Monday, September 28, 2009

Worst Typhoon after 40 Years

This is no time to point at anyone to blame for the disaster that some of our brothers in Luzon have terribly suffered when Typhoon Ondoy poured out its wrath recently. But I guess this is a time to ponder on what we had done in responding to the disaster. My heart went out to the victims – the helplessness of the victims who waited for the rescue operations to come but took too long in some areas.

Sad to note that despite our being in the typhoon belt, we were ill-prepared, ill-equipped in many aspects of our so-called disaster-response. For instance, rubber boats were not enough. In fact, I read from some news that the local government units in the affected areas also admitted that they were caught by surprise. Anyway, as I said this is no time for blaming and I am not blaming anyone. But as similar incident had already occurred about 40 years ago, we could have prepared fully. Forty years to prepare for the worst to come would be more than enough. Definitely, Ondoy’s onslaught is a reminder that we cannot take everything for granted.

I lifted the photos from this site -

Thursday, September 24, 2009


One sad reality in the country today is the occurrence of so-called extra-judicial killings. Most of these killings remained unresolved to this day. My editorial cartoon tries to capture this societal ill.

When I hear reports about people being killed helplessly, I could not help but wonder. For how long will it remain as it is today making our society a very dangerous place to live. Is this the kind of society we want our children to inherit?

Extra-judicial killings have no place in a civilized society. We laws and order to follow. I am hoping that the next set of elected government officials will be able to offer solutions to this problem and that justice will be attained for those who have hungered for it for so long. I am just hoping.

Monday, September 21, 2009

iblog for Peace

Peace efforts elsewhere in any conflict-troubled regions in the globe are always laudable. The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict in Southeast Asia (GPPAC) is one of the active peace groups that continuously supports for

local-based peace campaigns such as in the case of Mindanao ravaged by decades of armed conflict. Until now, the Philippine government has yet to forge a sustainable peace agreement with the two rebel groups Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) whose continued armed struggle has negatively impacted the lives of the people in the countrysides and caused war-related expenditures on the part of the government.

You will familiarize yourself with various peace efforts and updates on these activities by visiting one of their recently-launched sites themed as iblog for peace. The blog icon is linked to their site.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Who will win come 2010?

When the Cheaper Medicine Law was about to be implemented, there were controversies about some drug companies trying to stop it. I guess, Malacañang was also dragged into the issue. Finally, the law is now being implemented with the Department of Health urging all drugstores and outlets nationwide to comply.

In the local level, the DOH is active in their monitoring campaign. Although this is a welcome development, we still hope that a much better medicine law will be crafted. Remember that the saying "health is wealth" is not about raking in more profits at the expense of the poor segment of the society.

So far, we have Sen. Noynoy Aquino III, Sen. Manny Villar, Defense Sec. Gilbert Teodoro, MMDA Chair Bayani Fernando and Bro. Eddie Villanueva who have signified to run for president come May 2010 elections. Other presidential aspirants who have to formally announce yet their political plans include Loren Legarda, Chiz Escudero, Sen. Jamby Madrigal, former president Erap Estrada and vice-president Noli De Castro who is so silent about his next political move. Will he join the bandwagon? Nobody knows yet but I believe Kabayan can also be a good presidential bet because of clean image.

So far there has been no formal declaration on the part of Fernando who lost recently to Teodoro who was overwhelmingly favored by the party executive committee of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD Party. He only answered "secret" to media when asked about his political party following his defeat to a party-member novice.

Who will win by 2010 will be gauged by three factors: political machinery, popularity and bloc-vote support. The presidential candidate that will have these factors will come out victorious. Forget about the issues, Pinoy electorate is not so much about national concerns and issues when voting. No wonder that we have Marcos loyalists or so-called Cory Magic even when there were controversial issues that remained unresolved to this day. Forget about the hype on younger generation which I believe would not make a difference at all unless we are in a tight electoral race of two contending candidates, this will surely have an impact.

