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Tag Archives: Philippine Senate

‘World champions’

“Some people are born mediocre, some people achieve mediocrity, and some people have mediocrity thrust upon them.”
–Joseph Heller

13006620_10206130189196605_589309284076281549_nBy Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — If he did not quarrel with a fellow spoiled brat, many Filipinos wouldn’t know that Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri is a “former world champion in arnis.”
Incensed that Senator Antonio Trillanes IV accused him and Senator Dick Gordon of “trying to whitewash the investigation of corruption in the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID)”, Zubiri “accepted” Trillanes’ challenge for a “war” boasting that “I did not become a world champion in arnis for nothing…”
True or not, who are we to doubt Zubiri’s claim that he is a former world champion in arnis? (Although I personally haven’t read any press release or news item that extolled the Bukidnon lawmaker’s exploits in the combat sport otherwise known as “Eskrima” and “Kali”.)
Aside from Zubiri, they also have Senator Manny Pacquiao as world boxing champion.

ABUNDANCE

The Philippine senate actually has abundance if not packed with “world champions.”
In fact, the upper house, as an institution, has also been reputed as a “world champion” — in producing plunderers, clowns and mediocre legislators.
If amassing unexplained wealth via “pork barrel” is a world championship, who can beat our Janet Napoles-inspired Filipino legislators?
They could even wrap up the “team championship” or dominate the medal tally.
And if there is a “world championship” in their respective talents, styles, and categories, Senators Leila De Lima, Vicente “Tito” Sotto, Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, Frank Drilon, Gringo Honasan II, Alan Peter Cayetano, Ralph Recto, Nancy Binay; and Trillanes IV might win handily and be considered also as “world champions.”
De Lima in love affair; Sotto in plagiarism; Honasan in coup d’tat; Drilon in balimbing game; Lacson in Houdini-like escape; Cayetano in sip-sip game; Recto in playing safe attitude; Binay in underdog effect, Trillanes in quarreling, to mention only a few.

 
 

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Probe abuses against OFWs, child porno, not mauling of comedian

“You can’t move so fast that you try to change the mores faster than people can accept it. That doesn’t mean you do nothing, but it means that you do the things that need to be done according to priority.” ELEANOR ROOSEVELT

 

By Alex P. Vidal

We became a laughing stock in the world in 2009 when we wasted taxpayers’ money and time in the senate hearing that tackled the case of the lover of a famous female cosmetics surgeon and several showbiz girls and models which became known as the “Hayden Kho video sex scandal.”
Aside from being romantically linked to the celebrity lady surgeon, nothing can be said to justify the misuse of public funds for the senate inquiry involving Kho, a private medical practitioner; henceforth, there was no logical reason why taxpayers money should be wasted.
A sex scandal involving a private person and his conquests who were all adults was far from being a national concern. It’s mind-boggling how the sex ruckus was allowed to be tackled in the august halls over other urgent national issues while most people couldn’t make both ends meet and were wallowing in abject poverty and lack of opportunities.

SECURITY

The issue did not threaten national security; it did not involve the welfare of the nation; it was not about classroom, water and rice shortage, massive graft and corruption, economic and political stability, health and environmental problems. Yet, the sex scandal inquiry authored by Sen. Bong Revilla pushed through. This explains the kind of mentality and quality of senators we elected.
And now, there is a possibility that the senate hearing zarzuela will be repeated again. Senator Jinggoy Estrada, Revilla’s former showbiz colleague and co-accused in a plunder case filed by the Office of the Ombudsman in relation to the multi-billion pesos “pork barrel” scam, is poised to calling for a senate inquiry regarding the mauling incident that involved his comedian “best friend” Vhong Navarro.
Aside from being Estrada’s “best friend” and a known sitcom mainstay and noontime TV show host, Navarro has no significant contribution or involvement in government or public service for that matter that will justify why his mauling should be given importance over other more pressing national issues.

