Tag Archives: Philippine Daily Inquirer

[In the news] ‘DND misused relief fund’ -INQUIRER.net

‘DND misused relief fund’.

COA: Huge part spent for AFP oil, repairs, etc.
Marlon Ramos, Philippine Daily Inquirer
January 3, 2015

MANILA, Philippines–A “huge portion” of the P352.5 million in emergency funding of the Department of National Defense in 2013 had been misused by the military, which spent money meant to help victims of natural disasters to pay for its fuel consumption and repairs of its offices, state auditors have discovered.


According to the Commission on Audit (COA), P843.5 million in Quick Response Fund (QRF) of the DND had also remained unliquidated since 2012.

Answering the findings of the COA, the defense department maintained that the emergency fund was “utilized for the purpose it was released to DND.”

In its periodic audit, the COA found out that a number of projects under the DND’s emergency fund had yet to be completed by its attached units despite the release of the budget.

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[In the news] Aquino vows to step up fight against corruption -INQUIRER.net

Aquino vows to step up fight against corruption.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
April 21, 2014

President Aquino on Sunday vowed to step up his campaign against corruption in government for the remainder of his term.


In his Easter message, the President said the public should expect his administration to “further strengthen our institutions” during the last 26 months in office.

“There would be even more corrupt [officials] who would be held accountable,” he said in Filipino.

At the same time, he promised a more robust economy, more social services and eventually “improvement in the lives of Filipinos.”

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[In the news] Santiago sees Palace hand in Gigi’s return -INQUIRER.net

Santiago sees Palace hand in Gigi’s return.
By TJ A. Burgonio, Philippine Daily Inquirer
April 21, 2014

It’s not farfetched that the Aquino administration has convinced Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes to testify against Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile over the alleged P10-billion pork scam in exchange for her acquittal, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago said Sunday.


Santiago said it would be logical for President Aquino to order government officials to bring home eyewitnesses in the “galactic corruption” to pin down its brains.

The former trial judge said Enrile was the mastermind who convinced Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. to take part in the scam.

If reports were true that Enrile was unaware of the abrupt return of Reyes, his former chief of staff, this could mean that they had “broken up,” said Santiago, who has a running feud with the former Senate president.

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/595941/santiago-sees-palace-hand-in-gigis-return#ixzz2zXXCTfJg

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[In the news] Wheel of torture: 10 cops relieved -INQUIRER.net

Photo by CHRP, Extracted from PDI

Photo by CHRP, Extracted from PDI

Wheel of torture: 10 cops relieved
41 detainees maltreated at secret PNP facility
By Cynthia D. Balana, Philippine Daily Inquirer
January 29, 2014

MANILA, Philippines — Ten Philippine National Police officers have been sacked following revelations they played a so-called “wheel of torture” game at a secret detention facility to extract information from criminal suspects and also to have fun, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said on Tuesday.


The CHR is looking into the alleged maltreatment of up to 41 detainees in the PNP facility in Biñan, Laguna province, according to the commission.

Under the game, detainees—mostly suspected drug traffickers—were punched if the “torture wheel” stopped at “20 seconds Manny Pacman,” referring to a nickname of popular boxer Manny Pacquiao, or hung upside down if it stopped at a punishment called “30-second bat,” said Amnesty International, the London-based rights group. It called the practice despicable.

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Wheel of torture: 10 cops relieved

[Statement] Apathy and alibis -NUJP

Apathy and alibis

It says much when the president of a country that time and again boasts of being a democracy insists that one of, if not the, worst wave of media murders does not constitute a national catastrophe.


No, we don’t believe President Benigno Aquino III is in a state of denial about the three latest killings, which happened in all of two weeks’ time, bringing the death toll for media since he came to office in 2010 to at least 21.

We believe he is clearly aware of how serious the problem is. The problem is, he keeps on looking for excuses to play down what the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism has called the worst annual incidence rate under any president.

In short, he just doesn’t care.

In a meeting with Filipino journalists in Tokyo, Aquino, as reported in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, said he would not treat media killings as a national trend unless “somebody can say that there is some sort of an established policy to kill a journalist of this particular position, mentality.”

According to the PDI report, Aquino said a “’correlation’ must first be established: ‘What’s common among (the killings) besides (the reality) that somehow they are connected to media’.”

“’Now if you don’t identify the problem correctly, you will not come up with a solution. The point is … we are 95 million Filipinos. It’s difficult to see the intent, especially for those … some might really be wanton and merciless and totally wrong,’ he said.”

Evidently, Mr. Aquino has not been listening, if he ever did in the first place.

Mr. Aquino, in case you missed it, we have never claimed the murders of our colleagues were the result of any “established policy” unlike, say, the extrajudicial killings of activists, environmentalists, indigenous people and other dissenters that human rights experts both here and abroad have rightly linked to a murderous counterinsurgency program that deliberately targets members of legal organizations.

What we HAVE said is that these killings are the inevitable offshoot of governance by expediency, which has seen administration after administration, bar none, allowing the corrupt, the warlords, the crime lords to reign supreme in their respective personal fiefdoms in the regions and provinces in exchange for their support.

It is a system of governance that has allowed local tyrants to keep their populations cowed and silence any attempt to unmask them while the national government turns a blind eye for fear of losing their loyalty.

But of course, no self-respecting president, especially one who has staked his name on “tuwid na daan,” would ever admit to that.

Thus the search for alibis, like Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma’s describing some of the victims as “not legitimate” to justify describing the problem as “not so serious,” or the attempt by an investigator to explain the recent killings as the offshoot of the victims’ less than impeccable ethics.

Admittedly, Philippine media have their work cut out to improving ethical and professional standards. But before sanctimoniously dumping the blame on the individual practitioner, especially the grossly overworked and underpaid variety that populate our provinces, shouldn’t we look first to those who keep them so overworked and underpaid that not a few succumb to the blandishments of those would have the news slanted in their favor? And if corruption were to justify murder, shouldn’t we be wondering, given the surfeit of evidence, why our corridors of power continue to be populated by the foremost purveyors of graft and who, by all indications, are the most likely brains in the murders of our colleagues?

So there, Mr. Aquino, is the “correlation” you claim to seek, the problem identified to which you must now find a solution.

That is, if you even care a whit to.

For reference
Rowena Paraan

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[From the web] #ReliefPH: Victims of Typhoon Yolanda need your help BY RAPPLER.COM

#ReliefPH: Victims of Typhoon Yolanda need your help
November 10, 2013

(as of 4:06pm, Saturday, November 10, 2013)

Donors are advised to conduct due diligence before donating money directly to personal bank accounts. Ask the organization or individual receiving the deposit for an acknowledgement receipt and how they intend to spend the money.

For corrections or edits, please email: move.ph@rappler.com or make a comment in the comments page.



DSWD is accepting donations: NAIA Chapel Road, Pasay City (at the back of CAAP)
Roel Montesa – 09263469927, roelmontesa@gmail.com
Elma Pille – ecpille@dswd.gov.ph
Cash deposits accepted – DSWD Bank Acct. at Landbank of the Philippines Nos. 3122-1011-84 (current) and 3124-0055-81 (savings) Fe Catalina Ea – 09186281897
Repacking of relief goods ongoing at DSWD-NROC, Pasay City. Interested volunteers can call 8512681 to schedule.

World Vision, an international Christian humanitarian, development and relief organization is accepting donations for Typhoon Yolanda survivors. Donor hotline 372-7777 or visit their website

Operation Walang Iwanan – Gawad Kalinga

World Food Programme Philippines is accepting donations through their website

ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya pledge lines (02) 411-0183, 411-0182, 411-0115
Accepting relief goods and cash donations, with other drop-off points nationwide: Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro and Davao

The Philippine Red Cross provides many ways to donate. Hotline: 143 Trunkline: 5270000
You may also SMS donations by texting RED<space>AMOUNT to 2899(Globe) or 4143(Smart)

Cebu Provincial Government, is in need of volunteers to repack relief goods for Northern Cebu, Leyte, and Bohol. Contact Ms. Evelyn Senajon at 254-7198 and 254-8397, PSWDO, Ground Floor Executive Bldg., Cebu Provincial Capitol.

The Office of Senator Bam Aquino, Extension Room 23, 5/F Senate of the Philippines, GSIS Financial Complex, Pasay City, is accepting donations Monday to Thursday from 9am – 6pm. Contact Mr. Ares Goyena at (0917)621-6311.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer is accepting cash donations through the following accounts:
BPI – C/A 4951-0067-56
Account name – Philippine Daily Inquirer Inc.
Metrobank – C/A 7286-8109-30
Account name – Philippine Daily Inquirer Inc.
Contact Bianca Casilag or Connie Kalagayan at 897-8808 or 899-4426.

