Monthly Archives: October 2015

Binay should get out while ahead

“Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions – Why am I doing it, What the results might be and Will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead.” Chanakya

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — If ever we will amend the Philippine constitution, we must ask our constitutional convention delegates to include provisions in the electoral process that any candidate who will resort to name-calling and character assassination during the campaign period should be disqualified.
Let’s admit it. Some of the candidates in the 2016 elections lack the moral scruples to hold a public office.
Our electoral system has become a kaleidoscope of moral and spiritual bankruptcy; aspirants for public office are a hodgepodge of Sancho Panzas and Emperors Nero and Claudius.
We understand that there is a gnawing concern about the wanton abuse by some wackos to ridicule our electoral process by filing their certificates of candidacy (COCs) for certain higher national positions not to win (and even without the capacity to wage a decent campaign) but only to land in the front-page and to get media attention.


We understand the frustration of those who detest seeing the names of mediocre personalities and popular clowns in the Comelec list of official candidates but are forced to belabor themselves browsing over the names of rightful candidates on the same list only because the constitution allows even escapees from mental institutions to run for president. Que horror!
Under our squalid and abnormal system, popular movie comedians and athletes, coup plotters, ex-convicts, rapists and children of celebrities can run for higher positions even if they didn’t finish high school.
Thus under the Peter Principle, quality legislation becomes the number one casualty if these cretins are elected in the Senate and House of Representatives.


Vice President Jejomar Binay should quit while he is still on top, some political wisecracks suggest.
We might ask why would anyone leading in a presidential campaign drop out?
Because he can’t win. And Binay hates defeat.
Rumor has it that there’s a woman in Calinog, Iloilo named “Brenda” who hasn’t heard of Binay.
But besides her, everyone in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao knows who Binay is.
Binay’s popularity in the last quarter of 2014 can be compared to Erap Estrada’s name-recall strength in 1998.


The former Mabini lawyer (who started his political career after the 1986 EDSA Revolution) has virtually 100 percent name recognition, and still he can’t manage to break beyond the 25 percent to 30 percent or so of disaffected members of the hoi polloi supporting him.
And, as manifested in the most recent surveys, many of those supporters are beginning to drift.
Either they went to Sen. Grace Poe or to Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago.
In short, Binay hit his apex weeks ago. It’s only a slide from here.
The Sandiganbayan ruling that ousted his suspended Makati mayor son, Junjun, could be the last straw in Binay’s Cinderella-like candidacy that is now on spaghetti legs.

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Posted by on October 19, 2015 in ELECTION, POLITICS


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Parents in pain

“My upbringing is why I am the person I am today. I have very wise parents.” Keira Knightley

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — Nothing can bring much sadness and pain for parents than to see their children engaged in a bitter quarrel.
And the pain can be more excruciating if the donnybrook goes outside the domicile and reverberates in public in heart-breaking proportion.
This could be the predicament former Iloilo Gov. Neil D. Tupas Sr. and former Barotac Viejo Mayor Myrna Causing Tupas are in today.
The squabble of their sons–Iloilo 5th district Rep. Neil “Junjun” Tupas Jr. and Iloilo Vice Gov. Raul “Boboy” Tupas–has hogged headlines these past months and divided the hitherto formidable Tupas political empire in the fifth congressional district of Iloilo.
Boboy wants to replace Junjun, who is graduating for his third and last term in the House of Representatives.


Junjun, however, is pushing for his wife, Yvonne Angeli Lee-Tupas.
The feud resulted in Boboy leaving the Liberal Party (LP) and embracing the National People’s Coalition (NPC).
It was Junjun who insisted that his wife, a lawyer like him, fits in the congressional portfolio, not Boboy, who is a Philippine Military Academy (PMA) graduate.
Because he is the eldest son in the family and carries the name of his father, what Junjun wanted Junjun reportedly got.
The decision to field Yvonne Angeli as official LP candidate has been reportedly given imprimatur by the Tupas patriarch to Boboy’s consternation.
As a consolation, “majority” of the Tupas children reportedly back Boboy but could not openly defy “Tatay Neil” so as not to douse gasoline into the conflagration.


