If it is true that necessity is the mother of all inventions then my Birthday wish is the cradle of a brave new Philippines.
You may think that there is scant hope for the Philippines as she is bedevilled with surmounting social and environment troubles.
Not so if my Birthday wish is embraced by a tumultuous reformation.
How it Began
It found its origins when there was a recent outbreak of that dreadful Measles in several places in the Philippines. Anti-Measles Vaccine is given free to all. Did I understand it is given free?
Now that is something that only happens in that country when there is a mudslide or an earthquake or floods or a volcano explosion or typhoon for hapless victims.
Is that the only freebie? Are there any other freebies in the Philippines of which I know not?
Maybe there are if one considers these goings-on:
1. Free sex that Pinoys trick young girls into obliging their horny needs.
2. Free babies as a result of Number 1.
Let there be Freelipines
Rubbish you say?
You would not when you consider that all these freebies will end Graft, robbery, poverty and many more crimes.
Freelipines gives her citizens the unparalleled distinction of receiving:
Free medical and hospitalization
Free dental and eye care
Free movies and entertainment
Free energy and water supply
Free home and personal gadgets
Just to mention a few and to win your undivided vote and support for the planned reformation of what will become FREELIPINES.
Who pays for the free supply???
I knew you would ask this question.
We shall leave that to the newly elected President and his Congress to figure that out.
Allow me to draw your attention to Article 13, Clause 2 in the United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights.
“Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.”
The Philippines is a member State in the United Nations. Therefore the Philippines has to observe and to comply to the writs of the United Nations for the common good, both internationally and domestically.
DENIAL OF PASSAGE BY THE BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION
Notwithstanding all that can be added to reinforce what I am about to relate, it is pathetic that those who hold power over the lives of the Filipinos have turned the Philippine Archipelago into another Guantanamo Camp whereby its Immigration Officers arbitrarily deny Filipino citizens their right of passage to travel abroad.
That being said, I cannot accept the Bureau of Immigration’s action at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport when my brother was denied passage to Singapore; denied not once but twice.
My brother presented all the necessary travel documents stipulated by the BOI’s, to wit:
IN GENERAL, FILIPINOS TRAVELING ABROAD NEED ONLY TO PRESENT THE
• Valid passport – at least 6 months;
• Valid Original visa for port of entry( when required); and
• For tourists, a return ticket. (Memorandum Order No. MCL – 07 -019 issued on October 24, 2007).
As it is with all other countries, there are exceptions whereby a citizen is restricted from travel abroad. My brother does not fall under any of these exceptions. He has round trip air tickets and his stay in Singapore is scheduled only for a week.
The purpose of his trip to Singapore was to visit Singapore as well as to spend time with his girlfriend. His girlfriend who works as an Engineer in Singapore, took a week of absence from work and they both had looked forward for their vacation together.
Furthermore, they were booked in a resort in Indonesia and were to join with some friends to go sightseeing in Indonesia. By all accounts as can be read, my brother is definitely a bonafide traveler.
The travel was my brothers’ first time out of the country. He felt excited because finally, he will get to be with his gf once more. He was nervous because he didn’t know what to expect as it was his first travel out of the Philippines. He also heard a lot of sad sagas about Filipinos who were offloaded by the Immigration Officer even when they had presented all the necessary documents to leave the country.
Little did he know that he will be amongst those offloaded passengers.
After presenting his Passport at the Immigration Exit, he was held up in a room where he was interviewed by an Immigration Officer. After a series of interrogation followed as though he is a suspect of some crime, he was told he is not permitted to travel to Singapore.
He was told to comply with all the necessary documents, working permit, etc., before he is granted permission to leave the Philippines.
Just like that!
The Immigration Officer gave reasons that were vague. Apparently, the interrogating Immigration Officer suspected that my brother was going to Singapore to find a job while on a tourist visa.
Since when is it an Immigration offence for a person to discover or to seek possibilities of employ in another country while he is out of his motherland eventhough the person’s real intention is to tour a foreign land.
