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50… and it sucks

Victor Hugo once said that “forty is the old age of youth; fifty the youth of old age”. And yet another great man, Mark Twain, I believe, quoted that ” age is an issue of mind over matter.  If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter”. Well, in a few days time (June 22 in case you’re interested) I will be celebrating a half century of living in this crazy crazy world, and I can tell you honestly and without batting my short eyelashes that it sucks to high heavens. Yes, you read it right, IT SUCKS! I mean, who would actually believe that having lesser energy and having chronic back and joint aches are a good thing, and that an advancement in age (and in this case, over advancement) is just in one’s mind? I tell ya, all those nicely written quotes extolling the virtues and joys of getting old are pure, unadulterated BS — sayings that I think were just to ease up the usual jitters and anxiety of the awful realization that things are not going to be what it’s used to.

Funny, when I was younger (well, ok… A LOT younger, like when I was a teenager) I wanted to be older so that I can finally do things that I wanted like drive around without anyone looking over my shoulders, spend my money on things without worrying what my parents would say (and do to me if they find out I’ve been spending on useless things). In short, do anything, and I mean anything, stupid or not, without asking for consent. Do things on my own terms and best of all, go watch an adult movie without the guilt, hah!

Know what? Now that I’ve practically done all those things I suddenly realized that getting old isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. Sure, there are some benefits to getting older but health-wise, you’re just a few steps away from having heart disease and all sorts of life-threatening ailments that, like it or not, comes with getting old. You come to grips with fear, and anxiety as years pass and you dread every minute you spend inside a doctor’s clinic thinking, “what the hell is it this time?”.

Oh sure, 50 is still young and am still 15 years away from being qualified for a senior citizen’s card; while some may even go as far as to say that 70 years old is still in the distant future, but you if you think about it, 20 years isn’t that far off — at least not for someone who spends the day counting the days — remember, we’ve just celebrated (is that even the right way to say it?) the 20th anniversary of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption. It was an event that is still fresh in everyone’s mind like it was only yesterday — at least for those over thirty years of age.

Perhaps, if I had my own family to fall back on I’d be thinking differently about getting older. But I don’t, unfortunately, and the reality that I will spending the last days of my life alone and not unlike the grumpy old men that one sees in the movies — complaining and ranting about practically everything — in an old folks home is fast becoming a reality as days pass quickly. And unless one is filthy rich (which I am not), or is financially well-off (which I hardly am, by the way), the odds of finding someone who will love and care for you for the rest of your miserable years is, well… nil. It would indeed be a miracle if someone comes along and accepts you, warts and all, for what you are and not for what you have. But that’s really stretching things too far since I ain’t lucky, and have never been good, with women anyway.  Ah well, that’s just me being selfish that’s all, always thinking about me, me and me. The sooner that I accept the reality that things are, in my case, going to go down the drain in the years to come the easier, perhaps, it will be for me to settle into this thing called old age.

Ah well, that’s just life for you…

Anyways, now that I’ve let things out of my chest, back to blogging… again. It’s been a while since my last post, obviously as one can see, and just as well since there’s not much happening in my life lately… at least, nothing worth blogging anyway. Oh sure I’ve lots of things to rant about (notice I didn’t include “rave” since there’s not much to rave about these days) like the ongoing senate brouhahas, the RH Bill and the events of the past two months like the execution of three Pinoy drug mules all the way to the current issue in the Spratly Islands, but somehow I just didn’t feel like writing about them, or my take on those events. Either I’m too Goddamn tired of writing or my muse just wasn’t doing her job inspiring me these days. Heck, even my writing stint at the POC is greatly affected by my bout of laziness.

Anyways, in an effort to show some normalcy in my blogging (as well as this long-neglected blog) life I decided to  post some pictures that, well, sort of tell the story of what’s been happening lately in my less-than-significant and boring life.

Meet Elmer, the recent addition to our family.

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He’s a purebred dachshund that I acquired more than two months ago, and who is now creating havoc around the house with his antics. A teething pup isn’t really for the impatient, but dang, he is really cute and lovable when he wants to be.

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And what about our diva slash hound Arabella? Well, she’s gone now. Nope, she’s still alive and well but we’ve sort of dispatched her to another and much better location that would, I believe, better suit her hyperactive nature. Late last year we asked a dog-loving family friend to adopt her after she became somewhat difficult to handle (I guess moving to this tinier place was a bit too much for her) and she would sometimes resort to nipping at other people, the maid especially. The large compound where she now resides have been good for her and she can run (and boy, she really loves to run) around freely. And the good news is, ok, it’s a surprise, really, is that she became pregnant and later bore four pups. Unfortunately though, only two survived. Even the family friend was surprised as Arabella, at  seven years of age, isn’t exactly THAT young and this was her first litter. He resorted to calling the pups, menopause puppies.

