Monthly Archives: February 2015

Rivals admit: Pacquiao is a ring monster

“I’m just a regular person who believes life is simple, and I like a simple life.” Manny Pacquiao

By Alex P. Vidal

IS Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs) really an extra-ordinary human being?

Did God create him for a purpose?

No other prizefighter in the world has won eight world titles in eight different divisions.

Only Pacquiao.

No other boxer outside the United States has commanded the respect and admiration of fans that would equal if not eclipse the respect and admiration they showed Muhammad Ali.

Only Pacquiao.

We have not heard of any fighter who did not complain about Manny Pacquiao’s speed and force after being annihilated in the ring.

In all the post-fight media conferences that we’ve attended as an accredited media representative in Pacquiao’s major fights in the United States, almost all of those who have been vanquished have one common lament: Pacquiao is a ring monster.

Marco Antonio Barrera: “Pacquiao’s too fast. And he hits like a thunderbolt.”

Erik Morales: “Pacquiao’s speed surprised me a lot. He is so powerful.”

Joshua Clottey: “He is really fast and he packs extra-ordinary power in both fists. I was lucky to survive.”

David Diaz: “It’s difficult to hit Pacquiao because of his speed. He connects with a powerful impact. I thank him for giving me an opportunity to hit pay dirt (for fighting him).”

Oscar De La Hoya: “He was a better fighter. He was fast and he connected effectively.”


Ricky Hatton: “I didn’t see his punches. They were delivered with a dizzying speed. I was never hit like that before.”

Antonio Margarito: “I knew it was hard to hit him because of his speed. He also outboxed me and my (eye) injury was a result of how powerful were his punches.”

Shane Mosley: “His quickness is really amazing. He is quick in throwing combinations and quick in avoiding punches. His punches are strong and dangerous.”

Timothy Bradley: “I have never seen a fighter as fast as Pacquiao. His force is so intimidating.”

Juan Manuel Marquez: “Pacquiao is fast and strong but I am a better fighter. I am not afraid of him.”

Brandon Rios: “Pacquiao is so quick. He also hits like a rock and it’s too risky to engage him in a toe-to-toe rumble.”

Chris Algieri: “He is really fast and very strong. I have no complain whatsoever.”

Floyd Mayweather Jr: (Let’s wait and see)

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 27, 2015 in SPORTS


Tags: , ,

Ilonggos don’t want a repeat of Manila film center tragedy

“History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.” Karl Marx

By Alex P. Vidal

WE are worried that the incessant and continuous pressures applied on contractors to finish the P700-million Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meetings might result in another construction catastrophe.

God forbid.

The Manila film center tragedy is still fresh on our mind.

Because of pressures to finish the project before the international film festival hosted by Manila on January 18, 1981, construction of the $25-million building was expedited when delays hampered the project.

Delays have also been experienced in the ICC project with no less than APEC National Organizing Committee (NOC) head, Ambassador Marciano Paynor Jr., expressing concern during a visit in Iloilo City February 24.

“Until it is built, it is a concern. Once it is finish, the concern is gone,” Paynor announced shortly after being informed that the main venue of the meetings is still being constructed.

Iloilo City will host two APEC ministerial meetings in September and October.


We understand Paynor’s concern but we need to have faith in the capability of the contractors to beat the deadline without sacrificing quality.

In the ill-fated Manila film center, the project required 4,000 workers as the deadline drew nearer.

Under pressure, they worked in three shifts, around the clock.

Tragedy struck when the upper scaffold collapsed, sending workers falling into wet cement at 3’oclock in the morning on November 17.

Some of them were impaled on upright steel bars, according to witnesses whose testimonies were not included in the newspapers that carried the news.

Media was under control during Martial Law.

Then First Lady Imelda Marcos was immediately informed about the tragedy and was told the recovery of the bodies would take a lot of time.

As many as 169 bodies were allegedly covered with cement when Mrs. Marcos ordered the construction to continue as planned so as not to incur further delays.


Some of those who fell into the cement may have been buried alive, critics of the Marcos dictatorship claimed.

We asked Mrs. Marcos about this incident when she campaigned for president in 1992 and she called the story as a “blatant lie.”

She told us there was only a single casualty and that enemies of the Marcoses “bloated” the figure “out of malice and out of spite.”

We read the news in the Daily Express (we had a daily copy in the house) and the article did not mention the death of more than one worker.

