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When all you can do is text
By mlq3 Posted in Daily Dose on June 26, 2008 158 Comments 18 min read
The little dolphin that could Previous President Hee Hee and President Ha Ha Next

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At Midfield says new information on Ces Drilon’s kidnapping is coming to light, which points to her having been used as bait by the armed forces; and that furthermore, the kidnapping could have provided public-relations benefits for the government as the President prepared to panhandle her American counterpart for anti-terrorism aid. Aid that has not been forthcoming, despite previous American commitments:

Against this backdrop, with the public interest having shifted to the tragic sinking of the inter-island ferry Princess of the Stars, this possible untold story in the abduction of Ces Oreña-Drilon may actually be more than tangent to the continuing Philippine component of the United States’ war on terror and the ‘negative result’ of the intensified hunt for Dulmatin and ASG militants the previous two weeks.

This is because the second tranche of up to $4M in anti-terrorist funding support committed by the outgoing Bush administration has remained unreleased, with American authorities reported to be quietly “auditing how, and why, the earlier first $4M installment had been used by the Philippine police to purchase computer facilities.”

In fact no such ‘anticipated announcement’ of the additional anti-terrorist fund came despite President Bush having congratulated his Filipino counterpart “on her strong stand on counterterrorism - more than strong stand – effective stand on counter-terrorism.”

(Filipina Soul links to video of the President’s cameo at the Oval Office, and translates the message that will become her public service commercial until November; Talented Earthquake Productions has something to say concerning Shrub’s body language; Fil-Am journalist Benjamin Pimentel comments on Bush’s baffling salute to Filipino Americans )

Gotta love this quip by Keith Olbermann, as quoted by UC Hastings Pilipino American Law Society:

“yesterday’s media availability with the President of the Philippines Gloria Arroyo, a leader who’s country has recently suffered devastation caused by a typhoon, and now its been hit by something more like a buffoon.”

Incidentally, Dubya was supposed to meet GMA for two hours but the meeting ended up less than an hour, per the ABS-CBN clip.

Incidentally, environmentalists are in for a genetically-modified treat, courtesy of Arthur Yap. See my entry for today in Inquirer Current.

A grim problem is hogging the headlines. Even as Sulpicio probed on 2 angles, the problem, now, is what to do with the corpses.

A couple of days ago, At Midfield had blogged about it:

But instead of hopeful news, the mayor of San Fernando was appealing on national radio late yesterday afternoon for body bags and lime so they could tend to the dead.

To underline her own despair and anger, the lady mayor described how they’ve been been forced to sprinkle white cement on the recovered cadavers just to stem the decomposition while waiting for help. She also complained: not a single call had come, she said, from Sulpicio Lines, to coordinate and help.

Today, it’s ‘Don’t bury dead until we identify them’. Yet when bodies were being recovered from the vicinity of the sinking of the Titanic, what was done was to photograph the corpses; once identified, the provisionally-interred remains could be unearthed and reburied once more. That was in 1912. It is 2008, in the Philippines, and officialdom has to publicly debate what to do. Everyone, it seems, is frantic: Patience wearing thin, as relatives get emotional.

I think everyone shares smoke‘s sentiments that Sulpicio Lines should get it, right now, but the only way to get it seems to be in the courts, since I can only assume that a company boycott (once the ships stop being confined to port) would fail. notes of marichu lambino says both major networks erred in their reports; The Warrior Lawyer says, however, that Sulpicio Lines has deeper pockets than all its passengers put together and can play for time:

However, it’s difficult to prove criminal negligence on the part of the officials of a large common carrier like Sulpicio Lines. It can claim to have exerted extraordinary diligence in running its business. It can hire the best lawyers and fight it out in the courts, even if it takes decades, as it did in the litigation arising from the Dona Paz disaster.

Already the company seems to be shifting the blame to the ship captain, who is still missing, when it said that it was his call whether to push through with the ill-fated voyage or cancel the trip.

Furthermore, the undeniable fact is the company has deeper pockets than any of its passengers. As noted by the Supreme Court, the bulk of its passengers are poor. The latest victims of this outrage will face an uphill battle in their quest for justice.

Meanwhile, the rebuilding has barely started in places like Iloilo. Steven Rood in the In Asia blog did a roundup of the typhoon’s devastation as chronicled in SMS messages:

First, on Friday, messages came from Mindanao — a friend explained how his school was chest deep in water, ruining everything that couldn’t be moved quickly to the second floor. Bus service was suspended to the capital of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Rice and corn lands in southern Mindanao were inundated. Fishermen were charging 20 pesos (about $0.50, a sizable sum of money for those earning minimum wage) per head to ferry people through the floods.