Read full post and complete list @www.rappler.com

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[From the web] A criminal love by Naomi Fontanos

A criminal love.
By Naomi Fontanos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
September 1, 2013


In Europe, adultery is no longer a crime. In the United States, around 30 states have abolished their adultery laws. In October 2012, the United Nations Working Group on discrimination against women in law and in practice issued a joint statement calling on governments of the world to repeal their adultery laws because they led to discrimination and violence against women. In spite of these, in August 2013, first-time lawmaker Edcel “Grex” Lagman filed House Bill No. 2352 to amend the provision on adultery under the Revised Penal Code. HB 2352 seeks to penalize married spouses who have sexual intercourse with same-sex partners.

My Husband’s Lover bill. HB 2352 is more popularly called My Husband’s Lover bill after the title of a primetime TV show that depicts what the proposed legislation wants to address. “My Husband’s Lover” is about the life of a woman, Lally, who is married to a man, Vincent, with whom she has children. Later, the show reveals that Vincent is still emotionally and physically attracted to an old lover, another man named Eric. The show has become hugely popular, prompting the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines to call for a morality check on the show. In defense, the show’s creators issued a statement saying that their program depicts “real-life situations.”

To be clear, marriage in the Philippines remains exclusively heterosexual. That is why HB 2352 surprised many in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. In media interviews, Lagman asks LGBT Filipinos to support HB 2352. After all, he said, the measure pushes for equal rights of LGBT people and is a step toward gender equality. In the bill’s explanatory note, he qualifies this support by saying: “Although I am open and supportive of gender equality, we must not limit its concept [to] the positive side of things. Just like in a marriage, equality should be present ‘for better or for worse.’ Meaning, equality must be upheld both in the rewards and as well as in the sanctions given by the society. If the LGBT group insists on equal rights, they must also be prepared to accept and carry the burden of equal liability and responsibility. That is the essence of democracy.”

In actuality, no national law has ever been enacted to specifically protect or promote the rights of LGBT Filipinos. In fact, since 1999, attempts to pass into law an Anti-Discrimination bill that would penalize discriminatory practices toward members of the LGBT community have been repeatedly thwarted in Congress. Through the years, documented cases have accumulated showing LGBT Filipinos at the receiving end of abusive and discriminatory treatment based on their sexual orientation and gender identity in their own homes and communities, workplaces, schools and in public and private institutions and establishments. Even in places where there are local ordinances meant to protect them, LGBT Filipinos continue to experience discrimination. Not surprisingly, many LGBT rights advocates have rejected HB 2352.

Legal stigmatization of gender and sexuality. HB 2352 comes on the heels of recently passed laws that rights advocates have opposed. To the dismay of many, the Philippine government under President Aquino has enacted several laws that stigmatize gender and sexuality.

In March 2012, Republic Act No. 10158, which seeks to decriminalize vagrancy, was signed into law. Many women’s rights organizations opposed RA 10158 because of its problematic definition of vagrancy. Under RA 10158, vagrants are only prostitutes and prostitutes are only women. In August 2012, the President approved RA 10172 which allows a change in the date of birth and gender in the birth certificate in case of clerical errors. The law explicitly states, however, that change in gender will not cover those who have undergone a “sex change or sex transplant.” Transgender rights advocates protested the inclusion of the phrase sex transplant in the wording of the law because it is a nonexistent medical procedure. Its inclusion violates rules of clarity and nonambiguity, to which legislation is expected to adhere, but to no avail. In September 2012, RA 10175, also known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, was signed into law. It has become one of the most unpopular pieces of legislation under the Aquino administration. RA 10175 criminalizes cybersex along with other online activities. The law has been assailed for its intent to curtail Internet freedom and its violation of people’s freedom of speech and expression. At least 15 petitions were filed at the Supreme Court, which has since issued a Temporary Restraining Order against RA 10175, suspending its implementation.

Lagman’s My Husband’s Lover bill, no doubt, has the potential to follow in the footsteps of these laws. It would be grossly ironic, given that the show after which it was named was presumably created to enlighten people about the real-life complexities of gender and sexuality. If passed into law, HB 2352 would be the first law in the Philippines to criminalize same-sex behavior. This would be unfortunate since the winds of change to abolish adultery in law books have already reached nearby countries. In Taiwan, women’s groups in March 2013 asked the government to abolish adultery from the Criminal Code because it is unfavorable to women. According to women’s rights advocates, Taiwan’s adultery law promotes legal discrimination and maintains pervasive gender inequality. HB 2352 would undoubtedly do the same.

This is a wake-up call then for advocates to bolster the fight for greater equality and genuine sexual and gender freedom in the Philippines.

Naomi Fontanos is a Filipino transgender rights advocate and cofounder of Gender and Development Advocates (Ganda) Filipinas, a Manila-based nonprofit committed to promote human rights in the context of development.

Read more: http://opinion.inquirer.net/60139/a-criminal-love#ixzz2dtdrtWpX

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Naomi Fontanos


GANDA Filipinas


Gender and Development Advocates (GANDA) Filipinas* is a non-profit, non-partisan, and non-government organization advocating gender equality for all Filipinos. It is led by transgender women in the Philippines. GANDA Filipinas believes that gender is at the heart and center of issues of development including access to education, economic justice, environmental justice, and sexuality and reproductive health rights—areas where transgender voices are usually left out and neglected. GANDA Filipinas upholds the view that transgender rights are human rights.

*Ganda is the Filipino word for “beauty” or “beautiful.” It is a generic term of endearment Filipinos use to warmly call transgender women. Filipinas is the Hispanicized name of the Philippines used by the organization to call attention to the historical fact that people who could be interpreted as transgender in the modern sense already existed even during pre-colonial times.

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[Blog] Ang pagbabawal sa paggamit ng mga plastic bag ni Gregorio V. Bituin Jr.

Ang pagbabawal sa paggamit ng mga plastic bag
ni Gregorio V. Bituin Jr.

ang pagbabawal sa plastic bag ni Greg Bituin


Nang dumaan ang maraming bagyo sa bansa, tulad ng Roming, Milenyo, Ondoy, Pedring, Quiel, Sendong, Maring, at iba pa, naalarma ang marami sa malawakang pagbaha. Bata pa ako, ang kalsadang España sa Maynila ay binabaha na. Hanggang ngayon, binabaha pa rin. Kahit sa Lungsod ng Baguio, na naroon sa napakataas na bundok sa lalawigan ng Benguet, ay binaha noong Agosto 2012 ng bagyong Helen. Napakataas na lugar ngunit binaha. Bakit? Isa sa nakitang dahilan nito ang basurang plastik na siyang bumara sa mga kanal sa City Camp Lagoon sa Lungsod ng Baguio kaya hindi agad nawala ang tubig-baha.

Sa nangyaring pagkabara ng mga daan ng tubig sa iba’t ibang lugar na binaha dulot ng malakas na ulan, nag-atas ang maraming lungsod at bayan na ipinagbabawal na ang itinuturing na dahilan ng pagbabara ng mga daanang tubig. Ito ang pagbabawal ng paggamit ng plastik sa kanilang mga lugar na nasasakupan. Nariyan ang Lungsod ng Makati at Quezon, ang bayan ng Calamba sa Laguna, sa Lungsod ng Cebu, at sa marami pang bahagi ng bansa. Gayunman, sa ulat ng GMA 7, may anim na lungsod ang hindi sang-ayon sa pagbabawal ng mga plastic bag, at ito’y ang mga lungsod ng Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, San Juan, Parañaque at Valenzuela. Sa anim na iyon, mapapayag man ang lima na ipagbawal ang plastik, hindi ito magagawa ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela dahil karamihan ng mga industriya ng plastik ay nasa lupaing nasasakop nila. Ayon sa mga datos ng City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) ng Valenzuela noong 2012, may 224 na kumpanya ng plastik at pagawaan ng goma sa lungsod. At ang mga kumpangyang ito ang mga malalaking nagbabayad ng buwis sa pamahalaang lungsod.

Gayunman, mas nakapokus ang kampanya laban sa mga bag na plastik, at hindi sa iba pang uri ng plastik. Ibig sabihin, ipinagbabawal na ang paggamit ng mga bag na plastik sa pamamalengke. Dapat mayroon nang dalang bayong o mga telang bag, kapalit ng plastic bag, ang mga mamimili.

