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Philippines’ Pericles and Draco, donde estas ahora?

“Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.” George Bernard Shaw

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — It is believed that the best-ever Senate in the Philippines was the Sixth Congress in 1966-1969 headed by Senate President Arturo M. Tolentino.
The batch produced some of the country’s greatest statesmen and brilliant lawmakers like Alejandro D. Almendras, Gaudencio E. Antonino, Magnolia W. Antonino, Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. (President Noynoy’s father), Dominador R. Aytona, and the marvelous Jose W. Diokno
Sixth Congress also saw the rise of the “Stormy Petrel of the South”, Iloilo City’s Rodolfo T. Ganzon, idol of the timawa (poor).
There was also Eva Estrada Kalaw, Maria Kalaw Katigbak, Wenceslao R. Lagumbay, Juan R. Liwag, Genaro F. Magsaysay, Manuel P. Manahan Raul S. Manglapus, and Camilo Osias.
Cebu’s Sergio Osmeña, Jr. was a member of that illustrious batch along with Emmanuel N. Pelaez, Leonardo P. Perez, Gil J. Puyat, Francisco Soc Rodrigo, Gerardo M. Roxas (Mar’s father), the eminent Jovito R. Salonga, human rights behemoth Lorenzo M. Tañada, Lorenzo G. Teves, and Tecla San Andres Ziga.

WAVES

The Senate Seventh Congress (1970-1973) led by Senate President Gil J. Puyat was also making waves, what with the presence of comebacking Ambrosio B. Padilla, team captain of the RP basketball team that placed third in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, who first won as senator after he resigned as solicitor general under President Ramon Magsaysay in 1957.
But Martial Law cut short the senators’ tenure in 1972.
President Ferdinand Marcos subsequently phased out the Legislature as the country’s new Constitution transformed the system of government from presidential to parliamentary.
When democracy was restored after EDSA Revolution in 1986, the Senate Eight Congress (1987-1992) led by Senate President Jovito Salonga produced yet the country’s most dynamic and prolific leaders like Aquilino Pimentel Jr., Rene Saguisag, Edgardo Angara, Wigberto Tanada, Teopisto Guingona Jr., Joey Lina, Orlando Mercado, Heherson Alvarez, and the lone survivor from the opposition, Martial Law architect Juan Ponce Enrile.
Now Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. was the lone casualty from the President Cory Aquino-blessed administration senatorial ticket that nearly scored a sweep (Enrile bumped off Defensor for the 24th slot).

PRESENCE

It was in the Senate Ninth Congress (1992-1995) led by Senate President Neptali Gonzalez where film comedian and action stars like Vicente Sotto III, Ramon Revilla Sr. and Freddie Webb started to make their present felt.
PBA playing-coach Robert Jaworski and putschist Gringo Honasan followed suit in the Senate 11th Congress (1998-2001) headed by Senate President Marcelo B. Fernan.
To add insult, action stars Lito Lapid, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., and Jinggoy Estrada completed the Senate 13th Congress (2004-2007) led by Senate President Franklin Drilon.
Another putschist Antonio Trillanes IV made it in the Senate 14th Congress (2007-2010) led by Senate President Manuel Villar.
And finally in the Senate 16th Congress (2013-2016) currently headed anew by Senate President Franklin Drilon, Ma. Lourdes “Nancy” Binay stole the limelight.

ARRIVAL

To compound the matter, the Senate 17th Congress is heading for another “disaster” with the “imminent” arrival of former bold star Alma Moreno and boxing icon Manny Pacquiao.
When Pericles died in 429 BC, the Greeks mourned the loss of arguably the most prominent and influential statesman, orator and general of Athens during the Golden Age.
When Draco died in 600 BC, the Greeks wept the departure of Ancient Greece’s first recorded legislator who laid down Greece’s first constitution known as Draconion Constitution.
Donde estas ahora or where are you now, the Philippines’ Pericles and Draco?

