - Congress shall undertake a mandatory review of this Code at least once every five (5) years and as often as it may deem necessary, with the primary objective of providing a more responsive and accountable local government structure.

Thus, the FIRST and MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION is “Was the IMPLEMENTATION of the Local Government Code of 1991 reviewed EVERY five (5) years by CONGRESS?

The SECOND question is: What were the FINDINGS/RESULTS of the REVIEW/S that should have been conducted by CONGRESS, if any?

The THIRD question is: What ELSE can be done and therefore must be one in order to ensure the “greatest autonomy” possible to all the Local Government Units – province, city, municipality and barangay levels? The MOST IMPORTANT angle of this question is on the “role” of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). Even on just a very cursory or superficial level, there are outright indicators that the DILG has become an abominable mutation: instead of “maximum de-centralization” or “total devolution” to the LGUs, the thrust in implementation has always been to “centralize functions right there in the DILG! Accordingly, it looks like that the only thing that must be done is to DISMANTLE the present DILG, nothing less and nothing more.

At this point, it should be obvious that “Federalism” is just a decoy for something else which is the real agenda for Charter Change: “UNICAMERAL Parliament”.

And this one should not take more than two (2) statements to refute: The pitch for the advantage of a “Unicameral Parliament” is negated right at the outset by the actual proclivities, machinations, maneuverings and manipulations of the legislative process by the current Majority Party in the present BICAMERAL Congress. The long and short of it is: a “UNICAMERAL Parliament” will simply be a “ONE Political Party DICTATORSHIP”.

And the Filipino People already learned the lesson the hard way and so NEVER AGAIN, NEVER AGAIN, NEVER AGAIN!