Anyone who’s been following this blog would by now know that I frequently post pictures and write about my food trips… oh well more likely food binges. Most would recall that many of the grubs that I sample from the different food places I visit would consist of greasy, and yes, mostly unhealthy but sooo delicious foods that, if consumed daily, would in all probability lead to a heart attack. Well, all that has changed lately. Not only have I started to cut down on my food intake (that is, if I can help it), I’m also trying to wean away from the fatty, greasy foods that I loved so much. These days, I limit my rice intake, as well as meat and rely more on veggies and fish. I guess old age and the ever-looming threat of a heart failure contributed to my 180 degree turnabout.

While I do consume a good amount of veggies in the past, nowadays, I tend to double the intake and whenever possible, I order salads instead of the usual fare of meats whenever I eat out. Like in CYMA, the Greek/Mediterranean resto that I patronize for instance, I prefer this tuna salad over the meat and potatoes that I usually consume and man, does it taste good! And yes, that’s raw tuna meat and some fish (also raw) that I couldn’t identify (have to check on the menu for that) and an assortment of fresh vegetables and olives, plus feta cheese and potatoes. If that ain’t healthy for you, I don’t know what is…

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Oh, and in addition to TRYING to eat healthier, quitting cigarettes (but you know about that, don’t you?) I started to exercise as well — and that is after about two decades of inactivity. Since late last year I’ve been spending time walking and running and sweating it out on my treadmill (yes, I also bought one for the purpose) for 30-35 minutes, four to five times a week. Am still far off from qualifying for the marathon though and equally far off winning the battle of the bulge around my waistline, but I do plan to continue and is still aiming for that holy grail of middle-aged baby-boomers: losing twenty++ pounds. I may have increased my resistance on the treadmill but still suck at the weight-loss department. I’m not really that fat, as some of you who have met me know, but I do need to lose a few inches as well as poundage on the midsection. So, any suggestions, aside from having liposuction??

And last, but not the least, here’s something that I caught while inside a supermarket…

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With it’s size and financial might, you’d think that SM Supermarket Inc. would have hired a proofreader just for this purpose.

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The seige…

As if the torture video involving a policeman wasn’t enough of an embarrassment for this country, along comes another incident involving not just another policeman, but innocent tourists and the entire Manila Police department as well, and on prime time television to boot!

Bloodbath at Rizal Park

Gunman, 7 hostages die in 11-hour bus drama

By Marlon Ramos, DJ Yap
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:22:00 08/24/2010

Filed Under: Grandstand Hostage, hostage taking, Police

MANILA, Philippines—Rolando Mendoza knew he was not going to come out alive of the bus he had seized with 25 people aboard, mostly Hong Kong Chinese, when SWAT teams began moving toward the van parked in front of Quirino Grandstand as night fell Monday.

“They are all around,” the former police senior inspector demanding reinstatement after he was dismissed on extortion charges two years ago said in Filipino in what was his last radio interview after an 11-hour standoff turned into a bloodbath at Rizal Park under a heavy downpour.

“I know they will kill me, I’m telling them to leave because anytime I will do the same here,” said Mendoza, who was armed with an M-16 rifle.

Gunfire rang out moments later before local and international television cameras.

“I shot two Chinese. I will finish them all if they do not stop,” he told Radio Mindanao Network. Troops then stormed the bus.

At 8:45 p.m., 11 hours after he commandeered the vehicle at nearby Intramuros after a stop at Fort Santiago, Mendoza was dead with a bullet wound in the head, according to Supt. Nelson Yabut.

At least five hostages, including a Chinese woman, survived the massacre inside the bus and were taken to hospitals. They were among 15 hostages left after Mendoza earlier released nine bus passengers during the negotiations.

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Confusion, chaos and mayhem was the best that one could describe what was happening on live television. It should have ended long before things got bloody and yet, perhaps due to the meddling of the hostage-taker’s family members, it dragged on for almost 12 hours. What happened on live television the other night was nothing like what you would have expected from a supposed well-trained police force, and yet it did. The assault — using of all things, a sledgehammer — took so long that I almost fell asleep on the sofa. The police claimed they did a practice assault on a bus eight times and yet during the actual siege, when the proverbial shit hit the fan, all hell broke loose and the cops were running around like chickens without a head.

