Nuclear Pinas?

The power outage that hit Metro Manila and Central Luzon on Tuesday would likely be used by the government to condition the minds of the public and justify the resurrection of plans to tap nuclear energy as the country’s alternative power source.  

The blackouts came just as the government kicked-off its extensive study on the viability of nuclear energy and the start of the training of scientists that will man the Philippines’ one and only nuclear power reactor, the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP). 

BNPP, the country’s biggest ‘white elephant’, has already been paid off by the government after more than 32 years. It cost the Filipino taxpayer a total of P21.2 billion though it never generated a single watt of electricity since its construction in 1976 and completion in 1984. But despite being obsolete, the Department of Energy said the BNPP is still intact, including its reactor.  

With the payment of the BNPP already complete, crooks in the Arroyo government must be mighty happy right now. Not exactly because of the billions of pesos that we are about to save in debt payments for a useless nuclear plant. Well, certainly that’s good news, but they must be smiling through their ears because of the potential billions of spoils this new development would bring in.

Why not? credit ratings are up (no thanks to Arroyo’s twisted debt servicing policy at the Filipinos expense), a version of an anti-terror law (in the guise of human security) are to take effect in July, and the Philippine economy is destined to become among the ranks of 1st world nations in 20 years (see GMA’s imaginary, enchanted kingdom); these must be ringing in the heads of Gloria and her team of economic managers.  

For them the things mentioned above though despised and not at all felt by the Filipino masa, are good selling points and bargaining chips to heartless foreign creditors and multinational financial institutions.  

The long and short of it? The Arroyo government probably is busy right now scrounging for creditors that would lend us the funds to resuscitate the plant – thus the extensive study on nuclear energy with trainings to boot and, the blackouts? maybe…   

But who will stand to benefit if we are to burry ourselves in debt (as always), revive the BNPP and use nuclear energy as an alternative power source? Definitely, not us! (see Gloria Arroyo, IMF-WB-WTO, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, core meltdown,  radiation).

Pinoy diplomat, caught on cam shoplifting in Korea

And the looting continues… Hala at tumawid dagat na. Kakahiya. From the Korean Herald, Filipino diplomat caught on cam shoplifting!

kung ako si koko

susuko na ko. Pero bago niyo ko batikusin, hayaan niyo muna ako magpaliwanag.

Pag nag-concede kasi siya, mas panalo siya sa pulitika kesa kay Zubiri. Baket? Kasi, maaagaw niya ang inisyatiba. Malalagay ngayon siya sa ‘high moral ground’ para bumira ng katakot-takot na pandaraya at kung ano ano pang magic na naganap diumano sa Maguindanao.

Kahit ano pang sabihin niya, paniniwalaan siya ngayon ng masa kasi patok na patok sa takilya ang mga ‘underdog’. Dapat dito mamuhunan si Koko.

Pag nagka-ganito nga ang sitwasyon, si Zubiri naman ngayon ang magkukumahog. Malamang masabi niya “naisahan ako dun a”. Kasi pihadong caught off guard siya, o kahit na sinong mga pulitiko, sa ganitong mga moments.

Pati COMELEC, malamang pumirmi na ng pusisyon. Kasi nga sabi ng COMELEC  nung umpisa”statistically improbable” yung results sa Maguindanao kaya na-set aside muna ang canvassing ng mga COC galing doon. Tapos, magdedeklara daw ng failure of elections at mag seset ng special elections, pero bandang huli, binawi rin. Tapos, pagkaraan ng ilang isnaban sa hearing tungkol sa Mguindanao (nila Bedol at ng mga Election Officers), sumipot si Bedol.Pero nanakaw naman daw yung mga COC, di nga lang niya alam kung sino nagnakaw.

At pagkatapos, nagpasya na yung COMELEC na lumipad na papunta Maguindanao para eksaminin once and for all yung mga ‘accountable election documents’. “Authentic” naman daw yung mga dokumento sabi ni Comm. Ferrer. Pero mga 2nd copies lang daw yun. Yung 4th copy, na kopya ng COMELEC, sinurender daw ng mga EO kay Bedol. Yun siguro yung nanakaw? Ewan.