Independent chronicler of historical events, Lisa Waller Rogers, claimed that “the full story has never been told, as news crews, rescuers, and ambulance teams were barred from the scene for nine full hours, while the government, under martial law, prepared its official version of events, censoring all news and silencing all witnesses.”


Mrs. Marcos, Rogers said, wanted Manila to rival Cannes as a world film capital. She described the project as “grandiose and expensive; the building on Manila Bay was designed to look like the Parthenon.”

Hilmarc’s Construction also bagged the second phase of the 3,700-seater convention only two weeks ago.

The Small and Medium Enterprise meeting is from Sept. 21 to 25 while the High Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and the Blue Economy is from Sept. 28 to Oct. 6.

Like the international film festival that the Manila film center hosted in 1981, Ilonggos are also excited to host part of the APEC meetings this year barring unforeseen construction and political circumstances.

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 25, 2015 in NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!


Tags: , , ,

Mayweather: From ‘Pretty Boy’ to ‘Ugly Face’?

“Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.” Walt Whitman

By Alex P. Vidal

BEFORE sports pundits changed his nom de guerre to “Money”, Floyd Mayweather Jr. was known as “Pretty Boy.”

He was the only professional fighter in the world who became a world champion on October 3, 1998 without suffering from a cut or a scar on his face.

He could give Wesley Snipes a run for his money if Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs) entered Showbiz in Hollywood instead of prizefighting.

He was good at avoiding heavy blows and his pristine face was never reduced to crimson.

Fight fans initially suspected he was a boring fighter who just loved to showboat and use the bicycle inside the ring.

Mayweather, who narrowly lost of Bulgarian Serafim Todorov in the featherweight semifinal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, grabbed his first world title on an 8thround TKO against Genaro Hernandez for the WBC super-featherweight crown in Las Vegas.

Before facing Hernandez, the names in the list of Mayweather’s victims were like passengers in an Amtrak trip to Chihuahua.

All patsies and taxi drivers disguised as rib crackers.


He was even paired against Jesus Chavez, a journeyman who only had a single win against 15 losses.

Mayweather tortured the southpaw Chavez en route to a 5th round TKO in Biloxi, Mississippi on July 12, 1997.

His real acid test was against Diego Corrales whom he blasted by TKO in 10 for the WBC super-featherweight diadem on January 20, 2001.

But it was Jose Luis Castillo who gave Mayweather some hellish moments in his career.

He outdueled Castillo via 12-round unanimous decision twice in as many encounters for the WBC lightweight title in 2002.

Another lefty, DeMarcus Corley, engaged him in an epic duel before winning by 12-round unanimous decision for the WBC light welterweight belt in Atlantic City, New Jersey on May 22, 2004.

Mayweather was still a “pretty boy” when he demolished world class fighters like Arturo Gatti, Sharmba Mitchell, Zab Judah, Carlos Manuel Baldomir, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, and Victor Ortiz, Miguel Cotto, Robert Guerrero, Saul Alvarez, and Marcos Maidana.


When negotiations to fight Manny Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs) started to come into fruition, Mayweather became a “Money” or “Moneyweather.”

All that was needed to convince him to face Pacquiao in a fight dubbed as the richest-ever in the history of fight business, was to offer him a gargantuan paycheck and a hefty share in the pay-per-view.

After the smoke was settled, Mayweather has been guaranteed to run away with an astronomical 60-40 share after bringing every negotiator in the edge of his seat in the $300-million transaction.

On May 2, heavy underdog Pacquiao will try to change the moniker of the most loquacious American ringster to ever grace the pay-per-view (to be telecast jointly by the HBO and Showtime) radar from “pretty boy” to “ugly face”.

Some experts think Pacquiao can be the first-ever fighter to rearrange the face of the unbeaten American boxer whether the duel will end by knockout or on points.

With eight weeks of preparations, oddsmakers might make dramatic changes in their fearless forecasts.



Leave a comment

Posted by on February 24, 2015 in NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!, SPORTS


Tags: , ,

They blackmailed Manny Pacquiao

“Boxing is not about your feelings. It’s about performance.” Manny Pacquiao

By Alex P. Vidal

IT appears Manny Pacquiao will climb the ring on May 2 fighting an opponent allowed to be armed with a revolver and a bolo in both fists.

