Archive for the ‘Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’ Category

Falling ratings of Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo

March 16, 2009

It comes less of a surprise for the public to know that Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo (GMA) gets bad ratings for her work in the executive office. According to the survey on February 20 to 23, 2009 by the Social Weather Station Inc. (SWS,) her disapproval rating fell further to a net rating of negative (-) 33 (26% satisfied and 59% dissatisfied.)

“The President’s latest net satisfaction rating is lower compared to “poor” -24 percent (29 percent satisfied, 53 percent dissatisfied) in December and poor -27 (27 percent satisfied, 54 percent dissatisfied) in September.”—-Philstar (03/17/09, Sy, M)

More than half of the Filipinos don’t approve of GMA’s performance, in spite of Malacanang’s wish that the president be given appreciation for unrecognized “accomplishments.” Pres. Spokesman Lorelei Fajardo cites Arroyo’s work of insulating the country from the impacts of domestic and global economic crisis.

Many Filipinos feel this is untrue because the full blown effects of the financial crisis are yet to come. Even without the global crisis, the Philippines has been reeling in widespread poverty with about 40% of the population facing hunger each day. Her approval rating has been bad compared to past presidents Corazon Aquino, Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada. With the presidential election coming in 2010, the public appears to extend their patience for GMA,—opting to let her corruption-riddled government to pass. (Photo Credit: AP/ Aaron Familia)=0=

RELATED BLOGS: “Corruption scandals hurting Filipinos under Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo” Posted by mesiamd at 1/29/2009; “Not as a lecturer or as a judge,” EU thinks RP must do more to curb corruption Posted by mesiamd at 1/29/2009; “Corruption and apathy: where will these lead us?” Posted by mesiamd at 2/10/2009

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Morality as an administrative order

February 18, 2009

The administrative order No. 5 signed by Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo calls for a program that will bring moral renewal to the country. Is it for real? The presidential edict comes on the heels of many corruption charges which see no end. As the president’s tenure reaches the finish line, the entire nation wonders what will be accomplished by the action plan for moral rejuvenation. Zero tolerance towards corruption—that’s what the president says.

“Why only now? She should have done it long before. It is funny she’s calling for moral renewal now as it is only a year before the end of her term unless she plans to extend her term,” Jinggoy Estrada said.—GMATVNews. Net (02/17/09)

Widespread corruption is out of the box in the Arroyo government, but no one has the resolve to prove it. Used to inaction, Filipinos live in apathy and forlorn silence with their frayed cultural values. They hope a deliverer will come to rescue them— or something will happen by simply waiting.

Foreign observers point to widespread dishonesty, but most of us choose to keep our mouths shut. The emboldened corrupt among us are defensive. They are trying to convince us there’s nothing that can be done. It’s only a year before the next presidential election and many believe the government is better left alone to wither away for the next status quo. (Photo Credit: bw.futures(away)=0=

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Corruption scandals hurting Filipinos under Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo

January 28, 2009

“The 2006 World Competitiveness Survey by the Switzerland-based Institute for Management Development ranked the Philippines 60th on bribery and corruption among 61 countries surveyed. In the 2007 report of the Hong Kong-based Political and Economic Risk Consultancy, using a grading system with 10 as the worst possible score, the Philippines got 9.4, worsening sharply from its grade of 7.8 in 2006.

The problem of corruption in the Philippines is getting worse, and it appears that it is not just a problem of perception but an actuality. The corruption cases are increasing not only in number but in the amount of money involved. In the past, the big cases involved tens of millions of pesos; now, the figures run into hundreds of millions and even billions.” —-Inquirer (06/30/08, Editorial, Worsening Corruption)

1. Filipino & Chinese bid-rigging cartel in bank-financed projects exposed by World Bank

2. Jocelyn (JocJoc) Bolante’s P728 Million Fertilizer Fund Scam diverting agricultural funds for the 2004 election campaign of Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo

3. $329 Million Philippine National Broadband Network-Zhong Xing Telecommunications Deal (NBN/ZTE mess)

4. The $2-million IMPSA (Industrias Metalurgicas Pescarmona Sociedad Anonima) alleged bribery case involving Justice secretary Hernando Perez to rehabilitate the 750-megawatt Caliraya-Botocan-Kalayaan (CBK) power complex in Laguna.

