• Federalism: A leap of faith or a dream come true?



    Juan Dela Cruz will never read a thick primer on federalism. Nor will he pay attention to three-hour long discourses on its merits. The only question the proponents need to answer is:
    “Will it fill up my tummy?”

    * * *

    While Hollywood is being rocked with sex scandals, 100 young girls were abducted by Boko Haram in Nigeria. Not only #MeToo but also #UsToo.

    * * *

    Britain is freezing. Snowstorms shut down Ireland. Britain calls in army for hospitals. After a blast of Siberian cold, dubbed “the beast from the east,” southern Britain and Ireland were battered by Storm Emma, which arrived from the south and blocked roads, grounded planes and stopped trains. Overnight blizzards left snowdrifts up to three-feet deep across Ireland and Scotland. The storm knocked out Ireland’s entire public transport network, closing its airports and leaving roads “extremely dangerous.”
    Lord, please keep their people safe.

    * * *

    Two reasons why I am against death penalty: The guilty ones can buy their freedom, while the innocents die because they are poor.

    * * *

    A Pablo Picasso portrait of his muse, Marie-Therese Walter with future lover Dora Maar emerging from the shadows, fetched £50 million (57 million euros, $69 million) at a London sale Wednesday, a European auction record for a painting.

    * * *

    President Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association, among others, have proposed that teachers should be allowed to bring firearms into schools to defend themselves against possible attacks.

    Randal Davidson, a 53-year-old Social Studies teacher, was arrested for firing a gun in Dalton High School in Georgia on Wednesday, police said.

    Next: Parents should be allowed to carry guns when they bring their children to school.
    Coming soon: Children should be armed to protect themselves from everyone.

    * * *

    Freedom is not just an abstraction, not something to be read, not even something to talk about. It is more of a “physical feeling” – something that you can feel and smell, something you can sense on the air around you. The graceful white feather that interacts with the wind in the movie “Forrest Gump” is what I call “freedom.”
    Let us fly, glide, roam around and perch on tree leaves guided by the elements.

    That’s the way we are created and that’s the way we should be: true, faithful and free.

    * * *


    Benham Rise, officially called the Philippine Rise by the Philippine government starting in 2017, is a seismically active undersea region and extinct volcanic ridge located in the Philippine Sea approximately 250 kilometers (160 miles) east of the northern coastline of Dinapigue, Isabela.

    The Philippines described it as part of its continental shelf in a claim filed with the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf on April 8, 2009, which was approved under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in 2012.

    Survey by Admiral Benham:

    The landform was presumably named after ADMIRAL ANDREW ELLICOT KENNEDY BENHAM (1832–1905) by American surveyors who were the probable discoverers of the geological feature. Benham was a United States Navy officer, who served with both the South Atlantic and West Gulf Blockading Squadrons during the American Civil War.

    Benham Rise has been part of the culture of ancient Filipinos. Ancient Catanduanes people have fished and roamed the area long before the colonial era. |

    In fact, it is celebrated in Catandunganons’ folktales, legends and poetry. Today, a large percentage of fish caught by Catandunganon comes from Benham Rise. Its local Bicol term is Kalipung-awan (which means loneliness in an isolated place). Its strategic location southeast of Taiwan, east of Luzon, and west of American territory of Guam makes it a feature of geopolitical importance.
    * * *
    Omidyar in a statement said the donation of the PDR was made “to address the UNWARRANTED RULING” made by the SEC to revoke Rappler’s registration.

    Omidyar said THE SEC RULING “IS A CLEAR AND DIRECT ATTACK not only on Rappler Incorporated but also on independent journalism and press freedom in the Philippines.”

    And this is NOT MEDDLING? And they are not in control? Now we understand why our charter bans foreign equities in PH media entities.
    * * *
    It is ok to rally, dear students. It is your right. By finishing a course, you can make the reforms that you are fighting for. Without knowledge, you will be roaming the streets forever.
    * * *
    Why is PTV4 not airing live coverage of the following? Impeachment proceedings, Dengvaxia inquiries, drug smuggling investigations, federalism/charter change, fake news investigations.

    Other networks are covering the events while the government channel is showing Home TV shopping or other inane programs and advertorials. Are they not supposed to educate our people on these important issues?

    Sometime last year, I was egging them on to educate the viewers through a program like Federalism 101, why is the government pushing for its adoption, how will it make our lives better than a democratic republic. Expensive?

    Even now, it looks like the public has a vague idea on why the shift is needed. PIA, PNA, Radyo ng Bayan can pool their resources to do all these with the assistance of RTVM infra.

    And I thought PTV4 is now better equipped due to huge budgetary support from the palace. And we’re not even talking about breaking news, marathon disaster coverages and other developing stories and they complain about government’s ugly image when they can’t even devote time on its gains. What a waste. Are Lotto and TV shopping the best that they can do? Or press conferences? Broadcast is all about CONTENT!
    * * *
    Sereno asks Congress to speed up the impeachment case. An unfazed Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno challenged lawmakers to finally start an impeachment trial at the Senate, as she chided critics for a “terribly injurious spectacle” to oust her.

    Madame CJ, be grateful that you were given a chance for your constitutional right to be given due process, unlike what happened with the late CJ Rene Corona, where Congress transmitted to the Senate the impeachment resolution in just five hours.

    Please bear in mind as well that the lengthy process is a fruition of intensive participation by all resource persons involved, and that includes the participation and interpellations of your allied “defenders” in HOR. The “injurious spectacle” could have been avoided if you had accepted the invitation to defend yourself.
    * * *
    News: VP Robredo not closing the door on running in 2022. That door seems to have no lock at all. That is why it swings in any direction depending on the wind’s whispers.
    * * *
    EU to give P242 million to DOH for its drug rehab program. A very good move. In another issue, goodwill could be shown if EU would ask Sanofi for a full refund of our money.
    * * *
    Trump announces steep aluminum and steel tariffs. Just a thought maybe, but global markets fell just after that statement. Protectionism is a two-way street. Retaliatory actions may result in a more devastating effect on the US economy. Canada is its biggest exporter of raw materials.

    To impose 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum in a bid to protect American jobs – the knee-jerk idea may fuel fears of a global trade war. Following are the top steel exporters to the United States, with their corresponding percentage of total US steel imports:

    Canada 16.7 percent, Brazil 13.2 percent, South Korea 9.7 percent, Mexico 9.4 percent, Russia 8.1 percent, Turkey 5.6 percent, Japan 4.9 percent, Germany 3.7 percent, Taiwan 3.2 percent and China 2.9 percent – Reuters.

    I am quite sure that the economic managers of these nations are drawing up plans this early to counter the move in case it happens.
    * * *
    Putin unveils “invincible” nuclear weapons to counter the West. Portraying a “mighty Russia” always sells. Election is near. He should be Putin at his best.
    * * *
    “The risk of a wrong decision is better than the terror of indecision.” —Maimonides.
    * * *
    Good work, good deeds and good faith to all.


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