Daily Archives: July 2, 2014

We might lose Miriam but not to a brain cancer

“Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul.” Jim Valvano

By Alex P. Vidal

In all her political life, critics have hounded Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago with catcalls and unsavory allusions to mental illnesses and below-the-belt potshots normally reserved for political gadflies and imbeciles.

A Manila bus carrying truckloads of anti-Erap protesters even emblazoned the vehicle with a giant caricature and a vitriol that screamed, “Miriam baliw!” (Miriam crazy) at the height of the myth called “Edsa II” where former President and now Manila Mayor Erap Estrada was toppled in 2001.

If Santiago “ate death threats for breakfast” during her tumultuous stint in the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation under the late President Cory Aquino, she swam with ridicules and insults from political adversaries allergic to her brand of politics.

Despite the brutal verbal snipes, Santiago soldiered on and nearly conquered Malacanang in 1992—no thanks to the sudden power blackout that lasted until she lost a commanding lead during the canvassing of votes in the presidential race against FVR.


In her battle against an ailment that contributes in the rapid change of her mood from good to bad vice versa, she was pilloried and branded with names.

Her most acerbic enemies in the rival Lakas-NUCD Party called her “Brenda” or brain damage. She laughed it off and “refused to go down to their level.”

Santiago may have lost her chance to win the top position in Malacanang due to a ramshackle political party and probably to poll cheating, but she remains the darling of young voters and university students wherever she goes all over the country—and the most sought-after commencement exercises speaker to boot.

When no one was gutsy enough to defend the politically deteriorating Erap in 2001, Santiago defied the odds and risked her disastrous 2004 senatorial reelection bid by siding with the besieged president.

Santiago, a constitutional expert, always had a mouthful to preach about the rule of law and the majesty of the constitution–which made her even more unpopular in the eyes of nondescript politicians unaccustomed to her unconventional style in interpreting ambiguous provisions of law.


Her gallant vote against the move to impeach Chief Justice Renato Corona along with fellow senator-judges Joker Arroyo and Bongbong Marcos stood as a towering principle amid rumors of Malacanang payoff and bribery via the doomed Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) or pork barrel to cast a yes vote.

In the most recent debate related to the P10-billion pork barrel anomaly engineered by Janet Lim-Napoles, Santiago torn to shreds those whom she perceived to have connived with Napoles, including Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, in a scary speech that had the spectators–those present in the senate gallery and those watching on TV “live”–on the edge of their seats.

Santiago is fearless. A one of a kind warrior. When the 69-year-old daughter of La Paz, Iloilo City attacks an opponent, she is merciless and relentless. She always goes to war “bloodied but unbowed.” When she opens her mouth and begins her spiel, the firebrand senator produces a staccato and parody that provides unlimited excitement and entertainment to her audience.


Her admission last July 2 that she had a stage 4 lung cancer devastated her fans. Fighting tears, the maverick lawmaker assured the nation she could survive if given the proper medication.

“I have cancer of the left lung, which makes it difficult for me to breathe. I think you have noticed that for the past years, I’ve always had difficulty. I’ve always had shortness of breath,” Santiago told a news conference.

It’s risky to speculate on the real condition Santiago is in today. Stage 4 is an alarming state. What we can do for now is to pray that she can overcome the deadly disease.

God forbid, we might lose her to a lung cancer – at least not to a brain-related disease, which her critics had been trying to maliciously insinuate since time immemorial.


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Posted by on July 2, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Pork verdict a World Cup goal for Filipinos

“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.” Nelson Mandela

By Alex P. Vidal

While soccer fans were waiting for the coronation of either Germany, The Netherlands, Argentina, or Brazil in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the Filipinos already secured their World Cup victory courtesy of the Supreme Court’s 13-1-0 goals against the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) recently.

Malacanang-backed DAP collapsed like a deck of cards and exposed this administration’s subservience to pork barrel to finance infrastructure projects and the like.

Malacanang’s embarrassment, however, became the nation’s victory. A victory sweeter than the FIFA World Cup.

Results of the Filipino People vs DAP championship dominated the major news headlines even in the Middle East, Americas, Australia, Europe where there are large Filipino communities.

Now that DAP has been declared unconstitutional and nipped in the bud, the bleeding of the national treasury will now come to a screeching halt.


The Supreme Court ruling stopped the thieves masquerading as public servants in their tracks.

But the sweetest World Cup goal came from the higher court’s order for those who have siphoned millions of DAP or pork barrel share to return the money.

The money belongs to the Filipino people and the SIN-nators and other lawmakers who feasted on DAP under this administration shouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole, ordered the Supreme Court.

But while we are jubilant about our own domestic World Cup conquest, we feel sad that some of the major infrastructure projects that have started rolling down the city and province of Iloilo are among those expected to be torpedoed.

Senate President Frank Drilon’s name came out first in the list of sin-nators with large sums of DAP appropriations at P100 million as of December 2012.


Drilon picked the tab from the DAP of most multimillion pesos worth of projects being implemented through the Department of Public Works and Highways and  inaugurated by no less than President Noynoy Aquino in Iloilo City last June 27.

Drilon has confirmed that DAP partly funded the almost P1-billion Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) at the Iloilo Business Park in Mandurriao district.

“Partly funded” means money has already been funneled to the gigantic structure President Aquino described as like the Sydney Opera House.  

What was shocking and repulsive, to say the least, was the revelation that some of the sin-nators who claim to be “champions” of public service and integrity like presidentiables Francis Escudero (P50 million), Allan Peter Cayetano (P50 million), Loren Legarda (P50 million), and Antonio Trillanes IV (P50 million) are also closet pork eaters.





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