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May Nabura sa Hard Disk ni Luy

Diretsahan

 

ni Horacio Paredes

 

            Ang ika-huling pangyayari sa kasong Naoles ay ang pagkaka-delete ng ilang files sa external hard disk ng whistleblower na si Benhur Luy. Sino ang nag-delete ng mga files sa hard disk na ito. Gustong malaman ng Departmentof Justice at ni Justce Secretary Leila de Lima kung baket merong nawawala sa ilang nilalaman ang hard disk ni Luy at ang tinatanong ni de Lima ay si Luy na gusto niyang magpaliwanag kung baket merong nawawala sa kaniyang hard disk.

            Meron namang ilan na naghihinala na ang mga nagtanggal ng ilang mga nilalaman ng computer ni Luy ay ang pamahalaan dahil na ang kanilang hinihinala ay baka ito ang patunay sa sinasabi ni Janet na natuto lamang siya kay Butch Abad kung papaano ang sistema sa pag-gawa ng Saro at pag-bitiw ng kwarta para sa PDAF.

            Sa mga pangyayari tungkol sa kasong PDAF , mukhang napakarami ang ginagawa ng kung sino-sino upang gumulo mamg gumulo ang kaso imbes na lumiwanag kung ano nga ba ang nangyari, Sa ngayon ay parang maaaring tumungo ang kwento sa kung saan-saan, lalo na sa pagkalita ng mga naburang mga files na pinasok ni Luy sa kaniyang external hard disk, Sino ang nagbura? Si Luy ba?

            Sa totoo lamang ang mga hard disk ay talagang merong mga file na nabubura. Maaring binura ang mga matagal nang hindi ginagamit ng mga files o baka naman gumawa ng sulat at pinalitan ito ng bago. O, scratch na tinapon na dahui pinalitan ng bago o kaya’y nag-iba ang ginawang bagong sulat o file.

            Ngunit sa mga nangyayaring kagulohan tama ang sinasabi ng ilan na tayo sa Pinas ay “disfunctional”, sa Tagalog, magugulo at para pa ngang marami ang nanggugulo. Dito lamang yata na ang ebidensiyang nasa kamay na ng awtoridad ay maaari pa ring burahin o baguhin. Eto ay kung ang ating pinaghihinalaan ay ang mga taga-gobiyerno ang binubura kung ano man ang makakasira sa mga taga-gobiyerno.

            Napakalungkot ang stwasyon. Ang nangyari sa PDAF at sa “pork barrel” ay pagkakataon na malinis ang isang sangay ng ating lipunan at gobiyerno, isang sangay ng pamahalaan na binubuo ng mga mambabatas. Ngunit, sa nakikita natin, gumugulo ng gumugulo ang imbestigayon at baka matapos ito na mawawala lamang sa wala at walang magbabago dahil sa kagulohan ng mga ebidensiya at sa mga kalokohang nakikita nating nangyayari.

            Pinaghihinalaan na ang mga nabura sa hard disk niLuy ay maaaring ebidensiya na maaaring magpatunay na merong ilang mambabatas at iba pang mga tao na mapapatunayang nakinabang sa PDAF at pork barrel.

            Ito po ang kaso: Si Janet Lim Napoles at ang kaniyang mga empleyado (na ngayon ay tinuturing na mga “whisltleblowers) kasama ang ilang corrupt at masibang mga mambabatas, katulong ang Department of Budget and Management (DBM), ay nakakuha ng  P10 bilyon na galing sa  DBM na dapat ay napunta sa mga mahihirap at nangangailangan. Ang kwarta  ay bilang PDAF o pork barrel ng ilang senador at kongresista ay dinaan sa mga  non-government organizations at kooperatiba na gawa-gawa lamang ni Napoles. Ang kwarta ay pinaghatian nina Napoles at ng ilang mambabatas.

            Umabot raw sa 50 na file ang nabura ngunit, ayon sa ilan naibalik raw ang mga binura ayon sa

Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. eto raw ay mga project proposal, endorsement letter at disbursement records.  

            Ngunit ang dapat pa nating malaman ay kung sino ang nagbura ng mga files na nawala at kung baket binura ang mga ito. Sana namang malaman rin natin kung baket binura ang mga ito.

hvp (06.08.14)

 

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Why Not Use the BNPP?

In terms of lives lost per unit of energy generated, nuclear power has caused less fatalities per unit of energy generated than the other major sources of energy generation. Energy production from coal, petroleum, natural gas and hydropower has caused a greater number of fatalities per unit of energy generated due to air pollution and energy accident effects.

 

 

by Ducky Paredes

 

Nuclear power, or nuclear energy, is the use of exothermic nuclear processes, to generate useful heat and electricity. The term includes nuclear fission, nuclear decay and nuclear fusion.

Presently the nuclear fission of elements in the actinide series of the periodic table produce the vast majority of nuclear energy in the direct service of humankind, with nuclear decay processes, primarily in the form of geothermal energy, and radioisotope thermoelectric generators, in niche uses making up the rest. Nuclear (fission) power stations, provides about 5.7% of the world’s energy and 13% of the world’s electricity in 2012.

In 2013, the IAEA report that there are 437 operational nuclear power reactors, in 31 countries, although not every reactor is producing electricity. In addition, there are approximately 140 naval vessels using nuclear propulsion in operation, powered by some 180 reactors. As of 2013, attaining a net energy gain from sustained nuclear fusion reactions, excluding natural fusion power sources such as the Sun, remains an ongoing area of international physics and engineering research.

There is an ongoing debate about nuclear power. Proponents, such as the World Nuclear Association, the IAEA and Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy contend that nuclear power is a safe, sustainable energy source that reduces carbon emissions. Opponents, such as Greenpeace International and NIRS, contend that nuclear power poses many threats to people and the environment.

Nuclear power plant accidents include the Chernobyl disaster (1986), Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster (2011), and the Three Mile Island accident (1979). There have also been some nuclear submarine accidents. In terms of lives lost per unit of energy generated, nuclear power has caused less fatalities per unit of energy generated than the other major sources of energy generation. Energy production from coal, petroleum, natural gas and hydropower has caused a greater number of fatalities per unit of energy generated due to air pollution and energy accident effects. However, the economic costs of nuclear power accidents is high, and meltdowns can take decades to clean up. The human costs of evacuations of affected populations and lost livelihoods is also significant

Along with other sustainable energy sources, nuclear power is a low carbon power generation method of producing electricity, with an analysis of the literature on its total life cycle emission intensity finding that it is similar to other renewable sources in a comparison of greenhouse gas(GHG) emissions per unit of energy generated. With this translating into, from the beginning of nuclear power station commercialization in the 1970s, having prevented the emission of approximately 64 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gases, gases that would have otherwise resulted from the burning of fossil fuels in thermal power stations.

