Dear Commenters and Readers,
The year 2013 slammed us with storm surges – both meteorological and political.
These storm surges are likely to re-occur this year. The latter with possibly higher intensity given the approaching 2016 presidential polls.
Before I continue, I’d like to apologize to all of you for not updating as often as I did in the past. My job as a foreign correspondent – which helps sustain this blog financially – became more hectic this year as the conflict between China and the Philippines over the South China Sea heated up.
Alan and I would like to greet you all a Happy New Year, since being happy is a state of mind – totally independent of the state of the country we are in.
And I hope at least one of your wishes come true this year.
I think I’m going to be pretty busy this month (more on this below) so I will be posting stories in short segments instead of entire lengthy pieces in one blow.
I am currently working on several issues. One is on Manny Pacquiao (thanks to another tip from Yvonne). Another is on the shockingly high electric rate increase. Still another is what I recently learned from various security experts regarding China and Japan. As well as post-Typhoon Haiyan and my recent trip to Europe.
I actually have plenty of pending stories. Sigh.
I will post them one at a time – as my time permits. Please be patient with me.
It seems I have a rapidly filling plate as far as January’s concerned. I’ve been invited to attend a security conference in Tokyo, as well as to give a talk on blogging as part of this year’s celebration of the 1986 Edsa People Power. And to write a short piece on impunity for the magazine of this year’s FOCAP Prospects Forum which will be held this January 24 under the direction of Focap President Jason Gutierrez of Agence France Presse. And did I mention my deadline for the piece is this Monday? Yikes.
In any case, this year will be a very exciting year for the Philippines and we will all have front seats.
President Benigno Aquino III will be winding up his term while his hopeful successors will be revving up efforts to replace him. And some very important people who are now in detention will be putting their best efforts to back the potential winner.
By the way, while covering a conference on China and its maritime conflicts in the East and South China Seas last month, I finally met someone for the very first time – Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, who I was accused of being in cahoots with during the impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.
I prefaced my greeting to him by saying – “Hello, Sir, I have been wanting to meet you. I’m supposed to be your Girl Friday.”
His face instantly crinkled into a grin and his eyes disappeared in slits.
I asked him to pose with me for a souvenir photo:
Then I asked Justice Carpio to meet other journalists present so the latter could be my witnesses that this was my first-ever meeting with him. The other journalists were my former Manila Chronicle editor Amando Doronila (whom I had not seen for ages) and Teddyboy Locsin (whom I also met for the first time).
Justice Carpio was present in the conference (held by the Angara Centre of former Senator Edgardo Angara) because he is keenly following developments in the South China Sea conflict. He was the ponente of the Supreme Court decision which declared as constitutional the Philippine archipelagic baseline law, which included the Kalayaan Island group as part of a regime of islands.
The next person I’d love to meet is the legendary “small lady” who has been intentionally identified as me by some people passing themselves off as journalists.
To refresh your memory, please see –
I become part of the Corona story
Ninez seems to know better than me where my body was
By the way, @baycas asked me to post the following links on the official report on the blast at the upscale Serendra apartments “for closure”.
He couldn’t post them himself because I placed a cut-off date for posting on stories so as to prevent spammers from continuously posting links to spam sites on much earlier stories. This caused my website to crash before.
Kroll Advisory Solutions report – you can download them by clicking on the links below:
You can read my original story on the Serendra blast by clicking here. Please post any comments here, not on the original story, because the Comments Section is already closed there.
Rene Saguisag has written about this many times but I have yet to come across any direct response from the FVR-Arroyo camp, Ed Angara, Davide et al, and the Catholic church –
Reform filled and an Oil field..
Oil deposit discovery in Cebu….
Very heartening good news for 2014
Not so fast. Only a small percentage of oil-containing fields goes into actual commercial oil production. There are many factors that affect whether, or not, an oil field becomes commercially-viable for recovery, including the amount of deposit, the type of oil (sweet, sour, etc.) the mode of recovery (primary, secondary, tertiary), etc.
Alberta Canada has one of the largest deposits of crude in oil sands that were left undeveloped for many decades because the cost of extracting the hydrocarbon is so high that it could only become commercially viable when oil hits $150 dollars a barrel in the world market.