The media themselves weren’t blameless either. Protocols were broken and the free-for-all rush for that precious scoop turned the entire incident into one big circus, with the whole world watching. Furthermore, their live coverage of the arrest of the brother, many believe, made an already bad situation worse, and it may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak, and made the heavily-armed guy flip, resulting in the deaths of some hostages. Perhaps they (the reporters) ought to take time to read this piece before covering an ongoing hostage-taking incident.

For sure, fingers will be pointed in all directions and blame laid on just about everyone who participated, especially now that the upper and lower houses decided to move in on the action (hey, any publicity is good publicity, right?). The case, unless it sparks an international incident, will drag on for months and perhaps, years, until everything is forgotten, or unless a similar incident happens. It has always been like that and will stay that way for God knows how long. That is the Pinoy way…

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Power trip

Power is truly addictive, and very much like substance abuse, no matter how much you rein in this addiction, some people will continue to want or crave them because it fuels their ever-growing ego.

Goodbye wang-wang, hello ‘traffic sweepers’

GMANews.TV – Wednesday, August 11

Cliche it might be, but it remains true: If there is a will, there is a way. Stubborn government officials have found a way to run around the “no wang-wang (siren)” policy of President Benigno Aquino III in traveling through congested city traffic.

Buhay party-list Rep. Irwin Tieng has noticed that the new modus operandi seems to be employing “traffic sweepers,” or escort vehicles whose task is to clear a path through traffic by blocking other vehicles.

“In my everyday trip to Congress, I have, on several occasions, witnessed government officials, who despite not using sirens en route to their respective offices, have been using escort vehicles to block off other cars as they pass along the heavily-congested roads,” Tieng said. He added: “These government officials, with the aid of their traffic sweepers, can then counter the flow of traffic. So basically, these traffic sweepers replaced the wang-wang.” Tieng said traffic sweepers are usually a pair of motorcycles or a pair of cars and a back-up vehicle. He said an advance motorcycle or car goes ahead to block the traffic while the official’s vehicle passes through. Beside it is another vehicle which serves as security and a third vehicle stays at the rear. “I think the President, or whoever is concerned, should take a serious look at this practice if indeed, President Aquino is sincere in his inaugural promise to do away with government officials abusing their position,” said Tieng. In his inaugural speech last July after taking his oath as the country’s 15th president, Aquino vowed to go after those who abuse power and set an example by not using wang-wang. (See: Aquino vows to pursue ‘true and complete justice for all’) —Amita O. Legaspi/JV, GMANews.TV

I knew this would happen sooner or later. It was only a matter of time before some politician will come up with a novel way or excuse to skirt around the ban and avoid getting stuck in traffic. Personally, I’ve seen this happen I think twice already, in the past couple of weeks. I’m not sure who was inside those hulking SUVs but the two motorcycle cops leading the way and a couple of escort vehicles charging through heavy traffic mean that some two-bit local official is probably in a hurry to get somewhere — like he’s the only person on earth who has more important things to do than get stuck in traffic.

Too bad I wasn’t fast enough with my phone cam though, I would have loved posting a picture of a pompous politician and his bevy of security escorts bullying their way through traffic in this blog.

Next time perhaps…

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Those meddling clergies

In section 6, article 2 of the 1987 constitution of the Philippines, it is stated that : The separation of church and state shall be inviolable (read: incapable of being violated). In other words, there is a clear line that separates the two entity, and that, by law, each should not infringe on the other. Then why is it that the church is still insisting on dipping its finger on every issue, particularly, the RH Bill? Isn’t meddling in what is clearly, a governmental affair a violation of that rule?

No compromise on RH bill, sex ed, Cardinal Vidal says

The Catholic church would not enter into any compromise deal with the incoming administration of President-elect Benigno Aquino III when it comes to sex education and the Reproductive Health bill.

Radio dzBB reported Sunday that Cebu Archbishop Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal stressed on the importance of consulting with the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines before the Aquino administration makes any decision on these pressing matters.

The RH bill would fund to the population program on a national scale and promote information on and access to both natural and modern family planning methods that are medically safe and legally permissible.

The Education Department, on the other hand, intended to include sex education in the general curriculum of elementary and secondary schools as part of subjects like Health, Filipino, Science, and Livelihood Education.

The incoming president knows where the church stands on sex education and the RH bill, radio dzBB said, referring to what the Archbishop of Cebu had said in an interview.

