PDAF, DAP, or whatever – Really now?

For the past few months, so much has been written, reported and said over the issues involving the misuse of pork barrel funds (PDAF) and the legitimacy of the government’s DAP allocations.

With the sheer scale of the ongoing investigations against these issues, as well as the large number of personalities involved, some of the said personalities have taken advantage of the confusion and found ways muddle the issue and deflect the charges hurled against them. This is a classic case of crab or “talangka” mentality.

The point is, regardless of how much money was thrown at a government official, either by way of PDAF, DAP or by any other means, the question that should be answered is how much of that money was properly spent and accounted for.

In the end, the issue of the amount that was given and the reason why it was given would be moot, if we know that it was well spent and not pocketed.

If a lawmaker is given one billion pesos and he spends it all, and if he is able to show us 100% where the money went in a well documented manner, then we have ourselves a hero. But, if another lawmaker is given, say, just one thousand pesos and he spends it all, but if he can’t show us how and where he spent it, even for such a small amount, then we have ourselves a zero. This is how we can tell the pigs and crocodiles from the men.

Dick Gordon for President!

Update:

The elections are over and the people have spoken. With Noynoy Aquino as the country’s President-elect, most people are optimistic of the changes that will take place once we’ve transitioned over to the new Aquino-led government.

It’s about time to put aside pre-election choices regardless of who you voted for during last May 10 elections. It’s time to support a new government. It’s time to start over.

Congratulations to Noynoy!

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Futility: 10 months to register and be listed, but still late.

I was watching a rerun of Star Trek the other night when I came across the uber-famous Borg catchphrase:

“You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.”

Futility, now that’s a word that’s quite apt for today’s events. An “exercise in futility” is what some people say about the Comelec’s ongoing voter’s registration process.

If the government spent billions of Pesos to computerize the elections, then how much of it was allocated for improving the voter’s registration process? Isn’t this process supposed to be the foundation of a good electoral system?

The Comelec stated that they won’t extend the registration deadline, because they need time to sort out the registration database and come up with the final voter’s list for their regional offices – time, in the above context, is unfortunately measured in months.

It’s quite ironic that they heavily tout the new computerized election system as being capable of tallying all votes and declaring a winner in a span of just a few hours, yet they need a span of several months before the elections so that they can prepare the final voter’s list.

In hindsight, had a ‘proper’ voter’s registration system been in place, then people wouldn’t have procrastinated or put off registering for a later date – most of whom were either turned off by the extremely long queues or slow process, or turned down Comelec staff because they didn’t meet the voter’s cut-off criteria (a combination of cut-off period or number of registrants/application forms per day). Had a ‘proper’ voter’s registration system been in place, then there wouldn’t be a need for such a long preparation “lead time” between the voter’s registration deadline and the actual election date – ensuring a higher voter-to-population percentage turnout.

At any rate, late is late – no excuses and “pasensya na lang po, ‘no?” Let’s just hope that those who were able to register on time will vote wisely come election time.

Valley Golf Mauling: Peace and Reform taken from a different context

One of the biggest news that has recently caught our nation’s and the pinoy blogosphere’s attention is about the mauling of a 56-year-old father and his 14-year-old son, over a golfing spat, by a family of what should have been our nation’s “civil servants.”

Bambee Dela Paz tells us her personal account of how her father and brother, Delfin and Bino Dela Paz, respectively, were mauled by the mayor of Masiu, Lanao del Sur, Nasser Pangandaman Jr., his brother, and their bodyguards at the Valley Golf and Country Club golf course in Antipolo. What’s even more disheartening is the fact that the brothers did it in the presence of their father, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) secretary, and government peace negotiator, Nasser Pangandaman Sr, who failed to stop the incident from escalating into a bloody mauling.

Regardless of who’s at fault, they should have exercised maximum tolerance and restraint befitting their positions as public service officials. True gentlemen never beat up children, let alone gang up on one.

So now, how can the secretary convince us that he can effectively manage our nation’s agrarian reform situation, as the DAR chief, if, as a father, he can’t show us that he can “reform” his own sons? And how can he effectively represent the government as a representative peace negotiator if he can’t even broker peace for a simple golf etiquette misunderstanding? He should have done a “Mayor Alfredo Lim” and come out a bigger man.

It appears that the meaning of the terms PEACE and REFORM might have been misunderstood by some parties.

Golf is supposed to be a gentleman’s game. True to what Bambee has stated, the world has indeed gone crazy.

What do you think?