Then, on Saturday, the drama began in the central Philippines. Writer Gail Ilagan entitled her account “Helpless in Davao,” since she was in that southern Mindanao city while her aged parents were trapped by rising water in Iloilo. “At 3:00, Mom texted to say they broke through the roof to escape the flood. I tried to keep her spirits up by texting her hope, encouragement, and practical survival tips.”

By Sunday, the typhoon had continued north to Manila. A friend in central Luzon texted about her house being flooded — but, for our Asia Foundation office in Manila, a run of our emergency “text tree” seemed to show that all of our office staff members were safe. By Sunday afternoon, the typhoon had moved far enough north that I was able to text my family from Taipei that I was indeed coming home instead of being stranded at a conference.

There is talk of how this communication technology heralds the “death of distance,” but in fact, that seems illusory. Gail Ilagan’s brother-in-law in Iloilo, while trying to rescue her parents, had to tie himself to an electric post for 5 hours to save himself from the buffeting of surging waters — no text messages from him. More prosaically, since there were widespread brownouts, cell phone batteries began to run down and communications died.

The most ominous dearth of information was about the sinking of the ferry, “Princess of the Stars.” The whole world now knows that it set sail before it was clear how bad the storm would be at its destination, and failed to reach safety (perhaps due to engine failure). At first, all we in the Philippines knew was that an upturned ferry had been spotted by local residents. Gradually, Philippine divers and boats, assisted by U.S. navy personnel and equipment, revealed the awful scope of the tragedy.

In his entry, Rood points out that despite the carping, somehow, things more or less function in the Philippines. The problem is, and it’s not really reflected in he said, she said, news items like this: Iloilo leaders rage over NDCC’s slow response: Biron: Gov’t agency is a ‘disaster in itself’, or this one, Air Force flies planeload of relief goods to Iloilo, in which an apparently lone C-130 has been shuttling back and forth from Metro Manila to Iloilo- is that the scale of the typhoons devastation was simply, unprecedented:

After such incidents, and indeed after widespread devastation by a typhoon, there are calls for inquiries and attempts to lay blame. Indeed, President Arroyo, in a televised meeting of the National Disaster Coordinating Committee (NDCC) that she was chairing via videolink from the United States, began to take the Coast Guard to task for allowing the ferry to set sail.

Still, it must be said that the Philippines has a system that functions in these situations — from the NDCC, to the Corporate Network for Disaster Response, to media organizations that cooperate with the government in relief and rehabilitation. With some 20 typhoons hitting the Philippines each year, such a system is continually tested. What was unusual about Typhoon Frank/Fengshen was the sheer geographic scale of the effects — from the southern Philippines all the way to northern Luzon. Even if disaster management systems were perfect, it would be overwhelmed.

Individuals respond well — as did Gail Ilagan’s parents who were eventually able to return to the ground floor of their house. In fact, individual talent and perseverance is a hallmark of Filipinos — which can sometimes lead to micro-managing by leaders rather than reliance on systems. Several years ago, during another typhoon, a Cabinet Secretary stepped out of an embassy reception to communicate with a senator about the availability of rubber boats for evacuating a particular flooded location.

My column for today is Relief by remote control looks at the argument that the President was damned if she did, damned if she didn’t; but to my mind, if she was going to insist on the need to push through with her trip to America, she could then have fully delegated things to her subordinates. But she did not.

Which means she loses out every which way: the public won’t give her any credit, the experts in disaster management will grumble, and this exacts a genuine toll on people’s energies and abilities, from having to troop to the Palace at 1am (in truth, the preparations begin at 9 pm for something like a 1 am presidential broadcast event) to attend a meeting, much of which was spent rehashing what had been done during work hours.

Most of all, her insisting she can run things by remote control from abroad, which means she believes her going abroad is more important than staying at home, flies in the face of her previous policies. Is she a populist or not? Is her populism from the heart, or a charade? Consider The Economist on Why Grandpa Wen has to care points out Wen Jiabao did all the things Arroyo’s defenders say are irrelevant and unnecessary -if she’d never tried to be a populist in the first place, maybe.