Habang nagaganap ito, nagkakarambulan na sa Shariff Kabunsuan at binoboykot na ng mga taga-Taysan Batangas ang iniskedyul na special elections para sa lugar nila.

Si Zubiri naman, lumabas sa mga diyaryo yung mga litrato niyang nagdadasal. Si Koko, papunta yata sa Supreme Court para hilingin na wag na bilangin ang mga boto sa Maguindanao. E napanuod na ng taumbayan sa TV si Chairman Abalos nung nakaraan na sinesermunan yung abugado ni Koko na pag in-exclude ang COC sa Maguindanao, ‘disenfranchisement’ ang katumbas nun. Siyempre, agree agad yung kampo ni Zubiri.

Kaya nga, sa tingin ko, mas mainam na magparaya na lang muna itong si Koko. Yun nga lang kailangan ideklara niya na ang pag concede niya ay with utmost reservations kumbaga. Saka siya magmauyong ngayon sa mga sinasabi nilang mga ‘manufactured’ COCs, pandaraya etc.

Ewan ko na lang kung di pa siya yakapin ng masa.

Pag nagkagayon, mga frends, si Zubiri ay uupo sa Senado na medyo nakataas ang kilay ng mga tao. Para bang ang dating ay pilit na pilit ang pagkapanalo niya. Tatatak sa kasaysayan na naging Senador lang siya kase, nagparaya si Koko. At siyempre, kasi ‘nandaya’ siya.

Habang tiyak ang pagkandili ng masa sa kabayanihan ni Koko sa kaniyang pag concede, kung ako kay Koko, maghahanda na akong sumabak ulit sa special Senatorial elections para sa vacancy na iiwan ni Mayor Lim. Ewan ko lang kung masilat pa siya diyan.

Pero, lilinawin ko lang ha, ito ay kung ako lang si Koko.



Nga pala…

With the sad news of another OFW beheading recently in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the deportations among our kababayans there that followed, I felt compelled to rummage around for an article that I wrote two years ago.


May 15, 2006

As Malacanang’s fanfare over the homecoming of 170 pardoned Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia dies down, I can not help but raise questions that are of critical importance: Why do we have thousands of OFWs, including minors, jailed in KSA in the first place? Is the Philippine Embassy in the KSA and the DFA doing its job efficiently?

The Department of Foreign Affairs in a report released 2003 pegged the number of jailed OFWs to 2,856 in 56 countries, 673 of them are women. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia accounts to almost half of the number of Filipinos detained with 1,115 including 50 minors.

First of all, no OFW ever dreamed of committing a crime in a foreign country. This is farthest from their priorities because they were there to work – for their families in the Philippines to have three square meals everyday and to bring their children to school.

The majority of OFWs that are jailed abroad especially in the Middle East landed there because they only did the deed to defend themselves. Worst, some are totally innocent and others fell victims of frame-up.

The number of Filipina domestic helpers in the KSA that are imprisoned for running away from their abusive employers continues to rise by the day. First hand accounts from former OFWs in the Kingdom says that the Philippine Embassy run OFW shelter there is deluged daily with run away OFWs mostly domestic workers. They come in the wee hours of the morning, as it is the only time in the day that they have a chance to escape from their abusive employers.

But most of us didn’t know that the Arroyo Government has a hand in the steady rise on the number of OFWs detained in KSA. On March 4, 2003, the Arroyo Administration agreed with the implementation of the “Recruitment and Manpower Deployment Contract,” better known as the “Unified Contract” of the Saudi National Recruitment Committee (Sanarcom) that aims to standardize the contracts of all Saudi-bound overseas Filipino workers.