Likewise, a refinery set-up to process sweet crude cannot be so easily re-tooled to process sour crude, for instance. A good analogy is that a car assembly line producing car sedans cannot be easily re-tooled to produce pick-up trucks, and sometimes it is not even worth doing it if the number of pick-up trucks to be built were small.
Watch out very carefully and closely the Binays’ Makati sister cities and Boy Scouts gambit.
Just for starters, please read:
creating sister cities is called binay pyramid scam. pera ng pilipinas ginagamit para maging mabango ang kanyang pangalan. iyon pala noong last election kahit sa odiongan, romblon mayroong sasakyan na may malaking letrang B na may buntot.
‘Junjun Binay not affected by Aquino’s “no wang wang” remark’ – Inquirer.net news item.
May mga taong talagang manhid. Sa halip na tumahimik na lang, humihirit pa.
Manhid na kasi wala sa bokabularyo ang hiya at delicadeza. Tapos mayron pang kunsintidor na tatay na bise-presidente at ateng senadora. Siya rin nasa “posisyon”….kaya makapal na talaga at wala nang pakialam sa kung ano ang tingin ng iba sa ginawa niyang kabulastugan.
What happens when the father becomes president in 2016? Will it be reminiscent of the young enrile during the martial law? or worst? or another GMA style?
It’s time to unite and, through our concerted efforts in social networking, helped prevent the maligno’s ascension to the throne.
Suharto kids (Tommy) Pinoy edition?
concerned citizen says
Already blatantly here to collect the revenues of their “income (cash) producing properties” from the Philippino citizenry via utilities water, elecric, transportation, health service and so on, using the money stolen from the Indonesian people by the Soeharto’s
concerned citizen says
like to add:communications
john c. jacinto says
drill down says
defect of dynasties.
talagang well-planned ng pamilyang estrada ito. next, follow the pattern of how binay country pop out in phil. history. mas matindi itong mga estradas pag nagkataon ( manila, san juan at laguna) :-(
9 senators realign P1.8-billion pork
By TJ Burgonio, Gil C. Cabacungan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
3:31 am | Thursday, January 9th, 2014
Re: Estrada, Jinggoy just realigned his pork for his Erpat to plunder…
I thought the Supreme Court found PDAF to be unconstitutional.
SC decision thrown to kangkungan?
jorge bernas says
You are right Vibora, The Supreme Court declared PDAF as unconstitutional so dapat hindi na rin puwede ang realignment at dapat gumawa lang nang batas gawin ninyong mga Mambabatas…
“Pakapalan na lang ito (This is shameless)”
Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/561027/trillanes-slams-estrada-for-pork-allotment-to-manila#ixzz2pu16nQHx
Father-like-son. Erap was convicted of plunder while jinggoy is facing plunder charge from his PDAF where it was testified by the whistle blowers that he received a kickback of more than P182M from napoles.
When is jv going to realign his pork barrel to San Juan?
jorge bernas says
ha ha ha ha, naunahan mo ah….
From condoms to supot…I am used to reading Dr. Holmes articles centered around sex. I was surprised to read about her article about Jinggoy on Rappler: here is the link: http://www.rappler.com/move-ph/ispeak/47319-dear-senator-jinggoy-pdaf.
vander anievas says
wow, dr margie, pwede rin palang political juorno…
it was a very well written piece. Nosebleed for Sen Jinggoy, hahahaha!
drill down says
Rosa Rosal pursues fight for full Red Cross audit
jorge bernas says
@ drill down,
I think rosa rosal has every reason to question the alleges corruption in the P.R.C. so that everyones name will be cleared kong wala kasalanan mga inaakusahang Mandarambong…maliit na halaga lang naman ang 2 million pesos na gagastusin sa independent accounting firm para lumabas ang katutuhanan at mapanagot mga Mandarambong sa kaban nang bayan…para sa akin ay EPAL tawag doon sa poster na may larawan saka ang mga I.Ds. na may picture ni dick gordon? nagtatanong lang po saka pakibilisan ang imbestigasyon?
