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Showing posts from August, 2009

Liar, liar pants on fire

I called up Helen Flores of Philippine Star to ask her who sent her the press release showing a purported Pulse Asia senatorial survey that showed me getting only 0.7 percent, landing third from the bottom of the list.

She said, "Pulse Asia." I said that is impossible because I am not a subscriber to any of the surveys. Read: I did not pay P50,000 for my name to be there.

I told her to check out the website of Pulse Asia.

I did, again and again, and the alleged press release she got is not there. The only recent news item is the presidential survey. In short, it is a hatchet job.

Clearly, then, the hand of a muckracker is at work here. Some rich political party commissioned a survey, put my name there, and must have been shocked out of their dimwitted skulls when they saw me again up there in the list, past their nina bonita, as it has been in the last many surveys.

How do I know this? Because the other political parties inviting me to join their senatorial slates and offering m…

Political jokes

By Lito Banayo
Ang Pahayagang Malaya
August 26. 2009

Trust Senadora Miriam to make your day whenever she vents her ire on whoever. Aliw na aliw.

She chewed Buboy Syjuco and spat him out with such sardonic humor that even the masa clearly understood. “Pasayaw-sayaw pa, e ang tanda-tanda na…puti na nga ang buhok!” And even if you knew she was purposely lying when she described her Jun Santiago as “one of the handsomest men in the country”, you simply got bowled over by the way she stitched her barbs together.

Indeed, Buboy Syjuco should ask himself --- why spend 28 million pesos of taxpayers’ money on an infomercial, just to make an ass of oneself. Surely there are cheaper ways to achieve the same result --- making an ass of himself.

* * *

The King of Saudi Arabia has been prevailed upon by the Royal Privy Council to cancel the purported state visit of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

The King’s advisers got verified information that Dona Gloria is not “halal”.

* * *

I do not want to…

Another reason to go out and register

Eirene Jhone Aguila
Manila Times
August 28, 2009

Nine weeks shy of the October 31 deadline for registration, sadly, the new registrants turnout has so far been alarmingly too few to realize the mantra—the youth is the future of this country. With the youth not all flocking to the registration stations to register one can suspect that indeed the face of the Philippine electorate will not change much this coming elections. And without this much needed infusion of idealism and change in the profile of our voters, non-traditional politicians will continue to remain a rarity. And if those who endeavor to line up for hours to register are not processed well or encouraged with assistance in the exercise, they will most likely not bother to vote on election day.

This is very unfortunate. Without this new wave of Filipinos entering our political arena, the new future we hope to see where good governance, ethical leadership and people empowerment are the norm will forever remain a dream…

Jinggoy, Mar, Pia top Senate poll

What is wrong with this news report? I am NOT a subscriber to the Pulse Asia or SWS surveys. Therefore, my name should not be in the list of senatorial candidates for the 2010 elections. Suddenly, I find my name in the list and my ranking at third from the bottom, at 0.7 percent. Even Cerge Remonde got higher than me?

The purpose, of course, is to condition the mind of the voters that my candidacy is lameduck, if not dead in the water. See, so early in the game, and the misinformation has begun?

Maid Miriam (Santiago) is correct: when your campaign is doing very, very well, they will begin to hit you.

The mud-slinging has begun. Welcome to the 2010 elections!

By Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) Updated August 27, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Pulse Asia released yesterday the results of the firm’s recent survey on senatorial candidates that showed Senate President Pro Tempore Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada as the top favorite to win if the elections were held today.

Estrada got 50.2 perce…


By Mon Casiple

More realignmentsWith the death of Con-Ass and its accompanying emergency rule scenario, things have gone back to normal–”normal electoral politics” that is. The 2010 elections tightens its grip on the whole political landscape.

However, there are interesting twists. Most of these were brought about by the re-manifesting of people power during the wake and funeral of former president Cory Aquino. Some were brought about by the rapid process of disintegration of the lameduck Arroyo administration. Still, others were influenced by the surprising strength of former president Joseph “Erap” Estrada in the presidential surveys.

The most interesting is the catapulting of the Aquino political heir, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, to the electoral limelight. He is now being buffeted by pressures from all sides–not necessarily friendly–to seriously take a stab at the vice-presidency, even the presidency itself. If this materializes, the political shock woul…

Ninoy, Cory, Evelio

By Ellen Tordesillas
Ang Pahayagang Malaya

WHEN I passed by the Evelio Javier monument in front of the provincial capitol in San Jose, Antique last Monday, I noticed he was holding a yellow ribbon.

Antique Governor Sally Perez said the yellow ribbon on Evelio’s statue was part of their tribute to former President Aquino. Rightly so because the heroic lives of Evelio and that of Sen. Benigno Aquino, Jr. and President Cory Aquino are inextricably twined.

