Archive for the Philippine Politics Category

Reclassify Marijuana, as NOT a Dangerous Drug

Posted in All About The Philippines, Philippine Current Events, Philippine Environment, Philippine News, Philippine Politics with tags , , on June 14, 2012 by JJ Duque

Reclassify Marijuana, as NOT a Dangerous Drug.

Greetings,

I just signed the following petition addressed to: Honorable ANTONIO “BEBOT” VILLAR, JR. Chairman, Dangerous Drugs Board.

—————-
Reclassify Marijuana, as NOT a Dangerous Drug.

Section 93 of REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9165, otherwise known as the “Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002” states that:

“Reclassification, Addition or Removal of Any Drug from the List of Dangerous Drugs. – The Board shall have the power to reclassify, add to or remove from the list of dangerous drugs. Proceedings to reclassify, add, or remove a drug or other substance may be initiated by the PDEA, the DOH, or by petition from any interested party, including the manufacturer of a drug, a medical society or association, a pharmacy association, a public interest group concerned with drug abuse, a national or local government agency, or an individual citizen. When a petition is received by the Board, it shall immediately begin its own investigation of the drug. The PDEA also may begin an investigation of a drug at any time based upon the information received from law enforcement laboratories, national and local law enforcement and regulatory agencies, or other sources of information.”

Based on the above Republic Act, we, the people of the Republic of the Philippines, would like to petition for the reclassification and decriminalization of Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, Cannabis Ruderalis, and derivative products of the said natural plant species. Herein, we will present you with the basic facts and sources of information from which you can then launch a thorough investigation into Cannabis’ many uses such as MEDICINE, PAPER, FUEL, FIBER, FOOD, and HOUSING.

First and foremost, Cannabis cannot be classified under the list of DANGEROUS drugs, as it poses no health threat to its users. The World Health Organization states that Tobacco kills nearly 6,000,000 people a year[1] and Alcohol results in 2,500,000 deaths each year. [2] Cannabis, on the other hand, has NO DIRECT RECORDED DEATHS attributed to it. If anything, the two prior drugs, Tobacco and Alcohol, should be topping your Dangerous Drugs list, as they kill more people per annum than all the dangerous drugs on your list – COMBINED.

Secondly, Cannabis IS MEDICINE, and has been for the past few thousand years. Currently, hundreds of thousands of people worldwide use Cannabis to relieve the symptoms of debilitating diseases. A 2002 review of medical literature by Franjo Grotenhermen states that medical cannabis has established effects in the treatment of nausea, vomiting, premenstrual syndrome, unintentional weight loss, insomnia, and lack of appetite. Other “relatively well-confirmed” effects were in the treatment of “spasticity, painful conditions, especially neurogenic pain, movement disorders, asthma, and glaucoma”.

Preliminary findings indicate that cannabis-based drugs could prove useful in treating inflammatory bowel disease, migraines, fibromyalgia, and related conditions.
Medical cannabis has also been found to relieve certain symptoms of multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries by exhibiting antispasmodic and muscle-relaxant properties as well as stimulating appetite.

Other studies state that cannabis or cannabinoids may be useful in treating alcohol abuse, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, collagen-induced arthritis, asthma, atherosclerosis, bipolar disorder, colorectal cancer, HIV-Associated Sensory Neuropathy depression, dystonia, epilepsy, digestive diseases, gliomas, hepatitis C, Huntington’s disease, leukemia, skin tumors, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Parkinson’s disease, pruritus, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psoriasis, sickle-cell disease, sleep apnea, and anorexia nervosa.

A study done by Craig Reinarman surveyed among why people in California used cannabis and it found many reasons why people had used cannabis. It was used to relieve pain, muscle spasms, headaches, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, depression, cramps, panic attacks, diarrhea, and itching. Others used cannabis to improve sleep, relaxation, appetite, concentration or focus, and energy. Some patients used it to prevent medication side effects, anger, involuntary movements, and seizures, while others used it as a substitute for other prescription medications and alcohol. [3]

Even the United States National Cancer Institute acknowledges Cannabis’ Antitumor, Appetite Stimulation, and Analgesic effects on its webpage. [4]

Aside from this, Harvard University published a study that concluded that the active ingredient in Cannabis cuts tumor growth in common lung cancer in half and significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread. [5]

Also, the American Medical Association cites Cannabis’ patient treatment and healing abilities in their “Report 3 of the Council on Science and Public Health “, and thus called for the rescheduling of the said drug. [6]

More information about Cannabis and how it may be used as a treatment for people with serious medical conditions can be found in this Medical Cannabis brochure:
http://www.safeaccessnow.org/downloads/cancer_brochure.pdf

Thirdly, one of the biggest positive impacts that the rescheduling of Cannabis would produce is the reintegration of hemp into our society, and more importantly in current times, our economy. Hemp is a plant that is grown for industrial use only; in fact, hemp contains less that 1% THC and causes no “high” when smoked.

