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Dec 19

First step only

Pleasant news for all medicine-takers: House okays cheap medicines bill; more debates at bicam.

Although the Inquirer editorial takes the President to task over the near-release of Jalosjos, most people are happy that the President met with the Sumilao farmers. Though not everyone: Quisumbing company argues: Facts ‘twisted’.

Arroyo revokes land-use conversion of Sumilao estate, which should encourage Fr. Joaquin Bernas. In his Monday column, A golden opportunity for GMA, the Jesuit lawyer had pointed out that,

One of the principles which first-year law students learn early is what is called the “doctrine of qualified political agency.” The doctrine, recognizing that the Constitution has established a single and not a plural executive, postulates that “all executive and administrative organizations are adjuncts of the Executive Department, the heads of the various executive departments are assistants and agents of the Chief Executive, and, except in cases where the Chief Executive is required by the Constitution or law to act in person or the exigencies of the situation demand that he act personally, the multifarious executive and administrative functions of the Chief Executive are performed by and through the executive departments, and the acts of the secretaries of such departments, performed and promulgated in the regular course of business, are, unless disapproved or reprobated by the Chief Executive, presumptively the acts of the Chief Executive.”

And explained what this means:

Pardon the involved kilometric sentence, but, put simply, when a department secretary makes a decision in the course of performing his or her official duties, the decision, whether honorable or disgraceful, is presumptively the decision of the President, unless she quickly and clearly disowns it.

Bernas further explained the principle behind the authority wielded by cabinet secretaries, in order to point out that the buck stops at the President’s desk:

The secretary of agrarian reform has just made an utterly disgraceful decision in the case involving the farmers of Bukidnon. He has refused to read the law and the rules promulgated by the department itself. You can read the law and rules backward and forward and you will reach the conclusion that the secretary is wrong. He has uttered a decision commanding the farmers to accept an unlawful act and authorizing San Miguel Foods to proceed with unauthorized conversion of the farm land. The land had been previously awarded to the farmers under the Agrarian Reform Law. True it is that the award was taken back, but under a highly controversial conversion order which went through the Supreme Court three times.

So the President revoked the order, giving the Sumilao farmers not the land, but the opportunity to own the land; the whole thing has a ways to go, still.

Land Reform resources: Agrarian reform in the Philippines, by the Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ANGOC) and by the Ford Foundation. See also The Antisocial on Land Reform, with the Lumads in mind.

In his column, Manuel Buencamino points out the differences between the involvement in business of Jose de Venecia III and Diosdado Macapagal Jr.:

Now I understand why Rep. Teodoro Locsin Jr. said it’s possible the bidders colluded and Monte Oro will sell shares to the losing bidders.

As to the younger Macapagal, “Buboy,” well, he was cleared of any wrongdoing by no less than Raul Gonzalez, the unconfirmed secretary of justice.

Gonzalez said, “Assuming that he participated, it’s unfair that just because he is the brother of the President, he will be deprived of joining [the auction]. He’s a legitimate businessman.”

That’s definitely different from the case of another legitimate businessman, Joey de Venecia. Buboy is the brother of the Gloria Arroyo; Joey is the son of the Speaker, and he blew the whistle on the broadband deal.

Gonzalez added, “It was the corporation that participated. The personality of the corporation is different from the individual.”

Again, that’s different for Joey de Venecia whose personality is inseparable from Amsterdam Holdings Inc., the company whose “no-sovereign-guarantee” bid for a broadband network was shanghaied by Abalos and his principal.

An interesting blog:  The Philippine Claim over Sabah: Legal and Historical Bases.

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20 comments

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  1. Willy

    No wonder GMA’s net ratings are going down. The likes of Pangandaman and Gonzales makes sure of that.

  2. DevilsAdvc8

    it makes one wonder why she has the highest confidence in people like them. a good executive never suffers bad subordinates. or is she still in possession of free will?

    maybe she’s been a puppet all these years…

    and oh, rumor is she’ll be visiting a public elementary school very near where I live. it’s practically a stone’s throw away. maybe i better buy some rotten tomatoes just in case.

  3. manuelbuencamino

    The Philippine claim over Sabah is legitimate. Unfortunately, it can only ne enforced through the use of force. That’s why the Malaysians are taking measures in anticipation of the day when we become strong enough to claim what is rightfully ours.

    Malaysia is beefing up it’s defenses in Sabah. They have missiles, ships including a submarine base there.

    More importantly, Malaysia is deeply involved in the MILF peace talks, behaving more like a consultant for the MILF and the MNLF than an honest broker.

