Archive for the ‘corruption’ Category

By: Artemio V. Panganiban – @inquirerdotnetPhilippine Daily Inquirer / 12:14 AM February 26, 2017

….The most recent jurisprudence on the ill-gotten wealth of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos titled Estate of Marcos vs Republic (Jan. 18, 2017) and written by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno.

Stripped of legalese, the decision:
1) listed the couple’s alleged ill-gotten wealth,
2) recalled that the “known lawful income” of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos from 1965 to 1986 had been unanimously fixed at $304,372.43 in Republic vs Sandiganbayan (July 15, 2003),
3) reiterated that any cash, property or assets of the Marcoses in excess of the said sum would be deemed “ill-gotten and forfeited in favor of the State,” and
4) affirmed a unanimous Sandiganbayan decision (Jan. 13, 2014, penned by Justice Efren N. de la Cruz and concurred in by Justices Teresita V. Diaz-Baldos and Alex L. Quiroz) in which “the pieces of jewelry, known as the Malacañang Collection, were labelled as ill-gotten and were consequently forfeited in favor of the Republic.”

In the 2003 case referred to in Item 2, bank deposits amounting to $658,175,373.60 were deemed ill-gotten and forfeited in favor of the State. Also, in the 2012 case of Marcos Jr. vs Republic (April 25, 2012), the assets, properties and funds of Arelma S.A. (“an entity created by the late Ferdinand E. Marcos”) in the sum “of USD 3,369,975 as of 1983, plus all interests and all other income that accrued thereon” were also deemed ill-gotten and forfeited in favor of the State.
$5-B wealth. Per Item 1, the 2017 decision incorporated in its footnotes the petition, dated Dec. 17, 1991 (yes, more than 25 years ago), in civil case 0141 that the Presidential Commission on Good Government filed in the Sandiganbayan listing the
alleged ill-gotten wealth, “approximated at US$5-B and which include”:

1) The holding companies, agro-industrial ventures, land holdings, buildings, condominium units, mansions, cash, and other properties, here and abroad, described in the affidavits of Rolando Gapud, Bonifacio Gillego, Jose Y. Campos, and
Antonio Floirendo.
2) “Painting and silverwares (sic) already sold at public auction in the US worth $17-M … aside from the jewelries (sic), paintings and other valuable decorative arts found in Malacañang and in the US estimated to be about $23.9-M…”
3) “Philippine peso bills amounting to P27,744,535.00, foreign currencies and jewelries (sic) amounting to $4-M and Certificates of Time Deposits worth P46.4-M seized by the U.S. customs authorities upon arrival of the Marcoses in Honolulu, Hawaii…”
4) “US$30-M in the custody of the
Central Bank…”
5) “Shares of stocks in Piedras Petroleum Co. Inc. and in Oriental Petroleum & Minerals Corporation worth P500-M…”
6) “Shares of stock in Balabac Oil Company worth about P42-M as described in the affidavit of Mr. Raymundo S. Feliciano … plus the 60% of the sequestered assets of CDCP in the amount of P172,378,030…”
7) “The… P10M as described by Jesus Tanchangco … and the 45% beneficial ownership of FM in Landoil as stated by Jose de Venecia, Jr. …”
8) “The … Philippine pesos and US dollars deposited in the Security Bank & Trust Co. (SBTC) totaling P974,885,480.46 and US$6,522,361.29”
9) “… shareholding (sic) of the Marcoses in SBTC which were sold by the PCGG at Pl61,200,000.00 and which has (sic) increased to P238.7-M including interests, but excluding P15-M already received by PCGG,”
10) “Other properties already recovered such as the 21 vehicles registered in the names of Fernando and Susan Timbol … worth about P5.1-M…”
11) “Philippine peso deposits in Traders Royal Bank totaling over P1-B…”
12) “Other properties in the US already recovered in the total amount of US$25.7-M…”
13) “Bank deposits in Luxembourg, Hongkong, the Cayman Islands, US and other countries which have not yet been fully documented and the approximate amounts therein cannot yet be determined…”
14) “Secret deposits in Swiss banks, which” are “the primary and principal object of this petition for forfeiture pursuant to judgments of the Swiss Federal Tribunal…”

Read more: http://opinion.inquirer.net/101965/ill-gotten-wealth-marcoses#ixzz4Zltaq1eG
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By: Ador Vincent Mayol – Senior Reporter / @adorCDNInquirer Visayas / 02:58 PM February 25, 201

CEBU CITY–The Supreme Court (SC) has granted the request of a Cebuano lawyer to strip him of his title and functions to protest the alleged corruption in the profession, particularly in the prosecution service and the judiciary.