From an INDUSTRIAL standpoint, hemp provides many advantages over a great deal of current resources that the Philippines utilizes. The most common use for hemp is in the production of textile based products. Hemp fibers are considerably strong so that makes it ideal for the production of many products like PAPER, FABRIC, and ROPE. Hemp produces a higher yield per acre than cotton and has a growing cycle of only 100 days instead of 160. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, you can produce four times as much paper from a hectare of Cannabis than a hectare of trees. Imagine all the forests we could save!

But perhaps the most important attribute of hemp is its ability to produce a substantial amount of CELLULOSE. Cellulose is a compound that, in more recent years, has been converted into a BIOFUEL called cellulostic ethanol. This biofuel can power everything that our fossil fuels currently does and is being produced most commonly in the form of “energy crops;” mostly corn and cotton. Hemp holds an advantage though, because it yields four times the amount of cellulose you can get from a corn stalk, plus it is carbon-negative, meaning it has already captured enough carbon during growth, in a process called carbon sequestration, to make up for the carbon that it releases when burned. In layman’s terms, it is ECO FRIENDLY.

Once rescheduled, Cannabis can also be used as FOOD. Technically a nut, hemp seed typically contains over 30% oil and about 25% protein, with considerable amounts of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. Hemp seed oil is over 80% in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), and is an exceptionally rich source of the two essential fatty acids (EFAs) linoleic acid (18:2 omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (18:3 omega-3). The omega-6 to omega-3 ratio (n6/n3) in hemp seed oil is normally between 2:1 and 3:1, which is considered to be optimal for human health. In addition, the biological metabolites of the two EFAs, gamma-linolenic acid (18:3 omega-6; ‘GLA’) and stearidonic acid (18:4 omega-3; ‘SDA’), are also present in hemp seed oil. The two main proteins in hemp seed are edestin and albumin. Both of these high-quality storage proteins are easily digested and contain nutritionally significant amounts of all essential amino acids. In addition, hemp seed has exceptionally high levels of the amino acid arginine. [7]
What does this mean? This means that Cannabis seeds’ amino acid profile is close to “complete” when compared to more common sources of proteins such as meat, milk, eggs and soy. The proportions of linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid in one tablespoon (15 ml) per day of hemp oil easily provides human daily requirements for EFAs.

Aside from the above, Cannabis can be used as a material to make HOUSES.
Hempcrete is a mixture of hemp hurds (shives) and lime (possibly including natural hydraulic lime, sand, pozzolans or cement) used as a material for construction and insulation. It is marketed under names like Hemcrete, Canobiote, Canosmose, and Isochanvre. Hempcrete is easier to work than traditional lime mixes and acts as an insulator and moisture regulator. It lacks the brittleness of concrete and consequently does not need expansion joints.

Honorable Villar, Cannabis laws, as they are now, cost tax payers millions of pesos a year. The taxpayers have to pay for every individual that is sent to prison for possession of Cannabis and nothing more. It’s time to face the facts — most Cannabis users are peaceful, well adjusted members of society. Their “crime” is nothing more than possessing and ingesting or smoking dried flowers from a non-toxic plant. The effects of their “crime” are usually nothing more than being hungry, laughing, enjoying chit-chat with friends, and watching TV. This is a VICTIMLESS crime, which should not be punished by the state. A democratic government has no right to tell its citizens — its employers — what they can or cannot ingest, eat, smoke, or drink. And a democratic government has no right to withhold a miracle plant from its citizens. Especially not one that can be used to the advantage of the citizens in creating more jobs, upping tourism, healing the sick, and helping the environment.

If Cannabis is not rescheduled, then we the people must ask for the basis of its illegality. We must be satisfied with facts, statistics, solid reasoning, and casualties. The burden of proof falls on the government’s hands.

1. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs339/en/index.html
2. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs349/en/index.html
3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_cannabis
4. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/healthprofessional/page4
5. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070417193338.htm
6. http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/csaph/csaph-report3-i09.pdf
7. http://naihc.org/hemp_information/hemp_facts.html
8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemp

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Philippine News: Is The Philippines Ready For Noynoy Aquino?

Posted in All About The Philippines, Philippine News, Philippine Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2010 by JJ Duque

Noynoy For President = Goodbye Kris Aquino

Noynoy Aquino is the 15th President of the Philippines. Well, depends from which point of history you start counting.

Lots of color in the recent May 2010 national elections, and as much as there was a lot of juicy tidbits to blog about, I sorta decided to keep the Philippines Funwall free from the mudslinging. Besides, I think I wouldn’t have many nice things to say. And if you can’t say anything nice, then better not say anything at all.

So Noynoy Aquino won by a pretty huge margin, and I guess everyone including me was surprised to even find former President Joseph Erap Estrada make it to second in the list, considering he wasn’t as noisy during the campaign period as other hopefuls like Manny Villar or Gilbert Teodoro.

If I had the chance to vote, I would’ve cast my vote for Dick Gordon, who I believe has a very respectful and dignified political record, and has the brins and political will to create positive change for the country as seen in how he brought Olongapo up from the ground after the Mt. Pinatubo eruption. However, my name was missing in my precinct since I failed to re-register with the COMELEC. I didn’t even know I had to, considering my name wasn’t on the online list. Oh well – too late to complain, and too bad. Pretty surprising though that Eddie Villanueva actually led over Dick Gordon in the race, where he placed 6th. Sad. And I thought a tried and tested politician would’ve had a better placing than someone like Eddie Villanueva, who hasn’t ever held a political office. But what do we know about voters minds.  After all, Erap came out in second even after every survey showed him not even a consideration for the running.

Well, so Noynoy Aquino is there. His mother President Corazon Aquino was a former President, and certainly if his father Ninoy Aquino wasn’t assassinated, then he would’ve probably made a valiant run for the top post in the executive branch. Some say Noynoy doesn’t have the same political savvy as his father, or maybe even the big heart of his mother, and many say he isn’t even a great leader, except maybe his claim-to-fame of having such popular parents. But, that’s what everyone says when its not their candidate that wins.

In the meantime, two Aquino presidents says something about the makings of a political dynasty, or if you didn’t think they had one, well now you know they have one. There is indeed much to look forward to, and there are a lot of critics waiting to pounce on Noynoy when he falters.

Me – I’m more excited on the prospect that Kris Aquino has promised to leave the country lest she be a distraction and thorn on her brother’s reign as President due to her controversial and much celebrated personal life flaunted in showbiz. Do we really have to hear about every time Kris cries, or her husband James Yap has an alleged third party affair? And for sure, as the sister to the President, she’s just sure to get more media coverage, and well – let’s just hope she holds her end of her promise. If there’s anything certainly good about the Noynoy Aquino presidency – the exit of Kris Aquino is a good start.

The 2010 Presidential Election Circus: The True Practice of Democracy

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine News, Philippine Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2009 by JJ Duque

I love the Philippines. I love the fact that there are several well-meaning people who are motivated to serve the nation. Just take a look at all those who want to become President and lead the Filipino people. Wow, there are so many of them. Really – it’s so touching that so many of them are willing to dedicate so much time, effort and money to become President of the Philippines. Anyway, without further adieu – here is the official list of those who filed for their candidacy for the position of Philippine President, and their respective Vice Presidential partners and senatorial candidates (as applicable).

Potential President of the Philippines and Emperor of the World

Potential President of the Philippines and Emperor of the World

Noynoy Aquino (President) and Mar Roxas (Vice President) are the candidates of the Liberal Party. Their slate for the 12 senators include Ralph Recto, Sonia Roco, Teofisto Guingona III, Ruffy Biazon, Ana Theresa Baraquel, Alexander Lacson, Nereus Acosta, Danilo Lim, Dr. Martin Bautista, Yasmin Busran-Lao, Franklin Drilon and Serge Osmena.