I absolutely agree with you. Red Cross is an international organization which should not be used for self – vested interest by the conscienceless scoundrels. These people do not the meaning of integrity and dignity, and trustworthy.
jorge bernas says
Thanks @ Tama ka letlet, Those politicians who don’t. know the meaning of integrity, trustworthy, unselfish service to the people they promised to SERVE does not deserve our VOTE..
2014, is your New Year’s resolution to migrate to the US of A?
Is it still your dreamland of a greener pasture, overflowing of milk and honey?
Check and read why one is leaving.
I think that the author is a second-class citizen of the US of A who should really leave the US of A and live in a US territory where he could exercise his second-class rights equally with his fellow second-class citizens of the US of A.
RE: In reply to 19.1
What’s the high handed attitude about this guy who has acquired lots of first hand experiences living the dream and nightmares in the US OF A? No one would be treated as second class citizen anywhere if you don’t allow other people to treat you as such.If anyone is unfairly treated here in the US and Canada, there is immediate protection like the courts, appeals and tribunals. I have to respect this guy actually for being brave leaving whatever comfort he has and friends that he has known and depend on and start somewhere where he feels he is safer and demands less pressure on his and family’s well being . Oh yes sir, there are people who leave their comfort zone ie. god job with nice pay, big house etc to live off the grid and commune with nature and due to other personal and multiple reasons. Sometimes it is not about status that we skip the rat race. Those of us living in the foreign lands are intermingling with different cultures and color of other people and co exist in a well behaved and civilized manner. Negative racial thoughts exist but if one is open minded and disciplined there is no room for meanness.I admire everyone braving the deep hot and frostbiting freezing cold temperatures, severe loneliness, unfairness and never ending work and exhaustion that ofws, glofils immigrants and transplanted citizens bear in order to live decently for themselves and family. No one has the right to judge and malign their lifestyle and decision where to live for we are not in their shoes. I can’t write smartly like the author and can’t decide to live elsewhere because I am scared to leave my comfort zone but that doesn’t mean I tolerate being treated as second class, third class or baboon class for that matter.This guy needs to be appreciated, admired and given an apology…. and all HARD WORKING WOMEN/MEN MISLABELED as SECOND CLASS CITIZENS. (hope this go through)
Nice truth and a positive one. LIKE…..
Who is Jay Fonseca?
“Josué Fonseca (better known as Jay Fonseca) is a Puerto Rican journalist, radio host, lawyer, and political analyst. Fonseca currently appears in Día a Día and Telenoticias on Telemundo Puerto Rico. Fonseca holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Accounting from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus (2006) and a juris doctor (cum laude) from the University of Puerto Rico School of Law (2011).”
In 1898 Puerto Rico, together with the Philippines, was ceded by Spain to USA. By virtue of the Jones Act of 1917 Puerto Ricans became US citizens. But Puerto Ricans have not been granted the same rights as the citizens of the Union because Puerto Rico remains merely a US Territory. US citizens in Puerto Rico cannot participate in US presidential elections. Puerto Rico has delegates in the US congress but they cannot also vote. There are other rights of US citizens in the US of A not granted to US citizens in Puerto Rico like full SSS benefits although they fully contribute to the system. ETC.
To my understanding Puerto Ricans are second class citizens of the US of A by operation of law and the US Constitution. They would be such until Puerto Rico is granted a statehood in accordance with the US constitution. And I am sure such situation has nothing to do with OFWs and GLOFILs including my two children in Canada and Australia.
Rubbing it in is quite upsetting even though I don’t know the guy, whatever nationality he is or anybody ,what’s the relevance of the condescension.And he being a second class citizen makes me or you or your children more superior because of the US of A restrictions? He is a writer just saying his intentions and why.
Good, you have children abroad that makes my point clearer and mark it home.
I don’t feel more intelligent and superior than Jay Fonseca merely because he and his countrymen are second class citizens of USA. To me, Jay made the right decision to leave the USA. And I think he is more intelligent and superior than people who cannot do what they should. That’s a fact.