Lawyer Dionisio Cañete was elated upon receiving the Notice last Wednesday.

He said he was extremely disappointed when nine of the 10 cases he filed before the prosecutors’ office from 2014 to 2016 were “maliciously dismissed” despite having presented strong evidence.

Three of the nine dismissed cases were overturned by the Regional State Prosecutor.

When he returned to the prosecutors’ office, Cañete said the case folders of these cases could no longer be found.

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/875282/sc-grants-cebu-lawyers-bid-to-be-delisted-from-corrupt-profession#ixzz4Zl0heCXw

By BARTOLOME C. FERNANDEZ JR.

June 2, 2014

Posted on Philippine Daily Inquirer

I am intrigued by recent news reports disclosing that the government, through the Philippine Postal Corp., has authorized a special issue of commemorative postage stamps to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC). The design of the stamp shows a portrait of Felix Y. Manalo and the main temple building of the INC in Quezon City with the words “Iglesia ni Cristo Centennial and First Executive Minister” inscribed thereon.

An interesting constitutional question that is provoked is whether or not the issuing of said stamps violates the constitutional ban against the appropriation and payment of public funds for the benefit or support of any sect, church, sectarian institution or system of religion (Section  29(2), Article VI, 1987 Constitution) which is a direct corollary of the principle of separation of church and state (Section 6, Article II, 1987 Constitution).

The INC is unquestionably a religious sect, church or sectarian institution. As I see it, the issuance of the stamps in question is assailable on constitutional grounds insofar as it entails the appropriation and payment of public money that redound to the benefit and support of the INC. It is evidently the purpose of the stamp issue to focus attention on the INC religion. The publicity engendered and the resulting propaganda received by the INC are quite obvious.

I see no legitimate secular objective of the appropriation of public funds for issuing the stamps in question. Nor am I aware of any government event, occasion or activity of public interest or significance to be commemorated thereby. There is, in fact, every reason to assume that the issuance of the INC stamp is per se inspired by a sectarian feeling to favor or benefit the INC.

In all candor, I am intolerant of any attempt, such as the issuance of the stamps in question, to infringe a constitutional inhibition. I cannot relish the idea of our government undertaking an activity that may trigger the belief that it is taking sides or favoring a particular religious sect. I am even tempted to assume that the functionaries concerned made use of poor judgment or were ill-advised in issuing the stamps in question.

By Ron B. Lopez

October 14, 2013 (updated)

Posted on Manila Bulletin

 

The wide medical mission of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) on Monday drew criticisms and disappointments from commuters and workers as it caused heavy traffic situations in the whole Metro Manila, prompting commuters to walk extra miles or take different routes to reach their destinations.

While recognizing the good intention of the medical mission which was projected to attract 1.6 million INC followers, affected public criticized the huge inconvenience that the event brought to the whole metro, which also prompted local government units to cancel classes, including some colleges, in thirteen cities and one municipality in Metro Manila.

Human Rights lawyer Harry Roque turned to social networking site Twitter to expressed his frustration over the event. “Iglesia ni Cristo holds medical mission and I lose on tuition money that I’ve paid? I want my kids to go to class!” Roque said.

Most people have criticized the day and venue of the medical mission which was set at Quaipo, Manila, with simultaneous activities in other areas in Manila.

Rolando Dalisay gave a piece of advice: “Hope INC will consider doing all these not simultaneously to avoid disruption of people movements, it is counter-productive.”

Writer Norman Sison asked: “If the INC medical mission really about public service, why does it have to cause necessary public disruption?”

Meanwhile, Rain Balares “smells” something on the medical mission of the religious group. “Government allowing this Manila-wide INC medical mission on a weekday, resulting to(sic) backbreaking traffic. Smells like 2016 elections to me,” he said.