Joseph “Erap” Estrada (President) and Jejomar Binay (Vice President) for the Partido ng Masang Pilipino – UNO. Their senatorial bets include Jinggoy Estrada, Jun Lozada Jr., JV Bautista, Rodolfo Plaza, Jose de Venecia III, and Juan Ponce Enrile.

Gilbert Teodoro (President) and Edu Manzano (Vice President) for the Lakas-Kampi CMD. Their candidates for the senate include Bong Revilla, Lito Lapid, Rey Langit, Ramon Juico, Silvestre Bello III, Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Raul Lambino.

Manny Villar (President) and Loren Legarda (Vice President) of the Nacionalista Party. Their official candidates for the senate include Adel Tamano, Gwendolyn Pimentel-Gana, Susan Ople, Ramon Mitra III, Pia Cayetano, Ariel Querubin, Bongbong Marcos Jr., Lisa Maza, Satur Ocampo and Gilbert Remulla.

Dick Gordon (President) and Bayani Fernando (Vice President) of the Bagumbayan Party. They have no senatorial bets because they believe they can work with anybody and everybody.

Jamby Madrigal (President) will run as an independent without a running mate, and also without a senatorial slate.

Brother Eddie Villanueva (President) and Perfecto Yasay (Vice President) of Bangon Pilipinas. Their senatorial bets include Ramoncito Ocampo, Kata Inocencio, Zafrullah Alonto, Israel Virgines and Alex Tinsay.

Manny Lopez (President) will run as an independent, and claims he is better than US President Barack Obama.

Rigoberto Madera Jr. (President) will run as an independent and if elected will move on to become the next US President, the next UN Secretary General and Emperor of the World.

Only in the Philippines do we see such awesome democracy practiced, and where everyone can qualify to become President of the Philippines as long as they fulfill the requirements for their Certificate of Candidacy (COC).

This is the circus, and this is  democrazy!

Philippine News:Gilbert Teodoro Picks Edu Manzano As VP Running Mate

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine News, Philippine Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 14, 2009 by JJ Duque

I haven’t blogged as much in the past few weeks. Not that there hasn’t been much happening, but actually the fact that there hasn’t been much posting here means that I’ve been quite busy lately. Mostly, I’ve been busy with organizing the co-founding of Green Agenda Philippines, which is an advocacy program part of the non-government organization called Earth Tribe Council. Loads of development there, which I hope to share here in the Philippines Funwall once things get a bit more concrete.

Also, with all the things going on in the country, I’ve just had to shrug my shoulders and kinda sigh. It’s not that I’m hopeless, but it’s just that I’d rather follow the wise words of Thumper who said, “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say nothing at all.”

In keeping with that wise saying, I’d like to share my thoughts on the decision of defense secretary and presidential aspirant Gilbert Teodoro to pick showbiz personality Edu Manzano as his running mate for vice president.

In a previous post in the Philippines Funwall, I had some unkind words to say about Gilbert Teodoro and the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) earlier in October at the height of the disasters brought by the storms that ravaged the Philippines. (You can read about what I had to say earlier by clicking here.)

Anyway, I did announce back then that Glbert Teodoro lost my vote. Well, he still hasn’t earned it, especially with his decision to take Edu Manzano as a running mate for vice president.

I admire Gilbert Teodoro to an extent, and I really am thankful that he was very dedicated during the relief and rescue operations despite the NDCC’s failure to a quick response. I’m certain it wasn’t his fault that the NDCC wasn’t equipped to deal with the disaster when Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy) first struck, but Gilbert Teodoro has done well in being more prepared for the other storms to follow. And that I will give him credit for.

I guess Giblert Teodoro felt that he could run for President, given that he had done well to gain public recognition during his efforts at handling the disasters and storms. The next thing he needed to do was to find a running mate, and he shopped around some of the glitziest names of showbiz-politics, including Loren Legarda (former Senator and news anchor), Bong Revilla (Senator and action star), Tito Sotto (Senator and Eat Bulaga  host) and Vilma Santos (Batangas governor and hall-of-fame actress).

Eventually, Gilbert Teodoro settled for Edu Manzano – the fomer Optical Media Board chairperson and also an actor. Gilbert Teodoro‘s move to shop for a showbiz-political partner is similar to what Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo did when she picked out running mate Noli De Castro for Vice President.