As of 2012, according to the IAEA, worldwide there were 68 civil nuclear power reactors under construction in 15 countries, approximately 28 of which in the Peoples Republic of China (PRC), with the most recent nuclear power reactor, as of May 2013, to be connected to the electrical grid, occurring on February 17, 2013 in Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Plant in the PRC.

In the USA, two new Generation III reactors are under construction at Vogtle. U.S. nuclear industry officials expect five new reactors to enter service by 2020, all at existing plants. In 2013, four aging, uncompetitive, reactors were permanently closed.

Japan’s 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, which occurred in a reactor design from the 1960s, prompted a re-examination of nuclear safety and nuclear energy policy in many countries. Germany decided to close all its reactors by 2022, and Italy has banned nuclear power. Following Fukushima, in 2011 the International Energy Agency halved its estimate of additional nuclear generating capacity to be built by 2035.

* * *

We have mail from www,kuryentenuklear,com. The message is a simple one. “Since its completion 30 years ago, the Bataan Nuclear Plant was ‘ready to run.’ Today, it is our hope that BNPP will celebrate a new bisthday — as a commissioned and operating nuclear power plant. How long can we keep ignoring her? Let us act now. Commission BNPP and let’s start moving forward.”

The message comes from former congressman Mark Cojuangco, who says: “Thirty years have passed and we have proven that the solution to our power problems cannot happen by itself. Planning and debates alone will not do, actual work has to be done.

“Thirty years have passed and the doomsayers’ prediction did not happen. BNPP has not been blown down by the many typhoons that have come and gone; not destroyed by the strongest quakes; not buried by Pinatubo’s fury; not swallowed up by the earth.

“BNPP is not the white elephant that the oppositions to it would have us believe. BNPP is the safest and cleanest source of v0f 620MW Kuryente just waiting to happen, BNPP had generated over 5MW of power during its hot functional testing which ended in May 28,1984.”

Apparently, it had been tested also recently and it still gives the same power leading us to conclude that BNPP could solve our energy crisis overnight. There is nothing wrong with wanting to start up the BNPP. Read the Constitution; it declares our “freedom from nuclear weapons”; it does not prevent the use of nuclear energy.

What if we commission our scientists to rate BNPP as to its safety so that we can at least use it to boost our electricity supply in the meantime that we are creating other sources — solar, wind, hydro, coal, gas, bunker and whatever else.

While I would not go for a total reliance on nuclear and would eventually go with the German decision of eventually ridding itself of nuclear as it has already decided (by 2030), I have to agree with Congressman Mark that we ought to at least use the BNPP in the meantime to help our power skituation.

* * *

As part of my rewards for having been one of the first customers of Globe. I was given an LG Phone by Globe. It came with a free one month insurance against loss from Ace Insurance with a premium  of a little over P100 a month beginning on the 31st day after delivery.

I am not using the phone. Thus, I want to cancel the insurance. I called up Ace and they gave me a way to cancel. One has to call a number and send a text message asking that the insurance not be continued. Every time, I send my text, however, I get a message back telling me that they were unable to process my request and to call again. I have already tried several times and I always get the same message.

I am making this of record so that the DOTC or whoever has authority over telcos such as Globe can put a stop to what looks to me like a scam. I am not using or planning to use the phone. Why would I want to pay for loss insurance?

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hvp 06.08.14

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Ayong Maliksi, PCSO Chairman

Their modus operandi is to control the collections of all jueteng bets in the guise of submitting them before the government –run Small Town Lottery (STL).

 

 

by Ducky Paredes

 

I was originally unimpressed with the impending appointment of former Cavite Gov. Ayong Maliksi as the new chair of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), until I noticed that many in politics are moving heaven and earth to prevent Maliksi’s takeover  from happening.

I am told that Maliksi had already met with  President Aquino a few days ago and was briefed on his takeover of the PCSO from Margarita Juico, a former appointments secretary of the late former President Corazon Aquino, who did very well with the PCSO.

Margie is the wife of Philip Juico who served as secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform also during the administration of the incumbent President’s mother. She said only that she was leaving the PCSO to have time with family.

Meanwhile, I have it on good account that there are groups and individuals who have been lording it over at the PCSO for the longest time now. These have even forged an unholy alliance with some political enemies of Maliksi to ensure that he would not be given the coveted post.

Shortly after the alliance was formed, they immediately buckled down to work and tapped some operators, who went on a media campaign in a bid to discredit the former governor before the eyes of the public and President Aquino himself.

It is therefore no surprise that one of the accusations that they are throwing against Maliksi, was the long settled issue about the LRT Cavite extension project, which he has already sufficiently explained numerous times in the past.

It is good thing that the issue failed to take off simply because the people realize that it was nothing but a mere attempt to undermine the credibility of Gov. Maliksi.

* * *

Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. of Dasmariñas City in Cavite said the former governor is “more than qualified” to take over the post.

“The credentials of former Rep. Ayong Maliksi as three-term mayor of Imus from 1988 to 1998 and three-term governor of Cavite from 2001 to 2010 show that he is more than qualified to be PCSO chairman,” he said.

“As mayor and governor of the country’s most populous province, he personally witnessed and effectively attended to the needs of the people, especially the indigents, who benefited from the implementation of projects and programs on health and social welfare,” he said.

“Hence, since the mandate of the PCSO is to raise funds to provide opportune and responsive health and welfare assistance, former congressman Maliksi is more than capable of assuming the post of PCSO chairman to effectively carry out the mandate of the agency to finance and support health programs, medical assistances and services, and charities,” he added.

Barzaga and Maliksi were colleagues in the last Congress but are not partymates. Barzaga belongs to the National Unity Party, while Maliksi is a Liberal Party member. The latter tried to reclaim his gubernatorial seat in the May 2013 elections, but lost to Juanito Victor Remulla Jr. of the Nacionalista Party.

Barzaga also belied talk that the President is about to appoint Maliksi as PCSO chairman to wipe the Revillas from the Cavite political landscape.

“There is no truth to the claim that the Maliksis and the Remullas are now political allies. They are still on opposite political alliances. On the contrary, it is the Remullas and Revillas that are on the same side of the political fence, since the vice governor is a Revilla,” he said.

* * *

My informants says that these anti-Maliksi groups are composed of some erstwhile operators inside the PCSO who have been actively working in cahoots with the group of a well known illegal gambling lord.

This gambling lord has control of all illegal numbers game especially “jueteng” operations from Southern all the way to Northern Luzon areas, but has remained untouchable through these years because of his tight and well-entrenched political connections.

Their modus operandi is to control the collections of all jueteng bets in the guise of submitting them before the government –run Small Town Lottery (STL).

This modus enables the gambling operators to operate virtually unhampered for many years now, while amassing billions of pesos in earnings, and in the process depriving the government coffers of billions of pesos in potential revenues.

The thought of losing this huge income once Maliksi takes control of  the PCSO, is surely giving these illegal gambling operators nightmares and sleepless nights.