Even the Supreme Court Spokesperson Theodore Te was affected by the INC mission. A seemingly annoyed Te has turned to Twitter to vent his questions seeking a “LOGICAL reason” on why the event was permitted by the authorities. He specifically mentioned Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino, and Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas who have the power over the area.

“Two hours for a drive that usually takes 20 minutes. Thank you to the mayor and vice mayor of Manila and the peripherals like the @MMDA,” he tweeted.

The Supreme Court itself has been affected by the event as Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno “ordered the suspension of work for the SC and CA including the SB and CTA plus the courts of Manila and QC only, starting at 1:30 PM today,” according to the announcement of the SC Public Information Office.

On the other hand, Popi Sunga asked “how many billions of pesos this INC activity will cost us” considering that based on a study, “the average daily traffic jam in Manila costs P2.4 billion,” he said.

Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago said that “There is a message behind the INC event today,” and that “if you are a politician and you don’t get it, you are a fool.”

 

READ MORE: http://www.mb.com.ph/inc-medical-mission-draws-heavy-flak/

Inquirer columnist Randy David spoke of a “gridlock culture” in his Feb. 29 commentary in relation to the Iglesia ni Cristo prayer rally that paralyzed Metro Manila traffic the previous day.

We might as well speak of a political gridlock arising from the propensity of some politicians, such as Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, to throw their weight around—literally and figuratively—as we have seen in the ongoing Corona impeachment trial.

Prosecution lawyer Vitaliano Aguirre is right: If you demand respect, you must see to it that you yourself deserve respect. Santiago has lost all credibility by lawyering for Corona even as she sits as a senator-judge. I think she is a teacher by negative example to the 3,000 Bar passers whom Chief Justice Renato Corona vainly tried to recruit to his defense team, but whose sense of propriety prevented them from doing so.

As to the Iglesia ni Cristo, they may be contributing to the political gridlock as well by mixing politics and religion, but after a fashion. Or not too well. They said that the Luneta prayer rally was a purely evangelical event. But we all know it plays politics come every election, in exchange for political concessions, such as appointments of members to certain positions. The group held a similar prayer rally that was an undisguised show of support for Erap when he was impeached in 2000, but look what happened. I wonder how it would react if Corona is unceremoniously booted out of his Padre Faura office kicking and screaming after the Senate impeachment court is through with him?

—NORMAN YANUS,

normanyanus@yahoo.com.ph

FIRST PUBLISHED HERE: http://opinion.inquirer.net/25785/miriam-inc-and-corona

By Conrado de Quiros

Philippine Daily Inquirer

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, Renato Corona has the Iglesia ni Cristo.

Well, Arroyo had the INC, too, especially toward the end of her rule when the CBCP had a change of heart, following the change of leadership from Fernando Capalla to Angel Lagdameo, which was quite a sea change from hell to heaven. Arroyo had a change of heart, too, and turned from one Mafiosi to another. She so tried to make sipsip, or ingratiate herself, to the INC in the twilight of her rule that she even declared the day of Eraño Manalo’s death a day of mourning, a national holiday. Not unlike Ferdinand Marcos declaring Sept. 21, 1972, a day of national thanksgiving.

The INC has grown over the years to become the second biggest church in this country. You’ve got to wonder, though, what it is asking its fold to do. Over the same years it has grown, it has been trying to keep certain prominent citizens out of jail or, in the case of public officials, keeping them in power. Take Lope Jimenez, the prime suspect in the murder of his niece-in-law Ruby Rose Barrameda-Jimenez. The suspected killer pointed to him and his brother, Mariano, as the ones who had ordered him to abduct and murder Ruby Rose, and then seal her body in cement inside a metal drum. The kin of Ruby Rose allege that Lope joined the INC to begin with to protect his fishing business. Arroyo’s last justice secretary, Agnes Devanadera, dropped the case against him before she went. Leila de Lima has resurrected it.

The INC as well has tried to influence the court in Jason Ivler’s case. Ivler of course was that vicious thug who shot that young man, Renato Ebarle, in cold blood over a trifling traffic altercation. He was the same vicious thug who shot it out with cops when they discovered his hideout and arrested him. This is the guy the INC wants free to roam the same streets our kids do.

