from The Manila Times

The new pork is now BUB, boys!


That’s probably what Budget Secretary Florencio told congressmen in December to get them to stop delaying things and pass quickly the 2015 General Appropriations Act. Read column

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FIRST PERSON by Alex Magno

from The Philippine Star




No one, I suppose, begrudges the DSWD for collecting homeless people and bringing them to an upscale resort, there to feast on roast beef and laze about in a wave pool. What we hate is being lied to. The official version about the street people collected from the streets of Manila and exiled to Nasugbu, Batangas has changed every single day the whole of last week. Read column





LOWDOWN by Jojo Robles

from Manila Standard Today


Back to zero

One of the funniest jokes I’ve heard recently has the Department of Social Welfare and Development deciding that the homeless should no longer be hidden away from view whenever prominent visitors like Pope Francis blow into town.


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Secretary De Lima: Bungling, incompetent, or loyal lackey?


CONSIDER the facts, and you decide whether Justice Secretary Leila de Lima is:

(a) An incompetent, but partisan justice secretary who doesn’t really know what her job is, in former senator Joker Arroyo’s words, a student-council official of a student-council administration, describing this government’s utter amateurishness.

(b) A bungling official who’s been falling over herself in her obsession for publicity so she could have a fighting chance for her senatorial bid in 2016. Or,

(c) A loyal lackey of President Aquino who would do anything her boss wants.


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Napolesgate? Napoles: Star witness...vs Aquino?


If we had an independent Congress, one with integrity and balls, President Aquino would be most certainly impeached in what would be his “Napolesgate.”

In the infamous 1970s Watergate crisis in the US —for which the suffix “-gate” has since been used to refer to political scandals—President Nixon was impeached for obstruction of justice. This was because for nearly two years, as Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein painstakingly uncovered, Nixon covered up his staff’s complicity in the break-in on the opposition Democratic National Committee headquarters in Watergate hotel, undertaken obviously to gather information that could be used against the Democrats in the 1973 elections.


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Ten questions they didn't, couldn't ask at the Napoles hearing


When Janet Lim-Napoles arrived at the hall for the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing last Friday, she was dour-looking, but surprisingly—or not so surprisingly— confident. When she left, she was smiling and even animatedly shook hands with her persecutor, justice secretary Leila de Lima who was visibly shocked at the gesture.

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The wimpiest, most shameful Congress


I cannot run out of words to describe how low our Congress, has stooped to be so subservient to, or so fearful of President Aquino.

With his Disbursement Acceleration Program, which threw to the dustbin Congress’ appropriations law, Aquino has politically slapped its members on their faces.


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Without Congress' approval, Aquino set up own P72-B pork barrel fund


It’s amazing how the pork barrel scam, initially intended to politically bury the opposition early for the 2016 elections, has boomeranged against this administration and opened up to public view its horrific can of worms.

Unveiled only in the past few days, it is a mostly unknown fund created in October 12, 2011 in order to finance the so-called Disbursement Acceleration Program. The P5 billion used for the post-trial “second tranche” of the bribe money for Congress to take out Chief Justice Renato Corona came from this fund.


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President Aquino is now suspect

On the face of it, abolishing the hated pork barrel system and throwing to jail senators and congressmen who stole taxpayers’ money using the scheme could have been President Aquino’s great achievement, his legacy to the nation.

More than that, it is a masterstroke that could put an end the presidential and vice presidential ambitions of opposition Senators Ramon Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada. Senator Juan Ponce Enrile is politically finished to be a leader that could rally opposition senators against Aquino’s man Senate President Franklin Drilon.


Aquino's flawed Moro policy unravels


The storming of Zamboanga City by forces of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) that started Monday marks the unraveling of President Aquino’s injudicious, even reckless roadmap to end the Islamic insurgency in Mindanao.


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Pork scam makes us miserable


One of the weirdest TV news clips I watched during a recent typhoon had a reporter asking people in a street that was flooded to the waist: “Ok lang ba kayo?”. Not only that, believe it or not, he asked them: “Masaya ba kayo?” (“Are you ok? Are you happy?”)

And believe it or not, a chubby lady, an elderly man, and a teen-ager—all seemed were poor—were all smiling, “Sanay na ho kami. Masaya na lang kami.” (“We’re used to it.


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Incompetence and politicking in Zamboanga


Around 1 a.m. September 9, 2013, fully armed Moro National Liberation Front fighters routed a Navy’s elite Special Operations Group that tried to stop them from landing on the coast of barangay Rio Hondo in Zamboanga City, killing one Navy soldier and wounding six others.