The Moneyweather vs Pacman contract was a hijack and one of the most one-sided pacts involving the United States and the Philippines probably after the absurd 1955 Laurel-Langley Agreement and the Bell Trade Act.

There was no Filipino involved in the negotiation aside from Pacquiao himself.

All terms were dictated by the world’s number one blackmailer in sports: Floyd Moneyweather Jr.

Bob Arum (Top Rank boss), Stephen Espinoza (Showtime executive vice president and general manager), Ken Hershman (HBO president), Al Haymon (Arum’s bitter enemy and Moneyweather’s adviser), Richard Plepler (HBO chairman and CEO), Matt Blank (Showtime chairman and CEO) are all Americans.

Michael Koncz, Pacquiao’s legal adviser and factotum, is a Canadian.

Koncz, the most loyal non-Filipino member of Pacquiao’s boxing household, can’t beat the Americans in the negotiation table, thus he joined ‘em.

All the dotted lines in the rich contract were acrimoniously sanitized and controlled by a one-man army, boxing’s most expensive spoiled brat.

Where was Juan de la Cruz in the deal?

Not even a witness?

As an elected lawmaker in the Philippines, Pacquiao brings with him the sovereignty of the state wherever he goes.

Who protected his interest in the deal?

It’s all a Moneyweather show.


A Hollywood movie starring a brown bomber from a conflict-ridden backdoor Philippines directed and produced by capitalist America with an all-American cast.

In a desperate bid to ink the elusive but richest deal in fight history, negotiators allowed Moneyweather to dictate almost everything, including perhaps the brand of Pacquiao’s underwear during the fight.

The Filipino congressman will be subjected to a rigorous Olympic-type doping examination, a random test that would compel Pacquiao to submit a blood sample even during the day of the duel.

We know it’s too much to bear for Pacquiao, but the gentleman from Mindanao had no choice but to tame the brash-talking and arrogant boxing dictator or the fight wouldn’t happen.

What about Moneyweather? Does the contract stipulate that he also undergo the same procedure?

What’s good for the goose that isn’t good for the gander?

The purse split shows the cruelty and disparity of the one-sided contract.

But Pacquiao had to cave in to a ridiculous 60-40 share or the much-ballyhooed mega fight would end up in the pigsty.

Even the announcement of the fight–who will do it, the style, the time, the method–became a titanic issue. (Moneyweather delayed it as he was infuriated when Top Rank had supposedly leaked some details ahead.)


Cleto Reyes Castro’s ghost would haunt the negotiators if they allowed Moneyweather to include in the contract a clause that would deny Paquiao the right to wear his favorite Cleto Reyes while the unbeaten American can freely choose his pet Grant Gloves.

In order to secure Moneyweather’s signature, negotiators were willing to hand over to the convicted wife beater even the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Since 2009, there was no effort for Moneyweather to make the fight with Pacquiao possible. In fact, it was the Team Pacquiao that walked extra miles to secure Moneyweather’s imprimatur.

Moneyweather manifested a grand dishonesty when he posted the following in the social media the day he announced the duel:

“What the world has been waiting for has arrived. Mayweather vs. Pacquiao on May 2, 2015, is a done deal. I promised the fans we would get this done, and we did. We will make history on May 2nd. Don’t miss it. This is the signed contract from both fighters.”

Take note of the line “I promised the fans…” Baloney.

What Moneyweather wanted, Moneywheather had it in the bag.

We hope they didn’t allow him to choose the judges and the referee.

With his rock star status, vanity and influence, Moneyweather can even ask Angelina Jolie to act as the round girl and Clint Eastwood as the third man in the ring, no pun intended.

It would be a total sell-out.

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 22, 2015 in NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!, SPORTS


Tags: , ,

It’s finally official! Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao to fight on May 2 in Las Vegas

Mitch Abramson of the New York Daily News reported that the much-awaited duel between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao will finally take place.

“It’s better late than never,” stressed Abramson.

Abramson wrote that after an avalanche of false reports, flawed updates and overall bedlam and hysteria for a match that probably should have happened five years ago and has paralyzed the sport, the fight everyone still wants to see between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao has finally arrived.

“The undefeated Mayweather Jr. and hyper-aggressive Pacquiao, both welterweight champions and both in their late 30s, will finally meet May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in a match-up of two of the greatest fighters of their generation.

