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Arroyo moved to save Boracay; Aquino made it a cesspool

AFTER more than two years of study and on-the-ground investigation by various Cabinet members, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo made a bold move to prevent Boracay from further environmental degradation— even if it would cost her very dearly politically.

She issued in May 2006, based on the recommendation of her environment and natural resources secretary Angelo Reyes, Proclamation 1064, the authorization for which was based on the 1936 Public Land Act and Marcos’ 1975 Presidential Decree 705.

Arroyo’s proclamation classified 40 percent of Boracay’s 1,028 hectares as “forestland” and 60 percent as “agricultural land.” The proclamation provided detailed geographic coordinates where the forest and agricultural lands were.

Aquino and Roxas threw to the dustbin her move to save the island.

That meant that the forestland cannot be privately owned, and any resort or residence there should be kicked out. Yet only last month did the DENR uncover the fact that at least 25 percent of these are now occupied by high-end hotels and resorts.

The proclamation also meant that areas declared as agricultural may be privately owned, but only after the state first declares it as alienable, with private individuals having to apply for original registration by homestead or sales patent. Yet nearly all of the areas in Boracay that are clearly not part of the forests, especially beach-front areas, are now claimed and occupied by private individuals and corporations, even the Singaporean-owned Shangri-la Hotel.

Arroyo’s proclamation was an earth-shaking move that would have prevented Boracay’s current environmental degradation, (more…)

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Indonesian crony routs Filipino cronies

WHAT kind of country have we become? And while we’re at it, what kind of media do we have?

Last February 24, all media, no matter what their political persuasion, were in a chorus of praise reporting the following news: One Victorico Vargas beat Jose Cojuangco in an election for the presidency of the Philippine Olympic Committee, the body responsible for our nation’s performance in that global event. It was a heated contest, with Vargas having to ask a court two years ago to issue an order for the POC to undertake the election.

Yes, that Cojuangco was the brother of the late Cory Aquino and the uncle of her son, former President Noynoy Aquino 3rd, an exemplar of the Philippines’ old landed political elite.

Was it really Vargas? Or his boss MVP, or MVP’s boss Salim?

This newspaper made it its banner story, the first time sports news was headlined in any newspaper, except of course for boxing champion Manny Pacquiao’s victories: “Vargas routs Cojuangco.” The article’s lead celebratory paragraph was that of nearly all media outlets, including the three biggest newspapers: “Finally change has come in Philippine sports.” “Cojuangco’s 13-year reign has ended.”

Not a single media outfit though bothered to explain who the hell this Vargas —whom they all referred to by his nickname “Ricky” rather than his official name “Victorico” – is, and how he could beat the patriarch of one of the country’s most powerful oligarch clans. They all merely reported that he was the head of the Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines. Nobody even reported what sport he played, and I was told it was solely bowling. Weren’t they even curious who this Vargas was?

Pangilinan surrogate

I am not exaggerating at all when I assert that Vargas wouldn’t win an election for chairman of his barangay’s sports committee. He won the POC presidency beating Cojuangco because of one thing, and one thing only:  (more…)

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Read more about the article Five leadership lessons from President Duterte
ive leadership lessons from President Duterte
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Five leadership lessons from President Duterte

A PHILIPPINE Daily Inquirer article the other day, to my utter surprise, reported: “President Rodrigo Duterte may be doing something right as eight in every 10 adult Filipinos across the country and socioeconomic classes trust him and approve of his performance, according to the results of a recent Pulse Asia survey.”

Also a few days ago, the Social Weather Stations released a survey that showed 94 percent of adult Filipinos said they are happy with life in general, a record high. Levels of a people’s happiness often reflect their satisfaction with their main leader, i.e., the president (or prime minister) since one determinant of happiness is the absence of worries over where one lives.

What could explain Duterte’s popularity, which our politicians and those who aspire to be our leaders could emulate? What would be, in that genre of lists, his leadership lessons?

I think the following:  (more…)

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Read more about the article Two huge casinos in Boracay? Are they crazy?
Two huge casinos in Boracay? Are they crazy?
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Two huge casinos in Boracay? Are they crazy?

TO be quite frank, I was stunned when Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) chair Andrea Domingo told the press a few days ago that the agency would approve not one, but two mammoth casinos to operate in Boracay. The other day, she even had the signing ceremony for Pagcor’s grant of a license to a Macau firm to build a casino there televised.

The project is a joint venture between Macau gaming giant Galaxy Entertainment Group and a unit of listed firm Leisure and Resorts World Corp. This company’s biggest individual stockholder is Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, a Liberal Party stalwart in that province until he defected to the ruling PDP-Laban before the 2016 elections. The other big stockholders are said to be a group of big stock market players that include Willy Ocier, Wilson Sy and Eusebio Tanco.