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2016 in ELECTION, HISTORY, POLITICS

 

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Don’t aim a gun if you won’t pull the trigger

.”Yes, people pull the trigger – but guns are the instrument of death. Gun control is necessary, and delay means more death and horror.” Eliot Spitzer

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — The basic unwritten rule for gun owners is never aim your gun at anybody unless you are determined to pull its trigger in any circumstance.
Any licensed gun owner, whose life is under threat, is aware that once he pulls the deadly hardware from holster, it’s either he will shoot the enemy first or he gets killed if the enemy beats him to the draw.
A gun can not harm a fly or threaten a human life if not mishandled and misdirected.
There are guns for sports and guns for actual combat.
A person can own a gun as a hobby to shoot the birds even if he is a non-combatant.
Ownership of a gun is not a license to aim it at any Tom, Dick and Harry if provoked; it is not a licensed to kill–unless for self defense.

APPLICANTS

That’s why, all applicants for license to carry and own a gun are being required to undergo a neuro test to determine if they are qualified to carry and keep the deadly weapon in and outside their residences.
A psychotic shouldn’t be allowed to carry a gun, much less own one.
A character with depressive mood is also a potential trigger-happy maniac.
To protect the public, only those with stable mental and emotional conditions are given licenses by authorities to own and carry a gun.
But personally, I am against the carrying of gun or any deadly weapon for that matter.
A gun control means there are still guns, but we need to control or regulate them.
I advocate a gunless society.

-o0o-

IT was not immediately established if slain Dumangas, Iloilo Comelec officer, Raymund Valera, 52, really aimed his gun first at the taxi driver who shot him at an intersection in Molo district in Iloilo City December 8 evening.
According to suspect, Rodney de los Santos, 37, he killed Valera in self defense.
The taxi driver alleged that Valera pointed a gun at him when his taxi caught up with Valera’s Isuzu Crosswind at Brgy. Fundidor, Molo.
He gave chase to Valera after the victim allegedly blocked his taxi when it tried to overtake his Crosswind along Brgy. Dulonan, Arevalo district.
Valera is no longer around to dispute De Los Santos’ allegations, but the incident certainly was a clear case of road rage, a traffic altercation that ended in murder.

SIMILAR

We have seen and heard so many similar cases anywhere in the world.
A balikbayan brother of a former presidential candidate killed on the spot by an irate motorist, a female senior vice president of a multinational corporation shot at close range in the stop light, among other senseless murders related to traffic dispute.
Other cases became sensational because the culprits were either celebrities or influential people.
Or the victims were either professionals and executives or defenseless ordinary citizens peppered with bullets right inside their vehicles like animals.
As to the claim of De Los Reyes that Valera “provoked” him and aimed a gun at him first, it’s up for the court to believe or not.
Murder could have been prevented if both Valera and De Los Reyes were not carrying guns.
Road rage, as well as deadly weapons, has no place in a civilized society.

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2015 in CRIME, PSYCHOLOGY

 

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While we laugh at our ‘insane’ bets, the world laughs at us

“The human race is fundamentally insane. If you put two of us into a room together, we’re soon gonna start figuring out good reasons to kill one another.” Frank Darabont

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) should share the blame for their failure to sanitize the list of candidates for the 2016 Philippine elections from the start.
Poll authorities were aware that during every filing of the certificates of candidacy (COCs), the Comelec is being transformed into a circus; in fact, the biggest and happiest entertainment in the world.
Through our excited media, we paraded to the whole world our caboodle of weirdos and wackos blasting their way to the poll body, where they were given full leverage and media coverage to mock our electoral system.
We will have to wait until December when the Comelec releases the final list of official or “serious” candidates sans the names of “psychotics” and other escapees from the mental asylum and slaughterhouse.
Our poll authorities could have saved time and money if they did the delisting the moment those charlatans set foot in the Comelec.
An ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure.

NUISANCE

Meanwhile, we laughed at the entire proceedings as the “nuisance” candidates dished out unprintable and never-heard-before spiels before national television.
In social media, the Comelec spectacle became an instant hit, a veritable laughingstock.
The jokers helped topple national tensions and stress, and the occasion offered a venue for temporary relief from our day to day worries.
We were amused by our own skulduggery.
We let the whole world know that our electoral system has been saddled with fundamental defects that can be traced to our culture and failure to legislate a quality law on election reforms.
While we laughed at our factory defect, the whole world laughed with us–and laughed at us!