Ayon sa grupong EcoWaste Coalition (Philippine Daily Inquirer, Hulyo 4, 2013), umaabot na sa siyamnapung (90) lungsod at bayan ang nagpasa ng ordinansa na nagbabawal o kaya’y nagsagawa na ng patakaran sa wastong paggamit ng mga bag na plastik. Madaragdagan pa ang bilang na ito bago matapos ang taon, ayon pa sa Ecowaste. Noong Hulyo 3, 2013, pinangunahan ng EcoWaste ang mahigit limangdaang (500) katao, na kinabibilangan ng mga estudyante, opisyal ng paaralan, mga opisyal ng samahan ng magulang at guro, mga beauty queens at mga makakalikasan upang gunitain ang ikaapat na “International Plastic Bag-Free Day” o “Pandaigdigang Araw na Walang Bag na Plastik”. Nanawagan din sila sa pambansang pamahalaan na magsagawa ng mga batas at patakarang nagbabawal sa mga bag na plastik sa buong bansa.

Nang magsimula ako sa kilusang makakalikasan, nakadaupang palad ko ang ilang mga taong naging bahagi ng pag-unlad ko sa gawaing makakalikasan. Isa ako sa naimbitahan noon sa bahay ni Odette Alcantara, noong nabubuhay pa siya, sa kanyang bahay sa Blue Ridge, kasama ang ilang dumadalo rin sa Kamayan Forum sa Edsa, at nakita ko kung paano ba pinagbubukod ang nabubulok sa hindi nabubulok. Ang mga nabubulok, tulad ng dahon, papel, at pagkain, ay ibinabaon nila sa lupa. Merong maliit na lote sa malapit sa kanila ang pinagbabaunan ng mga nabubulok. Iyon namang hindi nabubulok, tulad ng bote, lata, at plastik, ay ibinubukod at ibinebenta, ang lata ay pinipipi bago ibenta, at inihihiwalay ang plastik. Doon ko rin nalaman ang tungkol sa Linis Ganda, kung saan may mga kariton itong nangunguha ng mga hindi nabubulok upang magamit pang muli, o yaong tinatawag na resiklo.

Ngunit bakit nga ba sinisisi at itinuturong dahilan ang mga bag na plastik sa mga nangyayaring kalamidad, lalo na ang baha? Gayunman, pag nagbaha sa mga lungsod at bayan, hindi kaagad ang mga pagkakabara ng plastik ang sinisisi ng pamahalaan, kundi ang mga maralitang nakatira sa may tabing ilog, estero at ilalim ng tulay. Imbes na pagtuunan ang dahilan ng pagkabara ng mga daanang tubig na ito, agad sinisisi ang mga dukha at pinagbibintangang siyang nagtatapon ng mga basura, lalo na ng plastik, sa tubig. Kailangan nilang umalis sa lugar, kung hindi’y sapilitan silang idedemolis. Patunay dito ang planong paglilikas sa mga maralitang nakatira sa tabing-ilog, mula sa apat na malalaking ilog at apat na estero, ito ay ang mga ilog ng San Juan, Pasig, Tullahan, Manggahan floodway at mga esterong Maricaban, Tripa de Galina, Maypajo at Sunog Apog. Kung hindi kaya nakakababara ang plastik, sisisihin kaya ang maralita sa pagbaha? Sa bandang huli, plastik na ang sinisisi ng marami dahil sa baradong mga daluyan ng tubig, at binabarahan ito ng mga basurang plastik.

Bakit plastik? Dahil hindi ito nabubulok. Kaya pag nagbara sa kanal, sasaluhin nito ang mga tubig at pipigilan. Hindi tulad ng mga nabubulok tulad ng papel, karton, at dahon, na sa pagdaan ng panahon ay mabubulok na pag humalo sa lupa, ang plastik ay hindi nagbabago. Maaaring ito’y masira ngunit hindi ito nabubulok. Ngunit hindi lang simpleng plastik ang napapag-initan dito, kundi ang bag na plastik. Ito’y dahil ito ang pang-araw-araw na gamit ng tao na madaling itapon pag nagamit na. Ayon nga sa pahayag ni Gng. Sonia Mendoza, na namumuno sa Task Force on Plastics ng EcoWaste Coalition: “Plastic bags are the embodiment of an antiquated, throw-away mentality that we need to urgently address.” (Ang mga bag na plastik ang pinakadiwa ng isang pag-iisip na makaluma at ugaling tapon ng taon na kinakailangan nating tugunan agad.)

Throw-away mentality. Ugaling tapon ng tapon kahit saan. Ito ang dapat unawain at solusyunan. Tulad na lang ng simpleng pagtatapon ng balat ng kendi. Kukunin ang kendi, tatanggalin ang nakabalot na plastik sa kendi, isusubo, at itatapon na ang balat ng kendi kung saan-saan. Dahil marumi na raw iyon at basura na. Ngunit basura lang iyon pag naitapon, gayong pwede naman itong ibulsa muna. Bakit ibulsa? May dalawang bahagi ang biniling kendi. Ang laman at ang balat o ang balot na plastik. Hindi ito basura at hindi ito marumi. Bakit nang pinaghiwalay ang dalawa, isinubo ang laman, ay itinuring nang marumi ang balat kaya itinatapon na agad gayong nang may laman pa itong kendi ay hindi naman itinuturing na marumi? Dahil sa throw-away mentality. Yung wala nang pakinabang o wala nang silbi ay dapat nang itapon. Ang balat ng kendi, imbes na ibulsa muna dahil walang basurahang mapagtapunan, ay tinatapon na lang kung saan-saan dahil pinandidirihan na itong ibulsa. Pero ito’y sa usapin ng balat ng kendi pa lamang, at hindi pa sa plastic bag.

Sa mga malalaking tapunan ng basura, halimbawa, sa Payatas, kitang-kita ang napakaraming tambak ng basurang plastik. Sakali mang itapon ng wasto ang mga plastik, napakaraming taon ang bibilangin bago ito mabulok, kung mabubulok ito. Kung hindi naman ito maitatapon ng wasto, babara ang mga plastik na ito sa imburnal, kanal, at magpaparumi sa ilog, dagat, at iba pang daanan ng tubig, at nakakaapekto rin ng malaki sa tahanan ng mga hayop. Maaari ding akalaing pagkain ito ng mga hayop at isda sa dagat, na siyang ikamamatay ng mga ito. Ang matindi pa rito ay kung nagtatapon ng basurang nakabalot sa plastik, lalo na ng itim na garbage bags, sa dagat mula sa mga barko. Tiyak na apektado rito ang mga nabubuhay na mga isda’t iba pang hayop sa karagatan.
May mga balitang namatay ang isang balyena nang makakain ito ng isang plastik bag na puno ng basura. Dagdag pa rito, ang mga plastic bag ay nagmumukhang dikya o jelly fish na maaaring makain ng mga gutom na pagong at iba pang nabubuhay sa karagatan.

Ang mismong pagkakadeklara sa Hulyo 3 bilang “International Plastic Bag-Free Day” ay nagpapakitang matindi talaga ang negatibong epekto ng mga plastic bag sa ating kapaligiran. Kinakailangan pa ng deklaradong araw para lang sa kampanyang ito. Bakit pinag-initan ang bag na plastik at hindi ang iba pang klase ng plastik?

Alamin muna natin ang iba’t ibang klase ng plastik. Batay sa pananaliksik, may pitong klase ng plastik. Noong 1988, nagsagawa ng sistema ng pagklasikipa ng plastik ang Society of Plastic Industries (SPI) upang malaman ng mga bibili at ng mga magreresiklo nito ang iba’t ibang klase ng plastik. Ang mga kumpanyang gumagawa ng produktong plastik ay naglalagay ng kodang SPI, o numero, sa bawat produktong plastik, na karaniwang nakaukit sa ilalim ng produkto. Ito’y ang mga sumusunod:

1. Polyethylene terephtalate, o PETE. Ito ang uri ng plastik na ginagamit sa mga inuming nakalalasing, lalagyan ng medisina, lubid, hibla ng karpet at pananamit. Karaniwang nareresiklo ang mga bagay na yari sa ganitong uri ng plastik.

2. High-density polyethylene, o HDPE. Ito naman ang uri ng plastik na ginagamit na lalagyan ng langis sa makina, shampoo at kondisyuner, bote ng sabon, detergent at bleach. Karaniwan ding nareresiklo ang mga bagay na yari sa plastik na ito. Gayunman, hindi ito ligtas na gamiting muli ang mga boteng yari sa HDPE na lalagyan ng pagkain o inuman kung sa orihinal ay hindi ito ang gamit noon.

3. Polyvinyl chloride, o PVC (V). Ito ang ginagamit sa plastik na tubo, plastik na credit cards, frame ng bintana at pinto, gutter, mga produktong synthetic leather. Paminsan-minsan ay nareresiklo ito, ngunit ang ganitong uri ng plastik ay hindi ginagamit sa pagkain, dahil maaaring makasama sa katawan.