    The Muslim homeland that Arroyo surrendered to the MILF in the last peace talks will one day evolve into a Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE), something the MILF has been fighting for since day one. BJE is of course one short step away from independence.

    A semi or fully independent Mindanao will serve as a physical buffer between Malaysia and the Philippine’s claim over Sabah. That’s why Malaysia is so hot about “brokering” the peace talks.

    What I don’t understand is why Gloria is so quick to surrender to the MILF’s demands. Wasn’t it her father who resurrected the Sabah claim?

  4. justice league

    “The MILF wishes for self-governance for the Bangsamoro people. During an interim period of five years the MILF proposes the transfer of power of governance from
    the central government to a Bangsamoro juridical entity (BJE), after which a referendum will be conducted to determine the Bangsamoro political status. The powers the MILF wanted to be transferred to the BJE include executive, legislative and judicial powers and
    functions; power to generate and allocate revenues; power to organize police and internal security force; and establishment of constitutional commission to write the organic charter of the BJE. The government is open on these proposals and the details are the subjects of discussions in the on-going negotiations.

    The unarmed Bangsamoro people movements are calling for a referendum in which the Bangsamoro people can collectively decide their political status: whether to be
    FREE and INDEPENDENT, to maintain the status quo of political relationship, to have a federal arrangement, to have free association relationship, or any other power sharing arrangement.”

    From “SELF-DETERMINATION AND PEACE IN MINDANAO”
    by Abhoud Syed M. Lingga Institute of Bangsamoro Studies

  5. Bencard

    buencamino,i agree that philippines has a legally viable claim to sabah but not the might to enforce it against the current possessor, malasia. if we could not even successfully wage war against the moros of mindanao, how could we do so against the malasians who has full backing of the british and, as you said, currently deployed in sabah with apparently better armaments?

    i don’t think “Gloria” (i don’t know how you managed to get on a first-name basis with the sitting president of the philippines) was “so quick to surrender to the MILF’s demands”. not only that too many people have died already and this conflict has been going on for decades, i think a covenant for the retention of sovereignty is far better than the risk of losing it entirely. can you imagine whose side an independent muslim mindanao would take in case of armed hostilities between malasia and the philippines over sabah?

  6. justice league

    I’m not sure but what of the hereditary heirs of the Sultan?

    If the heirs become citizens of a new independent Muslim Mindanao; will there be an impact on our claim, if any?

    Will an independent Muslim Mindanao now hold whatever claims we have over Sabah?

  7. tonio

    not surprised. i don’t think Gloria would want to be the one to strike a decisive blow against the landed elites. the result of the sumilao deal is tantamount to a delaying tactic, she’s giving the farmers a victory while allowing her real friends to consolidate their position.

  8. hvrds

    MLQ3′ apt description of our present day ‘hacendera’ President has just been seconded by De Quiros.

    It is unfortunate for the Sumilao farmers that now they will be processed to death so to speak.

    That is unless Danding Cojuangco wants to insure his place in heaven like his erstwhile contemporary Big Mike. His mouth pieces in the business community have already been saying how much more benefits the Sumilao area will get in raising and fattening pigs for all of us here to enjoy.

    Not a good sign. They also are saying that the farmers would benefit since they will be the buyer of the corn that most of the farmers harvest and sell in the area. That means they will be the only buyer in the area and off course will supply the inputs for all the farmers too and will be able to pay the farmers in beer and gin just like in the other plantation based agri-businesses that the corporation is involved in.

    Unfortunately those poor communal farmers have to evolve, adapt and die so that their future generations can find work abroad.

    The stark reality that the country faces along with other countries on this planet is the fact that the evolutionary
    developmental stages of social formats are colliding on top of the class contradictions that government is supposed to arbitrate and mediate.

    The process of the commoditization and monetization of the commons from local to global is fast happening and those who do not adapt will perish and disappear.

    The Lopez group has just gotten control of the geothermal productive facilities of PNOC and part of their profits will come from selling the carbon credits that the country will sell to countries with higher carbon emissions.

    Don’t you love it how we give our common rights to clean air to a private corporation and they turn it into monetary gain. They already make money out of the use of frequencies to control what we see and hear.

    Very soon the whole planet will simply be a bunch of worker bees, soldier bees and a lot of queen bees. Sorry guys but women rock. With all due respect to all the men in this neo-friar state.

  9. Jeg

    Don’t you love it how we give our common rights to clean air to a private corporation and they turn it into monetary gain. They already make money out of the use of frequencies to control what we see and hear.