Although I was born and grew up in Antique, I personally met Evelio Javier when I was covering the Cory Aquino for President Movement in 1985. He and Sally, on loan to CAPM from the University of the Philippines where she was in the staff of UP President Edgardo Angara, were active in soliciting one million signatures prodding Cory to run for president in the 1986 presidential snap election.

At that time, Evelio, former governor of Antique, had a pending protest against the election of Arturo Pacificador as member of the Batasan Pambansa …

Intimate partners now in danger of HIV

BY Danton Remoto
Remote Control
Views and analysis

BALI, INDONESIA – If you think that having an intimate partner will always keep you safe from contracting HIV, better think again.

More women from the Asia-Pacific region – housewives and career women –are contracting HIV from their intimate partners. These women are either married, or have long-term relationships with men who engage in high-risk sexual behavior. These behavior are found in men who have sex with men (MSM), injecting drug users, and clients of female sex workers.

These findings are contained in a new report by UNAIDS, its co-sponsors and civil society partners entitled HIV Transmission in Intimate Partner Relationships in Asia, released at the 9th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific, being held in the island resort of Bali until tomorrow.

Men who buy sex are the largest infected population group. Many of them are married – or are about to get married. This puts a significant number of wo…

A trilogy on my senatorial bid

1. One journalist I saw at the airport, when told I would run for the senate, said: "Ah, these political parties. They will get you just to have diversity in their slate."

Wrong. Any bull-headed political analyst will tell you that politics in this country is like a race horse. You will bet only on those who would win.

2. Another radio commentator told me not to run because "the political parties will just use you." More crude language, but same premise as the earlier one. Who will use who?

At this point in the time-space continuum (as a word-gobbling writer would put it), the presidential candidates are desperate. It will be a closely-fought election, and the winnner for president would nose out the competition by less than a million votes.

A strong senatorial candidate (which means somebody in the top six) would add at least 5 percent to the votes of his presidentiable. If 40 million people would vote, that is an additional 2 million votes. Enough for him or her to v…

Ang Ladlad filing

Dexter and I filed the Ang Ladlad papers for accreditation last Monday. It was all of 240 pages -- documents, database, list of projects, photos. Ang Sabungero had four pages. The other party I saw had 20 pages. Cobbled together, stapled, funded by rich people.

And who did media cover? Ang Ladlad. Because we have a legitimate cause. Because we give short but substantial answers. Because we are fabulous.

We will know if Comelec will accredit us by October 31.

Then watch us, watch us win the party-list elections by a landslide. Or as DWIZ said this morning, "Palagay namin, three seats yan sa Kongreso."

Ano pa nga ba?

Mar: Eye on the prize

Mar: Eye on the prize
SKETCHES By Ana Marie Pamintuan (The Philippine Star)
August 12, 2009 12:00 AM

In a sprawling compound within the Araneta Center, Judy Araneta-Roxas lives in the house closest to the main gate.

The house, with an unimposing fa├žade, has her stamp all over it, from the family photographs to paintings of herself and her late husband, Sen. Gerardo Roxas. Priceless paintings by Juan Luna and Vicente Manansala adorn the living room, which opens out into a spacious garden.

It’s the kind of house, reeking of old money, that you usually find in Forbes Park. But this is right in the heart of Cubao, Quezon City. The only one who can have this kind of spacious accommodations in the heart of Araneta Center, which includes Farmers’ Market and several shopping malls, is the family that owns the commercial center.

This is the favorite joke of former President Joseph Estrada about Judy’s son, Manuel “Mar” Araneta Roxas II, who lives with mom Judy. How can the grandson and namesake o…

Q & A: 'Many Still think That If You Have It, You'll Die'

Danton Remoto in Bali, Indonesia. Photo by Inter Press Service

Q & A: ‘Many Still Think That If You Have It, You’ll Die’
2009 August 10, 2009
Inter Press Service News Agency

Nusa Dua, Bali -- The Philippines is a low-HIV prevalence country in South-east Asia. But according to journalist and activist Danton Remoto, who is also the Communications Officer of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Philippines, there are still many underreported and unreported cases. “The figures could be ten times higher,” said Remoto, known more in his home country as a multi-awarded literary writer and chair of Ladlad, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political party.

Remoto talks to TerraViva’s Lynette Corporal about his advocacy and his views about the Philippine situation on HIV and AIDS.TerraViva: What is the HIV/AIDS situation in the Philippines right now?

Remoto: The Philippines has one of the lowest incidences of HIV transmission in the region. From 1984 to May 2009, …

Grossly insensitive

BY Lito Banayo
Ang Pahayagang Malaya
13 August 2009

L’addition, s’il vous plais, Ferdinand Martin Romualdez must have told the head waiter at Le Cirque. He could have added, "The President has a funeral to catch in Manila".