5. The allegedly overpriced P1.2-billion Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard Construction

6. Commission on Elections’ P1.3-billion poll computerization program

7. Pres. Joseph Estrada Plunder Conviction and the Controversial Hasty Pardon

8. “Hello Garci” alleged Election fraud of Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo

9. Unexplained Wealth of Government and Military Officials—some of them take tasks of “investigating” corruption

10. Money Laundering Schemes like the “Euro Generals Scandal”

11. Maj. General Carlos Garcia’s amassed P143 million wealth in AFP

12. The P500,000 cash-gift distribution (bribe?)in Malacanang Palace in 2007

13. Tax Evasion, Special Purpose Funds & Public Procurement Anomalies

14. Killings, tortures, and disappearances of journalists, plain citizens, and perceived enemies of government

We probably know the brazenness of corruption to a point of surrender. So we either ignore them or we shield ourselves from truth by pretending wrong-doing and perversion will go away. We have our own psychological adaptations that work for sometime just the way we’re tempted to run away from moral rectitude and brush aside responsibility.

The brave among us however face reality as it comes. No matter how hard and hurting, we understand the need to correct our errors. We know life is a succession of battles where courage, tenacity, and optimism are required and apathy has no place. We need integrity as a hedge against fraud; honesty is a positive force to renew society. Consider the corruption in the world. What can we do about it? (Photo Credit: Zero Q)=0=

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GMA’s ditch-low approval rating, her kiddie “payback package" for OFW’s & a big store in Naga City rises

December 17, 2008

Negative (-30)

President Gloria M. Arroyo gets the lowest satisfaction rating in 2008, much lower than the (-)9 she got the year before. The Social Weather Survey (SWS) result from the 4th quarter poll at the end of November is thought to be bad. It attests to the unpopularity of the administration that’s wracked by corruption and nepotism, believed to be worse than that of Ferdinand Marcos.

Unresolved issues like joblessness, floundering economics, the Bolante fertilizer scam, Euro generals money laundering case, unabated maritime disasters, journalist killings, charter-change controversy, poor education and healthcare, Mindanao secessionist problem, CARP extension, unimplemented cheap medicine law, and the big C (Corruption) noticed by watchers abroad are in the long list of problems that stun the public.

P1.4 trillion

It’s the 2009 national budget which is approved in the second and last deliberation in the senate. Notable in the budget are less allocations for the Department of Agrarian Reform by P3.1 billion, Energy P61 million, Finance 13 million, Local Governments P436 million, Justice P215 million, Armed Forces P75 million, Public Works P3.4 billion, Social Welfare P243 million, and National Economic Development Authority by P25 million. The budget cuts on certain services are allocated in other areas. A P10 billion economic fund is being considered, but no appropriations are set aside for the Office of the Press Secretary, the Philippine Tourism Authority and Kilos Asenso.

4,000

SM, the large monopolistic mall-chain owned by business mogul Henry Sy, Sr. in the Phiippines, is making preparations to open its outlet in Naga City on March 2009. About 4,000 job-seekers are needed in the operation which is estimated to generate $12 million in wages and P40 million in taxes. Expected to compete with small stores of the area, SM may draw shoppers in neighboring towns.

The exact effects of such a huge business in the city of 160,000 people aren’t completely known. Will there be congestion in the city? Will money windfall benefit the Bicolanos? Will profits be carted away from the area and render the mom-and-pop stores struggling to survive? Did the Naga City officials do a thorough study on the cost-benefit of approving an SM store?

50,000

As a result of the global economic crisis, the number of Filipinos abroad expected to be laid off has increased. Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo has laid out a “payback package” assistance for retrenched overseas foreign workers (OFW’s,) a tepid offering of skills training, scholarships, and measly P10,000 ($200) to start a “business” upon their return to the country.

15,000

Participants of the Manila’s anti-charter change (cha-cha) rally were larger than expected, according to Makati mayor Jejomar Binay, the president of the United Opposition. More protests against Cha-cha and other frustrating issues are on the works with broadened support from various organizations. (Photo Credits: gmaresign; doublefault2; arty; gmaresign=0=

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Amando Doronila is Wrong

November 16, 2008

In his Inquirer column, Amando Doronila argues that US President-elect Barack Obama is “no friend to the Philippines” because Obama snubbed President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s congratulatory call.

Amando Doronila is wrong. Since when did we equate Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo with the Philippines? Certainly, Gloria as an unpopular leader comes strong in Barack Obama’s radar. Joc Joc Bolante’s trial in Chicago, put in spotlight by very vocal anti-Gloria protesters outside the courthouse, was too scandalous to escape Obama’s attention. Even US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice is no fan of the sitting Philippine leader. Gloria’s misconducts are also all over the Web.

If at all, Obama is showing remarkable sensitivity to the feelings of majority of Filipinos who will be outraged if they see the transformational president chummy-chummy with a woman of strong faith who, the world perceives, institutionalized graft and corruption in a third world country to perpetuate her abusive, repressive regime.