The other casino will be at the Boracay Newcoast of property magnate Andrew Tan, in a joint venture with the Malaysian casino conglomerate Genting, which will start operations four months from now, Domingo said.

Has Domingo been so busy that she hasn’t been reading the papers? Hasn’t she heard that President Duterte last month made an earth-shaking declaration that Boracay has been turned into a cesspool by greedy enterprises there, who don’t care about the delicate island’s sustainability as one of the world’s top beach areas?  (more…)

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Napoles from Basilan wasn’t the scam’s mastermind, the Yellow Cult’s pillars were

C’MON, do you really think that Janet Napoles, who grew up in Basilan and didn’t reach college, who was never in government, was the mastermind of the P10-billion pork barrel scam, which required a deep and detailed knowledge of how Congress really works and how to go around government’s labyrinthine bureaucratic processes?

Do you think that she even knew, before she was recruited into the scam, what an “NGO”—which became the venue for siphoning off state funds—meant and was?

Only somebody or some group that could find technicalities to evade Congress’ budget law, as they did in the case of the Disbursement Acceleration Program scheme, could have thought of and confidently executed the pork barrel scam.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd as early as last year had claimed that Napoles’ lawyer had informed him that she had implicated Senators Franklin Drilon, Antonio Trillanes, and Leila de Lima as well as Aquino’s budget secretary, Florencio Abad, in the pork-barrel scam that involved siphoning government funds into politicians’ pockets.

The acquittal in May 2017 from kidnapping charges of Janet Napoles, whom the Aquino regime and the media it controlled had painted as the mastermind of the mammoth pork-barrel scam, was the start of the unraveling of the Liberal Party’s second biggest crime, the first being its political assassination of Chief Justice Renato Corona.

The justice department’s taking her in as a state witness last month accelerates the unearthing, finally, of this colossal crime. This is a bold move as Napoles has been demonized so much by media, especially the Philippine Daily Inquirer to which the Aquino government in 2013 gave exclusive access to the alleged whistle-blower Benhur Luy.

Broke records
Napoles’ trial for allegedly kidnapping her longtime assistant and relative Luy—the government’s star witness in fingering opposition politicians—broke all records of litigation speed. After just a year of trial, she was sentenced to life imprisonment. That doesn’t happen even in the most advanced nations on earth with the most efficient legal systems.

It was only because of the powerful media that supported Aquino in those years that the obvious could be concealed: The administration wanted her put in jail as soon as possible.

Napoles and daughter Jeane with Aquino (left photo), and then (right photo) as a guest in Malacañang in 2013 with Spokesman Edwin Lacierda and Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras waiting for Aquino.

Why? (more…)

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Read more about the article Jabidah ‘massacre’ was the Yellows’ first big fake news
Jabidah ‘massacre’ was the Yellows’ first big fake news
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Jabidah ‘massacre’ was the Yellows’ first big fake news

It lost us Sabah
THE so-called Jabidah “massacre” of March 1968—about which an ignorant writer in another newspaper complained why there was no commemoration yesterday on its 50th anniversary—was the Yellow Cult’s first colossal fake news.

If there was any killing it was of President Marcos’ covert plans to forcibly take over Sabah over which we had—and continue to have— legitimate claims under international law, but which Malaysia arrogantly ignored, and continues to ignore.

The episode only revealed the utter lack of nationalism and deviousness of the Liberal Party, and its most articulate leader, Benigno Aquino, Jr., to advance their political ambitions.

Under the guise of investigating reports of a so-called massacre in Corregidor island of young Muslims being trained by the Army Special Forces to infiltrate Sabah, the Yellows in effect ratted on Marcos and his plans to Malaysia.

By doing so, they thought they would torpedo Marcos reelection in the coming year, 1969, especially since he had become popular, even successful in portraying himself and Imelda as the Filipino version of the Kennedys. Even the powerful oligarchic clan, the Lopezes, with their media empire, at the time was supporting Marcos, whose vice president was the patriarch Fernando Lopez.  (more…)

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Read more about the article Duterte confiscates Yellows’ illegal weapon – the ICC case
Trillanes and his sidekick brandishing their suit at the ICC last year.
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Duterte confiscates Yellows’ illegal weapon – the ICC case

THAT’S essentially what President Duterte has done by announcing the Philippines’ withdrawal as a signatory to the treaty that set up the International Criminal Court (ICC), an institution that has become under fire for its racial bias and disregard for countries’ sovereignty.