Returning to the theme explored by Steve Rood, in addition to SMS, emails, too, kept people up to date on the discouraging situation in Iloilo and elsewhere. The McVie Show, Season Seven publishes the sad unfolding of the confirmation of a friend’s death while mountainclimbing; and the interweb’s full of people recounting sad snippets of news. For example, missionaries such as anascomissions.org ,

Received another email from Nate, Calvary missionary in Iloilo. He said the waters in the city are starting to recede but now areas affected by the flood are covered in mud. Also food is scarce. The families we work with say they do not have any food at all. Supplies at the stores and markets are very low and price gouging has begun. There is some government food relief available so right now the staff is looking at how our street children and their families might qualify for some of that relief.

tenForty writes of how good intentions can be trumped by logistics:

We hastily made arrangements to get some funds through to our brethren on Monday, but when I informed Ranie, our contact in Iloilo City, she SMSed that “…water still high, no bank, no electricity, no (drinking) water, the whole city is floating.” She also mentioned that the windows of her apartment had blown away, and the church was being used as a refugee centre…

And then she also mentioned that they had run out of food.

Today, the situation is a little better, but still grim, and the bank finally opened. 90% of the homes and churches we support are gone, the people homeless.

Wrote coffee talks,

I was stranded at our office for the whole duration. I saw people sleeping in the mall… Texting like crazy… and crying… but some… were just in disbelief… Nobody expected things to escalate into unimaginable proportions… I heard dries all over the place… People were trying to sleep despite the fact that they were uneasy about the situation at hand… I guess, this just goes to show that once you accept stuff as they are, you begin to calm down…

During the wee hours of the morning, we went up to the cooling tower of SM Iloilo, just above our office… and we took a look at the situation at hand… It was heartbreaking, no contest… the view was just plain dark and grimy water… People were literally ON the TREES flashing lights and waiting to be rescued… Some homes that were there were now missing… and the flood, kept on coming…

It’s a Word Dance tells several stories, including her own:

I will tell you more by telling by friends’ stories.

Pamela is from Pavia. Pavia was greatly affected by the typhoon. Their house was covered by water and there was no dry things inside it. Worst, her 8 month old nephew got lost. Lost in site when the water came rushing inside there house. She was depressed. The whole family was.

Eli is from Kalibo. He can’t calm down due to pressure that his family hadn’t contacted him yet. We were staying in his house here in Iloilo hoping to help out each other. But the moment, his relatives contacted him, he broke down and cry. His house was rushed by flood. All their properties including car and appliances were damaged. His dad was sick when the typhoon came in. He was worried about them but glad they were okay. Still, he was worried how to bring everything they had back.

Julie is also from Kalibo. She was the last one to be contacted by her family. It ends up when she called her mom and ask about the situation. They were all okay but there house was submerge in water including their car. Material things was okay to lose but the work you put into it was crashing.

Moshe is my boyfriend. He is from Pototan. I never knew something was bothering him because he was acting he was okay. He still have time to laugh with me. His reason was to avoid me from being worried. Their house was sliced in half. No appliances were saved. Thankfully, his mom and younger sister vacated the place before is crashed. But the house they stayed in, the house of his Tita Sol was also submerged in water. Luckily again, they have a second floor. Bubbles, his rottweiller drowned.

Me and my sister had an interesting story. We are here together in our boarding house in Iloilo while my mom and dad is in Pototan. My tita’s house there collapsed and my lola’s house was flooded. They evacuated in Mina Church for the night. I was slightly worried for them because I know they can take good care of each other but what worried me most id m younger brother, who is in Roxas City and with our helper. I haven’t receive a news from him.

exploreIloilo.com links to photos and videos of the flood. A side-story is that viewers are irate over the focus of media coverage primarily being on the capsized Princess of the Stars. Appeals have been made on this blog and elsewhere, for equal time to be devoted to places like Iloilo -and if Iloilo residents are upset, residents of Aklan, in turn, are upset that only Iloilo is in the news.

Concerning Aklan, see American Living, Filipina Thinking (found through The Accidents of My Life) who managed to stitch together a report on her native province in Aklan and Typhoon Frank, including this timeline of events:

Friday, June 22, evening — People are preparing for the food festival in honor of San Juan Bautista. Radio said it was Signal No1. It started to rain hard, so people just went home.

Saturday, June 23

2am — Heavy rains. Strong winds. Now it was Signal #3. Undang once again.

5am-6am — Ceiling and rooftops blown away. Aklan River was rising.

9am-10am — Kalibo proper is starting to be flooded, waist deep. Strong currents and non-stop raining. People hold on to bamboos for floatation. To move from one place to another, people jump from rooftops to rooftops. Houses in lower C Laserna are gone.