Bad signs for Gloria. Three snubs in a row is outside the margin of error. Obama appears to have lumped her together with the leaders of Burma, Zimbabwe and Sudan, who Obama plans to take on (reading his Berlin speech between the lines) and whose congratulatory calls Obama will probably not promptly return.

There is silver lining for Gloria, though. Bill Clinton is her college classmate, and Hillary may just become the US Secretary of State.

Still, a multitude silently waits here now and ready to erupt into cheers if only the “cut and cut cleanly” one-liner gets delivered Obama style— so hope and change would come to the Philippines too.

Filipinos in Style: 10 helicopters eclipses the bride in a fabulous wedding in Davao

October 21, 2008


Not often heard of in the economy-battered country like the Philippines, a fabulous wedding held on Saturday, October 18, 2008 brought a fleet of 10 helicopters to the Seagull Mountain resort in Davao City for the wedding of Jeliza Farah, the daughter of Pres. Sec. Jesus Dureza to Rodford Uy.

Two of the helicopters were said to be government-owned, the others private. There must be a lot of “ahs and ohs” from the poor folks in the village where the spectacular fly-by of the entourage occured. A banana magnate, a mining official, a prominent protestant pastor, and a host of Pinoy glitterati were in attendance in the wedding solemnized by the local archbishop. Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo, former Pres. Fidel Ramos and National Sec. Adviser Norberto Gonzales stood as sponsors. The local police, members of the military, and the Presidential Security Group had to be called to restrain the crowd.(Photo Credit: Salvan)=0=

Ateneo Celebrates UAAP Championship 2008

October 4, 2008

Minutes after beating De La Salle University in UAAP Men’s Basketball Finals, Ateneans flocked to Ateneo de Manila University campus in Diliman, Quezon City and were treated to free canned Pepsi and packaged snacks. Beers were not free but were sold at factory prices. Pinoy bands led by Sponge Cola performed for free.

Fireworks were not of Beijing Olympics standard but brilliant enough to light up the night sky of Diliman and Katipunan Road—and more importantly to release the Atenean’s joys of victory after years of agony of defeats.

Despite its elite image and having the Philippine first gentleman among its prominent alumni, Ateneo rivals UP Diliman in its fight against the excesses of the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo regime.

This blog extends our congratulations to the Blue Eagles.

Note: YouTube link sent by Andy Gimpaya, Jr.

Deteriorating Human Rights Record: another journalist shot dead in Camarines Sur

August 16, 2008

As the Philippines struggles to shed off the label of being the most dangerous place for journalists next to Iraq, Ronaldo Julia another media person in Bicol died of gunshot wounds in Magarao, Camarines Sur. The hideous killing occurred Friday, Aug 15, 2008, barely two weeks after radio anchorman Dennis Cuesta of Radio Mindanao Network and Martin Roxas, a commentator in Panay Island were shot dead.

A writer of the “Weekly Informer” and broadcaster of Naga and Legazpi, Ronaldo Julia was gunned down on his way home at 11 pm. He died before doctors in a nearby city hospital could treat him.

Since 2001, more than 50 journalists were murdered; another 800 civilians disappeared (desaparecidos) or died from premeditated killings. In most cases, the killers which include those from the military, remained unpunished. Despite Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo’s promises, the murders escalate with increasing viciousness. Exasperated citizens including journalists in local and international media condemn these. They demand justice through effective prosecution under the law. Pres. Arroyo, the Justice Department and the police must not wear a blind eye on these killings that clearly point to a deteriorating human rights record of the country. =0=

Beijing Olympics & China’s Human Rights Record

August 8, 2008

A nation of 1.3 billion people welcomes the world as it hosts the Beijing Olympics which started on 08/08/08. (Photo Credit: AP) Beaming with national pride, China pulls out a rousing 3 ½ -hour program of pageantry and fireworks to usher in the onset of competitions. It’s an occasion to show its best, after its modern transformation since the communists came to power in 1949.

In regions ravaged by the earthquake in May which killed 70,000 people and rendered close to 5 million people homeless, the people in the countryside and city took time to revel on the glitter of the moment, congregating in villages to watch the spectacular event in TV. About 70 world leaders which include Russia’s Vladimir Putin, France’s Nicholas Sakorzy and Philippines’ Gloria M. Arroyo came to greet Chinese President Hu Jintao. More than 100,000 security personnel were deployed to assure the orderly conduct of the spectacle which was viewed by the largest audience ever: 2.3 billion people worldwide.

Costing about $70 billion, the sporting event has been hounded by political and environmental concerns in spite of government officials’ diplomatic maneuvers and efforts to curb air pollution. Beijing still has the smoggy haze that concerns athletes.

