RSS

A wife to die for

“I love being my husband’s wife.”

–Julianna Margulies

By Alex P. Vidal50497947_10213293970086650_8339189084090007552_n

NEW YORK CITY — I haven’t met Mrs. Victoria “Marivic” Griengo-Mabilog in person, but based on what I have heard in the news about her these past years, I think she is the kind of wife any husband will die for unconditionally.
Of all the elected public officials in the Philippines humiliated by President Rodrigo R. Duterte in his dubious “narco list”, only former Iloilo City mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog got a blistering open and all-out support from a wife, so far.
Mrs. Mabilog, who can swear to any ghost in heaven that her husband is innocent, had the guts to call the president a “liar.”
Mrs. Mabilog–or the Mabilog family–probably have had enough.
Any wife, a mother or a sister, can feel what Mrs. Mabilog felt when her husband was verbally abused repeatedly in national media, kicked while down on all four, subjected to unconscionable indignity, and treated like a worthless human being even if he wasn’t fighting back.
It seems the president was hell-bent not only to kill Mayor Mabilog’s enthusiasm for public service, but also his spirit as a human being.

-o0o-

If you are a victim of a false accusation, a slanderous and baseless imputation, a black propaganda and toxic politics, and your wife happens to be Mrs. Mabilog, who believes in your absolute innocence, you’re not doomed.
Judging from her passionate and fiery rebuttal of the president’s soliloquy linking her husband to a despicable activity based only on a fringe “intelligence report”, Mrs. Mabilog is the type of wife who will bite the bullet for her husband; a wife who’s willing to transform into a Medusa, a winged human female with living venomous snakes in place of hair, and turn into stone those who will cast aspersion on her beloved husband.
The presidential persecution actually was too much; it’s over kill and already OA (overacting).
Is Mayor Mabilog really the worst politician in the Philippines?
What will President Duterte feel if one day, a political enemy will become president, by a stoke of luck, and also humiliate his son, Paolo; or daughter, Sara, and insist without any shred of evidence that they are members of international drug syndicate?
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:2)

-o0o-

There are others in President Duterte’s incredible list who may also be innocent like Mayor Mabilog, but their family members–wives, husbands, children–aren’t that intrepid and cocksure like Mrs. Mabilog to engage the foul-mouthed president in a word war.
We suspect some of those 46 politicians in the list could be really engaged in illegal drugs trade.
They should be prosecuted and prevented from being elected into public office; it’s a mockery of the law if they are paid by the taxpayers’ money and yet they promote and benefit from the destruction of those hooked on prohibited substance.
But the innocent should be spared from blatant and perpetual humiliation.
There’s no spare parts for a damaged reputation.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 16, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Dr. Pacita Gonzalez’s real liabilities

“Animals have come to mean so much in our lives. We live in a fragmented and disconnected culture. Politics are ugly, religion is struggling, technology is stressful, and the economy is unfortunate. What’s one thing that we have in our lives that we can depend on? A dog or a cat loving us unconditionally, every day, very faithfully.”–Jon Katz


By Alex P. Vidal50497947_10213293970086650_8339189084090007552_n

NEW YORK CITY — Iloilo City mayoral candidate Pacita Gonzalez’s real liabilities are not the “disloyal” barangay leaders who were willing to support her estranged partymates, Councilors Joshua Alim and Plaridel Nava, but adamant to go all out for her.
They are the members of the “hutik-hutik brigada” or “whisper brigade” who have no expertise and background in political planning and organization, but were giving her false hopes and feeding her with unrealistic expectations.
Some of these cretins probably had popped out from Dr. Pacita’s social circles where she had been constantly showered with dazzling and bewitching perorations and adulation meant to massage her ego and otherwise.
As to their motives, we can only speculate.
The power of beso-beso.

-o0o-

In the first place, who convinced Dr. Gonzalez–or who gave her the silly idea she could handily beat frontrunning candidates, Mayor Jose “Joe III” Espinosa III and Rep. Geronimo “Jerry” Trenas in a three-cornered (with due respect to other candidates) fight in the May elections?
Who duped her into believing that President Rodrigo R. Duterte might endorse her candidacy over the two “former allies of (former mayor) Jed Patrick Mabilog”?
Who brainwashed Dr. Gonzalez that majority of the political leaders in the metropolis’ 180 barangays who “benefited a lot” from her late husband, former justice secretary Raul Gonzalez Sr. when the latter was still the congressman in Iloilo City’s lone district in the late 90’s, are still intact and “will never turn their back as a token of their appreciation to the late Gonzalez patriarch’s past benevolence”?