3pm-4pm — Wind stopped. Water is at 7-8 feet, Kalibo Shopping Center now submerged. The entire Kalibo town was quiet, other than the sound of the falling rain.

7pm-8pm — In the dead of the night, with no lights nor electricity, people are screaming ‘tabang’. Children wailing, women crying. Some people, who owned 2-floor houses, refused to accept their neighbors for the fear that the added weight may collapse the house.

Sunday, June 24

Sunrise — People got out of their shelters to see water and mud, tricycles upside down, boulders everywhere, dead pigs. It was like a scene from a B-rated zombie movie. First thing people looked for: DRINKING WATER.

6am — People start to walk to the market for food. They walked in 2-feet mud. People lined up to buy bread (plastic still covered with mud), canned goods, medicine. Prices skyrocketed: rice that was PhP80 is now PhP150 (good for one day for a family of 6), candles 3 pcs for PhP100, tricycle trip PhP 1000 to-fro Kalibo Airport.

Everyone was in quiet shock, saying a low ‘kamusta’, and moved on to go to where their family & shelter was.

Everyone salvaged what was left. They tried to dry, using water from the rain, their clothing and beddings. Furnitures (tables, chairs) are damaged but usable. Magsig-magsig anay kuno, ah

The Provincial Hospital is damaged too, and the new PhP 45 Million CT Scan equipment is all lost. Where do the sick go? Stay at home and hope infection (feet are scraped and punctured due to walking on mud) doesn’t spread. That is why the corpse are now lying and embalmed at the town plaza, for we don’t have a hospital.

From aileenation (reposted from another blog, but no link to the original), another look at conditions, as of Sunday:

These are some of the updated news from Kalibo, Aklan:

The memorial hospital naabot ng baha at putikan hanggang second floor.

Early morning ng Sunday 10 feet strong current flooded the entire town, reached the second floor/level of big houses….okay lang kung lahat ng mga tao dun ay merong second floor ang mga bahay. they dont have anything to eat there, walang mapagbilhan ng pagkain, even drinking water wala na din…tubig ulan ang iniinom nila.

Currently, hanggang tuhod and putik sa buong town ng kalibo, madaming barangays ang nawala na sa mapa ng kalibo, even yung bliss community wala na…bubong na lang ng bhay ang nakikita. Just now, 115 dead bodies ang nasa plaza ng Kalibo…they don’t know the number of people died and missing.

Egg prices to rise as typhoon hits ‘egg basket’ adding to inflation.

CBCP urged to formally object to Enrile as envoy to Vatican. On what grounds? There is no Concordat between the Vatican and the Philippines that grants the insular hierarchy a say on who gets appointed ambassador; and it seems the Secretariat of State has accepted the Philippine appointment. This is as cut-and-dried as a case of the separation of Church and State gets. Cristina Ponce-Enrile ought to go to Rome.


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  1. USAid will no longer just give.. Our curent administration has been slow to implement the process of good governance. The joke of the kitchen cook, is one way of saying…. get all your talents and implement good governance. Gloria just laughed about it without knowing the real meaning. It was a nice way of saying…. get your SHIT together. You have so many smart talented people who are ashamed of your governance.

  2. thanks for the heads up, psimeon. sweden, compared to u.s. is a tiny country with relatively fewer needs and demands. with vast wealth, u.s. also has vast expenditures and obligations. i was talking about u.s.’ willingness and readiness to come to the aid of distressed citizens of the world, including its enemies that hate it for no obvious reasons

  3. the ca’t, can i reserve for you the “pleasure” of dealing with the inane remarks about the “real meaning” of bush’s cook joke? if you don’t want to dignify it with a response, i would understand (lol).

  4. Bencard on, “i don’t think she needs to beg for her personal survival.”

    She begs for public mercy on Garci tape. She begs huge favor on impeachment vote and issued the pork barrel to congressmen the night before the kill session. She begs the court to grant continuation of emergency power until she appointed 4 justices to change the vote. Recently, she begs for US cooperation now that NBN deal is over affecting mutual interest.

    As Bush proudly announced, CARROT and STICK. It is carrot and stick.

    By the way, my interview with immigration was on time with prior appointment (thanks to the system – can’t say the same at Philippine Embassy which require you to line up and return 4 days later just to authenticate my SPA) and quick to the point. The US immigration person was a career official who gone through different services from public teaching, works and highways, IRS, border official and then immigration. He was quite taken how hardworking Filipinos like me can do better than him financially and pays more contributions to the homeland. He was proud to welcome me and my family to America. That is not the comprehension you have on “panhandling”. Sorry to disappoint you.

