Archive for the ‘Malacanang’ Category

New Bicolano SEC commissioner

March 15, 2009

Malacanang Executive Sec. Eduardo Ermita announces the selection of Atty. Manuel B. Gaite to be the Security and Exchange Commissioner (SEC,) a replacement of Jesus Martinez who retired last week. He said Gaite’s appointment papers are still to be signed by the president.

It’s Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo’s choice that Gaite takes over the post vacated by Martinez who left with charges that he was bribed and given lavish gifts by a firm connected with controversial the Legacy Group. As result of the collapse of Legacy under the headship of Celso de los Angeles, 50,000 pre-need plan holders are left in limbo.

Ermita believes Gaite who is from Baao, Camarines Sur is well-qualified having served as the deputy executive secretary of legal affairs. The public recalls the incoming SEC secretary is the “good Samaritan” to whistle-blower Rodolfo Lozada, the star witness to the $329 million NBN-ZTE broadband deal scandal. He lent Lozada P500,000 for his trip to Hongkong. (Photo Credit: WN/ Manila Times/ Renzelle Mae Abosolo)=0=

UPDATE: It is said that the controversial appointment of Gaite is not yet final. Despite Malacanang’s favorable endorsements, there are critics like Sen. Mar Roxas who assert Gaite has questionable integrity based on his involvement in the NBN-ZTE scandal. The senator believes the appointment is Gloria Arroyo’s reward in helping silence Lozada. Roxas speaks of the Securities Regulation Code (SEC) on the qualifications of commissioners, which stimpulate that they “must be of good moral character, of unquestionable integrity, of known probity and patriotism, and with recognized competence.”—GMA News. TV (03/16/09, Balagtas-See, A)


Fajardo Estate Land Dispute: A happy ending for the Banasi Farmers who marched to Malacanang

December 26, 2008

The fifty-seven (57) farmers from the Fajardo Estate in Bicol who walked for 17 days to Malacanang Palace to plead their case finally got their wish. The tillers of the 123-hectare land in Banasi, Bula, Camarines Sur had the order of Sec. Eduardo Ermita canceling their land titles recinded on December 19, 2008. The happy farmers now have the right to use the land, ending 35 years of round-about with the law.

“This is the happiest Christmas of my life. We have already sacrificed a lot and we hope that with the decision of DAR we could finally rest our case and experience security in the lands that we till,” said Jess Bergantin, president of the Banasi Agrarian Reform Farmer-Beneficiaries Association (BARFA) who were among those who walked the 444-kilometer stretch from Camarines Sur to Manila.. “—Bicol Mail (12/ 25/08, Escandor, J, Jr)

According to Atty Arlene Bag-ao, one of the supporters of the farmers, the march to Malacanang could have been avoided if the case was handled as is—-a simple legal issue that favors the agriculture workers to own the disputed land. Some of the farmers said they walked to Manila because a known Malacanang insider, Atty Manny Gaite with family ties with the Fajardos, worked against their favor by helping void their land title.

“Elaine Teope, campaign coordinator of BARFA, revealed that among those who drafted the order that cancelled the Certificate of Land Ownership Awards (Cloas) of the farmers-beneficiaries was Lawyer Manny Gaite, the guy from the Office of the President who figured in the Senate hearing regarding the P500,000 distributed to local government executives early this year. “—Bicol Mail (12/ 25/08, Escandor, J, Jr)

The success of the Banasi farmers signals the growing awareness and activism of many agricultural workers in the Philippines. With problems delaying the full implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP,) more land decisions by the government are likely to be contested by farmers and their militant supporters. (Photo Credits: Pakisamagallery) =0=

RELATED BLOG: “Camarines Sur farmer’s 444 kilometer march to Malacanang” Posted by mesiamd at 12/02/2008


Roadblocks for Bicol Farmers to Malacanang?

December 3, 2008

The farmers of Banasi Farm of Bula, Bula Camarines Sur has reached Manila on Tuesday, December 2, 2008. However, they were blocked on at least two occasions, one on their way to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) office and then near Nagtahan Bridge where they met with palace representatives, interrupting their 444 kilometer walk to Malacanang.—GMANewsT TV (12/-3/08)

The Bicol farmers weren’t impressed by Malacanang’s response to their demand. They asked President Gloria Macapagal to see for herself the land in question to better understand their plight.

The story is a good study on how the government treats the poor farmers from the provinces compared the wealthy and influential who have connections and are concentrated in Manila. Demand marches like these which are supported by groups with socialistic orientation including the Catholic Church are expected as a result of the delay and limitations of CARP implementation, the apparent inquities levelled on the poor, and the growing politicalization of farmers in the a climate of economic hardship and emerging global economy. Photo Credit: Pakisamagallery) =0=

RELATED BLOGS: “Nuns abducted in Kenya, farmers from Camarines Sur march to Malacanang & the US national debt of $10,664,871,159,771.01 bogs the nation”Posted by mesiamd at 11/28/2008; “Camarines Sur farmer’s 444 kilometer march to Malacanang” Posted by mesiamd at 12/02/08).

The Goalkeeper and Sweeper of Malacanang

November 20, 2008

In soccer the task of the goalkeeper is to stop the opposing team from scoring goals, hence preventing them from scoring. Failure to score in soccer means the opposing team cannot win. A goalkeeper has many tools in his arsenal to keep the other side from winning. He can dive for the ball to secure it or block it with his body. Or he can punch or kick the ball out to prevent an attacking sequence. If needed, he will throw in his body just to keep the other side from scoring. Indeed, goalkeepers are heroic.

Of course, to make life easier for goalkeepers, other defenders will help in screening, blocking and tackling the attacking opponent. Probably the most important of defenders in soccer, apart from the goalkeeper, is the sweeper. In Italy, it is called the libero. The sweeper “sweeps up” the ball when the opponents breach the last line of defenders.

The word ombudsman is originally a Swedish word but it has already been integrated in the English lexicon. In its Nordic origins it is supposedly a government official tasked to investigate complaints of citizens against government officials and its functionaries.

In the Philippines, especially under the rule of Gloria and Mike Arroyo (the true meaning of “GMA”), the role of the ombudsman is the same as that of a soccer goalkeeper. That is, to prevent the people or the opposition from scoring “goals”. The Philippine “goalkeeper” has also “tools” like sitting on complaints, filing weak cases, throwing the complaints out or simply finding that there is a violation but there is no culprit. Of course, like a goalkeeper, a GMA “ombudsman” should be able to throw in everything to keep any cases from prospering.

In the current “match”, a new sweeper or libero was recently fielded by the team’s coach who happened to be a self-anointed sportsman. Though rusty from a two-year “forced suspension” he was immediately fielded into the fray after a two-week “conditioning program” at the SLMC. Having been pronounced physically fit by the SLMC, he is now assisting mightily the “goalkeeper” in preventing any goals. Indeed, right in the first play, he immediately showed his “defensive prowess” by sweeping the ball out while at the same time shouting “No scam, no scam!”.

Yes, how “heroic” indeed. From the corner of my eye I thought I saw his “coach” grin and nod to signify how well his favorite defender “performed”.