-o0o-

Who mesmerized her that because both Trenas and Espinosa are magbilas or brothers-in-law, their political feud will boomerang against them and benefit the third party candidate?
That because of the break-up, some confused and disappointed supporters of both Trenas and Espinosa III would shift to other candidates.
Who assured her that if she would tandem with the two incumbent city councilors (and form the AlGoNa triumvirate), the love affair will end up in the altar and last ’till eternity?
For sure, Dr. Pacita swallowed all the sweet talks and umbrageous warranty from the braggarts she thought were the best political salespersons and analysts in the world hook, line, and sinker.
Thus she decided to run for city mayor (against the wishes of her son, former Iloilo City Rep. Raul “Jun” Gonzalez Jr?).

-o0o-

As to the barangay political leaders, it’s a waste of time and energy to impeach their characters.
Even if they used to be the late secretary Raul Gonzalez Sr’s most loyal and rabid supporters, the object of their political admiration and love is no longer around, or is not anymore the candidate.
Times have changed; people–including their loyalties and alliances–change, too.
Many of them have already turned as “Judases” to the Gonzalez family as manifested by the late secretary Gonzalez’s shocking defeat to Mabilog in the 2010 mayoral contest.
And once they were no longer in power (son Raul Jr. was also dethroned by Trenas for the city’s lone congressional district), most of those barangay political leaders have already jumped ship and embraced the new emperor.
The Gonzalezes have lost them a long time ago–or three elections ago.
You can’t kick out those who are already in the other political fence.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 13, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Where the hell is Raul Jr?

“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.”

–Epictetus
 
By Alex P. Vidal50497947_10213293970086650_8339189084090007552_n

NEW YORK CITY — It looks like the widow of the late justice secretary Raul M. Gonzalez Sr. will have to comb Iloilo City’s 180 barangays alone by her lonesome self to woo the Ilonggos’ votes when the campaign for the local positions in the May Philippine elections officially begins.
This will only happen if Dr. Pacita Gonzalez can’t iron out the kinks with her running mates, Councilors Joshua Alim and Plaridel Nava, on time with barely two weeks before the campaign sorties hit fever-pitch.
They have been known as the triumvirate of AlGoNa: Alim for congressman in the city’s lone district; Gonzalez for city mayor; and Nava for vice mayor.
Eight candidates are running for city council under their opposition ticket.

-o0o-

AlGoNa reportedly suffered an ugly dent recently when Alim and Nava rejected Dr. Gonzalez’s order to kick out barangay leaders who appeared to have cast their lot only for Alim and Nava but not Dr. Gonzalez.
Most of these barangay leaders apparently have already committed to support either Mayor Jose “Joe III” Espinosa III or Rep. Geronimo “Jerry” Trenas, who are both Dr. Gonzalez’s rivals.
Dr. Gold, daughter of Dr. Gonzalez, probably sensed something unusual with the way the barangay leaders behaved when they faced them, and during background checks; she didn’t want her mother to look like a carpetbagger and a fool.
The daughter Gonzalez was aware her mom was willing to shell out the campaign kitty’s biggest chunk for the entire bets in the team, thus they wanted to make sure they were investing for the right barangay leaders, not spies and “double croppers”.
In a tit for a tat, Nava also probably didn’t like the way Dr. Gold’s thinking was trying to influence her mom’s decision-making.
Nava scored Dr. Gold’s “paranoia” and “political immaturity.”
He and Alim refused to abandon the barangay leaders during the “crucial” moment.

-o0o-

Dr. Gonzalez has lagged behind in the most recent “surveys” even before the purported split with Alim and Nava occurred.
But it seemed like Dr. Gonzalez’s fate was sealed from the very start.
Before she announced her candidacy and agreed to tandem with the two lawyers third quarter in 2018, Espinosa and Trenas have already secured in the bag the commitment of most barangay leaders.
The tug-of-war and backdoor maneuvering started before and after the barangay elections two years earlier.
In other words, most barangay leaders may have already been “well taken care of” by both Espinosa and Trenas and, most likely, left nothing for Dr. Gonzalez but the crumbs if not the spoils.
Alim and Nava must’ve managed to “squeeze in” and secured the commitment of other barangay leaders because they have been in the league for quite some time; as incumbent councilors they have built-in bulwarks.