Gilbert Teodoro‘s decision to opt (and shop around) for a showbiz-political partner makes me rethink how smart and “for the future” he really is. I mean – the mere fact – that he thinks showbiz personalities will bring him more votes just goes to show that he still is a traditional politician, who still believes in the popularity contest of the upcoming 2010 Philippine National Elections.

Well, certainly it is a popularity contest with all sorts of names to remember come election day. A voter’s list would have to include names of  barangay captains, mayors, vice-mayors, city councilors, a congressman, 12 senators, a vice president and a president. And just imagine the list of names a voter has to weed out just to come up with that list.

Anyway, Gilbert Teodoro is the cousin of senator Noynoy Aquino, who is also gunning for the Presidential seat. They’re both nephews of Eduardo Cojuangco, Jr., the president of San Miguel Corporation. Now – what does that say to us about family and politics? The obvious presumption is that the family doesn’t get well enough to support the decision of another family member to run for a position, and then goes against that family member anyway. Certainly, such a situation would divide the family. And what is family if not the backbone of our society? With that argument in mind, I could presume that Gilbert Teodoro (and Noynoy Aquino for that matter) are not such dedicated members of their family, causing a great divide with their decision to run against each other for the Philppine Presidency.

Well – that’s just one issue. The news that Gilbert Teodoro was frantically shopping around for a vice president just goes to show his unpreparedness for the Presidential campaign. It seems like his decision to run for President is on a whim, probably fueled by his recent rise to political stardom over his overwhelming national publicity upon coordinating relief and rescue operations during Ondoy and Pepeng and other storms to follow.

Seriously, you’d think that someone who was prepared to run for President should’ve had a running mate to begin with. Now that just makes me rethink if Gilbert Teodoro is prepared at all for the task of Philippine President if he can’t even be prepared for a campaign for that position. With the elections nearing, Gilbert Teodoro hasn’t even yet established a political platform if he were to become President, and I think a true public servant for the people would’ve already thought of an agenda in helping restore the country prior to even running for any position.

All that Gilbert Teodoro has done is made himself more popular. He has yet to address the country’s needs and provide solutions for its problems. Or provide concrete steps in assuring that the solutions that are currently being worked on are kept in place.

Edu Manzano For Vice President of the Philippines

Edu Manzano For Vice President of the Philippines

And then – he has Edu Manzano for a running mate. Well, I won’t comment much on Edu Manzano. I leave it up to the universe to expose him for what he truly is – an actor who knows how to play the part. Maybe the decision of Edu Manzano to run for vice president will be a wake-up call for him. Edu Manzano does have the heart to serve the public, and even ripped up his American passport when he ran for Makati City vice mayor to show his true patriotism. He won that election to become the vice mayor, but lost at the next election when he ran for Makati City Mayor.

Since then, he has been sidelined in the political scene, and his small stint as a law enforcer for pirated CDs and DVDs  (chairman of the OMB) doesn’t really say much for his capabilities to execute the law. Personally, I’ve heard more stories of other controversies about Edu Manzano, although I haven’t confirmed that myself. I guess it’s but natural for a popular figure to be surrounded by controversy, but I just hope that the notoriety will not do damage to the well-meaning Presidential campaign of Gilbert Teodoro and Edu Manzano.

At the very least, the Gilbert Teodoro and Edu Manzano campaign will surely be entertaining. Certainly, the political soirees of the Gibo-Edu pair will bring the likes of Luis Manzano (Edu’s son), maybe Angel Locsin (if Luis can keep her long enough), and Pinky Webb, whom Edu Manzano is currently dating. Maybe, his campaigns will even bring around his former wives like Vilma Santos and Maricel Soriano.

Hmm. Edu Manzano and his many wives. Now – that also says something about your vice presidential candidate. I wonder if Edu Manzano would be pro-divorce? If he is, then maybe he might win my vote after all.

For the sake of Edu Manzano – I just hope the snow doesn’t blow out in these tropics – which is my version of I just hope the shit doesn’t hit the fan.

Philippine Politics: Call A Spade A Spade, And A Pig A Pig.

Posted in All About The Philippines, Philippine Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 25, 2009 by JJ Duque

Calling The Attention of Philippine Daily Inquirer Columnist Conrado de Quiros!