Since when has the Officers of the Philippines’ BOI been empowered to be guardians of Filipino travelers who decide to travel abroad and to indict denial of passage if the reason to travel abroad does not justify according to the Immigration Officer’s judgement?
Which Country in this World has an Immigration modus operandi as practiced in the Philippines?
I know of no such Country and many of my foreign friends too know of none. “Only in the Philippines” as the saying goes.
After he was denied the first time, he never lost heart. My brother and his gf bought another ticket and were determined to try one more time; only to be denied again!
THE SILENCED VICTIMS
May I ask, is the Immigration Officer’s suspicion enough grounds that a Filipino is denied passage abroad?
I believe suspicion is not an admissible reason in Law.
For any Filipino citizen who has been given valid travel documents and possesses air ticket for to and fro travel, and who has no criminal records or anything that would need him to be held in the country for political or bankruptcy proceedings, how can such a Filipino citizen be prevented by the Immigration from travel abroad?
It is an infringement of freedom of human rights if he is stopped from leaving the country!!!
If a Filipino fulfills all those requirements and he is not on the Philippines Watch List, he has not committed a felony and he is not wanted by the Law, it is not within the ambit of the Immigration Officer to hold a kangaroo court at his/her cubicle to investigate the Filipino’s personal reason for travel.
A Google Search on “offloading passengers from leaving the country in the Philippines”, offers pages and pages of many disgruntled Filipino victims who were denied passage out of the Philippines and these victims reported similar experiences with the Immigration as did my brother.
NO EYE IN THE SKY
However, in the absence of any recourse for the victims to seek redress about an Immigration Officer abusing their power and acting above the Law, such complaints have either fallen on deaf ears or never have been reported.
I wonder if there ever is a “watch-dog system” that aims to protect the rights of the traveler when leaving the Country. A “watch-dog” system is not only an effective conduit where the victimized traveler can report his case and it investigated. It will also deter Immigration Officers on duty from taking the Law into their hands in a high-handed manner for reasons best known to their own selves.
The money spent on buying a round trip air ticket and for hotel accommodation is not a small amount for an average Filipino worker. None of that money is refundable to the intending traveler when he is denied passage at the exit Immigration counter minutes before boarding the vessel.
The indignity that the traveler has to bear at the hands of the investigating Immigration Officer, who negates his joy in being abroad on vacation and suffer a substantial irretrievable loss of money already spent on travel tickets and hotel reservations is traumatic to say the least.
If by any stretch of imagination, it is even considered legal for the Immigration to conduct investigation at the exit, why conduct an exit interview minutes before the traveler boards the aircraft and then give dubious reasons for denial of passage, make the victim lose all the money paid for air travel and hotel accommodation and put the traveler through a trauma?
Again, If it is even considered legal, does it not make sense that the Bureau of Immigration conduct exit interviews long before the intending traveler pays for his travel and accommodation?
A FORGONE CONCLUSION
This blatant abuse of the Law by Immigration Officers towards their own nationals continues and it leaves an increasing number of distraught Filipino citizens to hate the way their lives are being governed by a democratic system that they empowered to protect their rights.
BACK TO BASICS
In this instance, it is about the Filipino’s right to leave and to return to his country as he pleases. It is a human right and it must not become a privilege as contrived by Immigration Officers at their Exit booth.
Even before he was sworn into Office, I have regarded President Aquino as a weak and fumbling leader who if not for being an Aquino, he would never have become President of the Philippines.
Being a reluctant candidate for the Presidency, he ought to have known better that the job demands more than popularity and the kind of public sentiment that Filipinos attach to iconic politicians and celebrities alike.
Is the President in charge of himself let alone in charge of his own Country?
The issue at hand despite the loss of credibility on the Senate as well as the President, is not merely the fate of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or Pork Barrel as more commonly known.
Whether PDAF is scrapped and replaced by some other system or whether the management of that Fund is revised, what it totally lacking is a mandatory accountability from the receipients of that Fund.