Vidal also said he would like to become Aquino’s spiritual adviser, something he would like to discuss with the incoming president should they get the chance to meet in the coming days.

At this point, however, the cardinal said he would be offering prayers on behalf of the president-elect knowing the responsibilities Aquino would be shouldering once he takes over the reins of the country’s leadership. —VS, GMANews.TV

As this country’s population nears the hundred million mark, and with our budget deficit growing and food production at a dangerously low level, it is imperative that the bill passes. It may not entirely solve our problem of overpopulation but it is the first, and right step. The church however, seem entrenched in their idea that population control is a sin, and that we should all go out and multiply some more. Why is that? Is the church in dire need of more souls?

If the church is really adamant on its stand on an obviously social issue then perhaps they should “walk the talk” and adopt all the street children running loose in the street, at least to ease the burden on the already overwhelmed DSWD. And by adopt, I mean, shelter, clothe, feed and give them free education in their expensive private schools. Or better yet, why not TAX these righteous idiots accordingly, and the money collected can be used to build more free clinics and schools.

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Unsolicited advice

Almost a month ago I came across this article at Philstar.com. It was titled “An Open Letter to Noynoy“, written by none other than national artist and preeminent writer F. Sionil Jose. Yes, he’s the same man who, just last year, was dissed by national artist-wannabe and master of trash komiks and movie, Carlo J. Caparas, during the National Artist brouhaha, as a nobody compared to his more popular masterpiece, such as the over used and overworked “Ang Panday” series.

Dear Noynoy,

You are now swamped with suggestions and advice, but just the same, I hope you’ll have time to read what this octogenarian has to say.

You were not my choice in the last election but since our people have spoken, we must now support you and pray that you prevail. But first, I must remind you of the stern reality that your drumbeaters ignore: you have no noble legacy from your forbears. It is now your arduous job to create one yourself in the six years that you will be the single most powerful Filipino. Six years is too short a time — the experience in our part of the world is that it takes at least one generation — 25 years — for a sick nation to recover and prosper. But you can begin that happy process of healing.

Bear in mind that the past weighs heavily on all of us because of the many contradictions in it that we have not resolved, whose resolutions would strengthen us as a nation. This past is now your burden, too. Let us start with the fact that your grandfather collaborated with the Japanese. Your father was deeply aware of this, its stigma, its possibilities. He did not leave any legacy because he did not become president. He was a brilliant and courageous politician. He was an enterprising journalist; he had friends in journalism who can attest to his effulgent vision, who did not profit from his friendship, among them Nestor Mata, Gregorio Brillantes — you may consult them. I cannot say I did not profit — he bought many books from my shop and when he was in Marcos’s prison, your mother brought books from my shop to him.

Forgive me for giving you this unsolicited advice. First, beware of hubris; you are surrounded by panderers who will tell you what is nice to hear. You need to be humble always and heed your conscience. When Caesar was paraded in ancient Rome before the cheering multitudes, there was always a man chanting behind him: “Remember, you are mortal.”

I say to you, remember, the poor — some of them in your own hacienda — will be your ultimate judge.

From your comfortable and privileged cocoon, you know so little of our country and people. Seek the help of the best — and the best do not normally want to work in government and neither will they approach you. You have to seek them.

Be the revolutionary your father wanted to be and don’t be scared or wary of the word “revolution.” It need not be always bloody. EDSA I was not. Your father wanted to destroy the most formidable obstacle to our progress — the Oligarchy to which you and your family belong. To succeed, you have to betray your class. If you cannot smash the oligarchy, at least strive to have their wealth develop this country, that they bring back the billions they stashed abroad. You cannot do this in six years, but you can begin.

Prosecute the crooks. It is difficult, thankless and even dangerous to do this. Your mother did not do it — she did not jail Imelda who was the partner in that conjugal dictatorship that plundered this nation. Watch her children — they were much too young to have participated in that looting but they are heirs to the billions which their parents stashed abroad. Now the Marcoses are on the high road to power, gloating, snickering at our credulity and despicable amnesia.

You know the biggest crooks in and out of government, those powerful smugglers, thieves, tax cheats — all you really need is guts to clobber them. Your father had lots of it — I hope he passed on to you most of it.

And most of all, now that you have the muscle to do it, go after your father’s killers. Blood and duty compel you to do so. Cory was only his wife — you are the anointed and only son. Your regime will be measured by how you resolve this most blatant crime that robbed us of a true leader.