The Yellow Cult, through its contract political assassin Sen. Antonio Trillanes and his minion, obscure lawyer Jude Sabio, last year transformed the ICC into its propaganda weapon against Duterte. Never before has the Philippines’ image been so badly yet falsely tarnished in the world as in the case filed by the Yellow Cult in the ICC against Duterte.

The Yellows filed charges against Duterte and 11 other government officials for alleged “mass murder” committed during the president’s anti-crime and anti-drug campaign. The charges even preposterously included alleged killings in Davao City more than a decade ago when Duterte was mayor there.

It was obviously entirely a propaganda gimmick. The suit did not submit any single actual case of murder by the police—only media reports, especially by the news website Rappler. Anybody filing a case with the ICC would have realized that the case would take at the very least a decade to resolve, way past the end of Duterte’s presidency, as in the case of the Uganda and Colombia complaints that were filed in 2004, but which the ICC is still investigating.

Does anyone really believe that Trillanes and this hoodlum-looking Sabio filed the case for the sake of humanity, in order to prevent inhumane pogroms in the future?  (more…)

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Read more about the article ‘Duterte’s critics are outdated ideologues, bigots and willfully misinformed useful idiots of the yellow agenda’
Multipolarity for dummies: What it basically means in the 21st century, in which the US and Europe are no longer the military, economic, and cultural hegemon.
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‘Duterte’s critics are outdated ideologues, bigots and willfully misinformed useful idiots of the yellow agenda’

‘He embraces modern multipolarity with Filipino characteristics’

THE words in this column’s headline aren’t mine. They’re those of a Western analyst, Adam Garrie, who also writes for the Asia Times. That respected news website describes him as “a geopolitical expert with an emphasis on Eurasia, the director of Eurasia Future, and a frequent guest on “Digital Divides,” RT’s “CrossTalk” and Press TV’s “The Debate.”

I am republishing his article from the website Eurasia Future, as I agree with it totally, and especially because Garrie has enlightening insights that I didn’t have. His situating President Duterte’s administration in the perspective of global geopolitics, and its evolution towards multipolarity*, is very informative.

It is a must-read for every Filipino.

Garrie article starts here: 

(more…)

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‘The UN Human Rights Commissioner owes President Duterte a full apology’

THAT headline are not my words but those of Adam Garrie, an analyst and prolific writer in a piece in the news and opinion website “Eurasia Future.” Garrie is described there as “a global specialist with an emphasis on Eurasian integration, and his articles have been published in the Oriental Review, Asia Times, Global Research, RT’s Op-Edge, Global Village Space and others.”

Garrie does seem to be of the pro-Russia worldview. But as I have pointed out in my Facebook page and elsewhere, it is crucial for us to get out of the US and European worldview that has dominated our minds for the past century—which explains to some extent our country’s underdevelopment— or at least to balance it with other intellectual frameworks. Even many of our supposedly esteemed journalists, I’m convinced, have turned out to be brainwashed by American thinking, that several are now in US institutions as if they were born there.

In the following article, Garrie gives an analysis that I agree with totally.

I think he is more Filipino than the Yellow propagandists in this country who have been painting the country and its president black to please their American colleagues and masters.

Garrie’s article starts here:  (more…)

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Read more about the article Rappler is now a fake firm peddling fake news
AND THEN THERE WERE TWO: The only remaining board members, Ayala and Ressa.
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Rappler is now a fake firm peddling fake news

RAPPLER, Inc., massively funded by foreign entities, is now practically a fake corporation, peddling fake news about itself.

All but two of its seven board members in 2016 have abandoned it, with one, Glenda Gloria, on an academic fellowship in the US until September this year. That leaves it without a functioning board, and therefore according to our corporate laws, no longer a genuine corporation that can conduct business in the country as a “juridical person.”

Only its “chairman” Manny Ayala—who is also a director of the Energy Development Corp., owned by the Lopez clan that had been supporters of President Aquino—and its editor Maria Ressa remain to claim as its board members. The Corporation Code requires corporations to have a minimum five members in its board of directors.

In Rappler’s “About Us” section, it lists only its “2014-2016 Board of Directors.” Aside from Ayala, Ressa, and Gloria, they are: James Bitanga, Nix Nolledo, James Velasquez and Felicia Atienza.

The latter four directors though resigned from 2014 onwards, with Bitanga, who had also been its treasurer, the latest to leave the firm a few months ago.

Rappler is in effect peddling fake news about the composition of its board in its very website.

A Rappler post updated January 2018 reported that (more…)

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