-o0o-

And the most telling, and, perhaps, the deafening hiss and gnawing bewilderment in the campaign conversation that has not been openly blurted out is, where the hell is former Rep. Raul Gonzalez Jr. amid all this hullabaloo?
Their mommy Pacita’s campaign management has been wounded in the capillaries, and Raul Jr. has not surfaced to help stop the hemorrhage.
Instead, it seems he allowed inexperienced and neophyte sister Gold to take the driver’s seat in a rough ride he alone, based in his experience as a former congressman, has the capability and expertise to tackle.
Is it possible that before any internal wrangling had swept through the AlGoNa bandwagon, a more catastrophic internal rift was already boiling within the Gonzalez family over the matriarch’s insistence to join in the May elections?

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 12, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Surveys no match vs P1,000 per vote

“A vote is like a rifle; its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.” 

–Theodore Roosevelt

By Alex P. Vidal50497947_10213293970086650_8339189084090007552_n

NEW YORK CITY — Most candidates in the Philippine elections share the hypocrisy of condemning the vote-buying as “evil”, but, which they actually also practice at the same time.
No candidate for a higher elective office will admit he or she is in cahoots with barangay officials (mostly the corrupt punong barangay and council members) when they buy votes done mostly on the eve before election day, or they will be disqualified if not go to jail for gross violation of fundamental election laws.
For several years now, however, Philippine elections–national and local–have been mostly decided by the amount of cash a voter will get in exchange for his precious vote.
The supposed tacit “market value”, according to sources, now ranges from P500 to P1,000 per vote.
If there are five voters in one family, that’s a cool P5,000, enough to feed five stomachs for a week in a modest household.
Times have changed and the methods being employed by corrupt candidates to hijack a fair and honest election have changed as well.

-o0o-

The gnawing reality is that candidates who “won” in surveys but don’t have enough wads of bills to be distributed during the crucial hours prior to the opening of voting centers will mostly likely find themselves in the tail end.
Being whipped in the surveys can’t be considered an end of the world for certain candidates as long as they have substantial financial preparations which is very crucial in the homestretch.
Even some candidates with name-recall edge now aren’t confident enough of bagging a sure win unless they prepare a certain amount to pay corrupt voters.
This aberration in the Philippines’ electoral system had been passed on or has been a common practice for most candidates from one administration to another since the Marcos years.
The first known and the most scandalous massive vote-buying in the Philippine election history occurred during the 1986 presidential snap elections.
Even fake P100 bills were used by administration minions to ensure that the strongman was retained in power only to be kicked out by a bloodless revolution shortly after being declared as the “winner” by a jukebox election commission.
Since then, the general electoral exercises were never the same again: the moneyed, or those with gargantuan wherewithal–political parties and individual candidates for major positions–would always dominate the elections thereafter.

-o0o-

The United Nations has spoken: Crimes against journalists and other media workers must not be tolerated.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that harassment and attacks are again on the rise even as he expressed alarm recently to the Human Rights Council there is a “shrinking civic space in every region of the globe and every corner of the internet.”
Guterres disclosed: “Activists and journalists are being targeted by surveillance, misinformation campaigns and threats of violence that too often result in actual violence. We must do more to defend defenders and end reprisals against those who share their human rights stories and we must hold accountable those who commit such acts.”
Over a thousand human rights defenders and journalists were killed in the last three years, according to the secretary-general.
Respect for human rights is just a game of words if there is no respect for people, he added.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNCHR) has also called for an independent and thorough review of all charges against Rappler chief executive officer Maria Ressa and other media professionals in the Philippines.
Rupert Colville, spokesman for UNCHR chief Michelle Bachelet, urged the Philippine judiciary to “safeguard their own independence by throwing out cases that are clearly politically motivated or are not in line with international human rights standards, including freedom of opinion and expression.”

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 4, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Mosquito bite that could kill

“The people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do.” 