“The bout was finally announced on Friday by Mayweather on his Shots social media selfie app, which he has invested a cool million in.”

More than 30 minutes after Mayweather, who turns 38 on Tuesday, directed his over five million followers on Twitter to go download the Shots app, he displayed a photo of what appeared to be a signed contract by both fighters with the caption:

“What the world has been waiting for…is a done deal.”

Mayweather (47-0, 26 knockouts) later released a statement boasting of what he intends to do to Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 knockouts) on fight night.


“This will be the biggest event in the history of the sport,” he said. “Boxing fans and sports fans around the world will witness greatness on May 2. I am the best ever and this fight will be another opportunity to showcase my skills and do what I do best, which is win. Manny is going to try to do what 47 before him failed to do, but he won’t be successful. He will be number 48.”

Not to be outdone, Pacquiao trainer and famed trash talker Freddie Roach released a boast of his own.

Manny Pacquiao brings his 57 career victories into the ring vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. when the two finally meet in Las Vegas in May.

“Floyd should enjoy being the A-side while he can because on May 2 Manny is going to put him on his backside,” Roach said in a statement.

“I am very happy that Floyd Mayweather and I can give the fans the fight they have wanted for so many years,” Pacquiao said in another released statement. “They have waited long enough and they deserve it.”

The fight will be televised jointly by HBO (which has Pacquiao) and Showtime (paper on Mayweather) on pay-per-view with announcers splitting duties at a reported price tag to the consumer of $89.95.


It’s the first time since 2002 when Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis tangled that the two networks are working hand-in-hand.

The bout is expected to smash every previous box office record associated with boxing, such as the all-time PPV buy record of 2.4 million (for Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya); the PPV revenue record of $150 million for Mayweather and Saul (Canelo) Alvarez and the all-time gate record of $20 million for Mayweather and Alvarez. The bout is expected to gross more than a quarter of a billion dollars.

Pacquiao agreed to the smaller take of a 60-40 split.

The super fight is reportedly a one-bout deal with no rematch clause built into the contracts.

Because of bad blood between Mayweather and Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum, Les Moonves, the president and CEO of CBS, worked as an intermediary between the two sides, helping negotiate the bout on behalf of Arum.

The fight was supposed to be announced on Thursday, but Mayweather was frustrated that Top Rank was stealing his thunder and giving hints of the reached agreement and Mayweather wanted that right, according to

As part of the contract for the fight, Mayweather had the right to make the final announcement.

If the actual fight matches the tense, dramatic negotiations that led to an agreement, it will go down as one of the greatest fights of all time.

Both Mayweather and Pacquiao showed up at a Miami Heat basketball game on Jan. 27 and exchanged numbers, causing even more speculation on the nearness of the bout.


The two even met at a Miami hotel room later that night, stoking even more rumors and gossip.

Then, just days before the Super Bowl, Arum said a deal could be reached on the day of the big game on Feb. 1.

When a deal wasn’t reached, stories began to emerge blaming Arum for causing the talks to stall.

Along the way, more stories surfaced promising the bout had been finalized. Oftentimes the bearer of bad news was Showtime boxing head Stephen Espinoza, tweeting that an agreement had not yet been reached.

On Sunday, Mayweather told a reporter at the NBA All-Star Game at the Garden that rumors both contracts had been signed were pure “speculation.” But he added, “Hopefully we can make the fight happen.”

Meanwhile, talks progressed with a source telling the Daily News over the weekend that both sides were very close and an announcement would be made this week.

On Thursday afternoon, Mayweather was spotted walking through the city with a coterie of lawyers and bodyguards near Grand Central Terminal, not far from the HBO and Showtime offices.

The two nearly signed a deal in 2009 for a fight in 2010 after Mayweather un-retired to win a decision against Juan Manuel Marquez and Pacquiao knocked out Miguel Cotto.

Both sides had agreed to a 50-50 revenue split. However, the issue of drug testing scuttled those talks.

Ever since, there have been fleeting discussions to make the fight happen but nothing has stuck. Until now.

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 21, 2015 in SPORTS


Tags: , ,

Lifestyle check for provincial engineers

“You’ve got to think lucky. If you fall into a mudhole, check your back pocket – you might have caught a fish.”  Darrell Royal

By Alex P. Vidal

DO we prevent graft and corruption in government when we do a no non-sense check and balance?