Provision C, Section 1 of the Unified Contract criminalized those OFWs who run-away from their employers even if they are being maltreated or abused. It also legitimized contract substitution among OFWs in the Kingdom. In essence, the Unified Contract practically condemned the over 1 million OFWs in KSA to abusive situations and our very own government agreed to its implementation! No wonder Gloria Arroyo never raised the Unified Contract with King Abdullah during her 4-day State Visit to the Kingdom. This is more than enough of an explanation why Saudi jails are teeming with run away OFWs.

Second, the alarming number of jailed OFWs in the Kingdom speaks highly on the kind of performance of our Post there. Philippine Ambassador to KSA Bahnarim Guinomla is definitely sleeping on his job. He is the one that should be imprisoned for his gross neglect of duty.

Lastly, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) should explain as to how they use the P100 million funds (replenished annually by the national government) specifically allocated for offering legal aid to OFWs in distress. Right now, we have 32 Filipinos on death row worldwide. Just last year, 4 OFWs were simultaneously beheaded in KSA.

So much for Malacanang’s fanfare.”

E, kaya naman pala……

Elections fatigue

Senator Fred Lim will leave the Senate on June 30, 2007 to become Mayor of Manila, thus leaving a vacant seat in that august legislative body. This fact has been a subject of a heated debate recently. A former Supreme Court Justice and broadsheet columnist has floated the idea of proclaiming the 13th winning Senator to fill up the vacancy arguing that by doing so, this will save the country millions pesos as a special polls will no longer be necessary. The law provides that any vacancy in the Senate can only be filled up by holding special elections.

“A sensible idea” some people said, but COMELEC Chairman Ben Abalos was quick to rebuff the proposal saying that there was no vacancy in the Senate when elections were held on May 14; hence no vacancy needs to be filled. Administration’s top lawyer Romulo Macalintal, echoed the same position. At this point, the issue died a natural death.

But whether or not proclaiming the 13th winning Senatorial Candidate is against the law, the holding of special polls is really a pricey undertaking for a nation that has just concluded holding synchronized national and local elections and subsequent special elections in several areas where the balloting were deemed highly questionable. Another special Senatorial elections in the near future I believe, would only give the electorate – still hung-over by the recent polls – elections fatigue.

But then again, it is the law. As Mayor Lim would bluntly put it, “the law applies to all, otherwise none at all”. It is for this reasons that I offer my humble suggestion to the COMELEC and other parties concerned: Why not hold the elections for the vacant Senate slot simultaneous with the Baranggay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Elections on October 29, 2007 instead of holding it on a separate date?

This would definitely save millions of pesos of taxpayer’s money and avert a looming elections fatigue among the people. Why not? The people have been itching to troop to the Baranggay and SK polls for the longest time anyway.

All the same, one less elections in the country is bad news for the infamous “bad eggs” in the COMELEC who have earned notoriety for allegedly rigging election results in favor of the highest bidder.

To Koko or Migs, whoever loses in the 12th and last Senate slot, Maguindanao is not yet the end of the world. You can still run for Senate again in October (if my proposal gains enough ground) or in any other date identified by the COMELEC (that’s if the electorate is still interested in the electoral system).

Courting revolt

 The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ continued insistence to block Antonio Trillanes IV from performing his duty as Senator of the Republic is a surefire recipe for another people power revolution.  

Military lawyers have gone public recently that the former Navy lieutenant might be prevented to attend sessions and hearings in the Senate. In short, his becoming a Senator is dependent on the ‘passes’ that will be issued to him by Gen. Hermogenes Esperon.  

This is very dangerous. If the AFP and the rest of the Arroyo regime are still interested in remaining in power and maintaining the status quo, then they should stop this bullshit and let Trillanes carry out his functions as Senator elect. 

Trillanes has an indubitable mandate given to him by more than 11 million Filipinos and Gen. Esperon should learn to respect that. I wont be surprised if one of this days Trillanes would call on all the Filipinos who voted for him to bombard the Marine headquarters, impose their will against the establishment and spirit him out of detention.

The number of people that might heed his call is no joke. Remember, former President Estrada was booted out of office with only 300,000 warm bodies massing up in EDSA on the first day of People Power II.