They know that unlike his predecessors, Maliksi would surely completely follow the instructions of President Aquino to clean up the agency and throw out all the shadowy operators who work in connivance with the illegal gambling lords.

His perceived enemies are completely aware that no amount of convincing could make Maliksi change his mind and cooperate with them, because he was known to be a tough anti-gambling advocate during his time as governor of Cavite.  

 It is imperative for them therefore to prevent Maliksi from assuming his post, which explains why he is under sustained media attacks the past weeks since news of his appointment was leaked.

To the credit of Maliksi however, he refuses to be affected by the black propaganda hurled against him  and by this time could be plotting his next moves to throw out and even prosecute the gambling lords if ever he takes  over at the PCSO.

With Maliksi at the PCSO, I am confident that the agency will be in good hands and the public especially the poor and the sick would receive undivided and immediate attention and assistance that they deserve .

After all, the poor are the very reason why the PCSO was created in the first place.

* * *

Rotary International is having its convention this week in Sydney. Australia. I am the President of the Rotary Club of Pasig and would have gone if I could. Maybe it’s better that I decided not to go. Among my classmates (fellow Rotary Presidents), First Class President Rodel “Odie” Zafra of RC Marikina North presented the official letter-invitation from Rotary International together with a letter  from our District 3800 Governor Louie Ticman and everything else that the Australian Consulate asked for.

Too bad that the consul on duty was a fellow Filipino named. J. Amistad. For no sane reason, the consul said he did not believe that Zafra was going to the convention. He said he believed that my fellow president was only using Rotary as an excuse to get into Australia, after which he would overstay, look for work and stay in Australia forever.

What his basis was for not issuing a visa for Zafra was nothing but his prejudiced belief that Filipinos are not trustworthy and would lie and cheat just to get into his new country. As an Aussie, former Filipinos should act like Aussies instead of using their prejudiced view of other Pinoys, based on God-knows-what, using their prejudice of Pinoy visa applicants as a reason to deny them entry.

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hvp 06.06.14

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Ayong Maliksi, PCSO Chairman

Diretsahan

 ni Horacio Paredes  

    Sino ang umaayaw sa pagtatalaga ng dating Cavite Gov. Ayong Maliksi na manuno sa Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO)?

        Ayon sa aking “source” sa Malakanyang nagkita na sina Maliksi at ang Pangulo noong isang linggo pa at sinabihan na ang dating Gubernador  kung ano ang inaasahan ng Pangulo na mangyayari sa huling dalawang taon niya sa Malkanayang tungkol sa PCSO.

        Ang bumitiw sa PCSO na si  Margie Juico, misis ni Philip Juico na dating secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform noong panahon ni Cory. Si Margie naman noon ay Appointments Secretary ni Presidente Cory.

        Ngunit, marami yata ang mga pumapalag sa appointment ni Maliksi at kanilang ginagamit ang media upang siraan ang dating Gubernador sa mata ng tao at sa pananaw ni PNoy.

        Sino ba ang hindi sumasangayon sa ginugusto ng Pangulo na ilagay si Maiksi bilang pinuno ng PCSO? Ayon sa isa kong tinaong, ‘ika nito na  ang kumokontra kay Maliksi ay walang iba kundi ang mga taga-PCSO na mga tauhan ng isang kilalang gambling lord sa Luzon.

        Ang kanilang tinutukoy na gambling lord ay malawak ang hawak sa  “jueteng” mula sa Timog hanggang sa  Hilagang Luzon, ngunit hindi pa rin mapatigil dahil matagal na itong “untouchable” dahil mabigat ang kaniyang mga padrino.

        A modus operandi ng ilang “jueteng lord” ay ang pag-gamit ng Small Town Lottery (STL) kasabay ng kanilang operasyon sa “jueteng.”

        Malamang na, sa kanilang hinaharap kapag sineryoso ni Maliksi ang magtanggal sa kanilang “jueteng operation” kung kaya ganoon na lamang ang paninirang ginagawa nila kay Maliksi sa media.

        Nalalaman nila na kung ano ang iutos ng Pangulo kay Maliksi tungkol sa paglilinis ng PCSO at pagtanggal ng lahat na nakikipag-ugnayan sa mga “gambling lord” ay matutupad.

        Si Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. ng Dasmariñas City isa Cavite ay tinuturing si Maliksi na  “more than qualified” na mamuno sa PCSO..

        “The credentials of former Rep. Ayong Maliksi as three-term mayor of Imus from 1988 to 1998 and three-term governor of Cavite from 2001 to 2010 show that he is more than qualified to be PCSO chairman,” ayon kay Barzaga..

        “As mayor and governor of the country’s most populous province, he personally witnessed and effectively attended to the needs of the people, especially the indigents, who benefited from the implementation of projects and programs on health and social welfare.

        “Hence, since the mandate of the PCSO is to raise funds to provide opportune and responsive health and welfare assistance, former congressman Maliksi is more than capable of assuming the post of PCSO chairman to effectively carry out the mandate of the agency to finance and support health programs, medical assistances and services, and charities,” ‘ika ng Kongresista.

        Kapag si  Maliksi ay naka-upo na sa PCSO, naniniwala ako na mapapaganda pa ang paglilingkod sa bayan ng ahensiya.

        Sa totoo lamang, ‘di ba ang mga mahihirap sa ating mga Pilipino ang rason na tinayo ang PCSO upang merong silang tatakbuhan sa kanilang mga pangangailangan?

* * *

        Ang isa kong kasamahan na Presidente ng kaniyang Rotary Club of Marikina North ay gusto sanang makatungo sa Australia upang dumlo sa Rotary International Convention sa Sydney. Meron siyang imbitasyon mula sa Rotary International at dala rin niya ang sulat galing sa District Governor ng Rotary International District 3800, ang dating Heneral na si Louie Ticman. Kumpleto ang kaniiyang papeles. Kaya lang ang consul pala sa Autralian Embassy ay isang Pilipino na ngangalang J. Amistad.

        Hindi ako makapanilwala na hindi binigyan ng Visa si President Rodel “Odie” Zafra ng RC Marikina North sa dahilan ayon sa Consul ng Australan Embassy na hindi raw siya naniniwala na gusto ni Rodel na lumahok sa Intenrational Convention ng Rotary at ang hinala raw niya ay gusto lamang ni  Rodel Zafra na makapasok sa Australia upang maging overstaying Filipino (TNT) tapos hindi na babalik sa Pilipinas at doon na maninirahan.            

          Wala siyang rason upang paghinalaan ang isang gusto lamang maka-dalo sa isang Internatjonal Rotary Convention, bilang Rotarian at presidente ng kaniyang Rotary Club, lalo na’t malapit-lapit ang venue sa Pinas.

            Pilipino na nga ang Consul, hindi pa rin pinaniwalaan ang isang Presidente ng Rotary Club. Mas maganda pa sana ang nangyari kay Rodel kung Australyano ang humarap sa kaniya at hindi Pilipinong minamata ang mga kapwa Pilipinong gustong makabisita sa bagong bansa ng consul.