I just stated the facts about the Puerto Ricans. Sadly, these facts upset you. And I am sorry that I upset you. On the other hand, any apology from me to Jay is not in order. BTW do you know that unlike many Filipinos who yearned to become US citizens, Puerto Ricans became US citizens against their will when the Jones Act of 1917 was enacted? That is another fact.
Now, this is what I think. Puerto Ricans don’t want US citizenship, whether first class, second class or baboon class. They want INDEPENDENCE. So, I cannot help but admire these people.
Correction: And he is more intelligent and superior than people who cannot do what they should.
“Good, you have children abroad that makes my point clearer and mark it home.”
How did my having children abroad make your argument clearer and reach home?
The citing of irrelevant matters muddled the issue involved – that is the unfair treatment done by USA to Puerto Ricans. As far as I know Canada and Australia do not have discriminatory treatments of their citizens as a government policy.
The litany of hardships and sweeping generalization of OFWs and GLOFILs do not help your position insofar as my children are concerned. As far as I know my children need not be “brave” to surmount any temperate weather, loneliness, unfair treatment and backbreaking work. They are well equipped physically, mentally and financially to deal with such conditions starting when they were offered overseas jobs and remunerations they could not refuse. And I surmise many more OFWs and GLOFILs are situated similarly. Of course I am not in a position to talk about yours and many others. My point is that I am not at liberty to make hasty generalization of OFWs and GLOFILs.
Another hasty and sweeping generalization.
“Those of us living in the foreign lands are intermingling with different cultures and color of other people and co exist in a well behaved and civilized manner.”
Maybe you do. But I have seen with my owns eyes that it is not the case for some other immigrants. I know for a fact that many immigrants are uncouth and lacking in “good manners and right conduct” despite the opportunity afforded them by their adopted country. Must I enumerate what I saw in bus and train stations, walls, restaurants, sidewalks, parks, etc. of these “foreign lands?” I am sure you also noticed same.
What’s the high handed attitude about this guy who has acquired lots of first hand experiences living the dream and nightmares in the US OF A? No one would be treated as second class citizen anywhere if you don’t allow other people to treat you as such.If anyone is unfairly treated here in the US and Canada, there is immediate protection like the courts, appeals and tribunals. I have to respect this guy actually for being brave leaving whatever comfort he has and friends that he has known and depend on and start somewhere where he feels he is safer and demands less pressure on his and family’s well being . Oh yes sir, there are people who leave their comfort zone ie. god job with nice pay, big house etc to live off the grid and commune with nature and due to other personal and multiple reasons. Sometimes it is not about status that we skip the rat race. Those of us living in the foreign lands are intermingling with different cultures and color of other people and co exist in a well behaved and civilized manner. Negative racial thoughts exist but if one is open minded and disciplined there is no room for meanness.I admire everyone braving the deep hot and cold temperatures, severe loneliness, unfairness and never ending work and exhaustion that ofws, glofils immigrants and transplanted citizens bear in order to live decently for themselves and family. No one has the right to judge and malign their lifestyle and decision where to live for we are not in their shoes. I can’t write smartly like the author and can’t decide to live elsewhere because I am scared to leave my comfort zone but that doesn’t mean I tolerate being treated as second class, third class or baboon class for that matter.This guy needs to be appreciated, admired and given an apology.
james jasper omandam says
para sa akin si cojuanco aquino magnanakaw
LET’S GO BACK TO THE PORK BARREL SCAM
Enrile recently filed his counter-affidavit dated Dec. 20, 2013
Tanda said “the government’s own evidence shows he never personally endorsed any non government organization (NGO) involved in the reported PDAF scam, whether connected to Janet Lim Napoles or not, to any implementing agency”
It’s obvious somebody in his staff signed the endorsement in his behalf. Is that the reason why gigi flew over the cuckoo’s nest and now enjoying the amenities of the Land of the Brave and Home of the Free?
Anytime now, jinggoy and bong will submit their counter-affidavits and it’s very likely that they’ll disown their signatures and that somebody faked them.