4. Low-density polyethylene (LDPE). Ito ang ginagamit sa mga plastik bag na pang-groseri, o yaong pambalot ng mga karne, isda, at gulay sa palengke, at plastik na pambalot ng tinapay sa panaderya. Paminsan-minsan ay nareresiklo ang mga ganitong plastik.

5. Polypropylene (PP). Matibay ang ganitong uri ng plastik at kayang tumagal sa mas mataas na temperatura. Ginagamit ito sa paggawa ng baunan ng pagkain (lunch box), lalagyan ng margarina, bote ng medisina at syrup, boteng pandede ng bata, istro, at mga plastik na tansan. Kadalasang nreresiklo rin ito.

6. Polystyrene, o iyong styrofoam (PS). Ito naman yung ginagamit sa pagkain, tulad ng plato, kutsara’t tinidor, at baso, plastik na lagayan ng itlog, mga tray sa fast foods. Karaniwan din itong nareresiklo, bagamat napakahirap.

7. At iba pang plastik (Other). Sa kategoryang ito pumapasok ang mga uri ng plastik na hindi nakapaloob sa naunang anim, at ito ang mga bagay na napapalamnan ng plastik na naimbento makaraan ang 1987. Sa kategoryang ito nakapaloob ang polycarbonate at polylactide. Kasama sa mga produkto nito ang mga sports equipment, mga gamit pang-medikal at dental, CD, DVD, at kahit na yaong mga iPods.

Sa mga klaseng ito, bagamat lahat ay maaaring makabara sa kanal, ang karaniwang itinatapon bilang basurang nakakabara sa kanal ay yaong plastik bag at mga pambalot ng bigas, karne, isda’t gulay sa palengke. Ang plastik na ito ang pinakapopular sa halos lahat ng uri ng tao, bata’t matanda, dukha’y mayaman, babae’t lalaki. Nakita ko mismo ang dami ng plastik na ito na nagkalat mismo sa gitna ng dagat. Grabe.

Noong Agosto 16, 2006 ay nakasama ako sa isang aktibidad ng SALIKA (Saniblakas ng Inang Kalikasan) at EcoWaste Coalition sa Roxas Blvd. sa Maynila, kung saan nagtanggal kami ng mga plastik na basura sa dagat, at pinaghiwa-hiwalay ang mga ito batay sa uri ng plastik. Pawang nakuha namin dito ay mga plastik na kabilang sa ikaapat na klase, o iyung LDPE (Low-density polyethylene). Pawang mga gamit sa pang-araw-araw ng tao. Bandang hapon ng araw ding iyon, sumakay kami sa nakahimpil na barko ng Greenpeace, ang MV Esperanza, sa daungan ng Maynila. Mula sa barko, nakita namin ang napakaraming basurang plastik na naglulutangan sa dagat. Naisip ko tuloy, napakaliit na bagay lang ang ginawa namin, ngunit kung laging gagawin araw-araw ay malaki na ang mababawas. Ngunit ang problema, patuloy namang nagtatapon ng basura at dumarami pa sa dagat, kaya paano ito mauubos. Habang nagbabawas ka ng paunti-unti, malaki naman ang nadaragdag na basurang plastik sa dagat.

Ipinagbawal din ang pagsusunog ng basura, dahil masama sa katawan ng tao ang amoy ng nasusunog na plastik. Sa mga bakuran o tarangkahan ng mga bahay-bahay, lalo na sa mga lalawigan, ay mahilig magsunog ng basura. Iipunin ang mga dahon-dahon at sisigaan tabi ng isang puno upang maalis umano ang mga peste at gumanda, lumago at mamunga ang puno. Ang problema ay kung may nasasamang plastik sa nasusunog na basura. Karamihan ng basura sa mga bahay-bahay ngayon ay napakaraming plastik at may mga papel na dumaan sa kemikal. Pag sinunog ito, nagiging polusyon ito sa hangin at madaling masinghot. Ang mga abo naman nito ay maaaring hanginin o kaya’y mahalo sa tubig sa ilalim ng lupa. May ibinubugang lason ang pagsusunog ng basura, lalo na’t may plastik. Nariyan ang dioxin na nagdudulot ng kanser, at nagpapahina ng immune system, dahil na rin sa pagkasunog ng mga basurang may halong PVC. Nariyan din ang nitrogen oxides at sulfur oxides na nagdudulot ng sakit sa baga, sa respirasyon, at sa central nervous system. Nilalason din nito ang mga lupa at tubig na dulot ng asidong ulan. Imbes magsunog ng basura, paghiwalayin ang nabubulok sa hindi nabubulok. Ibaon sa lupa ang mga nabubulok, at iresiklo ang mga hindi nabubulok.

Matagal na nating kasama ang plastic bag, ngunit paano ba ang dapat nating gawin? Bukod sa pagbabawal sa paggamit ng mga bag na plastik sa iba’t ibang lungsod at bayan, ano pa ang ginagawang inisyatiba ng pamahalaan at ng ating mga kababayan?

Marami nang nangangampanya laban sa plastic bag sa iba’t ibang panig ng mundo. Nariyan din ang “Ban the Bag! – A campaign to end single use plastic bags in Portland” sa facebook. Nariyan din ang Ban the Bag Alliance sa Australia, http://www.banthebag.com.au. Ayon sa pahayagang Jordan Times, “UNESCO launches campaign against plastic bags”, ibig sabihin, kahit ang isang sangay ng United Nations, ay nangangampanya na rin laban sa paggamit ng mga plastik bag. Anupa’t sadyang pandaigdigan ang kampanyang ito. Sa Jakarta Post naman, ibinalita nitong may 150 boluntaryo sa Aceh ang nangangampanya sa mga Indones na bawasan na ang paggamit ng mga plastic bag upang mabawasan ang mga basurang plastik, at isa sa kanilang mga aksyon ay ang pagpapalit ng sampung plastic bag kapalit ng isang telang grocery bag. Sa ating bansa naman ay nariyan ang EcoWaste Coalition, Green Convergence, at iba pang grupo na ayaw sa plastik. Kailangan nating magpakatotoo sa kampanyang ito, dahil kung hindi, matuturing lang tayong plastik.

May iba’t ibang bansa na ang nagpasa ng batas sa kanilang bansa na nagbabawal sa mga plastic bag. Nariyan ang The Punjab Plastic Bags Control Act sa bansang India. Sa bansang Tasmania ay nariyan ang “Plastic Shopping Bags Ban Bill 2013. Sa ating bansa, nariyan ang panukalang batas sa Senado, ang Senate Bill 2759, na pinamagatang “Total Plastic Bag Ban Act of 2011” o AN ACT PROHIBITING THE USE OF PLASTIC BAGS IN GROCERIES, RESTAURANTS, AND OTHER ESTABLISHMENTS, AND PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS THEREOF.

Mabubuod sa Seksyon 3 ang pangunahing nilalaman ng panukalang batas na ito: “Sec. 3. Prohibition. – Groceries, supermarkets, public markets, restaurants, fast food chains, department stores, retail stores and other similar establishments are hereby prohibited from.using non-biodegradable plastic bags. All aforementioned establishments shall only provide recyclable paper bags and/ or biodegradable plastic bags to its customers.”

Sa Mababang Kapulungan naman ng Kongreso, inaprubahan ng mga mambabatas ang House Bill 4840 o The Plastic Bag Regulation Act of 2011. Pinapatakaran ng nasabing panukalang batas ang wastong paggamit ng mga plastic bag, at paglikha ng isang “plastic bag recovery system”. Ayon kay Rep. Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro), isa sa may-akda ng panukalang batas, “The State must ensure that contaminants to the environment, such as plastic and plastic bags, be prevented from being introduced into the ecosystem.” Inirerekomenda sa HB 4840 ang pag-alis (phase out) sa mga di-nabubulok na plastic bag sa loob ng tatlong taon matapos itong maisabatas.

Sabi naman ni Rep. Aurelio Gonzales (3rd District, Pampanga), na isa rin sa may-akda ng panukala, “The phase-out of plastic bags is a practical contribution to the collective efforts of solving the country’s environmental problems.” (Ang pag-alis sa mga bag na plastik ay isang praktikal na ambag sa kolektibong pagsisikap na maresolba ang mga problemang pangkapaligiran ng bansa.) Ayon naman sa prinsipal na may-akda ng panukala na si Rep. Oscar Malapitan (1st District, Caloocan City), “the recovery system will lead citizens to exert effort and give their due share in protecting the environment by bringing used plastic bags to stores and commercial establishments which in turn shall provide the logistics for recovery of these plastic shopping bags.”