–Joseph Stalin

By Alex P. Vidal50497947_10213293970086650_8339189084090007552_n

NEW YORK CITY — THOSE running for public office in the May 2019 Philippine elections shouldn’t allow themselves to be distracted by the results of “surveys” commissioned by legitimate or shady outfits, especially those that have sprung to life only during the election seasons.
Whether they “lagged behind” or  were “leading”, the results of these “surveys” do not necessarily spell doomsday or ensure a victory for any candidate during the day of reckoning.
If the results say candidate so and so is trailing by a certain percentage, it’s only tantamount to a mosquito bite with no immediate life-threatening harm.
If the results show a certain candidate is “winning by a wide margin”, it’s only equivalent to a Shiatsu massage in a candidate’s ego with no actual majestic trip to Shangri-La.
There were cases though when bogus surveys yielded positive results for narcissistic or egomaniac bets especially if the other camp doesn’t do its homework and are snoring during the frenetic mind game.
This is where a mosquito bite can be fatal and deadly.

-o0o-

In fact, surveys–legit or not–are sometimes being utilized only by political spin doctors and PR wheeler dealers working for one candidate to out-psych the rivals.
In some cases, candidates who get favorable results or who stand to benefit from the lutong Macao survey had no idea or were never tipped off by their handlers who egregiously hammered out the inside job.
It’s actually done as a form of mind-conditioning.
Some undecided voters would cast their lot with the “sure winners” (based on the surveys) even if they would have chosen another candidates–on the second thought–if they weren’t influenced by the pesky surveys.
I’ve been covering local and national elections since after democracy was restored in the Philippines these past 30 years, and I could count only with my fingers candidates who emerged victorious after “topping” the surveys.
Most of these survey “winners” who had no inkling whether the surveys were meant for their self aggrandizement or really commissioned by independent professional groups, nearly suffered a heart attack when the election results showed they were waylaid by a mile.

-o0o-

The late Timoteo “Nene” Consing always made Mansueto Malabor eat the dust in various surveys during the mayoral contest in Iloilo City in 1992, but Malabor routed him in the actual election.
Former assemblyman Salvador “Buddy” Britanico clobbered the late former justice secretary Raul Gonzalez in the “surveys” for congressman in Iloilo City’s lone district in 1998, but the former tanodbayan trounced him in the homestretch.
Danding Cojuangco was one of the topnotchers in as far as “winners” in the elections were concerned.
In the 1992 presidential elections, the former Marcos crony “beat” Fidel V. Ramos, the late Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Ramon Mitra, Jovito Salonga, and Imelda Marcos in various dizzying surveys that popped out left and right weeks before the election day.
Joe De Venecia, who never lost in “surveys” for president in 1998, lost by six million votes to Erap Estrada.
The late Fernando Poe Jr. routed Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in various surveys  but lost by a small margin during the 2014 presidential contest.
For the May 2019 bets, focus on your campaign and wait until after the biggest and final “survey” which is hours after all the ballots have been counted.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 27, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Segovia’s resignation is right

“I think my resignation was the only way to avoid bloodshed.”

–Eduard Shevardnadze

By Alex P. Vidal50497947_10213293970086650_8339189084090007552_n

NEW YORK CITY — After her much-publicized quarrel with Iloilo City Rep. Jerry Treñas recently, Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation, Inc. (IDFI) vice president Marissa Segovia made the right decision to tender her “irrevocable” resignation.
They may say she was only carried by her emotions and made the decision to quit “on the spur of the moment” being a woman.
But it’s difficult to fix a glass that has been cracked especially if the tiff was tainted with a political undertone.
Treñas reportedly lashed at the businesswoman during a meeting of the Iloilo Economic Development Foundation on Feb. 14, blaming her for not inviting him to the Dinagyang Festival last month.
Treñas and Segovia are not strangers to each other.
They were good friends.
And also their respective families.
They worked together not only to achieve IDFI goals and commitment to public when Treñas was city mayor from 2001 to 2010, but also to help buttress the good standing of the Iloilo Business Club (IBC) in the Ilonggo community where Segovia was also an executive.

-o0o-

Segovia decided to quit from the IDFI but did not issue any statement to the media ostensibly after “being humiliated” by the congressman’s alleged unexpected verbal assault.
If not for politics, there would have been no “heated” confrontation that hurt Segovia and forced her to call it a day.
If not for politics, no one would have raised a whimper that he was left out in the proper protocol for an important event.
Politics smeared their friendship.
Treñas is running again for city mayor versus Mayor Jose “Joe III” Espinosa III, Segovia’s other friend, in the May 2019 elections.
If Treñas will win, Segovia will be in a very uncomfortable situation running the affairs of the foundation with her “tormentor” at the helm.
And if Treñas will use his power and influence to scrutinize or audit IDFI’s financial records, she will have to belabor painstakingly even if they weren’t hiding something.
The mental and emotional stress may not be necessary and good for Segovia, who is highly respected in the business community.