By dawn, the MNLF fighters—joined by 100 who had slipped into the city earlier—had occupied six barangays, allegedly keeping hostage some 200 civilians, and securing their battle perimeters with improvised explosive devices. Snipers, the military would learn later, had been deployed in strategic areas.


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DBM cover-up in COA's pork barrel report


Imagine if the school principal clamps down on cheating by this class of 24 students, which had become an open secret on campus.

An investigator is called and asks for the exam papers for him to pin down the cheating. The teacher submits only the documents for this particular gang of four he doesn’t like, and simply ignores the investigator’s demand to provide him with the exam papers of the others.


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Four reasons why Aquino must go
Thursday, 09 October 2014 00:00 Posted by admin   

by Francisco Tatad (The Manila Times)

Despite everything I have already said on the subject, I have been asked by anxious friends to elaborate further, if I can, on why I believe President B. S. Aquino 3rd should step down now, “two years before the end of his term.”

It is not everyday that one asks a president to step down, so this is but a fair and just request. But since very little has changed from the time I first raised this issue, I may not be able to completely avoid repeating myself.

Why Europeans will not rush into Aquino’s PPP
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 00:00 Posted by admin   

by Ricardo Saludo  (The Manila Times)

If one goes knocking on a company’s doors to get big money, it doesn’t help to call its executives jokers and crooks. Which is what President Benigno Aquino 3rd pretty much did in cancelling the P18.7-billion Laguna Lake dredging project of Baggerwerken Decloedt en Zoon (BDZ or Belgian Dredging Company) and the P11.8-billion undertaking of France’s Eiffel Matiere to build 72 roll-on roll-off ports.

Boy Sisi strikes again!
Tuesday, 23 September 2014 17:14 Posted by admin   


PNoy has taken his anti-Arroyo obsession to new lows, this time comparing her to no less than the late Ferdinand Marcos. At this rate, he may soon be exploring the infernal regions for new devils to demonize her with. But when it comes to Marcosian abuses of power, PNoy himself is the best model there is:

Aquino: A Credit-grabbing Liar
Tuesday, 23 September 2014 12:26 Posted by admin   

Born with a silver spoon in his mouth, President Aquino grew up with practically everything he needed to live a comfortable life. When he became president in 2010, he also had a great start with the positive economic condition of the country, thanks to his predecessor. But he will never accept this fact. He continuously claims that he only inherited problems, and disparages the Arroyo years as a "lost decade".

Jueteng and ‘KKK’ escalate crime under Aquino
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 00:00 Posted by admin   

by Ricardo Saludo  (The Manila Times)

The doubling of crime volume since 2010 to more than 630,000 incidents last year and possibly up to 750,000 this year, must be at least as big a media story as pork barrel and Supertyphoon Yolanda. One has to credit the administration’s press clout that hardly any news reports have headlined those appalling numbers, soaring despite economic growth and increased police deployment and gear.

Crime has doubled under Aquino. Here’s why
Monday, 08 September 2014 00:00 Posted by admin   

by Ricardo Saludo  (The Manila Times)

Three reasons: smuggling, jueteng, and bad leadership. But first, let’s look at the crime numbers. Not the hugely discounted data from the Philippine National Police as reported by the National Statistics Office (NSO). Rather, the real, unadulterated figures made public only in June by no less than PNP Chief Alan Purisima.

Can Aquino fall?: Worries grow from a year ago
Monday, 01 September 2014 00:00 Posted by admin   

by Ricardo Saludo  (The Manila Times)

A mid the growing disenchantment with President Benigno Aquino 3rd, reaching a high point last week with the launch of the so-called National Transformation Council (NTC) grouping religious, civil society, political and other sectoral entities, it may be timely to reprint portions of a three-part article published a year ago pondering the question: Can Aquino fall? The excerpt follows:

The kid’s speeches
Friday, 11 July 2014 00:00 Posted by admin   

by Jojo Robles  (Manila Standard Today)

When Joker Arroyo described the Aquino administration as a “student government,” he wasn’t far off the mark. To cite just one example, the President’s go-to speechwriter is barely out of school and can still pass for a student.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014 00:00 Posted by admin   

Despite their earlier pronouncement two weeks ago that they were going to present 6 to 10 more witnesses, special prosecutors in the PCSO plunder case against former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and former PCSO officials rested their case today.

Special prosecutors led by Hazel Militante made the formal manifestation at the morning hearing saying they had no more witness to present against the former president and her co-accused.


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