    That’s because they think big. That’s what thinking big does. Our options are to fight this bigness, or join it. If we choose the former, we’ll lose, eaten alive by those with the wherewithal, and if we choose the latter, our children lose, while we enjoy our brand new cellphones, our playstations, and our foot spas. While we can, that is.

  10. anthony scalia

    a lawyer’s way of simplifying the concept – cabinet secretaries are the alter ego of the president. their decisions are deemed decisions of the president, unless she reverses them

    in the ZTE/NBN deal, it would seem that neri consulted gloria what to do. since neri did not stop DOTC from implementing it, it can be assumed that that was gloria’s order

  11. Mike

    I’m not sure what the ANGOC is complaining about–hasn’t DAR already distributed a large portion not only of its targets (~70-80%) but of the country’s total agricultural land (~50%)? Of course, these are mostly the voluntary redistributions. What agrarian reform advocates seem to be focusing on are the small number of compulsory acquisitions that have not yet been completed.

    The bigger battle is ensuring that the land is being used productively. From what I’ve seen, beneficiaries are either engaged in subsistence farming or are just renting out their land. That’s where the remaining CARP money should be spent: providing credit, inputs, post-harvest facilities, farm-to-market roads. But then, this is not as media-attractive as the Sumilao farmers’ march.

    In any case, one’s got to question the logic that says you can only be a real farmer if you are content with at most 5 hectares of land (because the government will redistribute anything in excess).

  12. BURAOT

    thanks for the link mr. manolo. i just noticed it recently on my technorati link.

    however, the lumads issue is far from over, what with the old but now figurehead of the cause acting for and on behalf of the poor farmers.

  13. Amando Jose

    INVITATION TO JOIN:

    We want to make an organization or a society devoted for the Sabah Issue How about that? We believe (Bloggers) that by formalizing our group we can make a change.

    This is my email Z153090@gmail.com if you like to join, as of now we are creating a site that will be devoted for the issue.

    -Philippine-Sabah Issue Enthusiast

  14. Marvin Nuevo

    For all those interested in the
    Philippine claim to Sabah: Please stand
    by and wait for further annoucements
    because we will be launching a group
    that advocates and backs the claim. For
    the mean time you can reach us at
    northborneophilippines@yahoo.com or ym
    id: northborneophilippines

    Thank you very much!

  15. Marvin Nuevo

    Our group website is now running. you
    can now access it at http://www.phil-sabah.org

    Please contact the team leaders for
    your registration and account:

    mnuevo@phil-sabah.org
    brandynhover@phil-sabah.org

    thank you!

  16. amando boncales

    malaysia if ferful about Sabah Issue

    source:http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Sunday/National/2280082/Article/index_html

    Q: During one meeting in Parliament at the last session, one MP said there were so many immigrants in Sabah now that there actually was a danger of these naturalized citizens asking for Sabah to become a part of the Philippines, or to vote not to have Sabah as part of Malaysia. Is that a realistic fear?

    A: We cannot tell what’s in the hearts of men or what’s in the future.

    Don’t forget that the Philippines has not given up its claims on Sabah. If you look at the Philippines map, Sabah is part of the Philippines.

    The Philippines has refused to set up a consulate in Sabah, because that would be seen as acknowledging that it is Malaysian territory.

    When people talk about this, they are talking about a future fear. We cannot dismiss it outright. And, therefore, we must have prudence in our immigration policies and our policy towards citizenship.

    I would welcome workers to the country; I would even welcome people who apply for citizenship. But a clear-cut policy must be made: how many can we accept?

    And they must get citizenship through the front door, not the back door.

    Look at the people who become citizens of Australia and America. It’s a proud day for a citizen; there’s a tea party to welcome you, you recite the oath of allegiance and you sing the national anthem.

    But we don’t hear of these sort of things in Sabah. Overnight, they become citizens.

  17. amando boncales

    malaysia if fearful about Sabah Issue

    source:http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Sunday/National/2280082/Article/index_html

    Q: During one meeting in Parliament at the last session, one MP said there were so many immigrants in Sabah now that there actually was a danger of these naturalized citizens asking for Sabah to become a part of the Philippines, or to vote not to have Sabah as part of Malaysia. Is that a realistic fear?

    A: We cannot tell what’s in the hearts of men or what’s in the future.

    Don’t forget that the Philippines has not given up its claims on Sabah. If you look at the Philippines map, Sabah is part of the Philippines.

    The Philippines has refused to set up a consulate in Sabah, because that would be seen as acknowledging that it is Malaysian territory.

    When people talk about this, they are talking about a future fear. We cannot dismiss it outright. And, therefore, we must have prudence in our immigration policies and our policy towards citizenship.