-o0o-

Meanwhile, no one has owned up to the snafu especially as to why Treñas was not officially invited.
What ensued next was finger-pointing and offensive justifications from IDFI president Ramon Cua Locsin, who made all the explanation–not particularly in defense of Segovia–but to inform the public they were running the foundation well and shouldn’t be held accountable for sidestepping some VIPs during the occasion, stressing that the responsibility had already been delegated to the city mayor.
Locsin made a lengthy elucidation like he himself was involved in the fracas.
In a statement distributed to media, Locsin stressed: “We believe that we have discharged our duties fairly and judiciously for the successful conduct of the Dinagyang Festival, and we hope that this will end the controversy raised by those whose self-interest could trivialize the achievements of the Iloilo Dinagyang Festival and IDFI.”
He added: “IDFI has always acted with good faith in dealing with all partners of the festival. This is a major factor for the high trust rating of the public in IDFI. This is also the basis of Ms. Segovia’s statement during one of her interviews that Cong. Treñas was invited in the festivities. The City Mayor was also consistent in his interviews that everyone was welcome.”

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 26, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

‘Don’t make assumptions’

“We only see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear. We don’t perceive things the way they are. We have the habit of dreaming with no basis in reality. We literally dream things up in our imaginations. Because we don’t understand something, we make an assumption about the meaning, and when the truth comes out, the bubble of our dream pops and we find out it was not what we thought it was at all.”

— DON MIGUEL RUIZ

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — Let me share an ancient Toltec wisdom in a book that offers a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love, as it reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and creates needless suffering.

I chose the the number three of the Four Agreements as the title of this story because I notice that this is where we normally succumb when communication bogs down, and when we make a mistake of magnifying unimportant happenings into major events resulting in sadness and drama.
Author Don Miguel Ruiz warns that “we have the tendency to make assumptions about everything, and the problem with making assumptions is that we believe they are the truth. We could swear they are real.”
We make assumptions about what others are doing and thinking–we take it personally–then we blame them and react by sending emotional poison with our word.
Whenever we make assumptions, we are asking for problems. We make an assumption, we misunderstand, we take it personally, and we end up creating a whole big drama for nothing.
We create a lot of emotional poison just by making assumptions and taking it personally, because usually we start gossiping about our assumptions, Silva observes.

GOSSIPING

He counsels: “Remember, gossiping is the way we communicate to each other in the dream of hell and transfer poison to one another. Because we are afraid to ask clarifications, we make assumptions, and believe we are right about the assumptions; then we defend our assumptions and try to make someone else wrong.
The author warned: “It is always better to ask questions than to make an assumption, because assumptions set us up for suffering.”
All the sadness and drama we have lived in our lives was rooted in making assumptions and taking things personally. Our whole dream of hell is based on that.
The teachings in the Four Agreements, written by Don Miguel Ruiz, were based on Toltec knowledge, which arises from the same essential unity of truth as all the sacred esoteric foundations found around the world.
The Four Agreements are:
1. Be Impeccable With Your Word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
4. Always Do Your Best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

SPIRITUAL

“Though it is not a religion, it honors all the spiritual masters who have taught on earth,” according to Ruiz. “While it does embrace spirit, it is most accurately described as a way of life, distinguished by the ready accessibility of happiness and love.”
Anthropologists have spoken of the Toltec as a nation or race, but, in fact, Silva explains, the Toltec were scientists and artists who formed a society to explore and conserve the spiritual knowledge and practices of the ancient ones.
They came together as masters (naguals) and students at Teotihuacan, the ancient city of pyramids outside Mexico City known as the place where “Man Becomes God.”
Over the millennia, stresses Silva, the naguals were forced to conceal the ancestral wisdom and maintain its existence in obscurity.
“European conquest, coupled with rampant misuse of personal power by a few of the apprentices, made it necessary to shield the knowledge from those who were not prepared to use it wisely or who might intentionally misuse it for personal gain,” Silva points out.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 23, 2019 in Uncategorized