Indeed, Eraño Manalo’s INC (like Capalla’s CBCP) was hugely responsible for propping up Arroyo’s rule, particularly after the sound of Arroyo’s grating voice helloing Garci hit the airwaves.

Not too long ago, the INC made headlines by railing against the government for axing Magtanggol Gatdula, the director of the National Bureau of Investigation and an INC stalwart. P-Noy himself did the axing after finding out that Gatdula had a hand in the illegal detention of a Japanese fugitive. Despite De Lima’s strenuous attestations that the justice department did its homework before recommending Gatdula’s dismissal, the INC complained that he was not given a chance to explain.

And now Corona.

A few months ago, the INC held a political rally thinly disguised as a prayer camp-out to express support for him. And not quite incidentally to give the world to glimpse its clout, a thing especially addressed to the senators and congressmen, some of whom would be seeking a new lease on life in next year’s elections. Today, as this newspaper reported several days ago, it has been going around trying to persuade the senator-judges to find Corona innocent as grace in exchange for a boost to their political ambition. As Faustian an exchange as you could get.

All of this must make us ask: Why do we allow this?

Why do we allow the INC to begin with to interfere in elections? We know that INC members vote as a bloc for the candidates of their leaders’ choosing. We know this because that church doesn’t bother to hide it; it parades it as one of the reasons for joining it or currying its favor. At least the Catholic Church believes in giving to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God’s the things that are God’s. This one believes in socking it to Caesar, or sucking up to Caesar, in God’s name. This is out-and-out flouting of the separation of Church and State, a thing expressly forbidden in a democracy. And yet we see no law stopping it, and yet we see only politicians seeking to profit from it.

READ MORE> http://opinion.inquirer.net/29267/why-do-we-allow-this

For the second year in a row, GMA Network, Inc. has been chosen as one of the most trusted brands in Asia in a consumer survey conducted by Reader’s Digest Asia.  GMA is very proud to be recognized by Reader’s Digest Asia and its readers for the second time around. This citation inspires us even more to continue providing balanced programming–top quality entertainment shows and credible news and information programs. More importantly, we will keep on implementing CSR programs that contribute to making the lives of each and every Filipino better,” Pacis said.

What is the difference between the two awards given by Reader’s Digest magazine as one of the nation’s trusted TV network and Trusted Brand awards?  ABS-CBN won the former while GMA 7 earned the latter.

Is it confusing for a layman that GMA 7 as a TV network did not win the trusted TV network but won the trusted brand instead?

Firstly, let us know what is branding, according to Iacobucci (2010, p. 64) a brand, is a name contrary to what some marketers say that a brand is a symbol.  It first has to be a name; otherwise, how would you dot.com it or register it in the web servers or yellow pages?

Secondly why is branding important that companies covet the most trusted brand award?  Brands are intended to convey information to customer.  A company with a good and reliable brand will probably be among the best, “that time and again the product will perform to quality standards” (Iacobucci, 2010. pp. 66-67).

Quality standards for TV networks are credible news reportage and quality television programming.  To deserve the most trusted brand in Asia award, GMA 7 should contest the recent survey conducted in the National Capital Region from April 25 to April 29 this year by StratPolls Inc. Based on the survey, TV Patrol news team was picked by 45.6 percent of the respondents as the most credible news team while GMA-7’s “24 oras” lags behind with 4.4 percent disparity.

The consistency of ABS-CBN as a credible news source in a TV network was since 2010 based from Pulse Asia survey.  It scored 63 percent while GMA-7 only scored 55 percent.

Quality programming encompasses the credit worthiness of the TV network.  Where credibility is in question the brand is in jeopardy.  To win the award as the most trusted brand in Asia deserves a second look.  Who is the award giving body? Can we file a complaint against it? What is the credit worthiness of it?

Reader’s Digest Magazine or (RDM) was the award giving body, it sells publications and products in 78 countries.  Consumers are unfortunate to know that it is not accredited by Better Business Bureau or BBB.  RDM did not seek BBB accreditation therefore; complaints regarding the credibility of its awards and other related businesses cannot be filed. In fact correspondence forwarded to RDM by BBB (due to another complaint) in June 10, 2004 has been returned by the Postal Service marked “Return To Sender – Attempted Not Known”.  BBB however, has no facilities for tracing companies.