The city is moderately polluted (air pollution index of 94 vs. WHO’s recommended level of <52.) Participants raise environmental concerns and fret over the heat and humidity which may affect their performance in the games.

The world seems not ready to forget China’s poor human rights records. From various places worldwide protests have erupted against China’s domestic repressive policies. Critics and political activists condemn China’s supply of arms to the genocidal regime of Darfur. The Chinese government hasn’t opened a meaningful dialogue with the Dalai Lama to resolve Tibet’s autonomy and desire for self-rule. In a speech which irks Chinese officials, US Pres. George W. Bush said the people of China deserve to enjoy basic liberty, the natural right of very human being.

In spite of government measures to curb pollution, Beijing still has the smoggy haze that concerns athletes. The city is moderately polluted prompting participants to complain over the heat and humidity which may affect their performance in the games. The Olympic organizers are closely monitoring the air safety and weather to determine if competitions need to be rescheduled.

As Beijing Olympics play on, we can’t ignore the positive forces of peace, friendship, understanding and goodwill that propel the holding of the games. Yet, behind the sublime intentions of nations, there are political, social, economic, and environmental concerns which stick out as urgent challenges for the people of the world to tackle.=0=

Signs of the times & the words we live by

August 1, 2008

Watching TV, listening to the radio and reading newspapers give us a sense of what’s going on in the country. Words used in the media correlate well with our level of optimism. They seem to function like internal barometers of our feelings, our reactions to the events that go our way, our outlook of the future.

The preponderance of negative words we meet daily goes well with the uncertainty and pessimism we feel today. Despite this however, hope still persists. We see sunshine in darkness. Better days are ahead of us. Here are twelve recurring terms in our media lexicon that’s worth thinking about:

Kaya Natin: refers to a new group of hardworking and ethical Filipinos who wants to promote real change and conscientious leadership in the country. Pampanga Gov. Eddie Panlilio, Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo, San Isidro, Nueva Ecija Mayor Sonia Lorenzo and Isabela Grace Padaca have pledged to lead the group launched in Ateneo de Manila University recently.

Wow, Philippines: the wonderful slogan that promotes the country as a tourist destination.

Swine Scam: another scandal; it refers to the P114.6 million in loan proceeds which allegedly went to individuals and groups, including Jose Nograles, brother of the House Speaker Prospero Nograles, in the form of miscellaneous fees which is being investigated by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.

Noodles Republic: the transformation of the country from a “strong republic” promised by Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo earlier in her term to a “noodles republic” which describes poor Filipinos who subsist on noodles for their meals because of high prices of food.

Suspicious Lines: the ignominious other name people use for Sulpicio Lines (SL,) that beleaguered ferry company noted for its frightening maritime record. SL carries a distinctive trail of mishaps, ship keels, and mass deaths that boggle the mind.

A Ticking Time Bomb: a laundry list of problems hounding the administration of Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo according to Pres. Fidel V. Ramos. It includes widespread poverty, high prices of groceries, the increasing gap between the rich and the poor, environmental degradation, corruption, red tape, broken electoral process, abuses of politicians, among others.

Double Dead Meat: meat from swine, dog, cow, chicken or fowl which died from a disease or accident, sold illegally without safety inspection, and passed to consumers as “fresh.”

Boom: a positive word to describe a boost in business, an increase in arrivals of tourist, a flood of OFW remittances, a bountiful harvest, a surge in the a catch of fish…to name a few.

Numskull: synonym for idiot and stupid that Sen. Miriam D. Santiago uses to refer to her colleagues in the legislature. The derogatory term draws a numb reaction from her opponents who seem cowed by her narcissistic verbosity and perceived superiority. Many see some truth in what she says. They say collectively, the intelligence, honesty, and competence of senators and congressmen is at an all-time low since Pres. Joseph Estrada ascended to power.

Double Courser: a term in education which refers to a student who previously finished a course to pursue another. It’s mostly seen in the nursing profession which attracts students with academic degrees in medicine, commerce, law, engineering, and education. A double course provides an avenue for Filipinos to qualify for jobs abroad—a double-edged sword that both alleviates and aggravates joblessness.

Corruption: the error-proof explanation of the deteriorated condition of the country. The World Bank disclosed that the country is last among East Asia’s 10 largest economies in curtailing this problem. It is estimated that the Philippines loses more than $2 billion a year to corruption.

Plunder: the ostentatious word for government thievery. High profile officials like Pres. Joseph Estrada had been accused of this crime, but they are either pardoned or left alone to continue their notoriety with greater rapacity and lack of shame. =0=