NOTES: Some political observers think Iloilo board member Carmen Rita “Mitch” Monfort-Bautista’s entry into the fourth district congressional race was a “bad timing.” Her best chances, according to them, were in the previous elections when former congressman and the come-backing, Dr. Ferj Biron, was not yet in the field…Was Dr. Marigold Gonzalez, the only daughter of the late former Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez Sr., “forced” to run for mayor in Iloilo City? Unable to win as candidate for city councilor in 2013, the cosmetic surgeon will only probably fulfill the wish of her father, who had instructed the family to “continue serving the Ilonggos.” Against the vastly-improved and logistically powerful incumbent, Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog of the ruling Liberal Party(LP), Dr. Gonzalez is up against a wall…Vice Governor Raul “Boboy” Tupas appears to be the sentimental favorite to clinch the fifth congressional district when he tackles Yvonne Angeli Lee-Tupas, the lawyer wife of his older brother, Rep. Neil “Junjun” Tupas Jr. Although the lady Tupas is the official LP candidate, Boboy, who is now with the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), is considered not only as a “dark horse” but a solid pick tumandok (native) to put away the pangayaw (outsider)…Junjun Tupas, the most controversial LP stalwart in the province today, himself will have his hands full versus Guimbal Mayor Christine Garin for vice governor. His eleventh hour decision to run for vice governor caught everyone by surprise especially because he is against the decision of his younger brother, Boboy, to replace him in the House of Representatives. Junjun and Boboy could’ve swapped posts to preserve order and stability in the party and family…former councilor Rolando Dabao, the best congressman Iloilo City never had, is running for vice mayor against reelectionist Joe Espinosa III under Dr. Gonzalez…second district Rep. Arcadio “Cadio” Gorriceta (LP) will try to walk past board member June “Junjun” Mondejar of the United Nationalist Alliance for his second term.

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Boy Ex Javier is not Art Defensor

“Working hard and working smart sometimes can be two different things.”  Byron Dorgan

By Alex P. Vidal 

A VIDEO can be cruel if its entire episode is not seen.

The video of that ugly microphone-grabbing incident at the E. B. Javier Freedom Park in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique last Monday morning immediately elicited sympathies for ousted Antique governor Exequiel “Boy Ex” Javier after it looked like he was being bullied by supporters of newly-installed governor Rhodora Cadiao.

The scene where lawyer Kune Aldon forcefully snatched the microphone away from Javier’s grip was so distressing as Javier’s face suddenly turned pale like Winnie the Pooh frightened by the turn of events.

Upon realizing he was surrounded by Popeye, Bart Simpson, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Fred Flintstone and Wile E. Coyote, scared Winnie the Pooh obediently left the slaughterhouse after being whisked away by a lone aide.

Winnie the Pooh didn’t put up a resistance.

Aldon or Popeye later explained that he only grabbed back the microphone which Javier had allegedly taken away from Cadiao before the flag ceremony.

That scene where Javier allegedly grabbed the microphone from Cadiao was not seen in the video downloaded in the social media.

The incident would have been avoided if Javier only followed what ousted Laguna governor EJ Ejercito did.

Ejercito, who was also disqualified by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for campaign overspending, did not anymore wait for the writ of execution from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Javier was disqualified for illegally suspending Valderrama mayor Mary Joy Roquero before the May 2013 polls.

Ejercito vacated the Laguna capitol after Manila mayor Erap Estrada, his uncle, convinced him to leave.

INSTALLED

Cadiao was formally installed as the new governor after the DILG and Comelec served the writ of execution on February 3, after a week of leadership tug-of-war.

Javier is not actually doomed politically.

His ouster does not disqualify him from seeking another term for governor in 2016 which is 15 months away.

If Javier decides to run again, he will be up for a possible collision course versus Cadiao, who, by that time, must have already solidified her hold among barangay officials and municipal mayors.

It remains to be seen, however, if Antiquenos will revert back to the old politics that has stalled the growth of the province by electing Javier once again.

Javier has been in power since the post EDSA revolution.

Because of the memory and legacy left behind by his martyred brother, former governor Evelio, he cruised to an unprecedented three terms in congress.

His son, Paolo, has replaced Javier in congress.

Javier father and son have been lording over Antique politics like a dynasty.

Javier’s ouster as governor via disqualification was a bitter pill to swallow for a politician who has become a myth in his province.

Behind his mouth-watering winning streak as congressman and governor, however, was a protracted and unresolved conflict with the Pacificadors.