In terms of its credit worthiness RDM filed for prearranged Chapter 11 bankruptcy during the last quarter of 2009 the prearranged bankruptcy is to seek negotiations in terms of debt. The filing however, does not cover its businesses outside the United States.

Having said that, is the “Most Trusted Brand in Asia” award carries weight at all if not genuine to ask the least to this TV station?

The credibility of its award giving body is in question likewise the jeopardy of its brand is in turmoil, so how can it attract more viewers and advertisers? The answer is in its recent ad campaign or infomercial.

“Eight out of ten sexiest women in the Philippines” according to them are “kapuso”, this “sexiest women” campaign is again argumentative.  Who & what are the powers behind the vote? Are there metrics to know technically the women who fall under the “sexy” standard? What is the scope of the voting population?  Is it national (LVM) or just local (where GMA7 rates the most)?  Or are the voters just FHM readers? And finally, how credible is the claim?

GMA 7’s dire credibility is present as well from the justification of its double-digit income drop (refer to: Business World Online).  The fact of the matter is; lost of advertisers’ confidence due to its depleting number of viewers and rating are the chief reasons for the income drop as opposed to GMA Network President and Chief Operating Officer Gilberto R. Duavit, Jr. have said in the broadcaster’s press briefing.

The broadcaster’s ad campaign no matter how incredible the claim, is its unique style of attracting more viewers, similar to the Iglesia Ni Manalo’s (INM) strategy on enticing more male members by displaying young and beautiful women in front of its church guests. While GMA 7’s ad campaign is ingenuous, INM’s manner is on the other hand subtle.

GMA7 & INM have the same feathers for both flock together in harmony and synchronicity in its approach of respectively adding more viewers and members in an appalling fashion and pathetic wits.

The Whit

by Philip M. Lustre Jr.

The Iglesia Ni Cristo is a minority church that is always on the wrong side of history. It has a track record of supporting most unholy causes to pursue certain opportunistic objectives.

It supported the Marcos dictatorial rule and, until its tragic end, it did not say anything, much less act, against the three ills that plagued the Marcos regime: the over centralized graft allegedly committed by Marcos, his family and friends; the unrestrained crony capitalism that benefited Marcos and his crony friends; and, the wanton disregard and violations of human rights that led to torture and disappearances of thousands of political activists and even ordinary citizens.

It is notorious for supporting candidates in every election. Voting as a bloc, the INC is reported to have been using as political leverage its capacity to marshal political support from its members.

It is said to have been currying favor from political leaders, whom it feels to have given the political support to win in elections. It pushes, albeit quietly and without fanfare, the appointment of its members for key government posts. Lately, it is said to have been pushing for the appointments of certain friendly but unqualified non-INC members, but to no avail.

Political opportunism is its hallmark. In the 2010 elections, it was said to have backed up the candidacy of another presidential candidate, but left him for good after he was certain to lose. On the last minutes, it went to support Benigno Aquino III, who incidentally won by more than five million votes from his nearest rival.

Political scientists once studied the INC’s capability and capacity to influence the course of Philippine history. While its members are reputed to vote like automatons in every election, its influence is not that deep.

It could influence the electoral outcome in some local posts, especially in hotly contested congressional districts, cities, towns and provinces. The INC vote could represent the swing vote in those political constituencies.

In national elections, the INC influence is doubtful except for the last two or three slots of the top 12 in every senatorial elections.

Political scientists estimated that the INC bloc is good for 1.2 or 1.3 million votes. While it could monitor the votes in the Culiat area, which hosts its national headquarters in Quezon City, or San
Juan City, where its first church is located, it could hardly monitor votes of its flock in other areas outside of Culiat and San Juan.

In short, its political influence is exaggerated, owing largely to media reports that tend to describe this minority church as powerful and influential.

The political record of the INC is not the only object of concern. The INC is not exactly endearing to the labor movement because of its leaders’ abhorrence to join any legitimate action by workers against business establishments.

Henry Sy’s SM, notorious for allegedly circumventing the Labor Code to its corporate interest, has adopted as an unwritten policy the hiring of workers belonging to INC for reason of “industrial peace.” The same thing has been happening in certain industrial enclaves.

