Archive for Philippine Opinion

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: The Philippine Presidentiables for 2010

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine Current Events, Philippine Events, Philippine News, Philippine Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2008 by JJ Duque
This Is What They're Fighting For

This Is What They're Fighting For

The year 2008 is ending, and by the time Christmas 2008 hits, we’re going to be receiving a lot of 2009 Calendars from so many people, and I’m pretty sure that a bulk of them will be coming from politicians who are hopefuls to become the next President of the Philippines. By 2009, we’re going to have a lot more politicians making campaigns and hoping to get a lot of media mileage to highlight their achievements over the years in order to prepare their good reputation for the 2010 national election in the Philippines.

As early as now, there are already intentions being stated by many Philippine politicians as to their campaign plans for the upcoming 2010 Philippine elections. And of course, the big election post being sought after is none other than the position of President of the Philippines. Among those who have pretty much given their intention to take the seat from Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo include: Senator Dick Gordon, Vice President Noli De Castro, Senator Kiko Pangilinan, Senator Mar Roxas, Senator Loi Ejercito, Senator Ping Lacson and maybe even former ousted President Joseph ‘ERAP’ Estrada.

Dick Gordon has already started his campaign in Facebook with a profile page called Dick Gordon for President. Dick Gordon was once the controversial former SBMA Chairman, who battled it out against ERAP when he was told to step down as SBMA Chairman. Dick Gordon even had his own little People Power in Olongapo to prevent incoming SBMA chair Felicito Payumo from taking over when then President Joseph Estrada appointed Felicito Payumo for the position to replace Dick Gordon. Apart from that historical memory of Dick Gordon, many will remember how he inspirationally brought back Olongapo City and the rest of Pampanga as a city mayor just after Mt. Pinatubo erupted and devastated that part of the country. Of course, Dick Gordon will also be remembered as the Department of Tourism Secretary and his amazing Wow Philippines! campaign that put the Philippines back as one of the top tourist destinations in Asia. As a senator, Dick Gordon has been a loud voice in national issues that the senate had to address over his term, and many believe that his bullish charisma is the kind of leadership that Filipinos will want for the Philippine Presidential seat.

Vice President Noli De Castro is also looking to replace Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as president, and will hope for Arroyo’s blessing and nomination to be the party representative to run for President. Of course, at this moment of the Philippine republic, it’s not certain if a Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo endorsement might actually be enough for VP Noli De Castro to win, but it might be the only shot he has apart from his popularity as a former newscaster.

Senator Kiko Pangilinan has somehow given his intention to run as a presidential candidate for 2010. However, I have this eerie feeling that if Kiko Pangilinan does become the President of the Philippines, it’ll not be because most Filipinos would love to see Sharon Cuneta as the First Lady of the Philippines more than they want to see Kiko Pangilinan as President. Well, behind every great man is a woman, and definitely Sharon Cuneta has a big pull as a great woman behind a great senator as Kiko Pangilinan. And of course there’s also KC Concepcion.

Mar Roxas For President in 2010

Mar Roxas For President in 2010

Senator Mar Roxas has also given his intention to run for Philippine President in the upcoming 2010 elections. In fact, Mar Roxas already has a blog, showcased as the first blog on the 2010 Philippine Presidential elections. History may favor Mar Roxas as the grandson of former Philippine President Manuel Roxas and son to former Philippine senator Gerardo Roxas. Undoubtedly, Mar Roxas has Philippine politics in his blood, and will be hoping to make use of all that genetic political wisdom to impart on the Philippines. It might also help that highly acclaimed, popular newscaster Korina Sanchez is having a relationship with Mar Roxas, although the two have yet to get married if Korina Sanchez would become the First Lady of the Philippines. Mar Roxas was also a very instrumental Department of Trade & Industry Secretary, and did much to shape the economy and growing industries of the Philippines.

Senator Ping Lacson has not been as vocal as Mar Roxas or Dick Gordon in his intention to run for President in 2010, but the Philippine rumor mill has put out his name as one of the hopefuls to run for President in 2010 probably because Ping Lacson can afford to run. Of course, not just because of Ping Lacson‘s extensive financial resources, but also because of his keen connections in the ranks of the Philippine military and Philippine National Police, which are very essential in maintaining order and discipline in the country. As we’ve noticed in our history, without the backing of the military, it is easy to establish a coup d’ etat which eventually will have long term effects on the growth of the Philippine economy, and not to mention the distrust with with foreign investors and the ill-perception around the globe as a result of such ugly moments. In fact, military control is so important – that without it, a President can actually lose power as seen in the history of both EDSA People Power revolts. With former PNP Chief Ping Lacson in power as President, then perhaps the issue of law and order, and even civil unrest with the likes of the MNLF or Abu-Sayyaf, can be thoroughly addressed to promote a lasting peace in the Philippines, which all sectors definitely wish for.

