Wednesday, September 30, 2009
You should also be aware that natural disasters also hit Indonesia, Vietnam at Samoa days after Ondoy. Hope you'll also remember them in your prayers and giving.
These are the top 10 reasons you shouldn’t volunteer for any Typhoon Ondoy relief operation:
(Warning: some links contain graphic materials)
10. You’re not getting anything out of it.
9. You’re scheduled to go to Caliraya in a motorboat.
8. Yuck, make tapak in the putik? Kadiri, noh.
7. You’d rather go shopping for alcohol.
6. You’re too emotionally attached to every single item of clothing in your closet that you can’t part with them. Every t-shirt. Every sock.
5. You can’t find a volunteer center nearby.
4. God doesn’t care, even if his people do. Why should you? (I’m doing something productive praying for whoever made this sign.)
3. You can’t live without your daily Starbucks.(Php100 x 30 = Php3000 / Php23.00 (per 1.5L bottle of mineral water) = 500 bottles of water, enough to properly hydrate a four-member family for one month)
2. You’re having a hard time breathing.
… and the number one reason why you shouldn’t volunteer for any Typhoon Ondoy relief effort…
1. The government isn’t working. Why should you?
Your country needs you. The Philippines needs you. Not everyone gets a once-in-a-lifetime moment to change someone’s life and to make a difference. This is your moment. Please volunteer or donate.
Monday, September 28, 2009
I got this picture from an email with a comment from a German national who saw this particular Reuter's photo. Look closely at the picture, she thinks "only Pinoys can make light of a serious situation, they look happy," she says.
A sign that Filipinos will overcome this calamity. Do you agree?
Saturday, September 26, 2009
It's a good time to pray for the country and if you're a Filipino abroad, the Philippine National Red Cross has information on how to help.
(Image from Yahoo News)
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Manila Standard Today reported on 09/24/09 that Catholic bishops stepped up the pressure yesterday and urged congressmen not to attend sessions to pass a family planning bill that they oppose, but 170 lawmakers showed up to answer the quorum call anyway.
These Catholic bishops believe that the only reason why married couples should engage in sexual intercourse is to procreate. They know nothing of God's gift of intimacy to the union of a man and a woman. They need to read the Bible. The Song of Solomon celebrates marital intimacy for intimacy's sake. And think on these words for married men from Proverbs 5:18-19,
Let your fountain, the wife of your youth, be blessed, rejoice in her, a lovely doe, a graceful hind, let her be your companion; you will at all times be bathed in her love, and her love will continually wrap you round.
Wherever you turn, she will guide you; when you lie in bed, she will watch over you, and when you wake she will talk with you. NEB
House Bill 5043 seeks a national policy on reproductive health and population control. It does not seek to legalize abortion in anyway shape or form. What this bill seeks is to allow Filipino married couples enjoy the divine gift of intimacy without feeling guilty that they are violating God’s will.
These Catholic bishops who are putting political pressure on our lawmakers know nothing about marital intimacy because they have taken the vow of celibacy. This is an aspect of life they know nothing about. What they should do is feed the malnourished and hungry among us. They have lots of money. What do you think they eat at the Vatican? Rice and sardines?
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
In Mark 8:36-37, Jesus asks: For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Most of our national and local leaders together with their cronies will end up in hell dahil sa pangungurakot na ginawa nila; unless, they make restoration.
Many of our people believe, as I do, that our country would have remained second only to Japan, economic wise, had our leaders been caring enough for their fellowmen. We know that, once, our people had the heart and mind to be a very successful nation.
What has happened to us? Why is it that so few are megarich while so many are dirt poor in our country today? How can so few lavish themselves with champagne and caviar, steak and lobster while so many exists on rice and sardines?
The answer is simple: The powerful few in government and their conniving cronies in business had sold their souls to the devil. They live in mansions and are chauffeured around in luxury SUVs while the many push and shove their way in and out of mass transit cabs, or stare into nothingness packed inside jeepneys for hours stuck in traffic somewhere, day in and day out.