Buoyed by his father’s go signal to endorse Yvonne Angeli, Junjun has been reportedly “making life difficult” for his younger brother by “excluding” the vice governor in various public activities related to his function as capitol’s no. 2 official.
Boboy’s supporters viewed Junjun’s moves as “a bid to cripple the vice governor’s enthusiasm” to pursue his congressional bid.
Unperturbed, Boboy continued to sally forth in the entire district and focused on consultation with his constituents about plans in 2016 sans approval from the political party he jettisoned.
Junjun denied he was trying to act as Cain, a jealous murderer of his brother, Abel, in the Bible’s Old Testament.
Although their hearts are all for Boboy, other Tupas children can’t look manong Junjun in the eyes and tell him straight that “blood should be thicker than water.” At least not yet.
Efforts to patch up the feud has become increasingly difficult as Junjun and Boboy continued to swap heavy accusations in the media before the filing of the Certificate of Official Candidacy for the 2016 elections.


While Boboy was showing strong determination to run against his own sister-in-law, Yvonne Angeli, LP’s would-be official candidate, Junjun was stepping up his determination to oppose him.
Amid all the hullabaloo, their parents have remained calm and sober although sources said “they are in pain emotionally.”
“It is a common knowledge in Barotac (Viejo, their hometown) that Boboy is well-loved by his brothers and sister (Tweety Tupas-Balleza), most especially by his nanay, Nonoy Myrna,” said a source who refused to be named because she is not authorized to speak about the family’s political affairs.
“Anywhere you go, it is Boboy who is closer to the hearts of the people. If you open the heart of Nonoy Myrna, you will see the name of Boboy Tupas in all caps there. Nonoy Myrna has been crying privately because she does not want to see both his sons hurting only because of politics.”

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Posted by on October 19, 2015 in ELECTION, POLITICS


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‘If I walk with prostitutes, it doesn’t mean that I am also a prostitute’

“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” Abraham Lincoln

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — Known for his flawless logic and lucidity of mind, the late Philippine Senator Claro M. Recto Jr. once argued that “if he was seen walking in the company of prostitutes, it didn’t follow that he was also a prostitute.”
His syllogism thrashed the “tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are” dictum.
Illogical: Mar Roxas is a pervert because he was allegedly seen (he denied he saw the bawdy event) in the venue of a lewd show at the birthday bash of Liberal Party (LP) member, Rep. Benjie Agarao, in Laguna recently.
Logical: Not all those present were perverts (except, perhaps, the sponsor or sponsors of the indelicate show). Therefore Roxas, who attended the birthday party but “missed” the spicy episode, could not be a pervert since he was not the sponsor or directly involved when a sexy dancer gyrated scandalously on top of a male guest on stage.


There is a principle in law that says a mere presence in the crime scene does not make one a criminal–except if he is a direct accessory to the unlawful activity.
But since Roxas is a presidential aspirant and it is a political season, every mistake his political party–or members of the political party will commit, will be considered as his albatross.
The political party’s moral standard also instantly became a serious issue as it will determine the kind of governance the party will introduce once they retain Malacanang beyond 2016.
Mar Roxas is guilty by association, his critics will argue.
Association with sponsor (was it Metro Manila Development Authority chair Francis Tolentino?) or sponsors of the lewd act or the LP? Both.
The sponsor or sponsors could also be LP members.
Not all Roman senators connived and stabbed Julius Caesar. Only those who had been mesmerized by Brutus and Cassius helped carry out the murder plot.


Mary Suratt swore before she was executed by hanging on July 7, 1865 in Washington D.C. that her only fault was that she owned the boarding house where murderers of Abraham Lincoln plotted the assassination that changed the course of American history.
Her plea fell on deaf ears.
Former Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello predicts a bad luck for the entire political party which, he said, could affect Roxas’ presidential bid.
It is not only a case of “tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are” but also a case of “with friends like them (sponsors of sexy show), who needs enemies?” the former solon lamented.
While we agree that the incident warrants a call for investigation on the conduct of government officials in violation Section 19 of the Magna Carta of Women (Republic Act 9710), we don’t believe that Roxas should be faulted and crucified only because he was probably “in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Roxas may have “walked with the prostitutes, but it did not mean that he was also a prostitute.”