Teodoro is not popular among the electorate or the Filipino people although he is currently secretary of the Department of the National Defense. But being backed by the administration is something else. Surely, the administration has all the machinery to use or tap. Aquino is enjoying overwhelming popularity as one factor that may catapult him to power. I think this is his advantage over other aspirants. The limited political machinery of the Liberal Party can still contribute to his advantage. Just maybe.

Meanwhile, here the moneyed Manny Villar. While he has no political party yet (?), Villar can possibly cope up with the "powerhouses" of Teodoro and Aquino, with his money. He is also favored in surveys before Aquino accepted the call for him to run.

In the case of bloc-voting, Eddie Villanueva may come nearer conceptually. But I don't think he can really get all the votes of his flock. And I don't think the bloc-voting Iglesia ni Cristo will support Bro. Villanueva even though he is called a "brother." That is, for sure, a big potential minus from Bro. Villanueva's votes.

Anyway, as each candidate in the opposition has advantages over rival aspirants, their number will dissipate the anti-administration votes thereby giving Teodoro a safer advantage. Now if he gets the support of INC, Teodor will have a reserved advantage. In fact, in an opposition marked with disunity, the INC's bloc votes really matter. But everyone will only know only whom the INC will support during the nth time.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Power or Water

I missed to really follow the this issue by the details. Anyway, the hydro power project of the Aboitiz Power Corporation aims to generate about 27.5-MW power. The project enjoyed the nod of the National Water Resources Board but denied the Davao City Water District for its intent to tap the Tamugan-Panigan River for Davao City. The latter is trying to resubmit their intent.

I believe that residents of Davao City will benefit from these projects - a stabler power and water supply for the city. Although I firmly believe that water is more important than power so that tender-loving care has to be afforded to a water ecosystem which ensures water supply for the people. So I worry about the impact of Hedcor project on the environmentally critical area as one of the tributaries for the water reserved of Davao City. Well, we have experts who think they know everything about the carrying capacity of the river. Let us see.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

General Burden?

While others maybe enraged to see this disturbing image of Philippine Air Force Brig. Gen. Marciano Ilagan carried by the boatman as flashed on tv these past days, I could not help but laugh at how this image has succeeded in tarnishing the macho image of the AFP.

I did not see this image or footage when aired. I learned it through a loop I received so recently and when I googled it, I was amazed to learn that everyone is actually talking about it posting both hilarious and hard-hitting commentaries on this issue.

As Brig. General Ilagan was captured here, some forumers claimed other officers were also carried by the boatman. Ok, that's heresy because there were no proofs like this image we have which I don't know what kind of image our officials are trying to show to the people and to the American officer who opted to wade through the seawater after stepping down from the boat.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

RP's Economic Competitiveness

What prompted me to draw this editorial cartoon? Actually, this was based on a news report on RP's economic competitive rating. I saw it on tv in passing but later found the data here which has shown the rating (3.99) of the Philippines as compared to other countries in Asia. While Singapore occupied the top position of 5.45 rating, Timor-Leste is at the bottom (3.20 rating).

The Proposed Text Tax

The proposed 10-centavo tax on SMS is another burden congress is contemplating to impose on the people although proponents are pointing to the telcos. Naturally, telcos which cannot allow a cut on their profits will pass this to the texting consumers or the subscribers. Who else?

Malacañang is aware of the negative impact of this bill on the consumers the reason it announced that it would leave that matter to congress. Playing safe. Text tax should be carefully evaluated more especially that poor consumers are availing of this form of communication.

If it is talking about using the text tax for development projects, the congress or the government for that matter should double its efforts to put a stop to graft and corruption that has eaten up billions of government or public funds.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Don't Dawdle

For countless times, I drew cartoons criticizing issue pertaining to oil price increases since I started in 1989. I found this one drawing (depicting the oil firms raking in profits at the expense of the poor consumers) I kept in one of my albums. Anyways, I understand that this is one of the conscience-less trades driven by greed. I posted this in relation to reports on another rounds of oil price increases.