Filipino life could have been nice. Maybe, even very nice. But as it is, Filipinos continue to force themselves to adopt and adjust to their environment and economic realities, even to the point of subhuman existence while they wait for the opportunity to get out of the shanties they call home and go somewhere - - anywhere that would provide for the prospect of a better future even if it means getting in harm’s way and missing the childhood of their sons and daughters.
Though the light at the end of the tunnel is still nowhere in sight, there is hope. There is hope because 90% of us look upon ourselves as Christians, as followers of Jesus Christ. This means that we can be like Christ. This means that the megarich among us can cause the tide to rise and lift all boats. Jesus Christ had to give up His life, but this is not required from any of us. All that the thieves and crooks in government and business has to do is make restoration. Give back what you stole from our people by paying up our national debt. You can do it anomymously, so that your repentance will remain between you and God.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Liliosa Hilao — tortured, raped, murdered
By Christine Herrera
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Sept. 19, 1998
THE FIRST woman and first detainee murdered during martial law inspired the filing of the class suit against the estate of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Liliosa Hilao, then 23, was also gang-raped. Robert Swift, lead counsel of the 9,539 class suit members, described Liliosa his opening statement before the jury at the United States District Court in Hawaii as a “student leader about to graduate college summa cum laude” when she was arrested.
“Liliosa was beaten in her home. She was taken to a military compound, and she died three days later,” Swift told the US jury. “During interrogation, muriatic acid was poured down her throat and burned her throat and lungs.”
The case Hilao versus Estate of Ferdinand Marcos was made to represent the victims of torture, disappearances and summary execution in the human rights litigation.
Her violent death may have saved the lives of her sister Marie, then 20 and her husband Romeo Enriquez, 23; another sister Josefina, then 16; brother Winfred, 26, and his wife, Violeta, 23. Her sisters and brother recalled at the approach of the 26th anniversary of the Marcos proclamation of martial law on Sept.21 that the military would stop their torture wins in the end tactics each time they would be reminded of Liliosa’s death.
The Hilaos never had the chance to grieve for their Liliosa. Truckloads of military men kept vigil during her wake and burial hoping to arrest other so-called “subversives” who might come to condole with her family.
Liliosa’s death was allegedly used by Marcos as a “sample” for other political prisoners to scare them into squealing on their comrades and avail of the amnesty for their release from prison.
The amnesty was rejected outright by the Hilao family. Liliosa’s death also inspired the creation of the Task Force Detainees in 1974. Liliosa was tagged a “subversive” by the Marcos regime because as editor of the campus paper at the Pamantasan ng Maynila, she was critical of martial law.
As a sign of protest, the graduating class of the Pamantasan wore black arm bands and left a vacant, symbolic seat for their absent classmate. At around 11 a.m. of April 4, 1973, seven months after martial law was imposed, intelligence agents from the Constabulary Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) raided the Hilao residence in Project 2, Quezon City.
Marie, now 46, recalled that she was with her bedridden mother and three male friends when the armed men stormed their house.
She said the raiding team, led by Lt. Arthur Castillo, ransacked their house looking for subversive documents. Castillo remains in active service.
The armed men were looking for Winfred, whom the military tagged as a communist.
Marie, who was then an urban poor organizer and now secretary general of the Samahan ng mga Ex-detainees Laban sa Detensyon at para sa Amnestiya (Selda), said the raiding team slapped, kicked and interrogated her to force her to snitch on her brother and Jose Ma. Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). Her three friends suffered the same treatment.
Her mother pleaded to stop hurting her daughter and the three young men. She was in a plaster cast due to a hip-bone fracture.
Marie said the raiding team even ate the lunch she prepared for her mother and other members of the family, leaving them nothing to eat.
Shortly after lunch, one of the three men left; another guarded her friends and the other guarded her in the kitchen. But her guard dozed off giving Marie a chance to escape. She scaled the high wall at the back of her house to inform her ”comrades” of the raid and ask them to warn her sisters and brother in school not to return home.
The warning never got to Liliosa and Josefina, who was in high school. Both were already on their way home when the couriers reached their respective schools.
Josefina got home first and was tortured. Her ears were clamped damaging her sense of hearing. Her sight was also damaged from being slapped around several times.
When Liliosa came, she was immediately brought to one room. The raiders raped her; one of them was playing Russian roulette on her. She was injected with ”truth serum” to talk.