Conrado De Quiros

Conrado De Quiros

(The following excerpt was written by JR De La Cruz, former Most Illustrious Fellow of Upsilon Sigma Phi)

Conrado de Quiros, you are the man. Few opinion writers in the Philippines can lay claim to your impeccable writing style, to your uncanny choice of words, and the thing I love most – your sardonic wit, which not only amuses but also almost always hits the point. After the death of Cory, however, after that moving eulogy you wrote (that eulogy ought to be immortalized, side by side with the apocalyptic ‘May Araw Din Kayo’), you have dropped all pretense of humor and subtlety and have suddenly turned into Noynoy Aquino’s biggest propagandist.

I have great respect for you, Mr. de Quiros, but I just do not, cannot, and will not buy all the “Battle-of-good-vs.-evil, Noynoy-is-our-Messiah-slash-Obama (please lang, sir. Wag naman.)” propaganda. I don’t buy all this contrived madness the Kapamilya network, “civil society” and the grand old Partido Liberal are trying to ram down our throats.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing personal against Noynoy. I’ve met him once, and he is obviously a nice guy. If I was voting for student council president, or maybe even mayor, I probably wouldn’t hesitate to vote for him. By all indications, he is indeed one damn good person, as you, Mr. de Quiros, would put it. But really, is one damn good person what we need right now? Is nice enough to take us out of the mess we are in? Is his amiable personality enough to gloss over the fact that he has spent most of his years in Congress doing, well, not much, and that, just like the lot of them, he is a politician taking advantage of this singular opportunity – of all things, his mother’s death – to be president?

The bigger man, the wiser man, the one damn good person would, after seeing the multitude of mourners outpouring their devotion for his mother, have declined the temptation to be goaded into running; in Tagalog, hindi siya magpapabuyo. Certainly, a good man would have at least waited a little longer and not announced his candidacy right after the ritualistic 40 days after the passing of his mother, making it seem like he was just obliged to comply with Filipino tradition so as not to look insensitive, but at the same time that he couldn’t wait a day more since he’s thrown his hat in the race too late and must thus make up for lost time.

For in his years of public service, in his whole life, really, can Noynoy honestly say he thinks himself competent enough to be president? Or is it more likely that the crowd at his mother’s wake, and his slew of very able advisers – pardon the digression, but Drilon, Abad, which side are you on lately? – emboldened him into that way of thinking? While in his “period of discernment”, I was hoping that for at least once in my life, I would witness a true statesman, selfless, wise, like the previous generation witnessed Ninoy. He would’ve been that statesman had he declined, knowing he knows nothing and being truly wise for it. Alas, the blinding allure of power, the buoying wave of his mother’s (not even his own) supporters, was too strong to resist. If this doesn’t reek of political opportunism, I don’t know what does.

I agree, we shouldn’t vote purely on competence. But that shouldn’t stop experience from reminding us what happens if we vote for an incompetent president. What happens is we vote a hundred thousand advisers with him/her. What happens is after three years in office, we try to take him/her out again, realizing we made a mistake. If we’re unsuccessful, we call it a coup attempt. If we’re successful, we call it Edsa Dos. What happens is we pin our hopes on another popular icon, another shining symbol, without realizing that we’re being f*cked by the same people over and over again.

I agree, Mr. de Quiros, we do need someone we can trust. But I don’t see how that someone is Noynoy at all. On what action, on what defining issue, on what aspect of his life, save for being born into his name or being born in Hacienda Luisita, should we base our trust in him? If the name and the land bear it all, why then don’t we throw all our support behind Kris Aquino, or yes, Gilbert Teodoro? A press briefing right after the announcement of the Noynoy-Mar tandem is very telling.

Asked how different he was from Teodoro, his second cousin, Noynoy, probably caught off-guard, only managed to say that he hoped not to “engage in meaningless arguments but rather on how we intend to push our beliefs in how to govern the country and convince people who has a better plan and platform of government between us”. Yeah, right. Evade the question, give a motherhood statement.

His running mate, correctly realizing that the answer his partner gave was so lame, butted in saying that it was apparent Aquino had difficulty answering the question because after all, he and Teodoro were relatives. Mar then offered his own answer, saying that the difference is “Secretary Gibo said he believed in the programs and policies of GMA and that he would continue them, and Sen. Noynoy does not want the crooked, the wrong. He does not want mulcting and plundering. So, he will do what is straight and true. That’s their difference.”