And, finally, your mother. We loved her — she united us in ousting an abominable dictator. But she, too, did not leave a shining legacy for her presidency was a disaster. She announced a revolutionary government but did nothing revolutionary. She promised land reform but did not do it. And most grievous of all — she transformed the EDSA I revolution into a restoration of the oligarchy.

She became president only because her husband was murdered and you became president elect only because your mother died. Still, you are your father’s son and may you now — for the good of this country and people — scale the heights he and your mother never reached.

I am 85 and how I despair over how three generations of our leaders failed! Before I go, please let me see this unhappy country begin to be a much better place than the garbage dump our leaders and people have made it. You can be this long awaited messiah but only if you are brave enough and wise enough to redeem your father’s aborted promise.

Hopefully yours,

F. Sionil Jose

Eloquently written, and oh so true. In fact, I would even dare add to that unsolicited advice to the incoming president from the literary master. First and foremost would be: STOP LISTENING TO YOUR KID SISTER! Remember that stupid “Boy Abunda” suggestion? You said that you will surround yourself with the right people once you step foot in Malacanang. Well, now that you are about to have both your feet firmly planted inside the palace, maybe it’s about time to make good on that promise and ship her out of the country, pronto. Kindly ask her to make herself scarce for the time being — at least, during your term as president — although I wouldn’t mind seeing her fade away into the sunset.

Second and lastly, severe your ties with your relatives known as the “Kamag-anak Inc.” No need to elaborate on that last advice since you of all people should know what went on during your late mother’s term.

Sadly, the most sane and practical advice, even from a writer of such caliber as F. Sionil Jose, will have its detractors. One commenter, who called himself “tukmoh”, wrote a scathing comment on that article:

First this writer, Sionel Jose is writing with his heart still sizzling from anger for having lost the election. This writer should wake up and believe that Noynoy is now, the President of the Philippines. Noynoy can run independently without his parents shadow. It does not take to be a rocket scientist to know what the country needs and what the Filipinos want. Having limited resources, President Noynoy needs to juggle what is the priority to execute first and then to the last priority.

Of course, the first priority is to stop the massive leaks of our national resources from massive corruption by all levels of government. The more national resouces are save, the more priorities can be accomplished. Stopping corruption is not President Noynoy’s job alone.

This writer Sionel Jose is another typical Filipino trash who would not clean up his sorroundings but depend on his neigbor and his government to clean up for him.

Mr. Jose, if you think corruption is one of the trashes in our Filipino society then help clean up this mess from your own effort and your own initiative. If all of us Filipinos participate in cleaning up corruption then our country will be successfull they way you want Noynoy to become successfull.

Secondly, President Noynoy is a leader who is able to see from shore to shore in our country. By helping our leader go on one direction, then we will go forward in one direction. We need to help Filipinos are lost and who go different directon to stay forward in the direction Noynoy wants us to go.

Note: I specifically did not edit the obvious grammatical and spelling errors.

My my my, that’s quite a mouthful, particularly from someone whose blood is probably the color of  Cory yellow, rather than the normally  red tint.

His claim that “Noynoy can run (run??) independently without his parent’s shadow” is very telling of his ignorance of the fact: That Noynoy ran a campaign based not on a solid platform, or leadership competence, or achievements but rather, on the legend of his family name and nothing else.

True, one need not have a diploma in rocket science to know what ails this country, but one does need to have the heart of a lion (lionheart, get it?) and the iron will of a General Patton (or perhaps of a Julius Caesar) to finally uproot the evil that is deeply embedded in our society. Unfortunately, there is very little evidence he possesses both characteristics, even when he was still senator. Besides, the man is beholden to a lot of people, especially to his family, so you can forgive us if we feel this slight trepidation in a Noynoy presidency.

Limited resources? He’s the president for Pete’s sake, the most powerful man in the nation. He can have all the resources that he need to effectively fight corruption — that is, IF he is willing to fight and step on not a few toes along the way.

If giving advice, unsolicited or otherwise, is — at least, according to “tukmoh” — a sign of anger, then by all means let us all be angry. Because right now, it is what the incoming president needs the most: advice from people such as F. Sionil Jose, and not from Kris and company.

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Don’t look now but talk show host Boy Abunda may just be the icing on the proverbial cake. If the only son of Ninoy and Cory will have his (or perhaps, Kris’?) way, he’d be filling up every available government position with celebrity friends, as if there’s a severe shortage of qualified people for the job.