Liliosa and Josefina were separately brought to Camp Crame at around 12 midnight for “tactical interrogation.” The travel time from their house to Camp Crame was only 15 minutes because of the curfew. But Liliosa reached Camp Crame at 2 a.m. and no one could tell where she had been and what happened to her during the two hour interval.
When Liliosa was finally brought to her cell, Josefina saw her. She hardly recognized her sister because her face was swollen and disfigured,her body was bruised black and blue.
Josefina was not given a chance to get near her elder sister and that was the last time she saw Liliosa alive. Two days later, Liliosa was murdered.
Apparently alarmed by the first murder of a detainee inside a military compound, the military immediately released Josefina from prison. The military made it appear that Liliosa committed suicide. The police crime laboratory medico legal report was silent about Liliosa having been gang-raped.
The Hilao children went underground. But Marie, her husband Romeo, Josefina, Winfred and his wife, Violeta were rearrested on Oct. 7, 1974 and brought to Camp Olivas in Angeles, Pampanga.
They were not allowed to eat for nine days. They were again tortured and interrogated as to the whereabouts of Joma Sison.
“Nothing could make us talk and if you kill anyone of us, you have to kill us all because if you spare someone, then he or she will be witness to other murders just like what you did to our sister, Liliosa,” Marie recalled telling their interrogators.
At the mention of Liliosa’s name, the water cure and electric shock would be withdrawn
“You owe us because of the murder of our sister Liliosa and you would pay for that crime,” the Hilaos repeatedly told their tormentors. The political prisoners,were all transferred to Bicutan stockade.
Marie bore a child while in detention. The child was named Liza Liliosa Enriquez, in honor of her sister. Liza Liliosa had to bear the heat inside the cell. The child was only allowed to be brought outside for sunlight for 10 minutes everyday. Mother and child were finally released on Oct. 8, 1975.
Swift presented documents in court that showed Marcos was directly responsible for the torture and the human rights violations of political prisoners.
The US court found Marcos liable for torture and human rights violations of political prisoners and awarded the victims $2.5 billion.
But the money is not a priority to the Hilao family. Prosecuting the Marcoses is. “That’s the only time we can seek justice for Liliosa,” said Marie.
[Notice: All rights belong to the Philippine Daily Inquirer and to the author of this quoted article.]
Monday, September 21, 2009
In his column, There’s The Rub, Conrado de Quiros on 09/21/09 wrote, So far the criticisms of Smartmatic by the candidates have centered on the physical or visible part—the length of the electoral forms, the distribution of the right forms to the right place, the ability of the machines to transmit accurately the results of the voting. The real nightmare in fact is the software, which is proprietary, or the workings of which are known only to Smartmatic. As the IT people have shown, it’s the easiest thing in the world to imbed errant commands in the software that function like malware. These can be imbedded variously in the BIOS, the motherboard, the operating system, the flash card, or all of the above. Commands that will tick off votes for one candidate to another, which will make Garci look like a veritable saint.
I thought that Mr. James Jimenez, Spokesman for Comelec did an excellent presentation at the De La Salle University de las Alas Auditorium on the upcoming election automation last 09/18/09. My conclusion was if all is done on the up and up, we couldn’t ask for anything more regarding vote count efficiency.
But, as Mr. Quiros pointed out, there is the possibility that the software known only to Smartmatic could already contain imbedded malicious commands that will tick of votes from one candidate to another. He suggests switching to an open, transparent, inexpensive and automated electoral count like the Open Electoral System, though the Supreme Court had already ruled in favor of Smartmatic. Otherwise, Mr. Quiros predicted that the next president will be Secretary Gilbert Teodoro of the Ruling Party.
I do not know whether there is still time to make a switch or if this is the advisable thing to do or of not, but I know this: Should there be a significant difference between what the surveys will show a week or so before election day and the official final vote count, all hell will break loose in Pinoyland. Chaos will warrant declaration of martial law - which means GMA wins. UNLESS.