  5. Leytenian,
    Re:editing
    I said we both need editors;it was inclusive. coz it takes one to no one, mas nakakiya minsan ang error ko .But…………………………….. .

    There is reading between the lines,but where on earth is governance implied????????

    First, said Bush, “I want to tell you how proud I am to be the president of a nation that — in which there’s a lot of Philippine Americans. They love America and they love their heritage.”

    Second, he continued, “I am reminded of the great talent of the — of our Philippine Americans when I eat dinner at the White House…. And the chef is a great person and a really good cook, by the way, Madam President.”

    Where?
    you have another version?

  6. Thanks to the link to Filipina Soul. Just a correction, though. The translation was provided by the White House press office. We link to that in the post. 🙂

  7. Gloria’s trip to US is undoubtedly a junket disguised as “official state visit” (kuno), with that large coterie of known junketeers many of whom (inluding the fatso guy) only want to see Pacquiao’s fight this Saturday.

    While the country suffers from the devastation of a super typhoon, here’s Gloria and her bunch of mostly insensitive officials enjoying their USA trip. What business are they talking about other than pleasure?

    Can Gloria get the remaining tranche of unreleased $4 million anti-terrorist fund before Dubya bows out of office? Nah! With Gloria’s known record of abusing public funds and corruption, I don’t think the Americans will still trust her.

    I would have admired these officials if they donated the money intended for the US trip to those typhoon victims, including the families of that ill-fated Sulpicio ship.

    Damn it! How can a poor country move forward under these calloused, greedy and pleasure-loving officials who think of themselves first before their countrymen’s welfare?

  8. KG on, “Arroyo’s meeting with Obama not pushing through”.

    Obama is unlikely to sponsor terrorism doleouts as done by Bush which McCain will continue.

  9. d0d0ng: I see that your new adopted land is USA. My understanding of that country is that they expect you to pay your taxes even if you believe that there is corruption or that you disagree with their president’s policies on the environment, Iraq, China or abortion. And by “they”, I mean the citizenry as well as the government officials.

  10. ok d0d0ng,ty!

    what is your opinion on outsourcing outrage?
    masyado bang pang blue collar at corporate america will make outsourcing continue,or not?

    yung shinare mo tungkol sa immigration official mukhang mahaba ang usapan nyo ah, at nagawa mo pa sya magkwento.

  11. UP n student,

    ‘My understanding of that country is that they expect you to pay your taxes even if you believe that there is corruption or that you disagree with their president’s policies on the environment, Iraq, China or abortion. And by “they”, I mean the citizenry as well as the government officials.’

    You’re way of the mark. The average American do not care about the corruption in the Federal government or the foreign policy of the current administration.The State government has more influence on the daily lives of Americans. That’s the government that provides the services. The Federal government only sets some of the national agenda but it’s the State governments that figures out how to go about it. The rest of the world deals with the US Federal government though.

  12. d0d0ng,

    Most pinoys in USA work hard to earn their keeps, but most pinoy officials in the homeland literally “rob” their compatriots just to earn theirs. On top of the heap is Gloria and her husband, who both ride on the crest of power that they never earned honestly.

    That’s the BIG difference.

  13. May I add to supremo’s posting,

    I also believe the average American is not anxious about corruption in his/her country, because it is easy to censure and boot out errant officials who are sensitive to complaints. Unlike many of those pinoy officials, whose values are warped down to their bone marrow. Just look at those officials now touring USA, and will surely visit Vegas come Saturday.

  14. KG
    “I am reminded of the great talent of the — of our Philippine Americans when I eat dinner at the White House…. And the chef is a great person and a really good cook, by the way, Madam President.”

    that’s the line that Gloria did not fully comprehend. Bush was giving an example. it means -Philippines has plenty of talented people.

  15. Leytenian on, “that’s the line that Gloria did not fully comprehend. Bush was giving an example. it means -Philippines has plenty of talented people.”

    Obviously Bush could not tell Gloria how terrific she was handling her job for the Filipinos (as Bencard and others would like us to believe)- pangit ang dating. He rather tell her of how the FilAms love the country and their heritage and of the talented Filipino cook.

  16. the ca’t, can i reserve for you the “pleasure” of dealing with the inane remarks about the “real meaning” of bush’s cook joke?

    bencard,
    thanks but i’ll pass. :). the people does not even know the difference between a chef and a cook.