Hindi pa mga ganap na batas ang mga ito. Kaya bilang simpleng mamamayan, paano tayo tutulong sa kampanyang ito? Unang-una na, sa pamamagitan ng leadership by example, dapat makita mismo sa atin na hindi na tayo gumagamit ng plastic bag, sanayin natin ang ating sarili at pamilya na sa araw at gabi ay walang mga plastic bag sa ating tahanan at pinagtatrabahuhan, at pawang mga biodegradable bag na lang ang ating gagamitin. Ibig sabihin, may mga bag na tela na maaari nating dalhin. Hindi ito kagaya ng mga plastic bag na hindi naman natin nakasanayang iresiklo. Ikalawa, ikampanyang maisabatas ang mga batas na nagbabawal ng plastik. Ikatlo, libutin natin ang mga eskwelahan at mga pagawaan upang magbigay ng edukasyon laban sa paggamit ng mga plastic bags. Ikaapat, nasasa inyo ang desisyon, mga kaibigan, upang makapag-ambag sa pagresolba ng isang malawakang problema.

Marami pa tayong magagawa upang mabawasan ang paggamit ng mga plastic bag, at sa kalaunan ay tuluyan nang mawala ang mga ito. Mangyayari lang ito kung seryoso tayong kikilos upang maisakatuparan ang lahat ng mga adhikaing ito para sa kinabukasan natin at ng mga susunod pang henerasyon.

Mga pinaghalawan:


’Plastic ban Saturday’ ordinance takes effect this week

Environmentalists seek nationwide plastic ban


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[Statement] Isang Bukas na Liham para sa Lahat ng mga Mamamayang-Pilipino by Mario De Vega

Pahayag: Isang Bukas na Liham para sa Lahat ng mga Mamamayang-Pilipino

Ika-19, ng Agosto 2013 (Anibersaryo ng kapanganakan ng dating Pangulong Quezon)

Mario De Vega

Mahal kong mga Kababayan,

Nananawagan po ng pagkakaisang-loob ang munting liham na ito para sa ating lahat na mga tunay na mga anak ng bayan at sa buong mamamayang Pilipino hinggil po sa napakalaking isyu’t suliranin na kasalukuyang kinakaharap ng ating bansa.

Muli po tayong nahaharap sa isa na namang pagsubok na muli pong susukat sa ating lahat, hindi lamang po bilang mga Pilipino, kundi bilang mamamayan din ng daigdig!

Batid ko pong hindi lingid sa inyong kaalaman na ang tinutuloy ko pong problema ay ang malawakang nakawan, lantarang pandarambong, walang habas na paglaspag at sistematikong pagnananaw ng pondo at kaban ng bayan.

Ito po ang nakalaking problema hinggil po sa usapin ukol sa Pork Barrel, na sa akin pong paningin ay siyang isa sa ugat ng mga problemang tinukoy ko sa itaas.

Sa punto pong ito ay ibig kong kilalanin ang ambag ni dating senador Lacson hinggil sa usaping ito. Mula’t mula pa noon ay tutol na siya sa ‘prinsipyo’ at lalo na sa implementasyon ng Pork Barrel.

Lubha po akong sumasang-ayon sa senador na ang pork barrel ay isa sa ugat ng malalang korapsyon sa bansa!

Ngayon po, dahil sa masigasig na pagtugaygay ng mga kapatid natin sa midya at mga independienteng mga manunulat at mananaliksik ay unti-unti na po nating natutunghayan at nakikita ang kahindik-hindik, karimarimarim at lantarang kalapastangang gawa ng usaping ito sa buong bansa.

Ibig ko pong magpugay sa pahayagang Philippine Daily Inquirer na kauna-unahang dyaryo na naglunsad ng sunod-sunod na pagsisiwalat at masinop na pagbubulgar ng delubyong ito.

Sadya po talagang nakagigimbal ang kalunos-lunos na katotohanang ito na nakalulungkot man pong sabihin ay batid na din natin noon pa! Ngunit ngayon lamang po natin sadyang nalaman o unti-unting nababatid sa kabuuan ang lalim at lawak ng pinsalang dulot ng anomalya at korapsyong ito!

Isa pa po sa lalong nakapanlulumong impormasyon ang hindi mapapasubaliang katotohanan na hindi lamang po si manunubang Napoles (at kapatid niya) ang damay dito, ngunit lumalabas na kabahagi, katuwang at kasapakat din niya ang ilan (hindi pa po natin batid ang eksaktong bilang) ng ating mga Tongresmen, Senadogs, mga peke at di umiiral na NGOs diumano at gayundin ang ilang mga prayle.

Kasumpa-sumpa po ang mga hayop na mga baboy na ito sa kanilang gawi, kalabisan ng sabihin na sila po ay talagang mga masasamang-loob, walang mga kaluluwa at itim ang mga buto!

Sa turan nga po ng isang senadora: MGA BABOY TALAGA!

Hayaan po ninyong sipiin ko ang ilang mga pananalita mula sa isang talumpati ni senadora Miriam Defensor Santiago:

“If I die, it will not be because of my blood pressure but because of my enemies. Biro mo sa diyaryo, 5 senator ang kasangkot, persons of interest, sa isang P10 billion scam. Billion, hindi million, B as in baboy talaga…”

Kasunod po nito ay nanawagan din ang senadora sa kanya niya mambabatas na sangkot sa eskandalong ito na magsumite muna ng “leave of absence” hindi bilang pagtanggap nila ng kasalanan, kundi kanilang kortesiya sa publiko at mamamayang-Pilipino ng sa gayon ay maging daan ito upang makausad ng maayos ang proseso ng imbestigasyon at mabilis na mahalukay ang buong pangyayari ng sa gayon, kung magkagayon nga ay lumabas ang buong katotohanan.

Nanawagan din po ang senadora sa kanyang mga kasama na nasasangkot sa usaping ito na magsabi ng buong katotohanan sa taong-bayan. Ito ay sa kabila ng kanilang kabatiran na marami sa ating mga kababayan ang naghihirap at naghihikahos sa buhay!

Paano nila nagagawa o masisikmura ang bagay na ito?

Ayon pa sa Senadora:

“Naghahanapbuhay ang ibang tao, umulan, uminit, lalabas ka. Pag-uwi mo, dadaan ka pa sa battlezone, the classic problem in Metro Manila (traffic). Nakikipag-away ka. Kung ikaw naman housewife, mamalengke ka, halos lahat ng bilihin tumataas, wala kang magagawa. What do you have to say about this, niloloko tayo ng mga ito ah!”

Kalabisan ng sabihin, ngunit sang-ayon din ako sa maanghang na salitang binitiwan ng senadora na:

“I wanted to nuke the entire Senate building. That banner story is supported by affidavit, statements under oath. There is prima facie evidence against the senators. Prima facie means on the face. Mukha pa lang, makapal na.”

Mga kababayan, hindi po natin malulunasan ang suliraning ito sa pamamagitan lamang ng pagmura at pagtungayaw sa mga mga dayukdok at satanistang mga nilalang na kasangkot sa kababuyang ito!

Nutnutan na po ang kapal ng kanilang mga pagmumukha at sagad na po sa tigas ang kanilang mga apog!
Wala po silang konsepto ng dignidad o etika o konsiyensiya o moralidad o delicadeza o dangal! Sila po ay mga talipandas at mga animales na mas masahol pa sa pinakamaruming hayop!

Panahon na po na sila ay itakwil sa publiko at papanagutin sa kanilang karumal-dumal na krimen sa taong-bayan!

Kung kaya po, sumasang-ayon ako sa posisyon noon pa man ni senador Lacson na buwagin o ibasura na natin ang sistema ng Pork Barrel.

Inaanyayahan ko po ang ating mga kababayan na tunghayan po ninyo ang privileged speech ng nasabing senador na may titulong “Living without Pork”, na kanya pong binasa’t ipinahayag sa kapulungan ng Senado noong ika-11, ng Marso taong 2003.

Ako po ay umaayon din sa panukala, suhestiyon at payo ni senadora Santiago kay Pangulong Aquino na magtalaga ng mga retiradong Mahistrado ng Kataas-taasang Hukuman (Korte Suprema) tulad nila Mahistrado Amorfina Herrera at Flerida Ruth Romero na mga taong marangal at hindi makukuwestiyon o mapapasubalian ang karakter, pagkatao at integridad na tatayo at gagampan bilang mga ispesyal na taga-usig (special prosecutor) upang mag-imbestiga at mangalap ng mga ebidensya, testimonya at lahat ng dokumento na konektado sa usaping ito.