Senator Loi Ejercito is also a candidate to run for President in 2010, but she hasn’t really yet stated her intentions. Of course, Loi Ejercito will be banking on the fact that several Filipinos are still loyal to former President Joseph Estrada, and having him as her endorser might be good enough to have her win the Presidential seat in 2010. However, that’s only if former President Joseph Estrada doesn’t run for President himself. Former President Joseph Estrada has already been quoted as saying that he will run for President if the Filipino people really want him to run, and if the opposition really doesn’t have a formidable choice to vie for the Presidential seat in 2010. According to former President Joseph Estrada, he hasn’t technically finished his term as President, and is qualified under the Philippine constitution’s election code to be eligible for re-election. However, becoming President again considering his tainted controversial past during his term of office, will be a hard obstacle to overcome, and thus Joseph Estrada might instead opt to endorse his First Lady Loi Ejercito instead of himself.

Let’s not also forget Eddie Gil, who just might come back in 2010 to try his luck again, probably with a different hairdo. Blonde na si Eddie Gil!

What about Manny Pacquiao for President in 2010? Well, he’ll certainly afford the campaign after his fight with Oscar De La Hoya. And maybe he’ll earn some more votes if he beats Oscar De La Hoya. However, he lost in the Congressional race last election at his home town in General Santos, and that’s already saying a lot about what people think of Manny Pacquiao entering politics. But who knows, maybe it’ll be different on a national level.

What Manny Pacquiao Can Do With $23 Million Dollars

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine Events, Philippine News, Philippines Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2008 by JJ Duque

After several huge boxing matches with the likes of Juan Manuel Marquez, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales and David Diaz, Manny Pacquiao has already earned himself quite a lot of money. I’m sure everyone has heard rumors of how he’s spent his money, including a stint to compete for a congressional seat in the Philippine House of Representatives.

We also know of his many endorsement bonuses from Nike, No Fear, San Miguel Beer, Alaxan and even Magic Sing!

Anyway, let’s just say Manny Pacquiao is very well-off (to put it lightly).

Now, Manny Pacuqiao is set to fight Oscar De La Hoya in what could possible earn him $23 Million Dollars. With a 40 peso exchange rate to the dollar (and that’s being crude), that would be something like – 920 Million Pesos. Ho hum, now what to do? At this point, you may space out for a bit and give yourself some time to imagine.

If you’ve decided to continue reading…

Manny Pacquiao – 23 million dollars/920 Million Pesos!

Eto lang iyan, Sir Pacman:

Manny Pacquiao, you should invest 20 Million Pesos to live it up in Las Vegas for a while, and work on the possibility of getting Daniel Negreanu, Phil Helmuth, Barry Greenstein, Phil Ivey and Howard Lederer to teach you some texas hold’em, and you could probably earn at least 20% investment on your 20 million pesos each month.

On the remaining 900 million pesos, Manny Pacquiao should put up a corporation that would handle a group of companies that would specialize in: (1) providing alternative energy solutions for the Philippines; (2) constructing and managing a world class 100,000 seater stadium and sports center that can host big sporting events and possibly be the kind of secure and developed Philippine venue that U2 would agree to play on; (3) building and managing a desalination plant that could transform the surrounding Pacific Ocean to drinkable, potable water for the 7,200 islands of the Philippines; (4) promoting boxing fights and not just for Philippine boxers, but the good fights; (5) managing assets on co-ownership of a professional sports team like maybe the Boston Celtics or something that could use some improvement like the New York Knicks; and (6) produce Hollywood blockbuster movies, preferably by Pixar.

Manny Pacquiao Should Invest In Alternative Energy For The Philippines

Manny Pacquiao Should Invest In Alternative Energy For The Philippines

It might sound like the bills might go over budget from 900 million pesos, but then that’s where the business sense of Manny Pacquiao should kick in along with the wheeling and dealing that is needed to transform 900 million pesos into something even bigger and greater. And while my list may seem a tad bit too far-fetched and exaggerated, there are some bright ideas there that I’m sure Manny Pacquiao can start with in order to provide a positive and worthwhile contribution to the development of the Philippines, and not just build his certain legacy, but also provide a sustainable thriving business that could multiply his money.

Oh, and Sir Pacman – if you ever need anyone to help you run such a cooperation, I would be honored to submit an application.

Meanwhile, our thoughts go with you in your next match against Oscar De La Hoya. They may not be favorable thoughts for you, but at least $23 Million dollars. Manalo, matalo – malayo na mararating niyan, diba?

Pacquiao vs Dela Hoya Tickets and Ringside Seats Available Here.