• Aiming for truth over neutrality



    I think BBC’s Stephen Sackur should send his gratitude to Sen. Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes. Sackur’s popularity soared among Filipino viewers who watched that “out of tune” interview.

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    Vice President Leni Robredo said on Friday President Rodrigo Duterte has done many good things in his first year in office, but there were also some failures. Another of her series of comments that is “neither here nor there.”

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    News: Government to go after Maute arms suppliers after the Marawi crisis. Asking bank records on heavy cash withdrawals can do the trick. Anybody from Amlac?

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    Public transportation and private motorists were jovial after a series of sizeable cuts in the pump prices of diesel and gasoline. Commuters are now asking public transport operators why the fares are still the same.

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    The MMDA always claims that solving the traffic problem cannot be achieved overnight. Motorists are asking: “what do they do during the day?”

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    Imee Marcos earlier maintained she would not attend the congressional probe on the advice of her brother as she might also be detained at the Batasan Complex with the “Ilocos Six.” I think this is out of tune. Pointing to her younger brother’s advice as an alibi does not help her at all.

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    An overwhelming majority of Filipinos support PRRD, according to a series of surveys by pollsters over the past 12 months. The most recent one showed that 75 percent of the respondents were satisfied with his administration’s performance. Of course, there are those who do not agree. The kicker is that the president himself is unmindful of these measuring tools and not buoyed up by these figures.

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    Former Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez: “Settle poll protests faster.­“ I do agree. The PET is fast and furious collecting money yet sluggish in acting to reach a verdict.

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    I felt disturbed and sad seeing those headlines between Ed Lingao and Erwin Tulfo.

    My take: No journalist should judge the work and opinion of another. It is the public that decides who to believe in the long run. The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines should never take sides but should act as mediator between the two protagonists. The management of the “Kapatid” network could have reacted rather quick to diffuse their differences.

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    Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo lauded the sustained efforts of the present administration to boost the morale of Filipino soldiers and policemen in light of the fighting in Marawi City. The former President has particularly praised President Rodrigo Duterte’s regular visits to the soldiers in the field and the pay and other increases in financial benefits given to members of the AFP and PNP since July 2016. Among the latest benefits was the increase in soldiers’ combat pay that was raised to P 3,000 monthly.

    “The least a leader can do to increase the morale of the defenders of our democracy and peace is to make sure that their families do not go hungry,” the former President said.

    Arroyo found out early in her presidency that soldiers and policemen were among the lowest paid among government workers. She therefore implemented in 2002 the law increasing the policemen’s salaries, which, since its passage in 1992, had never been implemented for lack of funds.

    Also during her presidency, Congress passed RA 9166 to increase the pay of AFP personnel and raise the pension of the recipients of the Medal of Valor or their families from P200 monthly to P25,000.

    While our men in uniform are mandated by law to risk their lives in defending our republic, we cannot say the same for other public servants who are often critical of what they do in their line of work.

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    DENR chief Roy Cimatu to Boracay LGU: “Clean up recycling facility, or else”

    Cimatu said “garbage remains a major challenge to this island resort and the challenge becomes more daunting with the increasing number of tourists coming.” This man is a quiet worker but get things done without the usual political pageantry.

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    “A young man made history after he mounted the stage of the University of the Philippines-UP Manila as the first Aeta who graduated from the prestigious state-run school.

    Norman King is a cum laude graduate of Bachelor of Arts, Major in Behavioral Sciences.

    His mother, Warlita King, is a janitress.

    Norman says he has no plans to go abroad. He plans to stay in the country to help his family. He also wishes to serve as an inspiration to younger generations of Aeta.

    King is the eldest of seven. His story inspires us and makes us proud.

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    Two Mandaluyong policemen banished to Marawi over “yantok” lashings. They arrested some suspects but unknown to these officers, one of the arrested men was able to take a cell phone video of one officer as he went berserk. The clip, which was later shown in a GMA news report and has since gone viral, showed the policeman striking them at least 17 times.

    He was probably absent in the academy as he missed the motto “To Serve and To Protect.”

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    I predict that this year’s most used text message will be “Sorry, I will be late because of heavy traffic.”

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    Employees are always happy whenever they learn that there is an approaching “long weekend.” On the other hand, retirees are sick and tired of “long weekdays.”

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    The Commission on Audit (COA): ‘OVP underspending in 2016 deprived poor of aid.’ I suspect that VP Leni left a huge savings by buying “tsinelas” instead of shoes for distribution.

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    News: Local businessmen satisfied with Duterte’s performance. “There are detractors, but you can never say everything is perfect. There are shortcomings but overall the confidence of businessmen is there. It’s a good start. It’s a good foundation for the economy,” Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) president George Barcelon said.

    This statement is a big letdown for those media outlets expecting negative outbursts from the business sector.

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    The Chinese envoy in Manila gave Duterte a “very good” mark, citing his pursuit of an “independent” foreign policy that he claimed benefited the Philippines.

    “Well, this is my personal experience because ever since Duterte took office, he has been very successful in advancing the interests of the Philippines in the regional and international context,” Ambassador Zhao Jianhua said when asked to assess Duterte’s first year as president during an interview in Makati City last Thursday.

    Some are questioning if the Chinese Ambassador’s comment is referring to China’s infrastructure policy on the West Philippine Sea replicating Dutertenomics – “Build, Build, Build.”

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    While Congress has an oversight function in aid of legislation, I believe that its contempt and detention rights can be abused at times. Interpretation and execution of the laws belong to the Executive and Judiciary, respectively.

    Good work, good deeds and good faith to all.


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    1 Comment

    1. On VP Leni Robredo statement : She is just being truthful and objective – there are pluses and minuses. After all she identifies and is in agreement with Pdu30’s anti-poverty programs where her Angat Buhay initiative is a subset. She underscored the extent of what government can and cannot do – i.e. good governance can only be effective if there is self governance – where government not only leads but inspires by their deeds — and the governed, on their own complies.

      Also, it is obvious they come from different parties – a sad consequence of our laws. Thus, she is being politically sensitive, avoiding answering baited questions that may rock the boat and be misquoted. Sometimes “Silence is Golden”. What matters is that both leaders act and work as a team, work out their differences behind the scenes – without intermediaries or columnists telling them what to do. After all, they have one nation to serve.

      Mabuhay and cheers brod.