Ang ispesyal na lupon din po ng mga taga-usig na ito ay nararapat lamang na bigyan ng malawak na kapangyarihan at diskresyon upang magawa ang kanilang tungkulin. Kasabay nito, umaasa din tayo na sa lalong madaling panahon ay makapagsumite ng resolusyon at mga rekomendasyon ang nasabing lupon.
Ibig ko lamang din pong susugan o dagdagan ang mungkahi. Magalang ko pong ipinapayo na kung maaari ay gawing kasapi din ng lupon na ito ang Kalihim ng Katarungan.

Naniniwala din ako sa integridad, katapangan, kahusayan at kabutihang-loob ni Kalihim De Lima.
Karapat- dapat mong ang mga mararangal at mabubuting taong gaya nila ang umupo sa ahensyang itatayo o ilulunsad upang siyasatin at imbestigahan ang buong isyu at eskandalong ito!

Hamon sa Pangulong Aquino

Ginoong Pnoy, inihalal po kayo ng malaking bahagi ng ating mga kababayan sa ilalim ng inyong programa o plataporma na “daang matuwid”. Ngayon po ay nahaharap sa sangandaan ang ating bansa. Hinahamon ko po kayo, sa ngalan ng ating mga kababayan na patunayan po ninyo ang katotohanan at katwiran ng sinasabi ninyong “tuwid na landas” ng pamamahala. Patunayan po ninyo na hindi baliko o baluktot ang nasabing landasin! Patunayan po ninyo na hindi baku-bako o lubog sa baha ang tuwina’y tinuturan ninyong daan!

Magalang ko pong iminumungkahi na malalim po ninyong pag-aralan ang pagbuwag at tuluyang pagbasura sa pork barrel.

Kasabay po nito, huwag mo ninyong patawarin at palagpasin ang kababuyan at kalapastanganang ginawa; ito ay masakit man pong sabihin ay ginawa pa ng mga mambabatas na sa halip na silang unang tumalima at sumunod sa batas ay sila pang promotor at numero unong sumansala, bumaboy at yumurak di lamang po sa ating mga batas, kundi po sa karapatan at kagalingan ng lahat ng mga Pilipino. Binaboy din po ng mga hayop at talipandas na mga ito ang ating imahe at dangal sa paningin ng pandaigdigang komunidad!

Wala pong kapatawaran ang kanilang mga kahayupan at kababuyan!

Tulad nga po ng tanong ninyo noong inyong nakaraang SONA: “Saan po kayo kumukuha ng kapal ng mukha?”

Mahal na pangulo, pakitanong po itong muli sa harap ng kanilang mga pagmumukha!

Gamitin po ninyo ng maayos, noble at risonable ang lahat ng kapangyarihang ipinagkaloob sa inyo ng ating Saligang-Batas, upang maituwid ang karimarimarim na kawalanghiyaang ito!

Gamitin din po ninyo ng mahinusay, marangal at kaaya-aya ang lahat ng kapangyarihan ng ating pamahalaan at lahat ng mga institusyon nito upang habulin, papanagutin at pagbayarin sa harap ng batas at dalhin sa talampakan ng Hustisya ang mga salarin, halimaw, demonyo at mga dayukdok na ito!

Huwag po kayong matakot na gawin ang nararapat at makatwiran! Huwag po kayong mag-agam-agam o mag-atubili! Huwag po ninyong isipin ang kanilang magiging kontra-atake; kasama po ninyo kami, mahal na pangulo sa krusada at pakikibakang ito! Patunayan din po sana ninyo na kasama nga naming kayo!

Muli, sa ating pong mga Kababayan,


Huwag po nating kalimutan na ang “payapang pampang ay para lamang sa mga pangahas na sasagupa sa alimpuyo ng alon sa panahon ng unos”.

Ibig po natin ng pagbabago, kailangan po nating kumilos upang magkaroon ng pagbabago! Sa atin pong mga sama-samang hakbangin at kolektibong pagkilos magmumula at bubukal ang pagbabago at transpormasyon ng ating lipunan!

Hindi po lahat ng panahon ay panahon ng pananahimik, sapagkat lahat po ng panahon ay panahon dapat ng pagpapasya! Hinihimok ko kayong lahat na gampanan ninyo ang inyong mga tungkulin, hindi lamang bilang mga mamamayan ng bayang ito, kundi higit pa, bilang mga mabubuti at mararangal na tao: lumahok at lumabas po tayong lahat sa ika-26 ng Agosto!

Magkaisa po tayo’t magbuklod, samahan at damayan po natin ang isa’t-isa upang muli nating ipakita sa pamahalaang na nasa atin ang Kapangyarihan! Na Tayo ang Lakas, na Tayo ang Lahat!

Panahon nang itakwil at ibasura ang Pork Barrel!

Sa lahat ng mga Baboy, Demonyo at Buwaya sa pamahalaan:





Muli po, mga minamahal kong kababayan, panahon ng itakwil ang kababuyang ito at papanagutin ang lahat ng mga baboy na bumaboy sa pondo at kaban ng ating bayan!

Sa Agosto bente sais (26), Anibersaryo ng ating Dakila at Magiting na Rebolusyong-Pilipino ng 1896, magsama-sama po tayo’t magkaisa; muli po nating ipakita di lamang sa manhid na pamahalaang ito at higit sa lahat sa buong mundo na nasa atin ang Kapangyarihan, na Tayo ang Lakas, na Tayo Mismo ang Lakas!


Magalang pong sumasainyong lahat,

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Lekturer ng Pilosopiya
Kolehiyo ng Sining at Agham-Panlipunan
Politeknikong Unibersidad ng Pilipinas

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[In the news] Aquino signs law to modernize prisons, professionalize corrections personnel -INQUIRER.net

Aquino signs law to modernize prisons, professionalize corrections personnel.

By Christine O. Avendaño, Philippine Daily Inquirer

May 28, 2013


MANILA, Philippines — The government is now in position to institute reforms and better conditions in the country’s prisons now that President Benigno Aquino has signed a law that will modernize the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), according to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

The reforms will include hiring more personnel to guard the country’s prisoners now numbering 37,232.

De Lima said President Aquino signed last May 24 Republic Act no. 10575 or the Bureau of Corrections Act of 2013, a law designed to enable government to upgrade prison facilities, professionalize the bureau and increase the salary and benefits of its personnel.

“With the new law, we can now improve prison facilities, recruit more corrections officers, and implement more responsive reformation programs for inmates,” said De Lima, whose office released a copy of the new law to reporters.

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[In the news] 78 massacre suspects face charges over 58th victim -INQUIRER.net

78 massacre suspects face charges over 58th victim.
By Julie M. Aurelio, Philippine Daily Inquirer
May 26, 2013


A Quezon City court hearing the 2009 Maguindanao massacre case has ordered the arraignment of 78 suspects for the 58th murder case filed recently on behalf of a slain photojournalist whose remains were never recovered.

Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of QC Regional Trial Court Branch 221 ruled that there was probable cause to continue with the case for the murder of photojournalist Reynaldo “Bebot” Momay.

The court set the arraignment of Andal Ampatuan Sr., former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan, and 76 others on Wednesday at the Quezon City Jail Annex in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.

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[In the news] Audit of Hacienda Luisita firm runs late -INQUIRER.net

Audit of Hacienda Luisita firm runs late
Philippine Daily Inquirer
May 20, 2013


CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—A leader of a farmers’ group has accused the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) of sabotaging the audit ordered by the Supreme Court (SC) on the financial status of Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) after the process was delayed by more than a year.

The high court had directed the DAR to determine whether HLI has P1.3 billion to pay the more than 6,000 beneficiaries of agrarian reform in the sugar estate owned by the family of President Aquino in Tarlac.

Lito Bais, chair of the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura and one of those who made it to the final list of beneficiaries in March, said the DAR has been insisting that HLI is a party to the selection of the auditing firm.

“HLI was not even present in the May 17 meeting and in effect, the DAR became its spokesperson and defender,” Bais said in a statement. Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes said the agency has been following the high court’s directive.

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[In the news] Election 2013: The revenge of the excluded -INQUIRER.net

Election 2013: The revenge of the excluded
By Amando Doronila, Philippine Daily Inquirer
May 13, 2013

inquirerThirty-seven million Filipinos go to the polls today in a midterm election which President Aquino considers a referendum on his three years in office.

More than 50 percent of the registered voters are under 44 years of age. According to the voters’ profile based on a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, of the 45.5 million registered voters, those 18 to 24 years of age numbered 4.91 million (10.8 percent); 25 to 34 years old, 11.92 million (26.2 percent); 35 to 45 years old, 9.37 million (20.6 percent).

Whether this new generation of young voters will respond to the President’s call to give his administration’s Team PNoy senatorial lineup a 12-0 sweep of the Senate is far from certain.
In an election eve radio message to the nation, the President, through a Palace spokesperson, appeared almost pleading.

