Archive for December, 2009

The Filipino Family – The Country’s Foundation

Posted in Family Life, Inner Thoughts with tags , , , , on December 23, 2009 by Ruffy Biazon

“The Filipino Family is the foundation of the nation.”

In order for our nation to have a firm foundation, we must build up Filipino families. We must enable them to be productive, literate and strong. We must empower them with livelihood, education and health.

But more importantly, the Filipino family should be built up with spiritual, moral and traditional values coupled with a deep sense of patriotism and citizenship.

Charity is not the only thing that begins at home. Everything begins at home. We must be able to raise good fathers and mothers, good husbands and wives, and good sons and daughters in order for us to raise good citizens.

Disqualification of BGen. Danny Lim is a Contradiction to Democracy

Posted in Politics and Politicians with tags , , , , on December 17, 2009 by Ruffy Biazon

Brigadier General Danilo Lim’s candidacy is endorsed by three political parties. He is recognized by the Liberal Party as its guest candidate, including him in the party’s line up of senatoriables. His wife Aloy represents the Danny Lim in the Liberal Party’s provincial sorties and campaign strategy meetings precisely because he is one of LP’s candidates.

Danny Lim is faring well in the surveys, and although he is not yet in the top 12, he is within striking distance, way above other candidates whom the Comelec has allowed to proceed with their candidacies. He has an ongoing internet campaign which rivals those of the more monied candidates with an online following which definitely covers the entire country, even beyond.

As a top leader of the Magdalo, which has proven its ability to launch a nationwide campaign and propel a candidate to the Senate, he has an established network on the ground, rivaling other more established political parties.

To me, the decision by the Comelec to disqualify Danny Lim to run for Senator on the gorunds that he is a nuisance candidate because he supposedly does not have the ability to campaign for the senate is a contradiction to democracy. While it is indeed a responsibility of the Comelec to ensure that only the qualified and the serious candidates are included in the list that the people will choose from, it is also their duty to uphold the constitutional right of citizens to vote and be voted upon.

Clearly, BGen. Danny Lim is not a nuisance candidate. He may be irritating to an administration which is sensitive to criticism and calls for reform, but he is definitely worthy to present himself to the electorate and be voted upon.

Maguindanao Martial Law–Is There an Invasion or Rebellion?

Posted in Governance, Politics and Politicians with tags , , , , , , on December 5, 2009 by Ruffy Biazon

The 1987 Constitution provides for Presidential powers to declare martial law:

“ Article VII, Section 18 – The President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of all armed forces of the Philippines and whenever it becomes necessary, he may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion. In case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, he may, for a period not exceeding sixty days, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law.”

The president is then mandated to submit a report to the Congress which may revoke the declaration or suspension of the writ of habeas corpus.

In the declaration of martial law in Maguindanao, the basis of the declaration cannot be helped but be questioned. As provided for in the Constitution, the president may declaration of martial law only in the case of invasion or rebellion.

Under the said provision, where does the Maguindanao situation fall under? Invasion? By who? Is it a rebellion? Is the provincial government of Maguindanao led by the Ampatuans taking up arms against the government?

While I would like to support government initiatives which will ensure the maintenance of law and order in Maguindano following the Ampatuan Massacre, I do not see the reasons that would justify a declaration of martial law as prescribed in the Constitution. Considering the current atmosphere of peace and order, there is not even enough reasons to call out the Armed Forces because there is no lawless violence going on in Maguindanao.

The Congress should reject this declaration because it has no firm basis to stand on and it will open up the avenue for those who have previously expressed their proposal for a no-elections scenario to pursue their plans. If martial law is allowed to go on in Maguindanao, trouble can easily be created in other parts of the country and the expansion of the coverage of martial law can immediately be justified.

With elections just around the corner, and recent talks of No-El scenarios still ringing in our ears, the imposition of Martial Law in Maguindanao under circumstances which do not require it should really be met with skepticism.

A Lesson in Conversation

Posted in Inner Thoughts, Philippines and the Filipinos with tags on December 4, 2009 by Ruffy Biazon

This really happened..

I was invited as Guest of Honor and speaker during the anniversary of an academic institution not too long ago. After the ceremonies and the photo opportunities that usually follow such engagements, I was invited to join the college’s officials and faculty for lunch.

It was a good opportunity to get to know the people better and establish linkages. Over lunch, I chatted with several of them who were seated near me. It was a bit difficult, owing to the level of noise in the room, what with everyone talking all at the same time. I had to strain a little to understand the person I was talking to.

One of those I was chatting with was a dean of one of the colleges, who was once connected with a well known NGO doing work around the world. She told me prior to settling down in the college, her work with the NGO brought her to countries like Somalia, Ethiopia, East Timor and other places experiencing extreme poverty and conflict.

I was impressed with her experience. A distinguished looking lady who did serious work not just for the Philippines but the world! And now a dean of a college!

To continue the chat, I told her that my father recently visited Ethiopia and he gave descriptions on how terrible poverty is in that country. He said that going out of the hotel which was supposed to be located in the business district of that country’s capital, beggars lined the sidewalks shoulder to shoulder. So many people mired in poverty and hunger.

Of course she had experienced it first hand and knew exactly Ethiopia’s situation. She concurred with the story and she said, “The biggest problem of Ethiopia is Mass Starvation.”

Maybe it was the way she said it or the noise in the room. Or maybe it was me. But for a moment, I had to pause for what seemed to be an eternity of awkwardness as I processed what I think I heard.

Did she say what i think she said was the problem of Ethiopia? I was trying to keep a poker face as my mind raced in the speed of light, thinking of an appropriate response. Should I ask if people are now going blind or growing hair on their palms? Is it the result of a weakening belief in Church teachings? Moral decay?

The suddenly, I realized…oh, MASS STARVATION! Whew!

The lessons of the story is….1) listen carefully to the one you are conversing with and 2) think before you talk.

Political Vendetta Suspected in Decision to Oust Bulacan Governor

Posted in Politics and Politicians with tags , , , , on December 2, 2009 by Ruffy Biazon

The Comelec decision to remove Bulacan Governor Mendoza five months before elections and a few weeks after he left Lakas and joined the Liberal Party smells like political vendetta.

The administration is now struggling to to rein in it’s members and prevent and exodus to other parties and it will do anything to keep it’s members at bay within the party.

The threat of sudden resolutions of election cases, as well as administrative and criminal cases of elected officials who are members of Lakas is the Sword of Damocles that the administration has over their members.

The case of Gov. Jonjon Mendoza may be seen both as a punishment to him for leaving Lakas and a warning to others who may be planning or contemplating a move out of the administration party.

But in the end, the practice may result in Lakas only being left with members of who have pending electoral. administrative or criminal cases.