  17. dodong,

    “He rather tell her of how the FilAms love the country and their heritage and of the talented Filipino cook.”

    thanks for getting my point.

  18. ces drillon as a bait? wow, bago yata iyan.

    i admire those media practitioners who paid the ultimate sacrifice by being assasinated by corrupt and evil government officials and other criminals because of their relentless expose’s.

    no admiration at all to those who were pursuing hot leads so they can interview the bandit leader of the abu sayaff. who cares about the leaders of these criminals and thugs?

    despite the unkind words we heaped on Mr. Marcos during his time, he had said something about the mass media catering on the sensationalism to the point of being irresponsible which is quite very true in our mass media today, including some blog sites.

    He said: “We interview and quote our criminals as if they are the heads of the State. (some may say that Mr. Marcos is a criminal too, but atleast he was the head of the State).

  19. KG on, “what is your opinion on outsourcing outrage?
    masyado bang pang blue collar at corporate america will make outsourcing continue,or not?

    The union has been so bloated before until corporate america shifts jobs to Philippines, India, China and Russia where labor is cheap. Even today during lean times, a union I know is so ridiculous with their demands that sacrifice efficiency and cost effectiveness. Example, I cannot hang a picture in my office, it has to be done by them and has to be scheduled. Its funny but but there is tradeoff. To answer your question, outsourcing will still continue since the major driver of the economy is business and labor is expensive in America.

    KG on, “yung shinare mo tungkol sa immigration official mukhang mahaba ang usapan nyo ah, at nagawa mo pa sya magkwento.”

    It was brief and to the point until he voluntered his information. He (white) felt comfortable to the point we were talking of his career. But he took seriously my advice that he has to weigh losing his long vacation privileges (federal observe all holidays plus length of service) if he switch.

  20. The Cat on, “people does not even know the difference between a chef and a cook.”

    If you watch Food Network, you will know.

  21. Hawaiian guy on, “Most pinoys in USA work hard to earn their keeps, but most pinoy officials in the homeland literally “rob” their compatriots just to earn theirs. ….That’s the BIG difference.”

    That’s the whole of point of MLQ3’s “Junket of Doom”. And Bush could not say that to her face as gracious host, the fact they just had a constructive dialogue (must have been unconstructive before then). Bush couldn’t say anything on Arroyo and her junkets obviously, so complimented on the loving FilAms instead. Smile.

  22. oh boy, i didn’t realize we have a number of psychoanalysts in this blog interpreting what bush said to gma. why don’t you guys just take his words as he uttered them. one problem of the philippines is that there are too many wise guys and a few wise men. some try to be “intellectual” but could not even comprehend what they themselves are saying. jeeez!

    dodong, before you were interviewed, you had to wait years as an applicant. not even aliens of exceptional ability and renown can get green card in a jiffy the way you boast. u.s. didn’t ask you to come and stay. you begged to stay by applying and submitting required documents

    i thought we were arguing about your claim that gma was pandering to the u.s. how did it get to “garci tapes, impeachment and pork barrel. if you have run out of arguments, don’t change the subject as you and your kind are in the habit of doing.

  23. MLQ3,
    OMG. What a cute conspiracy theory around Ces Drilon’s KFR incident. Oh But wait…USS Ronald Reagan, and any generous help from America is already being met by … the Myanmar Military Junta Syndrome! I’m sure the America haters (all three of them) will be in front of the US Embassy today trying to make the Philippines look as much as Burma as possible.

  24. Bencard on, “before you were interviewed, you had to wait years as an applicant. not even aliens of exceptional ability and renown can get green card in a jiffy the way you boast. u.s. didn’t ask you to come and stay. you begged to stay by applying and submitting required documents”

    You are trying hard, I will gave your lawyering a credit. But I know, US companies will not sponsor a Filipino lawyer (like you). I leave that to you why.

    Bencard on, “how did it get to “garci tapes, impeachment and pork barrel. if you have run out of arguments, don’t change the subject as you and your kind are in the habit of doing”.

    You claim she did not beg for her survival. She did.

  25. “u.s. didn’t ask you to come and stay. you begged to stay by applying and submitting required documents”

    The US has recruited employees and opened its immigration policies to allow foreign workers to stay. The US has provided that option for employment and take applications not only to filipinos but to all foreign workers all over the world. There was a demand of labor not even for short term but for long term thus allowing aliens to stay. But majority has stayed because of many reasons: healthcare benefits, retirement benefits, quality of life, and the lack of employment in the Philippines. Our Philippine government provided our people with no choice. There was a supply of labor and yet demand for employment was never created. It is still a big problem until today. It is not about begging. It is about life’s wants and needs. The right to survive.

