Monday, February 28, 2011

The Hands-Off Presidency

Since Penoy became president, he has not shown any inclination to be a hands-on, can-do president. In fact, to this day, he continues to be a fence-sitter president, not having a proper or firm stand on anything (except for that wang-wang thing).

In the heat of the August 23 hostage fiasco, he was nowhere to be seen, later justifying his absence as not wanting to micromanage the situation. His hands-off attitude ended up with the death of many Hong Kong tourists. (Later on, it was found out that Penoy and Mayor Lim were having a delicious dinner at Emerald Restaurant along Roxas Blvd. at the time of the crisis).

In his campaign speech prior to the elections last year, he promised that he would support the Reproductive Health Bill. When he assumed the presidency, his stand became less clear, not wanting to be seen as pro- or anti- RH. (His wishy-washy stand is beginning to irritate some civil society leaders who supported his campaign primarily because of his promise to support the RH Bill).

Now, when there are calls for Ferdinand Marcos to be finally buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, he shows his hands-off attitude by passing the decision to VP Binay. Penoy fails to realize that whatever Binay decides, he would still have to approve, which makes me wonder how he's going to a squirm out of that predicament.

Yes, we have a president with no hair and no balls, who doesn't even have the chutzpah to make definitive decisions. We have a president who doesn't want to make controversial decisions because he enjoys being popular and loved. What we have is a hands-off president who can't be bothered with details.

God save the Philippines from this creature.

Friday, February 11, 2011

EDSA 1: The Bogus Revolution

There is once again much fanfare about the commemoraiton of the 1986 EDSA revolt which catapulted Cory Aquino into power and sending the nation into another dark chapter of history known as the First Aquino Regime.

Many stories and articles have been written about how the EDSA revolt heralded the dawning of freedom and democracy after 20 years of darkness under the Marcos dictatorship. Much of what have been written were written by authors wearing yellow-tinted glasses. After all, hisotry is written by the victors, and boy, were they victorious! (I say "they" because "we", the people, never really won anything substantial in EDSA 1). Many will argue that we won back our freedom. Wake up. We did not win our freedom back simply because we never lost our freedom. Freedom is in each and every one of us, regardless of whether the current leadership is a tyrant or a dictator. It cannot be taken away by anyone by force. However, it takes real courage to exercise that freedom in times of tyranny and oppression. What we won back in 1986 was not our freedom but the COURAGE to exercise that freedom.

What many fail to realize is that when we ousted the Marcos dictatorship, a new form of dictatorship immediately took over. After Marcos left, the power-hungry backers of Cory Aquino quickly went into overdirve. What could have been a true era for the Philippine became nothing more than a sham which continues to fool the people of the Philippines to this day.

For the record, Cory never should have opted for sequestration. Sequestration has the effect of permanently removing from the debtor any liability to pay any of the debts accumulated up to the date of sequestration. Once discharged from bankruptcy (usually after 3 years) they can benefit from a fresh start entirely free of debt (source: . That is the reason why so many of the cronies of Marcos continue to enjoy the good life. As for the few good businesses left by Marcos, these were taken over by the Aquino government, whichr eulsted in mismanagement. The other assets of the Marcoses recovered abroad were sold cheaply instead of being utilized by the government. Those that were not sold were left to rot, so to speak.

After the so-called revolution, those who supported Cory and her presidency were rewarded with juicy posts (much like the present Aquino Regime). Meralco was given back to the Lopezes without much opposition, plus other assets and businesses of the Lopezes and other oligarchs who went into exile after martial law was declared. As a result, the so-called free media, led by ABS-CBN, is beholden to the Aquinos, paving the way for Kris, who has no talent in acting
whatsoever, to become one of the network's "top stars". Even Cory's own son Noynoy was allegedly involved in in juicy contracts for the placement of security guards in various government establishments under his BSA Security & Investigation Agency.

So what really was the difference between the Marcos Regime and the first Aquino Regime? Nothing. Sure, the old posts now have new faces, but they still function the same. Those close to the President enjoy the benefits that come with it. In fact, the Cory appointees and OICs
continue to enjoy power and privilege up to this day.

What happened in 1986 was not a revolution but a changing of the guards, so to speak. Nothing really changed. The term crony was removed, but those close to the Aquinos still enjoy the privileges of being a crony, minus the title, of course.

EDSA 1 was an exercise in futility. It was an event, to be sure, much like the much talked about love-a-palooza every Valentines Day, nothing more. EDSA 1 was a bogus revolution, and we were duped into believing that we were ousting a dictator, when in fact we were just replacing the old crooks with new ones. Out with the old, in with the new, ika nga.

Fast forward to yesterday: The second Aquino regime ordered all government offices to display EDSA 1-themed decors to "commemorate" the 1986 event. What the Palace fails to realize is that you don't need decorations to remind people of the importance of the event. When people no longer remember EDSA 1, it is because no one believes in its significance anymore.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

On the Reyes Suicide

Many have written on the circumstances surrounding Angelo Reyes' suicide, and many lament the fact that Angelo Reyes, with his death, lost the opportunity to prove his innocence. Such statement takes me aback, since I have been brought up thinking that one is presumed innocent until proven guilty through due process of law.

