Current Events and Issues Affecting the Philippines

Crime

Bolante out, Alabang boys in

Manila, Philippines –

The Bolante/fertilizer scam investigation have taken a backseat as the “Alabang boys” (or Alabang adults as others would politically put it) drug issue has grabbed the limelight. It is the most celebrated news at the moment as it involves three men from affluent families namely Richard Brodett, Richard Tecson, and Jorge Joseph who were allegedly caught in a buy-bust operation by agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). (more…)


Jose de Venecia Jr. and the NBN-ZTE deal

Manila, Philippines –

Former House Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. is set to launch his autobiography in Washington, D.C. this week. The book entitled “Global Filipino: The Authorized Biography of Joe de Venecia Jr., the Visionary Five-Time Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines” is said to contain first-hand accounts of JdV on the “secret meeting” held in Shenzhen, China among President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, First Gentleman Mike Arroyo, former Commission on Elections chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr., and ZTE officials in 2006. (more…)


Foreign perception of corruption in the Philippines

MADISON, Wisconsin –

Well, what do you know, corruption pays. If the Philippines is not one of the most corrupt countries in Asia, then accused health care scammer Dr. Diogenes Dionisio might have been convicted by now.

The Filipino doctor was part of a scam involving U.S. military retirees residing in the Philippines. He conspired with these retirees to file medical service claims that were deceitfully increased. Thus, in the process, Dionisio and his cohorts defraud U.S. taxpayers of around $2 million of their hard-earned money. (more…)


Philippine Congress – Of posers and jokers

House of Representatives, Philippines –

In a move to clear the names (or probably to cover up the mess) of congressmen involved in the fertilizer scam controversy, the House of Representatives will conduct today their own inquiry on the scandal that allegedly diverted the fertilizer funds to the campaign funds of President Arroyo and spread to her allies in the Lower House and other local officials during the 2004 elections. (more…)


Major (or should i say Generals’) blunder

Manila, Philippines –
Until now, the inequality of wealth and the imbalance of power in our country never cease to fascinate me. Just look at how our purported public servants are regularly accorded special treatments to the point of being abusive. Still, its the way nature works to restore equality and balance that is more astonishing.

The recent controversy wherein retired police Director Eliseo dela Paz and his wife were held by Russian Customs authorities at Moscow airport for carrying a questionably large amount of money is one such example. The €105,000 or P6.9 million, they were carrying clearly exceeded the allowable limit of €10,000. Had Mr. dela Paz and company followed airport procedure and declared the money before leaving the country and upon arriving at Moscow, they would have avoided the mess they are in right now.

Did i just say karma?

Oh well, the PNP big bosses are on the move to save their asses, as they always do. And they have less reasons to worry about even if the Napolcom and Ombudsman are set to conduct their formal (meaning, simply for formality) their separate investigations on the case.

But its the Filipino people they owe an explanation to. More so that they’re top-secret contingency fund is believed to be taxpayers’ money. Why were they carrying such a large amount of money? Why was the money not declared? Why do they have such fund after all when Senator Lacson had stated that no item in the contingency fund of the 2008 budget is alloted for travel expenses? Why were their wives part of the trip when it was an official mission? More and more questions waiting for answers.

Will heads roll this time or will this issue again die a natural die just like all the anomalies of the Arroyo administration? Abangan…


Executive clemency..is it really that absolute?

MANILA, Philippines –
While watching late night news this whole week, I continuously felt disappointed and disgusted toward this ever tainted GMA administration. As if it wasn’t enough that taxpayers’ money are constantly being misused, now justice is being twisted big-time.

Convicted murderer Claudio Teehankee Jr. was granted executive clemency and thus regained his freedom before midninght on Friday. This despite having served only 21 years of his sentence of one count of reclusion perpetua and one count of reclusion temporal which should have been up to 60 years of imprisonment. He was sentenced to jail for the near fatal shooting of Jussi Olavi Leino and the deaths of Maureen Hultman and Roland John Chapman.

Adding insult to injury, the extremely unpopular Justice secretary Raul Gonzalez is again at his wits defending the move and brushing aside every criticism from the Makati Business Club and even the parents of Maureen Hultman.

Our leaders are definitely sending wrong signals to lawbreakers. Does having money, power, and the right connections indeed make someone above the law?