It appears from the case of the Janet Lim-Napoles embezzlement, that accountability found its place only due to the revelation of a whistle blower, Benhur Luy. Not even the audits raised sufficient awareness and warnings about the mismanagement that was going on for such a humongous amount of money.
Since these same lawmakers are never daft in their ways to exert accurate accountability from their tax-paying citizens on penalty of fines, confiscation by the State and even imprisonment, why are they incapable or being circumspect about their own accountability with their use of public funds?
Is it not also a requirement of his profession as Auditor General that based on his unbiased audits, he must advise and recommend to the President and the Senate on what needs to be implemented to avert further losses through mismanagement?
In the wake of the Benhur Luy’s testimony and damning evidence given before the Senate’s Blue ribbon Commitee with more revelations to follow under oath, my question is:
HOW DOES THE PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT CONTINUE ADMINISTRATE WHEN SO MANY LAWMAKERS ARE ALLEGED CRIMINALS IN A SCANDAL UNPARALLELED IN THE HISTORY OF THE PHILIPPINES CONGRESS?
Innocent until proven guilty does not render any mitigation for those involved. How can they continue to hold office? How can their subordinates work effectively under the command of their boss who is held in contempt for siphoning away funds that are earmarked for the poor and for the public?
Apparently huddled together in silence or throwing accusations somewhat belatedly by a few bolder Congressmen, it is no longer a guess-who for the public as to who are the guilty ones.
The amount of 10 Billion Pesos attributed to the Janet Lim-Napoles scandal is presently the only known embezzled amount. It would need the Auditor-General to report on the exact amount that was misappropriated from PDAF as the estimated total embezzlement is put in the region of 50 Billion Pesos.
What will be the reaction of Donor-nations towards the Philippine’s now that it is known that the Philippines’ Congress is a Band of Bandits?
The alleged Congressmen should be suspended without salary and benefits and suspended from holding Office until the Supreme Court deals with the matter in an impassioned and impartial manner.
It will take a while before the Philippine citizens know about the truth of just how much they have been deluded for generations by their leaders provided of course that Janet Lim-Napoles lives to tell and tell without reservation or prejudice.
And may I add, her story is merely a fraction of the tip of the iceberg.
In the meantime, life goes on as it usually does, with some tittle tattle here and there and askance if ever the Pork Barrel embezzled money will be recovered in full.
Restitution in other forms is left for a good wager because it would take more than the might of the Government to be able to admit that the Government is rotten and rotting while theres no promise of when the rot will stop. We know that that will never happen. So the deceased, Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos, Sr should by default be elevated to political Sainthood.
In the meantime, we never fail to hear it said with such profundity, “Oh badddd, so saddd” about what in the devil is happening. Immediately after having said that, Filipinos roll over in the beds and continue with their pleasures.
After all, so what? Nothing really is new. Its the same old, same old and we survived it all.
If it has not been noticed, there now is an eerie silence of sorts in the Philippines’ dailies. This silence feels like the foreboding darkness on the horizon before a storm arrives.
Gone are the theaterics of Congressmen that went on and on like in a TV Soap Opera only to be replaced with the goings-on of the Philippines fledgling News celebrity, Janet Lim-Napoles.
In this moment of a nation’s shame, there is an absence of reports of loud mouthed Congressmen. The President has enlisted himself uncannily with this group of media attention grabbers, the group I call “Silencio”. Of course, it only makes sense to distance and prepare oneself for the moment Janet Lim-Napoles’ sh*t hits the ceiling fan. Who knows to what ends this Pork Barrel will roll?
It is one of the most dismal and disastrous turn of events for the Grab Mentality champions of the Philippines; their conscience impervious to blood sucking and now they realize it is too late for being blind to the eternal fact: the truth will prevail.
Can it be said that the President was unaware of what went on before the whistle blower brought the pigs to public scrutiny? As Command-in-Chief it is not merely the Armed Forces that the President presides upon national interests. He is also Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the nation. Was it not his clarion call during his political campaign for the Office of the President, that besides uplifting the lives of the poor, he would deal firmly with corruption?