First of all, to dismiss as meaningless argument the most compelling argument he can make – that of differentiating himself from his cousin – tells us that maybe he himself recognizes that there is not much of a difference between them. Second, for Mar to say that Sen. Noynoy does not want the crooked, the wrong, the mulcting and plundering only exposes his and his running mate’s hypocrisy. Didn’t Noynoy sign the impeachment complaint against Pres. Estrada in 2000, become Deputy Speaker of an Arroyo-JDV Congress in 2004, run for Senate under Erap in 2007, and now isn’t he in the middle of talks with Erap again? Now you tell me who’s a better man, one who flip-flops between two crooks or one who remains loyal to a crook despite her dismal popularity? To paraphrase Orwell, it’s like looking from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again, only to see that it is impossible to say which is which.

You denounce, Mr. de Quiros, Ronnie Puno for having served three masters who delivered this country to the dogs – Marcos, Erap, Gloria – conveniently leaving Cory and Ramos out of the enumeration, as if 1986-1998 were such glorious years in our nation’s history. But really, how different is Ronnie Puno from the posse who currently surround Noynoy? We want a prime example? Let’s look no further than Drilon, the Chairman of Noynoy’s party and one of his closest supporters. Let’s see. He served as Justice Secretary and Executive Secretary of Cory, Justice Secretary of Ramos, Senate President of Erap, ran under Gloria’s “People Power Coalition” in 2004, before bolting once again and re-emerging now behind Noynoy Aquino. How many masters has he served? What makes him better than Ronnie Puno? Again, between the two of them, it’s impossible to say which is which.

All I am asking, Mr. de Quiros, is that you call a spade a spade, and call a pig a pig. If it is a choice of the lesser evil and not a battle of good versus evil then say it. Expose each and every candidate to the people so that we may make an informed decision. Do not stoke our pent up anger at the present administration and our outpour of emotion for the late president into an emotional vote for Noynoy. Sayang e. Magagamit nanaman yung mga tao. Magagago nanaman. Turn it instead into an indignant demand to our candidates for something new, something real. They have never faced that anger. They have not been made accountable for their past actions. Because what we always try to do is to look for that symbol, that pearl, regardless whether that pearl lies among the swines. You are an opinion writer, yes, and are thus entitled to espouse one candidate over another. You are a friend of the late president and of the Aquinos. But I hope you realize that you also represent for many from our generation someone to look up to, and we do not have much left. Please, for the sake of a truly informed electorate, for the sake of political maturity, stop the propaganda and heed this call.

I still love you, Conrado de Quiros. And I love Ninoy. Cory, I am indifferent to. But we all know what will happen if Noynoy wins in 2010.

Philippine Politics: Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas – The Team To Beat

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine News, Philippine Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2009 by JJ Duque

A couple of weeks ago, Senator Mar Roxas gave up his bid to run for president in 2010 in order to allow Senator Noynoy Aquino to run for president. The move of Mar Roxas was doen with the intention to push what’s best for the country. It was uncertain whether or not Mar Roxas would become the vice-presidential running mate of Noynoy Aquino, or whether he would just seek another term as senator.

However, it is now official – Noynoy Aquino for President, and Mar Roxas for Vice President in 2010. Mar Roxas made the announcement at the historic Club Filipino in Greenhills on September 21.

Speaking in Tagalog, Mar Roxas stated, “I am wholeheartedly accepting the responsibility to be Noynoy’s partner in our fight for change.”

Mar Roxas for VP and Noynoy Aquino for President

Mar Roxas for VP and Noynoy Aquino for President

The Aquino-Roxas team has vowed to put a stop to corruption and to fight for a change that will overcome the greed of politicians.

“It’s bigger than the two of us, it is bigger than the Liberal Party. It is about our collective third for change. It is about our thirst for change finally overcoming those who want to continue the tayo-tayo system, the horse-trading, the greed, the self-interest, the transactional politics that has been the biggest roadblock to progress and prosperity for all,” Mar Roxas said.

“This is about what is straight and what is crooked. This is about the honest against the corrupt. This is about right versus wrong, ” he continued.

On a personal note, although their jump from the starting gun may be a bit late, considering that several other presidentiables have already begun their campaigns much earlier (i.e. Manny Villar, Dick Gordon), it is not at all a lost cause for Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas. Actually, I think the fact that they’ve announced their team puts them ahead of everyone else. Senator Manny Villar has already stated his candidacy a logn time ago, and has prepared diligently for the upcoming elections. However, Manny Villar has not yet announced a running mate to be his vice-president, and maybe he has to do so soon if the Filipino people are to seriously consider his presidential campaign.