* * *

        Basahin ang aking mga  kolum sa www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. Mag-email sa duckyparedes@gmail.com.

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hvp (06.06.14)

 

 

 

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Why the MRT Sucks?

DOTC awarded a P3.769-billion contract to Dalian Locomotive for the supply of 48 LRVs despite MRTC’s objections, prompting the move by its stockholders to take legal action against DOTC for once more violating the BLT agreement.

                                                                       

                                                                                   

by Ducky Paredes

 

 

The House good government committee’s inquiry into the $30-million Metro Rail Transit Line 3 extortion scandal resulted in the surprise relief or resignation of MRT3 general manager Al Vitangcol III.

Vitangcol had been on the hot seat since Czech Ambassador Josef Rychtar accused him of trying to extort $30 million—later on pruned to $2 million—from Czech train manufacturer Inekon Group.

Vitangcol subsequently took a leave of absence but quietly slipped back to work about a month later after Secretary Joseph Abaya of the Department of Transportation and Communications cleared him of the extortion charge even as the DOTC and the Department of Justice (DOJ)’s National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) were still in the midst of their parallel probes into this scandal.

But what finally did Vitangcol in was a media expose on Vitangcol’s award in 2012 of the MRT3’ P517-million maintenance contract—sans a public bidding—to the consortium of Philippine Trams Rail Management & Services (PH Trams) and Comm Builders & Technology Inc. (CB&T), a newly formed and undercapitalized joint venture identified with his wife’s uncle Arturo Soriano.

* * *

The Palace should get to the bottom of the extortion charge by Rychtar—as corroborated by Husek—even if only for the fact that in this version of the “he said, she said” situation, Rychtar is probably telling the truth for an ambassador to make such a scandalous charge against a top government official in his host-country.

Moreover, the foreign affairs office of the Czech Republic would have recalled Rychtar as soon as he hurled his charge last year if it didn’t believe his accusation to avoid a diplomatic row with the Philippines. That Rychtar is still in Manila almost a year after his initial expose against Vitangcol is testament that he has Prague’s blessings to continue telling the local media and lawmakers about the MRT3 gang’s squeeze play on the Czech train manufacturer.

Thus, it is incumbent on Malacañang to pursue other leads as to why this EDSA rail system has become a daily ride to hell for the estimated 560,000 passengers, nearly double the original capacity of 320,000 to 350,000 riders.

 These include the points raised by two MRT Corp. (MRTC) executives in letters to President Aquino: [1] urgency for a technical audit of the MRT3 system, and [2] award to China’s Dalian Locomotive of the almost P3.8-billion contract for the supply of 48 new coaches in violation of the Build-Lease-Transfer (BLT) accord covering this transport project.

* * *

Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas, who was the one who moved for the committee to look deeper into the contract, dismissed Vitangcol’s explanation that Soriano had already divested from PH Trams. “That’s what we call kaliwaan or… palusot [excuse].”

ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio  noted: “It would appear that the main thing PH Trams brought to the table is its connection with the bids and awards committee. The hypothesis coming out is that PH Trams was a broker.”

Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga wondered why DOTC awarded the maintenance contract to PH Trams when it was only two months old and had a relatively small paid-up capital.

* * *

MRTC directors Rafael Perez de Tagle Jr. and Rogelio Bondoc Jr. sent two separate letters to President Aquino, through Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa III, last April 2.

De Tagle and Bondoc told President Aquino that the accidents, train shortages, breakdowns and long station queues “only occurred after the DOTC took over the maintenance of the MRT3 System last October 2012. These incidents never happened before when MRTC’s maintenance provider, TES-P of Sumitomo Corp. of Japan (TES-P/Sumitomo) was handling the maintenance of the MRT3 System for over 10 years.”

Tagle and Bondoc told President Aquino that three years ago, MRTC already told the DOTC the need to bid out the maintenance deal for this train system, as the contract of TES-P/Sumitomo was about to end.

But instead of acting on the firm’s reminder in a “timely fashion,” the DOTC procrastinated and waited until with just a few days left in the contract’s term before directing MRTC to conduct a public bidding for a new maintenance provider and to exclude TES-P/Sumitomo from it.

However, DOTC reneged on their BOT pact and named the joint venture PH Trams-CB&T as the interim maintenance provider through a mere negotiated arrangement instead of the required public bidding..

What makes this DOTC action worse, they said, is that a November 9, 2012 certification by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proves that PH Trams was not even a duly registered entity with the SEC, let alone qualified to maintain an important public utility system like the MRT3, which was valued at $750 million or roughly P30 billion.

Violating the BLT anew, the DOTC later on awarded the one-year P685 million-maintenance contract for MRT3 to Autre Porte Technique Global Inc. (APT Global), without first submitting the TOR to MRTC for its prior consideration and approval.

* * *

 On top of these BLT breaches, De Tagle and Bondoc noted that MRTC had repeatedly requested DOTC for an independent third-party technical audit for the MRT3 to ensure the safety of the riding public and ascertain that the entire system was being properly maintained and run on the basis of their BLT agreement’s operational specifications.

 The BLT terms specify a minimum of 54 to 60 light rail vehicles (LRVs)—consisting of 18 to 20 trains with 3 coaches each—running on the elevated EDSA tracks with a headway or interval between trains of three (3) minutes during peak hours.

 “However, DOTC has never responded and/or has ignored the demand of MRTC for the technical audit.  In fact, DOTC did not even show up during the Jan. 27, 2014 MRTC Board Meeting where DOTC was supposed to present to the MRTC Board the maintenance provider they had already chosen. Notwithstanding the fact that this presentation was even confirmed by DOTC Undersecretary Jose Lotilla, DOTC did not even bother to call up to say they had decided not to come.”

An independent audit of the MRT3 system is rather urgent, given the month-ago warning by rail consultant Rolf Jhann Bierithat the 15-year-old trains are in dire need of new motors and that the successive breakdowns were symptomatic of “metal fatigue.”

* * *

President Aquino could prove to the public that Malacañang is serious about addressing the nagging MRT3 issues—in keeping with his Daang Matuwid agenda—by pulling out all stops in the parallel investigations into the corruption and mismanagement—despite Vitangcol’s exit.

This is the only logical thing for him to do in view of his promise that Vitangcol would be prosecuted in connection with the reported award of the MRT3 contract to his wife’s uncle.

Vitangcol’s guilt has been virtually confirmed by no less than Secretary Abaya.  During the House hearing, Abaya said  that he relieved the MRT3 manager for not disclosing his uncle-in-law’s ties to winning contractor PH Trams.

President Aquino can prove that the Filipino masa—in this case, Metro Manila’s commuters—are really his bosses by acting on the three proposals by De Tagle and Bondoc, which are [1] an independent audit of the MRT3 system to determine its safety, [2] a public bidding by DOTC to select a highly competent maintenance provider, and [3] DOTC’s compliance with the BLT contract until such time that Government had taken over MRT3 from the private stockholders—by way of its long-stalled $1-billion Equity Value Buyout (EVBO) plan.