    I would welcome workers to the country; I would even welcome people who apply for citizenship. But a clear-cut policy must be made: how many can we accept?

    And they must get citizenship through the front door, not the back door.

    Look at the people who become citizens of Australia and America. It’s a proud day for a citizen; there’s a tea party to welcome you, you recite the oath of allegiance and you sing the national anthem.

    But we don’t hear of these sort of things in Sabah. Overnight, they become citizens.

  18. Jose Andres

    Our Fatherland includes Sabah
    June 19th, 2008 by Juan Guerra

    We have heard the talk in the past about the territory of Sabah, jointly held by Indonesia and Malaysia, and that past governments have desired to bring it into the fold of our beloved Fatherland. However due to the incessant bickering of our political parties no move to reclaim our territory has ever been made, instead idle posturing and saber rattling is all that resulted.

    The Samahan will instead pursue a rigorous policy of expansion into the territory of Sabah, not only that our government shall reclaim it, but that it will also be repopulated by Pilipino (Filipino) nationalists. It is intrinsic that once we hold Sabah we must displace the squatter population there and repatriate the entire area with our people in order to hold our claim.

    Now many ask does this mean war? Of course not, we are a civilized nation and an intellectual party, which means that though we prepare for the terrible chance of war, in actual fact we wish only for peaceful negotiations. We will work with the Indonesian and Malaysian governments and work out trade deals or financial restitution in return for the land. Yes we know that this land was ours, that we should simply take it by force and damn the consequences. But this makes not only for bad foreign policy but also senseless death of countless Pilipino (Filipino) citizens.

    Some claim that because we desire a strong military and that we will fight for the rights of our people that this means our first action will always be war. No my friends peaceful negotiation must always be the first course of action when working with other nations. The fact that Sabah was ours will lend heavy weight to all our negotiations both regionally and internationally, and that will make it easier for us when we work with our allies to come to a final resolution regarding our national sovereignty.

    But to what end is the reclaiming of Sabah going to further the Fatherland and our people? Land my friends, it is about living space and breathing room for our national community, land that we need to house and feed our ever-growing population. Instead of facing a nation that will be over crowded and starved for food, with the inclusion of Sabah we will have vast new territories to spread out in and to farm and feed the Fatherland.

    With Sabah we will have a drive to the frontiers, land for those without their own, those that live in Manila, the so called “squatters”, will be allowed to travel to Sabah and claim land for free as their own from which they can farm and not only feed their families but help feed the nation. This will relieve much of the pressure on Manila and the resources that the city has at their disposal. The poor will be given a chance to create strong and better lives, with aid from our government and a new series of developmental banks that will provide training and funding to build massive tracks of agricultural lands.

    OF course we must take precautions ahead of time to protect from slash and burn policies that the Malays and Indonesians have practiced for years. Killing of the natural world, wiping out animals and plant life that may one day yield beneficial harvests in the medical world. Even the pollution from these slash and burn policies have affected the health and well being of our people in the Philippines, the smoke and carcinogens have made their way to our cities causing worse health risks to our nation then were already there.

    No for us the inclusion of Sabah is not only going to be a massive economic boon to all our people, to our agricultural industry, but it will also be a huge boost to our national morale helping to spur on the national economy and bringing the standard of living up for our entire nation. Sabah belongs to us; we must take it back as our historical and divine right. The land belongs to us and it is unjust in the best of light that it continues to be used by foreign governments that wrongfully took away our sovereign rights. We will accept nothing short of repatriation to the Fatherland, though we will work with these nations peacefully to achieve such goals.

    Brothers the time has come to watch our nation expand well beyond its borders, to what once was the Philippines of the past. Before cowardly imperialists gave away that which was not theirs to begin with to pay of other foreign governments. It is time that these nations made right the wrongs from the past, to pay back what they have taken from us, and it is time for the rest of the world to recognize the sovereign rights of the Fatherland.

    LAHI AT AMANGBAYAN

    Juan “Maso” Guerra

  19. Jose Andres

    Our Fatherland includes Sabah
    June 19th, 2008 by Juan Guerra

    We have heard the talk in the past about the territory of Sabah, jointly held by Indonesia and Malaysia, and that past governments have desired to bring it into the fold of our beloved Fatherland. However due to the incessant bickering of our political parties no move to reclaim our territory has ever been made, instead idle posturing and saber rattling is all that resulted.

    The Samahan will instead pursue a rigorous policy of expansion into the territory of Sabah, not only that our government shall reclaim it, but that it will also be repopulated by Pilipino (Filipino) nationalists. It is intrinsic that once we hold Sabah we must displace the squatter population there and repatriate the entire area with our people in order to hold our claim.