Possible scenario: The Ombudsman, after studying the counter-affidavits of all involved, will finally determine that there is probable cause and thenceforth file the plunder cases to the sandiganbayan, who will then issue warrants of arrest. AARRRAAAAYYYYY
That is the consequence of ‘sharing’ the money in violation of the Constitution!
Share it with lawmakers and they deny all of it…getting a peso? How holistic! Only their chiefs of staff ‘signed’ for them… by ‘their authority’!
Lawmaking in violating the law. Hahaha. Good that the SC checked on them!
Btw, just came from an LTO office at Mirasol St. Q.C., renewing driver’s license…3 HOURS!
The gripes of vehicle registrants…NO STICKERS…yet they are made to pay for it. One had last year’s registration, NO STICKERS! Now, it’s his second year NO STICKERS!
Mr. Sec of Transportation Dept…DO YOU KNOW THIS IS HAPPENING? So small item…vehicle stickers…THERE’S NONE! Maybe NO BIG BUDGET … same old reason.
vander anievas says
swerte ka pa 3 hrs only, ako nga nov 2013 pa nag-renew ng license. after a month binalikan ko, wala pa.
ewan kung may card na sila. next monday ko uli babalikan.
Sa “List of NGOs to which PDAF were Transferred Audit of Priority Development Assistance Fund Covering CYs 2007 to 2009“, nabanggit si Estrada ng walong (8) beses, si Revilla ng labindalawang (12) beses, at si Enrile naman ng labing-apat (14) na beses.
Nagkataon lang ba ito o sinadya?
May pattern, dili kaya…
(See file at Comment No. 21.2 for reference)
jorge bernas says
For me if it happened once, Oks lang and if it happened twice Oks pa rin pero kong mahigit sa limang beses nangyari malamang mayroon nang sabwatan para nakawin ang pera nang taong bayan…At ni isa sa mga mambabatas na ito ay hindi pinuntahan/inalam ang inindorsong fake N.G.Os. ni janet lim napoles sa madaling salita ay sina tanda, pogi at sexy ginawang TANGA ni janet lim napoles o sadyang nag TANGA TANGAHAN lang para sa pansariling KASAKIMAN…Mahirap mag tanga tangahan di ba po?
At ngayon alam na nila tanda, pogi at sexy na fake N.G.Os. ni janet lim napoles bakit hindi nila sinampahan nang kaso reyna nang mandarambong dahil sa kahihiyang inabot? At sa mga privilaged speech nila bakit walang sinasabi masama against the queen of thiefs.
Carpio, Chief justice, Conflict, plus Cybercrime law in one page…
C it here: http://manilatimes.net/infighting-looms-at-high-court/65403/
Chismis lang kaya?
not much basis, really.
Flying missiles may be imminent internationally but another matter close to home is MEASLES.
The executive probably slept through the holiday season and was “EPALled” ahead by Nancy Binay on the issue of failed vaccination…as in widespread vaccination was not accomplished.
I have a hunch that the recent movement of people from the Visayas may have something to do with the outbreak.
Again, proper authorities especially the clinical epidemiologists must look into the MEASLES rate increase. The complications are deadly…to think that the disease is PREVENTABLE!
The virus of the disease, btw, may be transmitted by AIRBORNE route that is why the spread is easy without defense…
I left out the word “if”.
Was Australia affected by the measles problem here?
Or the other way around?
abs-cbnnews said the australian measles had pinoy origin. the vector was the pinoy dancer who was over there for dance competition. the pinoys did not only win top prize but also give measles for other contestants and so, spread the disease even more.
true, measles is spread by air through coughing and sneezing. you’re a good candidate if you’re within arm’s length of one who coughs or sneezes and has the disease. hard to avoid when you’re in cinemas, in crowded elevators, in public transport, in classrooms, and in airplanes, etc. but if you’re 5meters away, you have less chance of catching the disease. best to be immunized, but health authorities said being immunized offers 85 – 95% proctection, there’s still a chance of catching measles even if immunized. but the severity is a lot less.
there is really no treatment once you got measles. it will take its course until the morbilliviruses are overcome by the body’s immune system. said, drinking water to stop being dehydrated is helpful, also taking tylenol to lessen physical discomfort. being in darkened room is also advisable as those sick became photosensitive and can barely tolerate strong light.
if you’re healthy and strong, you can weather measles. the very young and those malnourished may have hard time coping. wearing mask? I dont know if that helps as the virus is too small, smaller than germ, and can pass through barriers with ease.
some mothers are refusing to have their children immunized against measles. many believed the combined vaccine MMR can cause autism. that has been proven to be false as the link between the vaccine MMR and autism has not been established.