* * *

In their second letter to President Aquino, also dated April 2 and similarly coursed through Ochoa, De Tagle and Bondoc also punctured the DOTC spin that it had to forge a supply contract with Dalian Locomotive because of MRTC’s repeated failure to acquire additional LRVs and modernize the system.

These MRTC directors said DOTC’s recent award of such a supply contract to Dalian Locomotive was in violation of the Revised Build and Lease Agreement—dated Aug. 8, 1997—between the Philippine Government, through DOTC, and MRTC.

This BLT deal, which remains in force, bars DOTC from operating trains in the MRT3 System unless such LRVs are [1] supplied by MRTC, or [2] were acquired by DOTC after MRTC had been afforded its right of first refusal.

In keeping with the BLT accord’s terms and conditions, they note that MRTC “has long been working with DOTC to procure additional LRVs to increase capacity from 350,00 passengers to 660,000 passengers a day.”

Back in 2000 upon the MRT3’s completion, they said MRTC had already proposed the purchase of additional LRVs to meet future demand, given the two-year lead time for the manufacture of new coaches.

* * *

MRTC proposed anew to DOTC the purchase of additional trains in 2002, when the daily target of 350,000 riders was reached that year, and again in 2004 and 2005 when the system “had then already reached its maximum design capacity.”

 They point out that the DOTC finally relented in 2008 and accepted MRTC’s proposal on the acquisition of brand new LRVs as provided in the Feasibility Study, which was released in October 2008 after being crafted with inputs from MRTC representatives.

 However, this purchase plan was “relegated to the back seat” that year as the DOTC’s new BLT breach concerning the “continuously delayed” Equity Rental Payments (ERPs) to MRTC, forced this company to file an arbitration case in Singapore to resolve the dispute.

 “Clearly, the delay in the acquisition of new LRVs is not due to MRTC but to the inaction and indecision of the previous Administration,” the two MRTC directors said in their letter.

MRTC shareholders again proposed the purchase of LRVs at no cost to the Government in November 2010, they said, [1] in support of the Aquino administration’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) program, and [2] because of the then-resolution of the ERP issue with the naming of Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and Land of the Philippines (LandBank) representatives to the MRTC Board.

Instead, they added, DOTC awarded a P3.769-billion contract to Dalian Locomotive for the supply of 48 LRVs despite MRTC’s objections, prompting the move by its stockholders to take legal action against DOTC for once more violating the BLT agreement.

 They were referring to President Aquino’s issuance on Feb. 28, 2013 of Executive Order No. 126 on the reverse privatization of MRT3, meaning the government takeover of this train system prior to its re-privatization under the Equity Value Buyout (EVBO) plan of the DOTC and Department of Finance (DOF).

DBP and LandBank own between them about 80% of the MRT3 bonds issued by MRTC, covering the monthly leases collected from Phase 1 of this EDSA rail system. MRTC’s common shares still belong to the firm’s original shareholders and are not covered by these two state banks’ combined stake.

De Tagle and Bondoc requested the President to direct DOTC “to respect the provisions of the BLT Agreement and mandate both DOTC and DOF to immediately begin discussions with MRTC to once and for all resolve the pending issues affecting the MRT3 System, consistent with the BLT Agreement and the spirit and letter of EO 126.”

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hvp 06.05.14

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

A Critique on PHl Land Reform

It is time in other words to stop redistributing poverty!”

 

 by Ducky Paredes


A reader sent us a letter with a pamphlet as an attachment. I found the letter interesting as was the attachment. Here is the letter:

 

Top of Form

 

Bottom of Form

The law extending the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program is set to expire by the end of June 2014. With CARP’s impending expiration, the business and agricultural sectors thought that they can already heave a sigh of relief that the program which has hobbled the economy and raised false hopes among its beneficiaries will finally be put to rest. Unfortunately, some sectors still insist on beating a dead horse.

It is very alarming that House Committee on Agrarian Reform railroaded the approval of the bill which proposes to extend CARP, as if the damage it has done to the agricultural sector and government coffers is not enough.

National scientist Dr. Raul V. Fabella, a professor and former dean of the UP School of Economics, has written a discussion paper titled “CARP: Time to Let Go” (copy attached) which cites economic studies showing that, after 26 years of spending billions in program implementation, CARP failed to uplift the lives of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs), it reduced agricultural productivity, drove away investments in agriculture and created a new class of farmers - the landed poor.

Some highlights of the discussion paper are:  CARP seeks to distribute 5 million hectares of land comprising 16% of total Philippine land area, whereas Japan’s vaunted land reform distributed only 1.76 million hectares comprising 4.7% of its land area while Taiwan distributed only half a million hectares.

  While there was a notable increase in the production of palay and corn (which were already covered by the Marcos era land reform program), there was a 40% decrease in coconut production and 8% reduction in sugar production in areas which were covered by the present-day CARP.

Only 54% of ARBs belong to agrarian reform communities (ARCs) where government and non-government aid go. More than half of these ARBs fall below the poverty line. As to the remaining 44% of ARBs who do not belong to ARCs and has received little or no aid from government and NGOs, the poverty incidence is higher. 

 In effect, CARP has created a new class of farmers - the landed poor.  

  Due to the non-economic size of the farms, the land awarded to ARBs has become a high-default risk which financing institutions will not touch. Thus, the land loses its capacity to command credit which is essential to ensure its productivity. The ARBs are short-changed and condemned to fail.

 Due to ownership limits, consolidation of the lands to ensure its economic viability has become illegal, thus driving investments away from the agricultural sector. 

Billions of pesos have been spent in CARP implementation for the past 26 years but numerous studies by both local and foreign experts have shown that CARP still failed to improve the lives of the ARBs. Economic experts call on government to end the waste of government resources and the damage that the program has done to the Philippine economy, particularly the agricultural sector.

Instead of continuing the fragmentation of productive agricultural lands which consequently reduces our productivity, government should focus its resources in extending the necessary financial and technical support to existing ARBs so that they can earn a decent living from the land already awarded to them.

We should infuse some sense into the economic direction of our country. We must stop aggravating further our economic situation with the extension of CARP.

Instead, government should focus on support services to give our existing ARBs a better chance of improving their lives. Government should also focus on programs, such as irrigation, farm-to-market roads, cheaper inputs and mechanization, to give our agricultural sector the much-needed boost to be more efficient and globally competitive in this era of ASEAN trade integration. – Leonardo V. Fuentes, Concerned Citizen

* * *

The short Fabella paper (15 pages) ends with this conclusion: “There are many reasons why CARP has failed in its most crucial test. CARP has effectively chased away private capital from agriculture with the five-hectare ownership limit. While private capital is not interested in owning the land, they cannot be expected to deal with a thousand farmers to rent two thousand hectares to cultivate.