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Note: For those who would wish to comment, it would be greatly appreciated it if you refrain from using other people’s identities, like mine perhaps. Thanks!

What if American politicians played Dungeons and Dragons

Have you ever played the Dungeons and Dragons role-playing game (RPG)? I remember the good old days when my friends and I “partied” differently. We would sometimes go for a couple of days without sleep, playing extended D&D campaigns.

For D&D fans, here’s an interesting “What if” for you – What happens when Obama, McCain and the rest of today’s US election campaign trail politicians go for a different kind of campaign? One with bugbears, goblins and dragons, that is.

Here’s somehedgehog’s funny take on this – Adventuring Party Politics: The Campaign is Getting Ugly

Here’s an excerpt:

GM:  OK, the bugbear attacks you.  What do you do?

OBAMA: I send one of my 672 henchmen after it.

MCCAIN:  OK, seriously.  Why does he have so many henchmen?  I’m a level 72 ranger and he’s only a level 8 paladin.

Note: You won’t get it unless you’ve played D&D before or know who Gary Gygax, or what a Hand of Vecna is.

Cheers and happy reading! *fireball…*

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Link:
Adventuring Party Politics: The Campaign is Getting Ugly

If you don’t vote wisely now, you’ll hate yourself later

phil_flag01.jpgOur country is now in a state of moral and political crisis. But it is appalling that some people have chosen to remain neutral, silent or indifferent with what’s currently going on.

Here are some quotes on neutrality that I hope might spur some people to action.

“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” – (Elie Wiesel – Romanian born American Writer. Nobel Prize for Peace in 1986. b.1928)

“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality” – (Dante Alighieri – Italian Author and Poet. Considered one of the greatest poets in all literature, 1265-1321)

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” – (Bishop Desmond Tutu – African Spiritual leader and Novelist, b.1931)

“People who demand neutrality in any situation are usually not neutral but in favor of the status quo” – (Max Eastman – American Author, Journalist and Writer, 1883-1969)

And so, come on man, take sides!

Credibility is not an issue

I don’t understand why a lot of people have been hitting on the credibility of Mr. Jun Lozada, the ZTE-NBN deal star witness. Some sectors keep on presenting arguments about his checkered past that they simply forget or ignore what the real issue is – our quest for the truth. Come on, the truth is still the truth regardless of the source.

So what if he has a lot of skeletons in his closet? If we go by this argument, then why did we, as a nation, insist on hearing out and believing other star witnesses in the past, like the Chavit Singsons, the Jessica Alfaros, etc., who also had their share of hidden skeletons or were accomplices to a particular crime? Why should credibility be an issue now with Mr. Lozada?

If I recall, Erap’s downfall and GMA’s ascendancy into the presidency was because such a star witness with a questionable past was initially vilified, then listened to, and eventually glorified by most Filipinos.

Let’s burn our brain cells to figure out how to sift through the truth and not how to bring a good (or bad) man down.

Makati’s Bungled Coup Attempt

Yesterday was another interesting day in Makati City, highlighted by another bungled ‘coup’ attempt, mutiny, rebellion, standoff, or what-have-you, led by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and Brigadier General Danilo Lim, which was staged at the posh Manila Peninsula hotel.

‘Tis true, the government has lost the support of a great number of Filipinos, mostly induced by the recent spate of scandals, questions on legitimacy and alleged constitutional and human rights violations. True still is the fact that the opposition is slowly gaining ground in its attempts to wrest control of the government leadership. But whatever momentum the opposition has gained went for naught simply because they can’t put their act together. Haven’t they ever heard of the ‘team building’ concept?

Oh well, are there other lessons to be learned? Hell, yes!

And some of these are:

1. Never make bookings in any of Makati’s premier hotels. Settling for three-star hotels or motels will do.

2. Make sure you have enough fuel in your tanks. Curfew-induced traffic can quickly deplete your car’s fuel and trigger your temper. We have an opposition’s senseless action begetting a government’s equally senseless reaction

3. Make sure to empty your bladder before driving. Again, curfew-induced traffic can be hell for anyone with a full bladder. It’s sort of a ‘piss poor’ drive after a ‘piss poor’ coup.

4. We now have new ways to use plastic cable ties aside from managing computer cables – Yes, steel handcuffs are obsolete – talk about Filipino ingenuity. Those bondage and S&M couples definitely learned a thing or two and added a new toy to their arsenal.

5. When applying for a building insurance, remember to add in a clause stipulating coverage from tanks or assault vehicles barging into your facility. This is what I call a true ‘Urban Assault’. Shock and awe baby! NOT!