Noynoy wants Dingdong and Ogie, too

It looks like the incoming Aquino administration could be the most star studded in history, with more celebrities being eyed for government posts. President-apparent Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III revealed two more names from showbizlandia to whom he wants to offer government positions: Ogie Alcasid and Dingdong Dantes. “Kung papayag sila (Dingdong at Ogie) bakit hindi? Si Dingdong alam ko may youth foundation. Si Ogie ganun din yata plus ‘yong OPM (Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit),” Noynoy said in a GMANews.TV interview. Dingdong is the founder and chairman of Yes Pinoy Foundaton, a youth empowerment organization that also grants educational scholarships, as well as of Ayos Na (Advocates of Youth and Students for Noynoy Aquino), a “volunteer-powered youth movement” that helped during Noynoy’s campaign.

Oi! How about action star Robin Padilla for secretary of defense? His stint as president of the country’s Thai Boxing association makes him more than qualified, right? Or how about Annabelle Rama or Lolit Solis as secretary of foreign affairs? Their uncanny ability to slither in and out of controversies with those big mouths would serve either of them (and this country) well in the rough and tumble world of international politics.

I say Noynoy is on the right track digging through a veritable gold mine of untapped talent in our pool of local celebrities. Keep at it, Noy, you’re doing a hell of a bang up job, even before being sworn in as president. You’re showing everyone the stuff that you’re made of in coming up with those decisions. And I bet you’ll soon be on your way to becoming this country’s most beloved president since your Mom.

Oh by the way, in case you’re wondering… I’m being sarcastic.

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We all know them as the ever vigilant — although sometimes, not too bright — sentries that secure our places of work, education, businesses, entertainment centers and, if you’re among the moneyed class: your home.Always at the front lines, they stand guard 24/7, rain or shine, oftentimes, in shifts of two, making sure that no one enters or leave the premises without their knowledge — and always, under their watchful eyes. Companies spend a fortune hiring them, and, depending on the size of the business and their requirements, there can be as few one, to a veritable army of uniformed, as well as non-uniformed personnel, such as those roaming the malls.

Oh and in case you still have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s the security guards, or “sikyo”, as we like call them in local parlance.

Read more…

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After almost a decade of going through “exhaustive” reviews after reviews, arguments and counter-arguments, it has finally come to this…

House fails to ratify Freedom of Information bill

By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 15:51:00 06/04/2010

MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE 3) The House of Representatives Friday failed to ratify the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill due to lack of quorum, causing outrage among several lawmakers and giving the 14th Congress a “sad ending” on its last day of session.

But all is not lost for the bill as President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo can still call for a special session to have it ratified, according to Representative Neri Colmenares.

“If President Arroyo is really serious, she can call for a special session anytime, that’s what the rule says,” he said.

Colmenares also said that they are studying the possibility of raising the issue when Congress convenes in joint session for the proclamation of the winning president and vice president.

At 5:07 p.m., or close to two hours after session resumed, Speaker Prospero Nograles banged the gavel signaling the sine die adjournment of the 14th Congress.

As the roll call showed only 128 lawmakers present, Nograles said the chamber could no longer transact any legislative business, foremost of which is the FOI bill, which was on top of the agenda for the day.

It was Camiguin Representative Pedro Romualdo who questioned the quorum that prompted the calling of the roll.

Read more…

Somehow, I wasn’t at all surprised at the sudden death of the bill that would have allowed the long-suffering Juan de la Cruz access on just about anything, save for the most sensitive of information (intelligence and military secrets and all that blahs about national security) from the government. I had heavy doubts that the bill, or at least this version, will ever see the light of day. Why? Because for a lawmaker and his sizable pork barrel, it’ll be like signing his own death warrant — it’s a wonder that the lower house hadn’t “killed” it years before.

The sad part is, to this day, those shysters in their expensive suits and barongs still wanted us to believe that they, err… tried their best.

I did my best. But I guess my best wasn’t good enough, I have not expected this to happen especially because many of the authors were not present. The authors and co-authors would have been enough to sustain the quorum and we were not remiss in requesting for their presence. This is beyond my control. I’m sorry.

Did anyone notice speaker Nograles’ nose getting longer while making that excuse?

Funny thing though, when they wanted to quickly pass or railroad an important bill like say, the allocation or the size of a pork barrel, a quorum, or the lack of it, don’t seem to be a problem for them — much less being questioned by their own.

Perhaps our esteemed legislators feel that Juan de la Cruz has better things to do than to sniff around and dig through the heaps of garbage that has accumulated through the years… or maybe they’re just protecting their behinds.

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