At the very least, despite their late intentions – Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas have come up with a team, which is more than the other presidential aspirants have done despite their early head-start at campaigning. The common goal of Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas to fight for change in this country gives both of them a solid foundation to embark on issues that will improve the country’s governance, and eventually pave the way to progress that will be for the Filipino people.

Incidentally, Noynoy Aquino‘s father – national hero Ninoy Aquino – and Mar Roxas’ father – former Senator Gerardo Roxas  – are both members of the Upsilon Sigma Phi. Ninoy Aquino is from batch 1950 while Gerry Roxas is from Batch 1946.

One other thing that Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas have in common – Korina Sanchez, but that’s a different soap opera altogether.

Mabuhay si Noynoy and Mar!

Philippine Politics: Manny Pacquiao For Congress – God Save The Philippines

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine News, Philippine Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2009 by JJ Duque

Boxing champ Manny Pacquiao is gunning for a second round attempt for a seat in the Philippine House of Representatives in the upcoming 2010 elections. Manny Pacquiao will be looking to win a congressional seat in his hometown of General Santos City, you know?

Back in 2007, Manny Pacquiao already lost the election, and cited that he wasn’t prepared politically for his campaign due to his busy schedule with boxing fights and training. This coming 2010, Manny Pacquiao still has to train and prepare to fight Miguel Angel Cotto while in the midst of his campaign for congress. Apart from that, he still has a TV show, some movies, maybe another album and whatever. Whatever Manny Pacquiao gets himself into doesn’t surprise me anymore. Yes – even running for congress.

But really now – Do the Filipino people really want Manny Pacquiao in congress? Personally, I would rather he stick to what he does best – which is to fight in the boxing ring and not in the political arena. He may not be the best actor, but let him have his kicks in showbiz, but PLEASE – for the country’s sake – DO NOT RUN FOR CONGRESS, MANNY!

What qualifications do you have to run for politics? ZERO! Manny Pacquiao has spent his entire life as a boxer, and maybe too many left hooks has f***ed up bis brain, which might spur this STUPID decision to run for congress. Manny Pacquiao has no experience in Philippine politics whatsoever, and if he thinks that the politics in boxing is the same as congress, then he must really be out of his mind. I even doubt if Manny Pacquiao will have the time (considering the demands of  his boxing and showbiz career) to read through the many resolutions and legislations that are passed in Congress. Can Manny Pacquiao even effectively deliberate in the halls of congress, or are we just going to hear him say, “You know?” – you know?

If Manny Pacquiao believes he can serve the country because of his deep pockets, then by all means do so. Manny Pacquiao can give to as many charities and come up with as many projects as he wants to help in the development of General Santos City and the Philippines without having to be a congressman.

Manny, Pacman, Champ, Idol – please lang… use your head.

Manny Pacquiao For Congress in 2010 - God Save The Philippines!

Manny Pacquiao For Congress in 2010 - God Save The Philippines!

And to those supposed political  friends and political advisers of Manny Pacquiao – Chavit, Noli Boy, Tolits, Madam GMA – knock some sense into him. He can’t even deliver a proper interview about what he is passionate about (boxing), and you expect him to enter the halls of Philippine congress to enact legislation that will serve our country. It’s not right, you know?

Anyway – I will put my faith on the Filipino people and the intelligent people of General Santos. I’m sure they know better, and it showed in the 2007 elections when Manny Pacquiao lost. And I certainly hope he will lose again, and let the voice of the people be heard that Manny Pacquiao‘s place is not in Philippine congress. You know?

I’m sure everyone has learned their lesson when they put the likes of Ramon Revilla and Robert Jaworski in the Senate, who didn’t even utter a word throughout the entire team that Senate convened. Well, except maybe to raise their hand and ask permission to use the toilet. You know?

The 2010 elections is a critical time for the country, and not only on the Presidential race, but in all levels of government that will be fought for and campaigned for. Please vote wisely. And to the people of General Santos City – I’m sure you have a more qualified candidate for Congress than a popular personality who doesn’t have an ounce of political experience, even if he is world-renowned.

You know better, you know?