“Where private capital dared test the waters, it ended up in a circus: e.g., the San Miguel Food Corporation swine project at Sumilao. CARP has effectively sent the agricultural credit market underground. It has presumed that farmers automatically morph into entrepreneur- businessmen with access to land. CARP has suppressed the Coase Theorem by disallowing the selling or renting of land in the open market until paid up, and paid-up is elusive under the CARP restrictions. With 1.2 hectares average landholding and half a hectare under cultivation, on average, beneficiaries cannot be expected to breach the poverty ceiling.

“The land market has also gone underground. CARP has only created a new class of people, the landed poor.

“For everything there is a season and now is the time to let go. We now have to redirect our agricultural focus from land equity to farm efficiency. More productive farmers should now be allowed to legally own and cultivate ten or more hectares as market efficiency dictates. Corporations registered with the Philippine Stock Exchange and owned by thousands should have no agricultural land ownership ceiling. The transition to individual from collective CLOAS must be concluded for efficiency. Poverty reduction and empowerment programs for farmers should now take more direct forms such as via CCT.

“Private capital must be attracted back into agriculture. Banks operating in the rural areas and lending to farmers should be allowed considerable latitude in ownership of agricultural land. Development requires the shift of manpower and resources from the informal to the formal sector. CARP has instead effected a massive de-formalization of agriculture! Time to allow agriculture to march out of the informal into the formal sector.


It is time in other words to stop redistributing poverty!”

* * *

Is this what we have been doing all along — redistributing poverty? Think about it.

 

 

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Sulat ng Tabuk OFW

Diretsahan

 

ni Horacio Paredes

 

Description: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif Parang iniilagan kaming mga galing sa middleast lalo na Saudi dahil sa mers-corona virus. Di naman kami hawa dyan kasi sa construction company kami. Sabi sa akin sa bahay huag mo sasabihin na galing ka Saudi. Na-obserbahan ko rin sa immigration sa airport na lahat sila may busal at may pi-fill up ka na yellow paper. Nakasaad dito na hindi ka nag-work sa hospital, wala ka sipon, wala ka ubo. Kaya tuwa ako dahil wala namamasko sa loob. Pero paglabas mo ng airport nakabuntot na sa yo at kung anu-ano ang hinihingi kahit daw 1 dollar lang. Di ba tipikal na pinoy, mapili.

Inis talo tayo sa mga nangyayari sa ating government. While they are feasting on lavish food and partying, naghahalungkat naman ang mga pinoy sa basurahan para sa mga tira-tirang  makakain na ‘pagpag’.

Justice delima is justice delayed. puro papogi at kabi-kabila ang mga press conference makita lamang sa media ang mga mukha nila nang namumula at nangingintab na pinataba ng mga mantika na galing sa Napoles ‘pork at lechong baka delivered by starex’.

Grabe! Na ito kung totoo ang mga ‘cash advances’ na pan-regalo sa mga asa-asawa nila at pera na gamit para mapaluklok lamang sila sa mga puestong kanilang pina-fantasia.

Kanya-kanyang version nang mga listahan may kasama pa ngayong ‘affidavit’ kuno sa kung sino-sino ang mga nakinabang. Aba’y lahat pala sila sa mataas at mababang kapulungan. Saan lalagay o papanig kaya tayong mamamayan kung itong mga iniluklok natin sa puwesto ay parang mga buwaya pala sa katihan, matakaw pa sa mga buwitre at bayawak na nabubuhay lamang sa mga tira-tira.

Apektado tayong mga OFW na di natin alam kung saan napupunta ang bilyon-bilyong halaga ng mga buwis sa mga remittances natin sa ating lupang sinilangan.  Hangga ngayon wala silang plano sa ating pagre-retiro sa serbisyo. Wala sila plano na bigyan tayo ng bahay. Malabo ang seguridad ng mga benefits na dapat mapa-sa atin o sa mga pamilya na iiwan natin. Hindi tayo mabigyan nang mabuti at mabilis na serbisyo sa mga kalamidad. Walang pera kapag tayo ang nangangailangan. Mula PhilHealth hangga sa OWWA raw na tutulong sa mga oras n gating kagipitan. Todo tanggi na kapag pumunta ka sa mga hospital kapag ikaw ay Philhealth member. Sandamukal na ‘supporting papers’ bago ka o hindi na ‘ma-reimburse ang mga reseta mo. Lugi raw ang PhilHealth pero milyon-milyon ang mga bonuses nila. Kahit naman maglumuhod ka sa OWWA laging walang pera.

Api-apihan lalo na ang mga ina ng tahanan na gusto lamang mabigyan ng mabuting buhay ang mga anak nila dito sa Pinas.

Ang di alam o nagbubulag-bulagan nating ahensya ng OEDB, OWWA, DOLE at DFA na di dapat payagan na maglingkod sa mga ordinaryong arabo ang  ating mga kababaihan. Nariyan na ang maraming pangyayari ng ginagawan ng masama, kundi banlian ng kumukulong tubig at kalunos-lunos pa kung kumukulong mantika ang ibuhos sa mga ito nang mga asal-hayup nilang mga amo. Kung ang mga lalaking pinoy ay hindi nakaliligtas sa mga asal-hayup na ito ang mga babae pa kaya na walang susulingan kapag naikulong na sa mga kuarto na ni isang bintana ay wala. Ni wala kang anumang marinig magsisigaw ka man kundi ang ugong ng luma ng aircon.

Nakakahiya tayo na minsan ay naging numero uno sa timog-silangang asya ngayon ay kulelat na umaasa at laging hila at nakakapit sa levis ni tiyo sam.  Itanim natin sa ating isip na hindi basta-basta o agad-agad tutulong ang mga kano sa pinoy kapag ginapang tayo ng mga singkit. Kalunos-lunos muna ang mangyayari sa atin dahil sa ultra-modernong armas ng mga singkit. Kaya dapat hinay-hinay ka pnoy at daanin muna sa diplomasya ang usapan. Aminin natin na wala pa tayong modernong gamit para mapigilan man lang ang aggression ng anumang bansa na sasakop sa ating bansa.

Naiinggit ang ibang mga bansa sa ating mga pinoy dahil kompleto tayo masaganang lupain, malawak na karagatan na tigib sa mga yamang dagat, anaki’y nasa atin na nga yata lahat. Pero wala tayong pagmamahal sa sariling bayan, kapag nakatapos na si anak na pinalad pumasa na Enhinyero o Nars man ang gusto ng mga magulang ay mag-Saudi o mag-apply ng trabaho sa Amerika o Canada kaya. Lagi natin iniiwan si Pilipinas kong Mahal.