A lifestyle check for those working in government should be done periodically and shouldn’t be a case only of ningas cogon for those implementing it.

Corrupt government employees and officials who don’t know how to conceal their wealth are usually the ones who end up wrestling with criminal and administrative raps filed against them before the Office of the Ombudsman.

When officials and employees in a certain government agency display ostentatious wealth, that agency becomes the red light for graft and corruption.

How they became instant rich and where they get their loot would be the hottest topic in every nook and cranny.

For instance, many provincial engineers have no qualms parading their luxury vehicles in public and have virtually transformed the capitol parking areas into an exhibit of expensive cars.

When a taxpayer visits the capitol, he will be horrified to find some luxury cars like MU-X Isuzu, Toyota Fortuner, Crosswind Isuzu, Isuzu D-Max pick-up, among the latest car models in parking spaces.

These are purportedly owned by engineers who acquired their wealth from “kickbacks” in various infra and road projects.


Some of these rich employees also reportedly connived with corrupt area engineers who sell diesel fuel distributed for use of capitol backhoes, loaders, bulldozers and dump trucks in project sites.

Each of the five areas reportedly gets 2,000 liters of fuel for a total of 10,000 liters of fuel distributed in five areas in the province.

For instance, if the tanker deposits 80 liters daily, the corrupt area engineer liquidates 120 liters.

“There is connivance between the tanker and the area engineer and everybody is happy,” sources said. “If the diesel fuel is P30 per liter, imagine how they laugh their way to the videoke bar.”

Sources added: “The sad part is that provincial engineer Gracianito Lucero appears to be unaware of this anomaly because he does not have close and regular dialogue with his men.”

The one who is calling most of the shots in the provincial engineer’s office is reportedly assistant engineer Romeo Andig, not Lucero.

Lucero was not available when we tried to reach him yesterday.


THE “Kampohan Sang Mga Biktima Sang Yolanda” romped off on February 16 and will last until February 20 outside the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) regional office 6 in Molo district, Iloilo City.

Led by the Paghugpong sang mga Mangunguma sa Panay kag Guimaras (Pamanggas), Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU)-Panay, Gabriela, Anakbayan, and Kadamay, an urban for alliance, the group called for the immediate full release of the financial shelter aid for victims of typhoon Yolanda and the scrapping of the Memorandum Circular No. 24 Series of 2014 or the guidelines on the implementation of Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) for Yolanda victims.

Of the P9 billion approved for the aid of typhoon victims in Western Visayas, only P1.4 billion has been released according to DSWD-6 Regional Director Evelyn Macapobre.

Cris Chaves, Pamanggas secretary-general, said those with totally damaged houses were promised P30,000 each while partially damaged houses were promised P10,000 each.

Winnie Legriso of KMU decried the government’s snail-paced approach in the distribution of funds.

“Biktima ka na sang bagyo biktima ka pa gid sang pagka uyaya sang gobierno. Biktimahon ka pa gid sang corruption (the typhoon victims are also victims of government neglect and corruption),” he bewailed.


CITY administrator Norlito Bautista did not reveal the names of the four city hall casual employees reportedly caught forging the signatures of city officials in a bogus payroll they made and presented to a cellular phone company in order to avail a promo in the recent Dinagyang Festival.

But he confirmed that the four have been fired or their contracts will no longer be renewed.

They reportedly used the bogus payroll to make it appear that they get a salary of at least P10,000 a month, which is a requirement in order to avail of the promo.

We laud city hall’s decisiveness and quickness in dealing with the case of the four erring employees.

We hope city hall will also be quick to lower the boom on employees and officials who commit more than payroll forgery.

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 20, 2015 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , ,

Iloilo leaders ready to secure embattled P-Noy

“Life is not a solo act. It’s a huge collaboration, and we all need to assemble around us the people who care about us and support us in times of strife.” Tim Gunn

By Alex P. Vidal

ILOILO appears to be the safest haven for the country’s highest official during political upheavals in a nationwide scale.

Ilonggo leaders have always been quick and firm in making a political stand.

They are aware that President Simeon Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III draws strength from them.

President Aquino is aware, too, that the Ilonggo leaders are willing to sink and swim with him.

After all, he feeds them well.

Ditto for the police and the military.

If he can’t stand the political and military heats in Metro Manila, President Aquino can transfer the Malacanang Palace in Iloilo where almost all the local leaders here don’t want him to step down amid rumors of coup d’etat.