I decry the fact that Angelo Reyes has been presumed (rightly or wrongly) guilty without having been given the chance to defend himself in the proper forum. He has been stripped of his dignity before the probing eyes of the nation without being given the chance to defend himself.

For the record, Reyes was called to the Senate as a resource person on the investigation being conducted on the plea-bargain agreement between Carlos Garcia and the Government. He was not the focus of the investigation "in aid of legislation". Yet he was put on the spot and made the focus of the investigation -- an investigation which hurled unfounded accusations against his person and his honor, affecting not just him but his family.

He was disgraced even before he was tried, an suffering irreversible disgrace, he sought the only available option left to him. For me, what he did was total liberation from the clutches of the vultures in elected office.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Statement of the Reyes Children


For the past few years, many different people have spoken and written about our father, Angelo T. Reyes, in newspapers, television, radio and public gatherings. Unfortunately, some of these accounts have been grossly inaccurate, terribly unfair and downright vicious. We suppose that's part of the price a public servant has to pay. But it pains us greatly that a good and kind-hearted man like our Papa can be maligned so casually.

Allow us to set the record straight on the real Angie Reyes:

He was a dedicated soldier for 39 years, putting God and Country above self, but not once did he forget to call his wife and children every single day--whenever and wherever he was assigned in the country or the world.

He was known to demand the best from his subordinates, striving for excellence in any endeavor, but would find contentment in eating corned beef, monggo and sardines.

He was an outstanding alumnus of Harvard University and the Asian Institute of Management but could easily strike up a sincere conversation even with the lowest ranking soldier, policeman, or barangay tanod.

He was the nemesis of kidnappers, drug dealers, smugglers, and terrorists but was helpless as his granddaughter put lipstick on him.

He was a four-star general, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the conqueror of Camp Abubakr, but not once had he thought twice about kissing and embracing his wife and sons in public.

He was instrumental in EDSA 2 where he had to withdraw support from President Estrada for the higher interest of the nation but was man enough to go to MalacaƱang and face the beleaguered president to perform his final duty.

He was a political appointee but never participated in unproductive political bickering. He had never spoken ill of anyone in public--not even those who openly or secretly attacked him.

He was one of the busiest and hardest-working Cabinet members but always found time to visit his 95-year-old mother almost everyday and would take her out to dinner on weekends when she was still alive.

To us, his children, he was and will forever be, our idol--and no amount of ridiculous rumors, intrigues and accusations from the ignorant, the envious, and those who have nothing better to do than to cowardly criticize him, will ever change that.

Bogie, Jett, Marc, Carlo and Judd Reyes

Angelo Reyes and the Kangaroo 'Court'

I feel for the family of the late General Angelo Reyes. Angelo, and to some extent his family, has been portrayed unfairly by the Senate and the media. He was a victim of a vindictive Senator who cannot get over the fact that their stay in MalacaƱang was short lived.

I say Angelo Reyes was a victim because even without the benefit of a fair and just trial, he was put on the spot by the Senate whose sole purpose for conducting investigations are supposed to be in aid of legislation. The Senate has no prosecutorial power, but it has the power to destroy a person, his reputation and his dignity.

What transpired in the Senate the past two weeks was not an investigation but a lynching. Angelo Reyes was lured to the lion's den under the guise of being a resource person in the investigation of the plea bargain agreement between the government and General Carlos Garcia. Instead, he became the focus of the investigation, with Jinggoy Estrada presenting no less than Reyes' kumpadre standing as a "witness" against him. What baffles my mind is why no one in the committee bothered to point out that the focus of the investigation has deviated from its original purpose.

With media playing the witting accomplice, Reyes' dignity was shred to pieces before the eyes of the nation and the world. He became the instant kontrabida in the unfolding real-life telenovela, without having been given the right to defend himself. In the words of Mr. Oakwood, "No, no, no. You have no reputation to protect". What an arrogant little prick Mr. Oakwood is.

The senate investigation, for all intents and purposes, violated the basic rights of Angelo Reyes under the Bill of Rights of the Constitution, to wit:

Section 14. (1) No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law.

(2) In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved, and shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to have a speedy, impartial, and public trial, to meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence in his behalf. However, after arraignment, trial may proceed notwithstanding the absence of the accused: Provided, that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear is unjustifiable.

Sadly, our very own Senate, using the power of investigation in aid of legislation as its personal tool of vendetta, acted as judge, jury, and in the end, executioner. The senate, particularly Jinggoy Estrada and Mister Oakwood Trillanes, have the blood of Angelo Reyes on their hands. They used and abused their powers as senators to get even with the man that is Angie Reyes.

To those who believe in their heart of hearts that Angelo Reyes is guilty of the accusations hurled against him, I tell you that guilty or not, he should have been given his day in court, a real court, and not the kangaroo court that many of our fellow citizens watched lustily in their idiot boxes within the safety of their homes, not realizing that with the deprivation of Angelo Reyes' rights (which the viewers in their hearts allowed), they have signed their own death warrants, for in truth, if a man like Angelo Reyes can be deprived of his basic rights as guaranteed under the constitution, then the same can be done to them as well.

The only consolation is that he died with the presumption of innocence, albeit a paltry one, compared to his life. And to those who still managed to cheer upon hearing of his death, cheer while you can, for when it is your turn at the receiving end of injustice, I hope that you will then realize the importance of your rights.