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[In the news] Votes for sale: From P100 to P3,500 per person -INQUIRER.net

Votes for sale: From P100 to P3,500 per person
By Philip C. Tubeza, Philippine Daily Inquirer
May 11, 2013

inquirerHow much is a Filipino’s vote worth these days?

According to the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel), candidates are offering up to P3,500 for a single vote in Ilocos Norte, P3,000 in neighboring Ilocos Sur, P2,000 in Zamboanga Sibugay, and P100 in Tawi-Tawi.

In a letter sent to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday, Namfrel chair Corazon de la Paz-Bernardo said reports from the group’s volunteers showed that vote-buying—either with cash, groceries, and even farm implements—is expected to intensify as Election Day nears, with some candidates even resorting to “bidding” to corner votes.

Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr.’s advice to voters: Take the money and junk the candidates.

“Take it but junk those who give you money. That’s the only way to do it so that the next time these people will not give away money because they know they will lose,” Brillantes said in an interview on Friday.
The Comelec tried to fight vote-buying by prohibiting bank withdrawals in excess of P100,000 and carrying cash worth more than P500,000, but President Benigno Aquino III rejected the strategy on Thursday, saying it was bad for the economy, and the Supreme Court, acting on a petition brought by bankers, stopped it on Friday and called for oral arguments.

Brillantes said vote-buying had become more rampant because politicians had fewer means to “manipulate” the vote after the automation of elections in 2010.
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[In the news] Envoys to visit Filipino victims of alleged human trafficking in US -INQUIRER.net

Envoys to visit Filipino victims of alleged human trafficking in US
Philippine Daily Inquirer
May 5, 2013

inquirerMANILA, Philippines—Philippine officials in the United States will visit this week the two Filipino women rescued from a Saudi diplomat’s house in Virginia in a suspected human trafficking case, the Philippine embassy in Washington D.C. said on Saturday.

In a statement to the Inquirer, the embassy said Consul General Ariel Peñaranda asked the “US agencies concerned” on Friday (Saturday in Manila) to allow a consular visit to the rescued women.

“US authorities immediately acted on the request and arrangements are being made to allow Consul General Peñaranda, labor attaché Luzviminda Padilla and welfare officer Saul de Vries to visit the two Filipinos on Monday,” said the embassy statement.

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[In the news] Rights body hails CA ruling AFP behind Burgos abduction -INQUIRER.net

Rights body hails CA ruling AFP behind Burgos abduction
By Gil C. Cabacungan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
March 28, 2013

inquirerThe Court of Appeals (CA) ruling declaring the Armed Forces of the Philippines and not Leftist rebels was directly responsible for the “enforced disappearance” of journalist and activist Jonas Burgos is being hailed as a “concrete, positive step” towards getting to the bottom of the climate of impunity which gripped the Arroyo administration.

Commission on Human Rights Chair Loretta Ann P. Rosales on Wednesday bared the March 18 decision of the Court of Appeals on the petition for habeas corpus filed by Burgos’ mother, Edita, against the AFP and its officers led by former Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon which she said reinforced the perception of a military cover-up of the abduction.

In a statement, Rosales said the CA decision recognized the abduction of Jonas Burgos as an enforced disappearance case covered by the rule on the writ of amparo. “The decision is noteworthy because it categorically declares the AFP, as an institution, directly accountable for the enforced disappearance of Jonas Burgos. This conclusion effectively discredits the theory propounded by the Armed Forces that Jonas was the victim of an internal CPP-NPA plot,” said Rosales.

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[Blog] Kristel and the UP Dream by Jose Mario De Vega

Kristel and the UP Dream

by Jose Mario De Vega

Mario De VegaThis paper is a continuation of my article, “Self-Destruction: The Question of Suicide and the Tendency to Harm Oneself (GetRealPhilippines.COM and Blog Watch Citizen Media, March 19 and the Human Rights Online Philippines).

Last Wednesday, a freshman student from the University of the Philippines-Manila ended her life, two days after “she was forced to put her studies on hold because she could not pay the tuition”.

Her tragic death stirred the whole nation. In fact, the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s headline for March 19th is titled “Coed suicide sparks soul-searching at UP”.

The pertinent facts of this horrendously sad case are not in dispute, as reported by Dona Z. Pazzibugan (PDI, Metro, March 16th):

“Kristel Pilar Mariz Tejada, a 16-year-old Behavioral Sciences student, was found dead in her house in Tayuman, Manila, before dawn Friday. She reportedly drank a sliver cleaning solution.”

According to UP Manila’s student publication, Manila Collegian, “Tejada was forced on Wednesday to file a leave of absence for the second semester of school year 2012 – 2013, despite her and her parent’s appeals to extend the payment period for her tuition loan”.

I concur with the said student publication that Kristel’s “desperation over her financial problems with forced her to defer her studies was believed to have triggered the suicide”.

To those morons who, tries to evade the issue and divert the truth by claiming that suicide is a “complex phenomenon” miserably failed to realize that a person more often than not decides to do the act only after they reached their limits.

Those idiots cannot hide the irrefutable fact neither can they wash their dirty hands.

The blood of this young girl is on their hands! Shame on all of them!

Kristel’s act of filing the forced leave of absence on the ground of late payment, despite the repeated request of her family to the authorities of UP Manila is the last straw that broke the camel’s back.

According to the elder Tejada:

Vice Chancellor, you know how we asked for your help and humbled ourselves before you”.

The family begged and beseech repeatedly before the big dogs of the university, but sadly all their pleas and lamentations fell on deaf ears.

There is nothing complex there. Only an idiot will fail to see the truth behind the sequence of events.

It is my firm and fervent view, sad but true, that it was the unjust policy of the University of the Philippines-Manila and the seeming ruthlessness and cold-heartedness of the officials of the said school that served as the decisive triggering factor that finally drove Kristel to kill herself. Shame on them!

Suicide is not the answer, they say! However, if I may inquire: but what is the question?

To those critics who questioned the propriety of Kristel’s action, let me state that we owe ourselves! Our bodies, our souls and our minds belong to us. Only the person knows what he/she is going through.

At the end of the day, society as a whole cannot fathom what’s going on inside the head of an individual, nor has it the power to check the feelings and agony suffered by a lonely heart.

Every individual is unique and special, every soul has its own mind and feelings, which society can never ever fully conquer nor decipher.

We may never understand the prevailing thoughts that animates the mind of a desperate heart that led an individual to do such a drastic act, yet instead of condemning the said person, it would be better if we will pause and reflect on the whole episode!

Why a lonely soul decided to end her life?

To those idiots who condemn and ridicule those people who committed suicide; let me state that:

We are not the same entities. We must celebrate and respect our differences. We are all special and unique in our own ways.

I may not agree to the grim decision undertaken by Kristel to end her life; for purposes, it seems to me of ending her suffering, yet it is my ardent contention that I do not have the moral right to condemn her action!

She acted on her own will, albeit forced by extreme desperation (notably both moral and financial) and compelled by the ruthless and heartless policy (no late payment/forced leave of absence) of the supposedly humane and activistic institution that she is studying.

It may not be the right thing to do before the eyes of some creatures, yet our poor girl saw it the other way!
Rather than condemning or criticizing this unfortunate soul, let us collectively ask ourselves: what led Kristel (and other people like her) to choose that decision? What compelled them to do what they have done?

Did we as a community also failed them? During those hard and turbulent moments that they are suffering, are we there for them?
Instead of criticizing Kristel, why don’t we condemn as a whole the unjust society and the inhumane institution that forced her to end her life?

It is on that great sense that we are all guilty of her untimely and gruesome death!


There are no special words that I could say to comfort the grieving parents of Kristel, especially her valiant father. I feel their personal lost tremendously, but suffice it to say that she did not die in vain nor was her sacrifice wasted.

There is no iota of doubt whatsoever in my mind that due to the tragic and horrendous thing that happened to her, a lot of our people have been awakened!

Indeed, Kristel’s shocking death has definitely grabbed the attention of the whole nation and put into the forefront the sorry plight of our entire rubbish educational system.

Now, more than ever, the public has finally realized the brutal truth of what the student activists has been shouting and screaming in the streets of Manila all through these years that: EDUCATION IS A RIGHT, NOT A MERE PRIVILEGE.

In fact, in a statement issued by Faculty and Staff of the Department of Behavioral Sciences in UP Manila said that:

Kristel’s death gave us a human face to the longstanding struggle against state apathy and neglect of the education of our youth.

Call to the Chancellor Agulto and the Vice Chancellor de Luna

Kristel has already done her part, now do yours! Do the right thing Sir/Madame, resign and spare the UP from further shame, humiliation and attacks (whether collateral or direct).
Mr. Chancellor, your act of condoling with the family of the deceased, your explanation of your side and your melodramatic act of crying to the public is not enough: you must leave and you must go — now!