Mr. Aquino will be safe in Iloilo as long as Gov. Arthur “Art” Defensor Sr., Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, Iloilo City Rep. Jerry P. Treñas, among other local chief executives and representatives are in power.

While other political leaders in the country have been mum over the simmering calls from various sectors for the president to relinquish his post in the heels of the “Mamasapano 44” debacle these past weeks, Iloilo leaders have rejected calls for Aquino’s resignation.

Negros Occidental leaders also joined those who want the president to finish his term until 2016.


It’s the people and the leaders in the entire Western Visayas who are willing to shield the president from those agitating for his resignation.

The Ilonggos also sneered at the call to impeach Mr. Aquino if he won’t step down.

They fear political destabilization and economic meltdown once the president has been removed or forced to resign.

Back in July 2005, Senate President Franklin Drilon asked then President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to relocate the seat of power in Iloilo while the president’s enemies were ganging up on her for the “Hello Garci” fiasco.

Drilon, however, turned his back from Mrs. Arroyo several days later and joined those who wanted her to yield the presidency to then Vice President Noli De Castro.

Drilon wanted to be the next vice president via the rule of succession.

There are no signs that Mr. Aquino’s Iloilo allies will abandon ship and surrender him on a silver platter to the enemies.

They are four square behind the president.

“The Moro rebels are Filipinos, too. They are under our laws so they should also be held accountable for any violations of our criminal law,” Defensor announced recently.

“Let the Board of Inquiry investigate the incident. Let the Senate and the House (of Representatives) investigate it, better under a joint investigating committee. Let’s all wait for the result. The peace process should not prevent the government from seeking justice for the 44 killed SAF members.”


Treñas also tagged as a “call for grab power” the move to compel the president to resign and to be held accountable in the tragic massacre of the 44 elite cops.

The congressman said: “What happened in Mamasapano is one of the darkest chapters of our history. But what’s even more lamentable is the fact that some people cannot simply resist the urge to use the misfortunes of our nation for their own selfish agenda. This call for President Aquino’s resignation is a nothing but a call for power grab.”

Mr. Aquino can sleep tight while under the watchful eyes of his Western Visayas allies.

The 34-member Visayan bloc led by Treñas and Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo Benitez have already issued a manifesto of support for the president come hell or high water.

For these Visayan allies, the accountability and criminal liability should only fall on those who planned and implemented the operation against Marwan, a terrorist killed during the January 25 raid in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

The manifesto read: “We…commiserate and empathize with the families of the 44 members of the SAF who died during the said Mamasapano operation. We demand accountability for those who planned and implemented the debacle and the imposition of criminal liability for those responsible for the massacre.


“Change in administration should be the farthest solution to what happened in Maguindano and should not be our response to our currently hurting nation….The Mamasapano incident should create unity and strong front among us Filipinos instead of discord.”

They stressed that “The nation and our colleagues in the Philippine Congress to focus on the investigations and call for swift and thorough deliberations on what happened in the Mamasapano operation.

“The probe should immediately identify those who should be accountable for what happened, ensure that perpetrators of the massacre suffer the full force of our penal laws, and develop remedies that would prevent another incident from happening in the future to the men in uniform who are only fulfilling their vows to promote peace and order in the country.”

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 20, 2015 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Let Nava and Gerochi fight; it’s part of democracy

“For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate.” Margaret Heffernan

By Alex P. Vidal

AS long as it is job-related, we have no problem watching flyweight contenders Plaridel Nava and R Leone Gerochi squaring off and transforming the session hall of the Iloilo Sangguniang Panlungsod into a boxing arena.

It’s a big relief though that both city councilors canceled the bout when proverbial coolers heads intervened.

Nava has clarified that his “one-on-one” dare to Gerochi was for a debate and not for a physical engagement.

Even if it was for a physical duel, for sure Nava and Gerochi, both lawyers, did not mean to swap blows because of personal enmity.

They disputed Gerochi’s request for a copy of Nava’s committee report on the recent 1st Muti-sectoral Transportation Summit.

Nava resented Gerochi’s actuation as they both belong in a bloc called “Voltes 5” which supposedly had a tacit agreement not to badger a member who is making a speech.

The bone of contention was still related to public service.

The paramount concern of our elected officials is public service.