A labor leader once harshly described the INC as “the religion of the scabs.”

Last year, the INC supported then Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, asking certain lawmakers, whom it supported in the 2010 polls, to vote against her impeachment. But an overwhelming majority of the members of the House of Representatives voted for her impeachment, causing
embarrassment for the minority church.

This week, the INC mobilized its members to support embattled Renato Corona in what appears to be a show of force on Tuesday. But it remains questionable whether it could match what the majority church and certain minority churches could jointly muster in certain issues.

As the impeachment trial shows, Corona’s removal from office could be another big embarrassment for the INC, just like what had happened to Gutierrez, who, after she was impeached, chose to quietly resign her post.

Read more here
http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/insideOpinion_mstd.htm?f=%2F%2F2012%2FMarch%2F3%2Feveryman.isx&n=opinion&d=%2F2012%2FMarch%2F3

By Jose Ma. MontelibanoPhilippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 05:11:00 01/28/2011

The optimism of the people are high, riding on a fresh administration, affirming that integrity and decency in governance was more what people needed than geniuses to wield power. I surmise it is because of the reputation that Ferdinand Marcos had been known for much of his life, as a brilliant lawyer and astute politician. Yet, he oppressed the people with the same intelligence and political expertise. Talent, indeed, does not hold water to integrity and honesty.

Gloria also had her own reputation as someone who was hard-working and an economist. These virtues, in the hands of the wrong person, become tools of plunder and instruments of evil.

It is true that the poverty of tens of millions of people deserve the most talented and decisive in the economic field. Yet, it had never been the lack of economic expertise that produced the poverty; rather, it was the exploitation of power for personal gain, the extraction of the country’s natural resources and the manipulation of the majority poor, that forced a rich land and gifted people to become marginalized.

I wonder who understands how native intelligence and a sensitive, creative culture can degenerate into uncontrollable divisiveness and a survivalist mindset. It is a classical breakdown of what is noble to what is animalistic, the damaged culture that scientists talk about. It used to be a universal pattern when colonization dominated the rest of the world. Many delude themselves into believing that a mental construct of centuries can quickly deconstruct itself when native rulers replace foreign masters. In fact, it does not most of the time. In fact, it becomes worse often enough.

The mindset of governance has always been elitist, even before Spanish colonization. The datu system could not have been less authoritarian. However, being home-grown in a culture that was very much family-oriented, it is more than probable that most datus were paternalistic more tan dictatorial. After all, the datu and his people were not enemies, just as the kings and their people belonged to one another.

Democracy, then, has upset the applecart of both tradition and human history. Democracy is dismantling a leadership mindset that has always been top down by introducing the process of a ground up participative governance. Much of the world today mouths democratic wishes. Some even claim adherence. The fact remains that democracy is struggling to survive its infancy stage in human evolution.

The need for respect is primordial in a democracy. The rule of the majority is not theoretical, not in a democracy. It must be a felt value by the people. While most decisions cannot be directly representative of what people want or don’t want, the sense that the common good prevails is a necessary belief of the people.

A credible justice system is designed to act like a guidepost. The rule of law is a foundation of all societies, but it is most crucial in a democracy. The rule of law and the application of meritocracy as the major moorings of society can make democracy work. Without them, the rule of force propping structured authority often co-opts a disturbed country. In the Philippines, the justice system is suspect, the highest judges perceived as partisan, lacking in integrity and objectivity, drawn to partisanship and loyalty to appointing powers.

We stand today inside a moment when great change is possible from the higher aspirations of a people under a new government. The key orientation then is change, a change from one point moving towards another. The starting point of change is corruption and the poverty it has spawned. Those who do not stand on the value of change do not deserve to lead the country because they will guarantee that no change will happen.

Change is not easy. Confronting corruption and its tentacles in every nook and corner of governance, with great help from a private sector who tolerated, even abetted it, requires a courage that belongs to heroes. Even poverty will be used as an excuse to compromise, as though to help the poor makes it necessary to dirty one’s soul. President Noy had heroes for parents. Maybe, he realizes today why destiny played it that way.