Further, if you are an honorable man, you should apologize first to the family!

It’s never too late to do the right thing. The ultimate purpose of the apology is to admit one’s crimes, to bear responsibility for the said wrong act, to atone for the mistakes and transgressions wittingly or unwittingly committed, to remember the dead, to honor their memory, to vow that this gruesome event will never recur again and to forge a sense of closure, both personal and institutional; both to the perpetrators and also to the victims and their families.


I welcome the reforms announced by the UP president with regard to the STFAP, the no-late payment and the so-called forced leave of absence, yet Mr. president please don’t tell the whole country that you arrived at the said decision a “day before the suicide happened”. It like you are telling us that perhaps tomorrow it might rain!

Lastly, I concur with the novel and noble proposals of Professor Randy David (UP and Kristel, Philippine Daily Inquirer, March 21st) that:

Financial problems are fairly common among students in a public university like UP. I am therefore distressed that a student is barred from enrolling for failure to raise money for tuition. That is not an acceptable reason to keep her out of school. Having served a number of times as guarantor for student loans, I know that UP students will never run out of professors to run to for help. If the faculty cannot draw from their own meager pockets, they will usually find a way to tap other sources.

With its long list of prominent alumni who have gained much from a UP education, the university should not have any difficulty building a special fund dedicated to giving emergency assistance to students in dire financial straits. I would like to help start such a fund. But, equally important is the need to institute a more personalized mentoring system. In addition to the program adviser, an undergraduate student will benefit immensely from being assigned a senior student or alumnus to whom she can turn for advice.

These are essential tools of solidarity that go beyond state subsidy for education, and which cost so little to maintain. UP has always had a special heart for the poor; it is a shame that it could not do enough for Kristel.


To paraphrase a central line in the Broadway play “Les Miserables” in reference to Kristel:

Now, the University of the Philippines has killed the dream that I dream!

The University of the Philippines must return to its roots.

I dedicate this humble tribute to the memory of Kristel Pilar Mariz Tejada! May she lives forever!

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Masters in Philosophy (2004)
Philosophy lecturer, PUP and FEU

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[Off the shelf] Human Face, a Journalist’s encounter and awakening by Ma. Ceres P. Doyo

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Size: 6”x 9” Pages: 336 Bookstore price: P795
Available at National Bookstores, Powerbooks, BestSellers and Anvil, tel. 5709993,www.anvilpublishing.com
Philippine Daily Inquirer, Chino Roces Ave., Makati City, Metro Manila, Tel. 8978808 local 352
eBook soon available on the Inquirer Digital Newsstand: http://www.inquirer.net/store



MA. CERES P. DOYO, a journalist for more than 25 years, is a staff writer and columnist of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. She covers a variety of issues and writes special reports, feature stories and a weekly column, “Human Face.”

Ceres’ written works have earned various awards and citations. She has contributed to several major book projects. Many of her stories are in her book “Journalist in Her Country.”

Ceres traces her roots to Iloilo and Albay and speaks several Philippine languages. She finished college in St. Scholastica’s College in Manila and has a master’s degree in psychology from the Ateneo de Manila University. Ceres was a Jefferson journalism fellow at the East-West Center in the U.S. She was a member of the board of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism for many years until 2010.

Ceres’ book for children “Bituin and the Big Flood” (Si Bituin at ang Malaking Baha)is now in bookstores. Published in 2010 by Anvil, it is “dedicated to the children who who lost their lives during the typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng and to the children who survived.”

Source: http://humanfacebyceres.blogspot.com/

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[In the news] Edsa 27 -INQUIRER.net

Edsa 27

Philippine Daily Inquirer
February 24, 2013

inquirerIt cannot be denied that the second Aquino administration has done much in a concerted effort to revitalize the spirit of Edsa. But we must not conflate the legacy of the People Power Revolution with any administration, not even this one.

This is precisely the mistake the Edsa People Power Commission makes, when it blithely assumes that today’s 27th anniversary celebration is an occasion to spotlight President Aquino’s brand of “kayo-ang-boss-ko” governance. A key passage from the commission’s press release reads: “Approaching the midpoint of the Aquino administration, Edsa 27 will be an opportune time for all Filipinos to gather together as an expression of unity and support behind the unprecedented political, legislative and economic gains of President Benigno S. Aquino III.”

Actually, no. The Edsa anniversary, like the yearly rites we observe for Independence Day, the birth of Andres Bonifacio and the martyrdom of Jose Rizal, is not only resolutely nonpartisan; it is part of the necessary myth-making process that lies at the heart of our nation-building project. The myths that we need are not fabrications or noble fictions, but the larger truths of history: that we have the power of self-definition; that the freedom we are entitled to must be earned again and again, that it cannot be won without a struggle; that the face of the oppressor, the “manlulupig” and “mang-aapi” we describe in our national anthem, can assume the countenance of a fellow Filipino; that we have it in us to liberate ourselves, according to our fundamental dignity. The last line of “Bayan Ko,” the unofficial anthem of the anti-Marcos freedom struggle, phrases it well: “makita kang sakdal laya”—We long to see a nation that is truly free.

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[People] FOI: Waiting for the Hail Mary Pass By Walden Bello

FOI: Waiting for the Hail Mary Pass By Walden Bello
Philippine Daily Inquirer
January 25, 2013

Walden Bello word.world-citizenship.orgWhile the Senate has passed the Freedom of Information Bill (before its members descended into a deadly knife-fight), the House of Representatives still has to bring the FOI bill to the plenary for debate.

Why the bill seems to be headed for a fiasco similar to what happened to it on the last day the 14th Congress, when a quorum call was made to scuttle its ratification, is traced by some of the bill’s advocates to the lack of enthusiasm for it on the part of key players in the House and Malacanang. Others fault the majority of House members, who, they say, would much rather engage in early electoral campaigning than attend session to assure a quorum.

Whatever the reasons, the bill’s sponsors in the House are still hanging on to the Speaker’s observation that in that chamber, “things usually come together in the last three days.”

At this juncture, here are some thoughts, of a more reflective, theoretical kind, on the importance of having a Freedom of Information Act.

The state predates democracy, and at the heart of the state is the bureaucracy. Thus it is not surprising that the development of the modern state has been marked by a struggle between the bureaucratic principle and the democratic principle. In the Philippines, we embraced democracy as our principle of governance, but the Philippine state at independence also carried the baggage of the authoritarian bureaucratic state of the Spanish and American colonial periods.

Public information has been one of the battlefields between bureaucracy and democracy. Bureaucracy thrives on secrecy. For authoritarian bureaucrats, secrecy is essential to their practice of governance from the top. From their perspective, the less the people know, the better for governance and public order.

The democratic revolution turned this authoritarian maxim on its head. The more people knew, the better they could govern themselves. The practices of bureaucracy, however, die hard, and bureaucratic elites have been loath to yield knowledge, for they realize that knowledge is power, and the less the masses know, the less powerful they are.

This is why democracy is a constant struggle not only for self-government, but for transparency, for gaining knowledge of the affairs of the state without which citizens cannot effectively govern themselves. This is why the fight for the Freedom of Information Act is a necessary step in the struggle for a mature democratic state. This is why transparency is intertwined with democracy. This is why authoritarian elites fear transparency, for they are, at heart, suspicious of and fear democracy.

With the passage of the FOI Act, the Philippines will join the ranks of the 95 countries that Wikipedia claims now have Freedom of Information legislation. Many of these countries became democracies later than the Philippines, yet some of these late-democratic states have overtaken us and become more mature democracies than we are.

Passing the bill is our passport to joining the ranks of mature democracies. Not passing it means we remain in the company of bureaucratic authoritarian states like the People’s Republic of China, which have erected non-transparency as a principle of their systems of authoritarian governance.

The bureaucratic elite says that the FOI will compromise national security. On the contrary, it will make the Philippine Republic a stronger republic. The bureaucrats say the FOI will make it hard for them to govern. On the contrary, it will force officials to govern correctly and without the seduction of corruption, which thrives in the dark. The bureaucrats say the FOI is not necessary. On the contrary, without the transparency that the FOI sheds on the affairs of state, our democracy will eventually come under threat.

In football, there is a phenomenon called the “Hail Mary pass,” a long, desperate pass in the last few seconds that results in a winning goal. Will the quarterback finally unleash that pass to the many receivers waiting to score the touchdown for FOI that will be one of the crowning glories of the 15th Congress?

*INQUIRER.net columnist Walden Bello is a member of the House of Representatives. He can be reached at waldenbello@yahoo.com.

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