Therefore, the would-be non-title setto was for exhibition only, an offshoot of a boiling blood and hot temper.

Wala personalan. Obra lang. (No personal feud. It’s all work-related.)

Quarreling or engaging in fisticuffs is not an earth-shaking scenario among members of the legislative body.


In fact, it’s a healthy sign in a democratic institution.

As long as it is not violent and not intended to terrorize people, rational argument should be a perfect venue to ventilate disagreement and grievances.

Even before the age of Youtube, social media and “selfie” technology, we have seen so many violent fracases “live” on TV involving senior state legislators in Taiwan, Turkey, Italy, Japan, Yugoslavia, Greece and other highly industrialized countries.

Fistfights among legislators in these countries would even last for three to five minutes and the melee even involved party mates who joined the fray from the balcony.

In democracy, every individual has the right to agree and disagree and translate the debate into a “one-on-one” brawl if necessary but not mandatory.

Sessions can sometimes be emotional and as tempers flare up, a free-for-all rumble becomes inevitable among the hot heads.

After the negative emotions have been emptied and energies zapped, the protagonists are soon back to normal lives; they shake hands, “bury the hatchet, and let bygones be bygones.”


In a fascist or communist state, there is nothing to dispute because there are no legislatures in the first place.

It’s a one-man rule.

In a fascist regime like that of Germany’s Adolf Hitler and Italy’s Benito Mussolini, there are no committee reports for the legislators as the latter don’t exist.

In communist rules, Russia’s Josef Stalin and Cuba’s Fidel Castro called the shots and shot the opposition dead. Democracy is dead, too.

Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin and Castro were the heads of their governments as dictators.

No national assembly.

No debate. No freedom to express. No free speech.

No democratic check and balance.


WE smell politics in the decision of Dumangas municipal councilors Jasmin Ocampo, Rene Dela Peña, Almar Marfito, Bert Celeste and Ronaldo Golez not to approve the resolution endorsing the issuance of a development permit to the National Housing Authority’s (NHA) resettlement project here for residents displaced by super typhoon “Yolanda” or Haiyan during their regular session on February 18.

The five are known political enemies of Mayor Rolando “Rolly” Distura, thus some people suspect politics was behind their lackadaisical attitude.

Distura said the NHA will be building over 7,000 housing units totaling around P2.1 billion.

But Golez, who lost to Distura for mayor in the recent local elections, insisted “they wanted more time to scrutinize” the housing project.

While they were dilly-dallying the resolution, some 1,000 irate housing project beneficiaries were getting restless outside the municipal hall.

The beneficiaries, mostly residents of identified danger zones in Dumangas areas frequently flooded such as river banks and low-laying areas, didn’t care about the political bickering among municipal officials.

They wanted a decent housing and safe environment. That’s all.

They didn’t want to be caught in the middle of the conflict between Distura and the opposition municipal councilors.

We hope warring Dumangas officials will set aside their animosity first for the good of the people.

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 20, 2015 in NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!, POLITICS


Tags: , , ,

Selling life insurance to a dying patient

“A dying man needs to die, as a sleepy man needs to sleep, and there comes a time when it is wrong, as well as useless, to resist.”  Stewart Alsop

By Alex P. Vidal

CITY hall is wishing for the stars if it hopes to find a buyer for the anomaly-ridden P137-million Pavia housing property in Pavia, Iloilo while the ghost of unresolved graft and corruption cases filed against city officials and several private persons is still hovering.

We can’t blame the city government, however, if it continues to cling to its last and only hope: sell the property.

It’s better to try than doing nothing.

The project has been rotting like a dead rat.

It must be disposed of by hook or by crook.

For several years now, it has become an ugly sight for people who pass by the area; it evokes memories of greed and corruption.

The area can’t escape the sight of motorists and even tourists who go to the airport vice versa.

Those familiar with how the project went wrong can’t help but gnash their teeth, stomp their feet and shake their heads in utter disbelief, anger and frustration as they take one desperate look at the doomed project.


It’s a ghastly image of how the taxpayers’ money was scandalously wasted and stolen by a few privileged and abusive characters.

The longer it stays there, the more painful memory it will give the taxpayers.

But a wise real property buyer will always see to it that the deal is not bedeviled by any legal entrapment.

No rational real property investor will risk his money in a failed government project.

