Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Beleaguered Pre-Need Companies

I posted a part of an editorial cartoon I drew in relation to the financial crisis that the pre-need industry in the country is facing. The cropped illustration of the planholders (arm shows) says: "Thanks, I can now enjoy my investments." To which the industry replied that he is broke.

This is one of the saddest news to hit every planholder in the country who does not apparently know what to do with their hard-earned money or investments that might soon be watered down. I don't know if they can seek real answer from the inutile Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which was supposed to closely monitor the financial performance of the players in the pre-need industry.

When the news broke out about some pre-need companies closing down, they told media they were not saying they were having repayment problem but admitted they might be facing it in the near future. Same dog with different collar. This simply means that they are facing repayment problem. Blaming the global financial crisis is not also a solution to their dilemma or the planholders' dilemma.

This has nothing to do with the global financial crisis but pure investment mishandling on the part of the pre-need industry. The government should be blamed due to its policies critical to the financial health of the industry. The people would bear the brunt of this debacle in the pre-need industry and for sure the impact will go a long way affecting the future of the industry not unless the government and the players in the industry will implement measures responsive to this situation.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Pagerank Thing and Aerial Spray Ban

First thing first. I am happy because after so long a time, my pagerank is back. The last time I saw it working categorized my page at pr4 and all of a sudden it went to zero presumably due to Google's policies I unwittingly violated. I waited for it to come out correctly after so many attempts to make it right with the Google.

I value Google's pr the reason that I wanted it to work properly here. Anyways, I got it again and can only thank Google for that even when my pagerank is down back to pr2. It's ok with me. I will wait for it to climb again to where it should be.

Now the main part. These past days or when the new year entered finally, one of the saddest news that Davao City had received was the decision of the Court of Appeals disapproving on the city's ban on the aerial spray in banana plantations for environmental and health reasons on the part of the residents living near the plantations. The proposed alternative was ground spray which is, according to the banana plantations, costly.

The anti-aerial spray group calling Mamamayan Ayaw sa Aerial Spray [citizens who are against aearial spray] or MAAS strongly condemned the decision saying it showed the bias of the court in favor to the banana than on the lives of the populationlliving near or in the middle of the plantations. The ban was backed with a city ordinance whose passage came through a long process of debates in the city council in 2007.

Reports claimed that MAAS will appeal to the supreme court.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Crematorium for Criminals

Not actually. Davao City's local government was reported to have a plan to build a crematorium to address the shrinking burial areas. There are sectors who are pushing for this project. While there are crematory services in the city, the project will provide for the affordability of the service.

But the local executive, as reports would have it, has another plan in mind - to use it to burn criminals. That is the point of the cartoon I drew. "Litson ka nito" loosely means "this will roast you." While this line was told in a light manner, DavaoeƱos know pretty well that our swashbuckling mayor really means it. For that, as I shared in my previous post, Davao City is not a place for criminals or drug pushers.


The latest news on kidnapping of three International Committee on the Red Cross (ICRC) is disheartening. The victims were snatched away yesterday afternoon right near the Sulu capitol in Patikul by an armed group believed to belong to the dreaded Abu Sayyaf Group.

ICRC was blamed for not asking security escort. ICRC tried to maintain that image of neutrality in their humanitarian operations but the problem is that this bunch of kidnappers in Sulu is not going to respect that neutrality. They don't have reasons whatsoever in that they are targetting just anybody whom they think they can extract hefty ransom. These people are simply criminals that have to be eliminated from the surface of the Earth at all cost.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Alabang Boys

You might have already heard in various ocassions the plight of suspected drug addicts and dealers in Davao City. Courtesy of the shadowy group called Davao Death Squad (DDS), these criminals were summarily executed. So if there is this "Alabang Boys" caught by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Manila recently and whose controversial case hogged the headlines, Davao City has its version of "Ilibing Boys" LOL. While Alabang is one of the villages in the country inhabited by rich families, "ilibing" is a Filipino word for "to bury."

With DDS (though unconfirmed until to date), Davao City is not a place for drug addicts, drug pushers and drug dealers. And not only that. Our very onw Mayor Rody Duterte is not also happy with these drug addicts and dealers around. In all his media exposures when talking about criminality, he would sternly warn criminals to watch out of their steps for he will definitely run after them.

Hardened Criminals' Celebration

I am pretty sure that hardened criminals are rejoicing after Gloria Macapagal Arroyo disfavored to revive the death penalty despite heinous crimes which are happening in various parts of the country nowadays.

I am pro-life but sparing the life of a hardened criminal? It's another matter. Criminals do not have pity on their victims and I believe they should get death sentence for every life they snap out. One of the issues raised against the implementation of death sentence was the weak judicial system we have. But I think this is another issue that has to be addressed in order to implement an effective justice system.

While I agree that it will not totally eliminate crimes, death penalty in avowal that this society will not let heartless and merciless individuals or criminals for that matter to exist and rule. Criminals should think twice before committing crimes.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Barry Commoner's law which says: "There's no such thing as freelance" would flash into my mind everytime I hear natural calamities such as what is happening to Cagayan de Oro City after it was hit by a flashflood. I have relatives living there whom I know were also affected by this calamity.

While we cannot prevent the occurence of this kind of natural calamity but we could have minimized its impact it if we took care of our forests and mountains. Logging activities wantonly denuded our remaining forest. Without trees, rainwater would easily run off to the low-lying areas where it meet the poor city drainage system which in turn prevents the floodwater from flowing freely to the sea. Do you think we can address this one? If we can get our acts together and that graft and corruption in the bureacracy will end, maybe. Just maybe. But honestly my answer to this question is "I don't know."

On Various Scams/Scandals

This cartoon was published last year.
I still have to update myself of the status of different scams and scandals (anomalies) that occurred last year in addition to unresolved scam in the past. Most recent is the issue on alleged bribery involving some personnel in the Department of Justice (DOH) to supposedly free drug suspects known in the media as the Alabang Boys.

Like other scandals, I am afraid that the issue will also be white-washed or derailed in order to apparently exonerate the suspects whose families are rich and influential.

We are in the middle of our battle against proliferating drug trafficking in the country and if this trend will not change, expect that we will lose in the process. Who to blame?

Friday, January 9, 2009

On Drug Trafficking

This is one of the editorial cartoons I drew in response to the recent bribery attempt at the Department of Justice (DOJ) for the alleged release of the Alabang Boys which the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) nabbed in line with their anti-drug operation.

The suspects belong to the moneyed families who were allegedly reported to have tried, through their legal counsel, to manipulate for their release including even taking the liberty to prepare a release order (using the DOJ's letterhead, of course).

Friday, January 2, 2009

Drawing Video

One busy day caught me again working on an editorial cartoon for next day's issue. I draw two editorial cartoons for the English and Vernacular versions respectively. You can see that my drawing table was cluttered with various stuff, etc. Foremost of which was a copy of Sun-Star Davao that I would use as my reference for other issues. Online news also serve as my reference on current issues.

When I reviewed the video, I noticed that I was punishing myself the whole process. With a flurry of brush strokes, I noticed very late that my ink vessel was placed on the left side of my drawing table. LOL.