When Board Member Arturo “Turing” Pacificador died last month, Javier failed to put an exclamation point to their ugly political rivalry started by the late Evelio that dated back during the Martial Law years.

RIVAL

To compound the matter, Javier also had a falling out with former governor Sally Perez-Saldivar, who also became his arch-rival in Antique politics.

Despite his seeming invincibility, Javier is far from being a legend if we review the growing list of leaders in the province who have become dissatisfied and disillusioned with his brand of politics.

He is far cry from IIoilo Governor Arthur “Art” Defensor Sr., who still commands the respect of both his rivals and supporters even if he has been in politics before Martial Law.

As a former assemblyman, Defensor was already a national figure long before Boy Ex Javier became a by-word in Antique.

Defensor also became Boy Ex’s colleague in the House of Representatives, serving the third district of Iloilo from June 30, 2001 until June 30, 2010.

When Defensor first became governor in 1992-1998, he beat future governor Neil D. Tupas, Sr. in one of the hottest gubernatorial contests in history.

Like Boy Ex, Defensor also swept his rivals and was never defeated.

The only difference is Defensor was never hated as a politician.

Instead of waging an Armageddon against Defensor, his former political rivals admired him and saluted the political paradigm shift that he has introduced in Iloilo.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2015 in ELECTION, POLITICS

 

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Antique on brink of chaos as Mar Roxas dilly-dallies

“A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem.” Albert Einstein

By Alex P. Vidal

INSTEAD of an ounce of prevention, a pound of cure is now needed to solve the leadership crisis that hit Antique, which now has two governors.
With two governors—Exequiel Javier and Rhodora Cadiao—jockeying for the post, Antiquenos are now in a state of confusion as to who they will recognize.
Even supporters of the two governors are starting to get restless and irritated by the perplexing turn of events.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) led by Secretary Mar Roxas hasn’t intervened.
If Roxas was decisive enough, the political standoff in Antique would have been prevented earlier.
Antique needs a win-win solution to its problem at the capitol.
A phone call to Javier convincing him to step down over the weekend would have been enough to avert the leadership crisis.
Roxas would have reminded Javier that in Laguna, Governor ER Ejercito left capitol peacefully in May 2014 after being convinced by his uncle, Manila Mayor Erap Estrada, thus averting any violence.
Ejercito was also disqualified by the Comelec for overspending.
DILG was supposed to serve the writ of execution issued by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), which earlier disqualified Javier for violation of Omnibus Election Code.
A week had passed since a transition of power was supposed to take place at the Antique capitol when Javier failed to secure a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the Supreme Court, but the DILG didn’t show up to install Vice Governor Cadiao as the new governor.

CENTRAL

The writ of execution was still in the DILG central office in Manila and was not yet transmitted to the regional office as of press time, it was reported.
Meawhile, Cadiao took her oath of office at the session hall of the Provincial Board in the old provincial capitol around 4:30 p.m. Thursday, January 29 administered by Atabay, San Jose Barangay Captain Jay Aster Hiponia.
After the oath-taking, Cadio declared: “I am both humbled and honored by this great task of assuming the leadership as governor of our province in this time of great crisis. Twenty-seven years ago we lived in a shadow of fear and despair. Today, we start a new day to live in the sublime sunshine of hope and change.”
Javier asserted that there was no vacancy in the governor’s office insisting that only the Supreme Court can oust him.
Comele Chairman Sixto Brillantes, however, declared that Javier’s disqualification was final and executory.
Javier’s Waterloo came after he suspended Valderrama Mayor Joyce Roquero in January 2013 in violation of the Omnibus Election Code, which prohibits the suspension of local elected officials within election period.

REFUSE

Javier has refused to step down and his supporters continued to mass up in the capitol ground in San Jose de Buenavista to show support after he exhorted them earlier to “protect your votes” insisting that the Comelec ruling “is only temporary.”
With two governors, department heads are now in quandary.
If banks can’t decide which signature to acknowledge in capitol-issued checks, basic services will be hampered.
Once the writ of execution will be issued by the DILG regional office anytime, there is still no guarantee that Javier will relinquish his post.
He earlier said he would respect the decision of the Comelec.
But now, Javier said he will only obey the decision of the Supreme Court.
The events that will unfold in the next three weeks are worth watching.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2015 in POLITICS

 

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