Le Cirque does not get this large a crowd of diners these days, the economy being in recession. In any case, the celebrities that come to the East Side restaurant which boasts of a wine collection like no other in Manhattan, caters to twosomes and foursomes mostly, not boisterous over-dressed gaggles unable to distinguish between osetra from the Caspian or caviar from California.

Looking at the reported dishes ordered for the celebration of the wedding anniversary of our Fourth World presidenta y su esposo, you notice a clear divide. It reminds you of one of her state of the nation addresses, where she decried "two Philippines", "a Philippines for the rich, and a Philippines for the poor". And thereafter vowed she would ma…

Filipina workers testify in Southeast Asian Court of Women

Views and analysis

Bali, Indonesia – More than 20 Southeast Asian women narrated their personal stories of exploitation and abuse during the first Southeast Asian Court of Women on HIV and Human Trafficking held yesterday in this island resort. The women were among the estimated 250,000 victims of trafficking, violence, exploitation and HIV in Asia. Subtitled "From Vulnerability to Free, Just, and Safe Movement,” the conference is being held as part of the 9th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP 9) that will begin here on August 9, with 4,000 participants from all over the globe. The Court of Women was organized by the United Nations Development Programme, Asian Women’s Human Rights Council and Yakeba, a Japanese NGO funded by Japan, as well as other UN and civil society partners.

The Philippine contingent included Katherine, a 29-year-old Muslim who lives in Taguig. She worked as a dome…

And running

Of course, I am running for senator of the republic in the May 9, 2010 elections. That was the question asked by a schools superintendent whom I met at the premiere of Jay Altarejos' latest movie, Big Boy, Little Boy. That is the same question asked by one of my readers. And that is the question that my detractors wish I would answer "no" to. Manigas kayo.

If I have my way, I will file my senatorial papers on Nov 27. But this big political party that wants me in their slate will file their presidential, vice-presidential and senatorial papers on Nov 30, National Heroes Day. The two other parties who want to include me in their senatorial slates are still looking for other viable candidates to complete their slate of 12 strong names.

And I do not mind being called a commodity, or a brand, as one reader commented. That is the language of marketing, which sees candidates as goods or products that can be remembered with the proper advertising or publicity. But remember that LG…

Half a lifetime ago

Half a lifetime ago - Danton Remoto


Remote control | Danton Remoto | 08/04/2009 12:05 AM
Views and analysis section

Half a lifetime ago, I was working as an Editor in the Secretariat of the Batasang Pambansa. I edited the plenary sessions, correcting the unforgettable grammar and idioms of assemblymen. One of them rose one day and said, “Mr. Speaker, I want to declare ______ Air Lines a persona non grata, because their planes always collapse.”

A day later I went to him, with transcripts in hand, and told him that an airplane cannot be declared a PNG and that planes crash, but never collapse. Mr . Assemblyman rose to his full height of five feet, looked up at me (I am 5’ 11”) and barked: “And which school did you come from? The nerves to correct my English.”

When I told him where I studied, he smiled, showing teeth stained with nicotine, then mumbled that next time, I could just correct his st…

My party

Which party?

I have received two firm offers from two big political parties for me to join their respective senatorial slates, and if I do so, they said they would fund my campaign.

My campaign manager has also received word that another big political party would make an offer as soon as they resolve who among their two top horses would be their bet for the presidential race. Both race horses, I have been told, like me because I am not trapo, I did not come from a dynasty, and I have a big, bad mouth. Okay, fair enough.

Yes, but what about their platforms? And who else would be in their senatorial slates? And where, oh where, is their money coming from?

I think I am one of the very, very few candidates who actually ask the parties what their platforms are, and where their money is coming from.

Well, as I tell my students in my classes at the Ateneo, the most important thing is to ask questions. The right questions.

And the rest would, I hope, follow.

My platform

And am not talking about shoes.

Many thanks for those who asked me what my platform is. If you have read the 60 minutes interview I had with the Manila Bulletin, my platform will be education for all.

Out of ten children who enroll in Grade One, only six graduate in elementary school. And out of this six who enter high school, only four graduate. And out of this four who enter college, only two graduate.

Thus, I want to focus on universal primary school education for all. The ten who enter Grade One should be able to graduate in Grade Six. That is basic, so they could learn how to read, write, count and I hope think.

How is this possible? Through conditional cash transfer, where parents will be given Php 500 per child as long as these children stay in school, get regular vaccination and the mothers go to the health center for seminars on reproductive health. This is of course an idea from the Latin American countries, which GMA has adopted, but only in a desultory fashion. I want this ini…