  26. Bencard on, “one problem of the philippines is that there are too many wise guys and a few wise men.”

    The wise man must have been you as you already called me loser, psychoanalyst, boastful, wise guy, intellectual-wanna-be, what else…..

    Anyway, I should not be a problem of the Philippines (your claim) since I am not in the Philippines, I am not a lawyer nor I am running the country.

  27. ces drillon as a bait? we continueto spin our magical wand to fan our fantasy and make-believe scenario.

    i admire some journalists who paid the ultimate price by beingassasinated by corrupt government officials and other criminals because of their relentless exposes.

    i have no admiration entirely of mass media people pursuing hot leads so they can interview the leader of the bandit groups just for ratings and mileage. Who cares about these leaders and what they will say?

    despite the unkind words we had heaped on Mr. Marcos during his time, he said something I remembered well about the media catering to sensationalism to the point of being irresponsible.

    He said: “We interview and quoute our criminals as if they are the heads of State. (some may say that Mr. Marcos was himself a criminal, but at least he was the head of the State).

    That is how irresponsible the media are today, including some blog sites.

  28. it is not a question about wise men, intellectuals, psychoanalyst… anyone who has some point of view, let them spell them out clear and lucid, may they be coming from intellectuals or pseudo intellectuals, wise-men or idiots. let their views compete in the market place of ideas.

    name-calling and bias well bring us nowhere.

    as regards Pinoys who are in America, i don’t think we can disparage them coming to America. It is America who begs that Pinoys come to the US and not the other way around.

    pinoys are hardworking, honest, caring and reliable. these are the qualities, specially in the health sector, why they would prefer the Filipino workers, compared to some other nationalities.

    if you work in the US you can eat everything that rich people here eat. in the Philippines, ordinary workers on daily wage cannot afford the food the rich people in the Philippines eat.

    it is not all bed of roses in the US, but atleast in terms of ease of life and opportunities, it is much better than the Philippines. You cannot blame our kababayans for their US preference, but deep in their hearts, they care as much as others of our country, and this is the reason why despite being thousand milese away, they continue to post messages in this blog site, to voice their concerns of the welfare of their less fortunate kababayans and the directions we are going.

  29. At huwag rin natin kalimutan na isang Purpose nang “trips” nang manga congressmen ay mag “Electioneering” daw para sa kandidatora ni Ms Miriam Santiago para sa International Court (akala nila Pinas pa ang U.N.) kasama na yon ang dine and wine daw ang manga officiales nang manga U.N. para ma empluensya ang boto para kay Madam Santiago. Tingnan natin ang Resulta kong tatabla ang Election Campaign Style nila sa Labas nang Pilipinas..

  30. The Cat on, “people does not even know the difference between a chef and a cook.”

    If you watch Food Network, you will know.

    \

    Better give the advice to people who do not know how to use it.

  31. The Cat on, “people does not even know the difference between a chef and a cook.”

    If you watch Food Network, you will know.

    Better give the advice to people who do not know how to use them.

  32. dodong,
    “Anyway, I should not be a problem of the Philippines (your claim) since I am not in the Philippines, I am not a lawyer nor I am running the country.”

    you mean to say that bencard is running the country or maybe have some influence on the rule of law? I wonder how he can help enforce the rule of law. we have too much “LAWLESSNESS” in our country.

  33. “one problem of the philippines is that there are too many wise guys and a few wise men.”

    Bencard,

    I think this is just a matter of writing and speaking style of most educated Filipinos. I know their deliveries supposed to convey conviction and they often write with “authority” as their English teachers teach them but they only come out forced, inauthentic and totally without confidence or conviction. Not like me…

  34. why should i have to “try hard”? i do it for a living. so what if no company sponsors me? i’m here and i’m a citizen. i don’t need to be sponsored and work to make somebody else wealthy out of my labor.

    read again and understand our exchange. i was telling you, if gma was “pandering” to the u.s., as you claim, she was doing it for the philippines – not for her own personal benefit. in contrast, you pandered to your u.s. employer and to the u.s. to be ALLOWED to enter and stay as an immigrant.

  35. mlq3,

    Your blog is starting to look like a shrine to Gloria. What’s with the fixation with her? I hope it’s nothing like Brian G. and DJ M. I’d like to think she is not the be-all and end-all of Philippine politics.