ELECTED

In a nation where public servants are easily elected into office based on popularity and name-recall, it isn’t far-fetched for the now famous Navarro to join his former showbiz ilk in government via electoral process once he decides to enter politics given our defective electoral system.
But the real cacophony is not only about scoundrels joining the government, but the excessive and blatant misuse of public funds and government time for useless and unproductive public hearings both in the lower and upper chambers of the House which are only always used in aid of pogi points for grandstanding politicians.
These unnecessary senate and congressional inquiries, which are myopic priorities, also send a wrong signal to the young generation. Intelligent citizens hooked on social media have become sophisticated and incandescent; and are now the force to reckon with in molding public opinion.
Our elected officials should now zero in on the plight of our OFWs in Malaysia and other countries in the Middle East who are being abused, harassed and murdered. Foreign and local pedophiles have forged an alliance to perpetuate child pornography via internet as recently reported. Graft and corruption, rice smuggling, arrival of powerful drug cartels in the country, oil spill, power and gas hike, among other critical issues.

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Abolish the Senate

“Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate, now what’s going to happen to us with both a House and a Senate? WILL ROGERS

By Alex P. Vidal

The mudslinging bout between Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Juan Ponce Enrile has cost taxpayers millions of pesos. It’s a waste of time and money.
This is happening because we have a useless branch of government that is actually not necessary and should have been abolished a long time ago.
If we have a parliamentary form of government, we can never have the likes of Jinggoy, Bong, Lito Lapid, among other inutile senators. No pork barrel, no popularity contest, and no unnecessary committee investigations that are only actually in aid of grandstanding rather than legislation.
The early senators in history never resorted to personal insults and slander unlike what we have in the Philippines today. Senators had been part of Roman government since Romulus, the first king of Rome, who created 100 senators to advise him, especially in the case of alliances and treaties.

DIED

When Romulus died, there was no obvious candidate to replace him and the Roman senators feared that one of the neighboring states would take over Rome, so they set up a temporary government. They gave power to a chosen individual for only five days at time, after which the next in line took over. The time under this rotating government was called an interregnum meaning it was the government between (inter) the kings.
The Roman People were happy to see the end of the interregnum because they felt that during it they were ruled by 100 masters, instead of just a single monarch.
Former Press Secretary Hector R. Villanueva was right when he referred to the upper chamber as “disgraceful senate.”
I agree with Villanueva when he called the Philippine Senate today as “a redundant, effete, wasteful, and costly institution that, in reality, does not represent anybody, or any sector, or any region of the country other than the self-serving interests of its members.”

MYTH

It is a myth and parody to believe that senators represent the entire Filipino people. Once elected, the senators go their own merry ways, and the nation can go fly a kite till the next election, Villanueva stressed.
“If truth be told, a unicameral National Assembly in a parliamentary form of government can perform just as effectively and rationally without a Senate.
“The Upper Chamber has become unnecessary and irrelevant.
“In many countries, the Senate or upper Assembly is a ceremonial and appointive honorific Chamber composed of retired justices, professors emeritus, retired statesmen, outstanding business leaders, exceptional professionals in the sciences, extraordinary women, and experienced diplomats.

FUNCTIONS

“Its main functions are, among others, as a treaty ratifying body, an impeachment court, a welcoming party to arriving foreign dignitaries, and other ceremonial duties.
“Expectedly, the members are entitled to respectable stipends and perks sans the PDAF to insulate them from corruption and the vagaries of politics.
“Alas, the current 16th Congress, as a whole, is a disgrace to the nation, and a despicably bad example to the youth of the country.
“Hence, it is an opportune time to renew and revive discussions on Constitutional revisions, term limits, and unicameralism.

FRIENDS

“Though we have good friends among the senators, and there are outstanding, fresh, youthful, and exciting newly-elected senators, the Philippine Senate itself in recent years has fallen into disrepute, corruption, incessant squabbling, lackluster productivity, and obsessive partisanship that is making the Senate increasingly unnecessary and not cost-effective.
“The Filipino would not miss its absence and demise if the Senate were to be abolished.
“When all is said and done, it is never too late for the senators to redeem themselves and regain the respect and support of the general public.
“However, there is a new generation out there of politically conscious and activist youths who are highly skilled in the use of social media that is double-bladed and can cut both ways.”

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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