Di mo rin tayo masisisi na mamamayan na humanap at mag-apply ng trabaho sa ibang bansa. Dahil walang ‘effort of concern for the upliftment of life of its citizen’  tayo na maramdaman sa mga iniluluklok natin sa ating pamahalaan. Lahat sa pagpapayaman sa sariling angkan. Iilang pamilya ng mga trapo ang nakaupo at patuloy nanagpapatakbo sa ating pamahalaan. Imagine na magpalipat-lipat ng partido ang isang tao na sa huling yugto niya sa gobyerno ay mahinuha natin na naloko tayo sa magandang imahe na ipinakita niya, isa pala siyang ‘wolf in sheep clothing’.

More power and good health to you,  Doreinal Llacari, OFW sa Tabuk

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hvp (05.30.14)

 

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

A Solution to the South China Sea?

The international community has supported and asserted the practical value and role of UNCLOS 1982 fin the resolution of the disputes in the South China Sea .”

 

by Ducky Paredes

 

 

The South China Sea has geo-strategic importance not only to Southeast Asian nations but also to the whole of Asia Pacific.  East Asian economies have been dependent on the life-line sea lane of communications that links Asia Pacific with Indian Ocean and European, American, Middle East with Asia.

Preserving security and safety of maritime and aviation along with seeking a peaceful resolution for the disputes in South China Sea are definitely of primordial interest and a legitimate aspiration of people in the region.

Recently, China exposed its intentions to dominate the South China Sea, defying international laws, evading her responsibilities to international community, even seriously violating other countries’ sovereignty that has clearly been evidenced by China’s illegal deployment of the Haiyang Shiyou 981 floating oilrig well within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Vietnam.

According to UNCLOS 1982, the deployment by China of the Haiyang Shiyou 981 floating oilrig and the excessive number of vessels, including armed ships and well-equipped personnel well within the Vietnam’s lawful EEZ and continental shelf seriously violates Vietnam’s national sovereignty and jurisdiction.  It also constitutes a dangerous precedent, threatening peace and stability in South China Sea, running counter to the progress towards peace, and stability in South East Asia as well as the world.

The deployment of an oil rig in Vietnam’s EEZ close to the Paracels Islands and its open admission to building structures on and transforming into an island the Johnson Reef in the Spratly Chain of Islands demonstrates Beijing’s relentless effort to build on the ground — in complete disregard for the provisions of the DOC 2002 which bars any construction on disputed territories.

Against this backdrop, it is imperative that Southeast Asian claimant states abandon any illusion of de-escalating tensions and securing their territorial rights on a purely bilateral basis with China. They have to find a new way of dealing with China.

The so-called “U – shaped line” claimed by China has an ambiguous explanation and no legal background.  In order to reinforce this illegal claim, China attempts erroneous interpretations of historical rights so that it violates the legitimate rights to the continental shelf of other coastal nations in the South China Sea.  China willfully ignores the notion of historical rights so that it could willfully dodge their committed obligations under UNCLOS 1982.

The international community has supported and asserted the practical value and role of UNCLOS 1982 fin the resolution of the disputes in the South China Sea. China and other claimants to the South China Sea who are all signatories to UNCLOS 1982 have obligations to adhere and resolve the disputes in a peaceful manner based on the regulations of the said Convention. Besides this, the maritime treaties of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) also need to be adhered to and abided to prevent clashes, conflicts, and stop transnational crimes in the South China Sea.

All the claimants to the South China Sea are expected to abide and adhere to international laws, ASEAN’s Six-Point Principles on the South China Sea and the Guidelines for the Implementation of the DOC 2011.  There is a need to formulate the COC at the soonest possible time in order to manage conflicts and advance to resolution of the disputes in the South China Sea for peace, stability and development in the region and for common interest of the international community.

 ASEAN members must coordinate their diplomatic language vis-à-vis China, speaking in unison, with the same diplomatic fervor in order to strengthen the image of unity among Southeast Asian claimant states.

Claimants in the ASEAN must contemplate the establishment of closer ties among their naval forces, while exploring potential avenues for closer, institutionalized intelligence-sharing and defense cooperation. Cooperation among claimants could start on gradual basis that would send a strong signal to China that the ASEAN can’t be divided on a bilateral basis.

It is also important that the claimant states coordinate and institutionalize their strategic network of defense cooperation with great powers such as the U.S. and Japan; they need to develop a common approach to soliciting greater defense support from Japan and the U.S. Joint-exercises and regularized defense, foreign ministry and track 2 exchanges among Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan, and the U.S. should be considered. Enhanced exchanges among these countries would bring about common understanding of China’s strategic intention to the South China Sea, thus, helping formulate a strategy to negate China’s provocation.

In the process of seeking for a long-term resolution to the disputes in the South China Sea, the international community has continuously been in support of all the claimants to preserve status quo, respect for the claimants’ legal maritime boundaries in conformity with UNCLOS 1982, utilize exiting mechanisms to manage conflicts; at the same time stand united against China, calling on China to stop violating sovereignty and the rights to sovereignty and jurisdiction of other littoral states in the South China Sea that has provoked and created obstacles to the process of seeking resolution ofr the disputes.

It is imperative that China stop provocative actions against Vietnam’s law enforcement forces that execute the rights to Vietnam’s sovereignty and withdraw the Haiyang Shiyou 981 floating oilrig together with all accompanying flotilla of vessels, including warships from Vietnam’s EEZ and continental shelf; the oilrig could only be used for exploration of oil or gas in conformity with the international laws, respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other nations in the world.

Utilization of international arbitration to solve the ongoing disputes has emerged as appropriate and the preferred choice for claimants in the South China Sea. The early formulation of COC needs to be institutionalized with higher regulations and legally binding nature that lays the foundation for establishment of an alliance, community or committee in the South China Sea.

An open mechanism of regional security would involve the great powers with various interests in the South China Sea in order to form the basis for establishment of a regional security structures in the form of an “institutionalized balance of power”.

This mechanism would also serve as supplement to the formation of an ASEAN Security Community in particular and an ASEAN-centered structure of East Asia security in general which could have a part in management of power, elimination of risks of conflicts and consolidation of peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region.

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hvp 05.29.14

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Roman Romulo for Senator

 

Roman is a fellow Rotarian in the Rotary Club of Pasig. As a Pasig Rotarian myself, I am endorsing Roman as a Senatorial Candidate in 2016 in the administration ticket. “

 

Rep. Roman Tecson Romulo has been the lone congressman from the City of Pasig for the last nine years. He will leave congress in 2016, having been the chairperson of the Higher and Technical Education Committee which is charged with all matters directly and principally relating to post-secondary and tertiary education, technical education, distance education, students’ and teachers’ welfare, and centers of excellence.

Roman issues reports on various aspects of our educational system– on the schools, their successes and a virtual guide on where best to go for particular professions. Most of these reports have been noted by this column

He is also a member of nine other Committees on Basic Education and Culture,, Constitutional Amendments, Economic Affairs, Human Rights, Information & Communications Technology, Metro Manila Development, Revision on Laws, Science and Technology and Veterans Affairs and Welfare.