    Now many ask does this mean war? Of course not, we are a civilized nation and an intellectual party, which means that though we prepare for the terrible chance of war, in actual fact we wish only for peaceful negotiations. We will work with the Indonesian and Malaysian governments and work out trade deals or financial restitution in return for the land. Yes we know that this land was ours, that we should simply take it by force and damn the consequences. But this makes not only for bad foreign policy but also senseless death of countless Pilipino (Filipino) citizens.

    Some claim that because we desire a strong military and that we will fight for the rights of our people that this means our first action will always be war. No my friends peaceful negotiation must always be the first course of action when working with other nations. The fact that Sabah was ours will lend heavy weight to all our negotiations both regionally and internationally, and that will make it easier for us when we work with our allies to come to a final resolution regarding our national sovereignty.

    But to what end is the reclaiming of Sabah going to further the Fatherland and our people? Land my friends, it is about living space and breathing room for our national community, land that we need to house and feed our ever-growing population. Instead of facing a nation that will be over crowded and starved for food, with the inclusion of Sabah we will have vast new territories to spread out in and to farm and feed the Fatherland.

    With Sabah we will have a drive to the frontiers, land for those without their own, those that live in Manila, the so called “squatters”, will be allowed to travel to Sabah and claim land for free as their own from which they can farm and not only feed their families but help feed the nation. This will relieve much of the pressure on Manila and the resources that the city has at their disposal. The poor will be given a chance to create strong and better lives, with aid from our government and a new series of developmental banks that will provide training and funding to build massive tracks of agricultural lands.

    OF course we must take precautions ahead of time to protect from slash and burn policies that the Malays and Indonesians have practiced for years. Killing of the natural world, wiping out animals and plant life that may one day yield beneficial harvests in the medical world. Even the pollution from these slash and burn policies have affected the health and well being of our people in the Philippines, the smoke and carcinogens have made their way to our cities causing worse health risks to our nation then were already there.

    No for us the inclusion of Sabah is not only going to be a massive economic boon to all our people, to our agricultural industry, but it will also be a huge boost to our national morale helping to spur on the national economy and bringing the standard of living up for our entire nation. Sabah belongs to us; we must take it back as our historical and divine right. The land belongs to us and it is unjust in the best of light that it continues to be used by foreign governments that wrongfully took away our sovereign rights. We will accept nothing short of repatriation to the Fatherland, though we will work with these nations peacefully to achieve such goals.

    Brothers the time has come to watch our nation expand well beyond its borders, to what once was the Philippines of the past. Before cowardly imperialists gave away that which was not theirs to begin with to pay of other foreign governments. It is time that these nations made right the wrongs from the past, to pay back what they have taken from us, and it is time for the rest of the world to recognize the sovereign rights of the Fatherland.

  20. Quirico

    Saturday, December 27, 2008
    MALAYSIA RECOGNIZES KING RODINOOD KIRAM AS RIGHT OWNER OF SABAH

    SOURCE:
    http://www.zambotimes.com/index.php?/archives/11881-Malaysia-recognizes-King-Rodinood-Kiram-as-right-owner-of-Sabah,-etc…html

    The Malaysian government has finally recognized the leadership of His Royal Majesty (HRM) King Hji. Rodinood King Hji. Julaspi King Hji. Jamalul Kiram II as the legitimate owner of Mindanao, Sulu and North Borneo (Sabah).
    “I am very much thankful to the government of Malaysia for handling back Sabah to us — our long lost ancestral homeland,” said King Rodinood Jamalul Kiram II.
    HRM King Rodinood Jamalul Kiram II extended his utmost thanks to the Malaysian government for finally recognizing him as the real owner of the said territory.
    “As we celebrate Christmas and New Year, I am happy to see my Raayat (people) in Mindanao and Sulu just as I am happy in informing you the great news in history. I love you all Muslims and Christians in Mindanao and Sulu, let’s love one another,” said King Rodinood Jamalul Kiram II.
    The king has also expressed his warm greetings to his subjects in Mindanao, Sulu and North Borneo (Sabah) to both Muslims and Christians and those of other religions for a blessed Hariraya Eidil Adha, a solemn Christmas and a prosperous New Year to all, wishing everyone to be safe, healthy and happy.
    HRM King Rodinood Jamalul Kiram II wishes everyone a “Happy Hariraya Eidil Adha, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone. God bless us all, Waba’duh wassalam,” said a press statement.
    For more information about the sultanate program, you may watch Sky Cable Channel 50 daily from 11:00 am-1:00 pm.

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