President Aquino’s rhetoric rings hollow if he is worthy to be respected and looked upon as a real leader and gentleman for what he proclaimed in his Inaugural Speech.
Aquino repeated his campaign promise to curb corruption and practice good governance.
“Ang mandatong ito ay isa kung saan kayo at ang inyong pangulo ay nagkasundo para sa pagbabago – isang paninindigan na ipinangako ko noong kampanya at tinanggap ninyo noong araw ng halalan. Sigaw natin noong kampanya: ‘Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.’ Hindi lamang ito pang slogan o pang poster – ito ang mga prinsipyong tinatayuan at nagsisilbing batayan ng ating administrasyon,”
Aquino said clean and honest governance will start with him and his Cabinet.
“Ang unang hakbang ay ang pagkakaroon ng tuwid at tapat na hanay ng mga pinuno. Magsisimula ito sa akin. Sisikapin kong maging isang mabuting ehemplo. Hinding hindi ko sasayangin ang tiwalang ipinagkaloob ninyo sa akin. Sisiguraduhin ko na ganito rin ang adhikain ng aking Gabinete at ng mga magiging kasama sa ating pamahalaan,”
And did he say he would honor the legacy of his parents and promised his countrymen a better Philippines as his own legacy? He counted his chickens before the eggs were hatched not knowing it was Ducks’ Balut eggs and those will never ever hatch.
A better Philippines? Bah! He has crowed about improvements with the Philippines Economy during his watch. Where? What is his gauge for improvement? The Peso is 44.48 to a USD and the buying power of the Peso is where it was when he became President.
Funds meant for the establishment of hospitals, schools, public services, health care, etc., etc., particularly for the poor have been embezzled. Now that is improvement in economic terms for this President.
Ask anyone to explain in the simplest manner how money can be well managed and the answer would be, Keep a careful eye on how much goes in and how much goes out. It is really that simple and one does not need to be a Certified Public Accountant to do that. Our mothers had an even more simple method. They looked into the tin can they kept on top of a kitchen shelf, to see if there was enough money in it to last the month for food.
In the case of the Pork Barrel scandal, it is reportedly TEN BILLION PESOS that went out and it failed to arouse questions from the CFO! Unbelievable. Impossible. Who’s sleeping on the job?
We could speculate many reasons for the sudden attack of memory loss and blindness of the CFO. And speculation it will remain simply because for every speculation there is an equal extenuating circumstance that only politicians of the highest caliber are able to counter, confound and confuse listeners even further.
So now we see why all the other dramas, scandals and natural mayhems were good material for the Porky pigs and their Barrel. It kept the populace looking the other way while those who authorized the plunder had their political interest for doing so.
Is this what Jose Rizal gave his life for? It is also what the other Filipino nationalist heroes gave their lives for – the cause of Sovereignty and self rule and not to be replaced by corruption, greed, self aggrandizement and plunder.
The pen is not to be taken as merely being proverbially mightier than the sword. In a land overrun by lawyers, has their pen run out of ink? I guess it has for cowards and the hypocrites. We know of Philippine News reporters who have been killed and will be killed in a criminal effort to silence the truth.
The Pork Barrel proved the might of the pen. It took the digital pen and the auspisces of a blog under anonymity to rattle the conscience of the Philippines into action and a plaintive plea to the President to wake up from his siesta.
Holy Napoles!!! I also want to be imprisoned in the Philippines.
With all my wealth and freedom, I do not even have ham for breakfast. Definitely never had boneless bangus and banana for lunch and god only knows what else I have for dinner.
To all Filipino and Filipina criminals at large , here is a lesson never to be forgotten. Surrender yourselves in person to the President of the Philippines and you will be assured celebrity sponsorship. This sponsorship besides being served hotel class food will include an aircondition room/cell, medical attendants on call, food inspection for poison plus other perks.
Now who said crime does not pay? It apparently does pay in the Philippines.
There’s never a dull moment in the Philippines. It isn’t a case where the Philippines serves news about some dignified accomplishment by her elite or by an unknown citizen.