He has a degree in Economics. UP, 1900 and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of the Philippines in 1994. He also trained in the Legal Aspects of Electronic Commerce in 2000 in the International Development Law Insitute in Rome, Italy in the year 2000.

After working with the Law Office of Quisumbing, Torrer & Evangelista from 1994 to 1996, he transferred to Sycip. Salazar, Hernandez & Gatmaitann in 1996, becoming  Senior Associate in 1999. He left the law firm in 2007, when he ran for the vacant congressional seat of the City of Pasig and won. He will finish his third and last term in 2016. He is a now a partner in Tolosa Romulo Agabin & Flores Law Offices.

Roman is a fellow Rotarian in the Rotary Club of Pasig. He ends his congress stint in 2016. As a Pasig Rotarian myself, I urge Roman to aspire as a Senatorial Candidate in 2016 in the administration ticket. He is a Liberal and I am sure that the shadow of his father is a good one to follow

His father, former Senator Alberto G. Romulo, also a former Secretary of Foreign Affairs, left Roman with a good name and a political tradition that of honesty and public service that bodes well for the son in the current climate of political corruption and greed.

Alberto G. Romulo was born in Camiling, Tarlac. He was elected member of the Regular Batasang Pambansa representing Quezon City, in 1984, during the Msartial Law years. When Cory Aquino took the reigns of government from the Dictator, Bert was made Minister of the Budget. He was senator from 1987 to 1998 and Majority Leader.

He became Finance Secretary after Gloria Arroyo took the Presidency. He was later made Executive Secretary. In 2004, he was appointed Foreign Secretary and served as Chairman of the ASEAN in 2007, when his son was first elected congressman.

Roman is also a Council Chairman of the Rizal Council of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines, a member of the Knights of Rizal (Pasig Chapter) , Knights of Columbus — Sta. Clara de Montefalco. RC Pasig, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and the Parish Renewal Experience. He is married to Shahani Soledad-Romulo, who will definitely make a difference in his campaign for the Senate.

My endorsement of Roman as a Senatorial candidate comes from the realization that if we want quality laws, we have to have quality senators and congressmen, who will be dedicated public servants. Voting for Roman Romulo, the son of his father and the man is an assurance that he is will never be anything but a devoted and honest public servant, honest and sincere, the way he has been and is to the voters of Pasig City. That’s why they thrice voted for Roman.

Someone who goes with politicians when they visit neighborhoods tells me that, unlike others, when Roman is in a neighborhood, he never needs to knock on doors to meet the people because they are already out of the houses waiting for him to shake his hand or even just to say “hello”.

Enough of the heroic ones (whether cinematic or otherwise) who think nothing of lining their pockets with public money as payment for their service to the country. It is time for new leadership the kind that young politicians like Roman Romulo practices.

* * *

I received  a text message with a line-up of Binay’s  “Mythical” Senatorial Line-up that included all of those Jejomar helped in their political career: Joker Arroyo, Teddy Boy Locsin, Butz Aquino, Rene Saguisag, Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., Jose Lina, Oscar Orbos, Ernesto Maceda, Heherson Alvarez, Saturnino Ocampo, Dick Gordon and  Tingting Cojuangco. Looking over the list, I know for a fact that most of them will not even answer a call on their cellphones coming from the “most probable future president of the Philippines.”

Besides, politics is a game for the young — except for Joseph Estrada, who says he is also already on his last term as Mayor. He will let Isko Moreno run for Mayor in 2016.

* * *

While the recent change in our politics is not as what we had earlier, when, suddenly, People Power brought us 1986. The Million People March also changed the way that change will be happening from now on. We are now a society that has become more attuned to listening to quiet voices complaining about our situation. There is no longer any need to shout in order to be heard.

There came a realization that the PDAF was not even in service of the people no matter how much one wanted it to be.  It was wrong even if there had never been a Napoles or politicos to corrupt the PDAF There should never had been a PDAF or the earlier Countryside Development Fund (CDF) or any funds given to politicians with which they could buy, if not votes, favors from the people. This was just plain wrong and it was good that the Supreme Court ruled it as illegal.

There will be even more changes in our politics in the coming years.  Most will come slowly, naturally, as if it they were agreed upon by the majority. Our politics have changed and still changing for the better. For instance, if and when the Freedom of Information Bill eventually becomes law, don’t expect it to give out a big bang. It will pass because of a people’s petition for its passage will snowball and will become irresistible.

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hvp 05.28.14

 

 

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Ang Papa Francis

Diretsahan

 

ni Horacio Paredes

Ang Santo Papa (Pope Francis) ay napakagaling na pulitiko. Sa kaniyang pagbisita sa Israel kung saan hindi nagkakasundo ang mga jews at Palestinians, patungo siya sa Bethlehm upang magmisa sa Manger Square kung saan mismo napanganak ang sangol na Hesukristonang siya’y tumigil sa pader ng West Bank na maghihiwalay sa teritoryo ng Israel at Paletsine. Tumigil siya kung saan merong graffitti na “Bethlehem”. Pinagkagulohan siya ng mga media.

            Bumaba ang Papa sa kaniayng  Popemobile atumungo siya sa ayon sa media ay ito ang  “the most photographed section of the Wall, as the barrier is colloquially known — a graffiti-rich section that tourist buses pass by entering from Israel en route to Bethlehem, which along with the rest of the West Bank Israeli troops have occupied since 1967.”

            Tumungo ang Santo Papa sa mataas na konkretong pader kung saan merong graffiting nakapintang kulay itim: “Pope we need some 1 to speak about Justice Bethlehem look like Warsaw ghetto” at kulay pula naman: “Free Palestine.” Yumuko ang Papa, nadasal at, bago umalis, dinikit ang ulo sa pader na naghihiwalay ng tritoryo ng Palestina at Israel.

Sa kaniyang sermon sa misa niya sa Bethlehem, nagsalita ang Papa: “In this place where the Prince of Peace was born, I wish to invite you, President Mahmoud Abbas, and President Shimon Peres, to raise together with me an intense prayer to God for the gift of peace. And I offer my house in the Vatican to host you in this encounter of prayer.”

Ang dalawang nag-aaway na mgs lider ng Israel at Palestina ay parehong agad na tinanggap ang imbitasyon ng Santo Papa na magkita sila sa Batikano.

Magkakaroon na kaya ng kapayapaan sa ating tinuturing na “Holy Land” o magpapatuloy pa rin ba ang hidwaan ng dalawang nag-aangkin sa tinuturing nating mga Kristiyano na Banal na Bayan ng Bethlehem, kung saan sinilang ang Hesukristo. Kapayapaan ng buong mundo ang tinungo Niya noong Siya’y sinilang sa Bethlehem bilang isang tao?

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Basahin ang aking mga  kolum sa www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. Mag-email sa duckyparedes@gmail.com.

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hvp (05.28.14)

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.