Many in the official family of national and local governance will relent to a reduction of corruption because they will be afraid that simple integrity and honesty will prevent them from receiving resources they need. The President can bend to Congress and the Senate, the mayors and governors to the President, the innocent to corrupt judges and justices, candidates to Comelec officials, and down the long line.

Those who compromise will tell themselves that they have to sell their souls in order to help their people. Little do they know, or try as they might not to know, people are enslaved in a national web and culture dominated by corruption. In a corrupt environment, the people are the victims, especially the poor. The people are not saved by compromise, they are punished and condemned by it.

That was why I thought that the Truth Commission was such a necessary instrument to battle corruption with. That is why I continue to believe that a Truth Commission is the only way to hit several birds with one stone. Aside from thieves and plunderers possibly getting imprisoned, the culture of honesty is once again being highlighted as non-negotiable. When the Supreme Court said that the Truth Commission was unconstitutional, I thought President Noy would bring the case to the people and establish Truth Forums everywhere.

But fate is a more masterful and brave player in life. A lowly auditor who is convinced of the guilt of plunder suspect General Carlos Garcia and the support that he receives from other personalities of power, Heidi Mendoza is saying she is on a truth mission. She is showing extraordinary courage for an ordinary Filipino. She is affirming that heroism is not the exclusive virtue of personages in high places, but that it can be the result of fighting those in power and with great wealth.

Filipino. Pilipinas natin. Our country demands from us, from all of us, a personal contribution to nationhood. Corruption prevents a sense of unity, keeps people and sectors apart, exploiter here, victim there. Governance is not just about them up there; it is truly more about you and me here.

PRESIDENT Noy, in his search for people to fill up key positions in his administration, has allegedly displeased a religious sect that supported him in the last election.


By Ramon Tulfo

Iglesia ni Cristo’s Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo has allegedly written the President to ignore all his recommendees for some positions in government, according to a source close to Ka Eduardo, as he is known to his flock.

The source claimed that Ka Eduardo had said in his letter that the INC was freeing the President from the pressure of considering people recommended by the church for certain posts in his government.

My source inside the INC said there were positions that Ka Eduardo had asked P-Noy to fill up with persons from the ranks of the INC, but such requests were allegedly ignored.

The source added that the INC head had said that those whom P-Noy has appointed to key positions upon his recommendation can either be removed or they can choose to resign.

One of INC’s recommendees is Director Magtanggol Gatdula of National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

The source said the religious sect’s withdrawal of support from the Aquino administration is expected to have grave political repercussions for the fledgling administration.

* * *
P-Noy should stand up to the Catholic Church as well.

Catholic priests and bishops have been interfering in the affairs of the past presidents, especially the one that P-Noy succeeded.

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was reported to have given in to almost all the orders to her by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

The President, a Catholic, should show that he has a mind of his own by turning down directives from the CBCP if such orders run contrary to the people’s welfare.

He should ask his allies in the House of Representatives and in the Senate to pass the Reproductive Health Bill that aims to control our exploding population by giving couples a choice of birth control methods.

Most Filipinos, including Catholics, want the controversial bill passed.

* * *
Ironically, people who are scared of going to hell are sinners.

They commit sin, according to the definition of most religions, more than people who don’t care at all.

Those people who fear the fires of hell go to church every Sunday and pray fervently for their salvation. But when they get home from church they treat their housemaids like slaves.

And if they are government officials, they steal from the people without mercy.

* * *
I remember helping a housemaid who was hit with a chopping board in the face by her employer so many times that she looked like a character from the movie, “Planet of the Apes.”

Zenaida Latoga was 25 years old when she escaped from her employer of 10 years and was wandering aimlessly on a street in Mandaluyong when she was picked up by Good Samaritans and taken to “Isumbong mo kay Tulfo” office several years ago.

I noticed that she was wearing a bell attached to a rope around her waist. She said it was so her employer would know in what part of the house she was.

I had the employer arrested the same day by agents of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

You know who visited the employer at the police precinct?

Her fellow church members who prayed over her so she would be saved from the clutches of evil!

Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:52:00 08/06/2010
Filed Under: Religions, Benigno Aquino III, Government
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/metro/view/20100806-285354/Iglesia-ni-Cristo-displeased-with-P-Noy