It is rather her list of dastardly events that would make a collage of diabolic images which Lucifer and his legion would find impossible to emulate.
It is beyond comprehension how the nation’s coffer that is meant to alleviate the lives of the poor and the impoverished; the poor’s last means of succour when everything fails them but alas! the funds is laundered as bonus handouts to those who were elected in the first instance to protect and support the lives of more than 70 percent of Philippines poor who live below subsistence level.
What is incomprehensible is the manner in which the populace has reacted towards this utterly unforgivable social injustice wrought on the poor who have resiliently faced indignity, hunger, homelessness, sickness, scorn and hope against hope everyday of their lives in the Philippines.
What is more hurtful is that the ubiquitous Filipinos slaving away in foreign lands take this incident as matter of fact and feel that they are still able to override the issue as long as they remit money to their loved ones at home.
What is even more unjust is that those who are living abroad and basking in their good fortunes do not emphatize with the degradation of morals in their motherland, a degradation so vile that it has turned vice as being a bearer of virtue.
The long list of the alleged bandits who have dipped their hands into receiving millions of Pesos that belonged to the poor man’s fund is mind boggling. That list has most of the names of those in the past and present nation’s Administration.
The reaction thus far has been peaceful demonstrations across the Philippines and an over simplistic belief that the present Laws of the land will effectively resolve this gross robbery with due punishment meted to the wrong-doers.
And for those who are in high positions of power, this incident is another great opportunity to distract the populace attention away from their own administrative failures by accusing Janet Lim-Napoles as the mastermind of the scam and in doing so they make her the fall-guy despite their tainted collusion with her.
The crime committed should be explained by a simpler analogy so that the reader understands the impunity of this crime.
Imagine a poor and obviously forlorn person, be s/he an adult or an infant, eating what does not even look like a meal. Here comes a well dressed man, esteemed by the Philippines just because he belongs to an elite who holds sway over the lives of Filipinos; he snatches the meal away from the clutches of the poor forlorn person and throws it to a pack of stray dogs busy screwing a bitch. That is what the Philippines Administration has done to their very own impoverished brothers and sisters and babes by fraudulently stealing the poor person’s money and throwing it into bogus company accounts and bank accounts of their family members.
When the Law in a Country deplorably fails to exact upon her populace, the perpetuity of political integrity and the preservation of transparency for clean governance, it provides the platform for corruption to breed more corruption.
Such is the example of the ex-Movie veteran icon and ex-President, who was impeached and convicted of corruption and plunder during his tenure as President and later given an executive clemency by ex-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
One can assume in this instance, it is a typical past time of corrupted people to scratch the backs of other known corrupted people. This scratching obsession is medically known as Corrupto-Scratchivitis
It was said before the 2010 Presidential elections that Estrada’s announced that he would not seek elective or public office again. It is then assumed that was what must have prompted Arroyo to sign the conditional pardon.
It has been argued that the intent of the conditional pardon was to prohibit the convicted felon from running for public office.
Yeah, that is what I first said. He moonwalks the talk!!!
A People’s Campaign of Renewed Hope…
Recognizes the absence of these qualities in government as a major cause of widespread poverty, misery and despair.
We will start to make these changes first in ourselves—by doing the right things, by giving value to excellence and integrity and rejecting mediocrity and dishonesty, and by giving priority to others over ourselves.
A Commitment to Transformational Leadership:
2. From a government that merely conjures economic growth statistics that our people know to be unreal to a government that prioritizes jobs that empower the people and provide them with opportunities to rise above poverty.
For example, let us look at Vietnam today. It is a nation that was torn and shattered by the longest war ever in S.E.Asia that lasted for almost 30 years. That alone speaks volumes and discards any need to go into statistics. The unthinkable state of abject and crushing poverty, disease and political chaos that she was left to grapple with at the end of the war. How did Vietnam rise from her ashes to what she is today?
How did she? She did it because she did not have despairing leaders to lead the nation. That’s how.