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Posted by on October 5, 2015 in ELECTION, HISTORY, POLITICS


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Let’s stop bellyaching; we don’t need Rio

“You don’t play against opponents, you play against the game of basketball.” Bobby Knight

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — So what’s the big deal if we wound up second to China in the recently-concluded 2015 FIBA Asia Men’s Championship in Changsha City, China on Sept. 23-Oct. 3?
Instead of bellyaching, we must, in fact, jump in jubilation that we reached that far.
Didn’t we know that Gilas Pilipinas’ silver medal tasted like gold?
In the first place, to land in the championship round against mighty China was already a king-sized accomplishment, given the tough field that Gilas was in, let alone campaigning in a hostile territory.
Against the host country, our chances to bag the title were nil.
It would have been a different story if the game was held in Tehran or Nagasaki. Or in Manila.
But our cagers were “fighting for their life” in the capital of Hunan province, a large city with a history dating to the Zhou dynasty (1046–256 B.C.).


If we can’t lick China somewhere else, we can’t beat them right in their own home court, where the crowd, aside from being rowdy, was violent (they threw empty bottles on the Gilas bench) and definitely wouldn’t go home yielding the FIBA throne on a silver platter to any foreign customer.
That the officiating was bum and horrific wasn’t news at all.
If they wouldn’t cheat, they would be on a hell ride if the Gilas threatened to pull the rug from under them after Gilas’ surprising 5-0 juggernaut in the first quarter.
We don’t need a trip to the 2016 Rio Olympics. Give the ride to the Chinese.
The silver medal finish was a blessing in disguise. In Rio, we will only be eaten alive, humiliated and exposed as Lilliputians.
Our present line-up has no match against Argentina, Brazil, USA, Uruguay, Germany, Italy, Ukraine, Spain, among other global giants.


Let China do the battle for the Asians in Rio.
They are more equipped, financially-prepared, more exposed and with many crack reserves, more battle-scarred, and ready to lock horns with the who’s who in the world of sports politics as an economic behemoth.
We have limited influence and power. We can’t even send a competent representative to lobby for the Fiba hosting. Instead of sending a seasoned negotiator, we sent Manny Pacquiao, who ended up in a photo-op with Yao Ming.
Let’s call spade a spade. Our 12-man roster that walloped Japan twice in as many confrontations: 6-2 Calvin Abueva, 27, 6-11 Andray Blatche, 29, 6-6 Ranidel de Ocampo, 33, 6-5 Matt Ganuelas, 25, 6-2 Dondon Hontiveros, 38, 6-4 J. C. Intal, 31, 6-6 Gabe Norwood, 30, 6-6 Marc Pingris, 33, 5-10 Terrence Romeo, 23, 6-9 Asi Taulava, 42, 6-7 Sonny Thoss, 33 and 5-11 Jayson Castro, 29, will reign supreme in Southeast Asia or Asian Games, for that matter, but not in the World Olympics.
Magpakatotoo tayo, please.


Pardon me, but I still maintain that the RP Team that finished 5th in the 1936 Berlin Olympics was still the best, a lot better than Gilas Pilipinas.
And they were all natural-born Filipinos. No naturalized. No imports. We were better than China (tie with Germany at 15th), Italy (7th), Brazil (9th), and France (19th), all powerful teams in this generation.
And who can forget the greatest RP Team-ever assembled that finished third behind the USA and Brazil in the 1954 World Basketball Championship of the International Basketball Federation (Fiba) in Rio de Janeiro composed of Carlos “Caloy” Loyzaga, and Lauro “The Fox” Mumar, Pons Saldaña, Florentino Bautista, Mariano Tolentino, Antonio Genato, Francisco Rabat, Rafael Barredo, Bayani Amador, Ramon Manulat, Nap Flores, and Ben Francisco?

NOTE: A basketball tournament had been contested during the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis, but it is usually considered a demonstration, and not a true Olympic event. Thus, the first Olympic Basketball championship took place in 1936. As the inventor of the game, the United States was considered the favorite, although there had been almost no international competitions prior to 1936. In 1935, the first European Championship had been contested, with Latvia winning, Spain second, and Czechoslovakia third. Latvia competed at the 1936 Olympics but did not even survive the second round. There had been South American Championships since 1930, twice won by Uruguay and once by Argentina, prior to the 1936 Olympics.

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Posted by on October 4, 2015 in basketball, SPORTS


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