Sen. Noynoy Aquino III has been off to Zamboanga City for a retreat in relation to the widespread call of the people for him to run as president. Right after the wake of his mother former Pres. Cory Aquino, calls for him to run were already growing but those were met by Senator Aquino with sheer reluctance and it remained even after Sen. Mar Roxas II during a Liberal Party meeting announced his withdrawal from the race for the nation and party unity.But Malacañang has its quick and crisp answer to this development - gimmickry. Well, that is politics and every camp needs political mileage.

But we cannot blame Senator Aquino why he seems to dawdle. The task he will be facing is daunting and gargantuan especially when the entire nation pins its hope on him. But as a voter, I cannot help but perceive this as a form of indecisiveness. Who needs a leader like this? He has to say his firm decision now or he would lose precious time to prepare everything including the need to unify the opposition as soon as possible.

Developments: Pampanga Gov. Among Ed Panlilio recently also did a Mar Roxas when he announced his withdrawal from the presidential race.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

On INC's Ka Erdy

Kapatid na Eraño “Ka Erdy” de Guzman Manalo (kapatid means "brother) of the Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ) passed away last August 31 in his home at 84. INC spokesperson Bienvenido Santiago said that Ka Erdy died of heart attack.

The INC can be considered as one of the influential churches in the country because of its doctrine on bloc-voting during elections. As a result, politicians would woo no end the support of the INC.

Ka Erdy took over the church leadership when Ka Felix Ysagun Manalo died in 1963. He steered the church further to greatness when its evangeligical missions reached to over 90 countries and territories and 4,500 congregations worldwide.

Among the "unique" teachings of the INC include the compulsory membership in the true church to be saved from eternal damnation and in its belief, contrary to other churches' belief, that Jesus Christ is not god (or the God) but son of God sent by God (the Father) for the humanity’s salvation.

INC is one of the largest indigenous churches (if not the largest) that originated from the Philippines and is continuously sending throughout the world ministers and evangelists. In the country, its church buildings are eye-catching for their architectural designs unique from other religious denominations' worship buildings. The INC celebrated its 95th anniversary last July 27 (INC was established in 1914) which was declared as special holiday by the government. The next executive minister will likely be deputy executive minister Ka Eddieboy Villanueva Manalo who, reports said, had long been trained and prepared for the position.

The remains of Ka Erdy lie in state at the Central Temple (Quezon City) where public viewing is on-going. As reported in the media, the wake is devoid of any rituals like necrological services due mainly to INC's belief that all these pratices are not biblical. My condolences to all kapatiran of the INC.

Photo: Lifted from the site of

Aquino - Roxas?

With the fast approaching presidential elections, the political arena in the country is slowly heating up especially with the withdrawal of Sen Mar Roxas from his presidential bid over party unity and amid calls for Senator Aquino III to run for president. This is for the unity of the party and for the good of the country, he said in effect.

It was not an easy decision knowing fully-well how he invested so much in his preparation including the questionable informercials (Questionable because they represent as forms of early campaigning although they do not violate electoral rules). Still he made a great sacrifice which to me a very laudable decision he made because it tended to show his patriotic intention. For that, Senator Roxas received but praises.

Already, Malacañang said it would complicate the situation of the opposition. But at what point, we don’t know. For us, the recent decision of the Liberal Party will surely have a positive impact on the broad opposition. From here, the broad spectrum of the opposition will need to decide whether they will fight as united opposition or go with their respective political ambitions. The latter might be a complication.

With the far-reaching political machinery of the administration plus its plan to field no other than vice-president Noli "Kabayan" de Castro, the opposition has to agree among themselves immediately who will be their best bets come May 2010. Time is running out and the people have to know now. As to whether Senator Roxas will run as vice-president, the Liberal Party is yet to decide. In an interview over a television network with Franklin M. Drilon, LP chairperson, Senator Roxas would likely run in tandem with Senator Aquino. If realized, that will be a force to reckon as far as mass appeal is concerned.

Without the much-needed unity, it will be risky for the political bid of all personalities in the opposition. But next to Senator Roxas, who will do a sacrifice for the good of the country? That’s a big question.

Photo: Yahoo News/Reuters