@moonie, dami ngang naloko nyan mostly when hollywood starlet jenny mccarthy started espousing that idea. my son has asd. he still has to be diagnosed as to exactly what form of developmental delay he has, but he is showing signs of mild autism. my pedia saw the signs before we had the mmr vaccine. even as a newborn, iba na talaga ang baby ko, so i can say that my son did not become autistic because of this vaccine.
parents should be responsible enough to have their kids immunized. they are putting other kids in danger by not having their own children vaccinated against these diseases. maswerte na lang kung malakas ang resistensya ng ibang bata. eh paano kung hindi?
I wasn’t immunized against measles, and so I had it when I was 10. It was so contagious, as I got it when we visited a relative’s house. Didn’t know beforehand that somebody’s having measles there. For just a few minutes seeing the aunt, and thorough bathing after coming back home, I got measles too 2 weeks after the visit! And boy, it was so hard – the very high fever, the itchy rashes, the lack of appetite, the sensitivity to lights…imagine if it was a very young baby or anyone with compromised resistance.
Di rin ata nga talaga pinabakunahan ni Jenny McCarthy ang anak nya. Sana bago niya nagsalita, nakita sana niya kung paano maghirap ang may tigdas…lalo na pa siguro iyong whooping cough at iyong may TB.
in some schools, principals are refusing to admit entry level children whose immunization is not up to date. sounds harsh, but parents have been trying to sue schools for not providing safe environment for their children. children did not only come home with head lice but also acquired contagious diseases passed on by classmates. schools are adamant, money should be used for children’s education, not for paying lawyers’ hefty fees.
kudos to parents who immunized their children.
It’s a good step for schools to ask for the immunization record. Except for flu shots and 2 other optional vaccines that the pediatrician didn’t recommend, both of my kids are needle veterans, lol. Ahh…lice. My elder kid got that too from school. I spent a week pulling off the nits. They’re gone for now, but I still check her hair. She doesn’t have during school break nor she gets sick either. I wish more parents will check their kids’ hair when they’re scratching their heads. And that if their kids are already running fever, cough, colds, or are not well, they don’t send them to school.
I believe this measles outbreak in Metro Manila must provide lesson in disaster preparedness and mitigation.
The armed conflict in Zamboanga in September, the devastating earthquake in Bohol in October, and the catastrophic typhoon (Yolanda aka Haiyan) in the Visayas in November brought on movement of people. From a few hundreds to thousands of displaced Filipinos ‘migrated’ into Metro Manila during the last quarter of 2013.
I think the urbanized setting of Metro Manila already created somehow a “community immunity” against measles here because of high rates of vaccination against the disease. However, the DOH acknowledged poor vaccination status in Visayas and Mindanao. Now, the ‘massive’ movement of people from the South probably disrupted this community immunity* in the Metro thus causing sporadic outbreaks at first but then becoming widespread at present.
While the WHO/UNESCO people were able to vaccinate most children on the ground where Yolanda survivors were located in order to prevent disease outbreaks there, the majority of those who moved to the Metro were unfortunately not vaccinated.
The highly contagious nature of the disease is certainly a concern and might take months to revert to having again a community immunity here. Besides, the measles vaccine takes effect only after about two weeks after administration.
Nevertheless, intensive vaccination for a large population of Filipinos needing them is the only way to go and I believe the government is presently doing its best to contain the measles outbreak.
*Community immunity: A situation in which a sufficient proportion of a population is immune to an infectious disease (through vaccination and/or prior illness) to make its spread from person to person unlikely. Even individuals not vaccinated (such as newborns and those with chronic illnesses) are offered some protection because the disease has little opportunity to spread within the community. Also known as herd immunity. (CDC)