Even if the amount of the property is reduced to half, the nightmare it will bring to the buyer can’t be compensated by any gain once he is sideswiped by the legal turmoil in the future.

It’s like buying a drum of fishes in January for a big party in December.

Or selling a life insurance to a terminally-ill AIDS patient.


MOST death-related motorcycle accidents could be due to the riders’ non-wearing of helmets.

When the bike is hit by a speeding car or bus in the highway, the tendency for the two-wheeled motorcycle is to fly away like a saucer.

If the rider and another occupant don’t have helmets, the impact could kill them immediately; they could suffer from fatal head injuries.

Either their heads, upon landing in the pavement, are violently damaged or pierced through by a pointed object or concrete steel like what happened to famous ballader Ric Segreto many years back.

Balikbayan biker Manny Alcalde realized this when he met an accident in the highway in Mandurriao district, Iloilo City last month.

“I was in a hurry as I was getting late for a meeting that day,” recalled Alcalde, a newsman in Qatar. “A car in front of me slowed but hesitated to cut my lane, thus I lost control of my motorcycle.”

Alcalde suffered minor injuries in the arm.

“It’s good that I was wearing a helmet,” he hissed. “I picked myself up and rushed myself to the Iloilo Doctors Hospital using the same bike.”

Alcalde said he learned two lessons from the near-fatal road accident as a motorist: 1. Always wear a helmet; 2. Always prepare for an appointment earlier.

The non-wearing of helmets for bikers is actually a violation of

Republic Act No. 10054 or the Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009.

The law mandates all motorcycle riders to wear standard protective motorcycle helmets while driving.

The law will secure and safeguard citizenry, particularly the operators or drivers of motorcycles and their passengers, from the ruinous and extremely injurious effects of fatal or life-threatening accidents and crashes.

The law mandates “to pursue a more proactive and preventive approach to secure the safety of motorists, their passengers and pedestrians at all times through the mandatory enforcement of the use of standard protective motorcycle helmet.”

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 20, 2015 in NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!


Tags: , ,

  ‘Justice not tears and money’

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Alex P. Vidal

Justice not plaques and material compensations.

Action not words.

Toughness not cold-heart.

Political will not empty statements.

A leader must always be ready to swim and sink for his men.

This was what former Iloilo City deputy mayor Pascualing R. “Junie” Espinosa Jr. emphasized when he recently urged President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III “not to be soft” on the massacre of 44 Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) in Mamasapano, Mindanao last January 25.

“President Aquino, as head of the state and commander-in-chief of the police and military, should show the murderers of the 44 SAF troopers that he has the balls,” thundered Espinosa, son of the late Iloilo City Rep. Pascual “Pascualing” Espinosa Sr.

“What the families of the fallen SAF men need is justice. He should identify the murderers of the 44 SAF men and file charges against them.”

Espinosa, a lawyer who served as deputy mayor of the late Iloilo City mayor Rodolfo T. Ganzon in 1989, said once the warrant of arrest has been issued by the court against the Bangsa Moro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) men who participated in the carnage, “the president should use the armed forces of the state to run after the perpetrators. That’s how our justice system should work.”


BIFF is a splintered armed group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) which has a peace pact with the government.

“What happened was carnage. And it was done against the policemen who defended our government. In effect, it was an assault against the government,” he hollered.

“When our government is under attack, you will only give medals and money to the wives of the fallen policemen? You will only give scholarships to their children?”

He added: “I’m not against the giving of plaques and medals; I’m not against the scholarships. What the president should do is to show the enemy that he is firm, tough and ready to give justice. No display of tears. No display of sorrows!”

When an ordinary thief or jaywalker is caught, he is brought to court, penalized and jailed under our justice system, Espinosa emphasized.

“When our cops are murdered, you will only cry?” he intoned.

President Aquino must show some firmness and toughness when dealing with rebels who want to divide the country, Espinosa stressed.


“Show the enemy that we are the state,” he suggested. “The state should not and cannot be a hostage of the rebels. The state must show its might and power and it is true the justice system and our armed forces.”

Espinosa wants the next leader of the country to be “a decisive and tough guy.”

“What we need is a leader who will enforce peace and order and implement genuine justice to the people through the rule of law and not lex taliones or law of the jungle,” Espinosa asserted.

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 20, 2015 in NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!, POLITICS


Tags: , , ,