  36. ‘why don’t you guys just take his words as he uttered them. ‘

    I agree.

  37. to d0d0ng: good job you and family getting into USA. Many others have written, and facts bear it out —- Pinoys overseas in their newly-adopted countries do very well. So d0d0ng-and-family, without a doubt, will do well.

  38. d0d0ng: I’m just making a wild guess that you are East-Coast (near supremo), not West (near Ca t).

  39. Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Undersecretary Maria Elena Bautista said in an interview with abs-cbnNEWS.com/Newsbreak that lives could have been saved and the accident may have been averted.

    During the Ramos administration, a contract was signed for GMDSS for the PCG, but the contractor failed to provide the software after the equipment was delivered.

    “There was a problem in the bidding, so all the deliveries are there rotting,” Bautista said. “That was a stepping stone to GMDSS….So the containers are there rotting.”

    Asked if the guilty parties have been made to account, she replied: “I don’t know. That was under President Ramos.”

    PCG spokesman Armand Balilo told ABS-CBN’s Umagang Kay Ganda Thursday the PCG’s GMDSS equipment has been kept in a container van for nearly a decade, so these are already broken and outdated.

    Assuming the PCG had a GMDSS in place, he said the PCG would have been able to avert the MV Princess of the Stars disaster “right from the start.”

    ————————

    The PCG budget for capital outlay — zero pesos for 2005, zero pesos for 2006, P44Million for 2007, then reduced to P25Million for 2008.

  40. from warrior lawyer link: ( cut and paste) Vice-president Noli De Castro revealed in a radio interview over DZRH that the stricken ship was laden with toxic and dangerous cargo, said to be “fertilizer”. This will be the subject of a closed-door meeting of the National Disaster Coordinating Council this morning. I suspect it would be ammonium nitrate, primarily used for explosives and fertilizer, the runoff of which is a leading source of environmental waste. The storage and transport of such chemicals are subject to stringent regulations and licensing and permit procedures. Were these followed ?

    sulpicio is still liable for carrying toxic waste. what’s going to happen to the fish, the people that will eat the fish…. the overall health and well being of the people around the islands in the next couple of days and months. what about the livelihood of the fishermen. This company has caused so much damage.

    in addtion: Philippine Navy Spokesman Lt. Col. Edgardo Arevalo:
    Endosulfan, a neurotic organochlorine insecticide which is supposed to be banned for high toxicity was discovered to be among the cargoes of the ill-fated MV Princess of Stars.
    We are fearing the condition of our divers and personnel who might not even know if they were infected.
    The harsh weather conditions, exposure to the water feared to have been contaminated by endosulfan and to decomposing bodies they manually pluck from the water have serious implications to their health and welfare.

  41. One of the mistakes of the Pinas government is to exempt all OCW income from taxes. “Yes” to exempting the first million pesos (so there would be no tax-burden on many Pinas OCW’s),. But even with that exemption, there would have been tax-revenue from the better-paid OCW-doctors, managers, financial analysts, dentists, petroleum- and software-engineers that could have been spent for capital improvements on maritime safety (also to build new schools and for low-cost medicine programs for the elderly).

  42. On the toxic chemicals spilled:

    There are accidents and there are accidents, but it baffles the mind that Sulpicio Lines’ corporate greed combined with the regulators’ neglect or ineptitude has turned a natural calamity into an environmental disaster!!!

    Typhoon Frank left people dead. Sulpicio Lines continue to kill the living.

    This is really bad.

  43. @PSImeon, the example of Sulpicio Lines reveals the folly of depending upon Entrepreneurs’ self-interests without regard for altruism.

    “Great nations were not built on good intentions. They were built on business sense. Real change in Pinoy society will never be achieved through the “sacrifice” of altruistic “heroes”. True change will be driven by people who find no shame in expecting a buck for their trouble.” – Benign0

    http://www.geocities.com/benign0/admin/whyshouldi.html

    Drowned passengers and toxic spills are the outcomes of the above philosophy.

  44. cvj’s thoughts above makes perfect sense. To accelerate the progress of the country. Pinas should pass a law that makes altruism a requirement before any business license is renewed.

  45. The Government of the Philippines should fund a P120-million pesos contract for the development of a methodology (with the necessary paper-forms, biometric sensors and OpenSource-certified computer programs) that will determine with 95% confidence interval the altruistic from the not-altruistic. Only those companies who are altruistic will be qualified to bid on this contract.

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