Unless, the electoral process will require the Final Election Returns Report to be submitted by the National Board of Canvassers to Congress be accompanied by an Audited Final Election Returns issued by an independent CPA firm or an election watchdog such as NAMFREL which states that the FERR by the NBC presents fairly the results of the just concluded national elections. For example, such audit will require manual count of ballots fed into the Smartmatic leased Precinct Count Optical Scan machine in say, 5% or about 4,000 clustered precincts chosen in random .
Sunday, September 20, 2009
On 09/16/09, Manila Standard Today reported that Senator Benigno Aquino III said he would not give up his support for the use of artificial contraceptives to curb population growth even at the risk of incurring the ire of the Catholic Church.
Aquino said Catholic bishops should wake up to the reality that something must be done to arrest the rapid growth of the country’s population, which now stands at 95 million or almost double the 50 million in 1986. “There is really a problem. And I hope that the Church will see that I have the reasonableness of my position on the issue.
He further said that it is the responsibility of the State to remind the citizens of their duty to take care of the needs of their children, including their education. It is wrong for couples to have more children than their income could afford.
On 09/19/09, GMANews.TV reported that several Catholic Church leaders urged the son of former President Corazon Aquino to reconsider his stance on the controversial legislation.
He might be able to get the support of the bishops if he will oppose the passage of the RH bill, Cotabato Auxiliary Bishop Jose Collin Bagaforo said in an article on the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
Earlier, Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal said that he is now considering whether Aquino should be included in the Church’s list of politicians who should not be voted.
GMANews.TV also reported that Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. might be "very afraid" of the Church but he has no plans of withdrawing his support on some provisions of the Reproductive Health bill.
Teodoro said he is against abortion but he is also against the enforced belief that contraception is bad. “ Contraception, under the Church doctrine, is wrong but it should not be the policy of the State to adopt the view of any particular religion. The state should be non-religious, non sectarian. It should give opportunities to all based on what they personally believe.”
I am glad to realize that these two standard bearers have their own convictions on this matter of uncontrolled population growth here in our country. The Media should ask Senator Villar as to his position on the Reproductive Health Bill. I think former President Estrada will eventually drop out of the presidential race. But even if he does not, I don’t think his view on any ethical issue would carry any weight due to lack of moral credibility on his part.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
GMANews.TV on 09/16/09 reported that . . . . .
. . . . . A House panel approved in principle a bill proposing that the Senate's most senior member take over as acting president in case there is a failure of elections in 2010.
The House committee on Revision of Laws, chaired by Isabela Representative Giorgidi Aggabao, adopted in principle House Bill 3194 filed by Nueva Ecija Rep. Eduardo Nonato Joson.
The bill provides for the manner in which an acting president will be selected in case the president, vice president, Senate president, and speaker of the House "fail to qualify or is unable to qualify or is unable to assume and discharge the functions of the Office of the President."
The bill however is yet to have a counterpart in the Senate.
Magandang development ito para sa akin. Ibig sabihin mayroong mga congresista who are paying attention to the warning issued by former President Ramos. Kailangan na maging vigilant ang taong bayan. Otherwise, kapag napatunayan na hindi sila kikilos one way or the other mas lalong magiging pursigido ang mga may masamang pinaplano.
. . . . . Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes on Wednesday warned of nationwide power interruptions next year – a problem that could affect the conduct of the 2010 automated elections.
Reyes said Visayas and Mindanao have been suffering from rotating brownouts while Luzon would enter a "critical period" by next year.
"We are already experiencing brownouts in the Visayas since last year and we are already experiencing some brownouts in Mindanao and by 2010 we might be experiencing brownouts in Luzon," Reyes said.
Sa tingin ko, ito ay trial balloon. Kailangang mapulsuhan kung ano ang magiging reaction ng taong bayan kapag nagkabulgaran na na nagkaroon ng malawakang dayaan sa bilangan, automated man o manual. Kaya, kailangan ang mga demonstrations ngayon pa lamang na hindi papayag ang bayan na magkaroon na naman ng dayaan. Sa pamamagitan ng Friendster, Facebook o YouTube, maaaring maipakita na nagmamasid ang taong bayan.
. . . . . Senator Loren Legarda, another presidential aspirant, said the opposition should not be complacent with Teodoro’s lackluster performance in surveys, adding that the administration’s “cheating machinery" could play a big role in next year’s polls.
. . . . . Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. on Wednesday said he would soon vacate his post now that the administration party Lakas-Kampi-CMD has selected him as its standard bearer for next year's national elections.
But Teodoro said he would have to talk to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo first to ensure an "orderly transition" for the Defense department.
Ang pinakamalungkot na mangyayari sa ating bayan sa susunod na election ay ang magpagamit ang ating mga sundalo at kapulisan sa dayaan. Kinakailangan ang consistent public appeal sa military establishment na nakasalalay sa kanilang mga kamay ang kinabukasan ng ating mga anak at apo, humanly speaking.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Manila Standard Today, 9/15/09 reported that Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile yesterday doubted the constitutionality of a proposed legislation that would lay down the rules on presidential succession in case the 2010 elections, the first fully-automated polls in Philippine history, should fail.
The measure would authorize 12 senators with terms extending to 2011 to elect a new Senate president within their ranks to assume the role of interim president of the Republic if no new president is proclaimed on or before June 30, 2010 due to the breakdown of the electoral process.
The proposal, as suggested by some legal luminaries, was to fill a leadership vacuum that could trigger constitutional crisis and political turmoil in the country. The potential problem partly stems from the fact that Enrile’s term as Senate President would end on June 30, 2010 although he is running for reelection.
Because of Enrile’s doubts, Senator Loren Legarda withheld filing the bill that would lay down the procedures by which the 12 non-reelectionists would elect the Senate president from among themselves before Congress adjourns in June.
Both the Senate and House of Representatives should decide on such succession scheme, Senator Francis Escudero, chairman of the committee on constitutional amendments, said.
The question remains: What can and should our lawmakers do to prevent chaos in May 2010 should the Comelec be prevented from proclaiming winners due to breakdown of the electoral process?
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
(the article below was originally posted on The Point blog)
Chris Rock’s new documentary, Good Hair, tackles an issue I was clueless about until I saw the film's preview, below. (Note: It contains occasional profanity and sexual references.) The movie is the comedian’s perspective on black hair and shows what black women go through just to have relaxed and flowing straight hair.
The preview clips were hilarious in a way that only Chris Rock can pull off, especially on a subject that may be sensitive to many African-American women. I could not speak for the black community, but Good Hair reminded me of the appearance issues we have in my own culture. Growing up Filipino, we viewed people with white or light skin as more beautiful and attractive than those with a darker skin tone. In fact, skin-whitening is a big industry in the Philippines and I once fell into that idea. Centuries of Western colonization brought about this mentality in the Philippines; a certain “caste system” was introduced, labeling the dark or brown-skinned natives as Indios who belonged to the bottom of the social hierarchy. To this day, we look up to Hollywood as the perfect standard for what is beautiful and admirable.
Whether reinforced by historical events, traditions or media, every culture has its own issues of inferiority. It’s human brokenness that manifests itself in a culture’s quest to change its appearance because of a notion that a certain skin color or physical feature is unattractive. The good news is that only God holds the true standard of what is attractive and acceptable. Until we know whose eyes we first need to please, our efforts to look new and different will be short-lived and insufficient.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
But is alleviating poverty the solution to this problem? Would it guarantee a stop to organ trafficking? Poverty is just one component of this issue and I believe the real solution to this problem is not found through livelihood or any legislative reform alone. Its through spiritual renewal that we can see real and long-lasting solution to this problem. Ultimately, if all Filipinos know how to make strong moral choices and believe their bodies are sacred and made by God, then no amount of money should ever be enough to buy or sell a part of the image of God.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Here are the facts that may also be truth to our Filipino brothers and sister. Please click on the link for more information. You can read the entire article here.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
As I said before, our government leaders are instituted by God and should be above reproach and set to a higher ethical standard. Be the judge if the clip busted Rep. Arroyo for not meeting those standards.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
- FDR and Erap will endorse Noynoy.
- Escudero and Legarda will aspire for VP.
- Villanueva will withdraw and endorse Noynoy.
- Fernando will quietly withdraw.
- De Castro will go back to newscasting.
- Madrigal will not go away and contribute to Villar's defeat.